People First Economy  |  


On behalf of our client, People First Economy, we are conducting a search for its next President. This leader will drive forward and execute the organization’s mission: creating a community of practice to build a Michigan Economy that puts People First.

About People First Economy

Our client brings together values-aligned businesses, nonprofit organizations and people who share a common goal to create a thriving, equitable, sustainable, and economically vibrant region. People First Economy accomplishes this work through the Local First West Michigan, and Good For Michigan, and People First Impact programs. 

  • Good For Michigan – Engaging business leaders to support social and environmental justice through emergent best practices.
  • Local First – Catalyzing place-based consumer and supply chain habits.
  • People First Impact – Elevating small business voices in the legislative process.


Essential Duties + Responsibilities

The President’s activities can be divided into six measurable areas: 

  • Organization vision-caster, servant leader, and problem-solver.
      • Assure that the corporation has a long-range strategy which achieves its mission, and toward which it will make consistent and timely process.
      • Review current organizational strategies and practices, initiating development of new ones to encourage growth, improve efficiency, and reduce cost.
      • Provide leadership in developing programs, organizational, and financial plans with the Boards and staff.
  • Culture driver, brand champion.
      • Maintain a culture that attracts, retains, and motivates a diverse staff of top-quality team members.
      • Recruit and employ staff needed to achieve the organization’s mission.
      • Encourage staff professional development.
      • Assist program staff in relating their specialized work to the organization’s long-term goals.
      • Increase LF/GFM/PFE’s public exposure and brand recognition.
      • Represent the organization’s programs and point of view to agencies, organizations, the general public, and the media.
      • Communicate the organization’s activities, programs, and goals to all stakeholders.
  • Industry pulse.
      • Maintain a working knowledge of significant developments and trends in nonprofit organizational development/administration, in communication, in local economy development, in sustainable business practices, and in the State of Michigan’s business environment.
  • Managing big relationships.
      • Build relationships with stakeholder groups to grow the organization’s financial capacity (ex: granting agencies, individual donors, business members, etc.)
      • Establish sound working relationships and cooperative arrangements with community groups, business groups, organizations, local businesses, and granting agencies.
      • Promote active and broad participation by volunteers in all areas ofPFE’s work.
  • Achieving P&L results.
      • Work with accountants, staff, Finance Committee, and the Boards in preparing the budget.
      • Facilitate implementation of budget and see that organization operates within budget guidelines.
      • Work with Boards and staff to ensure that adequate funds are available to permit the organization to carry out its work.
  • Leadership, management, and accountability.
    • Ensure job descriptions are developed and maintained based on the organizations needs.
    • Provide leadership, management, and accountability to staff.
    • Manage staff reviews.
    • Ensure the Boards are kept fully informed on the condition of PFE and all important factors influencing it.


Other duties: 

  • Provide excellent customer service to all stakeholders.
  • Make decisions with a lens of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and uphold People First Economy Core Values at all times.
  • Work with other People First Economy staff to achieve broad organization goals.
  • Attend People First and community events, as needed.


Qualifications + Requirements

  • 5+ years of demonstrated leadership experience in one or more of the following areas: 
    • Economic development sector.
    • Grassroots non-profit executive leadership.
    • Community development or DEI work that crosses over into addressing social, economic or related injustices. 
    • Small business owner/entrepreneur with a background in advancing social justice initiatives in their business and community.
  • Fund development experience.
    • Grant-based fund procurement (local, state, federal, private, foundations) is key.
  • Budget/P&L management experience, preferably in a non-profit setting.
  • Deep and wide team leadership experience (3+ years). Managing teams of 5+. 
    • Demonstrated history of building trust-centered, employee-first, transparent environments with staff, board, funders and other stakeholders.
  • Board relations and management activities (e.g. recruitment, committee involvement and engagement, meeting leadership, etc.) experience.
  • Proven program development and enhancement skills. 
  • Public and media relations. (i.e. Being “the face and voice” of the organization)
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred.


Values Alignment

Top candidates will demonstrate professional and lived alignment with PFE’s mission, vision and core values, listed below: 

#1 Accessibility – We create accessibility to a socially and environmentally resilient economy for all people.

#2 Accountability – We challenge economic and systemic structures that inhibit equity by holding ourselves and our partners accountable.

#3 JEDI, Anti-Racism, Transparency, and Community – We prioritize justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism through public learning, transparency, and community building.

#4 Interdependence – We collaboratively foster thriving, interdependent economic ecosystems, rooted in human-scale relationships.

#5 Innovation –We equip business leaders with place-based approaches to implementing global best practices.


If this seems like an excellent fit for you, please send a cover letter and resume to executive search consultant Corey Turner at

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