Education & Events

Women’s Elected Leadership Intensive Presenters



Headshot of Christopher Johnson.

Christopher Johnson

Christopher J. Johnson serves as the League’s General Counsel. He came to the League from the law firm of Johnson, Rosati, Schultz & Joppich, P.C., where he was a founding partner. For over 30 years, Chris has been active in the defense of municipalities in civil litigation throughout the state of Michigan. He maintains specialties in the fields of municipal law, school law, legislation, and liability and insurance defense. He is admitted to all state and federal courts in the state of Michigan as well as the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Chris also served as the mayor of Northville from 1987 to 2015 and was awarded the Citizen of the Year by Northville Chamber of Commerce (2015). He served on the Northville Board of Education from 1976 to 1987. In 2010, he was named Top Lawyer by Hour Magazine and DBusiness, Southeast Michigan’s Journal for Business. 

Karen Lancaster

In January 2022 Karen became a Partner and President of The WoodHill Group, LLC.

Karen is a CPA and Certified Public Officer (CPFO) with over 30 years of public sector experience. Her background includes accounting, auditing, purchasing, budgeting, strategic planning, process improvement, policy design, system implementation and using technology to streamline processes.

She has worked in the municipal sector as a City Finance Director and as a Senior Associate for Price Waterhouse Cooper in private and non-profit sectors.

Karen has also been a featured Speaker at the Michigan Clerk’s Institute, Michigan Treasury Institute, University of Michigan School of Public Policy Graduate Program, and the Michigan Municipal League.

Karen holds a Master of Business Administration from Oakland University and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Michigan.

Carrie Rathbun Hawks

Heidi Frye

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