Johnson Launches New Business Roundtable

Industry & Business Leaders to Assist SoS in Streamlining Operations, Cutting Costs & Improving Technology

LANSING, Friday, June 3, 2011 — Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson today announced the formation of a new Business Roundtable, which will include business and industry leaders from across the state. She made the announcement during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2011 Mackinac Policy Conference’s “Era of Change” panel discussion.

“We are trying to change our thinking and the way we do business, so it seemed fitting to announce this effort during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s ‘Era of Change’ discussion,” said Johnson. “We want to work smarter, leaner and more efficiently. We are indebted to these men and women, top in their fields, for their willingness to share their experience and wisdom as they assist us in streamlining operations, cutting costs and improving customer service.”

Leaders who have agreed to serve on the Business Roundtable, which is expected to meet quarterly and develop a list of recommendations for the Secretary of State’s Office, include:


  • Ron Boji, president of the Boji Group, LLC, who also played a leadership role in the mid-Michigan computer industry as a representative of large computer hardware and software firms.


  • Pete Beauregard Jr., president of Colony Marine.


  • Terry Burns, executive vice president of the Michigan Auto Dealers Association.


  • Sherrill Freeborough, the owner-dealer of Hyundai of Lansing.
  • Ed Doss, the owner of Waters RV in Waters, Mich.


  • Tim DeWitt, executive director of the Michigan Manufactured Housing, RV & Campground Association


  • Michael J. Gingell, vice president of corporate development for Polk and chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners.


  • Gary Granger, founder, owner, and president of Granger Group, a national real estate brand development company.


  • Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan.


  • John Ropp, chief executive of the Michigan Boating Industries Association.


  • Bob Shuman, owner of Shuman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Walled Lake, Mich.


  • Todd Wyett, partner/chief executive officer of VERSA. Wyett was also appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder in January 2011 to the Michigan State Transportation Commission.


  • A representative, to be announced, of Grand Rapids-based Meijer.


During the “Era of Change” discussion, Johnson discussed several of her initiatives to streamline and improve customer service, from her “Secret Shopper” program to assess services to improving and expanding online technology. Just seven percent of all citizen transactions are handled online in the Secretary of State system.

In her first five months in office, Johnson has launched a cash-handling task force and improved organ donor registrations in May 2011 by double-digits over May 2010. She is also fighting to get a $27.5 million computer system – launched five years ago that was supposed to revolutionize SOS operations – up and running.

Johnson has also met with business, industry and job providers across Michigan to find out how the Secretary of State’s Office can help them cut through government red tape so they can help get Michigan back to work.

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