Automation Alley announces two senior director promotions

Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, announces that Maryann Daddow has been promoted to senior director of finance and Cynthia Hutchison has been promoted to senior director, Automation Alley.

Hutchison had been director of business development and government affairs at Automation Alley and will continue in that role. Additional responsibilities as senior director include oversight of marketing and facilities management. Daddow had been director of finance and will continue with the elevated financial responsibilities that have emerged from Automation Alley’s transition to Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center.

Daddow, who joined Automation Alley in 2009, is responsible for accounting and financial management for Automation Alley, as well as the lead interface with outside auditors. She has more than 25 years of experience in finance and accounting, previously working in the automotive industry with Chrysler Group LLC. Her work experience has encompassed technical accounting, financial analysis and controllership responsibilities across a wide range of functions.

Daddow holds an MBA from Michigan State University. She is a resident of Rochester.

Hutchison initially worked for Automation Alley as director of member relations from October 2013 to April 2015. She returned to Automation Alley in August 2016 as director of business development and government affairs. Since rejoining Automation Alley, she has expanded membership at the Foundation level (the highest level of membership) and has sought out new opportunities to maximize Automation Alley’s reach nationally and globally. Additionally, she introduced such popular new member programs as the Tech Takeover, which provides members an opportunity to showcase their expertise on smart technologies for Industry 4.0 to those in the manufacturing and technology fields, and brought in major sponsors and partners for Automation Alley’s 2018 Technology in Industry Report and inaugural, sold-out global Integr8™ Industry 4.0 conference.

In 2006, Hutchison was named one of 14 “Michiganians of the Year” by the Detroit News for her efforts on behalf of Band of Angels, an international advocacy and support organization she founded for educating, employing and providing inclusive opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome, autism and other cognitive impairments. Hutchison started Band of Angels following the birth of her son, Jordan, in 1989, who has Down syndrome. In addition to Hutchison, honorees that year included Dan Gilbert, Matt Cullen and Maggie Allesee. among others.

Hutchison holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Allegheny College. She is a resident of Rochester Hills.

“Cynthia Hutchison brings multi-faceted strategic business marketing and sales skills to Automation Alley,” Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director and CEO, said. “She’s a senior leader and outstanding connector. As we transition Automation Alley to Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, Cynthia has done an outstanding job of educating our members and partners on the value of being actively involved with Automation Alley. On the operations side, she brings creativity and a strong business approach to finding efficiencies that help us best serve our members and our day-to-day operations. Leading our finance area, Maryann Daddow has been an upstanding, trusted leader and has stepped up to embrace the new financial opportunities presented by Automation Alley’s involvement in Industry 4.0. On behalf of our entire team, I congratulate them on their promotions.”


About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association and Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. We connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. We offer programs and services in business growth, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources and knowledge to help our members grow and prosper in the digital age.

Our Mission
The mission of Automation Alley is to position Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically during a time of rapid technological change.

Clayton & McKervey shareholder Tim Finerty named to Automation Alley’s Board of Directors

Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping closely held businesses compete in the global marketplace, announces that Shareholder Tim Finerty has been named to the board of Automation Alley effective August 1. Automation Alley is Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center and the state’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association. Board members provide strategic insight, corporate governance and operational oversight to Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly and serve a three-year term, twice eligible for renewal.

Long active in Automation Alley’s domestic and international initiatives, including annual trade missions to Mexico, Finerty will also remain as vice chair of Automation Alley’s International Business Services Advisory Council, a position he was appointed to in February. Clayton & McKervey is an original foundation member of Automation Alley and its shareholders and managers have been engaged with the organization since its inception in 1999.

Finerty is the leader for the Systems Integrators and Mexico practices at Clayton & McKervey, with specialization in Research & Experimentation tax credits and consulting on Mexican and Latin American tax and accounting issues. He also helps small and midsized growth-driven businesses achieve their goals.

