McCauley leaving Networks Northwest

·3 min read

Jul. 10—TRAVERSE CITY — Since he joined what would become Networks Northwest in 2004, Matt McCauley has had an old-school solar calculator on his desk.

McCauley said he uses the calculator on a daily basis in his position at Networks Northwest, the last four as CEO. McCauley's trusty calculator helped crunch numbers vital to the business and economic development in 10 northern Michigan counties.

In a month, the calculations will follow McCauley into a similar role with a new organization. McCauley will become the Senior Vice President of Regional Prosperity at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Aug. 22.

McCauley will work out of a hybrid office situation in Traverse City and Lansing in his new position with the MEDC. A lot of his focus in his new position will remain the same, just with a statewide emphasis.

McCauley said he'll just be wearing "a different hat" in his new position.

"I don't have to move," he said. "I feel good about that."

McCauley said the chance to work on the state level to guide "the proactive engagement with companies and communities to create an environment conducive to business growth and expansion, community and place-based enhancement, and comprehensive economic and community development," according to the MEDC job description, is similar to his work at Networks Northwest. He said the connection that "business needs community as much as community needs business" is part of his current position as well as his new post.

"A very significant opportunity came up with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation," he said. "They're undergoing a reorganization and part of that is what had been significant divisions within the MEDC are now under one division. I'll be the head of that division for the entire state."

McCauley joined what was then the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments in 2004. He served as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Regional Planning at Networks Northwest before becoming its CEO in 2018.

"Matt has been a positive leader within Networks Northwest for many years," Networks Northwest Board Chair and Munson Healthcare Chief Human Resources Officer Sue Peters said in a release. "His new role with MEDC will further grow our regional community and the state as a whole. We wish him continued success and appreciate his efforts to ensure a smooth transition for the agency and the entire region."

"I'm really proud of the work of this agency," McCauley said of his tenure. "It's been a model for the MEDC to look at the reorganization ... available to economic development statewide. I'm very proud of everything I've done at the agency and everything we've done at the agency."

McCauley said the Networks Northwest board will meet and a search process for his successor will begin in the coming weeks.

With a strong staff and partner organizations like Traverse Connect, Northwestern Michigan College and Northwest Michigan Works should make the transition a smooth one. McCauley will continue in his role as CEO through August to assist the board with his replacement.

"I'm very confident of a high-quality successor," McCauley said. "This is a quality region, a quality agency with a fantastic staff. It will attract a high-quality individual. I have no doubts about that."

MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. is also confident of what McCauley will bring to his new role with the state.

"Matt is passionate about the unique needs and assets of each region of the state, appreciating the rich diversity that defines Michigan while guiding a comprehensive planning and partnership approach to help Michigan build a championship economy," Messer said in an email announcing the hire of McCauley as well as Amy Rencher as the Senior Vice President of Small Business Services and the promotion of Natalie Chmiko to Senior Vice President of Small Business Solutions.

"In his current role as CEO of Networks Northwest, Matt has a proven track record in leading a team to adopt a strength-based approach to drive growth throughout Northwest Michigan."

Networks Northwest represents Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee and Wexford counties.