(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
The Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership (SEDP) hosted a meeting of the Detroit Regional Business Attraction Group on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at The Armory in downtown Owosso, which featured the introduction of the entity’s new CEO, Barry Matherly. During the meeting, Matherly introduced himself to the group of economic leaders who gathered from across southeastern Michigan, and requested input from the group of stakeholders.
Matherly was hired as CEO on Thursday, Nov. 1 for the new business attraction and regional marketing entity, which was co-created by the Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC). Matherly, nationally recognized by peers for his leadership and expertise in business attraction, will transition from his current role leading the Greater Richmond Partnership – a similar initiative in Virginia.
The new 11-county entity will build upon the DRC’s award-winning Destination Detroit business attraction program. The DRC’s existing staff will join Matherly to form the basis of the new entity and seed the start up operations with an existing pipeline of projects and performance metrics. To drive efficiency and coordination, Matherly and staff will be co-located at the DRC offices.
Matherly was selected due to his proven track record for regional business attraction. The Richmond metropolitan region, comprised of county suburbs and an urban core, benefited from Matherly’s professional, diplomatic, unified approach to bring the region together. During its 2017–2018 fiscal year, the Greater Richmond Partnership’s work resulted in 20 economic development projects and 1,623 new jobs for residents in addition to taxable capital investment for governments. A certified economic developer, Matherly has more than 24 years of experience and serves on the Executive Board of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, where he is also an institute instructor.
A search committee comprised of DRC President and CEO Sandy Baruah and executive leaders from regional businesses including DTE Energy, PNC, PwC, Quicken Loans Family of Companies and Strategic Staffing Solutions, recommended Matherly’s selection. To gain input and ensure agreement, the search committee arranged for Matherly to meet with key city and county leaders, as well as regional economic development professionals before making the final selection. The initial board of directors for the new entity approved Matherly’s selection as CEO. SEDP President and CEO Justin Horvath (standing) can be seen introducing CEO Barry Matherly during the Detroit Regional Business Attraction Group meeting on Wednesday at The Armory.