DEGC Hires Two Executives, Launches New Strategic Business Development Initiative

Peter H. Chapman, executive vice president for business development
Peter H. Chapman, executive vice president for business development

Peter H. Chapman has been named executive vice president for business development at DEGC and will lead its newly revamped business development department. Aaron Turk will be the new senior executive for strategy and business development. Chapman is the former deputy city manager for economic development and housing for the city of Norfolk, Virginia. Turk formerly was a project leader at The Boston Consulting Group.

The reconstituted business development department will focus on aggressively selling Detroit as a destination for investment from targeted industries and markets; deepening the capacity of the organization to provide turnkey support to drive investment; and strengthening the existing business retention and expansion program.

As DEGC develops sector-based strategies that target its business development efforts, Chapman and Turk will take a collaborative approach with DEGC’s existing stakeholders and partners. Enhancing DEGC’s business development efforts while maintaining its existing real estate and small business efforts will expand the organization’s ability to deliver jobs for the people of Detroit and investment throughout the city. DEGC is actively securing new revenue sources to fund the increased activity.

“Historically DEGC has focused on real estate development; responding to inquiries from national firms around expansion opportunities in Detroit; and meeting the needs of our existing business base,” said Rodrick Miller, DEGC president and CEO.

“In the past few years, we have increased the emphasis on growing Detroit’s small businesses, both startups and existing businesses. The growing spotlight on Detroit and recent significant investments from around the globe underscore how the time is right to drive the local market’s performance rather than just respond to it. These new executives will lead that effort,” said Miller.

Chapman has more than 20 years’ experience in economic development, having held key leadership roles in Denver, Colorado, and Richmond, Virginia, in addition to his most recent post in Norfolk.

Among his successes include launching a campaign that helped to bring 3,000 financial services jobs to Norfolk. In Richmond, he directed the city’s expansion and retention efforts targeting global health care and pharmaceutical firms.

Chapman holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Wesleyan University and earned a master’s degree in public policy and urban economic development from Tufts University.

As a consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, Turk has expertise in industries that have great potential for growth in Detroit, including automotive, financial services, health care and consumer goods.

Prior to management consulting, Turk served nearly 10 years in the U.S. Navy as both a naval aviator – deploying worldwide in support of combat and humanitarian missions – and a foreign liaison officer at the Pentagon.

Turk graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Economics and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Tiffini Smith

Director of Human Resources

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