GRAND RAPIDS — Former Lakeshore Advantage CEO Randy Thelen is returning to West Michigan to lead regional economic development firm The Right Place Inc.

Thelen will replace long-time President and CEO Birgit Klohs, who is planning to retire at the end of January after 33 years with the organization. Thelen starts March 1.

The Right Place board of directors chose Thelen after a national search. He comes to the organization from Downtown Denver Partnership, where he served as senior vice president of economic development. During his tenure in Denver, Thelen’s organization was involved in more than $1 billion of investments. He also formerly led economic development for the Greater Omaha Chamber in Nebraska.

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