In addition to his efforts with Automation Alley, Finerty is a founding board member of the newest chapter of the United States – Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC), the Great Lakes Chapter, based in Detroit, and is also involved with a variety of other professional organizations, including ProMexico, Michigan Manufacturing Association, Association for Advancing Automation, Robotics Industries Association, National Tooling & Machining Association, Controls Systems Integrators Association, and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Manufacturing Task Force. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Michigan State University.


About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is a nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association and Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, with a global outlook and a regional focus. We connect industry, academia and government to fuel Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. We offer programs and services in business growth, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources and knowledge to help our members grow and prosper in the digital age.

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a full-service certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping closely held businesses compete in the global marketplace. The firm is headquartered in metro Detroit and services clients throughout the world. To learn more, visit claytonmckervey.com.

Automation Alley to reveal major report on Industry 4.0 with research from seven leading Michigan academic institutions

Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, has assembled a collaborative team of academic and corporate partners to create an in-depth research report on Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to be released April 30 in Detroit. This is the first collaborative Industry 4.0 report of its kind in Michigan.

Automation Alley’s 2018 Technology in Industry Report will be a data-rich guide to Industry 4.0 adoption comprised of observations, emerging trends, challenges, opportunities and implications for industry, created to help manufacturers keep pace with rapid technological changes. Research will center on the eight core technologies of Industry 4.0, including the Industrial Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, the cloud, cybersecurity, advanced materials and additive manufacturing, and modeling, simulation, visualization and immersion.

This is Automation Alley’s 11th year releasing this report, and the first time the organization is taking a collaborative approach to the research. Academic research partners include University of Detroit Mercy, Lawrence Technological University, Central Michigan University, Oakland University, Baker College, Macomb Community College and Oakland Community College. Ford Motor Company is backing the report research with funding and providing corporate insight.

“Ford Motor Company joined Automation Alley in late 2017 to take advantage of the unique networking opportunities. Ford clearly sees the opportunity to collaborate with Southeast Michigan business leaders on critical Industry 4.0 initiatives, and jointly define and develop the way forward in this space,” said Michael Lee, Ford’s global core manager of body structures and closures.

Comau, Siemens PLM, Eaton and Trumpf will provide guidance through peer review and industry-specific feedback. In addition, Plante Moran and RSM have come on board to help facilitate and organize the data collected. Additional corporate partners will be announced in February.

“Manufacturers around the globe are attempting to wrap their heads around the magnitude of change involved with Industry 4.0, where there is much uncertainty, but also opportunity,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director and CEO. “We understand that the key to our state’s success in Industry 4.0 is dependent on knowledge, not only for business owners, but also for a workforce that will need to be upskilled as jobs are replaced by automation. This report will be of great value to manufacturers both at home and abroad, one that will serve as a roadmap to help companies large and small navigate this massive industry shift.”

Automation Alley’s 2018 Technology in Industry Report will be released at Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Reveal, April 30, from 8-11:30 a.m., at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where attendees will receive a free copy of the report. At the Reveal event, hundreds of technology and manufacturing professionals will enjoy a strolling breakfast as they network and explore a technology spotlight featuring the latest Industry 4.0 innovations. Following the spotlight, there will be a formal presentation of the 2018 Technology in Industry Report’s key takeaways and a panel discussion featuring leading industry experts and academic researchers.

Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Reveal comes on the heels of Automation Alley’s sold-out, global Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8™, that attracted 550 industry experts to Detroit in November.

“Automation Alley’s mission is to lead the charge in Industry 4.0 in Michigan for our members as well as our state’s strong manufacturing ecosystem. Our goal is to keep our manufacturers ahead of the curve as technology transforms industry. This report is a logical next step to achieve that goal,” Kelly said.

For information on sponsorship opportunities related to the Technology in Industry Report and Technology in Industry Reveal, visit automationalley.com/techreport. To register for the Technology in Industry Reveal, visit automationalley.com/techreveal.


About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. Automation Alley focuses its efforts on innovation and technology, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources, funding and actionable intelligence to help members grow and prosper in the digital age.

