2024 Board of Directors

Ian McGaughey – President – County Administrator, Yuma County
Ian McGaughey has been County Administrator for Yuma County since June 2022 after serving two years as Deputy County Administrator. He has 19 years of local government experience, including serving as City Manager for Somerton, Arizona, Town Manager for Clifton, Arizona, a department director in Tribal local government in Alaska, and as an elected Council member for a city in New York. He has broad experience in the private sector, including small-business ownership, television communications experience, and public relations responsibilities. Ian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from American University in Washington, DC, and a Master of Public Administration from Arkansas State University. He has been an ICMA Credentialed Manager since 2020.


Patrick Banger – Past President – Town Manager, Gilbert
Patrick S. Banger was appointed City Manager in August 2011. Patrick has more than 24 years of local government experience in addition to 7 years of executive level leadership in the private sector.

During Patrick’s tenure Gilbert has become the 79th largest city in the U.S., with a growing population of 281,436. Patrick has been a key leader in the process of transforming Gilbert into one of the most sought-after places for residential living and corporate expansions and relocations. He is a forward- thinking, change-orientated leader and has been instrumental in helping Gilbert become one of the most prestigious and award-winning communities in the nation. Since 2011, Gilbert’s financial performance has excelled and was recognized as the top performing city in the nation post-recession, tripling its general fund reserves, and receiving thirty six credit rating upgrades culminating in AAA ratings from all three agencies; Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch and S&P placing Gilbert in the top .002% of cities in the nation.

Patrick has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Missouri State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Management from Webster University. He is an active member of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Sr.Staff Committee, Past Chairman of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Management Board, current President-elect of the Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA) and a former Honorary Base Commander at Luke Air Force Base. He also received the 2019 John J. ‘Jack’ Debolski Award for Excellence in City Management by the Arizona City/County Management Association, the highest award ACMA bestows on a public official.


Ginger Spencer – President-Elect – Deputy City Manager, Phoenix
Ginger Spencer was named Deputy City Manager for the city of Phoenix in May 2021.  Prior to that she served as director of the city’s Public Works Department since 2017.

During her 23 years of service with the City of Phoenix, Ginger has served in various leadership positions including Assistant Public Works Director, Deputy Public Works Director, Family Advocacy Center Director, Arts and Culture Administrator, and Special Assistant to the City Manager. She serves on the board of directors for Phoenix Community Development & Investment Corporation, Arizona Science Center and the Arizona City/County Management Association. A native of Phoenix, Ginger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Arizona State University and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

In 2013, she was named by The Phoenix Business Journal as one of the “40 under 40″ Top Business Leaders in Phoenix and was also named by the Engaging Local Government Leaders in 2018 as a Traeger 100 Top Influencer in Government. In 2021, Ginger was recognized by the American Public Works Association as one of the Top 10 Public Works Leaders in the nation.


Ben Bitter Director – City Manager/Chief Product Officer, Maricopa
Benjamin Bitter has extensive work experience in various leadership and management roles. Benjamin currently holds the position of Deputy City Manager and Chief Product Officer at the City of Maricopa. Prior to this, Benjamin served as the Director of the Arizona City-County Management Association, where they played a significant role in planning conferences and professional development opportunities for local government professionals in Arizona.

Benjamin also gained valuable experience as the Chairperson of the International City/County Management Association and as the Assistant to the Town Manager/Intergovernmental Relations and Communications Manager at the Town of Florence. In these roles, Benjamin worked closely with elected officials, media representatives, citizens, and business leaders to enhance the organization and improve the quality of life within the community. Benjamin was responsible for directing legislative and intergovernmental affairs, managing all communications, and serving as the economic development specialist.

Furthermore, Benjamin’s previous experiences include serving as the City Manager at the City of Ashland Kentucky, where they led a financial turnaround of the organization and oversaw its administration. Benjamin also worked as a Senior Management Analyst at the City of Casa Grande, AZ, where they played a crucial role in strategic planning, performance management, and establishing council priorities.

Earlier in their career, Benjamin worked as a Legislative Intern for the Utah House of Representatives and as a Congressional Intern for the US Congress, where they gained valuable experience in conducting research, participating in the legislative process, and managing constituent requests and correspondence.

