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Kalamazoo Charter Township (Kalamazoo Co.) Trustee Steve Leuty has taken the next step to enhance the effectiveness of his township. With his completion of the Michigan Townships Association’s (MTA) intensive Township Governance Academy (TGA), Leuty now has access to enhanced tools and decision-making processes that will help shape his community for years to come.

Leuty has earned MTA’s coveted TGA credential and hopes to use his newfound knowledge to continue to help the township board develop branding efforts that increase citizen awareness and participation.

“My completion of the TGA program recognizes a multi-year educational process that improves my ability to serve Kalamazoo Township and the larger community,” Leuty said. “My experience gives me the confidence and skills to lead more effectively and appropriately to benefit the community.”

TGA is a voluntary credentialing program intended to provide township board members and other local leaders with cutting-edge knowledge and expanded skills needed to assist in making more effective decisions for the benefit of their township. The Academy, which challenges candidates to tie together learning and practical experience, consists of 11 courses and includes a requirement for elective credits.

Created and administered by the MTA Knowledge Center, this program is designed to professionally challenge township officials by offering new ideas, sharing best practices and providing a hands-on approach to dealing more effectively with everyday issues that the board may face.

Leuty was elected trustee in 2012, his first office in local government. He began serving his township as a volunteer in 1991 to help the township with its newsletter and non-motorized transportation efforts. In 1997, Leuty was recognized for his commitment to community service with Western Michigan University’s George James Award. He was also invited to participate in the White House Conference on Greening the Government in 2000. In 2002, the Michigan Recycling Coalition named him Michigan’s Recycler of the Year.