birgit-klohs.png#asset:1498The Economic Club of Grand Rapids has named Birgit Klohs, president and CEO of The Right Place Inc., its 2017 Business Person of the Year. Klohs received her award during the Economic Club’s 2017 Annual Dinner held on June 19th.

The award honors leaders in West Michigan who have made significant community contributions, are supportive of the West Michigan business community, and are recognized as a business and community leader. Klohs was recognized for her 30 years of regional economic development leadership in West Michigan.

Since 1987, Klohs has led The Right Place, providing strategic leadership and a vision for economic growth in West Michigan. Under her three decades of leadership, The Right Place has created over 44,000 new and retained jobs and spurred over $4.7 billion in new investment.

In addition to her leadership role at The Right Place, Klohs is also involved in many local and statewide boards, believing a community’s quality of life is as important as its quality of commerce. In 2014, she was appointed by Governor Snyder to serve on the International Crossing Authority, which is a joint authority between the State of Michigan and the Country of Canada for the construction of the North American International Trade Crossing (Gordie Howe Bridge).

Past recipients of the Business Person of the Year award include:

1988 - Richard DeVos

1989 - L.V. Eberhard

1990 - Jay Van Andel

1991 - Peter Cook

1992 - Fred Meijer

1993 - Hy Berkowitz

1994 - John Canepa

1995 - Peter Secchia

1996 - Robert Hooker

1997 - Robert Woodrick

1998 - Robert C. Pew

1999 - Fred M. Keller

2000 - Earl D. Holton

2001 - Paul B. Gordon

2002 – Seymour & Stuart Padnos

2003 – David G. Frey

2004 – John C. Kennedy

2005 – George, John and Tom Jackoboice

2006 – Tim O’Donovan

2007 – Harvey Gainey Sr.

2008 – Craig Sturken

2009 – John Wheeler

2010 – Jim Dunlap

2011 – Bill Currie

2012 - Jim Hackett

2013 – Doug DeVos/Steve Van Andel

2014 – Dick Haworth

2015 – Blake Krueger

2016 – Dan DeVos