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4.20.23 – Jeff Donofrio
April 20 @ 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
Jeff Donofrio – President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan
Jeff Donofrio is President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, which is dedicated to making Michigan a Top 10 state for jobs, education, widely shared prosperity and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the executive leaders of Michigan’s largest companies and universities. Members drive 40% of the state’s economy, employ more than 540,000 people in Michigan, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and serve more than half of all Michigan public university students.
During Jeff’s tenure, the organization has notched significant accomplishments, including increasing the state’s economic competitiveness, advancing K-12 education reforms, expanding talent pathways and strengthening Michigan’s business climate. Recent successes include the largest proactive site development investment in Michigan’s history, transformational investments that resulted in 12,000 new jobs in critical sectors such as semi-conductor manufacturing, food processing and electric vehicle production; advancing equity funding in K-12 education; and renewed funding for community college programs and a new $250 million scholarship program for four-year colleges. Jeff also guided the development of a new strategic plan for the organization, Compete to Win: Michigan’s Path to Top 10, and provided leadership during the COVID-19 healthcare/economic crisis.
He previously served as Director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO), leading the state’s workforce, economic development, housing, and labor activities and overseeing 2,700 employees and a $1.6 billion budget. Prior to LEO, Donofrio served as the Executive Director of Workforce Development for the City of Detroit and as an executive at Ford Motor Company. He also led the Michigan operations for Congressmen John D. Dingell and Sandy Levin and served in the Granholm administration.
Jeff grew up working in his family’s small businesses and earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and MBA from Georgetown University.
He co-chairs Launch Michigan (Michigan’s K-12 education coalition). He also serves on the boards of the Michigan Workforce Development Board, Detroit Economic Club, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the Michigan Educational Excellence Foundation and the [Detroit] Mayor’s Workforce Development Board, as well as the University of Michigan Innovation Partnerships National Advisory Board and the Protect Michigan Commission. Previously, Jeff chaired the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, was a member of Michigan Economic Development Corporation Board, Michigan Strategic Fund, and U.S. Conference of Mayors Workforce Development Council. In 2018, he was appointed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s transition team as Special Advisor for Jobs and the Economy and was named to Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40 class.