Our Mission
Automation Alley is Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a local focus. We work tirelessly to help our members achieve success by increasing sales, reducing costs, and thinking strategically during a time of rapid technological change in the manufacturing industry.

 

Detroit’s Tech, Automotive Leadership Takes Spotlight During Israel Mission Trip

In a follow-up to a January fact-finding mission to Israel earlier this year led by Mark Davidoff, Michigan managing partner at Deloitte, and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the Detroit Regional Chamber, along with economic development representatives from Oakland County, returned to the country in May to meet with automotive and manufacturing companies looking to expand into the U.S. market.

“Following our fact-finding mission in January, we saw an opportunity in Israel beyond the country’s robust cybersecurity sector to the larger automotive technology landscape,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of Business Attraction for the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“Our Business Attraction program has made a shift to recruit more early-stage automotive technology companies and we are looking to the markets that we believe hold the greatest potential to bring that technology to Southeast Michigan — Israel and Silicon Valley,” he added.

The trip, which took place May 15-19, was timed to coincide with Ecomotion 2017, a worldwide conference focused on promoting knowledge-sharing among companies in the smart transportation sector (pictured).

During the week, the delegation held 25 one-on-one meetings with venture capital companies, automotive accelerators and startups, to glean information on how to best support Israeli companies that have an eye toward the North American market. Primarily, Robinson said companies expressed the need for better connections to OEMs (such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co.) and Tier 1 and 2 suppliers.

“It was a great opportunity to listen and understand what we need to be doing as a region to better position ourselves to connect this new startup ecosystem with the established automotive ecosystem in Detroit,” he said.

There are roughly 6,000 startups in Israel today. As more pop up due to the country’s rich talent pool and government support for entrepreneurs, many companies are setting their sights to North America to scale their business quickly, Robinson said.

“Mobility is becoming one of the key areas of focus, which is a perfect opportunity for Michigan,” he said.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita S. Harris at mharris@detroitchamber.com or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Automation Alley offers Integr8™ early bird member pricing through July 7; Special VIP ticket package also available to first 100 members

Automation Alley is offering its members a special early bird rate and VIP ticket package to attend Integr8™, the technology and manufacturing business association’s new interactive, cross-discipline global Industry 4.0 conference. Integr8™ will feature world-renowned speakers, panels and a technology expo, and is expected to attract 500 manufacturing and technology professionals from across the region and world to Detroit, Nov. 9.

Members can save $100 on conference tickets by taking advantage of early bird member pricing of $349 through July 7. In addition, members have access to a VIP Package for $599 that includes tickets to both the VIP Dinner and Cocktail Reception on Nov. 8 at the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and the Integr8™ conference on Nov. 9 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. The VIP Package is limited to the first 100 registrants.

Integr8™ will advance attendees’ knowledge and understanding of the eight key technologies associated with Industry 4.0: cybersecurity, big data and artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud computing and modeling, simulation and visualization.

“These are technologies disrupting the manufacturing industry, innovations that will not only reshape the way things are made, but also the way we live,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley’s executive director. “Our vision in developing Integr8™ was to create a global gathering where ideas are shared, knowledge is transferred and, most importantly, an actionable Industry 4.0 roadmap is created so that companies can begin to implement these technologies on their factory floors.”

Integr8™ attendees will benefit from breakfast and lunch keynote presentations, a technology expo featuring the latest in cutting-edge technologies and breakout sessions focused on advancements in manufacturing, how to overcome obstacles to adoption, financial ROI and blueprints for successful Industry 4.0 implementation. Confirmed speakers include world-renowned manufacturing experts and Industry 4.0 thought leaders from Carnegie Mellon University, Fraunhofer, University of Michigan, General Motors, Omron Automation and more.

To register, sponsor, or inquire about Integr8™ speaking opportunities, visit automationalley.com/integr8.

About Automation Alley
Integr8™ is presented by Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. The mission of Automation Alley is to position Southeast Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically as they keep pace with rapid technological changes in manufacturing.

