An Amazing Story

Mackinac Policy Conference will help write the next chapter in Michigan’s turnaround
By Governor Rick Snyder
May 2012: Page 14

Michigan has a great story to tell, and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference will go a long way in writing the next chapter.

The path to success for any organization is paved with a clear vision, achievable goals, a well-thought strategy and constructive dialogue. It’s no different for the state of Michigan.

That’s why the Mackinac Policy Conference continues to be a driving force in shaping Michigan’s agenda. For more than 30 years, it has helped to guide Michigan on its journey by providing a forum for the critical exchange of ideas. Its ability to bring together leaders in the political, business and philanthropic communities for an intensive, informative gathering sets this conference apart from all others.

But the event is much more than a conference. Thanks to the outstanding leadership of Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah and his team, it’s actually a call to action that doesn’t end when we leave Mackinac Island. We are committed to pursuing concrete action items that translate into tangible results. For example, last year’s policy conference resulted in a “to-do” list of seven items slated for action. I look forward to seeing the status report that will be shared by the Chamber.

In the meantime, we should be heartened by the numerous other indicators around the state that underscore Michigan’s continuing turnaround. After struggling through the last decade with a lagging economy, Michigan is poised to be America’s “comeback kid.” Consider the following:

  • Just last year, we were cutting our way out of a $1.5 billion deficit. Today, we’re proposing a state budget that strategically invests in key priorities such as education, public safety and transportation.
  • A few short years ago, Michigan was notorious for its high unemployment rate. Today, while much work remains to reduce it even more, we’re seeing the lowest jobless rate since August 2008.
  • Roughly 80,000 private-sector jobs were created in the state last year.
  • Personal income in Michigan last year grew at the strongest rate in more than a decade, exceeding the rate of its Great Lakes neighbors and the entire nation.
  • Michigan’s corporate tax ranking will go from 49th in the nation to 7th thanks to our bold tax reforms, according to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate.

There’s no doubt that the Great Lakes State is fast becoming a national model of success and innovation. The word is out – Michigan is the place to do business and enjoy a great quality of life.

None of this is by accident. Michiganders are working together with relentless positive action to do what we do best – overcome challenges and build a brighter future for our children. Of course, our partners in the Legislature are making the bold but thoughtful reforms necessary to get Michigan back on track.

But our work is far from done. We need to keep our foot on the gas pedal because challenges remain. There’s much more that we can do to enhance Michigan’s business climate, such as moving forward with the New International Trade Crossing. We also must focus on strengthening our communities – especially our urban areas – by creating a sense of “place” that attracts investors and talented professionals. This is especially important considering Michigan was the only state to lose population according the most recent census.

Still, it’s clear that Michigan’s needle is moving in the right direction. In every corner of our state, there is a growing confidence that Michigan’s brightest days are still ahead. Making good use of tools such as the Mackinac Policy Conference, we will tap the boundless energy and creativity that are the hallmarks of all Michiganders, and create unlimited opportunities for the next generation.

Rick Snyder is the governor of the state of Michigan.

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List

MACKINAC ISLAND, May 31, 2012 – After three days of discussions featuring top state, regional and national thought-leaders and change-makers, 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference Chairman Nancy Schlichting and Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah, with agreement from Governor Rick Snyder, announced the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List to close the Conference.

The Detroit Regional Chamber committed to executing the following action items based on the conversation held at the 2012 Conference:

1. Partner with Governor Rick Snyder and key institutions to host a statewide military veterans hiring conference with the goal of securing Michigan employment for veterans.

2. Engage in an effort to help Detroit-based businesses cut through local government red tape to help promote business start-ups and success.

3. Lead a delegation of Detroit-area business leaders on a lessons learned trip to Washington, D.C. in partnership with Whole Foods Market and former Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams.

4. Partner with the College for Creative Studies to engage in a Detroit Future Envisioning project.

5.  Develop a program at the Detroit Regional Chamber to support promising entrepreneurs and businesses with access to coaching in best practices and capital.

