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Emerging Leaders Development Program - Facilitators



Mark Achen served more than 25 years as chief executive of cities in Minnesota (Mounds View), Missouri (Gladstone) and Colorado (Grand Junction). He retired in 2000 after leading Grand Junction through the devastating energy bust of the 1980s and its subsequent economic revival.  His tenure was the longest in that city’s history.  He began his career in 1972 as an assistant to the city manager of Ferguson, Missouri. 

Since retiring, his services have been sought to address difficult and sensitive management assignments. These include lengthy stints in interim executive positions in two cities, Centennial and Winter Park, Colorado, and at Mesa State College. Mark consults with public and private sector clients and continues to serve as a volunteer mentor and advisor to local government managers. 

His innovation, leadership, and financial management skills earned him recognition by Colorado Business Magazine, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West and the American Society of Public Administration.  A University of Georgia national survey on productivity identified him as one of the 50 most highly regarded local government managers. 

He is an ICMA Life Member, founding Credentialing Advisory Board member and a senior advisor for Colorado and Utah. He is a former president of the Colorado City & County Management Association and a past director of the Innovation Groups. Mark is a Colorado Supreme Court appointee to the Attorney Regulation Board and has served as an officer and director of numerous professional and community boards.  

He has served as a course developer, adjunct faculty, occasional speaker, panelist, and seminar leader for the National Fire Academy, FBI National Academy, University of Missouri at Kansas City, Park College, Mesa State College, Government Finance Officers Association, National Parks & Recreation Association, ICMA, state leagues, and several other organizations. 

He holds political science degrees from the University of Washington at Seattle (BA) and University of Missouri at Columbia (MA).  Mark is a graduate of the Program for Senior Executives in State & Local Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager.

Jim Bennet 2014-2015-ICMA-President-Pix-Cropped-Smaller-1

Jim Bennett, a lifelong resident of Maine, grew up in the town of Lisbon. Serving first as a Lisbon Selectman at the early age of 21, Jim has been actively involved in public administration since 1982.  In addition to serving as an elected town official, he has managed seven municipalities, ranging from a small community of 2,500 up to the second largest city in the state.

Throughout his career, Jim has focused on ways to effectively assist communities facing varying degrees of financial challenges, having written and implemented multiple successful financial recovery plans. In the most challenged municipality, Jim assumed the administration of a community with an $850,000 deficit undesignated fund balance (1/8th of the annual budget). Due to Jim’s foresight and leadership, the community’s financial stability made a complete turnaround within one year.

Jim’s contributions also include the development of several restructuring plans, facilitation and implementation of community vision and goal setting initiatives, and development of strategic plans and downtown revitalization efforts.

In addition, Jim has been recognized by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for outstanding programs;

  • 2002: Westbrook’s Strategic Plan.
  • 2006: Lewiston’s Southern Gateway Project.
  • 2008: Lewiston’s cost-saving Health Care Management by Prevention.

He was also designated the 2003 Manager of the Year by the Maine Town & City Management Association and received the 2006 Public Service Leadership Award from the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce.

City manager of Presque Isle, Maine, since 2010, Jim has also served Maine communities as city administrator of Lewiston, and town manager of Old Orchard Beach,New Gloucester, andDixfield.

Jim has also served in numerous leadership capacities, including the executive board of the Maine Municipal Association; the Governor’s Municipal Advisory Board, and several regional solid waste boards and strategic planning processes. He is a past president of the Maine Town & City Management Association (1998-1999) and  currently serves as the president of ICMA. He previously served as one of the association’s vice presidents (2008 to 2011) representing the Northeast region.

Jim is an ICMA Credentialed Manager by ICMA and a Certified Maine Manager by the Maine Town & City Management Association. Jim earned his MBA from the University of Southern Maine and also has undergraduate degrees in business administration (B.A.) and accounting (A.A.) from the University of Southern Maine and Bentley College, respectively.

Jim developed and regularly instructs Cash Management for Municipalities and co-developed and instructs Maine Municipal Association (MMA) Basic Budgeting. He is considered a Legacy Leader by ICMA for his work as a facilitator for ICMA’s Emerging Leaders Development Program. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Andover College in the Business Department as well as a senior advisor for Municipal Resources, Inc. since October 2009, specializing in consultant services for New England local governments.

