Holland City Manager Position


The Mayor and City Council seek to recruit a new City Manager for the City of Holland. This individual must have the skills and experience to lead Holland by combining leadership, community engagement, and operational excellence.

The City of Holland is a Pure Michigan delight, located near Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa and features small-town charm and big-city amenities. It is famous for the activities, community and lifestyle that makes Holland a favorite Michigan destination to live, work, play and learn. Holland features an award-winning downtown, white sandy beaches, and rich cultural festivals. 

The population of Holland is approximately 33,000 and is in the thriving West Michigan region that includes Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. Holland is home to Hope College and a wide range of industries including tourism, furniture production, automotive, food processing, agriculture, healthcare and education.  Top regional employers include Haworth, Gentex, Adient, Herman Miller, Howard Miller Clock Company, Tiara Yachts, Kraft Heinz and Hope College.  

The community is known for strong civic and community engagement.  Holland was founded by Dutch immigrants in 1847, and currently boasts a very diverse population.  Please refer to the master plan for complete demographic information.  Boasting the widely recognized Tulip Time Festival in May each year, the local scene is enriched by the traditional Cinco De Mayo celebration that usually overlaps with a portion of the Dutch celebration.  Notably, the City has been recognized by a number of national observers with such awards as: All America City, Great American Main Street, Top 10 Happiest City, Top City for Retirees just to name a few.

This position will oversee a staff of 180 full-time employees in addition to permanent part-time and seasonal staff.  The City Manager will manage the broad spectrum of City Departments and functions as illustrated in the City’s Organizational Chart (see below for the link).  A link to the budget, fiscal detail, and such additional information as Organizational Vision and Mission, current (FY-18) Council Goals, and Departmental Mission Statements and Action Goals can be found at:  https://www.cityofholland.com/citycouncil/budget-and-fiscal-information-fiscal-year-2018.  

To learn more about the City and community, please review the following:

City of Holland organization chart: https://www.amycelltalent.com/employer-headhunting-services/custom-programs-and-events/city-of-holland/

City of Holland website: https://www.cityofholland.com

City of Holland Master Plan: https://www.cityofholland.com/planningzoningandhistoricpreservation/adopted-city-master-plan

City of Holland Community Energy Plan: https://www.cityofholland.com/sustainability/holland-community-energy-plan

Lakeshore Advantage, the regional economic development organization: http://www.lakeshoreadvantage.com

Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce: www.westcoastchamber.org 

Holland Area Convention and Visitors Bureau: www.holland.org 

Macatawa Area Coordinating Council: www.the-macc.org 

Digital Holland: http://digitalholland.org

Relevant Experience

We are seeking a leader, team builder and problem solver that has the appropriate experiences and track record of success to provide operational excellence to the City of Holland.  A collaborator and consensus builder that determines the objectives and leads the team to achieve those outcomes.  The candidate must be an excellent listener and problem solver.  

This role has many facets, and the successful candidate will be an excellent people developer, project manager, strategic thinker, and community engager.  Previous public experience is essential but not required for the role, however, all candidates must demonstrate a sense of passion for public service and empathy for a wide range of perspectives and needs. 

The City Manager will need to engage in the following opportunities that are facing the City, including:

  • Affordable housing and continuing neighborhood revitalization 
  • Declining median income levels and climbing poverty rate (2010-2014)
  • Public school partnerships
  • Civic Center management
  • Talent attraction
  • Downtown development & expansion
  • Cultural Competency
  • Low revenue growth
  • Protection of natural resources

Experience with the following areas of subject matter is helpful:

  • Municipal-owned public utilities (water, waste water, power generation, alternative energy, snow melt, broadband/including fiber optic expansion)
  • Public safety  
  • Collective bargaining  
  • Understanding of municipal and community development national trends  
  • Community development 
  • City planning
  • Tourism, waterways
  • Municipal infrastructure, roads, traffic
  • Municipal laws, regulations, rules
  • Environmental stewardship, natural resources, nature
  • Regional partnerships

A Bachelor’s degree in business, public administration, government, economics, social science, planning, or a related field is required. A Master’s degree or other advanced graduate-level credentials are strongly preferred.

Key Competencies
The next City Manager must be a leader who embodies the spirit of public service and displays deep compassion for the community.  The successful candidate will understand the importance of making Holland a livable city for current and future residents. This individual must foster a culture of open communication while convening, leading, and collaborating with council, neighborhood communities, local organizations, labor associations, businesses, and residents from across the city to achieve excellence. 

They must have demonstrated expertise of leading and supporting initiatives in a highly complex environment.  Above all, the next City Manager must be able to build trust with Council, staff and the community. 

In terms of the performance and competencies required for the position, we would highlight the following:

  • Successful track record of managing an entity similar to Holland in terms of comparable size & complexity, with clear strategic results; has strong business and financial skills; executes policies efficiently and effectively by championing best-in-class operational practices and a culture of operational excellence.
  • The ability to attract and recruit top talent, motivate the team, delegate effectively, embrace diversity within the team, manage performance, and widely viewed as a strong leader who develops others.
  • A leader who is viewed by others as having a high degree of integrity and forethought in their approach to making decisions; the ability to act in a transparent and consistent manner while always taking into account what is best for Holland; demonstrates strong negotiation skills.
  • The ability to advise the Mayor and City Council regarding both positive and negative policy implications by having the aptitude to seek, analyze, and present data from a variety of sources to support multiple viewpoints and to align residents with the City’s overall strategy.
  • Naturally connects with and builds strong relationships with others, demonstrating strong emotional intelligence and an ability to communicate clearly and persuasively.  Appreciates the wide range of experiences and perspectives in the community.  Seeks to engage broadly.  Spanish fluency is a plus.
  • An ability to inspire trust internally and externally through effective communication, willingness to learn, demonstrating enthusiasm and finding common ground.
  • Encourages others to share the spotlight and visibly celebrates and supports the success of the team.

Interested candidates should send an email with a current resume and cover letter to: Info@AmyCellTalent.com.  Candidates seeking confidentiality under Michigan law should clearly state their intentions.

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