LANSING—Officials at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced that Jen Nelson has been appointed COO for the organization. Nelson returns to the MEDC, where she will lead MEDC organizational operations, including development and implementation of MEDC’s strategic plan as well as MEDC’s continuous improvement and organizational performance initiatives.
“Jen brings an incredible wealth of experiences in economic development and the state’s business community to this role, in addition to her knowledge and insights into MEDC as an organization,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “We are thrilled to welcome Jen back to MEDC to help Team Michigan advance our collective mission to accelerate upward economic mobility across the state and make Michigan the top four-season economy in North America.”
Nelson returns to MEDC from Business Leaders for Michigan, where she has served as Vice President of Public Policy and Economic Development for the past four years. In that role, Nelson has focused on issues around K-12 education, workforce development and economic development throughout Michigan. Most notably, Nelson helped establish Launch Michigan, an unprecedented partnership of business, education, labor, philanthropy, civic leaders, and parents with a goal to create a high-quality, PreK-12 student-centered system–one that helps every student succeed in school, in their careers, and in life.
“I could not be more excited to return to the MEDC and utilize all that I’ve learned during my time at Business Leaders for Michigan to continue to advance Michigan’s statewide economic development strategy,” Nelson said. “A key part of this mission is collaboration, and I am committed to working diligently with anyone who wants to be part of growing prosperity in Michigan, while empowering the MEDC team to become the best organization of its kind in the nation.”
In addition to leading MEDC’s strategic plan initiatives, as COO, Nelson will spearhead organizational strategy and execution as well as key outreach initiatives, working directly with the MEDC Executive Committee, the Michigan Strategic Fund Board, the Collaborative Development Council, the Michigan Economic Development Foundation, Business Leaders for Michigan, and other stakeholders statewide.
“Jen’s in-depth understanding of the business, economic and talent-focused issues faced by Michigan has greatly enhanced our work to make us a more competitive state,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “We are excited for Jen to join the leadership team at MEDC and the work we’ll continue to do together to create a stronger state with widely shared prosperity.”
Nelson’s return to MEDC will build on 12 years of previous experience within the organization, serving in several leadership roles, including Executive Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Legal Counsel. Earlier in her career, Nelson practiced as an attorney in Dykema Gossett’s public finance corporate group.
Nelson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in speech communication from Northern Michigan University and a law degree from Michigan State University College of Law.
More at www.michiganbusiness.com.