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Chatfield resigns as CEO of Southwest Michigan First less than two weeks after being appointed

Chatfield made the announcement on Twitter.
(WILX)
Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 11:34 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Less than two weeks after his hiring on Thursday, Feb. 11, Lee Chatfield is stepping down as CEO of Southwest Michigan First.

Chatfield made the announcement on Twitter, saying the move is “betterment of the Kalamazoo community, the businesses that the board of directors represent, the staff at SWMF and for the sake of my conscience.”

Shortly after his appointment on Feb. 11, several local governing bodies began to withdraw their investment from Southwest Michigan First.

Kalamazoo city commissioners voted to disinvest from Southwest Michigan First on Feb. 15. Additionally, Kalamazoo County commissioners expressed concerns about the new CEO at a Feb. 16 meeting. The Kalamazoo Community Foundation distanced itself from the organization in a written statement on Feb. 18.

In a statement, representatives of Southwest Michigan First said they accepted Chatfield’s resignation at a 10 a.m. board meeting. That statement can be read below.

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