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Posted on Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 3:53 p.m.

Michael Finney to oversee economic growth, energy, transportation group for Rick Snyder

By Nathan Bomey

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Michigan Economic Development Corp. CEO Michael Finney

Former Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Michael Finney, appointed earlier this week to become the next CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., will oversee one of six groups Gov. Rick Snyder created as part of a new statewide leadership structure.

Finney will be the head of the executive group responsible for overseeing the Michigan Department of Transportation, MEDC and the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, the governor's office confirmed this afternoon.

The appointment means that the directors of MDOT and DELEG will report to Finney, who will report back to Snyder.

Snyder has said he created the executive group concept to mirror the leadership structure he's familiar with from his business experience. Individual department heads will still communicate directly with Snyder when appropriate.

Snyder and Finney met when Snyder was chairman of the MEDC from 1999 and 2001 and Finney was a vice president at the economic development agency. Finney left in 2002 to start an economic development group in Rochester, N.Y., but Snyder recruited Finney to become SPARK's first CEO when Snyder formed the group in 2005.

Finney told Business Review West Michigan in a story published today that he wants to conduct a "thorough review" of the effectiveness of the state's business tax incentives structure.

“My philosophy is if it’s drawing a lot of attention, you should probably assess it soon, rather than later,” Finney said. “It doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong. It just means that you should probably take a look at it so that you can accurately communicate the effectiveness of it and, frankly, the need for it.

The other executive groups, according to the Associated Press, are: "people," which includes the departments of Human Services, Community Health, Education and Civil Rights and will be led by Human Services director Maura Corrigan; "public safety," which includes the departments of Corrections, State Police and Military and Veterans Affairs, led by Deputy Chief of Staff Jeff Barnes; "quality of life," which includes Environmental Quality, Natural Resources and Agriculture and Rural Development. and will be led by DEQ director Dan Wyant; "treasury," which includes the Treasury, the Lottery Bureau and gaming, and will be led by Treasurer Andy Dillon; and "value for money," which includes the departments of Information, Management and Budget and the Office of the State Employer, and will be led by Management and Budget director John Nixon.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Sun, Jan 9, 2011 : 4:06 a.m.

@bobnob They ain't got enough bandwidth, so I'll give you a few. Troupe subterfuge keeps my every other comment down, not because of policy violate, but their blind sympathy to the guv's credibility anachronism. So that may be why you are having trouble following the searchlight on Snyder. He doesn't have any public service bona fides. Period. Only plutocratic opposition. After skirting the claim of corporate raider, Michigan job outsourcer, ect... by refusing the The People [gravamen, bobnob] campaign debates after dishonest ONE, he then hires constitutional recalcitrant from the sumpreme count with palpable history of batsh*t crazy exercise of authority under the specious robe of law rewriting MI's no-fault auto LEGISLATION, US Constitution and even SCOTUS; to hector the dsabled, out parents and children in need. Mark my words: she will be The Most Notorious Defendant in the legal history of The Great State of Michigan. Controversies go to an independent judiciary within due process in the constitutional mandate to society. Fascists don't separate powers, the party brings platform sympathizing figure head to the controversies for satisfaction of party antics. The counter-republicans bark at the moon to yank public assistance per boilerplate, not case specifics. This is so their constituency can pay wages disproportionate to the market. When Guv Engler did it in the'90s, the # of carjackings immediately exploded like the chambers that were fired. I knew the sister of one. I will never forget it. Dr. Benejimen Rush, who I believe signed his name under John Hancock's, called this domiciliary vexation almost 250 years ago. Maurra Corrigan calls it a career. Her appointment is a threat to public safety, let alone interest. Not the time to ostrich a public threat of this precision He is obscenely rickety within, what, 5 days? You want false piety and it ain't happening. Got it. Deal with it. Not ignoring the slaughter of government officials, children and whoever else yesterday. Finally for now, are you one of those who wants commenting on blogs to be legal briefs? If you are the kind who, before the Internets, screamed at graffiti because it was not supported by the great of the evidence, then this may be hard for you. But if not, knock it off already. Is that how you were raised? [forget it. I don't want to think what was going on at that point]

Basic Bob

Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 9:24 p.m.

