Chamber Announces Additional Endorsements for the 2014 Election

Recently, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) and Fed PAC Board of Directors announced additional endorsements in several key races at the national, state and county level for Michigan’s general election. Earlier this year, the Chamber PAC announced its support for the re-election of Governor Rick Snyder, as well as its endorsement of Congressman Gary Peters for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat. Further, the Chamber endorsed a slate of candidates for Congress and the Michigan Legislature.

In addition to the previous endorsements, the Chamber PAC endorses the following candidates.

Wayne County Executive
Sheriff Warren Evans

U.S. House of Representatives – 14th District
Mayor Brenda Lawrence

Michigan Senate
7th District – Representative Dian Slavens (D-Canton)
17th District – Representative Dale Zorn (R-Ida Twp.)

Michigan House of Representatives
3rd District – Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit)
10th District – Leslie Love (D-Detroit)
17th District – Rep. Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe)
19th District – Commissioner Laura Cox (R-Livonia)
21st District – Carol Ann Fausone (R-Canton)
25th District – Rep. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights)
36th District – Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.)
37th District – Christine Greig (D-Farmington)
49th District – Rep. Phil Phelps (D-Flushing)
52nd District – Rep. Gretchen Driskell (D-Saline)
60th District – Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo)
63rd District – Dave Maturen (R-Portage)
65th District – Brett Roberts (R-Eaton Rapids)
84th District – Edward Canfield (R-Sebawaing)
104th District – Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg)

The Chamber PAC Board of Directors regularly meets to identify and support pro-economic development candidates and policies that are critical to the Chamber’s public policy priorities. For a full list of Chamber endorsements, click here.

MICHauto Summit Convenes Industry Together to Focus on Michigan’s Automotive Future

The second annual MICHauto Summit, held on Sept. 23 at COBO Center in Detroit, was a resounding success. With over 500 attendees, including key leaders in the automotive industry, academia and government, the Summit promoted Michigan as the epicenter of the automotive world.

The daylong event focused on how automotive is powering Michigan’s prosperous future and included keynote speakers including NAIAS’ Rod Alberts, Chrysler’s Ralph Gilles, the city of Detroit’s Tom Lewand, General Motors’ Mark Reuss, and Gov. Rick Snyder. MICHauto also hosted two new exhibit displays this year. The Made in Michigan display featured vehicles designed, engineered and/or manufactured in Michigan. The Michigan at Work display highlighted automotive projects from the College for Creative Studies, TechShop and Square One Education Network.

Additionally, the Summit secured over 30 sponsors and the event’s official hashtag also was tweeted 600 times, trending locally as a topic on Twitter throughout the day. Members of the media from 30 local and regional outlets were also in attendance. Click here to watch WDIV’s Guy Gordon report on the Summit.

Click here to view highlights from the 2014 MICHauto Summit.

Chamber Touts Michigan as Global Innovation Hub at ITS World Congress in Detroit

The Business Attraction team along with Butzel Long, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, DTE Energy, Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce and the counties of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne collaborated at the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) World Congress in Detroit on Sept. 8-11. The event brought together 9,000 individuals ranging from industry experts and policy makers to researchers, showcasing the latest developments in all aspects of high-tech transportation.

The team connected with over 100 companies to market the Detroit region’s business opportunities. Chamber representatives also exhibited and sponsored events during ITS. The Chamber and Butzel Long sponsored the Motown Dinner Cruise hosted by Macomb County. Over 100 ITS attendees dined while cruising on the Detroit River to Lake St. Clair. The cruise highlighted the region’s expansive and impressive waterfront assets.

MICHauto and the Business Attraction team also participated in the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s “Michigan Spotlight,” showcasing the Chamber’s engagement efforts and support for the future of connected vehicles and mobility. Chamber representatives highlighted the advantages of the state’s automotive sector, showcasing the MICHauto program to over 2,000 festival attendees.

For more information on why the Detroit region is the key location for the future of the autonomous vehicle industry, click here.

