March In-Person Training: Envisioning Communities of Tomorrow

Join us for a half-day seminar discussing how to create the future of local government services. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 AM with the training beginning at 9:00. Tickets are $35 each. Event registration is online here.

The Problem: A centuries-old orthodoxy rules over the daily affairs of local government decision-making and service delivery. Local government orthodoxy, a belief system that honors the present moment over cost-effective change and public-centered innovation, allows its adherents to apply the next big thing so long as it’s consistent with the organization’s culture and approved by its hierarchy. Local governments are more likely to preserve and protect the status quo, not directly challenge or change it. Consequently, the future is beholden to present mindsets.

The Solution: In this fast-paced, interactive, and content-rich seminar, Peter Burchard will explore the essential history of self-government – a concept that now impedes intergovernmental cooperation, cost reduction, and innovation. Importantly, Peter will present a model(s) that can enable local governments to improve their efficiency and effectiveness and thereby make it possible for lower-cost service delivery and more meaningful intergovernmental cooperation.

This seminar is divided into three parts: Part 1: Innovating the Innovator. Part 2: A Model Local Government Organization. Part 3: Cooperation – not Consolidation.

Peter Burchard is the past village manager in Hoffman Estates and city manager in Naperville. After thirty years in local government, Peter pursued his other passion as the chief operating officer of inVentiv Medical Management in Augusta, Georgia. Returning to Illinois, Peter taught local government innovation and ethics at Northern Illinois University. Peter also started his own multi-sector consulting firm, where he focuses on executive coaching and organizational improvement.
Peter’s experience includes six years as a board member (three as chair) of a Chicago area hospital, board member of the Suburban Law Enforcement Agency, instructing Chinese delegations in American government (pre-pandemic), elected to the National Honor Society for Public Administration, a Public Service Education Fellow, and past Treasurer of the NIU Foundation. Peter is writing a book on how to improve and innovate local government governance and services.

February Virtual Training: Changes to the Notary Law

Last Year, the General Assembly made changes to the laws governing Notaries Public in the State of Illinois. This includes additional requirements around record keeping and other matters. Attorney Brian Armstrong of Luetkehans, Brady, Garner & Armstrong, LLC will present on these changes and present a brief overview of all laws impacting notaries.

Brian joined Luetkehans, Brady, Garner & Armstrong in 2000 and is a partner. Brian represents various governmental entities and officials both as general counsel and in litigation, including municipalities, counties, townships, road districts and other public bodies. Brian advises such bodies on their authority and obligations under their respective governing statutes, negotiates and drafts contracts and intergovernmental agreements, drafts policies, resolutions and ordinances and advises them on proper procedures. Brian also regularly represents governmental entities and officials in litigation in state and federal courts, and has co-authored chapters on defending public entities and officials in civil rights cases and tort cases.

Brian graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Honors in 1991 and received his law degree with Honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1996.

Brian is the co-author of a practice guide on the tort liability of school districts, has contributed to a practice guide on the civil rights liability of governmental entities and is published in the area of insurance coverage law. Brian and his wife have resided in Wheaton, Illinois since 1996.

January Virtual Training: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The DIET that works- Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in Townships

No two townships are the same- from its residents to its landscape. For a township to successfully serve, it is important that leadership and staff understand who resides and engages with the township, to better understand and address the needs of the community. This training provides an introduction to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with a focus on understanding why it really matters, providing simple activities to get started, and removing potential barriers that exist from simply not understanding the intention of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the local level. Attendees will leave with some tools and strategies for assessing, training, and building the foundations for an inclusive township experience.

Melissa Williams, DM has decades of management and process improvement experience in a variety of settings. Her professional career has touched on social work, government, juvenile justice, K-12 special education, and higher education. Starting in social work, she observed early on the rewards of strong organizational leadership- and the problems that arise without. A passion for customer service excellence honed over time and she transitioned to administration striving to create a work environment that both focused on data-informed decisions and emotionally intelligent leadership. Dr. Williams interests and expertise include developing diversity, equity, and inclusive (DEI)-minded work environments and training focused on education and training, mentoring, and generally supporting effective and inclusive organizations.

