The Michigan Economic Development Corporation executive committee has appointed MEDC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Arwood as MEDC CEO, effective immediately. He replaces Michael A. Finney, who was named Gov. Rick Snyder’s senior advisor for economic growth in December.
Following Arwood’s appointment as MEDC CEO, Snyder named Arwood president and chairman of the Michigan Strategic Fund.
“Steve Arwood, in leadership positions in my administration, has demonstrated a real feel for what it takes to grow our economy and his appointment to chair MSF is important to our continuing reinvention of Michigan,” Snyder said. “We are committed to bringing our state workforce capabilities to new levels of excellence. Steve’s service will be vital to our success.”
As CEO, Arwood is charged with implementing and executing MEDC’s core mission of business development and attraction, community development, providing access to capital and improving Michigan’s image and brand. His responsibilities will include administering all programs, funds, personnel, contracts and all other administrative functions of MEDC.
“Steve has an extraordinary track record of accomplishment and knowledge of our state’s business climate,” said MEDC Executive Committee Chair and President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan Doug Rothwell. “His experience in energy development, the Michigan Jobs Commission, the National Federation of Independent Business and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs makes him an ideal fit as we move forward and take the next steps to improve Michigan’s economy.”
Arwood has also been named director of the newly-created Talent and Economic Development Department, announced by the governor in December. The new department was created to ensure that the state can efficiently and effectively develop, administer and coordinate Michigan’s economic, housing, and talent development initiatives and programs.
Prior to joining MEDC last August, Arwood served as chief regulatory officer and director of licensing and regulatory affairs where he led reforms of the state’s regulatory and licensing environment. Under his leadership, more than 1,500 unnecessary and duplicative regulations were eliminated across state government. He previously served as LARA deputy director overseeing the Unemployment Insurance Agency and Employment Security and Workplace Safety, which includes MIOSHA, Employment Relations and Workers’ Compensation.
He joined LARA in 2011 from Windlab Developments, USA, LTD, where he served as U.S. regional director.
He has worked in wind energy development, conservation, and business development since 1999. He previously served as deputy director and other executive management positions at the Michigan Jobs Commission under Governor John Engler. He has also served as director for the House of Representatives Programs and Policy, and the National Federation for Independent Business-Michigan.
Arwood is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University.