Lee Chatfield resigns as CEO from Southwest Michigan First

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — Lee Chatfield announced he is resigning from his position as CEO of SouthWest Michigan First, a regional economic leadership group.

The former Michigan Speaker of the House cited his views on LGBTQ+ and religion for causing a division among the board of directors. He wrote, “and as a board of directors, to fit within this community and bring about cohesion with our partners, you deserve someone with a blank political slate that won’t bring about the division that I’ve unfortunately caused.”

The city of Kalamazoo and The Kalamazoo Promise pulled support from Southwest Michigan First after the Feb. 11 announcement that Chatfield had been hired, according to WOOD-TV 8. The Kalamazoo County Commission also discussed pulling its support, along with $75,000 in annual pay for economic development services, though it has not held a vote yet.

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