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Lansing — Michigan’s former lieutenant governor won’t be added to the unemployment rolls any time soon.

A day after the inauguration of Michigan’s new Democratic administration, the Small Business Association of Michigan has announced Brian Calley as its new president to head the group’s “communications and government affairs efforts."

The outgoing Republican lieutenant governor assumed his role with the association Tuesday. Calley was a banker prior to his work in the House and subsequent eight years in the governor’s office. He gained his master’s in business administration from Harvard University while serving as lieutenant governor.

As the association's liaison on small business issues, among the 148 state lawmakers Calley will be trying to persuade is his wife, Rep. Julie Calley, a fellow Republican from Portland.

In a statement, Calley said he was excited to help the association’s critical role in Michigan’s growth.

“Small businesses power Michigan’s economy, and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves again to support them,” he said.

Calley’s work to “craft Michigan’s comeback” and guidance of tax and regulatory reforms in the legislature make him suitable for the role at the Small Business Association of Michigan, which named him the Legislator of the Year in 2008.

“Brian has a long and accomplished record of advocating for the interests of small businesses in Michigan,” said Rob Fowler, the CEO and former president of the association. “His experience, vision, and passion make him a perfect choice to lead our organization now and into the future.”

eleblanc@detroitnews.com

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