2010 New Town Award Recipient
Donald K. Holland, former Kenosha City Administrator and alderman, received the Carthage “New Town” Award in 2010.
Mr. Holland is a registered civil engineer in Michigan and Wisconsin, and a registered land surveyor in Wisconsin. He spent 32 years working for Kenosha, capping his career with nine years as City Administrator — the highest non-elected position in city government.
Mr. Holland served as city administrator under four mayors. He first worked for the city’s engineering department in the late 1950s, an era when Kenosha was expanding its infrastructure to serve a growing population. After holding administrative positions in Menomonee, Mich., and the newly established Milwaukee suburb of Franklin, he returned to Kenosha in 1964 as director of public works.
During Mr. Holland’s tenure as Administrator, Chrysler closed its Kenosha manufacturing plant in 1988, idling some 5,000 workers. Mr. Holland was a leader of ensuing efforts to diversify the city’s economy, spearheading development of the city’s marina, and working with Wisconsin Energy Corp. to establish a business park near the airport. He also represented the city on a board that administered an educational fund for the children of displaced Chrysler workers. The fund helped pay costs of college or technical training for nearly 1,000 students.
From 1998 until this spring, Mr. Holland served as alderman of the city’s Third District, which covers the lakefront areas south of downtown. During this time, he helped efforts to attract an operating firm for the marina, allowing the facility to be expanded without use of tax funds. He has been a good friend of Carthage, and he is widely admired and respected for his service, his wisdom, and his commitment to Kenosha.
Mr. Holland grew up in Iron Mountain, Mich., where he became an Eagle Scout. After graduating from high school, he entered the Navy Air Corps U-5 program as a midshipman and received a B.S. degree from Michigan Technological University in 1950. He retired with a rank of commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve Civil Engineer Corps after 30 years of active and reserve duty in the Navy.
Mr. Holland and his wife, Joyce, have a blended family with 10 grown children, including John Welch, ’76; and 17 grandchildren, including Graham Welch, ’13.