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Planning and Economic Development

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eMacomb - Department News, Winter 2016

Department Happenings

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John Paul Rea comes on board as our director after serving as assistant county executive, managing strategic communications and programming for Macomb County. Prior to working as assistant county executive, John Paul was one of our senior planners.

“John Paul has excelled in his time with the Executive’s Office,” said Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel. “However, with Steve Cassin retiring, we recognized we had a perfect opportunity to elevate John Paul into a leadership role in a field he is both knowledgeable and passionate about.”

John Paul lives in Washington Township with his wife Roberta and his daughter Amelia Grace. As a lifelong resident of Macomb County, he is committed to helping the county grow. "Macomb County has always been my home. I am truly fortunate to have grown up in such an amazing place, and now I have the good fortune of being in a position to help shape the future of this great county."

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Please join us in welcoming new Associate Planner John Culcasi to the Planning and Mapping program area.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from Wayne State University (WSU) and is near completion of a master’s degree in urban planning, also from WSU. 

John joins us from McKenna Associates where he supported 13 client communities with their planning needs including site plan review, master planning and zoning ordinances. Prior to that, he worked for a Detroit nonprofit that provided services to the homeless and was an intern for Gov. Rick Snyder for one year.

Native to Macomb County, John grew up in Sterling Heights and currently lives in Washington Township.  He enjoys riding the Macomb Orchard Trail, supporting local sports teams and photography.



In October, Steve, Deputy Director Vicky Rad and Project Coordinator James Ahee travelled to Washington, D.C. to attend the AUSA Annual Meeting & Exposition. The department hosted an Arsenal of Innovation reception and networked with national and international firms interested in growing their defense market.

Also in October, Vicky and Senior Economic Development Specialist Alyssa Tracey attended the first-ever National Aerospace Foreign Direct Investment Exposition in Los Angeles. They met with companies from Australia, Canada, Germany and Mexico who are looking to establish a presence in the United States as well as with the U.S. Commercial Service & Trade Investment representatives from Switzerland, China, Italy and the United Kingdom.

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In November, Vicky attended the Dubai Airshow where she gained insight into available opportunities for aerospace parts, tooling and automation manufacturers.

Program Manager Michael Connors recently travelled to Chicago to meet with nine site consultants. The purpose of the trip was to make introductions, cultivate relationships within the site consultant community, tout Michigan’s comeback story and discuss Macomb County’s growing aerospace industry.

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On Nov. 30, Senior Economic Development Specialist Jack Johns coordinated a tour for a Chinese delegation from Hai’an County in the Jiangsu Providence. They toured Macomb Community College’s Michigan Technical Education Center, the Macomb-OU INCubator and COMTEC. The day culminated in a dinner reception held by the Detroit Chinese Business Association where Jack spoke to a group of business professionals about the business-friendly environment Macomb County offers.

Check out our newly-launched blog at to read more about these department happenings.