Mayor Najwa Massad and the City Council are pleased to announce that following a nationwide search, four finalists have been identified as candidates for the Mankato City Manager position.

“We are pleased to have been able to attract well-qualified candidates from across the country to apply for the city manager position,” says Mayor Massad. “Many were drawn to Mankato because it’s a vibrant, attractive and economically stable community. We are confident that we have a qualified slate of finalists for this important position.”


Susan Arntz
City Administrator, City of Waconia (population 13,100)

Arntz holds a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Augsburg College. She previously served as assistant city manager in New Brighton, Minn. from 1998-2001 and as assistant administrator/economic development coordinator in Chaska, Minn. from 1995-1998.

George Lahanas
City Manager, City of East Lansing, Mich. (population 49,000)
January 2012-present

Lahanas has a master’s of public administration and bachelor’s degrees from Northern Michigan University. He began his career with East Lansing in 1999 as a labor relations specialist, was the city’s human resources director from 2001-2005 and administrative services director from 2005-2008. He served as deputy city manager in East Lansing for three and one-half years before becoming city manager.

Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez
City Manager, City of Wasco, Calif. (population 29,000)
September 2018-present

Hernandez holds a master’s in public administration degree from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California-Northridge. He previously served as city manager of Webster City, Iowa from 2016-2018, as city administrator of Kimball, Neb. from 2013-2016 and as management analyst for the City of Casa Grande, Ariz. from 2009-2012.

John Prescott
City Manager, Vermillion, South Dakota (population 15,000)
March 2005-present

Prescott holds a master’s in public administration degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He previously served as assistant to the city manager/assistant city manager in Kearney, Neb. from 1992-2005. He began his career as an intern with the City of Burnsville, Minn. in 1992.

The Mankato City Council worked with the Mercer Group to conduct a national search. There were 44 applicants, which were narrowed to 11 and then to four by a sub-committee of the City Council, including the Mayor, and the Mercer Group.

Arrangements are underway for the finalists to visit Mankato on Thursday, September 24 and Friday, September 25. Details of the next steps in the interview process are being finalized and will be announced at a later date.