@dogbreath, While I truly enjoy reading your posts, I really don't understand the points you are trying to make. Perhaps you can provide a some logical reasoning to support your *rickety* claims of class warfare.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 5:42 p.m.

a2.con is a terrorist symapathiser outfit. You let counter-republican terrorists comment lies and instead of refuting those who do so themselves, you quash altogether. Can you now see your variance with the axiomatic civil society? Sleep tonight and forever knowing you've shown yourselves to be a terrorist outfit vital to the obscenely rickety Snyder. Don't say I didn't try to warn you.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

@shepard145 And you aren't showing yourself to be purely hysterical, if not rabid, about your commenting. Earlier today, a US House of Representative gets mowed down, with a Federal Judge, a nine year old boy and many others and you can't slip a syllable out of your myopia. It is not like you could miss it. Can't you see there is no probity, et. al., in your position or lexicon?


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

We want a growing economy and dumping NFES's and equally nonsensical regulation is consistent with that goal. I have no opinion of those who post here. "We" are those who live in the real world, will stop toxic democrat legislation driven by eco-hysteria and fantasies that have so severely damaged Michigan's economy over the last 8 years of bumbling and lead the state and nation forward. Get on board or out of the way.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

If the author has to comment/supplement on his own story more than anyone, to be sure, it is time to for a2.con to stop running them daily until they have been professionally done. Is that too much to ask? Everyday another cut and paste chicanery? The rickety Snyder has a credibility gap and neither are doing this community any benefit covering for him/such.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 3:02 p.m.

Cheap energy isn't cheap. As a Republican you should know there isn't any such thing as a free lunch except if you're an oil company.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 3 p.m.

@shephard145 "...what well refer to as 'Nonsensical Fantasy Energy Schemes' (NFES)" Who exactly is the "we" there wee one? You must have a pretty low opinion of contributors to group us in with your boilerplate chagrin.

Nathan Bomey

Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 2:27 p.m.

More here:

Nathan Bomey

Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 2:25 p.m.

@glacialerratic In his economic development career, Finney served as a VP of the MEDC before leaving in 2002 to start an economic development group in Rochester, N.Y. From 2005 to 2010, he led SPARK. Before his economic development career, Finney was senior vice president and general manager of manufacturing firm Thompson Saginaw. He also served as an assistant city manager of the city of Saginaw.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

...sure thing - believe what you must. LOL


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 12:55 p.m.

Republicans made the mess and they should have to clean it up! "Actually Republicans are back in charge where they belong and now have clean up the mess." 8 years of job killing Bush voodoo economics killed Michigan!


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

Actually Republicans are back in charge where they belong and now have clean up the mess. I cant imagine how much money it would have cost for Snyder to get bids to remove the stink of years of failure from the Governors Mansion! LOL Those with little technical understanding often favor what well refer to as Nonsensical Fantasy Energy Schemes (NFES). Those are championed by the vocal nontechnical, eco hysterics, who believe that once in place, the earth will get colder! These NFES (examples include solar, biomass and wind) are trendy, unecomical, undependable, polluting and sadly, offer no benefit to anyone but those peddling them, who literally laugh all the way to the bank. They are laughing because they are smart guys and know how absurd their own business is but happy to take money from suckers. Jenny pushed through an absurd scheme that requires that even intelligent consumers to pay for 10% NFES by 2015 with a guaranteed profit to utility companies building NFES of 14.3% - union wages, benefits and all! What will it get Michigan? A higher cost to live and work in Michigan, killing competition with other states and countries, killing jobs, poorer economy..and on the plus side what? The earth gets colder when those heating their homes no longer deplete the atmosphere? LMAO Seriously?.let me guess a big MSNBC/Al Gore/Michael Moore fan? LOL


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 12:10 p.m.

@glacialerratic. There likely is not any background, at least professionally. Like the rickety Snyder and his appointment of Corrigan to reign o'er/in The Department of Human Services(ARGUENDO), their backGround is plutocratic, rather than public service. The latter wants to audit the disabled, our parents and children in need, not campaign finance. Is there any more pure view of class warfare? I can see the bumper stickers now HONK IF YOU ARE SUING MAURA CORRIGAN!


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 11:56 a.m.

