University Research Corridor director named to lead MEDC

Jeff Mason, the current executive director of Michigan’s University Research Corridor, has been selected to replace Steve Arwood as CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Gov. Rick Snyder recommended Mason, 58, for the post Thursday, after announcing in late May that Arwood would be leaving to spend more time with family.

The MEDC Executive Committee is to meet July 11 to consider Mason for the position, according to a news release. His start date will be determined at that meeting.

Mason is declining to comment on the move until after the board approves his recommendation, MEDC spokeswoman Emily Guerrant said in an email.

“Jeff has a long history of commitment and dedication to improving Michigan’s economy and growing jobs — from his previous time at MEDC to the past eight years with the University Research Corridor,” Snyder said in the release. “He also has a background with the tourism industry, which will help continue to drive the successful Pure Michigan campaign to new heights.”

Mason has led the URC for about eight years. Before that, he worked at MEDC for 10 years, including serving as senior vice president and chief business development officer 2007-09.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business.

“The progress made over the past seven years to improve our state business climate is paying off,” Mason said in the release. “We are a more competitive and attractive state to companies looking to invest, but there is still more work to be done. MEDC’s community development programs are stronger than ever, and our connection into the talent pipeline efforts continues to grow.”

Arwood is stepping down effective June 30, Crain’s reported last month. He made the decision to resign, but told Crain’s that he is not retiring and will take some time to decide what he’ll do next.

Snyder had nominated Jennifer Nelson, executive vice president of business development within the MEDC, to serve as interim director during the search.

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