Michigan's Major Employers lay out Promising Vision for State


DETROIT — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) hosted its first Michigan CEO Summit March 15 at the Westin Book Cadillac to share their optimism about the state’s future and to lay out the 2012 Michigan Turnaround Plan (MTP). The plan looks to make Michigan a Top Ten State for job, economic and personal income growth.  Panel discussions at the conference centered on strategies for continuing Michigan’s turnaround and an important new sixth step of the MTP, Leveraging Assets to Grow the New Michigan, that lays out a 10+ year vision for growing a New Michigan economy and up to 500,000 new jobs. The event drew over 400 attendees from across the state.

“It is exciting see such a high level of interest from business, civic and community leaders in turning the state around,” said Jim Nicholson, President & CEO of PVS Chemicals, Inc. and Chair of the BLM Board of Directors. “The major employers of this state are fully committed to Michigan’s recovery and felt it was important to share strategies for growing our economy so we could have a healthy discussion about what it will take to advance our state.”

Nicholson said he was pleased to see participants come from as far as Escanaba, Marquette, and Traverse City at the event and noted that the West- and Mid-Michigan regions were also well represented, “We are hopeful that the New Michigan strategy spurs engagement across the state as these business, community and civic leaders go back home and share this bright outlook for Michigan with their family, friends and coworkers.  We all have a role in Michigan’s turnaround.”

“The 2012 Turnaround Plan builds on the foundation set by steps 1-5 and lays out a vision for the ‘New Michigan’ economy based on Michigan’s unique assets and strengths,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “We’ve identified growth opportunities that we are confident will have the highest-potential over the next ten years to accelerate growth and create thousands of good paying jobs.  These are real objectives, grounded with research, and with prospects to dramatically reshape and strengthen Michigan’s economic future.”

Rothwell remarked that it will take collective efforts from across the state to realize Michigan’s full potential, “Today’s discussion, while inspiring, is only the beginning. Creating a New Michigan economy will require the commitment of all stakeholders including the private sector, public sector, supporting associations and those responsible for guiding economic development.”

The conference featured keynote addresses from Robert Taubman, Chairman, President & CEO, Taubman Centers, Inc. and Jeff Fettig, Chairman & CEO, Whirlpool Corporation as well as panel discussions with over a dozen other top executives.

Other Summit topics included:

  • Driving Growth through Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Participants learned about the important role that entrepreneurs play in growing jobs and shaping Michigan’s future economy.
  • Investing in Michigan.  Michigan businesses across the state provided examples of how investments in Michigan communities are driving the local economy.
  • Learning from Michigan’s “Alumni.”  National executives offered candid feedback about challenges and opportunities ahead for Michigan.
  • Michigan – Fast Forward. CEOs shared their views on why they are so bullish on Michigan.