AZ Management • April 2019

Women Leading Government 2019 – Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for the fourth annual Arizona Women Leading Government Conference, which will be held in Phoenix, June 20 – 21, 2019.

The two-day conference will feature a variety of encouraging keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities.

Early registration is $115 and available until May 10. The regular registration rate is $165.

For more information on the conference and to register, visit

Registration opens in March and will be sent to all ACMA members.

ACMA Honors Patrick Banger with 2019 DeBolske Award

The John J. DeBolske Professional Excellence Award was created in 1997 to recognize city/county managers who demonstrate the highest level of professional excellence in local government and who have made life contributions in serving the profession. This award is the highest honor that ACMA may bestow upon a member. The namesake of the award, Jack DeBolske, was the Executive Director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns for 40 years.

ACMA was proud to recognize Patrick Banger, Town Manager for the Town of Gilbert, as the recipient of the 2019 John J. DeBolske Professional Excellence Award.

Patrick has served as the Town Manager of Gilbert since 2011 and during his tenure, has managed the community through a tremendous period of growth.

In Gilbert, Patrick’s leadership has led to several successful projects in economic development, including the creation of Rivulon, a premier 250-acre mixed-use development; the placement of Park University campus in Gilbert’s Heritage District; the expansion of MD Anderson to a 100,000 square-foot clinical and research center; the formation of the Town’s first cemetery; the approval of the town’s first Fire and Police Public Safety Training facility; and the redevelopment of Gilbert’s historic downtown, to name a few.

In his role with the town, Patrick has also committed to promoting transparent and quality communications with residents, creating the town’s first Digital Roadmap and the Office of Digital Government. Through this, the team has created Gilbert’s SPARK App League, the first mobile development contest created for junior and high school students. He also hosts bi-weekly town manager update videos and participates in a podcast series called “Government Gone Digital.”

Through his career in local government, Patrick has exhibited a passion for supporting professionals aspiring to serve in public administration and government leadership. He supported the creation of the Native American Management Internship (NAMI) program in 2013, the first of its kind in the nation to provide executive-level internship opportunities to Native American students seeking leadership opportunities. Patrick also spearheaded the creation of an Assistant to the Town Manager program to provide internal leadership development within the Gilbert organization. Six individuals have participated in the program, three who are now serving as Gilbert’s three deputy town managers.

Patrick provides countless hours of leadership throughout the community, serving many local organizations. Most notably, he piloted the initiative to create the Heritage Center, a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Gilbert that creates partnerships with area non-profits to provide disadvantaged populations with access to preventative medical and dental care, counseling and social services.

As a dedicated member of the profession, Patrick has been extremely supportive of mentoring the next generation of local government leaders. He has been a member of ACMA since 2011, stepping in to fill a vacancy on the ACMA Board of Directors in 2016. During his tenure on the board, Patrick also helped to develop ACMA’s fiscal management policy. He has also served as a mentor in the ACMA mentoring program and has presented and facilitated many conference sessions.

ACMA Honors Milton Dohoney Jr. with the 2019 Connolly Award

The Catherine F. Connolly Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager Award, recognizes an outstanding assistant city or county manager who has demonstrated exemplary service to their organization, the community, local government and ACMA. The namesake of the award, Catherine F. Connolly, was the executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns for eight years and served more than 20 years as the deputy director.

ACMA was proud to recognize Milton Dohoney Jr., Assistant City Manager for the City of Phoenix, as the recipient of the 2019 Catherine F. Connolly Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager Award.

Milton’s career spans more than 30 years in large communities: Louisville and Lexington Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio, and most recently, Phoenix.

Coming from Cincinnati, Milton joined the City of Phoenix in 2014, where he instantly assisted with the 2014-15 budget process. To answer council’s call for innovative and streamlined operations, Milton conceived a process known as CORE – Comprehensive Organizational Review Examination, which in turn identified almost $100 million in efficiencies and cost savings.

In addition to CORE, Milton created a new Phoenix hiring process, which includes the use of a taskforce to assist with the recruitment of the Chief of Police. The processes’ success garnered national attention, including periodical documentation, as well as international notoriety.