Over time, her passion for scholarship and practice became centrally focused on helping management effectively improve processes and delivery of services. Recently, Dr. Williams returned to the public sector working as the Administrator for the Township of Schaumburg. A self-proclaimed sci-fi nerd, she resides in Hoffman Estates, IL and shares in the joy of parenting 2 boys and 3 dogs with her partner, a K-12 Special Education Instructor. She looks to continue her service, engaging in research and consultation with inclusive leadership focused on improving performance and efficiency. Dr. Williams is a proud alumna of both traditional and nontraditional education. Her Bachelor of Science, granted by the University of Michigan, focused on civil rights and sociology. She then went on to receive her Master of Arts from the University of Chicago, in Social Service Administration, in the evening program for adult learners. This allowed her to work full time as a Special Education Case Manager for over 500 students in Chicago Charter Schools. Dr. Williams then achieved her Doctorate in Management from the University of Phoenix, while working full time for the State of Arizona and raising two toddlers.

January Quarterly Meeting (VIRTUAL)

Join us virtually for the Quarterly Membership Meeting, Wednesday, January 10 at 2:00 PM. There will be two guest speakers.

State Representative Suzanne Ness will join us to update MTA’s membership on relevant legislative issues expected to come up in the Spring session. Rep. Ness serves as the Vice-Chair of House Counties and Townships Committee.

Erin Slone, Deputy Director of Illinois Funds for Outreach, with the office of the State Treasurer will present during the meeting. She will discuss the programs available through the Treasurer’s office that benefit townships.

There will be time for Q & A with both speakers.

December Virtual Training: Essentials of Aggression Management

The Essentials of Aggression Management (EoAM) program is a “must-have” training session for any organization that is serious about employee safety. As incidents of aggressive behavior and workplace violence continue to increase in workplaces across the country, managers and employees alike face more and more challenges in de-escalating situations before they become violent. The Essentials of Aggression Management program was created by experienced safety and security professionals and has been used in government institutions, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, manufacturing facilities, , and others. The program prepares management and employees alike to recognize and defuse aggressive behavior long before it becomes violent!

Upon completion, the participants will be able to:

• discuss the impact of workplace violence.
• identify the role of de-escalation in the management of aggressive behavior.
• Describe the purpose of and acceptable use of self-defense.

Dan Wilder has been with Sorensen, Wilder, and Associates since graduating college in 2006 with a degree in Law Enforcement. He spent the first nine years as a staff consultant, performing security vulnerability and threat assessments in healthcare facilities and educational facilities. In addition to serving as a master instructor in SWA’s nationally acclaimed program “The Essentials of Aggression Management in Healthcare: From Talkdown to Takedown”. In 2017 he was promoted to Vice-President of Operations

In working with healthcare facilities, educational facilities, and manufacturing facilities Dan has provided several specialized services, including over 100 security vulnerability assessments, assessment of integrated security systems, design of access/egress control systems, and design layout of CCTV systems. He has worked closely with clients and provides ongoing workplace safety training to clients across the nation. His training programs are focused on employee health and safety, and include topics such as back safety, lifting and transferring residents, needle sticks and bloodborne pathogens, fire safety and evacuations, and personal safety and security.

Dan earned CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) certification, with a major emphasis on healthcare facilities. He also holds HSEEP and CVI-CFATS certifications through the United States Department of Homeland Security. In addition to his role with Sorensen, Wilder & Associates, Dan is also a firefighter / EMT and a certified fire science instructor through the Illinois State Fire Marshall’s Office.

November Virtual Training: Paid Leave For All Workers Act

Implementing any new law into your policies and procedures is difficult. It is even more difficult when the law is as a drastic change from the status quo as the new Illinois Paid Leave for All Workers Act. Even if you currently offer paid leave for your employees, you will have to comply with the Act. Join us Wednesday, November 15 at 2:00 PM to find out what is required of you as employers under the Act and the options that exist for implementing those requirements by January 1, 2024. For the Zoom link, email Nick Allen at

James C. Jansen is an employment attorney specializing in counseling commercial, not-for-profit, and governmental entities on both everyday and complex employment issues related to how to implement new employment laws, draft labor and employment documents, craft policies and handbooks, and conduct disciplinary and harassment investigations. He successfully represented clients in state court and in front of administrative agencies and local jurisdictional committees and councils. He has prevailed in the circuit courts throughout the State of Illinois and at various administrative hearings with the City of Chicago. As a former Human Resources professional, James provides the real-world insights that clients value in an employment attorney.

October Training: Seminar On The New General Assistance Law

MTA is hosting an in-depth training seminar on the new General Assistance law passed in last Spring’s Legislative Session. The changes in the law are quite substantial.

This will take place Wednesday, October 25 from 2-4:30 both virtually and in-person at the Hanover Township Senior Center, 240 S. IL Route 59 in Bartlett. Following the in-person seminar, a reception sponsored by Airdo Werwas will take place from 4:30-5:30. The tickets for the seminar are $25 for MTA Members and $35 for non-members and you can purchase tickets here.