Detroit Regional Chamber 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Detroit Regional Chamber 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference was held May 29-31 with 1,500 registered attendees at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. The Conference featured national experts and change-makers with a fully packed, fast-paced agenda resulting in the third annual Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List. The 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference focused on three pillars: innovation, collaboration and the 21st century global market. For the Chamber’s Conference coverage, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Joseph L. Welch as 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference Chair

MACKINAC ISLAND, May 30, 2012 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO, ITC Holdings Corp. (ITC) as Chair of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. Welch will succeed 2012 Conference Chair Nancy Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, and help lead the Chamber’s efforts in planning and hosting the 2013 Conference.

“Nancy Schlichting did a tremendous job this year; I’m looking forward to building on that momentum and once again bringing one of the nation’s premier public-policy events to Mackinac Island,” Welch said. “The Mackinac Policy Conference continues to evolve into a statewide conversation that helps foster a more globally and fiscally competitive Michigan.”

Welch founded ITC in 2003 and has grown it into the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company.  He is responsible for the strategic vision and overall business operation of ITC and its subsidiaries across seven states.  Headquartered in Novi, ITC invests in the high voltage power grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, lower the cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems.“

Joe Welch is a great advocate for Michigan and is truly committed to helping the state succeed in the 21st century global market,” Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah said. “At ITC, Joe leads a major business with a multi-regional footprint. This experience will be critical as the Chamber continues to focus on positioning Southeast Michigan in the global marketplace and executing our new ‘Detroit Regional Prosperity Campaign.’”

Following the announcement of Welch as Conference Chair, Baruah released the dates for the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, which will take place from Wednesday, May 29 to Friday, May 31, 2013.

“We’re shifting the dates back to the Wednesday through Friday format to help better accommodate the state legislators and help ensure they can be a part of the conversation,” Baruah said. “Moving forward, the Detroit Regional Chamber remains fully committed to the Belle Isle Grand Prix and we look forward to continuing to work with Roger Penske and General Motors to ensure both events are a success.”

About the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event founded in 1981 – brings together top leadership in business and government to re-energize Michigan.  Approximately 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2012 Conference, held May 29 – May 31 at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #

The Grandest of Years

Mackinac Policy Conference venue celebrates 125 years of history
By Clair Charlton
May 2012: Page 64-65

It’s not every day that influential leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists meet to plan the future of one of the country’s most forward-moving regions. So when they do, it’s only fitting that a quasquicentennial celebration should be part of the festivities.

This is a grand year for both the Mackinac Policy Conference and its loyal venue, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Looking ever more beautiful than the day she debuted 125 years ago, the Grand Hotel is honored and pleased to welcome the Mackinac Policy Conference May 29 to May 31, 2012.

An idyllic island setting, the Grand Hotel offers old world charm blended with modern technology required for the Conference, according to Dan Musser, III, president of the Grand Hotel. The Conference pillars of innovation, collaboration and 21st century global market reflect perfectly in the majestic pillars that grace the world’s largest front porch, he said.

“The Mackinac Policy Conference has been held at the Grand Hotel for over 30 years, and our guests are consistently provided with a level of service and experience that is exceptional,” said Tammy Carnrike, CCE, chief operating officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “National and international guests, as well as our own Michigan participants, leave the Conference with a positive Michigan experience that bolsters our state’s brand and reputation around the nation and world.”

The world’s largest summer hotel has 385 rooms, each uniquely decorated, offering guests a wide range of accommodation choices. There are 95 deluxe rooms and 54 named rooms, including seven in honor of former first ladies. Recreational activities are abounding at the Grand Hotel with tennis, afternoon tea, saddle horses and even their very own 18-hole golf course, The Jewel. Live music entertainment happens nightly, whether its dancing or the Grand Hotel Orchestra or live bands at The Gate House.

Celebrate 125 years of the Grant hotel by ordering the “Grand Hotel 125th Anniversary Book,” filled with historic photos, stories and more.

