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Congratulations to Mary Catherine Hannah, Executive Director for both The Village of Hillside and Perry Farm Village in Harbor Springs. She has been accepted into the Michigan Political Leadership Program through Michigan State University. Please note the press release: 


Michigan State University’s newest class of Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellows hail from communities large and small, with diverse backgrounds in nonprofits, businesses, public service and law enforcement.

Three of the MPLP’s 24-member Class of 2020 are military veterans – one from the U.S. Navy, one from the U.S. Army and another with service in the U.S. Marines.

“This is a class with experience in manufacturing, in law, in work as legislative aides or as executive staff to congressional, legislative and city leaders,” said Matt Grossmann, director of MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. (IPPSR)

One newly selected MPLP Fellow is a former mayor of Albion, and the community’s youngest mayor on record, he added.

MPLP trains 24 specially selected Michigan citizens – equal numbers of men and women from communities across the state, who spend 10 months learning about how to govern, lead in public service and run for elected office.

Currently 17 MPLP alumni serve in the Michigan House and Senate. Three serve on statewide courts and Jocelyn Benson is Michigan’s current secretary of state. Scores more hold offices at the township, city, county, school board and precinct levels. MPLP alumni also lead in nonprofit and for-profit organizations and tribal governing bodies.

MPLP makes its campus home at IPPSR, which specializes in public policy, political leadership and survey research, as a unit of MSU’s College of Social Science.

This year’s Fellows were publicly named Friday.

“We continue to be impressed by MPLP applicants and by our graduating MPLP Fellows,” said Steve Tobocman, MPLP co-director who is a former House majority floor leader. He is a national leader in immigrant economic development.

As co-director he works alongside Susy Avery, a former Republican Party director and executive in the administration of Republican Gov. John Engler. She has served as director of the Michigan Women’s Commission and of State Travel and Tourism.

The new MPLP class meets together for the first time in late February, and spends a weekend each month in specialized curriculum that takes them through campaign, organization and budget workshops and skill-building exercises.

“Our media weekend is one of the most popular of the year,” said Avery. “Fellows write and record a television advertisement, then stand before colleagues and experts who critique their effort.

“That’s hands-on learning that’s practice and practical,” she said.

Among the more than 600 MPLP alumni, at least half are currently serving or have served in elected or appointed offices.

Mary Catherine Hannah, of Harbor Springs, Executive Director for two senior living properties in Presbyterian Villages of Michigan. She is on the Executive Committee for the Little Traverse Bay Housing Partnership and on the Harbor Springs City Planning Commission.