Community Colleges’ Talent Pool to Play Large Role in Michigan’s Mobility Future

Education and talent experts engaged in a meaningful conversation on how to effectively attract and retain talent for Michigan’s mobility industry at the session titled “Creating the Talent Pipeline for the Mobility Workforce” hosted by Washtenaw Community College and Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD) on Thursday.

“We currently have more than 10,000 unfilled mobility jobs across the state that we must really look to fill to be able to compete,” said Roger Curtis, director of the Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development.

Key Takeways

  • Attracting students to mobility-related career requires more education and easily accessible information.
  • Community colleges are necessary for the success of the auto-mobility industry as talent needs to grow.
  • The private and public sectors must collaborate to provide viable options and resources for students looking for mobility careers.
  • Community colleges offer an increased focus on robotics and supply chain management courses to assist in creating a pipeline for the mobility sector.
  • Improving Michigan’s education system will directly impact the state’s long-term economy.
  • Community colleges must not solely focus on graduation metrics, due to the nature of students and the aggressive needs of the mobility industry.
  • The state of Michigan has a skills gap and digital divide that is leaving thousands of technology-related jobs unfilled and putting more pressure on company’s looking to expand

The panel also included Rose Bellanca, president of Washtenaw Community College and Curtis Ivery, chancellor of Wayne County Community College District. It was moderated by Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Mobility, Collaboration Among Topics Discussed at Governor’s Building the 21st Century Economy Commission Meeting

The Building the 21st Century Economy Commission held its most recent meeting in Detroit at the Chamber on Feb. 22. The Commission, created by Gov. Rick Snyder, has traveled across the state to gain public input from the business community on what needs to be done long-term to grow Michigan’s economy.

The discussion was led by Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah, who chairs the Commission. Chamber Board members Matt Cullen and Sandra Pierce also make up the 15-member Commission.

The day-long event included presentations from featured guests including: Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel; Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System; Eric Larson, CEO of Downtown Detroit Partnership; John McElroy, host of “Autoline Daily”; and Mark Wallace, president and CEO of Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

Hackel discussed the possibilities of efficiencies by local government operational consolidations; Lassiter discussed the transformations taking place in health care due to technology; Larson and Wallace discussed the keys to success for urban areas; and McElroy focused on next-generation mobility with his view that Detroit has already prevailed over Silicon Valley in the race to build the autonomous car.

A panel of millennial Ford Motor Co. engineers discussed and shared their thoughts on how young talent want to live, work and play in Michigan.

Several Chamber staff members were on hand for the meeting, including Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent; Roy Lamphier, vice president of health care and business solutions; and Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto and vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives.

The Commission plans on presenting its recommendations at the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Tech Startup Lessons from Israel: Entrepreneurs Thrive with Collaboration, Government Support

A robust talent pipeline. Government support for startups. Strong academic and STEM education programs. No fear of failure. These are just a few of the key ingredients that contribute to Israel’s status as a top five global technology startup hub.

In an effort to better understand the Israeli ecosystem of innovation, the Detroit Regional Chamber recently attended a five-day, fact-finding mission to the country led by Deloitte and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. It was held concurrently during Gov. Rick Snyder’s Israel trip to enhance business ties with Michigan.

The delegation included chief information technology officers and executives from AT&TConsumers EnergyGeneral Motors, Henry Ford Health System, and nine additional organizations across the state.

During the week, the delegation met with key decision-makers from 12 leading technology startups and attended the 2017 CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv to hear from cyber experts from multi-national corporations, startups, private and corporate investors, and venture capital firms. Gov. Snyder provided opening remarks at the Conference (pictured).

The group also met with Avi Hasson, Israel’s chief scientist, and received an up-close look at AT&T’s latest innovation center in Raanana, GM’s Advanced Technical Center in Tel Aviv, and Israel’s Startup Nation Central, a nonprofit focused on getting innovation in front of leading companies around the world.

