President and Chief Executive Officer

7 days left

Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
Sep 29, 2020
Oct 28, 2020
Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time

The Right Place

President and Chief Executive Officer


President and Chief Executive Officer


The Right Place


Grand Rapids, MI

Reporting Relationship

This position reports to the Board of Directors



Since its inception, The Right Place (RPI) has assisted thousands of West Michigan companies to invest more than $5 billion and 45,800 new jobs throughout the region. With 33 employees and a budget of $7 million, RPI serves the 13-county West Michigan region, including Grand Rapids.

West Michigan is the fastest-growing economy in the U.S. and The Right Place is the leading economic development organization in the region, offering comprehensive business services across industry sectors ranging from manufacturing to information technology. Every day, The Right Place meets with current and prospective companies, connecting them to the resources they need to grow in the Grand Rapids region.

Nationally, Grand Rapids has been recognized with significant accolades that attract businesses and their employees, including being named among the Top 10 “Emerging Cities” in the US for global trade by Global Trade Magazine. Grand Rapids was also named the 2nd best place to live in the United States and the Best City for Raising a Family by Forbes due to the low cost of living and having a school system that ranks in the top third of the country.

The Right Place is a best-in-class economic development organization, helping companies to grow, innovate and succeed, as evidenced by western Michigan regional industry highlights: 

  • More than 130 international companies
  • The world headquarters for such companies as Amway, BISSELL, Steelcase, Herman Miller, and Wolverine World Wide
  • 8th largest biopharmaceuticals cluster in the U.S
  • #13 among states for individuals in science & engineering occupations as a percentage of workforce
  • The food & agriculture industry in Michigan contributes $91.4 billion annually to the state’s economy


The President and CEO of The Right Place is the trusted voice and champion for business and economic development and provides visionary and inspirational leadership to the organization and the community for the 13-county West Michigan region. The Right Place prides itself on maintaining a team of highly respected and highly skilled professionals with expertise in economic development, marketing and finance. The role of the CEO is to provide oversight and leadership of this team and ensure they execute on the mission and strategies of The Right Place. Additionally, the CEO will work in partnership with the Board and staff to refine and adjust the vision of the organization to ensure RPI continues to excel in reaching both its short-term and long-term strategic goals.

As importantly, the role of the CEO is also to promote and actively champion West Michigan within the regional, state, national and international level, conveying to all applicable stakeholders (businesses, government entities and citizens) the assets of West Michigan, which should attract businesses to relocate to or remain; the value of the economic development work in which RPI is engaged and the strategic opportunities available to the region; and how RPI may assist the county governments, cities and the state in pursuing these opportunities. In short, the CEO, together with local civic leaders, is the “Salesperson-in-Chief” in touting West Michigan to the world as “the Right Place” as a destination for serious economic activity. 


The CEO will be a dynamic, innovative, and consensus-building leader that will develop relationships and collaborate with the region’s investors, businesses, community groups and various government officials (e.g., the Mayor, County Commissioners, state agency and their staffs),who coordinate with the Organization in helping it execute on its strategies and its mission.

The CEO is responsible for the overall financial, strategic and cultural success of the organization.  In addition, this leader’s responsibilities include: 

  • Develop and maintain high-level and deep alliances, partnerships and relationships to advance the mission of the organization. Collaborate with business, government (state and local), educational institutions, and other economic development organizations in the region and the state.
  • Lead strategic planning process and innovation efforts. Provide vision and innovation to the organization. Report updates and performance metrics regularly to the Board of Directors, investors, and other community stakeholders. Advise the Board on key issues of impact and trends in economic development for the organization.
  • Develop and maintain a high-quality and results-oriented staff. Approve all positions and new hires. Ensure that regular performance feedback is provided to all staff. Monitor compensation, benefit, and employee relations issues to provide a work environment that is attractive and motivating to the best national and international talent.
  • Serve as the primary organization contact to the Board of Directors. Provide reports, updates, and other operational information to the Board for governance purposes. Execute plans as decided by the Board of Directors. Work with board to nominate future Board members.
  • Oversee the development of fundraising strategies to secure financial resources for 3-year plan. Oversee all areas of donor and investor relations. Work with Fund Development Director to ensure that the investors are informed and engaged with the organization’s mission. Participate appropriately with investor communications, including plan updates and acknowledgements. 
  • Oversee the implementation of the marketing plan to deliver on the 3-year Strategic Plan. Establish annual benchmarks to measure progress with Strategic Plan. Oversee and develop the implementation of marketing strategies. Develop and implement business attraction strategies, domestically and internationally.
  • Develop and maintain international contacts and business relationships to attract businesses around the globe to West Michigan.
  • Represent the organization and advocate at government hearings, meetings, and other political gatherings.
  • Serve as the primary public spokesperson for The Right Place. Represent the organization internationally to businesses, governments, technical leaders, and others who can advance the economic development of West Michigan.
  • Represent the organization and the region at national and international trade shows, conferences, and events.
  • Oversee the financial performance of the organization. Work with the COO to develop an annual budget and maintain a sound financial plan for the organization. The CEO is ultimately responsible for all fiscal matters of The Right Place.
  • Ensures that the organization is leading in diversity, equity and inclusion across economic development and across our community; Ensures a commitment to DEI in our internal culture.


  • A successful track record in economic development, business, community investment, job creation, and/or related industry. Must have demonstrated experience and credibility in fundraising, international attraction, leadership and talent development.
  • Exceptional relationship management skills and excitement about the field of economic development.
  • Demonstrated ability to innovate and develop an organization, region or commercial enterprises through generational shifts, economic cycles and/or industry trend changes.
  • Proven leadership skills to collaborate with a diverse group of people: Board of Directors, business leaders, and community stakeholders.
  • Non-partisan political acuity – demonstrated ability to understand the marketing and political aspects of economic development.
  • Strong collaboration abilities and listening skills. Willing to work as part of a team or consortium to advance the development of the region.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and presentation skills to be effective in a highly visible role. Able to interact easily with civic and business leaders.
  • Able to positively convey the image of the organization in-person and through social media.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement a strategic plan.
  • Strong marketing skills. Experienced with developing and managing a marketing strategy and communications campaign for major initiatives.
  • Able to synthesize, assess, and act upon complex situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to build a strong team and manage a diverse staff.
  • Demonstrated leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion internally and externally throughout their career.
  • Unquestionable personal and professional integrity.


Bachelors’ Degree required in Business, Public Policy, Finance, or other related discipline. Masters’ Degree preferred.  International Economic Development Council (IEDC) certification desirable.


A competitive compensation package, including a bonus plan and benefits, will be provided. This is a full-time, exempt position.


Direct inquiries to:


Kate Shattuck

Senior Client Partner



Charlie Ingersoll

Senior Client Partner



Nora Sutherland

Senior Associate







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