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Quentin Messer Jr. is the new CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. He spent Wednesday meeting with Berrien County business owners and legislators.

BENTON HARBOR — The new head of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. believes Southwest Michigan businesses are critical to the state and region’s economy.

Quentin Messer Jr. spent Wednesday touring Berrien County and meeting with business and state leaders. At lunch, he met with state Rep. Pauline Wendzel, R-Watervliet, and state Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. They also stopped by Lark’s Bar-B-Que, where Messer said he picked up rib tips for takeout.

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Quentin Messer Jr., the new CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., speaks with The Herald-Palladium on Wednesday at Cornerstone Alliance in Benton Harbor.

Contact: jknot@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @knotjuliana