The Atlantic Champions Detroit’s Small Business Growth

A new monthly series published in The Atlantic focuses on how to improve cities around the world and calls on major metropolitan areas to develop consistent growth strategies for small business clusters. Citing cities like Detroit and Los Angeles as positive examples where small businesses are booming, the article emphasizes the role cluster-based small business development can play in local and regional economic development.

The article uses data collected by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), which shows that small businesses clusters have expanded their impact and footprint in 10 urban markets across the country up to three times faster than their respective metro area economies between 2003 and 2011. Click here to read the article.

Business Attraction Showcases Detroit’s Value at Pure Michigan Event

The Chamber’s Business Attraction team participated in a Pure Michigan site selection trip to Atlanta, GA. on Sept. 23-24 to increase awareness of the Detroit region. The trip featured summit-style discussions, where all 13 Michigan representatives met with 16 consultants over the course of two days. Partners from the Detroit region included Mark King from DTE Energy, Justin Horvath from Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Luke Bonner from Ann Arbor SPARK, and Mark Adams from Oakland County.

Overall, the consultants expressed a positive view of the business opportunities throughout the city and Detroit region. They were interested in the region’s assets for back office and call centers, manufacturing and technology projects. The region was also acknowledged for being a top competitor as a result of the state of Michigan’s tax structure and becoming a right-to-work state.

Chamber Promotes Detroit Region at International Manufacturing Technology Show

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction and InnoState teams led a delegation of seven partner organizations to market the region at the 30th International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) on Sept. 8-13 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.

Representatives from Colliers International, Oakland County, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Comerica Bank, Macomb County, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, and the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce attended the event, connecting with more than 200 international exhibitors.

This was the first time in recent history that the Chamber attended IMTS. The trip served as an opportunity to gain valuable insight into how to attract global manufacturing industry professionals and integrate Southeast Michigan companies into their supply chain.

Dykema’s James M. Cameron, Jr., Reappointed As Chairperson of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board

Detroit – September 24, 2014 – Dykema, a leading national law firm, today announced that James M. Cameron, Jr., a member of the Dykema’s Litigation Group and Office Managing Member of the firm’s Ann Arbor, Michigan office, was recently reappointed as Chairperson of the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board (ADB) by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Michigan ADB is the adjudicative arm of the Michigan Supreme Court for discharge of its exclusive constitutional responsibility to supervise and discipline Michigan attorneys. Cameron has been a member of the ADB for five years, serving as Chair for the past year after previously serving as Vice-Chair for two years.

Cameron focuses his practice on commercial litigation. He has handled patent infringement suits for Wayne State University and a variety of corporate entities. Cameron is also experienced in construction contract litigation including having served as counsel for the City of Ann Arbor in disputes arising from the City’s construction of its wastewater treatment plant. He has an interest in alternative dispute resolution and has significant experience as a facilitator, mediator and arbitrator.

Cameron received his B.A., cum laude, from Harvard University and his J.D. from American University.

About The Michigan ADB
The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board is the adjudicative arm of the Michigan Supreme Court for discharge of its exclusive constitutional responsibility to supervise and discipline Michigan attorneys.
The ADB appoints hearing panels composed of three volunteer attorneys to conduct the trial-level proceedings under Subchapter 9.100 of the Michigan Court Rules, including cases in which the Attorney Grievance Commission has filed a formal complaint alleging that a member of the State Bar of Michigan has committed professional misconduct or should be transferred to inactive status. The ADB also hears petitions for review of decisions by a hearing panel and performs other duties. A decision of the ADB may be appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Additional questions about the discipline system are answered in our FAQs.

About Dykema
Dykema serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema lawyers and other professionals in 12 U.S. offices work in close partnership with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – to deliver outstanding results, unparalleled service and exceptional value in every engagement. To learn more, visit www.dykema.com and follow Dykema on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Dykema.

A Futurist’s Perspective

Keeping Ford on the cutting edge

Page 42-43

By James Amend

Transit Robotic TestingThe entrepreneurial spirit epitomized by founder Henry Ford remains alive and well at Ford Motor Co., but the industry scion might scratch his head over the title – although surely not the role – that Sheryl Connelly plays in keeping the automaker out front on cutting-edge, affordable technology.

