Muskegon County’s economic development organization is seeking new leadership as the firm continues a restructuring focused on attracting new corporate funders and coordinating strategic planning in communities.
Business consultant and entrepreneur Jim Edmonson has led Greater Muskegon Economic Development as president and CEO under a short-term contract that’s set to expire in May.
Edmonson was brought on board roughly three years ago to help restructure the organization, which included a rebranding in late 2020 from Muskegon Area First to Greater Muskegon Economic Development and restructuring the board of directors to include more private-sector members.
Edmonson said the organization secured more than $1 million in fundraising over the last three years, doubling its budget from roughly $500,000 before the restructuring.
“They’ve got a good structure, a new board and some added tasks they do as an organization in terms of contributing to the community through economic and community development. It’s on solid ground, I’d say,” Edmonson told MiBiz.
The organization formed in 1999 to oversee Muskegon County’s economic development efforts. During his leadership stint, Edmonson oversaw a renewed focus on project pipelines, including both expansions and business attraction.
He said top accomplishments in recent years include jumpstarting a food processing incubator and developing a strategic community plan for Muskegon Heights that will help launch the city’s downtown development authority. Expanding broadband internet service also remains a top priority for the organization.
“We’ve had a number of very large industrial projects we helped along in terms of expansions,” Edmonson said. “We’re happy to have gotten those under our belt, which returned faith in the organization to get things done.”
Greater Muskegon Economic Development is now seeking community input for its next president in an online survey that closes on Jan. 26. The organization has retained Ypsilanti-based job search firm Amy Cell Talent to lead the search.