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The 2013 Michigan Automotive Summit featured an action-packed agenda featuring high level speakers from industry, academia and government.

  • 7:30 a.m.
  • Registration and Networking Breakfast

  • 8:30 a.m.
  • Welcome and Automotive: Michigan's Foundation
  • Keynote Speaker:
    Rick Snyder, Governor, State of Michigan

    Persevering through the Great Recession, the automotive industry demonstrated unparalleled resiliency and adaptability. As a result, automotive innovation, investment and job creation are leading factors in the revitalization of Michigan’s economy. One of the fastest growing economies in the U.S., Michigan’s automotive future is bright and the state is supporting its foundational industry by developing an aggressive strategy to enhance its place as the epicenter of the growing global automotive industry.


  • 9:15 a.m.
  • Paving the Way: Automotive Economic Growth
  • Keynote Speaker:
    Jay Baron, President and CEO, Center for Automotive Research

    From tax revenue and investment to job creation and spin-off development, no state has stronger ties to the automotive industry than Michigan. With global demand for automobiles increasing, researchers are forecasting production and employment growth for the foreseeable future. Michigan is well-positioned to capitalize on this growth. Hear from a leading automotive expert on the economic impact of the automotive industry in Michigan and the opportunities that exist to expand the state’s supply chain footprint.

  • 9:45 a.m.
  • Competitive Advantage: Research and Development
  • Panel:
    Thomas Apostolos
    , President, Ricardo, Inc.
    Osamu “Simon” Nagata, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing N.A., Inc.
    Jeffrey Owens
    , Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, Delphi
    John Rakolta, Jr.
    , Chairman and CEO, Walbridge

    John McElroy
    , Host, “Autoline”

    Innovation has always been the backbone of the automotive industry. As the automobile continues to evolve into the most technically advanced consumer product on the market, Michigan’s automotive research and development capabilities provide the state an inherent competitive advantage. This panel discussion will highlight Michigan companies involved in cutting-edge automotive R&D and explore the advantages of undertaking such projects in Michigan.

  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • Refreshment Break

  • 11:00 a.m.
  • Collaboration and Partnerships: Catalyst for Innovation
  • Panel:
    Michael Drake, Director of Corporate Relations, University of Michigan College of Engineering
    James Jacobs, President, Macomb Community College
    Ed Krause, Global Manager, External Alliances, Research and Advanced Engineering; Ford Motor Co.
    Ed Kornas, Senior Manufacturing Project Engineer, General Motors Company

    Jeff Mason, Executive Director, University Research Corridor

    The engineering capabilities of Michigan’s renowned universities are second to none. These institutions provide the automotive industry with unique collaboration opportunities. This panel discussion will highlight core competencies of select universities and identify successful academic-industry partnerships that resulted in commercialized automotive technologies.

  • 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Lunch Session
  • The Inforum Center for Leadership Lunch Event Featuring General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson

    Join GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson in a conversation on talent – and how he’s harnessing the power of a focused, motivated employee base to drive change throughout the company.

    The conversation will include the 10th anniversary release of Inforum Center for Leadership’s Michigan Women’s Leadership Index, a biennial snapshot of the leadership role of women in Michigan’s top 100 public companies. In conjunction with research partner Wayne State School of Business Administration, the index will highlight the past decade’s global demographic shift of women as college graduates, employees, consumers, producers and entrepreneurs – and its impact on Michigan. Click here for more information

    For more information on the Inforum Center for Leadership lunch event, click here.

  • 2:00 p.m.
  • Racing to Market: Testing Vehicle Innovation
  • Keynote Speaker:
    Roger Curtis, President, Michigan International Speedway

    One of Michigan’s unique automotive assets, the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) provides automakers and after-market manufacturers the capability to test and develop connected vehicle systems and other technologies in a protected, neutral and safe environment. The facility offers a network of tracks including a two-mile oval and specialized road courses featuring multiple elements essential to the development of new vehicles. Hear from MIS President Roger Curtis as he offers a comprehensive look at the opportunities MIS offers the automotive market and highlights the distinct advantage the facility provides Michigan’s industry.

  • 2:30 p.m.
  • The Next Generation: Workforce of the Future
  • Panel:
    Soha Kadry, Engineering Supervisor, Yazaki North America
    Brandy Goolsby, Global Commercial Vehicle Business and Product Strategy Analyst, Ford Motor Company
    Brian Hunt, Embedded Software Engineer, American Axle & Manufacturing
    Sarah Verner, Restraints Design Engineer, Nissan Technical Center North America

    Rob Luce, Program Manager, MICHauto, Detroit Regional Chamber

    Michigan’s automotive talent is second to none. Career opportunities for young professionals are endless, ranging from engineering and design to software development and marketing. Hear from a group of recent college graduates who play an integral role in the automotive industry, elaborating on what attracted them to the field and why more young professionals should consider an automotive career.


  • 3:15 p.m.
  • Competitive Environment: Business Climate for Success
  • Panel:
    Daniel Domenicucci
    , Senior Manager, Ernst & Young LLP
    Frank Ervin III, Director, Government Affairs, Magna International Inc.
    Steve Hilfinger, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
    Brian O’Connell, Regional Director, State Government Relations, General Motors Company

    Daniel Howes, Business Columnist and Associate Business Editor, The Detroit News

    A business-friendly environment is critical to Michigan’s economic success. Recent legislation and regulatory reforms have garnered national attention, improving Michigan’s rank on numerous business climate reports. Hear from industry leaders and government officials as they weigh in on how changes such as right-to-work and the proposed elimination of personal property tax are impacting the automotive industry and the state’s automotive business attraction and retention efforts.

  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Networking Reception
  • Featuring Nigel Francis, Senior Vice President of the Automotive Industry Office at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation

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