The following individuals will serve as Department Directors for the Departments of Lansing City government:
- Jim Smiertka, City Attorney
- Brian McGrain, Economic Development and Planning Department
- Angela Bennett, Finance Department
- Randall Talifarro, Fire Department (Shared with East Lansing)
- Linda Sanchez Gazella, Human Resources Department
- Joan Jackson Johnson, Human Services and Community Services Department
- Collin Boyce, Information Technology Department
- Andrea Crawford, Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement Department (New Department)
- Brett Kashinske, Parks Department
- Michael Yankowski, Police Department
- Andrew Kilpatrick, Public Services Department
- Tammy Good, Treasurer Department
“I’m excited for this team - an experienced group of individuals who share my passion and vision for the City of Lansing,” said Schor. “There is a lot of work to be done, and this team will be critical to ensuring success for Lansing’s future.”
Schor brings four new department directors to Lansing City Government. They are:
Linda Sanchez Gazella, who served as Chief of Staff to former Mayor Tony Benavides, will return to City Hall to join the Schor team as Director of Human Resources. Gazella is currently the Executive Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties (RSVP). Prior to working for RSVP she worked as a Community Outreach, Program Specialist for the Lansing School District and as the Mayor’s Youth, Family and Education Specialist for former Mayor David Hollister. Her bi-cultural background and focus on community has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities such as with Hospice of Greater Lansing and the Lansing Police Commission. Linda holds a Business Administration degree with a major in Management from Northwood University.
The City’s transportation engineer, Andrew Kilpatrick, will be promoted to Public Service Director. During Kilpatrick’s 19 years with the City he has managed traffic engineering, parking operations and non-motorized transportation. He currently oversees transportation including traffic engineering and operations, non-motorized planning and implementation, and intelligent transportation systems. Prior to working for the City of Lansing, Mr. Kilpatrick was a transportation consultant in Washington, D.C. and worked for the University of Florida’s Transportation Research Center. He is a member of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission’s CARTS technical committee and its non-motorized transportation plan advisory working group, MDOT’s Local Public Agency Stakeholder Partnering Team, coordinator of Lansing’s Age Friendly Community program, and is on the board of directors of a K-8 charter school. Mr. Kilpatrick has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Civil Engineering, is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan and a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycling Professionals.
Schor has asked Andrea Crawford to run the new Department of Neighborhoods and Citizen Engagement. Andi returned to Lansing in 2014 after serving for five years with the YMCA of Broward County in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she was the Vice President of Health Innovation. Her work there has been highlighted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the YMCA of the USA and she has been invited to present the work at several national conferences. She was hired by the City of Lansing in 2014 to begin designing city supports for neighborhoods and neighborhood leaders. The contract grew into the creation of the position of Neighborhood Resource Coordinator in 2016. This work has garnered national recognition as part of the Cities of Service coalition and the Robert Wood Johnson Invest Health program. Ms. Crawford is excited to be back in her hometown of Lansing, MI focusing on the revitalization of Lansing neighborhoods.
Brian McGrain will be the Director of Economic Development and Planning. McGrain currently serves as the Associate Director/Chief Operating Officer of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) where he oversees budget and finances, fundraising, grants management, training, and communication efforts for CEDAM, as well as handling some partnership-building and advocacy initiatives. Brian is serving his fifth term on the Ingham County Commission representing portions of Lansing, Lansing Township, and East Lansing. He has chaired the Commission as well as its Finance and Human Services committees, and serves on the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, the Ingham County Economic Development Corporation, the Ingham County Land Bank and the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. McGrain was born in Lansing and returned to the area over twenty years ago to attend Michigan State University, where he received both his bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning and his master’s degree in Public Administration and Urban Studies.
Schor is also retaining a significant portion of the experienced team put in place by Mayor Bernero:
Angie Bennett will continue to run the Finance department. Bennett has 20 years of municipal finance experience including 12 in the City of Lansing, and she previously worked in the City of Kalamazoo. She has a master’s in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and has taught a master’s-level class in municipal finance at Western.
Chief Information Officer Collin Boyce will remain in that position to provide leadership for the technology-based customer service improvements, technology based workflow optimizations, and secure computing for information technology. His primary responsibility encompasses a wide variety of strategic technology issues: governance and policy, resource allocation, information security and assurance, and information technology services.
Treasurer Tammy Good has worked for the City of Lansing for 22 years, working her way up to the Treasurer position. She has been on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association since 2013 and is Michigan Certified Public Treasurer and Certified Public Funds Investment Manager. She has a degree in Accounting from Central Michigan University.
The Human Relations and Community Services Department will continue to thrive under the leadership of Director Joan Jackson-Johnson, Ph.D. Joan is a clinical psychologist and principal owner of the East Lansing Center for the Family and has been the Director of the City of Lansing Human Relations and Community Services Department (HRCS) since 2006. Dr. Johnson received her bachelor’s degree from Edward Waters College and holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Michigan State University.
Brett Kaschinske will continue as Director of Parks and Recreation. Brett has worked for the Department since 1993 and has been director since 2011. He has a B.A.A. in Parks and Recreation from Central Michigan University and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI). He is currently serving as President of MParks, the parks and recreation association for Michigan.
City Attorney Jim Smiertka will continue running the city’s legal operations. Smiertka has served as City Attorney since July of 2016 and previously held the position from 1994-2004. His prior municipal experience includes eleven years as Deputy City Attorney for Pontiac and Assistant City Attorney for Kalamazoo. Jim was awarded a bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Detroit and a Juris Doctorate from the Detroit College of Law.
Lansing’s Fire Department will continue to be led by Chief Randy Talifarro. Chief Talifaro has 34 years in fire service and has been with the City of Lansing since 2001. He previously worked in the City of Flint for 17 years. He has a B.A. in Public Administration from Michigan and has completed his M.S. coursework at the Naval Post-Graduate School as a U.S. Fire Administration Fellow. Chief is a Certified Professional Emergency Manager and Fire Inspector.
Chief Mike Yankowski will continue to run Lansing’s Police Department. Chief Yankowski has been with the LPD for 23 years following his graduation from Ferris State University and has served the last four years as Chief. He was instrumental in developing and executing the implementation of the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS), Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.), Capitol Area Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), Crisis Intervention Teams (CIT), and Body Worn Camera Program at the Lansing Police Department.