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Birgit M. Klohs Fellowship

Birgit Klohs 2020 HeadshotFor Women and Minorities to Build Their Career in Economic Development

MEDA announced the Birgit M. Klohs Fellowship at its 60th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 2020. The goal of the fellowship is to increase women and minority participation in economic development in a way that supports MEDA’s membership, its committees, and the organization as a whole, by increasing opportunities for the education needed to build each recipient’s skills and abilities in economic development.

About Birgit M. Klohs

Birgit Klohs first joined MEDA in 1977 when she worked for the Berrien County Economic Development Corporation and was one of MEDA’s first three female members. Birgit retired in early 2021 after 33 years of leadership at The Right Place, Inc., the premier economic development entity in West Michigan. An August 6 press release from The Right Place, Inc., says “During her 33 years with The Right Place, Inc. the organization collaborated with state and local leaders and business executives to create more than $5 billion in economic investment in the region and generate more than 46,000 jobs.”

She remained active on MEDA's 2021 Annual Meeting Committee and is the first female Lifetime Member.

About the Fellowship

The fellowship can be utilized for training and professional development including, but not limited to:

  • Education: MEDA Programs, IEDC Programs, NDC Programs, Regional EDO Programs, MEDC/RRC Programs, MML Programs, ISM Programs
  • Staff Development: Planning, Board Development, Program Development, Communications, Policy, and Research
  • Networking: MEDA Programs, Regional EDO Programs, Expos related to economic development, ISM Programs


The appropriate candidate will be a woman or minority who is looking to actively participate in economic development and needs assistance with the monetary aspect.

The highest consideration for candidates applying for the fellowship will be given to early-career economic development professionals as demonstrated through a review of each candidate's resume and professional letters of support.


The awardee will receive a monetary amount that the MEDA subcommittee deems fit in response to the awardee’s application not to exceed $2,000. The awardee will receive the monetary award via expense reimbursement once the event/training/etc. is purchased. The Fellowship subcommittee will require the awardee to send in receipts and any other documents they deem fit to reimburse the awardee.

Applying for the Fellowship

Click here for the application

Contact Catie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

Giving to the Fellowship

Thank you to those who have given to the Fellowship!

Fellowship Founders

Fellowship Founders are those who donate/pledge $5,000 or more.

The Right Place, Inc.

The Right Place Inc. 2Serving West Michigan since 1985, The Right Place, Inc. is a regional economic development organization funded through investments from the private and public sectors. The Right Place drives regional economic development initiatives to stimulate economic growth, wealth creation, and operational excellence by focusing on productivity, innovation, and the retention, expansion, and creation of quality employment and companies in the Greater Grand Rapids region.

The Right Place has assisted thousands of West Michigan companies to invest more than $5.1 billion and 47,000 new jobs throughout the region.


  • 42 North Partners
  • Ann Arbor SPARK
  • Birgit Klohs
  • Carolyn Bennett
  • Cornerstone Alliance
  • Detroit Regional Partnership Foundation
  • DTE Energy Foundation
  • Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County
  • Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce
  • ITC
  • JoAnn Crary
  • Lakeshore Advantage
  • Lansing Economic Area Partnership
  • Middle Michigan Development Corporation
  • Monroe County Business Development Corporation
  • Southwest Michigan First
  • Traverse Connect

Become a Fellowship Founder or Donor Today

Funds for the endowment are being managed by the Capitol Region Community Foundation.

You can contact Cassandra Jorae This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for a pledge form if interested in becoming a Fellowship Founder.

For gifts of stock and other securities, donors should contact our CFO, Kristin Rogers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To donate using a credit card, visit this page.

Donations also may be made by mailing a check to:

Capital Region Community Foundation
330 Marshall St., Suite 300
Lansing, MI 48912

In the memo line, donors should write “MEDA Endowment Fund”.


Contact MEDA at 517-241-0011 or Catie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Corporate Investors

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Contact Us

Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011

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