By Epiphany Communications: Coaching & Consulting*
His first week on the job was way more physically exhausting than Jerry Griffin anticipated as MIRA’s new VP of Government Affairs. It was the week of the golf outing and MIRA had a significant number of products to move from the office to the golf course. “We have a small staff, so it was a lot of work, but we had a great deal of fun,” said Griffin. “It was nice to interact with members in a fun, casual setting and the weather made the day even more enjoyable.”
Griffin not only brings years of professional experience to his position, but he also has family history in the industry. “My family owned a convenience store in Jackson when I was growing up,” he said. “I worked there for four years in high school and college. We had a class C liquor license and one of the first lottery machines in the state in the 70’s. I remember going to state liquor stores to pick up orders and to distributors for different concession items.”
In his new position, Griffin is currently reviewing legislation that has been offered in the past and currently affects MIRA members. “This includes the bottle bill expansion, food deserts, lottery operations, and regulatory and statutory issues with the Liquor Control Commission,” said Griffin. “I’m also reviewing and revising the structure of the MIRA PAC to maximize our fundraising potential.”
Griffin spent more than 11 years as the Director of Government Affairs for the Wayne County Executive Office where he oversaw development and implementation of legislative initiatives for the 15th largest county in the country. After his time in the county, he took a position as a Senior Strategist/Community Relations Consultant with the Nocerini Strategy Group and started his own company, GMG Public Affairs Consulting.
Griffin brings institutional knowledge to his new role. He began his career in the Michigan House of Representatives working as a fiscal analyst for the House Fiscal Agency. There he was tasked with assisting the House Appropriations committee in developing the House version of the state budget for each state department. He served with the House for more than four years before accepting a position as Director of Government Affairs with the Michigan Association of Counties where he served in that capacity for seven years before being asked to join the Wayne County Executive Office as the Director of Government Affairs and then onto being a consultant. “For the last seven plus years I’ve worked as a consultant with municipal government and as owner of my own company assisting business clients expand retail operations through site selection and ordinance review and modification,” he said.
The new position at MIRA was a natural fit. “It is an opportunity to get back into public policy at the state level where I have spent most of my career,” he said. “In particular, it was enticing to work with small business owners in a variety of commercial business entities after having spent most of my government affairs career working on behalf of local government.”
He is also looking forward to working with colleagues that he has had a long history with, including Matt Miner, Dan Farhat and Bob Kosowski, with MIRA’s multi-client lobbyist, Capital Strategies Group. “Also, I’m very excited to work with MIRA’s members to assist them in building their businesses in whatever way possible and build MIRA to its maximum potential,’ he said.
When he is not working, Griffin keeps busy. He enjoys dinner with friends and his three daughters when possible and spending time at his condo near Lake Michigan. “I enjoy reading, mainly biographies, history and historical fiction novels,” he said. “I am a huge Michigan State fan, so college football and basketball seasons are a great time for me. I am also a big Tigers fan but baseball season for the last several years has not been a great time.”
Griffin earned a business degree as an accounting major from Michigan State University.
*Writers with Epiphany Communications: Coaching & Consulting are content creators for Bottom Line.