Detroit — Detroit Economic Growth Corp. has named Rodrick Miller as its next president and CEO.
Miller previously founded New Orleans Business Alliance, a public-private partnership organization that “creates an enabling environment for business, grows jobs, and grows investment in New Orleans,” according to the DEGC. Miller is also currently president and CEO of NOLABA.
City officials and business leaders greeted Miller Friday afternoon at DECG offices in downtown Detroit.
“For me economic development, is not just a job. It’s almost like a calling,” Miller said. “When I look at the work of being a part of the revitalization and acceleration of the great things happening in the city of Detroit I’m really proud and honored.”
Miller said that he wants to bring more jobs to the city.
“Not just jobs at the $100,000 level, but jobs at the $25,000-$30,000 level,” he said. “A comprehensive economy has jobs for all people.”
Miller, 37, who is expected to start at the DEGC on Sept. 15, has worked on economic development initiatives in Baton Rouge, La., and Phoenix and Glendale, Ariz.
“Rodrick Miller has an outstanding record in leading new initiatives to attract business, jobs and investment to the cities where he has worked. He has also overseen infrastructure improvements that retain existing businesses and drive further development,” said Rod Gillum, chairman of the board of DEGC.
Mayor Mike Duggan said Miller stood out as an applicant. He noted Miller’s work in New Orleans helping to build already existing businesses in the city.
“In the city of Detroit, as this city comes back there’s a lot of folks in this town saying where do I fit in?” Duggan said. “When I sat down with Rod I felt like it was somebody from our administration already. He talked step by step how he engaged the city of New Orleans, drew them in every step of the way. I said this is exactly what we need at this time and this city.”
Miller succeeds George Jackson, who is forming a Detroit-based private consulting and development firm. Jackson announced his resignation in January.
Jackson has headed the quasi-public agency since 2002 and has been one of the most influential forces in brokering major development deals in the city.
The 2013 annual report of the DEGC cites $1 billion in city investment.
After he leaves as president and CEO, Jackson will continue to serve as a member of DEGC’s board of directors and its executive committee.