Former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez to Keynote Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

DETROIT, February 19, 2013 Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced that former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and former Chief Executive Officer of the Kellogg Company, the Honorable Carlos M. Gutierrez will provide a keynote address at the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. Held Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31, the Conference will spur a comprehensive dialogue on cultural change, education and the 21st century global market.

“As a relentless advocate of immigration reform, Secretary Gutierrez continues to challenge our nation to cut through the politics and address immigration in a fashion that creates opportunity for people and country alike,” said Chairman, President and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. Joseph L. Welch, chair of the 2013 Conference. “Immigration reform is a major strategic opportunity for Michigan and the rest of the country, and we are eager to have that conversation front and center at the Mackinac Policy Conference.”

Secretary Gutierrez served as the 35th U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2005 to 2009 under President George W. Bush, regularly traveling internationally to visit with foreign government and business leaders to discuss ways to enhance trade and promote U.S. exports. He served as the Bush administration’s point person on immigration reform and played a key role in passage of Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), a landmark agreement that strips away trade barriers and expands export opportunities and boosts opportunity in Latin America.

Before his government service Secretary Gutierrez was chairman and CEO of the Kellogg Company. He currently serves as vice chairman of the Institutional Clients Group for Citigroup and is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami. The Secretary is also a former member of the board of ImmigrationWorks USA, an organization dedicated to achieving comprehensive immigration reform.

“Secretary Gutierrez worked tirelessly with President Bush to convince Congress of the need for smart and comprehensive immigration reform,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah. “While both political parties offered resistance, there is no doubt that the Bush administration’s efforts, led by Gutierrez, were prescient in understanding the economic, social and political implementations of not fixing our approach to immigration.”

The 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference’s pillars are cultural change, education and the 21st century global market. To learn more about how the Conference aims to create a more business-friendly climate in Michigan and drive economic growth, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.

Detroit Regional Chamber 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event – brings together business and government to re-energize Michigan. Since 1981, the Conference has provided access to Michigan’s top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions. Approximately 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2013 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.

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Governor Jeb Bush to Deliver Opening Keynote Address at 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

DETROIT, February 8, 2013 Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced that Jeb Bush, governor of Florida from 1999-2007, will provide the opening keynote address at the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. Held Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31, the Conference will spur a comprehensive dialogue on cultural change, education and the 21st century global market.

“As one of the nation’s most prominent thought-leaders, Governor Bush can provide critical insight into Michigan’s ongoing transformation,” said Chairman, President and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. Joseph L. Welch, chair of the 2013 Conference. “Governor Bush is leading the way on education reform, immigration reform and economic growth and will bring candid discussion on some of the nation’s most pressing issues to the Mackinac Policy Conference stage.”

The 2013 Conference will kick off at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 29 with opening remarks by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Governor Bush will subsequently provide the first Conference keynote address focusing on education reform, the current political landscape and a national perspective on key economic issues.

Son of President George H.W. Bush and brother of President George W. Bush, Governor Bush is considered a leading national voice on the major issues facing the nation. Governor Bush was the 43rd governor of Florida, serving from 1999 through 2007 – the only Republican in the state’s history to be re-elected. Currently president of Jeb Bush and Associates, LLC, and chairman of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Governor Bush is the co-author of a book titled Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution scheduled for release later this spring.

“As one of the nation’s most innovative political figures, Governor Bush can speak to the political and cultural changes needed to strengthen the United States’ leadership in the globalized world,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah. “Having served under both President George H.W. and George W. Bush, I have had the pleasure of watching Governor Bush lead Florida as a transformative figure, focused on the values we celebrate at the Mackinac Policy Conference; progress, inclusion and results.”

The 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference’s pillars are culture, education and the 21st century global market. To learn more about how the Conference aims to create a more business-friendly climate in Michigan and drive economic growth, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.

Detroit Regional Chamber 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event – brings together business and government to re-energize Michigan. Since 1981, the Conference has provided access to Michigan’s top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions. Approximately 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2013 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.

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Education Expert Michelle Rhee to Keynote Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference

DETROIT, January 23, 2013 –Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced that nationally renowned education reform advocate and StudentsFirst founder and CEO Michelle Rhee will provide a keynote address at the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference. Held Wednesday, May 29 through Friday, May 31, the Conference will spur a comprehensive dialogue on culture, education and the 21st century global market.

