Strategic Planning Committee


Strategic Planning Committee Pillar Team Group meets the second Tuesday of every-other-month to ensure we stay on task to fulfill the strategies and goals set forth.

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to meetings. Minutes are available following approval.

View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes

Vision Statement

Vision and MissionDefiance is a vibrant and progressive community - the confluence of rich history, small town experiences, and innovative opportunities.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to unite the community through learning, service, and culture.

The Plan

This group is very pleased with the content of the plan, and we invite you to read the Defiance Community Strategic Plan (PDF).

Strategic Plan Committee (SPC) Pillar Team Leaders

Connectivity Pillar Team Leader

  • Abby Wolfrum, Executive Director of United Way of Defiance
  • Transportation, Safety, Networks

Culture & Education Pillar Team Leaders

  • Rita Kissner, Former Mayor of Defiance
  • Dr. Richanne Mankey, Defiance College President
  • Bob Morton, Superintendent of Defiance City Schools
  • Life Coaching, Youth Supportive Services, Defined Culture

Economic Development Pillar Team Leaders

  • Erika Willitzer, Defiance County Executive Director of Economic Development
  • John Lehner, City Finance Director
  • Jobs, Wages, Economic Growth

Health & Wellness Pillar Team Leaders

  • Jamie Gerken, Defiance County Health Commissioner, 
  • Doug Bush, ProMedica Defiance Regional Hospital President
  • Dr. Richanne Mankey, Defiance College President
  • Behavioral, Mental and Physical Healthcare, Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention, Dental

Housing Pillar Team Leader

  • Liz Keel, Maumee Valley Planning Organization Housing Coordinator
  • Rental Standards, Affordability, Availability, Blight

Perception Pillar Team Leaders

  • Luis Rivera, Next Gen Group
  • Kirstie Mack, DDVB Director, and Defiance Area Foundation
  • Christine Yoder
  • Schools, Community, Diversity

Other Team Members

  • Mayor Mike McCann
  • City Planner Niki Warncke
  • City Executive Assistant Debbie Stevens
  • Defiance Dream Center representatives, Bill Lammers, Guiseppe Blanchard
  • Defiance Chamber of Commerce Director, Sarah Tackett
  • Defiance Public Library Director Cara Potter

The Beginning

The Defiance Community Strategic Planning Committee commenced in the Fall of 2017, led by Consulting Facilitator Kathy LaSota. The Defiance Community Strategic Planning Team participated in a process resulting in a community-wide five-year strategic plan for 2018-2022. The planning process engaged a diverse group of constituencies in a facilitated and collaborative environment to create a plan that draws all existing agency plans together, supports and enhances each, and clarifies how and why common needs, interests and solutions interact. The plan provides a roadmap for action to accomplish common goals.

The result was a holistic and sustainable plan for the Defiance community. This large group of community members gathered monthly for five months to work together and create a plan for the community's future. It took a group effort and many meetings later to finalize the Vision and Mission Statements, establish the Guiding Principles, create the six Pillars, and set Goals and Strategies for our community.

After finishing the tasks above and under the direction of Mayor Mike McCann, the Pillar Leaders were assigned to lead their individual team members to fulfill the goals and strategies of each Pillar of the Community Strategic Plan. The Pillar Team Leaders meet as a group with Mayor McCann to discuss progress made in their individual Pillar. Those meeting minutes are listed on this page. At the end 2022, the Team will gather again to re-evaluate the Defiance Community Strategic Plan.