DETROIT — Business Leaders for Michigan today announced that Ryan Tarrant has joined the organization as Chief Operating Officer. Tarrant, who started in his new position March 21, succeeds Sabrina Keeley, who retired March 4 after 16 years as COO of the state’s business roundtable.
Tarrant comes to Business Leaders from the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, where he served five years as president and CEO. Under Tarrant’s leadership, the chamber added hundreds of new memberships and secured more than $1 million in funding for a talent attraction and retention initiative. The organization also was named the 2019 Michigan Association of Chamber Professionals Large Chamber of the Year.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ryan to our team,” said Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “Ryan’s an experienced leader in helping solve problems for small and large businesses and working to build strong communities across our state. His experience will help us and our members as we work to make Michigan a Top 10 state for jobs, education, widely shared prosperity and a healthy economy.”
Prior to joining the chamber, Tarrant held a variety of positions in government and politics. He previously served as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar and as district director for U.S. Rep. Dave Camp. He also was a political affairs manager for the Michigan Bankers Association. He joins the senior leadership team at Business Leaders for Michigan, which includes Gabe Rodriguez, Tim Sowton, Lindsay Case-Palsrok and Randi Berris.
Keeley had been with Business Leaders for Michigan since 2006 and was integral to the transformation from the regional Detroit Renaissance to the statewide Business Leaders for Michigan in 2009. Previously, she was the president and CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of Commerce and served for more than a decade as the COO and interim CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and its predecessor organization, the Michigan Jobs Commission.
“Sabrina has been the heart and soul of Business Leaders for Michigan and a warrior for Michigan. We are going to miss her passion and her skills,” Donofrio said. “We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”