Jim is married to the former Deb Hagan of Brunswick and they have two children, Mitchell & Amanda, attending the University of Maine-Orono and Bowdoin College respectively. An avid golfer, he also enjoys riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle and snowmobiling. He is active in the Masons and the Shriners including participating as a member of the Clown Unit.


Dr. Barbara Blumenfield (aka ‘Dr. Barb’) is an independent consultant, specializing in project assessment/assistance in both the public and private sectors. Previously she held the position of Regional Vice President-Government and Education Segment for Cigna Health Care, working in the Midwest as well as the Mid-Atlantic regions, where she provided overall leadership and management responsibility for public sector growth, membership and profitability objectives for both new and renewal business. In addition she developed training programs for general sales, support, and management staff. 

Prior to her position with CIGNA, she was a consultant for both public and private clients and held the positions of Oak Creek (WI) city administrator, the director of administrative services for  Menomonee Falls (WI), and the director of human resources for Greenfield (WI). She also served as the administrator of Caledonia (WI), legislative liaison for the Racine County Executive and Racine County Board of Supervisors, and senior legislative research analyst for the common council of Milwaukee.

Dr. Barb attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she received her doctorate in urban studies, a master’s degree in urban affairs and a bachelor’s degree in political science.

She has been affiliated with Concordia University (Mequon, WI), Cardinal Stritch University (Mequon (WI) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she created, revised, and taught over 20 undergraduate and graduate courses. In addition, she’s taught human resource management for ICMA's Emerging Leader Development Program since 2005.

An ICMA Credentialed Manager, Dr. Barb has served as a regional vice president  on the ICMA Executive Board and the Wisconsin City/County Management Association. She has served the Wisconsin Public Employers Labor Relations Association as a board member and secretary; and the Milwaukee Area Municipal Employers Association as president, vice president, and Treasurer. She also serves as one of ICMA’s designated members of the Public Integrity Editorial Board of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and is currently the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Muskego (WI).

Roger kemp

Dr. Roger L. Kemp has been a city manager of cities on both the West and East Coasts for over two decades.  He has served as a city manager in California, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Roger is presently a Fellow, The Academy of Political Science, New York City, New York. 

Roger has also been a practitioner in residence, visiting scholar, distinguished adjunct professor, and professorial lecturer at leading universities during his career. He holds BS and MPA degrees from San Diego State University, MBA and PhD degrees from Golden Gate University, and is a graduate of the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Contemporary American Authors, and the International Who’s Who Registry of Outstanding Professionals.  Roger has been an author, editor, and contributing author to nearly 50 books dealing with America’s cities and their future. He is past president of the Connecticut City and Town Management Association, the Monterey Bay Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), and the Connecticut Chapter of ASPA. 

Most recently, Roger was honored by receiving the “Outstanding Alumni of the Year Award” for 2007 from the School of Public Affairs at San Diego State University. 

Presently, he is a practitioner in residence, Department of Public Management, College of Business and Professional Studies, University of New Haven (classroom), and a distinguished adjunct professor in the Executive MPA Program, Ageno School of Business, at Golden Gate University (online).

Felicia Logan

Felicia Logan is the director of Leadership Development at ICMA. In that capacity, she is the ICMA University team leader providing such management development activities for ICMA members as the Voluntary Credentialing Program, Senior Executive Series, Leadership ICMA, and the Emerging Leaders series. Passionate about leadership development and coaching, Logan is a regular at the Weldon Cooper Center's leadership and management activities. A member of the first class of women to be admitted to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Logan received both her B.A. and M.A. from that institution. 

She graduated from the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 1987; from the Covey Leadership Institute in Sundance, Utah, in 1990; and from the Senior Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Innovation Group-sponsored School for Leadership and Change in 2003. 



Charlene Stevens has almost 20 years of experience in local government and nonprofit management.  Since August of 2011, she has served as city administrator for Willmar, Minnesota, a regional center of 19,000 located in west central Minnesota.

Prior to joining Willmar, Charlene spent five years in Sedgwick County, Kansas, as assistant county manager. She also spent ten years in the Philadelphia metropolitan area working for two separate suburban communities.

Charlene served on the ICMA Executive Board from 2003 to 2006 and has since served on various task forces and special committees for ICMA.  Charlene has a BA in international relations from Pomona College and master's in public administration from the University of Kansas.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the League of Minnesota Cities and for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities.

She actively supports professional development opportunities for women and is proud to have been part of creating two women’s leadership and development networks in her career.

Outside of work, Charlene and her husband, Dave Paulsen, are kept very busy with three young sons.