Other stops included meetings with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Talpiot Program, an elite training program for students who excel in science and technology; and CYBERBIT, a global leader in cybersecurity and intelligence.

Building Relationships to Maintain Michigan’s Mobility Leadership

In sheer size comparison, Michigan is 11 times larger than the entire country of Israel. Despite that, estimates put Israel’s startup companies at nearly 1,000 in a given year.

Driving this entrepreneurial boom is a combination of Israel’s mandated military service and the resulting talent development, and robust seed funding from the government and venture capital firms for startups.

Public and private collaboration, along with a dedicated source of government funding, is an area where Detroit and Michigan can draw lessons.

“With more than 90,000 engineers, Detroit is also an innovation center with a similar ecosystem. But where our companies are built to drive innovation internally to meet the needs of their own customers, Israel is more externally focused,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction for the Chamber.

“The trick is, how do we take our innovation culture and flip it around to encourage more collaboration and information sharing, especially as we look to be a leader in solving issues around global mobility moving forward?” Robinson added.

He said one thing is clear:

“Israel is a market Michigan must have a close relationship with not only because of the volume, but also the quality of innovation taking place. They have a culture that asks partners, ‘bring us your problems’ – and there are no shortage of challenges in delivering autonomous driving to the world,” he said.

“The Chamber and MICHauto are committed to further enhancing the connections between our established automotive industry and venture capital community with the technology ecosystem in Israel. Doing so will be a win-win for both of our communities,” Robinson added.

For more information on Business Attraction, contact Justin Robinson at jrobinson@detroitchamber.com or 313.596.0352.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at mhamilton@detroitchamber.com, or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Michigan Business Delegation Explores Israeli Startup Ecosystem, Cybersecurity Innovation

By Daniel Lai

The Detroit Regional Chamber recently joined 15 organizations across the state for a five-day fact-finding mission on Israel’s booming startup culture and cyber innovation hosted by Deloitte and the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.

The mission is part of an ongoing effort to build relationships with key government leaders in the country while also connecting Michigan companies with startups and business accelerators in order to develop collaborative technology solutions to strengthen the state’s leadership in connectivity and next-generation mobility.

In addition to the Chamber, the delegation included representatives from AT&T, ChoiceTel, Consumer Energy, Cornerstone Schools, Crain’s Detroit Business, Downtown Detroit Partnership, General Motors Co., Henry Ford Health System, ITC Holdings Corp., Michigan State Police and The Right Place.

Highlights from the week included:

  • Attending the 2017 CyberTech Conference in Tel Aviv to hear from industry experts in cybersecurity
  • Touring AT&T’s latest innovation center in Raanana, GM’s Advanced Technical Center in Tel Aviv and Israel’s Startup Nation Central, a nonprofit focused on getting innovation in front of leading companies around the world
  • Meeting with Avi Hasson, Israel’s chief scientist
  • Hosting meetings with decision-makers from more than 12 technology companies

Israel has the highest density of tech startups in the world cultivated by highly trained graduates from the military establishment, robust government investment in innovation and STEM education. That public and private synergy is ripe for entrepreneurial growth.

“It is very clear that Israel is a market Michigan must have a close relationship with not only because of the volume, but also the quality of innovation taking place. They have a culture that asks partners, ‘bring us your problems’ – and there are no shortage of challenges in delivering autonomous driving to the world,” said Justin Robinson, the Chamber’s vice president of business attraction.

“The Chamber and MICHauto are committed to further enhancing the connections between our established automotive industry and venture capital community with the technology ecosystem in Israel. Doing so will be a win-win for both of our communities,” he added.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

A Candid Conversation with Michigan’s Promising Next-Generation Industry Leaders

What excites and motivates you about mobility and the industry you are working in?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

Mobility excites us at SPLT because of the industry’s power to make large and widespread impact that affects people’s lives. When we think about mobility, we think about transforming the way people meet and move by leveraging urban technology. Mobility is a fascinating space to be in because it is changing so rapidly and that is precisely what makes it both challenging and inspiring.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