Since its opening on July 10, 1887, The Grand Hotel has worked to keep its historic appeal. In 1957, the Michigan Historical Association recognized the hotel as a State Historical Building and in 1960 R.D. (Dan) Musser was appointed president. 2012 marks the 79th consecutive year the Grand Hotel has been under the stewardship of the Musser family. While the hotel’s original architecture and charm have been preserved, guests can still enjoy modern amenities and the hotel is recognized as one of Travel & Leisure’s 500 World’s Best Hotels.

“We are proud of the unique role Grand Hotel has played in the history of Michigan. It first opened its doors just 50 years after Michigan achieved statehood and has played host to state and national leaders on a consistent basis ever since,” Musser said.

The Grand Hotel’s picturesque milieu is only accentuated by its location on Mackinac Island. Overlooking the Straits of Mackinac, the hotel’s 660-foot porch makes a perfect first impression to those approaching the island by ferry. Visitors are taken back 200 years, surrounded by antique shops and historic sites like Fort Mackinac. A place where motorized vehicles are forbidden, bicycles and horse-drawn carriages are the only form of transportation.

“The Grand Hotel certainly matches the focus that the Chamber wants to accomplish for this conference,” says Musser, noting that the hotel has hosted all but the first one or two of the Conferences. “The hotel, like the island, provides a setting that promotes interaction inside the sessions and out, and the Chamber does an extraordinary job of providing quality content and working with us to build creative events that promote interaction among attendees of what is arguably the most important policy event in the state.”

Grant Hotel President Dan Musser III and Chamber President Sandy K. Baruah at an event commemorating the hotel’s 125th anniversary at the Detroit Athletic Club in March 2012.

For a destination that throughout 125 years has witnessed events large and small, welcomed five U.S. presidents and hosted thousands of memory-making celebrations, creating connections between people is what the Grand Hotel does best, Musser said.

“The Grand Hotel is a key element to the Conference’s success and are great partners each and every year,” Carnrike said. “The Grand Hotel has played a significant role in Michigan’s history, and is now positioned as a key asset in Michigan’s future. The Musser family and their team should be very proud of achieving such an impressive milestone.”

Claire Charlton is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

Global Economy

Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria bring global perspective to Conference
By Rick Haglund
Page 16-18, May 2012

Globalization and rapid technological advancement are the two most powerful trends shaping and roiling today’s economy, especially in Michigan and Midwest manufacturing states that compete with China and other fast-developing nations.

Few people explain the implications of those forces better than New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and Fareed Zakaria, a Washington Post columnist, TIME Magazine editor-at-large and host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” public affairs television program.

“The two of them have understood that a flattening world, driven by globalization and technology, is fundamentally different than the past,” said Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future Inc., an Ann Arbor-based
think tank.

“It’s spectacular that they’re both coming” to address the Mackinac Policy Conference, he said. “I give Sandy Baruah and the Chamber a lot of credit for inviting them.”

Zakaria’s session, titled “Global Marketplace: Innovation Drives Success” takes place on May 29. Friedman will speak on May 31 in a session titled, “Staging a Comeback: Michigan’s Role in the Economic Transformation of America.”

Friedman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for the Times, became widely known in 2005 after his provocatively titled book, “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century,” topped best-seller lists.

Friedman’s assertion that the world had become flat pointed to the fact that the Internet and other technologies had nearly eliminated the barriers to entry into the world economy and leveled the playing field for advanced and developing nations.

He wrote that he came to this conclusion after visiting Infosys Technologies, an Indian information technology company that was managing its global operations from a conference room using the latest in digital video technologies.

“Clearly it is now possible for more people than ever to collaborate and compete in real time with other people on more kinds of work from more different corners of the planet and on more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of the world—using computers, e-mail, networks, teleconferencing and dynamic new software,” he wrote.

