Mrs. Aretha Ferrell-Benavides serves as the City of Martinsville City Manager. The City Manager oversees the daily operations of the city, with direct supervision over department heads who manage city activities in their areas of expertise. The City Manager also works closely with a variety of agencies, including schools and economic development, to ensure the quality of life for the residents of Martinsville.
Mrs. Aretha Ferrell-Benavides
Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides has served over 30 years as a public servant, with significant and successful community engagement, fiscal management, and professional economic development experience. Her vast experience spans municipal government to County, State, and Federal governmental expertise. She has demonstrated her versatility to adapt to organizations of different sizes and cultures during her career, having served in metropolitan cities like Chicago, Illinois, Washington, DC, and smaller communities like Glenn Heights, Texas, and Los Alamos, New Mexico. The depth of this experience also encompasses communities that vary in size, diversity, regions of the country, and their socio-economic characteristics.
Prior to her appointment as City Manager for the City of Martinsville, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides served as City Manager for the City of Duncanville, Texas, the City of Petersburg, Virginia, and the City of Glenn Heights, Texas.
Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Howard University in Washington, DC. In January 2023, she was elected to the Greater Dallas Goodwill Board based on years of commitment to public services. She has also completed the University of Virginia Senior Executive Institute and the 2015 Class of Leadership Southwest. Ferrell-Benavides is also a Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. While completing her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides participated in the Central Intelligence Agency's Undergraduate Intern and Graduate Fellows program, focusing on Soviet Military Issues.
Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is committed to serving in the field of Public Administration and is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Texas City Managers Associations (TCMA), and induced as a fellow into the 2021 National Academy of Public Administration Class. Since 1988, Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides has been a member of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA), beginning with serving as the organization's student representative on the national board of directors in 1993 and ultimately being elected in 2011 as the organization's 17th National President. Mrs. Ferrell-Benavides is a 1995 Graduate of the NFBPA's Mentor Program and a 1999 graduate of the Executive Leadership Institute. In 2017, she was awarded the Marks of Excellence Award. The Marks of Excellence Award is bestowed upon an African American Public Administrator who has achieved extraordinary success in public management. She was awarded the 2002 NFBPA Young Public Administrator of the Year Award. This nationally competitive award recognizes an administrator under age 35 who has demonstrated an above-average commitment and success in the profession and community.
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Form of Government
Martinsville adheres to the Council-Manager form of government. The best comparison to the private sector is that the council serves as the policy-making and budget-setting body much like a corporate board of directors sets the path for its CEO, the City Manager.