STANTON — The executive director of the Montcalm Alliance presented his final quarterly economic development report to county officials Monday morning in that capacity.
Franz Mogdis is stepping down as executive director of the Montcalm Alliance after 17 years. His resignation is effective July 31.
The move comes as the Alliance — the county’s designated economic development organization — heads in a new direction, in which it works to raise funds from local municipalities to establish a partnership with The Right Place, a West Michigan economic development organization.
“It’s been a great 17 years and I certainly more than appreciate all the support I’ve had from this group and all the others around the county,” Mogdis told the Montcalm County Board of Commissioners Economic Development & Physical Resources Committee on Monday. “I look forward to assisting and helping however I can with The Right Place and the Alliance as they move ahead.”
Mogdis will continue as administrator of the Brownfield Authority and chairman of the county’s Planning Commission — both of which he was instrumental in creating — as well as continue in his capacity with the county’s Parks & Recreation Committee.
“We have appreciated your cooperation,” Commissioner John Johansen told Mogdis. “You have been coming here on a quarterly basis to update this committee as to what’s been going on in the county. More importantly, I also want to compliment you on your involvement in (local economic development) and I’m very happy to hear that you’re willing to continue. The strides we’ve made in planning, you have been the driver in that role.”
“Howard City appreciates all the efforts you’ve made over there,” added Commissioner Ron Baker. “We’re reaping the benefits from all of those projects you were involved in, so thank you very much.”
Economic development highlights
Establishing Renaissance Zones throughout Montcalm County and seeing unique businesses invest in those communities were highlights for Mogdis during his time with the Alliance.
“As a result of that, we were able to get a big power plant investment in Carson City, we were able to get Wolverine World Wide in Howard City,” Mogdis noted. “Those Renaissance Zones have been very successful, as a matter of fact, of the rural areas, the most successful in the state.”
Mogdis also found fulfillment in helping expand and improve local trails, creating a county website (montcalm.org) and establishing a county Planning Commission and Brownfield Authority.
“Those things all were the result of the Alliance’s involvement and support,” he said. “Those are all very positive things that have occurred.”
Mogdis says he’s not “disappearing” from local economic development efforts by any means. He will continue to work as a private consultant for local businesses. He plans to open an office on north M-66 across from the Montcalm County court complex in Stanton in early August.
“I do have some concerns about the needs of the rural areas of the county and that’s what I’m going to continue to work to address,” he said. “I think it’ll be a win-win for the county and I think it’ll be a win-win for some of the people I’ve been working with.
“I think it was mutual,” said Mogdis about parting ways with the Alliance. “The feeling was that they wanted to try a new direction with some new people and that made sense.”
What’s next for the Alliance?
The Alliance will meet Wednesday to discuss future plans. A community reception for Mogdis will follow the meeting at 3:30 p.m. at the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District office in Stanton.
“We appreciate his support and thank him for his 17 years of service to the Alliance and leadership in economic development for the county,” said Alliance Chairwoman Yolanda Lewis.
Alliance Treasurer Bob Clingenpeel noted that Mogdis worked as a contracted part-time employee of the Alliance, “which, in my opinion, makes the list of accomplishments even more remarkable.
“We have a lot to be thankful for that Franz has accomplished over the years,” Clingenpeel said. “I wish him well.”