Here is a description of the program and information on our presenters:

Traditionally, General Assistance has been the program of “last resort.” Effective January 1, 2024, Public Act 103-0192 will significantly expand the scope of services that townships may provide under General Assistance programs. It will also implement changes to eligibility requirements for immigrants and non-citizens, as well as for persons who have been convicted of drug-related felonies. This session, led by expert township attorneys, will provide an in-depth discussion of these amendments with a focus on practical considerations to ensure your township is well-prepared to navigate these important changes to the Township and Public Aid Codes.

Michael Airdo is a founding Member of Airdo Werwas, LLC. His practice focuses on the handling of complex civil litigation matters, including those involving local governments, not-for-profit entities, educational facilities, and trade associations. He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to his legal practice. Michael proudly serves as legal counsel to Hanover Township, Palatine Township, Dundee Township, Shields Township, and the Fox River Water Reclamation District. He served on the Village of Bartlett Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2011 and as Mayor of Bartlett from 2011 to 2013.

Mark Kimzey is a senior associate at Airdo Werwas, LLC. His practice focuses on representing public and private sector clients in a range of civil litigation matters, including complex tort defense, professional liability, civil rights, employment law, and commercial disputes. He also frequently advises public officials, executives, and other stakeholders on legal matters affecting their organizations. Mark holds both a law degree and an M.P.A., which he earned through a joint degree program at IIT’s Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is a regular speaker and author on topics related to his practice.

Quarterly Membership Meeting

MTA’s Quarterly Membership Meeting is taking place Wednesday, October 11 at 6:00 PM at Leyden Township, 2501 N. Mannheim Rd in Franklin Park. Please RSVP by 10/9 to Nick Allen at so our hosts have an accurate count for dinner.

Annual Township Symposium

Join us for the annual MTA Township Symposium, scheduled for Thursday, September 28 at 5:00 PM at Hanover Township’s Senior Center. You can purchase tickets at this link.

Thank you to Township Officials of Cook County and Township Officials of DuPage County for again co-sponsoring this event.

RSVPs are due by Friday, September 22. The evening will progress as follows:

4:30-5:00 PM Registration
5:00-5:50 PM Legislative Forum
Senator Donald DeWitte (R), 33rd District
Senator Ram Villivalam (D), 8th District
Representative Brad Stephens, (R), 20th District, Assistant Republican Leader
Representative Suzanne Ness (D), 66th District
6:00-6:50 PM Breakout Sessions:
Social Media: Legal Concepts & Best Practices
Township Finances: Maximizing Revenues and Projecting Expenditures
Advanced Topics in Township Foundations
6:50-7:15 PM Social Hour. Hors d’oeuvres with cash bar
7:15-8:30 PM Dinner & Program
• Remarks from State Treasurer Michael Frerichs
• “First Amendment Audits: What Are They? Who Are They? How to Respond When They Show Up” presented by Matthew Walters, Senior Counsel, Airdo Werwas LLC
• Legislator of the Year award

August Virtual Training

Join us at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, August 16 for our virtual training: Best Practices of Bidding, Purchasing, and Contracting. Email Nick Allen for the Zoom link.

Due to their unique features, townships in Illinois must comply with a myriad of complex, sometimes conflicting competitive procurement requirements. This comprehensive training seminar, led by expert township attorneys, will provide an understanding of the relevant statutes, and explore key legal issues, such as: applicability and exceptions, solicitations and awards, and contract formation and risk-shifting. The session will focus on practical considerations and best practices for townships to diminish legal risks and protect their operations.

Michael Airdo is a founding Member of Airdo Werwas, LLC. His practice focuses on the handling of complex civil litigation matters, including those involving local governments, not-for-profit entities, educational facilities, and trade associations. He is a frequent lecturer on topics related to his legal practice. Michael proudly serves as legal counsel to Hanover Township, Palatine Township, Dundee Township, Shields Township, and the Fox River Water Reclamation District. He served on the Village of Bartlett Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2011 and as Mayor of Bartlett from 2011 to 2013.

Mark Kimzey is a Senior Associate at Airdo Werwas, LLC. He focuses his practice on the representation of public sector clients in a broad range of litigated matters and has successfully litigated cases in both state and federal courts, as well as administrative agencies, throughout the state. He frequently advises public officials and employees on matters affecting their organizations and is also a regular speaker and author on topics related to his practice. Mark holds both a law degree and an M.P.A., which he earned through a joint degree program at IIT’s Chicago-Kent College of Law.