Print Friendly and PDF

  • 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
  • Registration, Breakfast and Networking in Exhibit Hall
  • 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.
  • Welcome: Sandy Baruah
  • President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

  • 8:45 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.
  • Opening Keynote: Mike Duggan
  • Mayor, City of Detroit

    Moderator: Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor, Detroit Free Press

  • 9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
  • Morning Keynote: Peter Kageyama
  • Author, “For the Love of Cities”

  • 10:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.
  • Power Perspective: Paul Pastorek
  • Education Adviser to the Governor, State of Michigan; Former Superintendent, Louisiana Department of Education

  • 10:10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
  • Refreshment Break and Book Signing
  • Attendees can purchase a copy of Peter Kageyama’s “For the Love of Cities” in The Detroit Experience Hall.

  • 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions
  • Connecting the Region: Transit Development in the “D”

    Detroit is positioned to shine on the world economic stage, but maintaining the momentum following bankruptcy requires a comprehensive, connected transportation plan. This panel explores the challenges and opportunities facing the Regional Transportation Authority and how improved transit infrastructure can support economic development and urban revitalization, and provide increased mobility to residents and commuters.

    Dennis Cowan, Partner, Real Estate/Transactional and Governmental Affairs, Plunkett Cooney
    Michael Ford, CEO, Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan
    Megan Owens, Executive Director, Transportation Riders United (TRU)

    Moderator: Nancy Kaffer, Columnist, Detroit Free Press


    Filling the Gap: Cultivating Detroit’s World-Class Workforce

    Finding highly-skilled workers to fill the talent pipeline is a growing challenge for many employers. In discussing the skills gap, this panel will explore how businesses, colleges and government agencies can work collectively to develop curricula and training that better prepares students to meet the challenges of 21st century careers.

    Shawna Forbes, Vice Chancellor, School of Continuing Education and Workforce Development, Wayne County Community College District
    Lisa Katz, Executive Director, Workforce Intelligence Network
    Pamela Moore, President and CEO, Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.
    Derek Turner, Vice President of Operations, Grand Circus

    Moderator: Mary Kramer, Vice President and Group Publisher, Crain Communications


    Innovation in Education: Strategies for Success

    High-quality schools and better access to education are critical components of urban revitalization, and a key to ensure the opportunities of Detroit’s resurgence are widespread. This panel will focus on innovative strategies to ensure effective teachers in the classroom, improve educational equality and close the achievement gap to create an education environment that engages parents and prepares students.

    Tonya Allen,
    President and CEO, The Skillman Foundation
    Lou Glazer, President and Co-founder, Michigan Future Inc.
    Dave Hecker, President, AFT Michigan
    Mark Ornstein, CEO, University Prep Schools and Detroit 90/90

    Moderator: Daniel Howes, Associate Business Editor, The Detroit News

  • 11:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
  • Lunch
  • Pick up a boxed lunch in The Detroit Experience Hall and return to the Sound Board to find a seat for the lunch session.

  • 12:10 p.m. - 12:20 p.m.
  • Power Perspective: Rodrick Miller
  • President and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corp.; Former President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance

  • 12:20 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
  • New Orleans to Detroit: Lessons on Revitalization
  • Detroit’s bankruptcy provides a historic opportunity to rebuild the city and forever change its trajectory, much like New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Building on shared challenges of both cities, this New Orleans panel will provide insight on revitalization efforts and lessons for Detroit.  Experts from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Lessons Learned tour to New Orleans will share their experiences on achieving sustainable revitalization and the impact of community engagement, economic development and nurturing an entrepreneurial culture.

    Melissa Ehlinger, Interim President and CEO, New Orleans Business Alliance
    Scott Hutcheson
    , Senior Adviser, Cultural Economy, City of New Orleans
    Julia Stewart, Programs Director, Propeller
    Laura Trudeau, Managing Director, Community Development, The Kresge Foundation

    Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

  • 1:20 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
  • Power Perspective: Charlie LeDuff
  • Best-selling Author; Journalist, WJBK-TV Fox 2

  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Refreshment Break
  • 2:00 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
  • Concurrent Sessions
  • Partners in Commerce: The U.S.-Canada Opportunity

    As the country’s largest trading partner, Canada accounts for 46 percent of Michigan’s total annual exports, reinforcing that this important trade relationship is key to Detroit and the region’s future. This panel highlights collaborative efforts between Detroit and Windsor to attract international investment and bolster business growth to enhance Michigan’s economic strength and status as a global hub for commerce.

    Frank Ervin, Director, Government Affairs, Magna International Inc.
    Douglas George, Consul General, Canada
    Matt Marchand, President and CEO, Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce
    Paul Traub, Senior Business Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago – Detroit Branch

    Moderator: Mark High, President, Canada-United States Business Association; Partner, Dickinson Wright PLLC


    Energizing Entrepreneurship: Growing the Startup Culture

    Detroit is a destination for young change-makers and innovators looking to make their entrepreneurial mark. From tech startups to the local bakery, entrepreneurs are a driving force behind Detroit’s resurgence. This panel will focus on what still needs to be done to cultivate the thriving start-up culture in Detroit, how incubator organizations can foster growth and innovation, and how an entrepreneur-friendly climate can attract top-tier talent to the region.

    Jim Boyle
    , Senior Program Officer, New Economy Initiative
    Andy Didorosi, President and Founder, The Detroit Bus Company
    Niles Heron, Founder,
    Camille Walker-Banks, Executive Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Wayne State University

    Moderator: Vickie Thomas, City Reporter, WWJ Newsradio AM 950


    Molding Communities: The Neighborhood’s Role in Detroit’s Revitalization

    From public safety, to addressing blight and creative land use, organized grassroots initiatives are reshaping Detroit’s neighborhoods. This panel will examine the role of community nonprofit groups in rebuilding the city as a dynamic place to live, work and play.

    Kenneth Cockrel Jr., Executive Director, Detroit Future City, Implementation Office
    Bonnie Fahoome, Portfolio Manager, SWOT City, TechTown Detroit
    Victoria Kovari, General Manager, Department of Neighborhoods, City of Detroit
    Tahirih Ziegler, Executive Director, Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corp.

    Moderator: Craig Fahle, Director of Public Affairs, Detroit Land Bank Authority

  • 2:45 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Refreshment Break
  • 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Uniting Two Detroits
  • Remarks: Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor, The Detroit News

    Dennis Archer Jr., President and CEO, Ignition Media Group; President, Archer Corporate Services
    Cindy Pasky, President and CEO, Strategic Staffing Solutions
    Andre Spivey, District 4, Detroit City Council
    Eric Williams, Director, Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, Wayne State University

    Moderators: Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor, The Detroit News
    Devin Scillian, Anchor, WDIV-TV 4, NBC


  • 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Networking Reception
  • Meet key members of Detroit City Government.

Join our email list

First Name

Last Name




Input the Letters

Join our email list

First Name

Last Name




Input the Letters