Clerk of the Year

It is my pleasure as Ways and Means Director to introduce to you
"The 2019 Clerk of the Year Candidates"

The MAMC’s Clerk of the Year program is designed to honor municipal clerks who demonstrate the professional and personal qualities representing the best of our profession. Nominations are received from City and Village Managers, Township Supervisors, Mayors, Board Presidents, fellow Clerks and other municipal officials.

Nominating Committees comprised of previous Clerk of the Year award winners review the nominations and select candidates based on: 

  • Years of experience as a municipal clerk; 
  • Demonstrated greater-than-average performance in the position; 
  • Active in county, state and national associations; 
  • Demonstrated interest in improving their professional and personal skills, and in the advancement of the profession; 
  • A record of contributing to the improvement of their community and the respect of community leaders.

The ballot for Clerk of the Year will be sent electronically through SurveyMonkey to all active members, please be sure to check your inbox or spam folder for the e-mail. The voting deadline is May 10, 2019 by 5pm sharp!

Please contact Stephanie McMillen, Ways and Means Director for any additional questions via e-mail smcmillen@grcity.us or by phone 616-456-3015.


City Candidates

Jacqueline Beaudry - City of Ann Arbor

Jackie Beaudry has 19 years of municipal experience, and has served as City Clerk for the City of Ann Arbor since 2005.

Jackie’s municipal government experience began in township government, while serving as Deputy Township Clerk for Superior Charter Township in 1999.  In her role as City Clerk, she serves on the management team for the entire city – representing the viewpoint of professional clerks and influencing city-wide initiatives and decisions, through the professional lens of a municipal clerk.

Jackie was recently appointed by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to serve on a relatively small team of national and local election experts and officials to help design the implementation of election-related changes to Michigan’s constitution approved by the voters in 2018.  Jackie’s appointment to this team also includes the responsibility of making a variety of recommendations to the Secretary of State, Bureau of Elections, and Michigan Legislature regarding overall election process and rules on behalf of all clerks.  

Jackie was just recently-appointed to the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Task Force on voter registration – working on national policy affecting voter registration, while representing Michigan clerks.  Jackie also regularly represents clerks through her participation in various Bureau of Elections Committees, including her recent participation on the Forms Review Committee.  She has also served on various MAMC committees, including her current service on the Legislative Committee.

Jackie is an advocate for clerks and the voting public, routinely stepping forward to help in any way that she can.  She recently partnered with the University of Michigan’s Turn-up Turnout Initiative, which resulted in a new college student election inspector program that allowed students to work in voting precincts on campus and still attend classes throughout the day.

Jackie helped launch Ann Arbor’s First Citizens Academy, which showcases all aspects of municipal work to the public, highlighting what goes into the day-to-day operations of running a local government, hopefully sparking community members to get involved in the future of their communities.

Jackie has also represented the United States on four international election observation missions in Europe and Asia. Despite all of her professional contributions and involvement, she makes time for her family, which is very important to her.  Jackie has been described as a “shining star for clerks” and as being “exceptionally-humble, universally well-respected, demonstrating the significance of the vital work clerks perform in service to their communities.”

Aileen Dickson - City of Troy

Aileen Dickson is the Clerk of the City of Troy. She has served as the Clerk since 2011. Prior to her service as the Clerk, she worked in the Clerk’s Office as an Office Assistant and Administrative Aide. She began her career at the City of Troy in the Police Department as a Records Clerk. She has a combined public service career that has lasted 18 years.

Aileen was on the Oakland County Clerks Association (OCCA) Board from 2014-2018; she served in all positions – Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President, President, and Immediate Past President. She has also been a member of the OCCA Legislative Committee since 2016. She has held memberships in the IIMC and MAMC organizations since 2009. She has given her time and commitment to the Election Management System Software Sub-Committee and the MAMC 2012 Conference Committee.

