KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Lee Chatfield, former speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, has been appointed CEO of Southwest Michigan First, according to a news release Thursday.
“We are proud to welcome Lee Chatfield to our team as CEO and are excited to work with him to do even more to improve our region and assist companies in creating Michigan jobs,” said Aaron Zeigler, chairman of the regional development organization. “Southwest Michigan First has had incredible leadership and success over the years, but we are eager to see Lee grow our company and expand our impact and footprint even more. We believe he has the right vision and work ethic to partner with our team to take us to new heights. We couldn’t be more excited.”
Chatfield was part of the state House of Representatives for six years and served as speaker of the house and speaker pro-tempore for four of those years.
“I am looking forward to partnering with an amazing organization that’s focused on creating more opportunities and good-paying jobs in our state and this region in particular,” Chatfield said. “There’s so much more we can do to grow and assist people in these challenging times.”
During his time in the House, Chatfield focused on several economic development initiatives, including the MIthrive program created to support redevelopment projects and paving a path for a new arena in Kalamazoo.