Jerry IhlerCity Manager
Jerry Ihler was born and raised in Madison, South Dakota.He graduated from Madison High School in 1976. Upon graduation from high school he moved to Oklahoma City where he spent the summer working for an oil well servicing company. It was during that summer, while working in the oil and gas fields, that Ihler decided to enroll in Engineering School at New Mexico State University (NMSU) located in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Ihler earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering in May 1982 at New Mexico State University. While at NMSU, he participated in the Engineering Co-op Trainee Program working two six-month semesters in the fall of 1978 and in the spring of 1980 with the International Engineering Firm of Black & Veatch Consulting Engineers in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1978 while at NMSU, Ihler met Jini Gunaji. They were married in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1982. Together they raised two daughters, Amanda and Kristie, and son, Joshua.
Ihler first accepted a job with the City of Lawton as a Project Engineer in 1982 where he was responsible for the design, review, contract administration and construction administration of Municipal Engineering Projects — including coordination of projects from conception to completion of construction. In late 1989 he moved his family to Palm Desert, California where he accepted a job as Project Manager for BSI Consultants, Inc., a San Diego based Top 500 Architectural – Engineering Firm. In 1991 he was promoted to Vice President\District Manager in charge of three offices located in Rancho Mirage, San Bernardino and Lancaster, California. As Vice President in a Principal Supervisory position he coordinated projects with clients and over 350 personnel in nine California offices as well as offices in Seattle and Phoenix. BSI Consultants, Inc. specialized in serving government agencies while providing extensive experience in the fields of public works engineering, operations and management.
In 1992, he returned to Lawton where he accepted the position of City Engineer. In 1995, a reorganization of City Departments combined the roles of City Engineer and Public Works Director.
Ihler has spent the past 20 years managing and supervising 19 divisions and 320 employees within the Public works/Engineering Department with an annual budget of approximately $35 million. In addition, he has managed multiple Capital Improvement Programs ranging from $30 million to $110 million. These programs have included a $100 million Sewer Rehabilitation Program mandated by EPA, the Southeast Water Treatment Plant and multiple roadway improvements such as Rogers Lane, Flower Mound Road and 82nd Street.
In April of 2015, Ihler became the Assistant City Manager of Operations. He was then appointed Acting City Manager on May 26, 2015, and then appointed City Manager for the City of Lawton on June 23, 2015.
During his career with the City of Lawton, Ihler has received the Southwest Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineer’s (South Central Chapter) Outstanding Young Engineer of the Year Award. He also served as the State Municipal Appointee to the State of Oklahoma’s Advisory Council for Hazardous Waste Material. The City of Lawton received the National League of City’s Silver Status Award for the success of Lawton Oklahoma’s In-House Innovative Sewer Rehabilitation Program established and managed by Ihler.