As the global head of trend and futuring at Ford, Connelly tackles daily one of the most challenging jobs in the industry: imagining what a customer might want in 20 years by eyeing the latest ideas in social, technological, economic, environmental and political spheres.

“We know we’ll never be able to predict the future, but we believe those five arenas will be the forces that shape the landscape,” she said.

Connelly is the automaker’s resident futurist and, unsurprisingly, her daily grind goes against the grain.

“Historically when organizations are thinking about strategy, or future plans, they start with an inside inventory,” she said. “That can be limiting, in terms of point of view. There are always activities that will happen and change the marketplace that we cannot influence. So, we take an outside-in approach.”

Sandy Baruah, president and CEO at the Detroit Regional Chamber, leads a panel discussion with Sheryl Connelly during the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Sandy Baruah, president and CEO at the Detroit Regional Chamber, leads a panel discussion with Sheryl Connelly during the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Put simply, Connelly imagines a distressing, or fortunate, turn of events in the marketplace, considers who the political winners and losers would be, and then finally, what innovations it might create and how costly those ideas may be. She hands the results over to subject-matter experts to determine the potential impact on Ford’s business, and then turns to her next scenario.

Ford cites work Connelly and her colleagues did in 2004 over a possible economic collapse as preparing the automaker for the crippling, but then unseen, recession in 2009. The foresight helped Ford reorganize its business without filing bankruptcy. Connelly’s work during the early 2000s helped anticipate a boom in the small crossover segment as Baby Boomers downsized and fuel prices increased. Small crossovers have skyrocketed since 2005 to become one of the world’s most popular segments, and Ford is a major player.

Looking ahead, Connelly predicts innovation will “crosspollinate” industries, building on the convergence seen today between automakers and handheld device makers. That marks a dramatic turn from the traditional technology path, where automakers would leverage their longtime suppliers’ partners for the latest innovations.

“It is a fascinating time, and it’s exciting because a company like Ford has the scale to democratize innovation in a way that makes it accessible to the masses.” — Sheryl Connelly, Global Head of Trend and Futuring, Ford Motor Company

“Suppliers are still critical in offering innovations, but the landscape is changing,” Connelly said.

The surge in cellphone use, for example, prompted Ford in 2006 to unveil SYNC, which paired the phone to the car’s entertainment system and hands-free buttons and voice commands. In typical Ford style, the affordable Focus small car spearheaded the SYNC rollout. Two generations into the technology, Ford can claim a leadership position in infotainment.

Silicon Valley influences Ford decision-making in other ways. In addition to being the first automaker to present at the Consumer Electronics Show, the automaker more recently began its Ford App Development Program. The program offers software developers access to Ford’s highly proprietary vehicle interface to create new mobile applications to enrich the driving experience. On the hardware side, Ford announced the OpenXC in 2011, which encourages developers to create new plug-and-play options for mobile devices.

Ford does not limit itself to mining the tech industry, however. The automaker annually attends the massive Milan Furniture Show, looking for the latest interior design and materials trends.

Henry Ford reinvented the industry a century ago through the induction of the assembly line, a radical change that spurred a period of economic growth and prosperity in America. Connelly hopes to continue Ford’s legacy.

“It is a fascinating time,” she said. “And it’s exciting because a company like Ford has the scale to democratize innovation in a way that makes it accessible to the masses.”

James Amend is a metro Detroit freelance writer.

A Landmark City

Rainy Hamilton observes Detroit’s progress through each rejuvenated building

Page 40

By Rainy Hamilton

RainyHamiltonDetroit – the D! It has become cool and fashionable to live in our great city. Detroit is my home, and I’ve lived here all my life – educated through the Detroit Public School System and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture. Detroit is in my blood.

I’m not surprised that the city I’ve known and loved is finally being recognized for what I’ve known all along: Detroit is the jewel of the Midwest. So, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been practicing architecture here for over 30 years. When I entered the workforce in 1979, I thought we would have completely redeveloped our city in short order. Well, today we continue on this quest with high hopes and a continued passion for Detroit. The plans we dreamt of are really happening.

