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Neil Sheridan

MTA Executive Director


Sheridan has a rich background in local government, beginning as a teenager and then being a member of the Groveland Township (Oakland Co.) Planning Commission and its Board of Review for 12 years. He has helped lead numerous Michigan efforts focused on regional economic development. Sheridan co-authored an economic strategy with Public Sector Consultants for the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) called “Accelerating Growth,” which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer later said she would use in her administration. Previously, he led a group of 80 townships, cities, nonprofits, businesses and governments to produce a comprehensive economic development game plan for coordination with the state and federal governments.

Sheridan was president of SVPI, an advisory and management services corporation active internationally. He has worked with hundreds of corporations, nonprofits, foundations, governments and small businesses on strategy, innovation and performance improvement initiatives. He is a past member of the SBAM board of directors and previously led an SBAM Legislative Action Committee task force. Additionally, he’s served on healthcare, community development, cultural and foundation boards for many years.

Sheridan is also a researcher on leadership and innovation. He has taught workshops and courses at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and others on strategy, marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

Judy Allen

Director of Government Relations


As director, Judy oversees MTA’s legislative efforts to advocate on legislation impacting township government. She represents the interests of MTA members before the Legislature and the administration.  

Judy began working for MTA in 2012 and has previous experience working with state and local governments. Prior to coming to MTA, Judy served as Director of Government and Community Services of Oakland Schools, where she advocated on behalf of 28 districts in Lansing and Washington, D.C. Judy has also served as Chief of Staff to the Senate Majority Leader and was later appointed by then Gov. John Engler to serve as Chairperson of the Michigan State Liquor Control Commission.

Michael Selden

Director of Member Information Services

Michael Selden is MTA's director of Member Information Services. As director, he supervises the development and delivery of Association member information programs and services.

Before joining MTA in November 2015, Selden served as the city manager of Wayland, Mich., for three years. In that role, he prepared and managed the city budget, supervised 22 employees, oversaw multiple city departments and served as liaison to numerous boards and commissions. Selden also served as the city manager of Bangor, Mich., from 2007-2012. He holds a master’s in public administration from the University of Michigan—Flint, where he also earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Nancy Ohle

Organizational Development Consultant

Nancy Ohle has been a leader and mentor in local government Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, Performance Management, and neutral facilitation for over 25 years. Her consulting and executive coaching partnerships have spanned townships, municipalities, public utilities, school systems, non-profits, and Fortune 100 industries. She is a frequent speaker for groups across the country, as well as a sought-after facilitator, coach, and consultant.

Rob Thall

Attorney & MTA Legal Counsel

Bauckham Sparks Thall Seeber & Kaufman P.C.

After receiving his law degree from Cooley Law School, Robert Thall joined the law firm of Bauckham, Sparks, Thall, Seeber & Kaufman, PC, in which he is now partner. With extensive experience in municipal law, Rob serves as general or special counsel to many general townships, charter townships, as well as sewer and water authorities throughout the state. Rob is also lead counsel for MTA and is a frequent author and speaker for MTA and other municipal groups around the state. 

Cindy Dodge

MTA Member Information Liaison

Michigan Townships Association

MTA Member Information Liaison Cindy Dodge joined MTA in 2006 from Williamstown Township in Ingham County where she served as Clerk since 2005. She has been involved with the township since 2003 as assistant to the supervisor, planning commissioner, and assistant to the planning commission. She is currently a Michigan Certified Assessing Officer. Via phone, fax and e-mail, Cindy provides township officials and employees with information and resources regarding the day-to-day functions of township government. She is also the Association liaison for MTA county chapters, develops MIS Department resource materials, and presents workshop and Conference sessions as well as teaching live and recorded webinar courses.

Ron Liscombe

Attorney, Principal

Miller Canfield

Ron Liscombe is an attorney and principal with Miller Canfield. He has deep knowledge of state and local government, having worked in a variety of policy and program management roles prior to joining the firm, including Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Lakeland, FL, policy counsel in the Executive Office of the State of Michigan, and an associate attorney at a local law firm representing both public and private sector clients. 


MTA retreats offer education tailored to your role in your township

No one understands townships or your roles and responsibilities like the Michigan Townships Association. That’s why we’ve created our unique Professional Development Retreats offering more than 10 hours of intensive learning targeting the challenges (and opportunities!) you face while providing the information you need to succeed. Whether you've been in township government for 2 years or 22 years, you can’t afford to miss these intensive learning (and networking!) events designed specifically for your role as a township official. Sessions offered include:

Managing Adversity & Hostility
We all encounter unreasonable people, whether it’s an unhappy resident or a board member with an opposing view. It’s easy to let those challenging individuals impact our attitude. Learn how to avoid personalizing others’ behavior (and comments!) and maintain self-control to avoid escalating the problem. Get strategies for winning better rapport, cooperation and respect. 

What Every Supervisor Should Know About the Land Division Act
The Land Division Act regulates the separation of land into parcels, sets standards for creating subdivision lots and ensures the land is suitable for building. From application forms to property history, dig into the details that impact your role and help ensure the review and resulting divisions are in compliance.

Meeting Management and More
It’s hard to run fair, efficient and effective meetings without proper preparation and ground rules. Delve into preparation techniques, strategies for ensuring all voices are heard and tips for keeping your meetings on track. 

OMA, Commissions and Committees ... Oh My!
We all know the township board must comply with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), but what about those other township boards and committees? Do they need to comply? If so, how do they do it? Get a review of how appointments are made to different township boards and committees including what they need to know to keep themselves—and the township—out of OMA trouble.

State and Local Relationships ... and Your Role
Do you know, on average, the number of bills introduced each legislative session that impact local authority? The percentage is higher than you might think. Often these bills limit local control—sometimes they even eliminate it! Learn what you can do to shape future laws and make a positive impact. You will gain an overview of the legislative process while also learning key principles of advocacy success—interactions with legislators and their staff and strategizing for both short- and long-term advocacy success.

Back to the Budget: Lawful Expenditures
Budgeting is one of the best ways to ensure control of your township’s finances. But knowing what your township can spend money on is the first in a long list of legal stipulations involved with township finances. Before you spend another township dime, let’s spend a little time reviewing lawful (and unlawful!) expenditures. 

Grants: You’ve Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers
Before you invest time, energy and effort, it is important to understand the process and adjust your expectations  accordingly. Gain insights into the many steps involved, from resources to research and preparation to proposal. Discussion includes insights into reporting and uses.

Your Role in Assessing (and Board of Review, too!)
Property assessment is a key function of township government and as the township’s “chief assessing officer” the supervisor plays a key role in ensuring that assessing is handled accurately and professionally. A lot has changed in the last two years, including new (and expanded!) requirements for assessors. This impacts your board of review too! Review what your assessor should be providing and new requirements for the board of review, particularly in the areas of personal property tax, veteran exemptions and more.

HR Strategies for Supervisors
Good governance includes being an effective employer. This requires townships to face many concerns that other employers face in recruiting, hiring and managing people. Review common employment issues that can become traps for townships and walk away with policies every township should adopt.

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