City of Winter Haven Promotes T. Michael Stavres to City Manager
Monday, November 14’s City Commission meeting included one item under the Developments of Note heading: Resignation of City Manager Mike Herr. Herr is leaving the City of Winter Haven, effective December 12, 2022, after more than five years in the leadership role to serve as City Manager for the City of Bartow.
“I feel we’ve packed seven to eight years of progress into the last five and a half years,” Herr said. “This is an exceptional team. I’ve met some of the best people in my life, and I’ve enjoyed my time here. This is a team that is built for the present as well as the future.”
The City Commission voted unanimously to offer the City Manager position to T. Michael Stavres, Winter Haven’s current Deputy City Manager. “To me, you want a city manager who has the heart and soul of the community in their heart. I truly feel that we have that in our Deputy City Manager, T. Michael Stavres,” said Commissioner Brian Yates. “I think if he’d be willing to accept the role, he’d be the best person to fill those shoes.”
“I have all the faith and trust in T. Michael, and I’m a firm believer of promoting from within,” said Commissioner JP Powell. “I don’t think we need to look any further.” The commission voted unanimously to elevate T. Michael Stavres to the position of City Manager effective upon the departure of Mr. Herr.
Mr. Stavres has worked for the City of Winter Haven since 2001, serving as the Leisure Services Director, Director of Community Services, Assistant City Manager and Deputy City Manager. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree (1992) in Leisure Services & Studies and Master of Science Degree (1997) in Recreation & Leisure Services Administration, both from Florida State University. He is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University. He is recognized as a Credentialed Manager by the International City & County Management Association (ICMA-CM). He is also a Certified Parks & Recreation Professional through the National Recreation & Park Association and is a former President of the Florida Recreation & Park Association. Prior to joining the City of Winter Haven, Mr. Stavres worked with the cities of Temple Terrace, Lakeland and St. Petersburg and Orange County.
His professional involvement within the community includes having served as a Founding Governing Board Member of Cypress Junction Montessori Charter School, Trustee for All Saints Academy, Board Member Emeritus for the Public Education Partnership of Winter Haven, Board Member and past President of Girls, Inc. of Winter Haven, past-Chair of the Polk State College Alumni Association, Advisory Board Member of the Humane Society of Polk County, and Deacon for First Presbyterian Church of Winter Haven. He is a graduate of Leadership Winter Haven and Leadership Polk. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus for Leadership Winter Haven (2016) and Polk State College (2020). In 2020, he was presented the FCCMA Assistant for Excellence in Leadership award. In 2022, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Recreation & Park Association.
Michael is married to his college sweetheart Charlotte (Charlie) Stavres and has one daughter, Delanie.
“Winter Haven has been my family’s home since 1978, and the City is where I first fell in love with public service, being employed as a lifeguard at age 15,” shared Mr. Stavres. “After many years, experiences, and opportunities along the way, it is an honor to receive the full endorsement of the City Commission in being selected to serve as Winter Haven’s next City Manager. I have learned a tremendous amount under the guidance of City Manager Mike Herr and hope to continue the momentum he has initiated during his time here. Likewise it is a privilege to be able to serve our residents and businesses alongside the outstanding men and women who work for the City of Winter Haven. “
“Over the past five years, Mr. Herr has built a strong team and set up Winter Haven to continue moving forward successfully,” shared Mayor Brad Dantzler. “The organization is strong, and we are confident it will move through this upcoming transition successfully. The team is firing on all cylinders and will continue to do so. “
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