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Larry Merrill, Executive Director

2008_larry_merrill_for_web.jpgUnder the general direction of the Board of Directors, Larry Merrill executes the policies prescribed by the Board of Directors and the Association membership, and is responsible for the overall operation and administration of the Association.

Larry’s career in township government began at age 10, when he helped his father, a DeWitt Township Trustee, circulate campaign flyers to support a millage to buy a new fire truck. Before he reached the age of 21, Larry served on the township’s volunteer fire department and chaired the township’s compensation commission and planning commission. He received two resolutions of commendation from the DeWitt Charter Township Board for life-saving.

While serving in multiple township volunteer capacities, Larry earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University, where his studies focused on public administration. While at MSU, Larry was named a Public Policy Fellow by the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Prior to joining MTA, Larry worked at Clinton and Montcalm Counties performing policy and administration functions. He also served as a county emergency management director and emergency medical services director. He also served on the Oneida Township Zoning Board and during a seven year stint on the Grand Ledge Public Schools Board of Education, served as the district’s treasurer, board vice president, and three years as board president. The board presented Larry with a resolution of commendation for his leadership to the district in 2000.

Larry joined the MTA staff in 1980 to coordinate its training programs and to be the editor of The Michigan Township News. In 1985, Larry was promoted to deputy executive director, and became MTA’s fourth executive director in 2000.

During his MTA career, Larry has earned a reputation as an expert on organization governance and administration, public finance, public safety services and land use regulations. He has served as president of the National Center for Small Communities, and is the 2012-13 president of the National Association of Towns and Townships. He also served a three-year term on the Finance and Administration Council of the American Society of Association Executives, and served on the Governor’s Land Use Leadership Council and many state policy task forces. Larry was presented with the Award of Professional Excellence by the Michigan Department of State Police.

Larry has written several of MTA’s publications, including On-Call Fire Departments and Building a Better Budget. He also wrote Political Implications of Intergovernmental Cooperation for the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and co-wrote Survival Guide for Local Elected Leaders, published by the National Association of Towns and Townships.

In 1991, Larry was presented with the Award of Excellence in Association Finances and Administration from American Society of Association Executives, and in 2009, Larry was given the Strategic Leader Award by the Michigan Society of Association Executives.

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