Michigan Municipal League Board Selects New Vice President, Three New Members
Monroe Mayor Robert Clark Named Vice President; Officials from Detroit, Ferndale, Kentwood Selected to Statewide Association
ANN ARBOR, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League recently selected a new vice president and three new members for the League’s Board of Trustees.
During its virtual League Board meeting on Jan. 28, the board named Monroe Mayor Robert Clark as the new vice president. Also selected were three new members for the 19-member board: Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley, Ferndale Councilmember Raylon Leaks-May, and Stephanie Grimes Washington, director of governmental affairs for the City of Detroit.
Clark was selected to the MML board in September of 2020 and is filling the vice president role previously held by current MML Board President Barbara Ziarko, Sterling Heights City Councilmember.
“I am pleased to have Mayor Clark join me in leading our board,” said Ziarko, who was named League President in November 2021. “Together, we welcome three new officials to our board. It’s important to all the board members that we continue to have representatives from some of the state’s largest cities working side-by-side with officials from some of our smallest communities. The diversity of thought and representation is vitally important to the League board and to the organization.”
Clark has served as mayor of the City of Monroe since 2010, and previously as a councilmember. He serves on the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Downtown Development Authority, and Monroe City Employee Pension and Post-Retirement Health Care board of trustees. Active within the community, he serves on the Monroe County Business Development Corporation, River Raisin National Battlefield Foundation Board, and the River Raisin Watershed Council. Clark is a graduate of William Penn College, Iowa, and earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology. He completed 30 years of service with the Michigan State Police, retired at the rank of major, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
“I’ve been involved with the League for many years and to serve as Board Vice President is an honor,” Clark said. “I look forward to leading with President Ziarko and working together to further the organization’s ongoing work in community wealth building; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and fixing the state’s broken municipal funding system.”
Details of the newly elected Board members:
Stephanie Grimes Washington is director of governmental affairs for the City of Detroit and previously served as fundraiser/funding event coordinator for the campaign of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and was later appointed to Duggan’s administration as the director of scheduling and advance. She was later appointed by the mayor to city council liaison. As director of government affairs, Washington has made significant contributions through her advocacy efforts to elected officials and key stakeholders at the local, state, and federal levels that have positively impacted Detroit’s transformation and revitalization. A native of Philadelphia, Washington is a graduate of Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and Master of Public Administration with a concentration in city management with honors. Upon graduation she relocated to Detroit and worked in media, sales management, and marketing in radio, television, print, and social media. Additionally, she is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., a member/treasurer on the Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Board, and serves on the Eight Mile/Woodward Corridor Board and the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Board.
Stephen Kepley has served the citizens of Kentwood as mayor and head administrator since 2013. Kepley gained much of his valuable experience while working for Kentwood as the director of engineering and inspections/city engineer for 11 years, along with an additional 15 years in the private manufacturing design and construction sector. Kepley serves on various boards, including The RAPID (former chair and vice-chair), Grand Valley Metro Council’s executive board, and the Kentwood Community Foundation (President). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Virginia Tech and is certified by the State of Michigan in multiple vocations. Kepley has always loved working with people to solve problems, encourage growth, and serve the common good of those around him.
Raylon Leaks-May has been a Ferndale resident for over 30 years, has been a member of the Ferndale City Council since 2015, and served as the Mayor Pro Tem from 2019 through 2021. She serves on the Board of Zoning and Appeals, as well as the Ferndale Accessibility and Inclusion Commission. She is an active volunteer in the community and is a proud mother of five beautiful children. She is an information and referral specialist by profession at the Area Agency on Aging 1-B and serves as board president for the League’s Elected Officials Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree through Madonna University and has an (AA) and (AS) from Oakland Community College.
The new Trustees join Ziarko, Clark and the other volunteers on the 2021-22 Board—Joshua Atwood, Lapeer City Commissioner; Rebecca Chamberlain-Creanga, Troy City Councilmember; Peter Dame, Grosse Pointe City Manager; Carla Filkins, Cadillac Mayor; Don Gerrie, Sault Ste. Marie City Commissioner; Valerie Kindle, Harper Woods Mayor; Robert La Fave, L’Anse Village Manager; Joshua Meringa, Grandville City Councilmember; Deborah Stuart, Mason City Manager; Patrick Sullivan, Northville City Manager; Keith Van Beek, Holland City Manager; Mark Washington, Grand Rapids City Manager; and Tim Wolff, Lake Isabella Village Manager.
For additional information, contact Matt Bach, Michigan Municipal League assistant director of strategic communications, at [email protected] and (810) 874-1073.
Michigan Municipal Leagueis dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.