Milton also participated in the Community Police Trust Initiative and chaired the First Responder Traumatic Incident Support and Response Task Force, which improved safety programs, trainings and practices. Milton’s dedication to his position has led to improvements at the City of Phoenix in so many areas, including labor relations, contract negotiation, public safety administration, crisis management, community and economic development and more.

Outside of Phoenix, Milton’s commitment to the profession spans to many organizations, including the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, where he is an Executive Sponsor.

Having previously served on the board of the Ohio ICMA-affiliate, Milton has been involved with our organization since his start in Arizona. First volunteering on several planning committees and presenting at several conferences, he then chaired the 2017 ACMA Summer Conference, served as an ACMA Board Member, and is starting another term as a director. In addition, he represented ACMA on the 2016 ICMA Mountain Plains Regional Nominating Committee and on the ICMA Conference Committee.

ACMA Honors Steven Turner with the 2019 Bremen Award

The Rachel Hut Bremen Associate’s Award for Excellence in Leadership recognizes Associate ACMA members who contribute to the local government profession. The award was named after Rachel Hut Bremen, who served on the ACMA Board of Directors as an Associate Representative for two terms and volunteered on several committees including the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Host Committee when the conference was held in Phoenix in 2012. She worked for the City of Glendale as a senior management assistant. In May 2015, Rachel passed away from a two-and-a-half year battle with leukemia.

Casa Grande Assistant to the City Manager Steven Turner was awarded with the 2019 Rachel Hut Bremen Associate’s Award for Excellence in Leadership.

Steven started his local government career in Casa Grande in 2013 as a management analyst. As part of the many projects he encountered during his time in this position, Steven managed the organizational strategic planning process for the mayor, city council and executive leadership staff. The new strategic plan is the first memorialized plan for Casa Grande’s mayor and council in almost 15 years.

After being promoted to Senior Management Analyst and Assistant to the City Manager, Steven has managed a variety of projects for the city, including a renewable energy program for the organization and a Smart Cities initiative.

In addition to his numerous projects and accomplishments within the City of Casa Grande, Steven is recognized for his continued commitment to local government through his ongoing loyalty to Arizona organizations. Steven has been the City of Casa Grande’s main representative with the Central Arizona Governments for years, assisting the board and organization in developing a sustainable operations plan that will ensure future financial viability of the organization.

We would most like to recognize Steven for his continued commitment to our organization. Stepping in to fulfill the 1-year remainder of a board term, Steven was again nominated to serve another full term on the ACMA Board of Directors as an Associate Representative. In his time on the board, Steven has contributed greatly to strategic planning and increasing educational opportunities for members. He has served on several Conference Planning Committees, acting as chair of the Next Generation Leadership Committee for the last three years, where he oversees the planning and coordination of sessions and mentoring opportunities.

ACMA Esser Scholarship Recipient Colleen Ruiz

Congratulations Colleen Ruiz, the ACMA 2019 Charles A. Esser Scholarship recipient.

Colleen is currently attending Grand Canyon University to receive her Master of Public Administration. Colleen is also working full-time for the City of Chandler as a Senior Plans Examiner.

We look forward to Colleen being part of our organization and making great contributions to our profession.

The Charles A. Esser Scholarship is a $2,000 award given to a student who is already working full-time for a local government.

ACMA Board of Directors

We would like to thank the 2018 ACMA Board of Directors for their time and dedication to the organization. Individuals who served their terms and are leaving the board in 2019: Justin Clifton, City Manager of Sedona; Brent Stockwell, Assistant City Manager of Scottsdale; Steven Turner, Assistant to the City Manager for Casa Grande; and Mike Townsend, Deputy County Manager, Coconino County.

We would especially like to thank Shane Dille, Deputy City Manager of Flagstaff, for his service as ACMA 2018 President.
In January, ACMA members received the Nominating Committee report and were given the opportunity to participate in the online voting to approve bylaw amendments as well as vote on incoming board members and life membership.

