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LEAP’s New Economy Director Accepts New Job Opportunity

Wednesday, February 4, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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                February 4, 2015

CONTACT: Sara Parkinson, LEAP
(517) 702-3387 x 209 office

(517) 897-1678 mobile 

LEAP’s New Economy Director Accepts New Job Opportunity

Jeff Smith accepts position with MSU Foundation

LANSING, MI - LEAP’s New Economy Director, Jeff Smith, who has led LEAP’s entrepreneurial and business startup efforts throughout the Lansing region for the last three years under the leadership of President and CEO Bob Trezise, has announced that he has accepted a similar position and mission as Director of MSU University Corporate Research Park with the MSU Foundation. Jeff will begin his new role on February 16th.

“LEAP and our region are most thankful for Jeff’s work, over the last three years, which has helped the Lansing region grow into one of the state’s and country’s most successful entrepreneurial environments.  A major focus of that effort was connecting our region’s new economic development efforts with the emerging commercialization and business startup efforts at Michigan State University. That critical work will continue to strengthen, between LEAP, our region, Michigan State University, and the MSU Foundation, as Jeff continues that work at MSU Foundation. We wish Jeff well,” said Bob Trezise, President and CEO of LEAP.

When LEAP was re-configured three years ago, Jeff Smith helped build a new entrepreneurial culture within our region, in particular connecting Michigan State University’s commercialization efforts and the Lansing region’s new economy development efforts. Those new efforts were enormously successful.  Incubators like The Runway were built and are now underway; a new organizational structure was built for the Lansing Regional SmartZone and the Technology Innovation Center (TIC) in downtown East Lansing. Additionally, the monthly business pitch event called The Hatching, and the region’s first Maker Week were developed are have been successful. While all of these programmatic accomplishments were completed, many new startup companies were constituted and are running well today. But the work will continue. LEAP’s excellent New Economy Division staff remains in place. LEAP is soon to unveil a very significant new set of entrepreneurial programs and initiatives in line with these goals.

“LEAP is an amazing and dynamic organization, making dramatic changes to our entire region in every respect. I deeply believe in LEAP and its mission. My new position at MSU Foundation is really an extension of that mission,” said Jeff Smith.


The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region. For more information about LEAP, please visit

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