When one considers all that Detroit has to offer, it seems impossible that Detroit has been one of our country’s best-kept secrets. Sure, our reputation has been tarnished from concerns of crime, poor race relations and political corruption, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Detroit is on an international border and has one of the world’s largest supplies of fresh water. We have a phenomenal housing stock and a radial street pattern modeled after Paris. Detroit is now one of the most exciting places to live, work and play.

As owner and founder of Hamilton Anderson Associates, it pleases me to see so many young entrepreneurs taking the risk and starting their own businesses. I did this 20 years ago, following my dream and passion. I started our firm in my home on a single credit card with one computer and one contract in hand. Today, we celebrate our 20th anniversary. We are proud that we have practiced here in the city for the duration, designing some of our community’s most beautiful buildings, spaces and places.

Detroit is at a crossroads. We’ve reached the top of the vast hill and can see the other side as we gain momentum and progress becomes exponential. Our work on Detroit Future City is now moving into the implementation phase with projects identified to stabilize viable neighborhoods and develop infrastructure for new economies. The first phase of the M-1 Rail is well under construction. Existing downtown buildings are being renovated and adaptively reused for new businesses. The new Red Wings Arena and Entertainment District is appearing on the horizon. Midtown is above 95 percent City Rainy Hamilton observes Detroit’s progress through each rejuvenated building occupancy. New housing projects have been completed with more on the boards, including our designs for Orleans Landing.

New businesses and economies are a vital part of the rebuilding of any city. Our state leadership understands the value of creating a pro-business climate in Detroit. The local environment is open and receptive in this regard. In large part, this is due to the energy and excitement generated by Dan Gilbert’s efforts through Bedrock and the support of our community organizations like Kresge and the Ford Foundation. New leadership in city hall is also playing a key role in energizing the momentum of rebuilding Detroit. The mayor’s office is working cooperatively with city council. They are taking on issues of blight removal and allowing vacant residential properties to be sold to individuals that plan to renovate and occupy them. Even the notion of a city in bankruptcy has been a positive driver when the expectation of solvency is presented.

Ten years ago, I thought we would have been on phase five of M-1 Rail by this date, but today, it’s really taking shape. I do believe we will see a viable mass transportation system in place within 10 years. Our master plan for Belle Isle Park in 1997 has largely been adopted by the state of Michigan as a template for improvements in similar applications. Our population will be on the increase and new neighborhoods will emerge from the 39 square miles of vacant and/or neglected property. I remember, as a young architect, completing the Linked Riverfront Parks Project under the direction of the Coleman Young administration. Today, I am seeing the fruits of that plan implemented as the Riverfront Conservancy advances now to the west Riverfront. As coined by American architect Daniel Burnham: “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work.”

My career has been shaped and energized by Detroit. Detroit has my heart.

The Venture Capital

Ann Arbor’s innovative ecosystem worth of emulation

Page 28-29

By Melissa Anders

BillSPARK3floor

There’s a long list of ingredients in the recipe for Ann Arbor’s continued entrepreneurship success. It’s not a quick dish, but rather a multicourse meal prepared, tweaked and perfected over several years.

And at the top of that ingredients list is something unique to Ann Arbor: the University of Michigan. But while the university’s research and technology transfer programs fueled the city’s dynamic startup culture, the city has developed and leveraged various assets and techniques that other areas can emulate.

“The community at large has to create an environment and a culture that encourages entrepreneurship, welcomes it, and supports it.” — Skip Simms, Senior Vice President, Ann Arbor SPARK

Since 2001, U-M’s tech transfer office has recorded 1,161 license/ option agreements, 1,749 patent applications, 126 startups and nearly $211 million in royalties and equity sales.

Success at some of these startups bred more success, attracting like-minded go-getters supported by one of the state’s largest entrepreneurial support networks. They also caught the eye of investors who have flocked to the region, providing the capital that’s crucial to growing startups.