While the City Clerk, Aileen has implemented impactful programs such as REV-up Troy, a Do Not Knock Registry, and modernization of the OCCA message and brand. The REV-up Troy program stands for Register, Educate, and Vote. The initiative was to get students interested/involved in voter registration. This increased voter registration turnout by 98% at their registration drives and drove up the student election worker population by 90%. These are measurable results. The Do Not Knock Registry allows residents to register their addresses on a list that is provided to solicitors upon receiving their peddler’s permit. The modernization of the message and brand of the OCCA included updating the logo, implementing social media outreach, redesigning the website, and initiating the practice of providing branded giveaways at meetings.

Aileen has made great effort to promote the municipal Clerk’s profession, including working with nonpartisan organizations, such as League of Women Voters (LWV) to conduct voter outreach and registration drives. She also welcomes new citizens to the United States at the Troy Family Daze New Citizen Oath Ceremony. Additionally, Aileen speaks at local schools about being a Clerk.

Aileen has testified before the House Elections & Ethics Committee on behalf of all Clerks. She has hosted Clerk roundtables, Vital Stats training, FOIA training, and regularly shares her best practices with other Clerks.

Aileen is proud to be a voice for other Clerks, and for the residents of the City of Troy. She states that she regularly goes out of her way to offer assistance, collaborate, and defend Clerks and our profession.


Melanie Halas - City of Royal Oak

Melanie Halas started working for Royal Oak in 1995 as a municipal clerk in the City Clerk’s office and was appointed as Deputy Clerk in 1999.  In 2008 she was appointed as City Clerk of Royal Oak.  She has earned her designations as Certified Municipal Clerk in 2009, Master Municipal Clerk in 2012, and Certified Michigan Municipal Clerk in 2014.  She feels it is important to keep up with certification and attend training opportunities available so she can do the best job possible.

Melanie has been an active member of IIMC, MAMC, and Oakland County Clerk’s Association since 1999.  In 2015 she served on the State Bureau of Election’s Certification Committee and served on the Executive Board for Oakland County in the positions of Treasurer, Vice President, President, and Past President.  She has been on the Oakland County Clerk’s Legislative Committee for the past five years.

During Melanie’s tenure, Royal Oak has been a test community for the EPB and implemented using dual e-poll books during even year elections. They have been one of the first communities to accept electronic death certificate filings and now have forms and payment options linked to their website for citizens to request birth and death certificates, dog licenses, dog park passes, parking passes and more.  In 2017 she worked on a pilot AV Counting Board for Ottawa County in which they used a high-speed scanner to tabulate absentees for all communities in their county on Election Day, which was also the first time utilizing the new Hart equipment.

She shares her experiences with election catastrophes and the morning her City Hall flooded from a pipe bursting in an upstairs bathroom right above the Clerk’s office. Even with a foot of water in City Hall and water running down the basement stairs, her and her team worked together to run the election despite the damage.  The other story is a recent issue of a ballot shortage.  Melanie anticipated, by the volume of absentees issued, they would deplete their ballots in a short time. She came up with a backup plan ahead of time to copy ballots for voters to use on Election Day.  By noon many of her precincts had exhausted their supplies and her backup plan was put into play.  City of Royal Oak voters were not disenfranchised on Election Day despite the shortage. 


Cherilynn Mynsberge - City of Birmingham

Cherilynn Mynsberge’s experience as a City Clerk, Deputy Clerk, and Records Retention Clerk goes back to 1996; she is currently serving as the City Clerk in the City of Birmingham. She has a combined 23 years of experience working in a Clerk’s Office.

In her extensive time in the Clerk’s profession, Cherilynn has been a member of the Oakland County Clerks Association (OCCA), the MAMC, and the IIMC. She served on the IIMC Education Committee for a number of years. She was elected to the MAMC Board of Directors in 2008; she served as the Education Chair for four years, and the Ways and Means Director for two years.

