Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s executive committee today announced the approval of Jeff Mason as the organization’s new CEO. Mason assumed the position immediately upon approval.
Mason was unanimously approved for the position two weeks after Gov. Rick Snyder recommended him to oversee the MEDC, the state’s marketing and business attraction arm. The MEDC is responsible for overseeing the administration of grants and other incentives approved by the Michigan Strategy Fund (MSF) board with the goal of encouraging businesses to locate and expand in Michigan.
“Michigan has taken great strides to create a business-friendly climate built on a strong foundation of low taxes, reduced regulation, fiscal stability, and timely incentives,” says Mason. “Key to our continued growth is ongoing support for communities of all sizes around the state, and the ongoing development of the talent pipeline.”
Mason replaces Steve Arwood, who became MEDC’s CEO in Jan. 2015.
“Jeff has a breadth of experience and knowledge about the driving forces and innovation reshaping Michigan’s economy,” says Snyder. “He is a proven leader distinguished by an inclusive, collaborative approach. On many levels, Jeff is a natural choice as MEDC CEO because of his grasp of public-sector policies, private-sector realities, and first-hand work with the state’s leading research institutions.”
Snyder also named Mason as president and chairman of the MSF, effective immediately. The MSF’s next board meeting will be held July 25.
Mason has experience in economic development, including serving as senior vice president for business development during his 10-year tenure at MEDC, from 1999-2009. He also previously served eight years as executive director at the University Research Corridor, an alliance of the state’s three leading research institutions — University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University, where 94 percent of the state’s higher education research and development is conducted.
“Jeff has all the qualities you'd want in a president and CEO of the MEDC — integrity, a deep understanding of how economic development works, and great leadership skills,” says Doug Rothwell, executive committee chair of MEDC. “The executive committee has great confidence in this appointment.”