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Municipal Leadership Conference for Small Cities

The Municipal Leadership Conference for Small Cities was presented by The Institute of Urban Studies, The University of Texas at Arlington, & Sanchez & Associates, LLC on December 5th and 6th in Sherman Texas. It was a great success!

Municipal Leadership Conference Photo
Municipal Leadership Conference

About the Speakers

Dr. Paul Geisel, Professor Emeritus, Urban Planning and Public Policy

UT Arlington

Dr. Geisel is the founding faculty member of the former School of Urban and Public Affairs. A former district governor for Rotary International, he has been honored as a leader in minority relations by the Fort Worth Economic Development Corp. He serves on seven boards and is chair of the Executive Committee for the Fort Worth Transportation Authority. His honors include the Sally Kallam Award for volunteer work from Leadership Arlington & the Fort Worth Fellow Award from Leadership Fort Worth.

Alan Klein, Director, Institute of Urban Studies

UT Arlington

Alan brings a diverse background and broad perspective to community revitalization, neighborhood planning, real estate analysis, and economic development. Alan’s concentration is on building partnerships to promote community, economic development and revitalization. In his tenure with the Institute, Alan has led in the development of over 50 community planning efforts, ranging from economic feasibility studies to comprehensive plans.

J. Martin Sanchez, CEO at Sanchez & Associates, LLC

Martin has worked in numerous cities and agencies around the state including: Plano, McKinney, Weston, Frisco, Mesquite, McLendon- Chisholm, El Paso, Lancaster, Brownsville and Carrollton to list a few. He has been recognized as a leader in planning and land development by receiving a number of awards and recognitions. Some of the awards include: Outstanding Project of the Year, Development Project of the Year - Craig Ranch, Texas Community of the Year, and Planning Excellence Recognitions just to name a few. He has significant experience in working with elected officials in developing various plans along with an execution strategy and implementation plan.

Rick Chaffin, Director of Municipal Services at Sanchez & Associates, LLC

Rick has served as city manager and deputy city manager in small towns to larger suburban cities. His focus areas are organizational development—building organizations to meet current and future needs, particularly in high growth cities, as well as capital improvement projects, financial management, strategic planning, leadership and community relations. Rick is a member of the ICMA (International City/County Member’s Association) and the TCMA (Texas City Manager’s Association) and past President of TCMA Region 5.

Dustin McAfee, Director of Development Services

City of Celina

Dusty McAfee has experience in Planning & Zoning, Building Safety, Code Enforcement, Permitting, Environmental Health, GIS, and Animal Services. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature & Language from the Honors College at Texas Tech University. He also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the Graduate School at Texas Tech University. McAfee has won TML awards, contributed to multiple TXAPA award winning projects, placed in several urban forestry and real estate deal project awards, presented at various conferences, and is a certified member of AICP, a registered Code Enforcement Officer, and a member of the Chancellor’s Council at Texas Tech. Prior to Celina, McAfee worked for the City of McKinney, the Town of Little Elm, the City of Sachse, Capitol Hill, and served as the Graduate Student Body President at Texas Tech University in 2003/2004.

Marc Maxwell, City Manager

City of Sulphur Springs

Since the past 24 years, as the City Manager for the City of Sulphur Springs, Marc has served as the chief executive officer responsible for 157 employees and an operating budget of $28 million. Under the vision of Marc and support from the City Council, Sulphur Springs completed “The Celebration District”, a downtown revitalization project. The plaza has over 300 events a year, an interactive lighted fountain, and lots of restaurants, galleries and specialty shops. He graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Business Administration. Marc excels in the area of infrastructure issues and urban planning. He is familiar with the problems that poor planning can lead to and recognizes the increasing demand for efficient


Alan Guard, Local Government Professional

Alan Guard is a seasoned local government professional with more than 30 years of experience. He has worked in cities ranging in size from 5,000 to more than a million and in organizations with 50 employees to over 12,000. Alan has been leading strategic planning sessions for city departments, city councils, churches, chambers of commerce and service organizations such as Rotary for more than 20 years. “Strategic planning is the foundation of every organization. If you don’t plan then you don’t know your purpose. If you don’t know your purpose you’re just wandering around.”

De’Onna Garner, Parks Planning Manager

City of Arlington


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