West Michigan BBB president and CEO to retire this year

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Phil Catlett. Courtesy BBB Serving Western Michigan

The president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Western Michigan said he is retiring from his position at the end of the year.

Phil Catlett served as president and CEO of the BBB Serving Western Michigan for 10 years. The organization’s board of directors currently is concluding its search for Catlett’s replacement.

Prior to his time with the BBB, Catlett had a career in radio advertising sales. He moved his way up from account manager to eventually holding national sales manager and vice president titles for some of the largest radio communications companies serving West Michigan.

Over the years, Catlett led the BBB Serving Western Michigan to serve the community with education programs and to maintain a large database of information on the trustworthiness of companies and charities.

Catlett managed the local BBB through two office moves; changes in the national structure of the BBB; diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives; the pandemic; and the changing landscape of the workplace.

“Phil’s steady and consistent leadership, particularly in the past 18 months, has been critical to the BBB’s success,” said Mark Tomasik, vice president and deputy general counsel of DP Fox Ventures and current BBB Serving Western Michigan board chair. “His charismatic presence and ability to command an audience has resulted in the BBB raising its profile throughout West Michigan and particularly within the Grand Rapids business community.

“I particularly recall Phil standing up on stage at the Econ Club, in a room with close to 1,000 people, and presenting awards to our local businesses here in West Michigan. Phil is always smiling and positive. I can’t recall a single instance over the past five years where he wasn’t upbeat and excited about the possibilities that lay ahead.”

The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB), the network hub for BBBs, experienced structural and process changes over the past 10 years, and Catlett worked with IABBB leadership and his peers to help those causes and to position BBB Serving Western Michigan as one of the top BBBs in the system, the local organization said.

“The people and institutions of West Michigan make it a great place to live, work and enjoy our family,” Catlett said. “… I am grateful to everyone who has been a part of this journey. BBB-accredited businesses and charities, the board of directors, our talented team of BBB professionals in West Michigan and throughout North America. The BBB has been around for 109 years now, and I hope this trust-building work will continue with much success for centuries to come.”

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