Michigan finds new economic development chief in New Orleans

Quentin L. Messer, Jr. (nolaba.org)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan’s economic development agency named a new leader Tuesday, hiring the top economic development official in New Orleans for the role.

Quentin Messer Jr. will become CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. on July 29. He will replace Mark Burton, who resigned in March to join a law firm.

Messer has been president and CEO of the New Orleans Business Alliance since 2015.

"Quentin brings a wealth of experience to this role and a clear passion for ensuring the benefits of economic development extend to everyone,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement.

The announcement came more than 14 months after the MEDC's corporation board announced a nationwide search to select a permanent CEO. Burton had served on an interim basis.

Messer said he is “thrilled” to join the MEDC.

“Economic development is about connecting people to good jobs, connecting businesses to great people and financial capital, and supporting vibrant communities, and I look forward to doing this vital work at MEDC," he said in a statement.

He previously was the assistant secretary at Louisiana Economic Development. He has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and master’s of business administration and law degrees from Columbia University.