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May 11

President’s Message - April 2016

Posted on May 11, 2016 at 12:45 PM by Denice Cox

 Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to introduce you to IIMC’s remarkable Region V Directors, Mary Johnston, MMC, (OH) and Lanaii Benne, MMC, (TN). Besides their passionate leadership and positive energy, Mary and Lanaii enjoy a combined total of 53 years in municipal government. It is true what they say… when you love what you do -- it certainly shows! There is no mistaking our Region V leaders have made their mark in their respective communities, their region, and on behalf of IIMC’s membership. Their dedication and commitment is demonstrated through their leadership and service on the Education & Professional Development Committee and the Policies & Procedures Committee. Please take this opportunity to join Mary, Lanaii and me and learn more about your incredible peers in Region V and the good work taking place in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Thank you, Region V, for making an important difference for all!

IIMC Region V Newsletter
The great Region V for the International Institute of Municipal Clerks consists of the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. Lanaii Benne, MMC, of Franklin, Tennessee, and Mary Johnston, MMC, of Westerville, Ohio, currently serve as the Region V Directors. Region V membership with IIMC is a strong 1,109 and the Directors hope to increase those numbers. Region V voted, at their last meeting in October 2014, to return to an alphabetical rotation between all five states for the selection of the Region V Director. All future Directors will follow state rotations for a three-year term starting with Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. For this year’s Region V Director vacancy, Indiana decided to pass on putting forth a candidate; therefore, Kentucky will be presenting a candidate at their Annual Conference/Meeting in April. This candidate will be introduced to the Region in May.

Region V has been fortunate to have representation on the IIMC Executive Committee recently. Sharon Cassler, MMC, of Cambridge, Ohio and Brenda Young, MMC, of Nashville, Indiana, provided outstanding leadership while serving on the Executive Committee and as IIMC Presidents. The Region is very proud of their service to our membership.

Region V hopes to schedule a Region meeting in 2016 and the Region Directors will be contacting state presidents to see if they are interested in hosting a Region meeting for our members.

Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers
The Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers (ILMCT) purpose is to promote the best methods of conducting the affairs of their elected offices, to offer educational information for the growth and advancement of Clerks and Clerk-Treasurers, and to work with the State Legislature in enacting laws for the betterment of state and local government. Their motto is “We Search for a Better Way.” The Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers have 89 newly elected clerks and treasurers as of January 1, 2016. Their annual Institute and Academy was held on the Ball State Campus, Muncie, Indiana on March 6 – 10, 2016. Their annual conference will be held in Michigan City, Indiana from June 5 – 9, 2016. New state officers will be elected at this conference. The Fall District meetings, one in the northern area and one in the southern area, have not been scheduled at this time. More information will be forthcoming. ILMCT has 197 IIMC members, 81 Certified Municipal Clerks and 37 Master Municipal Clerks. Current ILMCT leadership: President Vicki Kitchen, MMC, of North Liberty; Vice President Tamara Runyon, MMC, of Bluffton; Secretary/Treasurer Terri Buckmaster, MMC, of Walkerton; and Immediate Past President Kathy Parsons, MMC, of Fremont. Website:

The Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association (KMCA) was established in 1976 to promote professional and educational standards for Kentucky’s Municipal Clerks through leadership, training, and communications in order to provide outstanding public service to citizens in the Commonwealth. The KMCA initiated a certification program in 1980 and an opportunity for additional/advanced training began in 1984. KMCA also hosted a successful IIMC Conference in Louisville in 1995. KMCA’s purpose and objectives are: to develop a better understanding of the official duties and obligations of its members; to promote the improvement of their offices by development of standard procedures, discussion of various problems arising in these offices, promotion of wider city consciousness concerning the importance of municipal government and its operations with particular reference to those services and facilities administered by the City Clerks; to develop closer relationships and understanding within this organization, and to improve municipal affairs. KMCA recently conducted a survey of the association and as a result they are revamping their training programs in 2016. This will begin with their Spring Conference hosted by the KIPDA Region Clerks in Louisville on April 20 – 21, 2016. They will hold an election at their Spring Conference and a new slate of officers will take the reins and move the association forward. KMCA has 132 IIMC members, 44 Certified Municipal Clerks and 15 Master Municipal Clerks.

Current KMCA leadership: President Robbie Hume, CMC, of Lawrenceburg; Vice President Joe Christofield of Florence; Treasurer Bethany Cooper of Benton; and Secretary Missy Williams Gordon, CMC, of West Point. Website:

The Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks (MAMC) was established in 2000 and their purpose includes serving the citizens and municipalities of the State by providing education and training of Municipal Clerks, Deputy Clerks, and election officials throughout the state by utilizing seminars, institutes and meetings; to promote and encourage improvement of methods and procedures of duties performed by Clerks; to address legislative matters relating to the Municipal Clerk’s responsibilities and how Municipal bodies and the public can be better served; and to do anything reasonably in furtherance of, or incidental to, the foregoing. MAMC is currently working on their 2016 Conference, “Capital Stampede” to ensure they make this one memorable for their membership. It will be in the City of Lansing on June 14 – 16, 2016.

MAMC will have many challenges in the upcoming year with the 2016 Presidential election and MAMC is working hard to provide a great year of education and training. MAMC has 472 IIMC members, 255 Certified Municipal Clerks, and 66 Master Municipal Clerks.

