Staff Changes at MMA

(from Maine Townsman, January 2006)
By Chris Lockwood, Executive Director, MMA

As an organization providing an array of professional services, the Maine Municipal Association's number one asset and most important resource is our staff. We make a concerted effort to attract and retain a talented staff with experience and training in the many functional areas comprising MMA's service programs. We value the many long-time members of the MMA staff, several with twenty-plus years of service; at the same time, we recognize and value the contribution of newer members of the MMA staff, bringing new perspectives and experiences to our organization.

It is within this context I want to inform you of some recent senior management changes at MMA. As we announced in the December issue of the Maine Townsman, MMA General Counsel Charles "Chuck" Jackson retired on November 30, 2005 after thirty-one years of distinguished service to MMA and our members.

With Chuck's retirement, I evaluated options to fulfill the various responsibilities associated with the General Counsel position, ranging from providing legal advice as MMA's corporation counsel to more general responsibilities including functioning as Acting Executive Director in my absence. With respect to the legal responsibilities of the position, we are in the process of arranging for an outside firm to provide corporation counsel services to MMA.

In terms of the Acting Executive Director and other responsibilities, I am pleased to announce I have promoted Steve Gove to the position of Deputy Director and Director of Health Trust Services. In this new position, Steve will continue to devote 80-85% of his attention to overseeing the management and operation of the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust. As Deputy Director, he will serve as Acting Executive Director in my absence and will also be responsible for general oversight and coordination of MMA's internal support departments of Administration and Management Information Systems (MIS) and Finance.

In another important program area, Joan Conner, Director of Risk Management Services, announced her retirement as of January 6, 2006. MMA congratulates Joan upon her retirement after a distinguished career in the insurance industry and twelve years of exemplary service to the Maine Municipal Association and our members. Joan has made an invaluable contribution in melding state-of-the-industry insurance and risk management practices with a commitment to superior member service.

I am pleased to announce that Pat Kablitz, the Assistant Director of Risk Management Services, will serve as Acting Director of Risk Management Services as MMA undertakes a recruitment process for the Director of Risk Management Services position. MMA has retained Business Management Group (BMG) to assist in the recruitment process. I also very much appreciate Joan Conner's willingness to be available during the next few months on a consulting basis to ensure continuity during this transition and to assist with a number of identified projects.

These are significant changes, to be sure. We will miss the dedicated service and experience of Chuck Jackson and Joan Conner, but we will also build on their hard work and tap into the talents and energy of others in the organization to continue our commitment to provide high quality service to you – our members. Thank you for your continued support and participation. Please contact me ( ; 1 800 452 8786; 623 8428) if you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the organizational changes outlined in this column.