Sterling Heights City Manager Receives Award for Exceptional Service

Press Release


Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
[email protected];


Sterling Heights City Manager Receives Award for Exceptional Service

Michigan Municipal League Honors Mark Vanderpool

LANSING, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League has honored Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool with the Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award. He received the recognition during the League’s annual Capital Conference Awards Gala March 19 in Lansing.

Long-time Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool truly embodies the words “exceptional service” as defined by the Jim Sinclair Award. In his nearly 15 years as Sterling Heights’ city manager, Vanderpool has worked tirelessly to better his community, the region, state, and cities across the nation.

Vanderpool has helped lead the city through multiple successful millage proposals for roads and public safety. A true big-picture thinker who views leadership as a team effort, Vanderpool continually plans by encouraging himself, city staff, and councilmembers to focus on the city’s future and ways to improve. He accomplishes this, in part, through participating in League training programs, conferences, and committees.

He also recognizes the value of thinking beyond his city’s borders, supporting regional collaboration in Macomb County and throughout the state with his involvement with the Michigan Municipal League and Michigan Municipal Executives, and the nation with his participation in the International City/County Management Association. He’s been a staunch advocate of several League programs and initiatives, most notably the League’s SaveMICity campaign aimed at fixing Michigan’s broken system for funding its communities. He attends and speaks at numerous forums, events, and training on the perils of funding for Michigan local governments. He’s always willing to avail himself to media doing articles on the broken system.

Although he serves as the top staff member in Sterling Heights, he always chooses to take a back seat and allow the elected officials to shine. He deserves much credit for Sterling Heights’ success but does not crave or demand recognition. He’s the epitome of exceptional service. Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor said he and the city council were proud to learn Vanderpool was selected for this award.

“Mark is incredibly deserving of this award and it comes as no surprise to me or my colleagues on city council that he would be chosen for such a prestigious honor by the MML,” Taylor said. “Mark works tirelessly every single day in his role as city manager and hasn’t slowed down a bit in the past 15 years. The council and I are grateful that he has chosen to stay in Sterling Heights, and continues to provide guidance and leadership for our entire city.”

Vanderpool said he was honored to receive the award.

“It really is an honor to receive this award named after a great individual and a great local leader—Jim Sinclair,” Vanderpool said. “To even be mentioned in his company is an honor. But I’ve been really, really lucky over my 30-plus year career to be surrounded by good people—an outstanding staff and excellent, supportive city council members. Getting this award wouldn’t be possible without all the support I’ve received from others throughout the years.”

Vanderpool also thanked the League for the honor and for its guidance in the area of placemaking. He said due to this direction, Sterling Heights has taken on numerous placemaking investments, including the construction of multiple parks and community-focused facilities. All of these placemaking projects have helped make Sterling Heights a better place to live in, work in and enjoy.

“In Sterling Heights, one thing we really value from the MML is placemaking,” Vanderpool said in his acceptance speech Tuesday. “We’re trying to take placemaking to new heights as well, and have taken on more than $50 million in new placemaking-related projects.”

About the award: The Jim Sinclair Exceptional Service Award, first awarded in 2008, is a peer nomination in honor and memory of Rogers City Councilmember Jim Sinclair, a tireless promoter of local government and fervent believer in education and training for elected officials. It is a tribute to Sinclair’s legacy of personal dedication, passion and commitment to the League and its mission.

For photos of Vanderpool receiving this honor, go to this Michigan Municipal League “Awards and Honors Photos” album on flickr: Photos can be downloaded from the League’s flickr page for free. We just ask that the following photo credit be given: Flickr Photo Michigan Municipal League/

For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (734) 669-6317 (office) and [email protected].

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at


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