"job killing eco hysteric mantra's" Now that has a nice ring... Right out of Frank Luntz's playbook on how to make a point without saying anything and without any facts to back up the hyperbolic claim.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

Please name the "tragically stupid energy schemes" (Maybe the ones that favored future forward looking ones like solar, biomass and wind and not atmosphere depleting ones like oil and coal?) beside the ones that will lead to more oil spills due to oil company friendly de-regulation that Snyder and Finney favor. The shoes on the other foot now that your party is in charge. You're now going to have to defend all their cockamamie schemes for "growth". Oh and you missed putting "job" in front of "killing". The Republican thought police will be knocking on your door for forgetting the talking points.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 11:15 a.m.

I love when folks lump the environment into one gooey pot as though recycling your applesauce jars is going to make the US oil independent (what ever that is) and the earth colder! LOL Nothing youve written about two oil spills has a thing to do with tragically stupid energy schemes promoted by our last governor. I'm sure that Michael wants Michigan to experience a growing economy some day and he knows that onerous regulation based on eco hysteric mantras are contrary to our success. Like it or not, we compete within national and global economies and do so successfully or not. Misguided government continuing to increase the cost of living and working in Michigan = NOT. I am glad to hear a liberal who is suddenly interested in evidence after years of state and federal democrats killing our economy in the name of babbling eco-hysteria. maybe your party is "progressing" after all!! LOL but I doubt it.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 10:51 a.m.

"Cheap" energy comes with a big price tag. How much will taxpayers end up paying for Enbridge's oil spill last summer near Kalamazoo? And Finney wants to streamline the regulations? Have we already forgotten BP and it's lack of regulatory oversight? The latest Republican drinking game? Everything and anything that we hear from Republicans will now be prefaced with the phrase "job killing" and without any supporting evidence or facts to back it up, just like everything else they tell us.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 10:30 a.m.

I suppose Mike doesn't consider Mr Finney to be a public employee or that his $250k pay is about a 20% increase over his predecessor. That's a nice raise, don't you think? And his predecessor is now a Lansing lobbyist. So much for Snyder's new way of doing business. I suggest that Mr Finney be paid a percentage for every real middle class job he "creates", real "pay for performance".


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 10:29 a.m.

I hope Michael understands that we need cheap energy. Throw Granholm's expensive high cost, no value job killing gimmicks in the trash. The fact that Michigan residents and businesses will pay higher utility bills because Jenny believed that will make the planet become colder was and is moronic. It's an unsupportable is that if we waste enough money, one wind turbine factory might locate here!! Cheap energy will make Michigan a more competitive place to live and work as other states continue the eco-nonsense.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 10:09 a.m.

The Peter Principle - kind of like Levin, Stabenow, and Dingell? Interesting that was brought up in this discussion. The state is going broke and taxes are high enough already; in a nutshell answer from the left is to raise taxes, answer from the right is to renogiate union contracts. If this were a business, they would declare bankruptcy and reorganize like General Motors did. In that case bond holders got shafted, the union got a piece of the company, and wages were slashed to $14.00 per hour. This is the sad reality of what needs to happen after years of making unsustainable promises to government workers. I've personally seen my income cut in half and can't go out and ask my neighbors for more money (i.e. raise their taxes) and have made the adjustment to a new standard of living. That's what the state employees will have to do and they should demand in return that the retired state representatives who created the mess lose their government pensions and Cadillac health plans.


Sat, Jan 8, 2011 : 10:01 a.m.

His quote is code-speak for gutting regulations on businesses like Enbridge, the Canadian corporation behind last summer's oil spill near Kalamazoo. Finney has learned one thing really well... how to grovel and curry favor with Snyder.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 10:58 p.m.

250 k, step off girls who have no father!!!

David Briegel

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 9:54 p.m.

Come on gang, he has those important Republican values that Rick holds dear. Mike told Rick what a genius he was! And he believes billionaires should not have to pay taxes! And he will be in charge of union busting!


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

Glacial - I think you've pretty much got it.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

The Peter Principle in action.


Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

Apart from Mr. Finney's work for Ann Arbor SPARK and at the regional development organization in Rochester, NY I can't find much detail about his professional background. Can you provide this, please?

michigan face

Fri, Jan 7, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

Just the start of Rick's Tricks - in other words - no comment