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman’s most recent book “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” is co-authored by Michael Mandelbaum, a foreign policy professor at John Hopkins University. Friedman will speak at the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Friedman updated the book in 2007, retitling it, “The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century.” (It is interesting to note that Gov. Rick Snyder is calling his efforts to reinvent the state “Michigan 3.0.”)

His latest book, “That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back,” co-authored with Michael Mandelbaum, a foreign policy professor at Johns Hopkins University, calls for government investments in basic research, transportation systems and education, while acknowledging that overall spending must be reduced to balance the federal budget.

“Anyone who says we can forgo spending of this kind does not understand either American history or the world in which we are now living,” Friedman and Mandelbaum wrote.

They say more effective business regulations and a welcoming attitude toward immigrants also are needed for the United States to prosper in a globally connected economy.

Snyder has said attracting more immigrants, who tend to start new businesses at a faster rate than the overall population, is critical to boosting Michigan’s economy. But opening the borders to more foreign-born residents remains a controversial issue.

Investing in infrastructure—including roads, bridges, airports and rail—and work force skills, also is a recurring theme of Zakaria’s.

In a recent Washington Post column, Zakaria said President Barack Obama should spend less effort on taxing the rich and reducing inequality, and more on selling the need for investing in the country’s economic future.

The so-called “Buffett Rule” on taxing millionaires, named for billionaire investor Warren Buffett who said the rich should pay higher taxes, “does not deserve the attention Obama is showering on it,” Zakaria wrote.

Instead, Zakaria said the President should push his “economy built to last” theme, which has languished recently. In his State of the Union speech in January, Obama called for spending to boost manufacturing, develop new energy sources, improve infrastructure and make college more affordable.

“He should ask Americans to choose between a theory that says these investments will create long-term growth vs. the notion that cutting government budgets will be enough to ignite growth and employment,” Zakaria wrote.

Zakaria also won acclaim for his 2008 book, “The Post-American World,” which was updated last year. In it, he argues that China, India and other countries have adopted the United States’ formula of democracy and capitalism to beat us at our own game.

While America remains a political and military superpower, “in every other dimension — industrial, financial, educational, social, cultural — the distribution of power is shifting, moving away from American dominance,” Zakaria wrote.

That should especially concern business and political leaders in Metro Detroit and Michigan, said John Austin, president of the State Board of Education.

“We’ve not been willing to figure out how to pay for roads, bridges and cyber investments,” said Austin, who also is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “And we have been de-funding our great universities.”

The investments and political changes Friedman and Zakaria call for are “the opposite of what we have been doing in Michigan during the past 10 years,” Austin said.

Gov. Snyder’s proposed fiscal 2013 budget ends the deep cuts to Michigan’s 15 public universities, but requires them to meet certain performance benchmarks in order to receive more money from the state.

He also has proposed increasing fuel taxes and building a new bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. But those measures have been resisted by the Legislature.

Of the two journalists, Friedman is perhaps the most controversial because of his views on global warming, energy policy and the auto industry.

Friedman has proposed setting a floor price on gasoline at about four dollars a gallon, in numerous columns. The resulting increase in fuel taxes would be used to develop cleaner sources of energy that would ease global warming and reduce America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East.

In one 2008 column, as the federal government was preparing to bail out General Motors, Friedman said any aid should be dependent on GM developing a plan for all its vehicles to be gas-electric hybrids also able to run on next-generation cellulosic ethanol.

Friedman and Zakaria don’t pull punches in describing global and technological forces and explaining how those transformations are changing America’s economy.

“Both Zakaria and Friedman have been very clear in their observations about the global economy and Michigan’s place in it,” Austin said. “It’s important for state government and particularly the business community to hear what they have to say.”

Rick Haglund is a Metro Detroit freelance writer and a former staff business writer/columnist for the MLive Media Group.

