Jeb Bush, other big names coming to Mackinac conference

From the Detroit Free Press

By Kathleen Gray

April 30, 2013

LANSING — At the end of May, 1,500 people will descend on Mackinac Island for an annual convergence of business, politics and socializing.

The 33rd annual Mackinac Policy Conference, sponsored by the Detroit Regional Chamber, will offer plenty of big names and panels on everything from immigration and education reform to manufacturing and how to compete in the global marketplace.

But noticeably absent from the agenda for the three-day conference — May 29-31 — is an abundance of political forums. On May 30, there is to be a panel discussion on urban revitalization that is expected to address the emergency manager situation in Detroit. Washington, D.C., attorney Kevyn Orr was appointed to oversee the financially troubled city. He will not be in attendance, said his spokesman Bill Nowling.

“He is going to remain here and working,” he said. “It seemed like an inefficient use of his time and an added expense that could be put toward more productive things.”

Chamber CEO and President Sandy Baruah said the chamber wanted to focus on policy in this year’s agenda.

“The conference continues to grow in its substantive presentations and as a strong statewide platform for policy ideas,” he said.

Attendees, who have paid $1,700-$2,575 to gain entry into the conference at the historic Grand Hotel on the island, will hear from some big names, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, education-reform advocate Michelle Rhee, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson and “Morning Joe” TV host Joe Scarborough. Panels also are lined up to talk about issues affecting auto suppliers and the state of Michigan’s roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

The Legislature has one session, featuring state Sens. Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, and Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, and state Reps. Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, and Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills.

Members of Congress also are expected to attend the conference, Baruah said, but there is no panel time set aside for them yet.

There will be a Detroit mayoral candidate debate, but the lineup won’t be final until it becomes clearer who turned in petitions to run for the office.

A meeting of the Big Four — county Executives L. Brooks Patterson of Oakland, Mark Hackel of Macomb and Bob Ficano of Wayne, along with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing — has always had a premier spot at the conference, but is canceled because of Patterson’s car crash injuries, which have left him primarily using a wheelchair to get around.

The remaining three will all attend and have a role in the conference, Baruah said, but what that is hasn’t been clearly defined yet.

Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television Continue Partnership to Deliver Access to the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

Live, Archived, Accessible Coverage of Conversations About Michigan’s Future Available on TV, Online and Via Other Media

DETROIT (April 30, 2013) – The Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television (DPTV) announce a continued collaboration for the Chamber’s signature event, the Mackinac Policy Conference, building 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 statewide business, government and community leaders on-site.

In 2011 and 2012, the Chamber and DPTV worked together to significantly broaden access to the event, with DPTV broadcasting more than 20 hours of Conference sessions and related content, including interviews with participants and issue analysis from leading journalists and experts.  Each of the past two years, nearly 50,000 unique audience members watched at least some part of DPTV’s coverage via computers and tablets during and immediately after the Conference.

Building on the successes of the past two years, 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, including live streams, 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 content to drive more viewership of the broadcasts and webcasts.

DPTV plans to broadcast and/or webcast:

  • Coverage of nearly every Conference session, 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 program “MiWeek” and segments for “American Black Journal” from Mackinac Island

“The Mackinac Policy Conference has grown into a statewide conversation and DPTV has played an important role in that evolution,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.  “This year the Chamber welcomes a powerhouse lineup of regional and national thought-leaders who will focus on education, cultural change and the 21st century global market. We are glad to partner with DPTV to again bring this discussion to audiences throughout Michigan.”

“Based on the number of viewers and the feedback we have received from the past two Conferences, it’s clear that the citizens of Michigan appreciate the opportunity to see and hear to the discussion at Mackinac,” said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public Television.  “What used to be a conversation among 1,500 is becoming a statewide dialogue because of the power of public media, on TV and online, and the commitment of the Chamber to access.”

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 continues to make them an ideal partner for the Conference.