Some of Cherilynn’s specific accomplishments include expediting services for residents and business owners: technology was upgraded, cooperation across departments was encouraged and modeled by her staff, expenses were reduced through staff reorganization, and the election process was improved by providing better training. Cherilynn has mentored and promoted staff members. While serving in Oak Park, she increased the skills and knowledge of the election’s team through improved training, the addition of EPB labs, and the restructuring of the Receiving Boards – this cut the reporting time on average by two hours. Other accomplishments of Cherilynn’s include creating shared files with other departments involving licensing processes, which eliminated duplicate work. She oversaw a project that moved agenda packets from paper to electronic.

During the last two years as the Birmingham City Clerk, she has successfully produced a parade. She has also improved the structure of the City Commission minutes so that they are shorter and easier to read.

Cherilynn worked with the IIMC to qualify many of the MAMC class for points toward CMC certification. She also worked with the Mary and Lew Bender to vet presenters for Master Academy classes. She served as a facilitator for round table discussions at the Clerks Institute, while on the MAMC Board. She has also served on a number of panels at the Clerks Institute. She has co-presented Clerking 101 at MAMC conferences and taught classes on Notary Law at conferences.

In the municipalities that she has served, she has successfully implemented new technologies, streamlined procedures, and encouraged cooperation amongst departments. She is committed to team-based solutions, high personal standards, and is passionate about personnel development.  She has elevated departments where she has worked in terms of efficiency, reputation for service, increased knowledge and skills.

Melanie Ryska - City of Sterling Heights

Melanie’s career in municipal government began in 2002 as an Election Assistant for the City of Hamtramck.  Melanie accepted the appointment of City Clerk in 2005.  She took a position as Deputy City Clerk in Grosse Pointe Woods in 2007.  In 2014, Melanie joined Wayne County as the Assistant Director of Elections, broadening her knowledge of the law and strengthening her professional network.  In 2017, the City of Sterling Heights appointed Melanie to serve as their City Clerk.  Along with her duties as City Clerk, she also serves as a Lieutenant in the Hamtramck Police Reserves and has been a reserve since 2003.

Melanie received her CMC in 2009 and her CMMC in 2014.  She is a member of IIMC, and MAMC for which she serves on the Board of Directors as Vice Chair of Education.  She also serves as Secretary of the Macomb County Clerks Association, and is a former President of the Association of Wayne County Clerks.  Melanie earned a psychology degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and expects to complete her Master’s Degree by 2022. 

Throughout her career, Melanie has been a champion of Clerk’s across the State, often times mentoring new clerks and encouraging Association membership and education.  She has been called upon to speak at various organizations such as the American Society for Public Administration and the Association of Wayne County Clerks, to share her experience, best practices, and provide legislative updates. 

In her current position as Clerk, she worked to streamline and automate the processing of more than 200 FOIA’s and more than 2000 licenses annually. In 2017 she implemented new election equipment in the six weeks preceding the November local election, including revamping all election material for 45 precincts. Melanie has streamlined precinct AVCB, and receiving board procedures to promote efficiency and accuracy in election reporting.  Melanie has worked with various ethnic communities in Sterling Heights to recruit election inspectors and focuses on hiring bi-lingual workers to assist voters. 

Most recently, Melanie implemented OnBase Agenda Management system as the first phase to modernizing the City’s record keeping and has begun a plan to expand OnBase to serve as the citywide Content Management System. 

Melanie feels she is dedicated to public service and appreciates the support and encouragement of her professional mentors, colleagues, staff, and especially her family, which includes her husband, Jason, and three children, Landon, MaKenzie, and Reid.


Township Candidates

Nancy Hedberg - Township of Scio

Nancy was nominated for the recognition of Township Clerk of the Year by M. Jack Knowles, Township Supervisor. Mr. Knowles writes, “We are pleased to nominate our friend and colleague Nancy J.C. Hedberg as MAMC’s Township Clerk of the Year.” Nancy has served the Scio community as their Clerk since 2008.

