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Hilfinger joins Michigan Economic Development Corporation as chief operating officer

Thursday, November 29, 2012


LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today announced chief regulatory officer and director of the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Steve Hilfinger is leaving his post to become chief operating officer at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) effective Dec. 10, 2012.


Hilfinger will oversee several internal administrative functions and help drive best practices and operational effectiveness to support business growth and the creation of more and better jobs throughout Michigan. He will continue to play a key role in the state's Economic Growth Executive Group. 


"Steve is a highly talented and experienced professional whose strong leadership has been instrumental in our efforts to reinvent Michigan," said Snyder. "His extensive knowledge of the business and regulatory environment will be great additions to the MEDC team as we continue to transform our state into an innovative, customer-friendly business environment that works better for everyone."


As chief regulatory officer at LARA, Hilfinger had principal oversight of licensing and regulatory functions of the state of Michigan, including: Licensing and Regulatory, Office of Regulatory Reinvention, Michigan Administrative Hearing System, and Employment Security and Workplace Safety.


Previously, he focused a 23-year legal career on corporate and securities law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, private equity and venture capital transactions, debt and equity finance transactions, business formation and corporate governance, and general corporate and contract counseling. A partner at Foley and Lardner LLP in Detroit, his practice included representation of automotive suppliers and other manufacturers, medical device makers, private equity and venture capital funds, financial institutions, and other publicly and privately held businesses.


Hilfinger obtained his B.B.A. degree (concentration in accounting) with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1984, where he received Phi Beta Kappa honors.  Following graduation, he was awarded the William A. Paton Award for achieving the highest score on the Michigan CPA examination. He graduated magna cum laude with a law degree from Northwestern University in 1987, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Northwestern University Law Review from 1986 to 1987. He is admitted to practice law in Michigan and Illinois and is a member of the Business, Health Care and Administrative Law Sections of the State Bar of Michigan.


LARA Deputy Director Steve Arwood will assume the duties of acting director until a permanent director has been appointed. He also will continue to serve as director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency.