The Michigan Chamber of Commerce today announced that Robert S. LaBrant, Senior Vice President of Political Action & General Counsel, will start a transition to retirement over 2011 and 2012. As part of the Chamber’s leadership transition plan, Jim Holcomb will be promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Advocacy effective Jan. 1, 2011.
“After more than 33 years directing the Michigan Chamber’s nationally-recognized political action program, and after 17 election cycles, Bob will step down at the end of this year as the Chamber’s Senior Vice President,” said Michigan Chamber President & CEO Rich Studley. “I am very pleased to report that Bob will continue to serve as the Chamber’s General Counsel with primary responsibility for lobby law, election law, campaign finance, initiative & referendum, and ballot proposals. In addition to these key issues, a major focus of Bob’s work over the next 12 months will be on leading the Chamber’s efforts relating to legislative and congressional redistricting.”
“Effective January 1, 2011, Jim Holcomb will assume responsibility for the Chamber’s political action program in addition to his current role of directing the Chamber’s lobbying efforts,” Studley noted. “During this transition, Jim will continue his duties as Associate Counsel until Bob LaBrant retires, at which time he will fully assume the role of General Counsel for the Chamber.”
Holcomb currently serves as Vice President of Business Advocacy & Associate General Counsel for the Michigan Chamber, a position he has held since he joined the Chamber’s leadership team in 2008.
The Michigan Chamber's strategic plan calls for the Michigan Chamber to deliver business leadership through political action. In the the 2010 General Election, the Michigan Chamber endorsed 112 candidates; all but seven candidates (94 percent) won on Election Day.
According to the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce PAC (through October 20, 2010) ranks 17th largest out of the top 150 PACs in Michigan. In the 2008 election cycle, through the generous support of hundreds of small business owners and other business leaders from across the state, the Michigan Chamber PAC increased by 67 percent - from $268,655 to $448,725.