Hess makes waves in international organization, becoming first Mississippian to receive top honors

May 16, 2022

Laurel’s City Clerk and Finance Director MaryAnn Hess has racked up a variety of awards and honors as a prominent member of the International Institute for Municipal Clerks and, in many cases, she has been the first Mississippian to do so.

The IIMC is an international organization dedicated to providing support and professional development opportunities to municipal clerks around the world. The organization currently has over 15,000 members in 15 countries.

Hess, a long-time member of the organization, has made the most of the ample opportunities provided therein. As a result of her substantial involvement with the IIMC, Hess was elected vice-president of the organization last spring and will be installed as president-elect at the IIMC’s annual conference in Little Rock, Arkansas on Wednesday, May 25. Next year, she will become the organization’s first president to represent the magnolia state.

During that conference, Hess will also be recognized as the state’s first IIMC’s Athenian Fellow. Hess completed the requirements for the honor on April 14th.  On May 3rd, Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee and members of the Laurel City Council passed a resolution recognizing Hess for this significant accomplishment.

The Athenian Leadership Society is an international academy for and of municipal clerks worldwide. A division of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), the Athenian Leadership Society was established in 2005 to encourage continuing professional development among IIMC members.

Hess began working on the requirements for the fellowship before the pandemic and was able to utilize virtual learning events to maintain her progress. Each fellow is required to attend 10 workshops designed to enhance his or her leadership skills. Participants are also required to write a series of essay on how they will implement the strategies that they learned during the program in their own departments.

In 2020, Hess was awarded the organization’s highest honor, the Quill Award. Up to three Quill Awards are awarded annually although the IIMC reserves the right to award fewer applicants, or none at all.

The IIMC judges applicants based on their contributions to the profession in general, their work as a municipal clerk, and their efforts to improve their communities off the clock. They also look at a clerks work and leadership within the organization. Hess was the first Mississippian to receive this award as well.

Hess has served as Laurel’s city clerk since 2000.

The City of Laurel, established as a lumber town in 1882, is conveniently situated approximately two hours from larger destination cities such as Jackson, Biloxi, New Orleans, and Mobile. In recent years, the city has become a destination all its own thanks, in part, to its starring role in HGTV’s popular “Hometown” series. As Laurel, and interest in it, continues to grow, we are committed to providing the resources necessary to help all of our residents and businesses reach their full potential.
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