The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has hired Steve Arwood as its new COO.Arwood has served as the director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs since being appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in January.He replaces Steven Hilfinger, who resigned from the position as the MEDC’s COO and executive vice president in June to return to Foley & Lardner LLP.Arwood serves on the Michigan Strategic Fund board, and prior to heading LARA, he worked at the department overseeing the Unemployment Insurance Agency. Previous to that, he was the U.S. regional director for Windlab Developments USA Ltd. He is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University.Also today, Mike Zimmer was named acting director of LARA. Zimmer previously was LARA’s chief deputy.MEDC President and CEO Mike Finney, in an interview with Crain’s in Traverse City at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars, said Arwood’s hiring will free him up for international trade missions and selling the state abroad.“There’s not enough of me to go around,” Finney said. “He (Arwood) will do some international work, but will focus a lot at the state level.”Finney also commented on rumors that he is looking to leave the MEDC for a private sector position.“Contrary to those rumors that keep popping up, I’m committed to Gov. Snyder and this administration,” Finney said.Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Steve Arwood and other top speakers and celebrities.