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Expert looks at economic development in West Michigan

Nov. 1, 2010

KALAMAZOO--One of West Michigan's leading economic development specialists will present the next talk in Western Michigan University's 2010-11 Haworth College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series.

Photo of Birgit Klohs.Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of the Right Place Inc., will speak on "Positioning West Michigan for the Global Economy" at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, on campus in Schneider Hall. Her presentation will be followed by a question-and-answer period and reception.

The Right Place is based in Grand Rapids, Mich., and serves as the regional economic development organization for retaining, expanding and attracting West Michigan businesses. Klohs has held her current post with the non-profit organization since 1987.

A native of Germany, Klohs began her economic development career a decade earlier at the Economic Development Corp. of Berrien County, Mich., then joined the Michigan Department of Commerce as West Michigan account executive. She came to the Right Place from Grand Valley State University, where she had served as assistant director of the Office for Economic Expansion.

Klohs is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and seminars and has lectured in countries around the world. She has received numerous business awards, the most recent honor being selected as "One of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan" for 2010 by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.

Active in local affairs, Klohs is a past chair of the WMU Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of several businesses and public organizations in West Michigan. She earned a bachelor's degree from WMU and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma. Klohs also completed the professional economic development finance program through the National Development Council and attended Harvard University's program on negotiation.

Those planning to attend Klohs' talk should register by Friday, Nov. 12. To register or obtain event details, contact WMU's Shawna Cassada at shawna.cassada@wmich.edu or (269) 387-6059.

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Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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