Nancy’s service to her community began long before she was elected to the position of Clerk. She served as a member of the Scio Township Planning Commission from 1987 – 2004, and the Board of Review from 1998 thru 2008.

Her community involvement doesn’t end there, since becoming Clerk she has continued to stay involved.  She is currently serving as the President of the Washtenaw County Municipal and Township Clerks Association, is a member of the Forms Committee convened by the Bureau of Elections,   currently serves as the Secretary of the Loch Alpine Sanitary Authority and is a member of the Washtenaw Area Transportation Study Policy Committee, a multi-jurisdictional agency that is responsible for the long range transportation planning in Washtenaw County.

During her tenure as Clerk, Nancy has streamlined the election processes in Scio Township. She was one of the first to jump in and utilize e-poll books and developed a number of checklists for election administration that future clerks can rely upon. In conjunction with the checklists, she developed an additional color-coded checklist of essential elements for the Receiving Board and the Chairs in the precincts. She worked to consolidate and redraw precinct lines after the 2010 Census redistricting to reduce the number of ballots styles from 23 to 10. A change that increased efficiency at the precincts and resulted in a cost savings in printing.

Elaine Brock, Scio Township Election Precinct Chairperson says this about Nancy, “Nancy is the perfect clerk. She is so organized and efficient that she makes my job as precinct co-chair a breeze. I have never asked a question or raised a point that Nancy was not already on top of. (As an attorney I can be pretty detail oriented) To add to that she is caring, approachable, energetic, and just plain enjoyable to be around. Nancy knows everyone and makes a sincere effort to be inclusive and positive about all her duties. Nancy is a township treasure that deserves to be recognized, rewarded and emulated.”

Ms. Hedberg writes, “A Township Clerk must be both a generalist and a specialist with institutional knowledge of an endless list of responsibilities. We clerks have the opportunity to interact with the public more often than most governments officials, and in carrying out day to day obligations, it has been my privilege to serve as a problem-solver, a teacher, a mentor, a resource, and sometimes a referee. It has been such great fun for me!”


Village Candidates

Tina Martin – Village of Baroda

In 2012, Tina Martin was appointed Village Clerk for the Village of Baroda.  Beyond her statutory duties, Tina handled all public relations and community events for the village.  A big job on their own!  As other village clerks in small communities can appreciate, Tina has taken on many roles including being the “face of Baruda.”  Since there is no Village Manager, Tina represents the village in many capacities developing relationships with fellow local leaders in the business and municipal communities.

As part of her outreach, she is a member of MEDA, MAMC, is a member of the Berrien County Clerks Association, and a former Trustee and President of the Baroda Area Business Association.

In 2018 Tina was promoted and became “Clerk/Treasurer” by adding payroll, taxes, retirement plans, property tax collection, and settlement and reporting to her “to-do” list.  Tina continues her municipal education by gaining Planning and Zoning knowledge by completing the Citizen Planner program and is currently working on her Master Citizen Planner certificate.

A major achievement comes in the arena of Economic Development.  Baroda has a 14-acre industrial park that had been vacant for decades.  Within the last few years, Tina has worked with developers to sell of four parcels with another two committed for sale this year. A big driver behind these sales, and potential redevelopment, comes from Tina’s involvement with the USRD – Rural Development division.  Tina is working with them to guarantee funding to bring infrastructure to this formerly abandoned industrial park.  Work is scheduled to begin summer 2019.

  Search

Stephanie McMillen

MAMC Director,
Ways & Means Chair,
Clerk of the Year Committee

Past Clerk of the Year Winners

2018

City: Holly Thompson, City of Williamston
Township: Jennifer Venema, Charter Township of Caledonia
Village: Amy Salowitz, Village of Pinckney

2017

City: Benjamin Marentette, City of Traverse City
Township: Leon Wright, Van Buren Charter Township 
Village: Elizabeth (Beth) Grohman, Village of Lexington

2016

City:  Tina Barton, City of Rochester Hills
Township: Susanne Courtade, East Bay Charter Township 
Village: Tina Sauve, Village of Metamora

