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Arwood to serve as chief operating officer of Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Mike Zimmer named acting director of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs department

Monday, August 4, 2014

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today announced chief regulatory officer and director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Steve Arwood will become the chief operating officer at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Snyder also named LARA chief deputy Mike Zimmer as acting director of that department. Both appointments are effective immediately.

“Steve’s track record of accomplishment and knowledge of our state’s business climate has been instrumental at LARA and will make him a vital addition to the MEDC team working to spur even more and better jobs for Michiganders and business development, talent and entrepreneurship initiatives,” Snyder said. “Mike Zimmer is a dedicated, adept leader at LARA, and I appreciate his willingness and commitment to take on this new and key role.”

At MEDC, Arwood will focus on maximizing improvements and efficiencies to economic development programs and driving best practices to help businesses grow their operations. Before serving as director, he was deputy director of the LARA Division of Workplace Safety and Employment Security overseeing the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Workers Compensation and Unemployment Insurance Agency.

“Steve brings an extensive career in business development to the MEDC. His experience in energy development, the Jobs Commission and the National Federation of Independent Business combined with his recent time at LARA makes him a great fit as we accelerate our focus on business expansion efforts,” said Mike Finney, president and CEO of the MEDC.

As department director of LARA, Arwood led major strides in cutting bureaucratic red tape to ensure the most competitive economic climate for Michigan businesses while providing the best possible customer service and protections for state residents and communities. He is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University.

Zimmer will serve as acting director and chief regulatory officer of LARA, continuing to lead the department in improving interactions with Michigan consumers while providing strategic administrative oversight of the department. Zimmer has also served as deputy director of the State Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules, director of the Office of Regulatory Reform under former Gov. John Engler and worked for the Senate Majority Leader. Zimmer earned a bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from George Washington University.