Birgit M. Klohs Fellowship
For Women and Minorities to Build Their Career in Economic Development
MEDA announced the Birgit M. Klohs Fellowship at its 60th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 2020. The goal of the fellowship is to increase women and minority participation in economic development in a way that supports MEDA’s membership, its committees, and the organization as a whole, by increasing opportunities for the education needed to build each recipient’s skills and abilities in economic development.
About Birgit M. Klohs
Birgit Klohs first joined MEDA in 1977 when she worked for the Berrien County Economic Development Corporation and was one of MEDA’s first three female members. Birgit retired in early 2021 after 33 years of leadership at The Right Place, Inc., the premier economic development entity in West Michigan. An August 6 press release from The Right Place, Inc., says “During her 33 years with The Right Place, Inc. the organization collaborated with state and local leaders and business executives to create more than $5 billion in economic investment in the region and generate more than 46,000 jobs.”
She remained active on MEDA's 2021 Annual Meeting Committee and is the first female Lifetime Member.
About the Fellowship
The fellowship can be utilized for training and professional development including, but not limited to:
- Education: MEDA Programs, IEDC Programs, NDC Programs, Regional EDO Programs, MEDC/RRC Programs, MML Programs, ISM Programs
- Staff Development: Planning, Board Development, Program Development, Communications, Policy, and Research
- Networking: MEDA Programs, Regional EDO Programs, Expos related to economic development, ISM Programs
The appropriate candidate will be a woman or minority who is looking to actively participate in economic development and needs assistance with the monetary aspect.
The highest consideration for candidates applying for the fellowship will be given to early-career economic development professionals as demonstrated through a review of each candidate's resume and professional letters of support.
The awardee will receive a monetary amount that the MEDA subcommittee deems fit in response to the awardee’s application not to exceed $2,000. The awardee will receive the monetary award via expense reimbursement once the event/training/etc. is purchased. The Fellowship subcommittee will require the awardee to send in receipts and any other documents they deem fit in order to reimburse the awardee.
Applying for the Fellowship
The 2024 application will be available on March 1st.
Giving to the Fellowship
Thank you to those that have given to the Fellowship!
Fellowship Founders are those that donate/pledge $5,000 or more.
Serving West Michigan since 1985, The Right Place, Inc. is a regional economic development organization funded through investments from the private and public sectors. The Right Place drives regional economic development initiatives to stimulate economic growth, wealth creation, and operational excellence by focusing on productivity, innovation, and the retention, expansion, and creation of quality employment and companies in the Greater Grand Rapids region.
The Right Place has assisted thousands of West Michigan companies to invest more than $5.1 billion and 47,000 new jobs throughout the region.
- 42 North Partners
- Ann Arbor SPARK
- Birgit Klohs
- Carolyn Bennett
- Cornerstone Alliance
- Detroit Regional Partnership Foundation
- DTE Energy Foundation
- Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County
- Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce
- JoAnn Crary
- Lakeshore Advantage
- Lansing Economic Area Partnership
- Middle Michigan Development Corporation
- Monroe County Business Development Corporation
- Southwest Michigan First
- Traverse Connect
Become a Fellowship Founder or Donor Today
Funds for the endowment are being managed by the Capitol Region Community Foundation.
To donate using a credit card, visit this page.
Donations also may be made by mailing a check to:
Capital Region Community Foundation
330 Marshall St., Suite 300
Lansing, MI 48912
In the memo line, donors should write “MEDA Endowment Fund”.