HON. CHRIS COLEMAN, MAYOR, MRCTI CO-CHAIR
Chris Coleman took office as Saint Paul's Mayor in 2006 after several years as city council member, community and neighborhood leader. Immediately, Mayor Coleman set forth initiatives to make Saint Paul the most livable city in America. His priorities include working to close the achievement gap, creating sustainable and responsible budgets, and investing in the infrastructure of Saint Paul.
HON. BELINDA CONSTANT, MAYOR, MRCTI CO-CHAIR
Eight years ago, Mayor Belinda Constant made history when she was elected as the first woman to Gretna City Council; in 2013, she repeated the feat, becoming the first female mayor of Gretna, LA. Constant was elected in 2005 just a few months before Hurricane Katrina struck. Constant said the storm preparation and recovery virtually eliminated the learning curve for a novice politician as officials were forced to navigate federal regulations to keep the government running. This experience has put the environment and infrastructure issues at the forefront of her administration.
Hon. Dave Kleis, Mayor, St. Cloud, MN
Mayor Dave Kleis is a Magna Cum Laude 1989 graduate of St. Cloud State University, and a 9 year veteran of the Air Force and Air Force Reserve. He served the St. Cloud area in the Minnesota Senate from 1994 through 2005, 7 years as Assistant Senate Minority Leader. Dave was elected as Mayor of St. Cloud in November 2005, and was re-elected (running unopposed) in November 2008 and 2012. In 2014 he received the League of Minnesota Cities C.C. Ludwig Leadership Award.
Hon. Tim Kabat, Mayor, La Cross, WI
Tim Kabat was elected the 42nd Mayor of La Crosse in April 2013. Mayor Kabat serves as the Chief Executive Officer for city operations, including oversight and management of the city’s 17 departments and 520 employee workforce. He develops and manages the $71 million annual operating budget, long-term borrowing, and debt service for the city. Tim and Christy, his wife of more than 20 years, reside on the City’s south side where they have raised daughter Emma and son Joe.
Hon. Roy D. Buol, Dubuque, IA, MRCTI Treasurer
Roy D. Buol was first elected to a four-year term as Mayor of Dubuque, Iowa, in November 2005. He was re-elected in 2009 and again in 2013. He previously served ten years as the Second Ward Representative to the City Council. Mayor Buol is a Dubuque native and a 30-year retired employee of John Deere Dubuque Works. Mayor Buol holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a double major in business and marketing from the University of Dubuque.
Hon. Brant Walker, Alton, IL
Walker is a graduate of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has owned a small employment agency and has restored and managed a variety of properties in Alton. He said was motivated to run for mayor, his second attempt, because he believes the city’s unemployment and crime indexes are high. He hopes to reduce crime by improving community policing.
Hon. Francis Slay, St. Louis, MO mrcti Founder's Seat
Francis G. Slay made history in 2013 as the City of St. Louis' first mayor to be elected to a fourth, four-year term in office. It is both Mayor Slay's mission and passion to ensure that St. Louis strives to be a great and prosperous city. The Mayor strives to lead a city that attracts residents and businesses from throughout the region — and from other regions — through civic, commercial, and political cooperation aimed to consistently improve quality of life.
Hon. Harry rediger, cape girardeau, mo
Mayor Harry Rediger holds a B.A. in business administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University. He believes in dedicating himself to his constituents, and has extensive community involvement prior to his role as proud mayor of Cape Girardeau, including having served as a member and past president on the Planning and Zoning Commission; member on the US Bank Board of Directors; and member of the Saint Francis Medical Center Board of Directors.
Hon. David Lattus, Hickman, KY MRCTI Secretary
Mayor David Lattus has proudly been serving the people of Hickman, KY, since January of 2012. Mayor Lattus has championed riverfront and waterway issues during his time in office, and continues to fight for the rights of those who live and play on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Hon. Jim Strickland, Memphis, TN
After an eight-year tenure as a member of the Memphis City Council, Mayor Strickland was elected to the city’s top office on Oct. 8, 2015. Mayor Strickland is a 1986 graduate of the University of Memphis and a 1989 graduate of the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the U of M. He practiced law at Glankler Brown PLLC from 1990 to 1998, when he began practicing at Kustoff & Strickland PLLC, where he remained until becoming mayor.
Hon. Jay Hollowell, helena-west helena, ar
Mayor Hollowell has a long history of supporting the Helena-West Helena community. Hollowell began serving on the Helena City Council in 1991. Besides politics, Hollowell has been actively involved in the community in a number of other areas. He is past president of the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Helena Rotary Club, past president of the DeSoto School Board, and past president of St. Mary’s Catholic Church Pastoral Council.
Hon. Bill Luckett, Clarksdale, MS
Mayor Luckett is a 1970 graduate of the University of Virginia, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American government. He served in the military from 1971 to 1979. A 1973 graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, he currently practices with Luckett Tyner Law Firm, P.A. Luckett has been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell for receiving its highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards. He is married to the former Francine Gardner of Greenville, Mississippi. The couple has four children.
hon. pAXTON bRANCH, tALLULAH, la
From the Mayor: "Since I have come into office in July of 2014, Tallulah has been the recipient of over $24 million in state and federal grant funding. Those monies will be used toward infrastructure upgrades and city improvements. It is my goal to make Tallulah the most marketable product that I can so that we can attract industry to our city and improve our overall quality of life. I invite you to take a drive to beautiful scenic Tallulah via USI-20, US 65 or US80 and see what we have to offer. I can guarantee you that ... a visit to Tallulah will definitely be worth the while."
Colin Wellenkamp, j.d., LLM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MRCTI
Colin Wellenkamp's extensive career in the legal and policy fields has been focused on advocating and advancing public interests through improving local government functions and the activity of the business world. Mr. Wellenkamp is dedicated to assisting organizations and people transition to a sustainable way of life. Colin has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Saint Louis University, a J.D. from Creighton University School of Law, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Sustainable Development Law from George Washington University Law School.
A native of Missouri, Colin now lives in St. Charles, MO, with his wife and daughter.
EMILY LAROSA OPERATIONS MANAGER, MRCTI
Emily LaRosa, originally from Maine, has long had a stake in environmental and infrastructure waterway issues. Emily became increasingly concerned about the Mississippi River and its welfare upon moving to the Midwest Region in 2011. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Emily is happy to bring her analytical public policy training to the role of Initiative Operations Manager.
Emily enjoys biking the Katy Trail, going to local art and film festivals, and baking breads with her partner Vicente.