The Village of Elk Rapids is seeking a strategic and innovative village manager to lead the idyllic waterfront community. Elk Rapids is located on Lake Michigan’s eastern coast just north of Traverse City on East Grand Traverse Bay. With both Lake Michigan, Elk Lake, Elk River, and Bass Lake water frontage, the village enjoys the best of Midwest living.

The village manager is the chief administrative officer for the village, overseeing all day-to-day activities of diverse village operations and the village staff while ensuring all laws and ordinances are properly enforced. They support multiple village boards and commissions, including the DDA, Parks and Recreation, Beautification, Planning and Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals, Harbor, Green ER, and Housing, among other duties.

The Village of Elk Rapids is looking for an approachable and accessible leader, committed to high ethical standards, who will flourish in a small-town environment with significant amenities, and provide both village and community leadership.

The Village of Elk Rapids will offer a competitive compensation and generous benefit package, with a starting salary range of $100,000-$125,000, depending on qualifications and experience.  The current village manager resigned at the end of February.  The new manager will become the seventh village manager in the last 40 years. The city has retained Richard I. Lewis as a part-time interim village manager.



The Village of Elk Rapids will consider applicants who value the small-town way of life, have a history of community involvement, and possess an innate drive to involve partners and residents in fashioning the next steps for a successful and prosperous community.  To be considered a qualified applicant, respondents must first have:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field of study such as business, finance, or public administration, (an MPA, MBA, or master’s degree in a related field is preferred).
  • Minimum of three years’ experience as a city, village manager, or assistant manager or as an executive/leader in non-profits, education or the business sector with a wide-span of responsibility over multiple function or service areas.
  • Membership or commitment to join ICMA and state local government professional associations is considered valuable to the village.
  • An understanding of Michigan’s laws and regulations and the roles and responsibilities in the council/manager form of government.
  • Residency is preferred.

Any applicant who moves to the level of candidate will be a talented communicator possessing demonstrated leadership, interpersonal skills, finely honed public presentation capabilities, and the ability to construct and deliver the Village’s message.  Other skills that are to be illustrated in a resume and letter of introduction include:

  • Solid financial and budgeting expertise (the Village Manager serves as the chief finance officer) as well as an understanding of the requirements and strategies for infrastructure improvement financing.
  • Experience in human resources development including hiring, mentorship, performance measurement, evaluation, and professional development.
  • Experience in labor relations and in labor negotiations.
  • Successful acquisition and management of grant funds.
  • Demonstrated ability of exercising and facilitating problem-solving techniques.
  • An understanding of the precepts of economic development and community development and in the areas of housing, placemaking, and branding.
  • Code enforcement experience.
  • Open-door policy to respectfully interact with residents, village council, village employees and department heads.
  • History of inter-governmental relations and collaboration.

The new Village Manager will be approachable and outgoing; a person who truly enjoys a diversity of personalities with an instinctive interest in connecting with others.   they will appreciate the passion that comes from ardent dedication to preserving the environment while sustaining a community’s future.  This new leader must be:

  • Capable of challenging processes.
  • Able to build shared visions.
  • A role model of appropriate behavior and professionalism.
  • Enable others to take action.
  • Able to actively encourage people’s success.
  • Honest with a high level of personal integrity.
  • Transparent in the decision-making process.
  • An active listener.
  • An innovative and creative problem solver.
  • Adaptive and resilient.
  • Self-confident with a secure sense of self.
  • Committed to volunteerism and community participation.
  • Tolerant of diverse opinions.
  • Excited about the natural environment and outdoor recreation.
  • A community leader.



Please submit resume, cover letter, consent form, and five professional references to:

Subject Line: Elk Rapids Search

Questions can be directed to MML Executive Recruiter Glenn Anderson at ganderson@mml.org

Candidates desiring confidentiality of their interest, as allowed for and provided by Michigan law, must indicate such in a separate subject line above the body of the cover letter. 

This search is conducted by an Equal Opportunity Employer.