Staff

Kirsten Wyatt, Executive Director & Co-Founder

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. She also worked for the Virginia Department of Education, and the Town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.  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. She loves hanging out with her family, reading, eating sandwiches, going to the beach, playing skeeball, and taking moderately difficult hikes in the Pacific Northwest.

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Emily Edmonds, Programs Director

Emily Edmonds is the National Programs Director at ELGL, where she works on ELGL Cohorts, Diversity Dashboard, events, membership, and more. She spent her previous fifteen-year career in local government and nonprofit work across the East Coast, focusing primarily on North Carolina’s regional and local governments, building relationships between rural and urban communities and advocating for policies that support underserved rural populations. She holds a BA from Western Carolina University in Social Policy and an MPA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she completed her graduate thesis on modern approaches to rural economic development. In her consulting career, she specialized in grant writing and administration, food systems assessment and planning, cross-sector engagement, and project and program management. Emily is an Appalachian native from Western North Carolina and loves geeking out with fellow ELGL members about data, engagement, process innovation, and what to wear with ELGL socks.

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Allie Breyer, Digital Coordinator

Allie Breyer is the Digital Coordinator for ELGL. Her love of local government work began while working as a Waste Prevention Analyst for the City of Eugene. For over three years, she served as the community engagement lead on a variety of waste prevention initiatives in the community, with a focus on residential food waste, composting, and repair programs. In addition to ELGL, Allie currently works for the State of Vermont’s Health Department as an Emergency Preparedness Planner. She is particularly interested in helping government agencies effectively share their successes and engage with the public through digital communication platforms.

She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Oregon, where she focused on community and regional planning, and environmental sustainability.

When she is not nerding-out on public sector digital communication strategies, you can find her reading a good book, buying far too many plants, taking in the Vermont scenery by foot, or enjoying a really good maple pastry.

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Hallee Haygood, Membership & Project Manager

Hallee Haygood is the Membership & Special Projects Manager for ELGL, and she is currently a graduate student at UNC- Chapel Hill, working towards a dual degree in Public Administration and City & Regional Planning. While working on her undergraduate degree, a close friend recommended she listen to GovLove. After one episode she was hooked and immediately started researching schools where she could receive an education in local government. During her time at UNC she has served as a Research Assistant, analyzing local sales tax data, and this past summer worked as an intern in the City of Durham’s Budget & Management Services Department. In her free time, Hallee enjoys watching stand-up comedy, spending time with her cat, and finding the best oat milk latte in Chapel Hill. She is extremely excited for the opportunity to be a part of the ELGL team, and looks forward to creating change at the local level. 

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Brian Murphy, Data Coordinator

Brian Murphy is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at UNC-Chapel Hill. As an MPA student, he was connected with ELGL and found comfort in the organization’s values and commitment to local government service while not taking themselves too seriously. While at UNC, he interned with the Town of Apex, NC in their administration and budget department, working on budget preparation and execution. In his free time, Brian enjoys a good board game, hanging out with his wife and corgi, and supporting his favorite soccer teams. After applying way more ELGL stickers to his water bottle than could be counted on one hand, he is excited to work with ELGL as they help local governments innovate.

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GovLove Podcast

In addition to the staff below, the GovLove Podcast also involves Ben Kittelson (Co-Host & Producer), Kent Wyatt (Co-Host), and Kirsten Wyatt (Co-Host).

Javon Davis, Co-Host

Javon Davis is the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of the Philadelphia Fire Department and Co-Host of ELGL’s GovLove Podcast. Before moving to America’s 5 th (or 6 th ) largest city, he served as the Policy and Government Affairs Manager for the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department and is a former Cookingham-Noll Management Fellow with the City of KCMO. For GovLove, he enjoys sharing positive local government stories about equity and inclusion, innovative practices, and highlighting all the amazing people that make up the profession. Javon was born and raised in Virginia and graduated with a BA in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, a BS in Criminal Justice, and a Masters of Public Administration from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Alyssa Dinberg, Co-Host

During the day, Alyssa serves the people of the City of Boulder as a Management Analyst working with City Planning, Public Works and the City Manager's Office on a variety of internal and external projects. Prior to starting her current role in Boulder, Alyssa was a Cookingham-Noll Management Fellow for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. Alyssa most loves how GovLove showcases the exciting, challenging and interesting stories of local government through the variety of guests featured. Alyssa is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and graduated with a BA in Interdisciplinary Community Development from The University of Alabama an Executive Master’s of Public Administration from the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri Kansas City When she's not working, Alyssa enjoys exploring her new home city, traveling to see friends, and tending to her hundreds of plants. Alyssa currently lives in Denver, Colorado with an aquatic turtle and two very sassy cats.

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Toney Thompson, Co-Host

Toney Thompson currently works as a budget analyst for the City of Durham, North Carolina and is Co-Host of ELGL's GovLove Podcast. In his role, Toney strives to create better outcomes for citizens through public administration and policy. In addition to being a budget analyst, Toney works on several city-wide projects that help incorporate innovation and equity into city policy and practices. Prior to his current role as a budget analyst, Toney served as the ICMA Fellow for Durham City and County. Toney is originally from Columbia, South Carolina and graduated with a BA in public policy from Duke University and a Master's of Public Administration from The School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill.

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Lauren Palmer, Co-Host

Lauren Palmer became the Director of Local Government Services for the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) in 2018. MARC is the regional council of governments and Metropolitan Planning Organization for the nine-county, bi-state Kansas City region. Prior to joining MARC, Lauren worked for 14 years in local government administration, including serving as city administrator in Parkville, MO and assistant city manager in Independence, MO and Manhattan, KS. She began her local government career as a Management Intern and Management Analyst in Des Moines, IA. Lauren serves on the advisory board for the Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). She was recognized as a top influencer in local government with a 2019 Traeger Award from Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL). Lauren has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Public Administration degree from Indiana University.

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Michael Montgomery, Producer

Michael Montgomery currently serves as the Deputy City Council Administrator for the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Prior to his arrival in Olympic City, USA he served as the Town Administrator for  the Town of Bartonville, Texas as well as the Assistant to the City Manager in Celina, Texas.  He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Colorado State University  (Go Rams!) and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of North Texas (Go Mean Green!).

When not goving it up, he turns into his alter ego, Pizza Mike.  Pizza Mike dedicates all free time to the preparation, research, and consumption of pizza.

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Harpreet Hora, Transcriber

Harpreet Hora serves as the Budget Manager for the City of Roswell, Georgia, since 2016. Prior to that, she worked as a senior financial analyst at the City of Atlanta. Harpreet started her career in the corporate sector and has gradually expanded her areas of expertise focusing on cost accounting, budgeting and strategic planning, performance management, public administration and data analytics. Besides being a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) from Canada, she has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Commerce. Harpreet has lived in four countries including Canada, Germany and India and for the past 10 ten years called Roswell her home along with her husband and two sons.

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