The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) Executive Committee announced today that veteran state and community economic development leader, Donald E. Jakeway, will be hired as the corporation’s new president and chief executive officer.
This position is responsible for leading the MEDC’s 270-member staff in economic development efforts, including economic policy development, tourism promotion, business retention and attraction, technology development, marketing and community development functions.Jakeway also will be charged with developing and implementing a strategic plan, annual operating goals and performance objectives for the MEDC.
“I am honored to take over the role of leading one of the top economic development groups in North America,” Jakeway said.“I hope to bring innovative ideas and a fresh approach to the MEDC which will help businesses grow and succeed in Michigan.”
Jakeway has the backing of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm to work in partnership with David Hollister, director of the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services, in leading the state’s economic development efforts.
“Don and David will be a dynamic duo for supercharging Michigan’s economy,” Granholm said.“Attracting one of the most experienced and accomplished economic development leaders in the country to our team is a true victory for the entire State of Michigan.
“Don’s proven ability to attract jobs and revitalize cities is a winning formula for Michigan,” Granholm added.
Jakeway has more than 30 years of economic development experience at both the state and community levels.For the past six years, Jakeway has been president and CEO of the Regional Growth Partnership based in Toledo, Ohio.This private/public nonprofit development corporation is dedicated to fostering economic development and technology enhancement opportunities in the 11 northwest Ohio counties.Since 2001, the Growth Partnership helped to create more than 3,800 new jobs and spur more than $1.1 billion in private investment.
Before heading the Growth Partnership, Jakeway served for seven years as director of the Ohio Department of Development.This department, responsible for all economic development activities in the state, was made up of more than 12 divisions and 550 employees with an overall budget responsibility for $1.5 billion. Under Jakeway’s leadership, the department was named twice as one of the top 10 development agencies in the world and the state was ranked the top state in the nation for new business expansions three years in a row both by Site Selection magazine.
Jakeway also has held economic development director positions with the cities of Sarasota (Fla.), Lakewood (Ohio) and Cleveland (Ohio).He has a Master’s of Business Administration from Sarasota University and received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Ashland University.
“Don’s impressive economic development track record made him an ideal choice to take over as CEO,” said Matthew P. Cullen, chair of the MEDC Executive Committee. “The Executive Committee is confident that he will take his past lessons learned and turn them into successes for the state of Michigan.”
He is expected to be hired by the 20-member MEDC Executive Committee on Thursday, September 18. Jakeway will begin his new role at the MEDC in mid to late October.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
# # # #