“Education will be the engine that drives Michigan’s future and provides our children and grandchildren the avenue to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams,” said Chairman, President and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp. Joseph L. Welch, chair of the 2013 Conference. “I can think of no better voice to drive a discussion about education reform than Michelle Rhee. Her commitment to ensuring all children have access to a quality education is leading a movement to transform education across the country.”

After being named Chancellor of District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in June 2007, Rhee gained national recognition for her efforts to turn around one of the nation’s worst performing school districts. Under her leadership the 47,000 student, 123 school district reversed a decades-long trend and increased enrollment and graduation rates for the first time in 40 years.

Following her work with DCPS, Rhee formed StudentsFirst in 2010. StudentsFirst is a bipartisan, grassroots organization based in Sacramento, Calif., designed to mobilize parents, teachers, students, administrators and citizens throughout the country to produce meaningful results in education and meet the demand for better American schools. StudentsFirst has been active in Michigan advocating for reforms in teacher tenure and teacher evaluation and the elimination of “Last In, First Out” teacher retention practices.

“In all the discourse and debate around education, the fate of the very people schools are designed to serve – the students – is sometimes pushed to the background,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah. “Michelle Rhee continues to serve as a relentless voice for education reform and simply refuses to accept the status quo present in so many American schools. Her advocacy for quality education for all students will challenge Michigan’s leaders to tackle education reform head-on.”

The 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference’s pillars are culture, education and the 21st century global market. To learn more about how the Conference aims to create a more business-friendly climate in Michigan and drive economic growth, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.

Detroit Regional Chamber 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference
The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual event – brings together business and government to re-energize Michigan. Since 1981, the Conference has provided access to Michigan’s top business professionals, legislative leaders, corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs and veteran regional champions. Approximately 1,500 attendees will gather for the 2013 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.

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Henry Ford Health System’s Nancy M. Schlichting to Lead Chamber Board, New Directors Announced for 2012-2013 Program Year

DETROIT, July 20, 2012 – The Detroit Regional Chamber has announced the election of Nancy M. Schlichting, CEO of Henry Ford Health System, as chair of its Board of Directors for the 2012-2013 program year. She succeeds Chip McClure, chairman, CEO and president of Meritor, Inc, who remains on the Chamber’s Board as immediate past chair.

“What an honor it is to serve this Board and this community as a part of the Detroit Regional Chamber,” Schlichting said. “It is a critical time for our region, state and country. I think the opportunities we have with the Chamber to make a big difference are exceedingly important. There’s momentum in this city and in this region that we haven’t had in a long time.”

Most recently, Schlichting served as chair of the Chamber’s 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference, the state’s premier public policy event, where approximately 1,500 top business, political and community leaders from across the state gathered to focus on creating a more globally and economically competitive Michigan. Under Schlichting, the Conference featured many prominent regional change-makers and national speakers and focused on collaboration, innovation and the 21st century global marketplace.

The 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference, which will be held from Wednesday, May 29 to Friday, May 31, will be chaired by the Chamber’s First Vice Chairman Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC Holdings Corp.

In addition to announcing the new chair, the Chamber welcomes the following new directors to the Board:

Brett Bernard, President, Michigan Market, Bank of America
Randall Book, Senior Vice President, Colliers International
Timothy Bryan, Chairman and CEO, GalaxE.Solutions
Mark Davidoff, Michigan Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP
John Fikany, Vice President, U.S. Commercial Sector, Microsoft, Inc.
Rick Going, President, Michigan Division, The Kroger Company
Tricia Keith, Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
George Lenyo, Partner, Ernst & Young
Ryan Maibach, President, Barton Malow Company
Kevin McKervey, Shareholder of International Services, Clayton McKervey PLLC
Mike Miller, Director, Business and Industrial Markets and Ann Arbor Office, Google, Inc.
Patricia Mooradian, President, The Henry Ford
Brian O’Connell, Regional Director State Government Relations, General Motors
Heather Paquette, Managing Partner, KPMG LLP
Stephen Polk, Chairman, President and CEO, R.L. Polk

“We added some tremendous leaders to our Board. Their vision and commitment to our region will help drive the Chamber’s efforts to moving the economic needle in Southeast Michigan,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah. “I look forward to working with them in the upcoming year to move our city and region forward.”

For a full listing of Chamber Board members, click here.

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.

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