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Your Partner in Growing Your Community

History

On May 25th, 1960, MEDA was established by a group of 15 men at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing, MI, in order to have a "discussion of the merits of having an independent organization of men who devote the majority of their time to industrial development." The meeting, "concluded with the agreement that an informal organization was advisable for the present."

As written in the 1989-1990 Annual Report, "MIDA's roots can be traced to an Industrial Development Advisory Committee to the Michigan Department of Economic Development, a small agency which later became a component of the Commerce Department. This committee included industrial agents employed by five railroads, four public utilities and three communities. The Michigan State Chamber was starting and also wanted an advisory committee made up of the same individuals.

Motivation for a separate association in 1960 was a desire for independence from both government control and chamber influence. Since then, the pendulum has swung back and forth like the clapper of the Liberty Bell, with some resounding pronouncements and a few cracked notes.

Chairman of the advisory committee was Horace Brewer, MIDA's founder, an Industrial Agent working for Consumers Power Company. His colleagues had mentioned the need for an informal professional association. He found an opportunity to discuss it with his boss while returning in the company limousine from a plant dedication. The Vice President offered enthusiastic support for the idea and suggested that Brewer invite the developers to a company camp at Tippy Dam for an organizational meeting. This is the origin of the apocryphal story that MIDA was conceived in the back seat of a limousine and born at Tippy Dam.

Click here to view our 50th Anniversary Historical Magazine.

We also created a video of photos that we collected. Click here to view our 50 Years of MEDA - Thanks for the Memories video.

Founding Members

Horace Brewer, Robert Byers, James Coates, Robert Gage, Jack Kavanaugh, William McClelland, George Moffett, Robert Nicholson, John O'Neill, Gustav Peterson, Gerald Smith, Clifford Webb, Don Weeks, Carl Wilkins and Wilbur Young.

Previous Names

Michigan Professional Industrial Development Association (MPIDA) Michigan Industrial Developers Association (MIDA)

Past Presidents

  • 2019 - Justin Horvath
  • 2018 - Monique Holliday-Bettie
  • 2017 - Amy Clickner
  • 2016 - Stephanie Carroll
  • 2015 - Kara Wood
  • 2014 - Ara Topouzian
  • 2013 - Janice Karcher
  • 2012 - Peggy Black
  • 2011 - Scott Fleming & Peggy Black
  • 2010 - Joe Esbrook
  • 2009 - Perrin Emanuel
  • 2008 - Jill Bland
  • 2007 - Ray DeWinkle
  • 2006 - Susan M.C. Pigg
  • 2005 - Barry Visel
  • 2004 - Jeff Ratcliffe
  • 2003 - Maureen Krauss
  • 2002 - Steve Jonas
  • 2001 - Susan Lackey
  • 2000 - Roger Royer
  • 1999 - William Cotton
  • 1993 - Gregory Woodbury
  • 1992 - Patricia Crawford-Lucas
  • 1991 - Patricia Crawford-Lucas
  • 1990 - Timothy Schroeder
  • 1989 - Donald Schurr
  • 1988 - Jeffrey Kaczmarek
  • 1987 - Robert Sieghart
  • 1986 - Charlie Johnson
  • 1985 - James Hundiak
  • 1984 - John Lindale
  • 1983 - Matthew Piernick
  • 1982 - Michael S. Ammann
  • 1981 - Charles A. Schrenk
  • 1980 - Clifford A. Kleier
  • 1979 - Richard R. Surbrook
  • 1978 - Anthony Jarrett
  • 1977 - James R. Dane
  • 1976 - 1976 - Basil P. Inkpe
  • 1975 - William B. Berrington
  • 1974 - Robert M. Stevens
  • 1973 - Wilber M. Young
  • 1972 - Ray G. Steeb
  • 1971 - Michael Michels
  • 1970 - William McClelland
  • 1969 - Thomas L. Diak
  • 1968 - Daniel R. Andrew
  • 1967 - William Cronenwett
  • 1966 - John P. Kavanaugh
  • 1965 - Gus Peterson
  • 1964 - Robert L. Gage
  • 1963 - George Moffett
  • 1962 - William Farrell
  • 1961 - John F. O’Neill
  • 1960 - Horace Brewer

 

 

 

Interesting Bits

For the first meeting of the association, the group was referred to as the "Professional Industrial Development Men."

