G. Lawrence “Larry” Merrill

G. Lawrence “Larry” Merrill has been on the Public Policy Associates’ Center for Local Solutions Team since 2019 applying public policy analysis and organization development expertise to trade, professional, philanthropic and public sector organizations.  Larry served as Executive Director of the Michigan Townships Association for 19 years and the MTA’s Deputy Executive Director for 15 years.  Prior to joining MTA Larry was a county administrator, emergency medical services director and emergency manager.  He earned a BA in social science and a masters degree in public administration from Michigan State University, is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) and was elected to the Michigan Association Executive Hall of Fame.  He has served as an elected school board President and on numerous other state and local government policy boards and commissions. 

Senior Consultant

Public Policy Associates, Inc. 
Has been on PPA’s Center for Local Solutions Team since 2019 applying public policy analysis and organization development expertise to trade, professional, and philanthropic and public sector organizations. PPA consulting has benefitted organizations such as:

  • Meridian Charter Township a community of approximately 40,000 residents, has invited Larry Merrill to facilitate its annual strategic planning and board education sessions to update goals build governing board cohesion for three years. 
  • The Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) contracted with PPA for Larry Merrill’s services as its interim President and CEO in 2019-2020. In that capacity, he supervised the MSAE’s staff, restructured its financial plan, bylaws, personnel policies, governance policies and the operating policies and procedures manual. Also, Larry facilitated a day-long board retreat to develop a stabilization plan.
  • Larry provided a national infrastructure management company an assessment of the viability of Michigan local governments as a potential expansion of its market from data presented in a comprehensive market and funding source analysis.
  • The New Economy Initiative published a documentary of its long history of successes.
  • Oakland County Executive Office developed its Mission, Vision and Values as the foundation of its strategic plan.
  • A coalition of state government and interest groups commissioned a study of Michigan’s experience with placemaking as an economic develop strategy.
  • A rebranding of organizational purpose aligned with funding opportunities was developed for the Rural Partners of Michigan
  • Strategic plans were developed for the County Road Association of Michigan and Capital Area Community Services.

Nonprofit Management

Michigan Townships Association
Michigan Townships Association’s Executive Director (2000-2019), Deputy Executive Director (1995-2000), and Director of Education (1980-1985). As Executive Director, was responsible for all operations, advising its board on policy matters, and was a registered lobbyist. His areas of expertise include organization governance and administration, public finance, public safety services, intergovernmental agreements and land-use regulations. 

Michigan Society of Association Executives
In 2019 was appointed by the Board of Directors as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Society of Association Executives.

Local Government Management  

Local government service includes county administration for Montcalm County, Michigan; chief administrative officer for county budget, personnel administration, purchasing director, policy guidance and administrative support to the county board of commissioners. Also served as the county’s emergency medical services director and emergency management director 1977-1980. Fire department Lieutenant and emergency medical technician, DeWitt Charter Township.

Public Policy Expertise

Registered lobbyist of over 35 years, advocated for local governments in areas of taxation, land use, emergency services and consolidation. Appointed to numerous state government and higher education task forces regarding land use, fire services, and prosperity regions. Chairman, DeWitt Charter Township Planning Commission. Member, Oneida Township Zoning Board. Addressed numerous state, regional and national organizations on public policy issues.

Governing Board Experience

  • President, National Association of Towns and Townships and the National Center for Small Communities, Washington, D.C.
  • Board Member, Michigan Society of Association Executives.
  • Vice President, Mid-Michigan Spartans, MSU Alumni Association.
  • Board Member, Land Information Access Association, Traverse City, Michigan.
  • Elected to two terms on the Grand Ledge Public Schools Board of Education, served as Treasurer, Vice President, and three years as President.
  • Founding Member, Michigan Wetlands Mitigation Association
  • Advisory Member representing the Charter Township of Delta, Lansing Board of Water and Light Commission.


Master’s degree in public administration, Michigan State University (1978) with a focus on public policy analysis and program evaluation.

Bachelor’s degree with honors, Michigan State University (1976) in multi-disciplinary social science with study areas of political science and economics.


  • Public Policy Study Fellowship, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
  • Award of Excellence in Association Finances and Administration from the American Society of Association Executives.
  • Strategic Leader Award, Michigan Society of Association Executives.
  • Elected to the Michigan Association Executives Hall of Fame.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Michigan Townships Association.


  • Building a Better Budget
  • How to Write an Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Innovative Grassroots Financing
  • On Call Fire Departments
  • Political Implications of Intergovernmental Contracting
  • Survival Guide for Local Government Leaders

Governance and Public Policy Presentations 

  • American Society of Association Executives
  • Association of Governmental Accountants
  • Berrien County Fire Departments
  • Charter Township of Grand Blanc
  • County Road Association of Michigan
  • Delta Township Library Board
  • Lansing Board of Water and Light
  • Maner, Costerisan and Ellis
  • Michigan Association of Drain Commissioners
  • Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs
  • Michigan Association of Realtors
  • Michigan Association of School Boards
  • Michigan Association of Township Supervisors
  • Michigan Head Start Association
  • Michigan League for Public Policy
  • Michigan Legislature
  • Michigan Municipal Treasurers Association
  • Michigan Society of Association Executives
  • Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research
  • Michigan Townships Association

Consulting Clients

  • Capital Area Community Services, Lansing, MI
  • Charter Township of Meridian, Michigan
  • City of Dearborn, Michigan
  • County Road Association of Michigan
  • Michigan Society of Association Executives
  • County of Oakland, Michigan
  • Rural Partners of Michigan