DEGC George Jackson
Jackson will remain at helm of DEGC until March 31 to assist with transition, and will continue to serve as board and executive committee member
Rod Gillum, Chairman of the Board of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), announced today that its President and CEO, George W. Jackson, Jr., is resigning, effective March 31, 2014. Jackson is leaving Detroit’s primary non-profit economic development organization to form a Detroit-based private consulting and development firm. Jackson will continue to serve as a member of DEGC’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee after March 31. The DEGC Board has begun the search for Jackson’s successor.
“George Jackson is an exceptional leader, and we will miss him tremendously at DEGC,” said Gillum. “We are very pleased to know that he intends to continue accelerating economic development in Detroit, but in a new and different role. With Jackson at the helm, DEGC has had a remarkable track record of success — even through incredibly challenging times. I have no doubt he will continue his success, and the city of Detroit will see the benefits of that as well.”
“I love this city,” said Jackson. “I see tremendous opportunities here, and will continue to support its revitalization, but in a new role. I had a tremendous run at DEGC working with great companies here and from around the world, and solid partners in the private and foundation communities. Now it’s time to return to my roots in the private sector, which I have been thinking about for at least 5 years, and further accelerate the development in Detroit. I look forward to working with great partners as we continue to transform Detroit into a leader of innovative urban redevelopment.”
Mayor Mike Duggan said, “George and I have been good friends for many years. I have enormous respect for the work he has done. His leadership over the years at DEGC has helped lay the groundwork for a very bright future for Detroit. I wish him well as he begins the next chapter of his life.”
Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said, “George has been in the forefront of most of the positive business activity in Detroit since he came to DEGC. He has had his hand on all the economic development successes we see around us. He brings credibility to developers because he knows the nuances of financial packages, and the ability to put together a first rate project. George has been a personal friend for 30 years, and I am glad he’s not leaving the area because he is going to be personally successful, and the city of Detroit will benefit from that.”
Cindy Pasky, President and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions and Board Chair of the Downtown Detroit Partnership said, “George Jackson has been an engine of economic growth in Detroit. He has steered big and small projects into our city, enticing big businesses, small business and budding entrepreneurs to set down roots here. That commitment has strengthened the city, created jobs, improved the quality of life for our residents and has indeed made investing in Detroit a full, rich experience.”
Among the accomplishments of DEGC under Jackson’s leadership have been:
Removing cement silos along the Detroit River and leading the transformation of the Detroit Riverfront from industrial to mixed use, featuring recreational access to the river, infrastructure improvements and private development
The transformation of Downtown with street and building improvements and new development that started before Super Bowl XXL, have continued ever since, and can still be seen today
The $190 million restoration and reopening of the Book Cadillac as the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel
The deal that kept General Motors’ world headquarters in Detroit and consolidated staff Downtown
Innovative programs and incentives that relocated Quicken Loans to Detroit, consolidated operations of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan here and led to the re-concentration of technology and creative companies in Downtown and Midtown, bringing in well over 10,000 new employees
A lead role in transformational residential development projects in Downtown and Midtown.
Negotiations that created the Detroit Regional Convention Center Authority and facilitated a $279 million renovation of Cobo Center
Negotiating a $650 million private-public partnership deal to develop a world-class entertainment and sports district in the heart of Downtown
The largest retail development in more than 40 years, anchored by a Meijer superstore
Innovative programs to support local retailers, especially grocery stores and other companies in the food industry
The opening of Whole Foods Market – the first national grocery chain to open in Detroit in decades
Maintaining and revitalizing manufacturing investments by General Motors, Chrysler, and other suppliers from around the world
Steering the development and beginning implementation of Detroit Future City, a comprehensive 50-year framework to help guide decision makers as they revitalize the city with innovative approaches
An impeccable record of fiscal and ethical responsibility, maintaining balanced budgets and clean auditing reports for DEGC and the public authorities it administers, including the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit, Downtown Development Authority, Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and others.
Jackson has served as President and CEO of DEGC since February 2002. Prior to his appointment, he worked for 27 years at DTE Energy, rising to the position of Director of Customer Marketing. Jackson has worked in the field of economic development since 1984, and has played an influential role in the City of Detroit, Southeastern Michigan and State of Michigan economic development programs, initiatives and organizations. He has also served as an advisor to corporate, political, government, community, civic and educational executives and leaders on economic development issues.

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