  • Click here for the minutes of the first meeting (from May 25, 1960).
  • Click here for an "Economic Echoes" news article from 1961.
  • Click here for a 1961 news article titled "Industry Aid Holds Perils."
  • Click here for the early financing of MEDA.
  • Click here for an article from 1962 entitled: "State Economic Picture Weighed."
  • Click here for MEDA's role in early legislation.
  • Click here for an article titled "Municipal Borrowing for Industrial Development."
  • Click here for the Legislative Committee report on Economic Growth from 1962.
  • Click here for the First Draft of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds from 1963.
  • Click here for 1963 Proposal for Sales Tax Refund.
  • Click here for the 1963 Governor's Tax Reform Program.
  • Click here for a September 1964 announcement - State Approved $60,000 for Advertising.
  • Click here for November 1964 MEDA (MPIDA) Minutes Changing Membership Requirements.
  • Click here for August 1966 minutes with a tough stance on attendance at meetings.
  • Click here for changes in communication over the years - August 1966.
  • Click here for a 1967 Invitation to the World Trade Program.
  • Click here for the 1967 Governors Tax Revenue and Reform.
  • Click here for the First MIDA-Sponsored Legislation in 1987.

Six of MEDA's first sixteen Presidents were railroad industrial agents. According to the 1989 - 1990 Annual Report, "The term "industrial agent" was a railroad job title and became the civil service designation for a professional in the field. Railroads were among the first industrial developers in America, employing special agents to sell industrial and commercial sites along their routes. The land had been granted to the rail companies as a development incentive to construct the system."

The first Membership Directory was printed in 1973. In order to print the directory, each member had to order 33 copies at a price of $30. Today the Membership Directory is available online (updated each time a member is added) and a printable PDF copy available online and updated quarterly.

Past Award Winners

Click here to view past winners of the MEDA Medalist of the Year, Mike Conboy Professional Development and Robert Siehart Award for Enthusiasm for the Economic Development Profession.

MEDA Staff

john-avery

John Avery

Executive Director

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Cassandra for Web

Cassandra Jorae

Director of Marketing, Communications, and Administration

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Madi for Web

Madi Sholtz

Education, Advocacy, and Certified Business Park Manager

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Ph: 517-241-0011
P.O. Box 15096, Lansing, MI 48901-5096

Not sure who to contact? Send your message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and it will be forwarded to the correct person.

MEDA Awards

MEDA Medalist of the Year Award

For Outstanding Contributions to Economic Development in Michigan
The Medalist Award identifies outstanding contributions to economic development within Michigan. Recipients of this award have demonstrated commitment to the profession of economic development, dedication to the growth of his or her community of responsibility, and have shown a record of achievement for an extended period of time.

The Medalist Award is not limited to MEDA members.

Mike Conboy Professional Development Award

For Outstanding Contributions to MEDA
This award is given to MEDA members who have made substantial, long-term contributions/commitment to MEDA, specifically focusing on the advancement of the economic development profession through support of education/training and/or by expanding the knowledge base of economic developers.

Robert Sieghart Award

For Enthusiasm for the Economic Development Profession
This award was introduced in 2015. Robert Sieghart, who passed away that year, was a retired Executive in the Economic Development Team for Consumers Energy for many years. He started his career as an engineer at Consumers, and rose through the organization to become the Senior Marketing Engineer on their Economic Development Team. He also served as the President of the Village of Brooklyn for 14 years, and served on their Planning Commission for 24 years. He was an active MEDA Member. He served on the MEDA Board for several years, and in 1987 served as the President of MEDA.

Bob was enthusiastic about much in life, including golf, his family, the Village of Brooklyn, and his beloved Fighting Illini at his alma mater, the University of Illinois. No one could wear an orange Fighting Illini blazer like Bob! With this award, we remember Bob for his enthusiasm for economic development. He made sure that every MEDA meeting was full of networking and fun. He made sure that new members of the organization were greeted and introduced to as many people as possible, and immediately put on a committee so that they could feel a part of the organization. He was very interested in building up a farm team of MEDA members, and if you look at the Presidents and Board Members of MEDA that followed Bob, they were all people that he encouraged to get more involved in economic development as a career, and MEDA as the group that would embrace professionals and give them the support and tools that they needed. Bob was also concerned about the future of economic development as a profession, and MEDA as the voice, and worked on several strategic planning and by-law committees through the years so that the organization was structured to best prepare its members for the challenges and opportunities that lay before them.

