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Press Release

Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317;


Michigan Local Government Management Association Honors Eric DeLong

Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Receives Patriarche Award

DETROIT, Michigan – Grand Rapids Deputy City Manager Eric DeLong received the 2013 Patriarche Colloquium Award for his continued service to Michigan communities spanning multiple decades.

The highest honor given by the Michigan Local Government Managers Association (MLGMA), the John M. Patriarche Distinguished Service Award was created in 1992 and recognizes members who have fostered representative democracy by enhancing the effectiveness of local-elected officials through innovative programs and excellence in character and professionalism. The award was given to DeLong Sept. 19, 2013, during a MLGMA-sponsored education session at the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Convention in Detroit.

“During his career as Grand Rapids deputy city manager, Eric DeLong has made a conscious effort to assist new professionals coming into the field of public administration,” said Penny Hill, MLGMA President and Kalkaska Village Manager. “Indeed, many of his colleagues across Michigan would say they would not be where they are today without his help, support and encouragement early in their careers. He truly exemplifies the spirit of the Patriarche Colloquium Award.”

Hill added DeLong has advised fellow managers on an array of topics, including fundamental concepts such as zoning and even unique community issues like no-wake zones. DeLong said the award means a lot to him and he gave thanks to the many individuals who guided him over the years.

“I am honored to have been recognized by the Michigan Local Government Management Association at the Michigan Municipal League Annual Convention,” DeLong said. “Looking back over the list of prior award recipients, I can say that I have known all of them and counted many as mentors. They took an interest in developing talent and I have tried to follow their example. It is rewarding when you see persons you mentored like Curtis Holt of Wyoming or Al Vanderberg of Ottawa County serving as leading managers in Michigan. None of us achieves anything alone and we should never try. I have been blessed in my life with enduring family and professional relationships that have helped me with whatever I have accomplished. I want to especially thank City Manager Greg Sundstrom, Mayor George Heartwell, the City Commission and my colleagues.”

“There is so much to do to transform our communities and remake Michigan. We have made great progress in Grand Rapids and elsewhere. But, we have so much more potential and we must keep pushing forward for our Michigan.”

DeLong has an undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University (1977), and a Masters of Public Administration Degree from Michigan State University (1979).

He joined the city of Grand Rapids in May of 1995 and became Deputy City Manager in November of 1999. He oversees the city’s Enterprise and Design and Development Groups. He also is involved with the Lean Initiative, Transformation, and legislative matters as well as city sustainability efforts. He served as Spring Lake’s village manager from 1983 to 1995.

For photos of DeLong receiving the award go to this Michigan Municipal League “Award Winners” set on flickr: flickr: Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Photo Courtesy of the Michigan Municipal League/mml.orgFor more information about MLGMA, go here.


The Michigan Local Government Management Association is the professional association for local government managers and their assistants from cities, villages, townships and counties throughout Michigan. The association was founded in 1927. Details: Go to MLGMA is an affiliate organization of the Michigan Municipal League (




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