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Detroit-area Attorney Richard Rassel Named Chair of New Michigan Community Development Corporation

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scott Woosley, president and CEO of the Michigan Community Development Corp. (MCDC) and executive director of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) today announced that Richard E. Rassel of Bloomfield Hills will chair the MCDC, a new organization aimed at attracting foreign investment to Michigan.

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The news comes on the heels of Gov. Snyder's State of the State address Thursday, in which he announced plans to create the Michigan Office for New Americans, an effort to attract immigrants to the state.

"We are very excited to have the support of the Governor on not only the MCDC but also the launch of the EB-5 program in Michigan. His creation of a new office to promote immigration further demonstrates his commitment. He understands the link between foreign investment, immigration, entrepreneurship and job creation and how it will further Michigan's effort to be recognized globally for all it has to offer," Woosley said.

Rassel, a shareholder and chairman of the law firm Butzel Long, holds a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He practices primarily in the area of complex business litigation and arbitration with a special concentration in media law. Rassel also is a Certified Judge Advocate, having graduated from the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate School. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers since 1989 and is a graduate of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Mediation and Arbitration Training Program. In addition, Rassel is a director and secretary of the Detroit Legal News, Inc.

"Dick is a highly-respected attorney who also has many years of board leadership in several different organizations across the state, which demonstrates his dedication to the betterment of Michigan. We are thrilled to have someone of his caliber from the private sector engaging in such an important role in this organization. I am confident his leadership will provide the oversight and direction we need to be successful in this new endeavor," Woosley said.

Rassel's community activities include serving as vice-chairman of the Board of Detroit Public Television; chairman of the Board of the Holy Cross Foundation; a director of the Michigan Strategic Fund; a trustee of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce's Foundation Board; a trustee of William Beaumont Hospital and vice-chairman of its Research Institute; past president of the Birmingham (Michigan) Community House; a former president and trustee of the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation; an Ambassador of the College of Arts and Sciences of Oakland University; and a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

"I look forward to fostering opportunities that lead to new business formation and job growth in Michigan," Rassel said.

The MCDC will house the State of Michigan EB-5 Regional Center, a vehicle to connect eligible foreign investors with potential development projects in key areas of the state.

In addition to Rassel, the MCDC board is comprised of Keith Creagh, director of the Department of Natural Resources; Steve Arwood, director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; Kirk Steudle, director of the Michigan Department of Transportation; and Craig Patterson, Senior Vice President of Development, WODA Group.

The board will meet quarterly or as needed.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.

SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority

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