Michigan Townships Association

Kersten honored with inaugural ‘Spirit of MTA’ award

Brad Kersten, Chesterfield Charter Township (Macomb Co.) supervisor, was the recipient of the inaugural “Spirit of MTA” award. Presented by the Michigan Townships Association (MTA), the new honor was created to highlight and recognize the exemplary efforts of local leaders in serving and advancing their township—as the Association has done for more than 70 years. Kersten was presented with the award before nearly 1,000 of his township peers on April 24 during an awards ceremony at the banquet held during MTA’s Annual Educational Conference & Expo at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme Township.

“What an honor it is to receive the ‘Spirit of MTA” award,” Kersten said. “I am humbled and amazed by this recognition. It’s not about me, though. It’s about who we serve, what we do and what we want to be. It’s about the team that we put around us—that’s where we become successful. Politics is a tough business, but it’s the greatest joy. We can impact so many people, and we can always do the right thing. That’s very simple.”

Following a 30-year career with the township police department—starting as patrol officer, and rising to police chief and then public safety director—Kersten was appointed supervisor in 2021. Since his appointment, he has spearheaded more than 45 projects to help improve his community, from infrastructure to I.T., creating a community center to improving community safety—and much more.

Following a statewide call for nominations, Kersten was selected by a panel of his fellow township officials, who also serve on the MTA Board of Directors, following evaluation and consideration of dozens of nominated elected officials—each of whom represented dedication and above-and-beyond efforts on behalf of their community. Kersten was nominated by four separate individuals, including one from a colleague in a neighboring township.

“Township officials work tirelessly on behalf of their communities, in large ways and small, that make a different in the lives of those who live, work and play in Michigan townships,” said Pauline Bennett, Addison Township (Oakland Co.) clerk and 2023 MTA president, who helped present the award to Kersten. “For more than 30 years, Brad has served his township with an unwavering commitment—and we celebrate his dedication to Chesterfield Charter Township, his entire township team and his residents.”

MTA represents more than 99% of Michigan’s 1,240 townships and is the largest municipal association in the state. Its members include more than 6,500 elected township officials, and tens of thousands more appointed officials, personnel and volunteers.


The Michigan Townships Association advances local democracy by fostering township leadership and public policy essential for a strong and vibrant Michigan.

Photos by David Trumpie, Trumpie Photography, Grand Ledg