Statewide CEOs Unite and Layout Plan for Michigan’s Turnaround

Form “Business Leaders for Michigan” to advance the work

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 11, 2009 – The CEOs of Michigan’s most significant employers united today behind a comprehensive plan to turn around Michigan’s economy – called the Michigan Turnaround Plan. In addition, the CEOs announced that Detroit Renaissance and other CEOs across the state will unite to form an organization called “Business Leaders for Michigan” to advocate for and advance the plan.

“For the first time, leading CEOs from major businesses across the state are speaking with one voice behind a common agenda to accelerate Michigan’s economic growth. The Michigan Turnaround Plan will benefit every community in Michigan,” said David Brandon, chairman & CEO of Domino’s Pizza, Inc.  “Joining together in support of a cohesive economic agenda has immediately energized our newly-formed organization, as we will pool our executive talent, resources and energy to drive results.”

The first priority for the new organization is its plan for making Michigan an above average state in the short-term and a top ten state in the long-term for job & economic growth. The Michigan Turnaround Plan is a comprehensive strategy to transform Michigan’s economy. It lays out the case for change, sets achievable goals, identifies specific action steps and explains the impact of change. Business Leaders for Michigan will share the plan with current and potential elected officials, with the goal of making it a key discussion item during next year’s election.

“No one action will get Michigan on the right track,” said Michael Jandernoa, Board of Directors member and former CEO for Perrigo Company. “It will take moving on many fronts concurrently to get the job done and the Michigan Turnaround Plan recognizes that. Business Leaders for Michigan will put its energy and resources toward implementing the plan and will work to raise public awareness of the issues, offer leadership, and monitor progress.”

Business Leaders for Michigan will begin advocating and advancing implementation of the Michigan Turnaround Plan immediately, although some actions will take longer to achieve than others. The organization will be fully operational by January 1, 2010.

The Michigan Turnaround Plan is supported by Business Leaders for Michigan’s three pillars of work:

  • Compete Michigan:  Business Leaders for Michigan will work to improve Michigan’s business climate by advocating for fiscal, tax, regulatory and structural changes that make the state more competitive.   This work will be guided by objective benchmarking studies conducted every year of peer regions around the globe.
  • Innovate Michigan: Business Leaders for Michigan will focus on strategic initiatives to stimulate new business creation and job growth by supporting the development of a talent base with entrepreneurial skills, developing a distinctive university-business partnership, supporting entrepreneurial infrastructure and growing the pool of venture capital.
  • Differentiate Michigan:  Business Leaders for Michigan will strive to make Michigan a great place to live and work by championing the redevelopment of Michigan’s cities, leveraging key assets (e.g. Great Lakes and airports) and working to grow key business sectors.

The new united organization will consist of approximately 70 CEOs of the state’s most significant employers. Business Leaders for Michigan will be chaired by David Brandon, chairman & CEO of Domino’s Pizza, who currently chairs Detroit Renaissance. An executive committee will be formed and the organization’s president & CEO will be Doug Rothwell, who currently serves in this capacity for Detroit Renaissance.

Business Leaders for Michigan will maintain an office in the Renaissance Center in the city of Detroit, but will also establish a second office in the state. In addition, the new organization will continue to have a strong focus on Detroit and other urban centers with a committee dedicated to that work.

About Business Leaders for Michigan:

Business Leaders for Michigan is an organization of Michigan CEOs  that develops, advocates and supports high-impact strategies that will in the long-term make Michigan a “top ten” state and in the short-term an above average state for job & economic growth. Business Leaders for Michigan member organizations provide over 300, 000 jobs in Michigan, generate nearly $1 Trillion in annual revenue, and serve over 130,000 students.

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