The Ann Arbor area is home to about 80 of the 220 venture capital-funded and angel investor-backed companies that were active in Michigan in 2013, according to the Ann Arbor-based Michigan Venture Capital Association. More than 20 of the MCVA’s 55 venture capital, private equity and angel investor member groups call Ann Arbor home. So, how did it get this way?

“There’s no one single thing,” said Skip Simms, senior vice president at Ann Arbor SPARK. “The community at large has to create an environment and a culture that encourages entrepreneurship, welcomes it, and supports it. From there, once you have that – that is not easy to accomplish either – it takes a lot of people from a lot of different perspectives and with a lot of different resources to agree to collaborate to make that happen, to create that culture.”

Once that’s established, several factors make it drive. “It’s technology, money and people. All three of those ingredients are important,” said Paula Sorrell, vice president of entrepreneurship, innovation and venture capital at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Groups like SPARK, the New Enterprise Forum and others that assist entrepreneurs are crucial, Simms said. While similar organizations exist throughout the state, they’ve been active in Ann Arbor for longer, nearly 30 years in the case of NEF. Entrepreneurs there have created informal networking groups, further contributing to the sense of community.

Ann Arbor has also taken advantage of state programs like the SmartZones, which allow the city to use tax increment financing to support early stage technology companies. While other areas of the state used the same funding mechanism targeted at technology development, Ann Arbor was unique in making sure the money was geared toward helping startups, Sorrell said.

The MEDC launched its Business Accelerator Fund about two and a half years ago that emulated Ann Arbor’s approach. All startup incubators can take advantage of the funding, but Ann Arbor had a leg up because it had been doing it for a number of years, Sorrell said.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s incubator is physically small, but it’s one of the most active in the state as far as companies and programming. It put less money into infrastructure and more into services, something that Sorrell recommends other communities do as well.

“A lot of the elements that exist in Ann Arbor exist in Detroit already. They’re growing, the investment community has noticed, and the ultimate sign is when investors start writing checks … That’s the clearest sign you’re doing something right and the culture and environment is maturing.” — Skip Simms, Senior Vice President, Ann Arbor SPARK

 

“I bring that up a lot,” she said. “Port Huron, for example, developed TechPort, and they did everything that we recommended in terms of they set up a small space, they involved local community funds to design and support it, run on a shoestring budget, connect with Michigan State University for technology continuity and partner in several areas.”

Building a robust entrepreneurial scene requires cheerleaders, too. Someone needs to spread the word to not only attract more startups, but to lure venture capital firms and other sources of funding.

“It takes people to not be afraid to publicize their success, to talk to others, to encourage them to take a similar path, to take the risk,” Simms said.

Other areas of Michigan – from Grand Rapids to East Lansing or Midland – have begun making similar efforts in the last several years to promote entrepreneurship. And no place is that more apparent than in Detroit.

“A lot of the elements that exist in Ann Arbor exist in Detroit already,” Simms said. “They’re growing, the investment community has noticed, and the ultimate sign is when investors start writing checks … That’s the clearest sign you’re doing something right and the culture and environment is maturing.”

Michigan and Detroit are on the right path to become the top place to start a business in the next five to 10 years, said Charlie Moret, president and CEO of Invest Michigan, a Detroit-based nonprofit

that manages the MEDC-backed Michigan Pre-Seed Capital Fund. “I think Michigan just gets it right. It’s a combination of public, private, philanthropic partnerships that are really making a difference and starting to move the needle,” Moret said. “The state of Michigan, through the MEDC, is doing some incredible innovative work that’s supporting the whole entrepreneurial sector.”

The private sector is starting to get more engaged in supporting startups and entrepreneurship, but it’s in the early stages, Simms said. He thinks the private sector needs to step up and take over some of what the state has been providing, as well as supporting startups as customers.

“Startups are Michigan companies, too,” he said. “So getting Michigan companies to buy from startups is also an important element to the overall success of entrepreneurship, which will lead to the ultimate goal of diversifying our economy, making it more stable, and more importantly, making it grow.”

Melissa Anders is a metro Detroit freelance writer.