Current MAMC leadership: President Joe Bridgman, MMC, of Huron Charter Township; 1st Vice President Sarah Bydalek, CMC, of Walker; 2nd Vice President Susanne Courtade, CMC, of East Bay Charter Township; 3rd Vice President Dan Kasunic, MMC, of Kentwood; Director/Treasurer Mary Clark of Delta Township; Director/Secretary Leon Wright, CMC, of Van Buren Charter Township; Director Holly Thompson, CMC, of Williamston; Director Jennifer Venema of Caledonia Charter Township; Director Jeremy Howard of Mt. Pleasant; Director Lisa Kay Hathaway, MMC, of Grosse Pointe Woods; Director Anna Perales, CMC, of Holland; Director Lanie McManus of Garfield Charter Township; and Past President Chris Swope, CMC, of Lansing. Website:

The Ohio Municipal Clerks Association (OMCA) held their first meeting in 1954 and the first president was S. E. Klewer of Maumee. OMCA’s Mission Statement is “The Ohio Municipal Clerks Association advances the Municipal Clerk profession through education, networking and member benefits, which establishes Clerks as experts in their field and leaders in the communities they serve.” OMCA approved many changes to the association in the past year and some are being implemented this year. OMCA contracted with a local branding company who will take OMCA into the 21st century by creating a new modern and recognizable logo. The first year of OMCA’s new educational opportunities such as One-Day Academies and Athenian Dialogues were a big hit with the membership. OMCA is also in the midst of planning their Annual Conference on July 18-21, 2016 in Dublin, Ohio. There will be valuable educational sessions for everyone who attends. OMCA has 182 IIMC members, 99 Certified Municipal Clerks and 42 Master Municipal Clerks.

Current OMCA leadership: President Heidi Milner, MMC, of Roseville; Vice President Molly Kapeluck, MMC, of Green; Secretary Kathy King, MMC, of Newton Falls; Treasurer Anthony Rodgers, MMC, of Huber Heights; and Immediate Past President Misty Cheshire, MMC, of Loveland. Website:

The Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders (TAMCAR) is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of the Municipal Clerk. TAMCAR encourages Clerks to continue their professional growth and development through continuing educational opportunities. TAMCAR is in the process of evaluating new conference locations due to increased hotel and conference space costs. TAMCAR’s Board is also addressing the challenges of how to balance conference credits for IIMC and state requirements due to a new requirement that local municipalities have a “Certified Municipal Finance Officer.” The Board is evaluating how to blend the Clerks and Finance Officers programs to retain membership. TAMCAR’s spring conference is right around the corner and will be held at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro on April 20 – 22, 2016. TAMCAR has 126 IIMC members, 60 Certified Municipal Clerks and 11 Master Municipal Clerks.

Current TAMCAR leadership: President Allison Myers, CMC, of Farragut; Vice President Linda Adair, CMC, of Lawrenceburg; Secretary Jason Griggs, CMC, of Milan; Treasurer Debbie Hedgepath, MMC, of Brentwood; West Director Randy Potts, CMC, of Greenfield; Middle Director Barbara Culp of Clifton; and East Director Cathy Dixon of Dandridge. Website:

Meet the Region V Directors

Lanaii Benne, MMC,  Assistant City Recorder, Franklin, Tennessee

Lanaii has served in municipal government for 20 years, beginning with five years in the Codes Enforcement department at the Village of Orland Park, Illinois. In 1997, she continued her career with the City of Franklin, Tennessee, in the Codes Department. Lanaii was promoted in 1999 to Administrative Assistant to the Mayor and City Administrator, and then Assistant City Recorder in December 2005. She is a graduate of the Franklin Leadership University 2007 charter class.

Since 2005, Benne has been an active IIMC member, serving on the host committee for the 2011 IIMC annual conference held in Nashville. She also served as Vice President of the Tennessee Association of Municipal Clerks and Recorders (TAMCAR) from 2008 to 2010 and as President from 2010 to 2012. She received the President’s Award from TAMCAR in 2008. Lanaii established and currently serves on the Policies and Procedures Committee of TAMCAR. She is a member of ARMA. She has attended IIMC annual conferences in New Orleans, Atlanta, Reno, Nashville and Portland; the ARMA conference in Las Vegas; and Tennessee Municipal League conferences in Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Married with one adult child, Lanaii enjoys traveling, gardening, attending auctions and event planning.

Mary Johnston, MMC, Clerk of Council/Records Manager , City of Westerville, Ohio

Mary Johnston, MMC, began her municipal career in 1983 as the Deputy City Clerk for the City of Freeport, Illinois and was then elected City Clerk in 1993 serving two terms. In 2003, Johnston was appointed Clerk of Council/Records Manager for the City of Westerville, Ohio.

Johnston obtained her Certified Municipal Clerk designation in 1996 and her Master Municipal Clerk designation in 2005. Johnston was inducted into the Athenian Fellowship Society in May 2014 at the Milwaukee Conference.

Johnston served in all offices for the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association and has served/chaired on many OMCA committees. Johnston currently serves as Board Liaison to the Education and Professional Development Committee. Johnston also served on and chaired the IIMC Conference Committee, IIMC Membership Committee, and the IIMC Public Relations/Marketing Committee. Johnston holds memberships with ARMA, NAGARA and the National Parliamentarian Association. Johnston was selected the Ohio Municipal Clerks Association’s 2015 Clerk of the Year.

Johnston received her Master degree in Public Administration in 2014. Johnston is a member of the Westerville Honor Flight Committee serving as Treasurer and worked on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast Celebration Committee this year. Johnston is a graduate of the Leadership Westerville program and the Highland Community College Leadership Institute.

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