Benjamin Bitter has a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree with a focus on Urban Management from Arizona State University. Prior to that, they obtained a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from Brigham Young University, majoring in Political Science with minors in Spanish and Statistics. In addition to their formal education, Benjamin has also obtained several certifications. Benjamin has completed the Certificate of Completion in Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education in June 2023. Benjamin is also a Kentucky Colonel, a recognition bestowed by The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels in 2015. Furthermore, Benjamin holds a Certificate of Management and Organizations, the issuing institution being the University of Arizona, Eller College of Management. Lastly, they have a certification in the National Incident Management System from FEMA.


Caleb Blaschke Director – City Manager, Wilcox
Caleb Blaschke began working as the City Manager for Willcox in 2018. During his tenure, he has achieved significant milestones such as securing over $14 million in grants, launching a 5311 dial-a-ride transit initiative, fostering a prosperous environment for business growth and attraction, revitalizing parks with upgraded facilities including a splash pad and pool, establishing a marketing, tourism, and economic development division, completing a $16 million upgrade to the waste water treatment facility, obtaining a public safety pension bond that reduces debt expenses by over $80,000 per year, transitioning the local dispatch to a regional center saving $200,000 annually, mapping and documenting the municipal gas, water, and sewer infrastructure, collaborating with Cochise County for shared services in building, planning, and animal control, instituting a cost recovery program for extramural emergency responses, and tripling the budget for street maintenance.

Before his role in Willcox, Caleb worked as the Assistant to the City Manager in Flagstaff, where he managed relationships with governments, tribal communities, upheld the city’s minimum wage law, and fostered partnerships with Northern Arizona University through the city’s town and gown program. In Bakersfield,  as a Management Analyst, he focused on special projects and code compliance, served as ADA Coordinator, and facilitated partnerships with the Downtown Association and the Mayors “Keep Bakersfield Beautiful Committee” that enhanced city aesthetics. His earlier experiences include internships at the City of Sierra Vista and the Town of Marana.

Caleb’s educational background includes degrees from Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arizona.


Darren Coldwell – Director – City Manager, Page

Darren Coldwell has a rich and diverse background, transitioning from a successful business owner to a proficient public servant. Darren’s education from the University of Montana likely equipped him with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in his professional endeavors, providing a strong foundation for his career. His tenure as City Manager of Page, Arizona, since 2019 has been marked by notable achievements and contributions to the community. Darren’s career trajectory showcases his adaptability and leadership skills. Starting as a business owner in Lincoln County, Montana, he transitioned smoothly into public service as the County Manager for the same county before joining the City of Page.

Under Darren’s leadership, City Parks in Page have seen significant enhancements, likely contributing to the quality of life for residents and attracting visitors. The development of new biking trails aligns with contemporary trends towards outdoor recreation and promotes tourism while encouraging healthy lifestyles for residents. Darren’s efforts in improving the financial stability of the city budget demonstrate his fiscal responsibility and strategic planning abilities, essential for effective governance. Winning awards such as the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) reflects the city’s commitment to transparency, accountability and sound financial management under Darren’s leadership.

Darren’s successful management of projects like the roundabout on Highway 89 highlights his ability to navigate bureaucratic processes and secure funding for critical infrastructure improvements.

Completion of projects like the Page Master Plan and rezoning of the Page Proper indicates Darren’s commitment to long-term strategic planning and sustainable development.

Darren’s role in revitalizing the Lake Powell National Golf Course and expanding amenities like the Pro Shop and Mulligans Restaurant and Bar demonstrates his focus on economic development and enhancing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Under Darren’s tenure Page has exceeded 5 million visitors, surpassing even the Grand Canyon. Page has also become the state’s largest European booking city, and the Asian is a close second.

Darren Coldwell’s track record of success and his ability to spearhead diverse initiatives indicate his effectiveness as a leader and his dedication to the well-being and progress of the community he serves.


Jenna GoadDirector Associate RepresentativeAssistant to the City Manager, Goodyear
Jenna Goad has more than 17 years of government experience and currently serves as the Assistant to the City Manager in Goodyear, AZ where she oversees the city’s strategic planning and performance measurement programs, as well as supervises the City Council Office staff and the Neighborhood Services division, in addition to other special projects. Previously, Jenna served in a variety of roles with the city of Glendale, AZ specializing in public affairs and intergovernmental relations, and in two different roles with the state of Arizona. Jenna earned a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Arizona State University. Jenna also has a professional certificate in advanced public engagement for local government from Pepperdine University and was awarded a certificate of completion for the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program, July 2023, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education. She serves on the Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA) Board of Directors and is a member of the International City Management Association (ICMA).


