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December 06, 2019
St. Joseph, Michigan, December 4, 2019: Experience, passion, and a clearly articulated vision has propelled a familiar face to the top spot at the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber. Bridgman-native Arthur Havlicek was appointed President and CEO this morning by the Chamber Board of Directors, following a period of internal evaluation and an extensive review of several candidates.
“Our dynamic Chamber members deserve a dynamic leader who understands our community and who can help businesses thrive by strengthening Chamber programs, promoting our region, and working collaboratively with other key players,” said Julie Thomsen, Chamber Board Chair.
“Competition for senior leadership positions is always strong, and we were pleased with the interest we received from numerous, high-caliber individuals from the area and out-of-state,” added Mark Lemoine, Chair of the Ad-Hoc Executive Search Committee. “We are confident Arthur’s local roots and state-level experience will make him an effective advocate for Chamber members and help us build upon our regional footprint.”
Havlicek graduated from Lake Michigan Catholic High School in 2010 and Grand Valley State University in 2014. He has close to a decade of experience holding key staff roles for various elected officials around the state, including as Legislative Director for then-state Representative Kim LaSata. Currently, Havlicek serves as an Advisor to West Michigan legislators in the Michigan House of Representatives where he recommends and implements strategies related to policy, communications, and constituent outreach.
“Working with government officials, business leaders, and community organizations to affect positive change in this state has been an invaluable experience,” Havlicek said. “I’m excited to bring that experience back home and build upon the recent success of this organization.”
Havlicek, citing estimates that predict millennials will make up 50 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020, believes his perspective will provide an advantage in the new role. “Ensuring sustained growth for our area over the next decade will depend entirely on our ability to attract, develop, and retain the businesses and workforce of the future,” Havlicek said. “As President, one of my main priorities will be to grow and promote the type of vibrant workplaces and communities where talented entrepreneurs and young professionals want to live, work, and raise a family.”