DPTV’s coverage of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference is made possible with the support of ITC, the Masco Foundation, the DTE Energy Foundation and PVS Chemicals.

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.  Information is available at dptv.org.

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Mackinac Conference to focus on education, jobs, cultural change

From Crain’s Detroit Business

By Chris Gautz

April 30, 2013

The Detroit Regional Chamber rolled out its agenda for the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference today, and the focus areas of talent, education and culture change are meant to appeal to a statewide audience of decision-makers and legislators.

Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah said the three pillars of this year’s conference are actually intertwined in many ways.

Joseph Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp., and the chairman of this year’s conference, said education is a major focus of his and that he will speak on a panel about jobs in the 21st century and the role education plays.

“The talent gene pool is thin,” Welch said.

Also planning to speak on education is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who will take the stage after Gov. Rick Snyder opens the conference at 1:30 p.m., May 29.

Because the conference is beginning earlier this year, Baruah is encouraging attendees to come up to the island Tuesday night, rather than leave the Detroit region by 5 a.m. in order to make it up on time.

The conference ends on Friday, May 31 with a keynote address from Snyder at 11 a.m. Attendance right now is about 1,300, and is on par with where it was at this point last year, Baruah said.

Immigration is expected to be a major focus, with both Bush and Carlos Gutierrez, the former U.S. Commerce secretary and former CEO of Kellogg Co., speaking on the topic.

Baruah said several senior members of Congress are planning to speak as well and will touch on immigration and other issues.

Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, described by Baruah as the Dan Gilbert of Washington D.C., will discuss the role the private sector can play in urban redevelopment.

One person vital to that role in Detroit may not be there, Baruah said. Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is unlikely to attend, he said, due to his busy schedule.

And with the absence this year of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, Baruah said there will not be a Fab Five panel with the leaders of the Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties, along with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. Those regional leaders will still have a yet-to-be-determined role in the conference.

Baruah said he understands Patterson can’t make because of the injuries he is still recovering from after his automobile accident, and said he looks forward to having him back next year and “walking on stage.”

There will also be a series of panel discussions on manufacturing, particularly on the role of those in the supply chain play, and on infrastructure and financial stability.

And at the end of the conference there will be another to-do list created with actionable items to check off before next year’s conference.

Baruah said the chamber is close to completing the five items that resulted from the 2012 conference. One of those was to lead a delegation of Detroit area business leaders to Washington, D.C., to learn about the redevelopment that has taken place there. That trip is scheduled for early next month.

For more information on the conference, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com

Jeb Bush to Headline Mackinac Policy Conference

From CBS Detroit

By Vickie Thomas

April 30, 2013

DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Regional Chamber has announced the lineup for this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, set for late May on Mackinac Island.

Headlining this year’s agenda is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose keynote speech is expected to talk about education, economic growth, and reinventing government.

“Florida, especially during Governor Bush’s tenure, was one of the states that got it right — made government work, made government work for the people,” said Chamber President and Sandy Baruah. “And those are certainly things that our governor is working on as well.”

The Chamber says the 2013 conference will bring together more than 1,500 attendees including Michigan’s top business professionals, government leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions — talking about how we can work collaboratively to create a globally competitive, financially attractive business environment in the state.

Joining Baruah in announcing this year’s agenda was Conference Chairman, ITC Holdings CEO Joseph Welch, who said Gov. Rick Snyder will kick off the conference at the Grand Hotel.

“Once again, Governor Snyder has taken a really extreme role in being very pro-active with the Mackinac Policy Conference,” said Welch. “And, like the last two conferences, [he] was involved in planning the agenda. And the conference continues to speak to the governor’s mantra of relentless positive action.”

WWJ Newsradio 950′s Roberta Jasina, Tom Jordan, Vickie Thomas and Charlie Langton. Stay tuned for live broadcasts from the island, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, May 29-31. (More about the conference here).

