County Administrator, Ottawa County, MI (pop. 296,200).  Ottawa County is situated on Lake Michigan’s spectacular freshwater coastline where nature is cherished and protected.  More specifically, Ottawa County is located in the southwestern section of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, with its western boundary formed by Lake Michigan.  Ottawa County is 174 miles west of Detroit and 150 miles northeast of Chicago.  The County is composed of 17 townships, six cities, and one village, with an area of 565 square miles.  Thirty-eight (38%) percent of the County’s land mass is farmland.  Ottawa County is the fastest growing county in the State and still the eighth most populous county in Michigan. Over 50% of Ottawa County’s population growth resulted from migration to the area. The County’s population has experienced exciting and steady growth within the last 20 years.

More than the lakeshore, the people of Ottawa County are friendly yet driven, working hard to succeed in charming downtown small businesses, at manufacturing hubs with global impact and on acres passed down from generations.  Ottawa County embraces creativity and believes that diversity makes them stronger.  Public services must be high-quality and cost effective.  Innovation is expected and waiting for someone to solve their problems for them is not an option.  

Ottawa County’s vision is “Where You Belong”.  The county prides itself on their friendly neighbors chipping in, lending, and making sure that everyone knows that Ottawa County is where you belong.    If you are looking to serve the public in an organization that is innovative, customer-centered, ethical, financially responsible, transparent, and welcoming, Ottawa County is where you belong.


The next County Administrator will be involved with the following opportunities:

  • Create Affordable Housing Opportunities
  • Manage American Recovery Act Funds
  • Initiate Broadband Efforts
  • Continue Implementation of the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity 5-Year Plan
  • Position Ottawa County as a Employer of Choice
  • Foster Regional Collaborations

Candidate Must Have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Public Policy, Planning, Business, or related field with at least 10 years of progressively responsible local government leadership.  Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Experience must include at least 5 years as a Chief Administrative Officer or Assistant Chief Administrative Officer of a local government of similar size and complexity to Ottawa County, MI; preferably county government with significant experience interacting with elected officials and other stakeholder groups.
  • Experience working with diverse departments, including law enforcement, courts, public health, mental health, and park systems.
  • Have strong financial and asset management skills including significant experience in capital improvements planning.
  • Demonstrated experience and enthusiasm for community relations and engagement.
  • Knowledgeable in land use planning, community and economic development, affordable housing, and tourism.
  • Have strong proven leadership and skills in union labor relations, and negotiations of collective bargaining agreements.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and communications skills.
  • Be a trusted leader that demonstrates character, integrity, and competence at all times.
  • Residency in Ottawa County or willingness to move to Ottawa County within an agreed upon timeframe.

The Ideal Candidate Will:

  • Demonstrate significant accomplishments in a growing community with best practices that could be implemented in Ottawa County, while being adaptable and flexible, able to identify emerging trends and opportunities, and shift courses when necessary.
  • Able to manage complex projects, programs, and initiatives with the ability to interact with elected officials, senior staff, boards or commissions, and community organizations in the development and implementation of project goals and objectives.
  • Be able to create, build, and maintain strong partnerships and relationships with diverse stakeholders (public, private, and non-profit), as well as build consensus.
  • Have strong analytical skills with the ability to examine programs, budgets, and proposed policies for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Have a strategic “big picture” approach yet have a willingness to learn and understand the county’s business operations with a commitment to the continued delivery of high quality and productive governmental services.
  • Be a champion and advocate for initiatives, programs and strategies that improve racial equity in the community and organization.
  • Use sound, ethical judgment in decision making and in the conduct of their daily duties, serving as a role model for other employees with an approachable and collaborative leadership style.
  • Be a good listener with a high level of interpersonal awareness.


The compensation range for the position is $185,000 to $220,000 DOQE.  Additionally, the County will offer a generous benefit package that is competitive with the market.   


Interested candidates should apply by December 7, 2021, to Carmen Davis, Vice President, or Jaymes Vettraino, Senior Vice President, GovHR USA.  Finalist interviews with the Board of Commissioners are expected to be held at the end of January 2022.  Apply online at

As part of the application process, candidates may request that their application remain confidential.  This request will be honored within limits of the open meetings/records laws and statues in Michigan.

Ottawa County is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity, equity, and inclusion and seeks candidates who represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. 

Click HERE for Brochure

Posted:November 5, 2021


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