Executive Profile:


Elaine Leven, City Manager, Marine City

“Patience, understanding, sympathy, and strong character are crucial to being an effective local government manager.”

Community Basics

Number of full time employees:

Annual Budget:
$5 million

Years in Current Position:

Professional Path

Years in the Profession:

College Attended and Degree Program:
Oakland University/MPA

What path lead you to your current position?
A lucky chance interview with someone that saw potential.

What do you enjoy most about being a manager?
Helping people.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
Not being able to make everyone happy: I had to accept that many of the things I am involved in and decisions I make impact a wide variety of people and there is no simple way to deal with complicated issues.

What are some of the most important skills it takes to be a manager?
Patience, understanding, sympathy, and strong character.

What project has been most meaningful in your career to date?
Adaptive Reuse of Building – Involved from beginning to end and provided input and oversight

Career Advice

Best tip for entering the profession:
Get involved and attend meetings to gain a better understanding of how things work.

Best tip for succeeding in the profession:
Never lie: it will catch up to you.

How do you establish the best relationship with your elected officials?
Be straightforward – I’ve let them know that we may not always see eye to eye on issues, however I will listen and be respectful.