Stacy Hettmansperger – Director Associate Representative – Solid Waste Administrator, Phoenix
Stacy Hettmansperger returned to the City of Phoenix Public Works Department in September 2021 to serve as Management Assistant II in the Director’s Office. Stacy previously served as the Senior Management Analyst with the City of Avondale’s Fire and Medical Department overseeing their payroll, budget and procurement functions in close partnership with the Finance and Human Resources departments. Stacy also helped the Department develop a data driven fire apparatus replacement schedule. For her service to the Fire and Medical Department, Stacy received honorary firefighter credentials. Prior to joining the City of Avondale, Stacy served over eight years with the City of Phoenix, seven of which were in the Public Works Department Facilities Management and Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal Divisions. As Public Works Operations Manager in the Solid Waste Diversion and Disposal Division, Stacy oversaw the construction and start-up operations of the City’s award-winning industrial scale compost facility as well as the 27th Avenue Transfer Station and recycling operations. In 2017 Stacy was awarded Operations Manager of the Year by the Arizona Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America. Stacy earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University during which time she served as a Marvin Andrews Fellow. Stacy also holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University in Political Science. Stacy attributes her professional successes from the invaluable experiences in her early career as a Marvin Andrews Fellow and City of Phoenix Management Intern.


Ryan Judy – Director – Deputy Town Manager, Prescott-Valley
Ryan Judy serves as the Deputy Town Manager for Prescott Valley. Ryan graduated with degrees in Political Science and International Relations from Utah State University and a Masters of Public Administration from Brigham Young University.

He worked for the cities of College Station and Ennis, Texas for six years combined before beginning employment with the Town in 2004. Ryan is responsible for Management Services, Utilities, Communications, and elements of Executive Management. He acts as the Town Manager in the Town Manager’s absence and also has responsibility for legislative tracking, assists with preparation of the Town’s financial planning program, and participates in the development and implementation of goals, objectives, policies and priorities of the Town.



Leo Lew – Director – County Administrator, Pinal County
Leo Lew was appointed County Manager by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors on March 3, 2021, stepping up from the role of Deputy County Manager, a position he held since 2013.

Leo is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), an association of more than 11,000 members dedicated to creating and supporting thriving communities worldwide. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona City/County Management Association (ACMA), the Leadership Development Advisory Committee for ICMA, and on the Academic Advisory Council for the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University.

He has served in local government for over 18 years, having previously worked for the cities of Sacramento, CA, and Scottsdale, AZ.

As a strong proponent of leadership development, he has completed the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia, the program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University, and the Certified Public Manager Program at the University of Arizona. He has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and is a Certified Public Accountant, having begun his professional career with Deloitte, a Big Four professional services firm.

Leo enjoys surfing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, yoga, live music, and spending time with family.

ACMA/ICMA Senior Advisors

Mike Letcher – Life Member, ACMA

Mike Letcher has over 30 years in city management with 20 years here in Arizona, he is very familiar with the challenges and opportunities for our profession nationally as well as in Arizona. Mike’s background consists of management consulting and serving as an assistant professor at the University of Arizona Masters of Public Administration Program, both which require him to stay current on trends in our profession.



Susan Thorpe – Senior Advisor, ACMA

Prior to becoming a Senior Advisor for ACMA, Susan K. Thorpe served for 38 years in local governments including serving as County Manager in Arizona, City Manager for two Texas cities and Assistant/Deputy City Manager for cities in Texas, California and Arizona.

Susan is a board member of the League of Women in Government. Susan was honored as MPA Alumni of the Year in 1998 by the University of North Texas for her contribution to local government. In 2011, she received the Outstanding Assistant City/County Manager Award from the Arizona City/County Management Association.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Economics and a Master of Public Administration from the University of North Texas (UNT). She is a graduate of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government. Susan has been an ICMA Credentialed Manager since 2004.



ACMA Corporate Partners