The Right Place adds 5 to board, accepts 6 retirements

Grand Rapids-based The Right Place is under new leadership.

Sean P. Welsh, regional president, Western Michigan for PNC Bank, is the new chair of the group’s board of directors for 2019-2020. He’s joined by fellow officers Mitch Joppich, Grand Rapids Managing Partner, PwC, as the vice chair, and Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO, Spectrum Health, named the new treasurer.

“(Welsh) has been a valuable member of our board for a long time,” Birgit Klohs, The Right Place’s president and CEO, told Corp! earlier this year. “He’s doing a wonderful job as our chairman.”

The Right Place is a regional nonprofit founded in 1985 which drives current and long-term economic prosperity in West Michigan through the development and implementation of comprehensive strategies to retain, expand and attract businesses.

Executive committee appointments included:

  • Steve Downing, president/CEO of Gentex Corp.
  • Renee Tabben, director, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Market Executive and Market President, Bank of America.
  • Garrick Rochow, senior vice president-operations, Consumers Energy.

New appointments to the board of directors include:

  • Stephen Abbott, Executive Director, Middle Market | Commercial Banking, JPMorgan Chase
  • Dennis Eidson, President & CEO, SpartanNash
  • Dr. Hyung Kim, President, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s
  • Dr. Philomena Mantella, President, Grand Valley State University
  • Representative

The Right Place also accepted the retirements of six members of its board of directors, including:

  • Dan Gaydou, former President, Midwest Region, MLive Media Group, LLC
  • Thomas Haas, President Emeritus, Grand Valley State University
  • Richard Haslinger, former President, Chase – West Michigan
  • David Staples, former President & CEO, SpartanNash
  • Mark Stiers, President & COO, Power & Industrial, DTE Energy
  • Rob Spohr, Montcalm Community College

The International Economic Development Council has designated The Right Place as an Accredited Economic Development Organization (AEDO). Find out more by visiting, liking the group on, and following on twitter @TheRightPlaceGR.