The New Michigan Summit to Convene Next Month


DETROIT — As Michigan continues to move aggressively toward fiscal stability and job creation, top executives from across the state will convene in Lansing on March 11 to update strategies and plan next steps.

“Through collaboration and careful analysis, Michigan will successfully capitalize on its future economic opportunities,” said Doug Rothwell, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “The key is to be smart, strategic, and unrelenting in our efforts. This summit represents an important check point on our path forward.”

Conference participants will spend a half-day in updates and discussion related to each component of Business Leaders for Michigan’s new Michigan strategy.

The New Michigan Summit will be held on March 11, 2013 at the Radisson Hotel, Lansing from 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. The half-day event is free-of-charge and includes panel discussions on the following topics:

Natural Resources Economy

Michigan is poised to supply growing global demand for food, energy sources, water, and minerals. Our abundant natural resources, as well as our agricultural expertise and tourism industries, are ripe for expansion. Intelligent stewardship and distribution can help make our state a leader and voice for natural resource management; in this session, we’ll explore strategies for cultivating and sharing our abundant resources.

  • Erin McDonough, executive director, Michigan United Conservation Clubs
  • Wayne Wood, president, Michigan Farm Bureau
  • Moderator: George Zimmermann, vice president for Travel Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Global Center of Mobility

With a rich automotive history, ample industrial resources, and amazing technological know-how, Michigan is ready to expand mobility into the 21st century. From multi-modal transportation systems and electric vehicles to the wonder of GPS-assisted parking, our engineers and manufacturers are moving Michigan forward into a world where cars are just one of the ways to get from here to there.

  • Jay Baron, president & CEO, Center for Automotive Research
  • Sandy Baruah, president & CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber
  • John Sztykiel, president & CEO, Spartan Motors, Inc.
  • Moderator: Chris Holman, CEO, Michigan Business

Global Engineering Village

Michigan’s knowledge about what it takes to produce well-engineered products is second to none. Our patent activity, talent, and manufacturing plants are all at the ready to support the development of a dynamic engineering hub with the potential to transform how the world works.

  • Rich Wells, vice president and Site Director Michigan Operations, Dow Chemical Company
  • Christopher Webb, co-director, The Engineering Society of Detroit Institute

Gateway to the Midwest (15 minutes)

With international trade growing, Michigan has the geographic, logistical, and talent resources to serve as a distribution center for supplying products and services across the nation and around the globe. Our population, ports, and access to foreign markets have tremendous potential; we’re learning to leverage them in ways that will make Michigan a launching point for the world of tomorrow.

  • Peter Anastor, senior policy director, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Higher Education Marketplace

When it comes to innovation, Michigan’s universities have a corner on tomorrow’s technology. Some of America’s strongest research and baccalaureate universities are located in our state; with their intellect, energy, and zest for new technologies, these organizations are a key component to Michigan’s future economic success.

  • Tim Daman, president & CEO, Lansing Regional Chamber
  • Michael Hansen, president, Michigan Community College Association
  • Kenneth Nisbet, executive director of U-M Tech Transfer, University of Michigan

Life Sciences Hub

The biological and life sciences offer tremendous long-term growth potential for Michigan, which already generates many of America’s university bioscoence degree holders. We have what it takes to succeed in the bio-pharmaceutical sector, and look forward to advancing.

  • Steve Rapundalo, president & CEO, MichBio
  • Therese Thill, vice president of Business Development, The Right Place, Inc.    

To find the full agenda for BLM’s New Michigan summit or to register, visit

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