The recipient of this award is someone who loves the profession of economic development, but may not necessarily be a full time economic developer. This recipient is someone who understands the importance of economic development to all communities in this state, as well as at the state level. This person will be interested in bringing more converts into the economic development fold, whether private sector partners, local community officials, or college students that are considering career options. This recipient will love the thought that more jobs and investment in a community will benefit the entire state, that the rising tide lifts all ships. This person understands that the definition of economic development will be different in every community and organization, but the principles of helping the business community stay and grow will strengthen the future of our great state. Finally, this award recipient will have embraced MEDA as the organization that is the voice of this profession in Michigan.

Nominate an Outstanding Economic Developer for Awards

Nominations forms are available at the following links:
MEDA Medalist of the Year Nomination Form
Mike Conboy Professional Development Award Nomination Form
Robert Sieghart Award for Enthusiasm for the Economic Development Profession

Returning the Forms

  • Award nominations can be submitted at any time, but to be considered for the 2019 Annual Meeting, the form must be submitted to MEDA by TBD.
  • Fax to 517-241-0089
  • Mail to MEDA at P.O. Box 15096, Lansing, MI 48901-5096  
  • Scan and email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • TIP: If you need more space, you may answer all of the questions on a Word document and submit that with an signed nomination form.

Past Winners

MEDA Medalist of the Year 
For Outstanding Contributions to
Economic Development in Michigan
Mike Conboy Professional
Development Award
For Outstanding Contributions to MEDA
Robert Sieghart Award 
For Enthusiasm for the
Economic Development Profession
  • 2018 - Rochelle Freeman
  • 2018 - Therese Thill
  • 2017 - Justin Horvath
  • 2016 - Art Papapanos
  • 2015 - Tim Robinson
  • 2014 - Amy Clickner
  • 2013 - Randy Thelen
  • 2012 - Doug Rothwell
  • 2011 - Robert Trezise, Jr.
  • 2010 - Steve Jonas
  • 2009 - Sharon Tyler
  • 2008 - James C. Hettinger
  • 2007 - James F. Hendricks
  • 2006 - George W. Jackson, Jr.
  • 2005 - Kathleen Blake
  • 2004 - Lennox Sheppard
  • 2003 - Susan Lackey
  • 2002 - Robert Terry
  • 2001 - JoAnn Crary
  • 2000 - Thomas Johnson
  • 1999 - James L. Donaldson
  • 1998 - Michael R. Marcellino
  • 1997 - Patricia Crawford-Lucas
  • 1996 - Debra Davino Patzer
  • 1995 - Edward Grobe
  • 1994 - Donald Schurr
  • 1993 - Elaine Tycocki
  • 1992 - Greg Woodbury
  • 1991 - Robert A. Sieghart
  • 1990 - John Lindale
  • 1989 - Birgit Klohs
  • 1988 - John Currie
  • 1987 - Michael S. Ammann
  • 1986 - Richard H. Beagle
  • 1985 - Lee Utke – 1st Winner                
  • 2018 - Kurt Brauer 
  • 2017 - Steve Willobee
  • 2016 - Jonathan Klooster
  • 2014 - Clarinda Barnett-Harrison
  • 2014 - Stephanie Carroll
  • 2013 - Perrin Emanuel
  • 2013 - Ara Topouzian
  • 2012 - Maureen Donohue Krauss
  • 2011 - Mark Morante
  • 2010 - John Avery
  • 2009 - Peggy J. Black
  • 2008 - Rex LaMore
  • 2007 - Susan A. Lackey
  • 2006 - Linda Hirvonen
  • 2005 - David Schreiber
  • 2004 - Barry Visel
  • 2003 - Susan M.C. Pigg
  • 2002 - Michael J. Montgomery
  • 2001 - Warren Cook
  • 2000 - Raymond Vlasin
  • 1999 - John Hanieski
  • 1998 - Michael Ammann
  • 1996 - William Cotton
  • 1995 - Jeffrey Stuit
  • 1994 - Donald Schurr
  • 1993 - William Lontz
  • 1992 - Ed Grobe
  • 1991 - Downs Herold
  • 1989 - Mike Conboy – 1st Winner                
  • 2018 - Rochelle Freeman
  • 2017 - Doug Brown
  • 2016 - Ara Topouzian

The Michigan Certified Business Park Program is administered by Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA). Please contact the MEDA staff with any questions concerning the CBP Program.

MEDA Staff

Cassandra for Web

Cassandra Jorae

Director of Marketing, Communications, and Administration

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Madi for Web

Madi Sholtz

Education, Advocacy, and Certified Business Park Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ph: 517-241-0011
P.O. Box 15096, Lansing, MI 48901-5096

Not sure who to contact? Send your message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and it will be forwarded to the correct person.

Corporate Sponsors

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Contact Us

Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011
meda@medaweb.org

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