The Catherine F. Connolly Outstanding City/County Manager Award, recognizes an
outstanding assistant city or county manager who has demonstrated exemplary
service to their organization, the community, local government and ACMA. The
namesake of the award, Catherine F. Connolly, was the Executive Director of the
League of Arizona Cities and Towns for eight years and served 20+ years as the
This year's recipient of the Catherine F. Connolly Award was Cynthia Seelhammer,
Deputy City Manager for Phoenix.
Now in her 25th year of service to local government, Cynthia began her career in
1984 as a public information specialist for the City of Mesa. After nearly five
years there, she moved to Minnesota, serving in several positions for the City of
St. Paul, and later to California to serve in the City of La Mesa. In 1994, she
was appointed Town Manager for Queen Creek, a role she held for more than 12 years.
During her time in Queen Creek, Cynthia became known for her innovative approaches
to local government, focus on strategic planning and outstanding ability to work
with diverse groups of elected and non-elected officials.
In 2006, Cynthia joined the City of Phoenix as Deputy City Manager. While there,
she has also served assignments as Chief of Staff to the City Council and currently
as Interim Director of Water Services.
Cynthia is also a leader in promoting the local government management profession.
She has served on a variety of ICMA committees and is an ICMA Credentialed Manager
and Legacy Leader, as well as the lead local coordinator for the 2012 ICMA Annual
Conference in Phoenix.
Cynthia graduated with her MPA from Golden Gate University and also holds a
bachelor's degree in English from Saint Cloud State University. She is a
graduate of the Harvard Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program.