Today, the City of Goshen, Indiana, announced that Deputy Mayor Mark Brinson has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Ivan H. Brinegar Award by Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (AIM). The organization honors individuals for outstanding achievement, successful innovation, and steady leadership in municipal government. The award is presented to an appointed municipal official with at least ten years of city service who displays strong leadership, contributes to their community, and serves as a role model to residents and other municipal officials.
“I’m thankful and honored to accept this award,” offered Brinson. “With that being said, I have to emphasize the importance of teamwork in building a successful, nationally recognized City. What makes it possible for communities like Goshen to shine is the number of dedicated staff, elected officials, and board members who all contribute to our shared community service mission.”
Tale of Two Cities and Six Mayors
Over his four-decade career, Mark has become an icon of community planning and development within Elkhart County. His long list of successful projects includes redeveloping brownfield sites, strengthening neighborhoods, supporting public education, building community pride, creating a home for the arts, expanding parks and placemaking, and driving economic prosperity. Mark was the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Elkhart, serving three mayoral administrations and guiding Elkhart through an unprecedented era of growth. Mark joined the Goshen team in 2008 and was quickly promoted to Director of Community Development. In 2020, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman appointed Mark as Goshen’s first Deputy Mayor, a role he continues to hold with Mayor Gina Leichty.
Contributions to Goshen Awards
Brinson has been key to Goshen’s advancement and helped the City earn such accolades as the Top 20 Safest Cities in Indiana, SolSmart Gold Award for Advancing Solar Energy, Green Project of the Year, and Indiana Community of the Year. Recently, Mark has also been instrumental in Goshen’s success in attracting major housing projects, including affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing projects. When these projects are completed, Goshen will add approximately 1,900 housing to Goshen’s current 12,800 units.
Mayor Leichty Offers Thanks
Goshen Mayor, Gina Leichty, credits Brinson’s success to his inspirational, never-say-quit leadership style. “Mark often works behind the scenes – but the impact of his work has a lasting, positive impact on our community,” said Leichty. “What really sets Mark apart is his ability to pull the necessary stakeholders together and inspire them to tackle the most challenging projects. His ability to get buy-in and his determination to see things through has led to positive outcomes for our whole city.”
Nomination from Mayor Stutsman
As one of his final actions in office, former Goshen Mayor, Jeremy Stutsman submitted Mark’s nomination for the Brinegar Award. “It was an honor that one of my final actions as Mayor of Goshen was to nominate Deputy Mayor Mark Brinson for this award,” said Stutsman. “There’s no better choice for AIM or Indiana. Mark is a creative thinker and problem-solver, so I often called upon him to help with the most difficult projects. I am a better man for knowing Mark and Goshen is a better City because of him.”