Ann Arbor SPARK Hosts White House Business Council Roundtable, Connects Business Leaders with Department of Commerce


ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Ann Arbor SPARK, the driving force of business expansion, retention and attraction in the region, recently collaborated with the White House Business Council to connect local business owners with the U.S. Department of Commerce.  At the roundtable discussion, over a dozen local business owners shared their experiences with the Administration.  

“Ann Arbor SPARK’s role is to connect business with opportunities to help them thrive in our region.  Participating in the White House Business Council roundtable connects the businesses in our region to government leaders, giving them a voice in legislation and activity that directly impact their future,” said Tim Marshall, president and CEO of Bank of Ann Arbor and vice chair of Ann Arbor SPARK’s board of directors.  Marshall represented Ann Arbor SPARK at the roundtable event.  “Making connections between business, education and government is a way that SPARK strengthens the entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s contributing to the region’s economic success.”

Dr. Rebecca M. Blank, Acting Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce hosted the roundtable, held at the Ann Arbor SPARK East business incubator.

“Helping put more Americans back to work is this administration’s top priority, but Washington doesn’t have all the answers,” Dr. Blank said. “These roundtable discussions are opportunities for the Administration to get feedback about what’s working and what we could be doing better. Perhaps most importantly, they give us a chance to take ideas from local leaders and turn them into concrete action to help American businesses.”

The Ann Arbor roundtable was part of an ongoing series.  The White House Business Council will host these roundtables in at least 200 communities across the country by year-end.

The purpose of these roundtables is to listen to local businesses, getting feedback on how the Administration can best support their growth. It is also a resource for helping local business leaders take advantage of the Administration resources and programs designed to help them create jobs and compete in the market.


Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization, is the driving force in establishing the Ann Arbor region as a destination for business expansion, retention, and location by identifying and meeting the needs of business at every stage, from start-ups to large organizations. Ann Arbor SPARK represents all communities in Washtenaw County. Ann Arbor SPARK collaborates with business, academic, government, and community investor partners including the University of Michigan, Eastern Michigan University, Washtenaw Community College, Washtenaw County, Washtenaw County etcs/Michigan Works!, the City of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For more information, please call (734) 761-9317 or visit