Snyder and Granholm Announce New Leadership at the MEDC

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

It may just be the most important appointments yet for the incoming administration in terms of creating jobs and retaining business here.

So Governor-elect Rick Snyder invited Governor Granholm to share in the responsibility of naming the new board of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

"I'm glad this joint announcement shows just how important the MEDC is and how important it will remain," Governor Granholm said Monday.

The two started with a clean slate, the current board all resigned, and each named 10 people of their choosing - some re appointments.

For CEO, Snyder picked a man he recruited before to head up a similar-type organization in Ann Arbor called SPARK.

"Mike Finney is one of the greatest economic development professionals in the country," Snyder said Monday.

For Chairman of the Board, Snyder went to a man who knows the job well -- Doug Rothwell - the current CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.

If the name Doug Rothwell doesn't ring a bell to those in mid Michigan, the projects he worked on as CEO of the MEDC under Governor Engler, should, like bringing minor league baseball to Michigan.

"We worked on Jackson National Life, keeping them in town, bringing the Lugnuts here, keeping GM," Former Mayor David Hollister said. "Doug played a critical role in all of those projects."

Then-mayor David Hollister worked with Rothwell on several occasions and projects. He believes he's a great fit to chair the MEDC.

"I'm very encouraged by this appointment, I think he will serve the city and state well," Hollister said.

Snyder said the state ranks among the lowest in projected economic growth. He said with these new appointments, he looking to 'overachieve.'

Snyder could have made all of the appointments himself, but he says he wanted to work in the spirit of cooperation to get the best people for the job.

He did say he would like to see the direction of the MEDC change from looking to bring outside business in, to what he calls: "economic gardening," which he said, means making the businesses already here happy.


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