Gustafson to stay as CEO at Kinexus

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON HARBOR — Todd Gustafson will remain the chief executive officer at Kinexus.

Gustafson, who has been CEO of the Benton Harbor-based economic development organization for more than 10 years, announced his plans to stay on with Kinexus after he had expected to leave at the end of January.

“I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve the team at Kinexus and the community,” Gustafson said. “We’ve accomplished a lot as an organization over the last 10 years. The team, which includes the board of directors and the staff, is very talented and passionate about making a systemic and sustainable impact, and I am proud to continue that effort.”

It was first reported back in October he was leaving to become a partner with Lead Star, a leadership development firm based in Washington, D.C. Gustafson previously worked for the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington.

Since Gustafson wasn’t officially scheduled to leave his position until the end of January, he remained on staff throughout the interview proceedings this month.

The decision for Gustafson’s return became official last Friday.

According to a press release from Kinexus, an “opportunity arose” that resulted in the continuation of Gustafson’s leadership as the nonprofit’s CEO. The decision came after the board conducted interviews to find his replacement.

There were 158 candidates who applied for the position.

Kinexus Board Chairman Christopher Randall released a statement in response to the board’s decision to bring Gustafson back.

“We knew we had great candidates before us, each bringing something different to the table,” Randall said. “The board committee deliberated and unanimously decided that Todd would continue to lead the organization. We are excited he will be staying in Southwest Michigan and continue to lead Kinexus in the years to come.”

Randall went on to say that through Gustafson’s leadership, Kinexus has become nationally recognized for its staff, initiatives and entrepreneurial approach.

Kinexus is a nonprofit organization that invests millions in funding in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties through business, workforce and community development.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Jan. 29, 2016)

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