Melissa is a native of Arkansas and has a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas (Wooo Pig Sooie!) She is the proud mom of a 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter. Her career in city government started in 1997 with the City of Little Rock, working as an intern for then Mayor Jim Dailey’s office. She left Little Rock and joined the Peace Corps serving in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Cortes, Honduras from 2001-2003 as a Municipal Development Volunteer. After working as a Latino Outreach Coordinator for a local non-profit in Arkansas, she moved to New Jersey, where her husband is from, and then spent several years working for New York Presbyterian Hospital. Her growing family returned to Little Rock in 2011 where both she and her husband work for the City. She is excited to work with ELGL because she truly believes in growing and developing strong local government employees from diverse backgrounds.
Ben Kittelson is a Sr. Budget & Management Analyst at the City of Durham, North Carolina and has helped run ELGL since May of 2013 when the Wyatts were looking for help babysitting and blogging. He also produces and co-hosts ELGL’s GovLove Podcast and has a weekly column called Kittelson’s Corner. Ben has his Masters in Public Administration from Portland State University and his BA in Politics & Economics from Willamette University. Prior to coming to the City of Durham, Ben worked for two years at Guilford County, NC and interned at several municipalities in the Portland, OR region, including the City of Gresham, Oregon Metro, the City of West Linn and the City of Beaverton. Ben enjoys walking his dog, Franklin, and drinking hoppy craft beers.
Stacy Schweikhart serves as Community Information Manager for the City of Kettering, Ohio. She has more than 15 years of experience in public sector administration and leadership. Stacy earned her Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!) and has since served as a member of the Adjunct Faculty for the University of Dayton graduate Public Administration program and a Guest Lecturer for the Wright State University Public Policy program. She is Chair of the OCMA Next Generation Committee and serves on the University of Dayton MPA Advisory Board. She is an active contributor to research, essays and podcasts on the topic of attracting the next generation of local government leadership and strategies to #BuildTheBench and #BalanceTheBench. Stacy is also a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences on topics related to public sector communication resources and policies, leveraging brand ambassadors in the public sector, citizen engagement and public relations.
Dan Weinheimer is the Deputy County Manager in Routt County, Colorado. He graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in History and Sociology, from the University of Southern California with a Master of Public Administration and has completed the Senior Executive Institute (SEI) at the University of Virginia. Dan’s work experience has included stops as a Management Aide in Torrance, CA; Associate Analyst in Carlsbad, CA; Administrative Analyst in San Marcos, CA and Policy and Project Manager in Fort Collins, CO. His current role in Routt County provides management support to the County Manager and to County Commissioners while directly managing the Emergency Operations, Planning, Building and Environmental Health departments. Dan has been involved in both ICMA and regional assistants groups throughout his career. Since 2012, Dan has been an active member of ICMA’s Government Affairs and Policy Committee (GAPC). He also was a member of the ICMA Breaking Into Local Government Task Force in 2011. He served the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) first as San Diego Chair and ultimately as President (2010-11). He has supported the Colorado Emerging Managers and Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) while in Colorado.
Christian Williams is an Executive Management Assistant in Goodyear, Arizona. He works with the Deputy City Manager to ensure the success of city departments: Police, Fire, Parks and Recreation, Engineering and Development Services. He was born in Florida and raised in sunny Arizona. He graduated from the University of Washington-Seattle in 2009 with a BA in Community, Environment and Planning; minors in Geography and Urban Design and Planning. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Public Administration: Government and Policy degree from Grand Canyon University. He appreciates and enjoys the many connections and conversations he has experienced on his journey with ELGL. He views ELGL as a unique organization that allows for meaningful dialog amongst local government professionals; and says “I don’t think any other group does it the way we do!” He is excited for the trajectory of ELGL and wants to ensure we continue to share enriching content and experiences with one another.
Kent Wyatt is a senior management analyst for the City of Tigard, Oregon and co-founder of the Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL). Previously, he worked as a Senior Associate Legislative Analyst for the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in Richmond, VA. He has served on the Clackamas County Budget Committee and West Linn-Wilsonville School District Long Range Planning Committee. Kent graduated from Elon University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration and obtained his Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Kirsten Wyatt is the executive director and co-founder of ELGL. Previously, she served as Assistant City Manager of West Linn, Oregon. Also at the city of West Linn, she was employed as the Assistant to the City Manager and the Finance Analyst. Prior to her tenure in West Linn, she served as a budget analyst for the Virginia Department of Education; as a graduate assistant with the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; and as a communications consultant with Pacific Public Affairs. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Politics from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon; and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Emily Edmonds is the Member Services Coordinator for ELGL. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Philosophy and Policy from Western Carolina University; and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.