At Ford I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to work on solving both current and long-term mobility challenges to make mobility affordable economically, environmentally and socially. It’s exciting to look at the future of our transportation system, and more importantly wor

Automotive and Mobility's Rising Stars

Automotive and Mobility’s Rising Stars

k to solve real challenges people are facing. We’re seeing global megatrends such as explosive population growth, an expanding middle class, air quality and public health concerns, changing consumer attitudes and priorities that continue to impact the practicality of personal vehicle ownership in cities. It’s been exciting to partner with Ford leadership on our Ford Smart Mobility plan, forging a new business area for Ford — one that continues our tradition of providing mobility for all, but now beyond just through personal ownership.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

Cars are an integral part of our everyday lives, and it is exciting to know that the products we develop reach so many people around the world. Products we work on today may not go to market until 2020, so I have a unique glimpse into the future and know my work will continue to impact drivers for years to come.

What does having a great “culture” in a company mean to you?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

At SPLT, culture is baked into everything we do. We believe our company is family. We strive to create a space where our team feels comfortable to grow and innovate. Our culture is a reflection of the people that make up our team. Without culture, what do you really have? We’re about being a great company for our customers, but also for our employees, and achieving that balance requires discipline and mindfulness.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

I’ve been at Ford for 16 years and I think having a great company culture is extremely critical in providing an environment to inspire innovation, creativity and a willingness to continually evolve. We’ve worked hard to energize the entire workforce to think outside of the box and are challenging employees through encouraging experimentation and enterprise-wide innovation challenges. The core company principle of treating others with dignity and respect is something that I really value, and you can see how this plays out within both our internal and external relationships. We’re using our 113 years of industry expertise and talent within the company to evolve as both an auto and mobility company, and our dynamic company culture has contributed to that.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

To have a great culture, you have to go beyond competitive salaries and benefits. For me, work-life balance, team collaboration and good leadership are key. Fostering a company culture that challenges and empowers employees to reach their full potential, while also recognizing their innovations, is equally important.

What critical actions are needed to attract, promote and grow Michigan’s next-generation workforce?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

We need to think different. The easy answer is that we need to attract talent from around the region, the country and around the world to bridge diverse perspectives. But we also need to look right next to us and change the way we value talent. The history of entrepreneurship here is rich and remains, and we need an expectation shift that fosters entrepreneurship among young people.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

The changing automotive and mobility landscape makes Michigan an exciting place to work right now. As we look to bring new talent to our teams, we’re constantly looking to recruit smart minds from diverse backgrounds that will help us create these next-generation transportation solutions. Michigan needs to foster an environment of innovation, continue to bring in and create a receptive environment for entrepreneurs, work with universities to ensure curriculum prepares and generates students that provide the right talent, and be open to expanding into new areas.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

The continued revival of downtown Detroit will help. We must evolve to meet the expectations of the next-gen workforce that grew up with digital devices and lacks patience for outdated tools. Companies must invest in technology, and partner with local colleges and universities to tailor programs so graduates have the skills to work in Michigan. Internships identify talent and build industry knowledge prior to graduation.

What is one thing you like about Detroit and Michigan?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

It’s hard to focus on just one thing, but I would say it’s the people and — in one word — the community. The people of Detroit and Michigan have opened their arms up to us, especially the founders coming from New York and Atlanta. I joke with my co-founder that southern hospitality is one thing, but the Midwestern hospitality is second to none, and we have benefited from the tremendous values of hard work and hustle that makes up the fabric of this community.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

I am constantly impressed by the resilience and resourcefulness of the people of Detroit. Their willingness to transform their own identity and pivot from just being the Motor City to driving entrepreneurship around new mobility solutions inspires me.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

There’s so much to love about Detroit and Michigan. I especially love the “never give up” mentality here. Detroit has been through some tough times, but the recovery has been remarkable. The automotive industry is moving forward, and Detroit is at the heart of it all – constantly pushing the limits and boundaries of innovation.