Chatfield Resigns As CEO Of Southwest Michigan First
Tuesday, February 23, 2021

KALAMAZOO – The search is on once again for a new CEO for Southwest Michigan First.

Heather Baker, the Managing Partner of Southwest Michigan First, says on Monday, newly appointed CEO Lee Chatfield submitted his letter of resignation to the Board of Directors. During the Board's meeting Monday morning, they accepted the resignation.

Baker says in recent days, the announcement of their selection of Chatfield to fill the vacant CEO position has caused a great deal of disappointment to the team members, community partners, investors, donors and Board members. Many have questioned Southwest Michigan Firsts' commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as well as their human capital and CEO search process.

Baker says they welcome the conversations, challenging questions and opportunities to listen, learn and grow. What is abundantly clear is that the search process fell well below the standard expected by the Southwest Michigan First board, their community partners, investors, donors and importantly, the Southwest Michigan First team.

As they renew and begin again their search process for their next CEO, Baker says they are committed to and will assure a process that is open, transparent and inclusive of those who depend on Southwest Michigan First to improve economic development and employment opportunities for all they serve.