Photo: Khalfani Stephens; Flint’s new director of economic development
Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced Feb. 11 that Khalfani Stephens has joined the team at Flint City Hall to serve as the director of economic development.
Stephens, a Pontiac native, brings a wealth of professional expertise and will provide strong new leadership to Flint’s economic revitalization efforts. Stephens previously served in Clayton County, Georgia, as executive director of the development authority. Clayton County is a community of 250,000 residents and is home to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
He also served as the economic development director for the city of Farmington Hills, business development manager for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and executive director of the Pontiac (Mich.) Growth Group.
While at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Stephens worked directly with the city of Flint to identify opportunities to retain and expand local businesses. He also provided technical support during the master planning process, laid the groundwork for state funding that made the Capitol Theatre renovation possible and implemented the state’s community ventures program to provide job opportunities to local residents.
While in Pontiac, he developed a plan that targeted investment to open a new apartment building, corner store and 24-hour gym. The $20 million development became the foundation for an influx of new investment in the neighborhood.
“Flint is sitting at an amazing junction. There is opportunity here and the time is right for investment,” Stephens said. “I am excited to tell the world about Flint. This is a great place to live and do business.”
In his role, funded through grant dollars from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Stephens will oversee Flint’s economic development team.
“We are excited to bring Khalfani back to Michigan. His talent and experience will be a huge asset to Flint,” Neeley said. “Economic development is critically important to move this community forward. We are thankful to our philanthropic partners for their ongoing support and investment in Flint.”