Detroit Regional Chamber unveils agenda for 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

From MLive.com

By Dustin Block

April 30, 2013

DETROIT, MI – Cultural change, jobs and the 21st Century global market are the themes of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference.

The annual conference, hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel, runs May 29-31 this year. DRC CEO Sandy Baruah and conference chair Joseph Welch, chairman, president and CEO, ITC Holdings Corp., unveiled the agenda Tuesday in Downtown Detroit.

Keynote speakers include ex-Florida governor and potential Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, BET TV founder Robert L. Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, who will talk about immigration reform, and Michelle Rhee, founder and CEO of StudentsFirst, who will challenge Michigan to take on education reform.

Major panels will focus on early childhood education, the customer experience in health care, bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., closing the gap between education and jobs, and a world economic view from Michigan.

Top Republican and Democratic leaders from the Michigan Legislature will meet together to talk about current state issues. Reps. Jase Bolger and Tim Greimel, and Sens. Randy Richardville, and Gretchen Whitmer will share the stage.

Auto industry panels include John Kennedy, president and CEO of Autocam Corp., moderating a discussion on Michigan’s auto suppliers, and John Murphy, lead U.S. Auto Analyst and Managing Director, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, will talk about the recovering auto industry. MICHAuto will host a panel on continuing the auto industry’s recovery.

On the lighter side, the 2013 conference includes something called “Summerfast: A Night of NASCAR Thrills” and an ice cream social at the renovated Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor.

Noticeably absent from this year’s conference is the “Big Four” panel featuring the heads of Detroit, Wayne County, Oakland County and Macomb County. The panel was cancelled after Oakland County Executive Brooks Patterson announced he couldn’t attend the conference. Patterson is recovering from major injuries sustained in a car accident.

Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television Continue Partnership to Deliver Access to the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

Live, Archived, Accessible Coverage of Conversations About Michigan’s Future Available on TV, Online and Via Other Media

DETROIT (April 30, 2013) – The Detroit Regional Chamber and Detroit Public Television (DPTV) announce a continued collaboration for the Chamber’s signature event, the Mackinac Policy Conference, building 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 statewide business, government and community leaders on-site.

In 2011 and 2012, the Chamber and DPTV worked together to significantly broaden access to the event, with DPTV broadcasting more than 20 hours of Conference sessions and related content, including interviews with participants and issue analysis from leading journalists and experts.  Each of the past two years, nearly 50,000 unique audience members watched at least some part of DPTV’s coverage via computers and tablets during and immediately after the Conference.

Building on the successes of the past two years, 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, including live streams, 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 content to drive more viewership of the broadcasts and webcasts.

DPTV plans to broadcast and/or webcast:

  • Coverage of nearly every Conference session, 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 program “MiWeek” and segments for “American Black Journal” from Mackinac Island

“The Mackinac Policy Conference has grown into a statewide conversation and DPTV has played an important role in that evolution,” said Sandy K. Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.  “This year the Chamber welcomes a powerhouse lineup of regional and national thought-leaders who will focus on education, cultural change and the 21st century global market. We are glad to partner with DPTV to again bring this discussion to audiences throughout Michigan.”

“Based on the number of viewers and the feedback we have received from the past two Conferences, it’s clear that the citizens of Michigan appreciate the opportunity to see and hear to the discussion at Mackinac,” said Rich Homberg, President and General Manager of Detroit Public Television.  “What used to be a conversation among 1,500 is becoming a statewide dialogue because of the power of public media, on TV and online, and the commitment of the Chamber to access.”

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 continues to make them an ideal partner for the Conference.

DPTV’s coverage of the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference is made possible with the support of ITC, the Masco Foundation, the DTE Energy Foundation and PVS Chemicals.

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.  Information is available at dptv.org.