2015

City:  Dana Muscott, City of Bay City
Township: Chelsea Mikel, Sharon Township
Village: Kathryn Arledge, Village of Fowlerville

2014

City:  Pamela B. Smith, City of Farmington Hills
Township: Teresa L. Onica, Atlas Township
Village: Katie M. Cotey, Village of Parma

2013

City:  Heidi Isakson, City of Wyoming
Township: Robert Crawford, Fort Gratiot Township and Barbara Pallotta, Independence Township

2012

City:  Dianne Hill, City of Saline
Township: Janet Roncelli, Bloomfield Township
Village:  Eileen Pulker, Franklin Village

2011

City: Chris Swope, City of Lansing
Township
: Carolyn Boersma, Spring Lake Township
Village
: Arlene Nichols, Village of Lake Orion

2010

City: Todd Blake, City of Fremont
Township
: Joel Hondorp, Byron Township
Village
: Sheri Kesterke, Village of Barrien Springs

2009

City: Mary Kotowski, City of St. Clair Shores
Township
: Terry Bennett, Canton Township
Village
: Dianne Mensinger, Village of Baroda

2008

City: Nancy M. Weiss, City of Birmingham
Township
: Sue A. Hillebrand, Northville Township

2007

City: Mary Therese Hegarty, City of Grand Rapids
Township
: Evan Hope, Delhi Township
Village
: Lonna M. Fisher, Village of Elkton

2006

City: Linda Shannon, City of Auburn Hills
Township
: Ann Ulrich, Hartland Township
Village
: Ann Collins, Village of Milford

2005

City: Debbra Curtiss, Traverse City
Township
: Janet Santos, Bangor Charter Township
Village
: Ellen Marshall, Village of Beverly Hills

2004

City: Beverly Jasinski, City of Rochester Hills
Township
: Terri Kowal, Shelby Charter Township
Village
: Betty Kennedy, Village of North Branch

2003

City: Tonni Bartholomew, City of Troy
Township
: Sandra Abrams, Commerce Charter Township
Village
: Marsha Powers, Village of Holly

2002

City: Robert Slone, City of Ypsilanti
Township
: Colleen Schwartz, Milford Charter Township

2001

City: Maryanne Cornelius, City of Novi
Township
: Janet Helsley, St. Joseph Charter Township

2000

City: Sandy Gadd, City of Oak Park
Township
: Arlene Hill, Chocolay Township

1999

City: Blinda Baker, City of East Tawas
Township
: Carol Wells, Lowell Charter Township

1998

City: Gail Kundinger, City of Muskegon
Township
: Joan McCrary, Independence Township

1997

City: Sharon Streelman, City of Grandville
Township
: Gloria Maichele, Emmet Township

1996

City: Richard Saathoff, City of Grand Blanc
Township
: Estella Beardslee, Spring Arbor Township

1995

City: Kathryn Dornan, City of Farmington Hills
Township
: Becky Dinson, Manistee Township

1994

City: Karen Mazo, City of Woodhaven
Township
: Sharon Tischler, Southfield Township

1993

City: Nancy Miller, City of Rochester
Township
: Edmund Good, Brookfield Township

1992

City: Beverly Bacon, City of Kentwood
Township
: Ila Burris, Lapeer Township

1991

City: Lois Johnson, City of Portage
Township
: Beverly Hammerstrom, Bedford Township

1990

City: Connie Deford, City of Bay City
Township
: Susan Morrow, Plainfield Charter Township

1989

City: Sandra Wright, City of Grand Rapids
Township
: Virginia White, Meridian Charter Township

1988

City: Robert McLachlan, City of Dearborn Heights
Township
: Marvin Besteman, Kinross Township

1987

City: Mary Zander, City of Sterling Heights
Township
: Rose Legg, Brownstown Charter Township

1986

City: Donald Schipper, City of Holland

Township: Charles Keller, Cato Township