Focus on Economic Development Efforts

(FLINT, Mich.)  The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce today announced the support of two new team members through a Resource Sharing Agreement with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

As part of the MEDC’s goal to promote collaboration with local economic development organizations throughout Michigan, the state’s economic development arm has loaned members of their staff to enhance the Regional Chamber’s efforts to expand, retain and attract new business in Flint and Genesee County.

"Our economic gardening strategy will expand our support and outreach to our local economic development partners," said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. "We are putting some of our most experienced people, and Bruce and Khalfani are certainly two of them, in locations around the state to work more efficiently, effectively and directly in communities by sharing information and eliminating much duplication of efforts."

The intent of the Resource Sharing Agreement between the MEDC and the Regional Chamber is to increase the number of resources dedicated to economic development and have state and local communities work collaboratively to improve Michigan’s economic landscape one business and one community at a time.

“Collaboration and innovation are the keys to a successful economic development strategy,” said Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “We want as many experienced people at the table with us as possible to help identify new business opportunities for our region. We greatly appreciate this outreach from the state.”

The following MEDC staff members are assisting the Regional Chamber’s economic development efforts:

Bruce Seymore. He has served as a Business Development Manager (BDM) with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) since April 2008. He assists with retention efforts for existing companies in Genesee County. During his tenure with the MEDC, Seymore has provided service to companies located in Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties, including Bay City, Detroit, Flint and Wyoming.

Khalfani Stephens

Khalfani Stephens. He is a Business Development Manager (BDM) with the Urban Team at the MEDC.  As a member of the Urban Team, Stephens works closely with designated municipalities or local partners to aid them in their business retention and growth efforts.  Stephens assists the Regional Chamber and the City of Flint on the Master Plan and with redevelopment efforts for RACER Trust properties.  Stephens joined the MEDC after several years working at the City of Pontiac in the Development Office.

The Regional Chamber also receives assistance from the MEDC – outside of the Regional Sharing Agreement – from Nate Scramlin of the Community Assistance Team.

Scramlin is a Community Assistance Specialist for the MEDC. He supports the Regional Chamber’s territory and beyond, covering 15 counties in the Bay region. Scramlin previously worked for the Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission, where he spent six years as an Associate Planner.  Seymore and the rest of the Community Assistance Team are tasked with bringing State development incentives to Michigan downtowns and offering technical assistance on state and local economic development tools.

“This is another great opportunity to collaborate with our state partners,” said Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development at the Regional Chamber. “We are thrilled to have such great support.”

About the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce (www.flintandgenesee.org) is the voice of business and community advocacy in Genesee County. The Regional Chamber is over 100 years old, was established before the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and is a founding member of the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Two words describe the Regional Chamber as it enters its second century of service: collaboration and partnership. It is our goal to work with government, business, education and nonprofit organizations to support the growth and development of the community economically, culturally and socially.