Tuscola County’s Matthew Bierlein is sworn in by Judge Amy Gierhart as his wife, Mindy, and children look on. (Rod Sanford Photography)
The Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) elected board officers for its 2017-18 term and added two new board members at the MAC Annual Conference, held Sept. 24-26 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Matthew Bierlein, a Tuscola County commissioner, was sworn in as MAC’s 110th president since the organization’s founding on Feb. 1, 1898. During his first address as president to the association, Bierlein called for greater engagement with all of Michigan’s 622 county commissioners.
Joining Bierlein on the board’s executive team are: First Vice President Ken Borton, an Otsego County commissioner; Second Vice President Veronica Klinefelt of Macomb County; and Immediate Past President Shelley Taub, an Oakland County commissioner.
“Our new leadership team brings a great variety of skills and experiences to our board,” said Stephan W. Currie, MAC’s executive director. “We have a great team in place as we begin to implement our strategic plan adopted by the board at the Annual Conference.”
In board elections held at the conference, MAC members in attendance elected three new board members:
Joe Bonovetz of Gogebic County
Richard Schmidt of Manistee County
Jim Storey of Allegan County
Also serving as directors on the board for the 2017-18 term are:
Stephan Currie addresses the audience at the 16th MSAE Diamond Awards after accepting his honor as Strategic Association Leader for 2017.
Stephan W. Currie, executive director of the Michigan Association of Counties, was honored Sept. 14 as the 2017 Strategic Association Leader by the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE).
Currie received the honor during the 16th annual MSAE Diamond Awards at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn. The award is presented to an association leader who, in MSAE’s words, “has demonstrated the ability and commitment to going beyond the expected standards of service and professionalism. The award reflects outstanding leadership and achievement in association management. Strategic association leaders serve MSAE and encourage their staff to participate in the association community; contribute to other voluntary membership organizations; and participate in various civic and community affairs.”
In a letter in support of Currie’s nomination, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans noted, “Mr. Currie and his team at the Michigan Association of Counties provided invaluable expertise and support as we sought to reinvent our purchasing process. Our new state-of-the-art system is expected to save our taxpayers millions of dollars while making it easier for qualified contractors to do business with Wayne County.”
In his acceptance speech, Currie said, “I was shocked, and humbled, to learn I had been nominated and then honored. This award reflects the hard work and commitment of the entire MAC team.
Currie became MAC’s fourth executive director since 1968 on Jan. 1, 2017.
Via its “Inside Out” program, DIA is partnering with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to bring open-air exhibits to 15 qualifying communities in 2017.
Inside Out brings framed reproductions of DIA masterworks to parks and downtowns, creating an open air gallery. Fifteen reproductions will be installed from Memorial Day to Oct. 31. Participating communities will also receive a stipend to support Inside Out programming.
Thanks to a vote by the Shiawassee Board of Commissioners this month, MAC will enter 2017 with all 83 counties as dues-paying members.
“This is excellent news for MAC and, more importantly, our members,” said incoming Executive Director Steve Currie. “Our collective voice will now be stronger at the State Capitol in a year when we are seeking major reforms to aid county governments on financing public services.”
Shiawassee County Board Chairman Hartmann Aue cited MAC’s services and the county’s financial improvements for the move.
“In two years, Shiawassee County has completely changed our financial condition. We have generated a record surplus of nearly $800,000, paid down long term debts by more than $850,000 and have grown our ‘rainy day fund’ from $23,000 to more than $400,000. … I felt now was the time to rejoin MAC and provide the Board of Commissioners additional resources to govern successfully,” he said. “The services and trainings provided by MAC will only help Shiawassee County continue the positive momentum from the foundation set in place by the 2015-2016 Board.”
With its membership, Shiawassee now can leverage the advocacy, educational and networking opportunities MAC offers all its members, plus special service arrangements with such business partners as Nationwide Retirement Solutions, Allstate Benefits and Lincoln Financial.
After a full day of workshops and policy discussions on Monday, MAC members were able to unwind a bit on the famous Front Porch of the Grand Hotel. The views and the people were potent reminders of how great a place Michigan is.
Keynoter Bill Ballenger of Inside Michigan Politics is speaking on 2014 election to the assembled MAC members. He explained that the dynamics of this year’s cycle give an advantage to Republicans regarding control of university boards and the Michigan Supreme Court.
The 2014 Annual Conference is under way at the Grand Hotel. President Shelly Pinkelman welcomed the assembled members. A unit from Fort Mackinac presented the colors. And Mackinac County Board Chairman Jim Hill offered a history of the region, county and the island.
Welcome to the 2014 Annual Conference at the impressive Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. This year’s event will be full of helpful and interesting panels on hot topics before county governments — and, of course, the friendship and camaraderie you can expect at any MAC gathering.
To get you rolling into the conference, please take a moment to go over this checklist: