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July 20, 2012
By Ben Lawson, media assistant
Greg McDanel, a Northwest Missouri State University alumnus, has returned to Maryville but this time as the city manager.
McDanel, who took over as Maryville’s city manager in February, graduated from Northwest in 2002 with a degree in geography and went on to receive a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
McDanel said his time at Northwest helped him prepare for his role in city administration. The variety of opportunities at Northwest such as community service, research programs and internships enhanced his understanding and appreciation of civil engagement.
“Northwest provided a liberal education that has now empowered me as a professional with a wide base knowledge of transferrable skills,” McDanel said. “As a professional manager in local government, the ability to adapt while maintaining a strong sense of values and ethics is key to the success of the organization.”
McDanel also said his time with faculty at Northwest helped him develop a strong foundation in the basics of being a professional partly due to low faculty-to-student ratio which allowed for a lot of personalized instruction.
“The professors at Northwest taught from personal life experiences and encounters with current issues, which helped me understand a broad method of studying more than specific course knowledge,” McDanel said. “As a professional I have realized the value in the personal attention to solve conflict and build consensus throughout the community.”
Dr. Ted Goudge, associate professor of geography, remembers McDanel as one of the top students in his classes.
“He was always quiet, but you could tell he was always thinking,” Goudge said. “He was always responsible and on the ball. I’m very proud and impressed that he stepped into this leadership position in the community.”
McDanel, a Marshall native, said he was eager to return to a city with many fond memories for him.
“Maryville is a wonderful community and this was a great career opportunity for me,” McDanel said. “I’m so glad to come back to a community that I always held close to my heart and I spent a lot of time. It’s just nice to come back and have the view as a student and as a professional.”
McDanel said he plans to use his experience as a Northwest student and a Maryville resident to find ways to improve the community.
“I spent a lot of time at Mozingo Lake as a student,” McDanel said. “Moving into the future and looking out from an administrative standpoint, Mozingo could prove to be a huge asset in bringing people to the community and contributing to its high quality of life.”
Prior to returning to Maryville, McDanel had been the top municipal administrator for Cherryvale, Kan., since 2009. Before that he spent five years as a land acquisition manager and engineering technician for the city of Independence.
Bringing experience from both a large community, Independence, and a small one, Cherryvale, McDanel said he is glad to be back in a mid-sized college community where he is comfortable.
“I take a lot of pride in being a Bearcat as well as being a community leader here in Maryville,” McDanel said. “It’s a wonderful atmosphere to raise my daughter, a good family environment and a safe community. It’s just where I want to be right now.”
McDanel said his long-term goal is to ensure all of the various city improvement projects are completed efficiently and in the best manner possible so Maryville residents’ tax dollars do not go to waste.
Starting Aug. 6, another Northwest graduate will join McDanel as Maryville’s new assistant city manager. McDanel appointed Ryan Heiland, a 1998 graduate with a degree in geography.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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