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April 30, 2013: 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference Adds 21st Century Jobs, Education Panel; Meet the Purchasers, May 15

 21st Century Jobs and Education Panel Announced for 2013 Mackinac Policy ConferenceSome of Michigan’s top thought-leaders are taking the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference stage to discuss the importance of corporate investment in education and innovative partnerships that aim to tighten the skills gap in Michigan. The session, titled “Closing the Gap: 21st Century Jobs and Education,” will focus on defining jobs in the 21st century and ways to not only prepare students for those roles, but how to ensure future talent stays in the state.

Panelists for this session include Jim Jacobs, president, Macomb Community College; William Parfet, chairman and CEO, MPI Research; Vivian Pickard, president, General Motors Foundation; and Joseph Welch, chairman, president and CEO, ITC Holdings Corp. and chair, 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. Sandy Pierce, chairman and CEO, FirstMerit Michigan, will moderate the discussion. For more information on this panel or the Conference agenda, click here.

Don’t Miss Small Business: Unlocked Meet the Purchasers, May 15  Join the Detroit Regional Chamber for the next session of its Small Business: Unlocked program’s Meet the Purchasers event on Wednesday, May 15, from 8 a.m. to noon at Greektown Casino Hotel in Detroit. Decision-makers from top organizations and governmental agencies will be on hand to discuss the basics of procurement protocol and ways to cut through red tape.  You will hear from representatives from Bedrock Real Estate Services, Comcast Business Class, DTE Energy, Quicken Loans and TACOM LCMC at this can’t-miss event. To learn more or to register, click here.

Nominate a Leader Today for Leadership Detroit Class XXXVLeadership Detroit provides the foundation for a lifelong commitment to leadership by creating awareness of key issues that affect the region. This rewarding experience also provides the opportunity to network with more than 1,500 Leadership Detroit alumni and gain the leadership foundation needed to impact change in our communities. If you know someone who would be an ideal candidate for Leadership Detroit, please nominate them as a potential leader and participant in Class XXXV. Applications are due Friday, May 24. Start the process today by clicking here.

Veteran-Friendly Small Businesses: Enter Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions by May 3Are you the most veteran-friendly small business in America? If so, enter for your chance to win the Small Business Tournament of Veteran Champions. Small businesses across the country play a vital role in helping veterans find jobs and this tournament is an opportunity to recognize employers that make a significant difference in the lives of veterans. The winning business will receive a public service announcement produced by and aired on Spike TV and be recognized at Spike TV Guys’ Choice Awards, which airs on June 12, 2013. For tournament criteria, eligibility, and how to enter, click here.

Don’t Miss Detroit’s Own Stand4Change Event, This Friday

Please join Defeat the Label, Quicken Loans and WYCD 99.5 FM as they stand4change against bullying on May 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. Dr. Don, host of 99.5FM’s morning program will emcee as the community comes together to take a stand against bullying in local schools and communities. For more information, click here.

 

Dave Pagel

Dave PagelState Representative, Michigan House of Representatives

Margaret O’Brien

Margaret O'BRIENState Representative, Michigan House of Representatives

State Rep. Margaret O’Brien was first elected in November 2010 to the Michigan House to represent the city of Portage as well as the townships of Oshtemo, Prairie Ronde, Schoolcraft and Texas. O’Brien graduated from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1996.

After graduating from Michigan State University, O’Brien was hired as a social worker for Catholic Family Services, where she continues to volunteer today. She is a real estate agent for REMAX Advantage and is active in many organizations within her community, including serving as a Portage City councilwoman since 2003; as Kalamazoo County Environmental Health Advisory Committee chairwoman; and as Kalamazoo County Republican Party vice-chair.

For the 2013-14 legislative term, O’Brien will serve as vice chair of the House Tax Policy Committee and also will serve on the committees on insurance; criminal justice; oversight; and transportation and infrastructure.

O’Brien is a lifelong resident of Kalamazoo County. She and her husband, Nick, have two children, Samantha and Tyjon. As a family they enjoy being active outdoors and are members of Valley Family Church.

Aric Nesbitt

Aric NesbittState Representative, Michigan House of Representatives