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Maria Katrien Heslin


Maria Katrien Heslin was the first female deputy mayor of Bloomington, Ind., serving from January 2008 until September 2013 after three years as the city's communications director. She is the owner of Independent George LLC, a Bloomington-based strategic-communications firm.

Heslin received master's degrees in journalism and arts administration from Indiana University-Bloomington and teaches a public-relations course in IU's School of Journalism. She serves on the board of ACHIEVE, a community-health association serving Bloomington and Monroe County.

When a city's staffers are kept in the loop about new initiatives and policies, they can be powerful allies and messengers.