The Right Place debuts new county partnership model

232
The Right Place serves Lake County in partnership with the Lake County Economic Development Alliance. Courtesy The Right Place

The Right Place is deploying a new approach to its county partnerships to amplify regional economic development efforts.

After several months of listening, planning and examining best practices, The Right Place said Monday, Nov. 22, it will debut a “new and improved” model of regional economic development partnerships in 2022 for seven participating counties across West Michigan: Ionia, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oceana.

The new format is expected to amplify economic development efforts across the region by empowering full-time county executive directors to drive long-term growth opportunities with the support of The Right Place.

To develop the new model, The Right Place held in-depth discussions with county leaders to identify improvements. National consulting firm EY also was engaged to assess the partnerships, evaluate other successful regional models and provide recommendations. The result is a new model that is designed to bring the expertise of an executive director to each county and increase the economic development capacity and outcomes for the communities. Notably, several counties will elevate their positions from part time to full time, allowing for deeper engagement with the local business community.

The new partnership model attracted two new counties, Mason and Mecosta, to The Right Place, creating a coverage area of eight total counties for the organization. The Right Place serves Kent County and now has partner agreements with Ionia, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oceana.

“We’re pleased to offer a more sustainable and robust new model to our partners that will boost economic outcomes in each county and the region as a whole,” said Randy Thelen, president and CEO of The Right Place. “Regionalism is a cornerstone of our people, place and prosperity strategy, and I’m confident our innovative new approach will increase the entire region’s competitive advantage.”

Details of each county partnership:

Ionia

Partner organization: Ionia County Economic Alliance

Number of years served by The Right Place: 11

Executive director: Ryan Wilson, who started this month

Lake

Partner organization: Lake County Economic Development Alliance

Number of years served by The Right Place: three

Executive director: Jodi Nichols, who started in October 2018

Mason

Partner organization: Ludington & Scottsville Area Chamber of Commerce

Number of years served by The Right Place: new partnership

Economic development director: currently hiring for the position

Mecosta

Partner organization: Mecosta County Development

Number of years served by The Right Place: new partnership

Executive director: currently hiring

Montcalm

Partner organization: Montcalm Economic Alliance

Number of years served by The Right Place: seven

Executive director: Olivia Blomstrom, who started this month

Newaygo

Partner organization: County of Newaygo

Number of years served by The Right Place: seven

Economic development director: Julie Burrell, started June 2018

Oceana

Partner organization: Oceana County Economic Alliance

Number of years served by The Right Place: three

Executive director: currently hiring

Facebook Comments