Southwest Michigan First Expands Team: Southwest Michigan First announced today the addition of Jennifer Kopp Owens to its team as vice president.  Owens’ duties will center on developing the organization’s relationships with regional primary employers in its job creation and retention efforts.  In addition, Owens will be looked at to play a key role in the execution of Southwest Michigan First’s strategy of attracting employers to the community. Owens comes to the Southwest Michigan First from Ann Arbor Spark, the economic development organization representing Washtenaw County, where she was vice president of business development.  Prior to that, Owens spent 10 years at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. in leadership roles concentrating on job retention and growth.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. Although Owens has spent much of her professional career in other areas of the state, she has strong family ties to Southwest Michigan. Owens was born in Benton Harbor, raised in Coloma and is a graduate of Lake Michigan Catholic High School in St. Joseph. Southwest Michigan First is the economic development agency for the Kalamazoo region. It is a private, nonprofit corporation. For more information, visit


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