Published in Breaking News

Battle Creek Unlimited names interim president and CEO

BY MiBiz Staff Monday, July 11, 2016 01:18pm

BATTLE CREEK — Joe Sobieralski has been named interim president and CEO for Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) following the abrupt departure of previous leader Marie Briganti in late June, according to a statement.

Now in the driver’s seat, Sobieralski plans to develop a 90-day plan to finalize the economic development agency’s organizational road map and outline its goals, he told MiBiz.

In particular, Sobieralski said he plans to make “a top priority” of winning a federal contract for a $3 billion missile defense system.

“I’m honored that the board has given me this opportunity to lead the organization on an interim basis and look forward to working with the team at BCU,” Sobieralski said. “Hopefully we can accomplish some great things.”

Briganti hired Sobieralski as vice president of BCU in Dec. 2015 as part of an executive staff shakeup after serving as executive director for the Southwestern Michigan Economic Growth Alliance and city manager for Bangor, Mich.

“I think I’m going to try to bring an upbeat leadership (style), be out in the public (and) just be a creative, outside-the-box thinker and go-getter,” Sobieralski said.

BCU has not established a timeline for hiring a new president and CEO at this time, Sobieralski said.

Sobieralski declined to say if he was being considered for or was interested in taking the interim director position during an interview for a previous MiBiz report regarding Briganti’s departure.

Likewise, Sobieralski also demurred when asked now if he would consider becoming the permanent president and CEO of BCU.

“I guess we’ll have to see when a timeline is established,” he said. “I’ll have to evaluate and consider all options.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated with comment from Sobieralski.

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