The City of Saugatuck announced today that it has selected Ryan Heise, the village administrator of Egg Harbor, Wisconsin as its next city manager.
The seven-member council voted unanimously to offer the position to Heise who has managed the Door County community for the past five years. While there, Heise oversaw the design and construction of Kress Pavilion and the Egg Harbor Library -- capital projects totaling more than $7 million.
He also applied for and received transportation and environmental improvement grants for Egg Harbor totaling almost $2.5 million.
Prior to working in Door County, Heise spent nearly ten years as director of operations at Lakewood Ranch in Florida, a planned community of 7,000 homes and businesses with a $10 million operating budget.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be offered the opportunity to join the Saugatuck team,” Heise said. “I want to thank the city council for the trust they have placed in me.”
Heise is expected to assume the new role as city manager of Saugatuck in early 2021.
A Michigan native, Heise was born and raised in Jackson, Michigan. He studied environmental science at Northern Michigan University, and received his bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University where he studied urban planning and water quality management. Heise received his executive master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Dakota.
“On behalf of city council and staff, I’d like to welcome Ryan and his family to Saugatuck and look forward to working together as one team in serving our community,” said mayor Mark Bekken. “The exceptional field of city manager candidates we considered clearly demonstrates that Saugatuck can draw talent not only from Michigan, but across the country.”
Beginning in October, the nearly three-month city manager search involved developing a city profile from 21 stakeholder interviews and resulted in 29 applicants being identified. In November, the field was narrowed to 10 candidates for city council to evaluate. Following this evaluation, five candidates were offered interviews and four candidates were interviewed by the city council on Dec. 9th.
The city used Frank Walsh of Walsh Municipal Services LLC of Okemos, Michigan to conduct the search and guide the city through the selection process.