Birgit Klohs, one of the most influential and successful business development strategists in Michigan, announced that she will retire from The Right Place, Inc. on January 31, 2021.

Klohs joined The Right Place, Inc. in 1987 as president and CEO and quickly established the Grand Rapids-based organization as the premier economic development entity in western Michigan. 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 50,000 jobs.

Dave Van Andel, chairman and CEO of the Van Andel Institute, said of The Right Place, "we all realize that it has exceeded all expectations. I believe Birgit’s leadership has made The Right Place the premier regional economic development organization in the country. It is the envy of communities nationally and the example everyone tries to emulate."

“The city of Grand Rapids would not be the beacon of business activity that it is today were it not for the passion and drive of Birgit Klohs,” said Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. “We are so fortunate to have had a champion like her working for us.”

Dick DeVos said, “when you combine her economic development work with her work as a part of Grand Action and see what is now one of the most vibrant downtowns anywhere, it’s easy to understand the dramatic impact she has had."

The Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is among the highly visible projects that Klohs helped to bring to Grand Rapids. The project was the result of extraordinary collaboration with the university, local and state leaders, healthcare agencies and local business executives.

The good news is that Birgit is not going away or even slowing down. She says she will continue to be active serving this community on boards and through philanthropic efforts.

A nationwide search will begin immediately to find a replacement. The Right Place has engaged Korn Ferry to manage the process.