Sarah McKee is a Vice President with GovHR USA, and has extensive experience as a local government manager and in non-profit management. She has conducted recruitments for a variety of positions including, City Manager/Administrator, Public Works Director, Fire Chief, Human Resource Director, Director of Development Services, Park and Recreation Director, Building Director, Bridge and Road Director, Court Services Director, 911 Center Director, Community and Economic Development Director and non-profit Executive Director in various states including Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Washington, Montana, West Virginia and Colorado. She has also been involved in studies related to organizational structure/development and strategic planning.
Sarah was a city manager in Johnstown, OH (5,500) and Rolling Meadows, IL (25,000). While managing in Johnstown, the community saw a 20 percent growth in residential and commercial and Sarah was instrumental in establishing their first comprehensive plan as well as a downtown revitalization plan. She was also expanded their industrial park after the park experienced maximum capacity. During her administration, she successfully acquired various grants for community park renovations and led the community through the Main Street application process.
During the recession of 2008, she led Rolling Meadows through a workforce reduction which also included an early incentive retirement program as well as a successful re-negotiation of police and fire contracts for additional cost savings to the City. Additionally, she developed a retention and expansion program for the community’s commercial and industrial businesses and attracted additional employers to their corporate centers. During her tenure, she was influential in attracting several new businesses to the area including expansion of several large employers.
Sarah also has extensive experience in Public Works Administration. Having served as a solid waste and fleet superintendent prior to being a public works director, she is known for several innovative ideas that have saved millions of dollars in local governments. While serving as the solid waste superintendent in Paducah, KY, she created the first biosolids waste composting facility in the state. In its first year of operation, the City saved approximately $1M dollars in landfill costs through the diversion of biosolids and yard waste.
Through ICMA’s international program and their cooperation with USAID, Sarah was asked to assist the country of Bulgaria in developing their solid waste management program as they transitioned to the European Union. She spent over seven years developing their program and training their environmental experts as well as assisting in the development of their landfills and composting sites. In addition to Bulgaria, Sarah has also worked in Beirut, Lebanon in the development of the Economic Development plan.
Recently, Sarah expanded her experience into non-profit management. She served as the first Executive Director of the Issaquah Highlands Community Association. Issaquah Highlands is an award winning, large scale master planned, built green urban village located just east of Seattle, WA. The community association is responsible for the governance and management of over 4,000 housing units as well as commercial (including a hospital campus) and retail spaces with 1500 acres of open spaces with 22 parks, soccer fields, dog parks, sport courts and play areas. The Association is charged with maintaining all streetscape, storm water systems including its use as irrigation in streetscapes and parks, management of 9 neighborhoods and 13 supplemental neighborhoods including z-Homes (zero based energy homes).
- Master’s degree in Public Administration with emphasis in Organizational Communications, Murray State University, KY
- Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with emphasis in management, Murray State University, KY
Training and Instruction
Sarah has spoken/presented at various conferences including ICMA’s Women’s luncheon, Illinois Government Finance Officers Association, Indiana Municipal Managers Association, Illinois City/County Management Association and various other entities related to municipal government. She also serves as a coach for ICMA.
Professional Development and Speaking Engagements
- Future Trends in Labor Markets – Employment and Compensation Trends and Forecasts – Illinois Financial Forecast Forum, 2017
- Non-Traditional Career Paths for City Managers, Panel Discussion, ILCMA, 2017
- Preparing for the Unexpected – Are You Ready to be Unemployed? – Indiana City Managers Annual Meeting, 2017
Local Government Professional Background
Extensive experience as a local government manager and in non-profit management
- Executive Director, Issaquah Highlands Community Association, Issaquah, WA – 2012-2014
- City Manager, Rolling Meadows, IL – 2008-2010
- Village Manager, Johnstown, OH – 2003-2008
- Public Works Director, Paducah, KY – 1999-2003
- Solid Waste Superintendent/Fleet Superintendent, Paducah, KY – 1994-1999