DTE Energy’s Gerry Anderson and Meritor’s Chip McClure to Co-Chair Detroit Regional Chamber Economic Development Campaign

MACKINAC ISLAND, May 29, 2012 – Today, at the start of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference, the Detroit Regional Chamber unveiled the “Detroit Regional Prosperity Campaign,” a new regional economic development campaign to drive economic development and investment in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. The campaign will be co-chaired by DTE Energy Chairman, President and CEO Gerry Anderson and Meritor, Inc. Chairman, CEO and President Chip McClure who joined Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah for the announcement on the porch of the historic Grand Hotel.

“As a Detroit-based business, DTE Energy has a significant and vested interest in the economic health of Michigan, and in particular, Southeast Michigan where our headquarters are located,” Anderson said. “We have long supported unified economic development efforts in the region, and I look forward to helping the Detroit Regional Chamber with this new initiative.”

McClure noted, “as Chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber, I’m pleased that we’ve made moving the economic needle in the region our top priority.  I’m proud of the energy and resources we are putting forth to make this a reality and I’m equally proud of the collaborative nature in which the Chamber is progressing.”

The “Detroit Regional Prosperity Campaign” will focus on presenting and marketing Southeast Michigan to economic development and investment prospects.  A key component of this effort will be strategic collaboration with regional governments and economic development entities to ensure coordinated efforts that minimize duplication.  Activities will include regional marketing strategy and materials, coordinated national and international investment missions, and close collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

“Our region needs to be more than the sum of its parts. We have tremendous assets in the Detroit region, but we need an aggressive and coordinated effort to take advantage of the opportunities available in the 21st century global marketplace,” Baruah said. “I am pleased and honored to have Gerry Anderson and Chip McClure to help lead this campaign.”

The “Detroit Regional Prosperity Campaign” has a goal of raising a minimum of $2 million annually in private sector funding to support regional economic development.  DTE Energy is a long-time supporter of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s economic development programs and Chip McClure of Meritor is the Chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Detroit Regional Chamber works in partnership with other economic development entities on four key activities that attract, retain and grow business and job creation in Southeast Michigan:

Business Attraction – Leverages Detroit and Southeast Michigan’s assets to attract world-class talent and business investment. The Chamber accompanied and supported Governor Rick Snyder on his international trade missions to Asia (2011) and Europe (2012).

Connection Point – Links small to mid-sized leading-edge Michigan suppliers with large multi-national corporations to expand their customer portfolio.  In the last 12 months, Connection Point participants have received over $139.6 million in bid package opportunities for new business.

MICHauto – Newly launched trade association dedicated to promoting, retaining and growing the automotive industry in Michigan.  An advisory committee comprised of leading auto industry CEOs has been established and activities, including a business conditions study, are in progress.

Translinked – Aims to capitalize on Southeast Michigan’s rich assets in transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) to create a cluster of excellence.  The Chamber has been a leading voice for transportation and TDL investment and coordination and is playing a key role in the region and with the MEDC to accelerate this initiative.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event founded in 1981 – brings together top leadership in business and government to re-energize Michigan.  Approximately 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2012 Conference, held May 29 – May 31 at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #

The Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Entrepreneurship Panel Moderated by Josh Linkner at the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference

DETROIT, May 8, 2012 – The Detroit Regional Chamber is pleased to announce the members of an entrepreneurship panel moderated by Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners, at the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference. Held Tuesday, May 29 through Thursday, May 31, the Conference is focused on innovation, collaboration and positioning Michigan to succeed in the 21st century global market.

“The 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference is the perfect stage to showcase the entrepreneurial spirit and energy that is driving innovation in Michigan,” said Henry Ford Health System CEO Nancy Schlichting, chair of the 2012 Conference. “We have no greater asset than the entrepreneurs who continue to push the envelope and refuse to accept business as usual. This session reflects the infusion of new ideas throughout Detroit and across the state that are leading Michigan’s continued recovery.”

The panel discussion will center on entrepreneurship as a catalyst for economic recovery in Michigan with leading corporate CEOs and entrepreneurs sharing their ideas, best practices and success stories. Linkner will moderate the panel, which includes: Rick DeVos, CEO, Start Garden; Angel Gambino, senior vice president, digital innovations, Westfield Shoppingtowns; Chris Rizik, CEO and fund manager, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund; and Dave Zilko, president and vice chairman, Garden Fresh Salsa Inc.

