FIRST INTERVIEW: Research pays off for Kettering’s next city manager

KETTERING — Matt Greeson said he started learning more about Kettering this summer. Now, his research has paid off.

“One of the things that impressed us a lot … was the thoroughness with which he approached the whole process,” Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner said about the pick to become the next city manager.

“He had incredible knowledge about the city and the history of people and activities, programs and projects that just struck us as being very well-prepared for this job,” she added.

The Worthington city manager was named Oct. 7 to succeed Mark Schwieterman, who is leaving the post after 16 years when his contract expires Dec. 31.

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The $200,000 a year contract for Greeson, 51, was approved by Kettering City Council Tuesday night. His first day will be Dec. 12, according to his contract.

Greeson was among four candidates council interviewed after Labor Day. Before coming to Ohio, He was deputy manager in Volusia County, Fla., where he had been steadily promoted over 12 years, records show.

“His years of experience just shown through very strongly and there were just no negatives to him, frankly,” Lehner said.

Greeson said he has “varied experiences,” including running the 15,000 population Columbus suburb and helping oversee a 3,200-employee operation with a $600 million budget in Florida.

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“When Kettering emerged, I really felt I couldn’t pass on it,” he said. “It’s such a great city and has such a strong tradition of leadership and innovation.

“Other communities,” including Worthington, Greeson said, “often benchmark ourselves and look at what Kettering is doing as we consider best practices in our community. I’ve always held Kettering in very high regard.”

Greeson said despite the difference in population, with Worthington and Kettering the “service set is very, very similar” as his current employer operates a fire department, an arts center and a community center.

“So, I’m familiar with pretty much all of the services that Kettering offers,” he said.

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In the weeks ahead, Greeson said he wants to be in contact with Kettering staff “to stay abreast of the emerging issues … but not necessarily getting involved in them. I’m not there yet. I have to make sure I’m doing the right things in Worthington to leave them in good stead.”

Greeson said he expects to have “a regular cadence of conversations” with Schwieterman.

“I greatly respect the work that he has done and his leadership in Kettering,” he said.

Greeson is “great at team building, with the community-at-large but particularly with city staff,” according to Worthington City Council President David Robinson.

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“He knows how to hire and cultivate next-generation talent,” Robinson said in an email. “Matt is also gifted and experienced at fostering consensus-building processes, and is always receptive to contrasting positions.

“Matt is a steady hand in times of crisis and conflict,” he added.

During the height of COVID, Greeson “very capably led us through … without unwarranted interruption of services or any missteps that would have heightened community tensions,” Robinson said. “He can handle the heat.”


•Age: 51

•Next job: Kettering city manager.

•Current job: 15 years as Worthington city manager.

•Previous experience: 12years with Volusia County, Fla., last serving as deputy county manager.

•Education: Bachelor’s degree, political science, Stetson University; master’s degree, public administration, University of Central Florida.

•Family: Wife Amy, son Benjamin and daughter Lottie.

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