By a majority vote, the ACMA members nominated:

  • For President-Elect – Gina Montes, Assistant City Manager of Avondale
  • For Director – Vince Lorefice, Town Manager of Wickenburg
  • For Director – Milton Dohoney Jr., Assistant City Manager of Phoenix
  • For Director – Kevin Phelps, City Manager of Glendale
  • For Associate Director – Stephen Erno, Neighborhood Service Manager for Chandler

New members of the board will join our ongoing board members serving until February 2020:

  • Incoming President – Bryant Powell, City Manager of Apache Junction
  • Director – Natalie Lewis, Deputy City Manager of Mesa
  • Director – Robert Smith, City Manager of Bisbee
  • Associate Director – Dawn Prince, Assistant to the City Manager for Peoria

Save the Date – ACMA 2019 Summer Conference

The 2019 ACMA Summer Conference will take place at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, July 17-19, 2019 in Tucson.

The three-day conference will include many new sessions and the return of favorite summer events, including the Lunch with a Mentor and the Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards Luncheon.

Registration for the conference will open in May and will be sent to all ACMA members.

Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards

The Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards, created in spring 2011, recognizes non-elected public servants contributing to their communities and civic life and collectively shaping the future of Arizona.

Named in honor of Gabe Zimmerman, who lost his life on January 8, 2011 while serving the citizens of Arizona as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ community outreach director, the awards recognize honorees in three categories – Community Builder, Emerging Leader and Civic Leader – that exemplify the impact that dedicated and talented people have connecting communities and engaging citizens, just as Gabe Zimmerman did.

Award recipients will be recognized at an award luncheon during the 2019 ACMA Summer Conference.
Learn more and nominate someone today!


ICMA 105th Annual Conference – Nashville, TN

ICMA’s President invites you to join us at the ICMA Annual Conference, where you’ll get the tools, tips, information, and resources you pick up at the conference—in addition to the opportunities for professional and personal renewal and networking—are more important than ever.

Become an ICMA Credentialed Manager!

ACMA Members on the Move

ACMA Member Carla Reece recently transitioned from the city clerk for the City of Litchfield Park to the public safety communications manager for the City of Casa Grande.

Do you have a recent promotion or transition that you would like to announce? This section of the newsletter recognizes members who have recently been promoted or have changed organizations. If you would like your name to be featured in this section of the newsletter, please contact Samantha Womer at 602-258-5786 or email:

Getting Social with ACMA

Connect with us!

Point your browser here to start connecting with ACMA.

Follow Arizona WLG on Twitter and Facebook for updates on the upcoming conference.

For even more information on cities and towns, follow the League of Arizona Cities and TownsICMA, Alliance for Innovation and ICMA’s Life, Well Run.

ACMA Welcomes New Members

Full Members

John Barkley

City Manager

Charles Montoya

City Manager

Vicki Vivian

City Manager

Sharon Gilman

Associate County Administrator
Cochise County

Debra Stapleton

Assistant City Manager

Chris Anaradian

Assistant City Manager

Associate Members

Jennifer Stein

Director of Communications

ACMA Board of Directors

Bryant Powell, President

City Manager
City of Apache Junction

Shane Dille, Immediate Past President

Deputy City Manager
City of Flagstaff

Gina Montes, President-Elect

Assistant City Manager
City of Avondale

Vince Lorefice, Director

Town Manager
Town of Wickenburg

Natalie Lewis, Director

Deputy City Manager
City of Mesa

Milton Dohoney Jr., Director

Assistant City Manager
City of Phoenix

Robert Smith, Director


Kevin Phelps, Director

City Manager
City of Glendale

Dawn Prince, Director – Associate Representative

Assistant to the City Manager
City of Peoria

Stephen Erno, Director – Associate Representative

Neighborhood Services Manager
City of Chandler

Mike Letcher, Senior Advisor

Life Member

Pat McDermott, Senior Advisor

Life Member

Calendar of Events

ACMA 2019 Summer Conference

July 17 – 19, 2019
Tucson, AZ

105th ICMA Annual Conference

October 20 – 23, 2019
Nashville, TN

See More