“Entrepreneurs continue to strengthen Michigan’s global brand and bolster our state’s reputation as a hotbed for innovation,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah. “Excitement is building around Michigan’s entrepreneurial environment and the good things that are taking place around the state, particularly in Detroit. This panel, in many ways, reflects the new faces and talent that are redefining our economic landscape and attracting business and investment to Michigan.”

The 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference’s three pillars are innovation, collaboration and the 21st century global market. To learn more about how the Conference aims create a globally competitive, financially attractive business environment in Michigan, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.

Detroit Regional Chamber 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event – brings together business and government to move Michigan forward. Since 1981, the Conference has provided access to Michigan’s top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions. Over 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2012 Conference, held May 29 – May 31 at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

# # #

Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television Collaborate to Deliver Access to the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference

Continued Partnership Harnesses Power Of Media During Important Conversations About Michigan’s Future

DETROIT, May 3, 2012 – The Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television (DPTV) announce a continued collaboration for the Chamber’s signature event, the Mackinac Policy Conference, designed to build upon the highest level of access to content in Conference history. The Conference, held May 29th through May 31st on Mackinac Island, Mich., will feature top-level speakers, insightful panels and other programming with nearly 1,500 business, government and community leaders on-site.

In 2011, the first year that the Chamber and DPTV worked together to significantly broaden access to the event, DPTV broadcast 23 hours of Conference sessions and related content, including interviews with participants and issue analysis from leading journalists and experts.  Approximately 45,000 unique audience members watched at least some part of DPTV’s coverage via computers and tablets during and immediately after the Conference.
Building on 2011’s success, DPTV will broadcast, webcast and produce other content from the Conference and make it available via its multiple television channels and Web platforms, so the public can experience the significant discussion of the most important issues facing Michigan.  All content will also be offered, at no cost, to any public or commercial broadcast outlet, as well as all other news organizations, in Michigan, to continue to make coverage of the Conference as accessible as possible. Both the Chamber and DPTV plan social media campaigns to drive more viewership of the broadcasts and webcasts.
DPTV plans to broadcast and/or webcast:

  •  Coverage of Conference sessions, featuring speakers and panel discussions
  • A daily half-hour recap of Conference activity
  • Live and recorded interviews with speakers, Conference participants and analysts
  • Its weekly programs “American Black Journal” and “MiWeek,” from Mackinac Island.

“In order to continue Michigan’s momentum, the entire state must come together and embrace the realities of the 21st century global market,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.  “This collaboration with Detroit Public Television helps the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference serve as a platform for citizens across Michigan to have access to what leaders are saying about the steps we should take to make our state more globally and financially competitive.”

“We invite citizens across Michigan to participate in the most important annual gathering to discuss the state’s future,” said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public Television.  “The power of public media, along with social media, will bring the discussion closer to citizens than ever before. This event has the potential to have the greatest impact in its history with viewers watching TV, following the Conference on-line and expressing their voices via Facebook and Twitter.”

Through its MiVote.org project, Detroit Public Television is seeking to engage more citizens in meaningful discussions about Michigan’s future.  The Chamber believes DPTV’s focus on issues makes them an ideal partner for the Conference.

DPTV’s coverage of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference is made possible with the support of the Masco Corporation Foundation, the University of  Michigan-Dearborn and the Center For Michigan.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
With over 20,000 members and affiliates, that employ over three quarters of a million workers, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the largest chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission is carried out through business attraction efforts, advocacy, strategic partnerships and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

About Detroit Public Television
Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people throughout Canada. DPTV also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit’s classical and jazz radio station, in collaboration with the license-holder, the Detroit Public Schools. The radio station is located in the Detroit School of Arts. DPTV is licensed to the Detroit Educational Television Foundation and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic, and cultural communities.

# # #