The Future of Detroit


From The Atlantic Cities
June 12, 2012

“If you think of a place that was close to death and is now entering into a new life, that’s Detroit. Why does that happen? Well there’s great space available, there’s affordability. But cities attract different people … Detroit is a place where anything goes. It’s a place that’s open to people.” — Richard Florida

In April, Cities readers sent in their questions and ideas on the current state of Detroit and where it’s heading. Over the last several weeks, Atlantic Senior Editor Richard Florida has led a conversation on the future of the Motor City. This is the fifth and final installment.

The Businesses That Will Lead Detroit


From The Atlantic Cities
June 5, 2012

“If you want to rebuild a neighborhood, you’re a lot better off starting with stuff people eat and drink. Movie theaters, fine, baseball stadiums great. But where people really want to go is to find places to eat and drink.” — Richard Florida

In April, Cities readers sent in their questions and ideas on the current state of Detroit and where it’s heading. Over the last several weeks, Atlantic Senior Editor Richard Florida has led a conversation on the future of the Motor City. This is the fourth installment.

The Faces Behind Detroit’s Rebirth


From The Atlantic Cities
May 29, 2012

“In addition to all the interesting business stuff that’s beginning to happen, [Detroit’s downtown] now has the infrastructure, it has the buildings” to attract businesses like Twitter. – Richard Florida

Last month, Cities readers sent in their questions and ideas on the current state of Detroit and where it’s heading. Over the next several weeks, Atlantic Senior Editor Richard Florida responds by leading a conversation on the future of the Motor City.

Detroit’s Creative Potential


From The Atlantic Cities
May 22, 2012

“I think what Detroit offers is for young people or interesting people or engaged people — artists, innovators, musicians, designers, city-builders, place-makers — it offers something for them, and it doesn’t have to advertise.” — Richard Florida

Last month, Cities readers sent in their questions and ideas on the current state of Detroit and where it’s heading. Over the next several weeks, Atlantic Senior Editor Richard Florida responds by leading a conversation on the future of the Motor City. This is the second installment. Watch the first episode here.

December 4, 2012: Michigan Senate Passes Regional Transit Authority; Chamber Board Member Tricia Keith Named Executive of the Year

Michigan Senate Passes Regional Transit Authority, Positive Step for Michigan Economy

The news that the Michigan Senate passed legislation to create of a Regional Transit Authority (RTA) last week comes as a positive step for the business climate and for economic development in Michigan. The five-bill package still has to pass through the House of Representatives. The creation of the RTA would coordinate city and suburban bus service, begin the creation of a bus rapid transit system, and potentially bring in millions in federal and private dollars for the creation of a streetcar line.

The creation of an RTA remains one of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s top policy priorities and the Chamber is very supportive of the recent movement in the Legislature on this issue. To read more on the RTA, click here. For more on the Chamber’s other top advocacy priorities, click here.

Chamber Congratulates Tricia Keith, Names National Management Association’s Executive of the Year

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates board member and Senior Vice President of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Tricia Keith for being named the first female recipient of the National Management Association’s executive of the year award. Keith is being honored for her leadership and career accomplishments in business and philanthropy. To read more about Keith’s career and award,click here.

Register Today for Opportunity Detroit – The Chamber’s Membership Meeting and Holiday Reception, Dec. 18

Register today for Opportunity Detroit – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual membership meeting and holiday reception taking place Tuesday,December 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Gem Theatre in Detroit. Join the Chamber for this event to hear from the people making decisions to invest in Detroit and what they are finding when they do, including: John Fikany of Microsoft Corporation; Jacques Panis of Shinola; Jason Raznick of Benzinga; Nancy Schlichting of Henry Ford Health System; and Mike Webster of Kelly Services, Inc.

From talent, resources and quality of life, to one of the best business tax structures in the nation, the Chamber is bringing business insiders together to share Detroit’s story and define the role you can play in encouraging its continued transformation. Click here to reserve your spot today.

State Treasurer Dillon Says Emergency Manager Replacement Law Imminent

According to the Michigan Information and Research Service (MIRS), State Treasurer Andy Dillon has confirmed a replacement law for the emergency manager (EM) law, which was repealed in the November election, is coming but may not be ready for the lame duck session. The replacement law will address assistance for financially struggling school districts and municipalities and may give locals more options than the previous law, including the option to declare bankruptcy.

The Detroit Regional Chamber remains supportive of the EM law and advocated for Proposal 1, which would have upheld the law, during the election. The Chamber will continue to support a law that will sustain fiscal responsibility in failing schools and municipalities as it moves through the Legislature.

Chamber CEO Discusses Importance of Collaboration at Grand Valley State University

Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah spoke at Grand Valley State University last week to discuss the importance of solving Michigan’s problems and continuing to move the state forward through collaboration. Baruah highlighted the efforts Gov. Rick Snyder has made in higher education and talent combined with the strong portfolio of Michigan-based business as being critical to moving the state in the right direction. He also touted the importance of the rejection of the Michigan ballot proposals earlier this year to keeping the state from moving in reverse. To view a video of his speech from the Holland Sentinelclick here. To read coverage in Crain’s Detroit Businessclick here.

Action Alert: Urge Congress to Address National Debt Crisis

The Detroit Regional Chamber is urging its members to take action by calling on lawmakers to find a fiscally responsible solution to avoid the year-end fiscal cliff while developing a long-term debt reduction plan. The uncertainty and partisan gridlock swirling around the debt crisis is jeopardizing our fragile economic recovery and the Chamber is doing its part as the Michigan Chapter of the Campaign to Fix the Debt.

The time for action is now – our fragile economic recovery cannot risk ongoing gridlock in Washington and the blame game of political parties. Our business, employees and children deserve clear and concrete action now to secure a more prosperous future for us all. To contact your federal lawmakers, click here.

Chamber Hosts Business Leaders for Exclusive Look at Michigan’s Defense Industry

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber hosted an exclusive, half-day insider’s look at the state of the defense industry for 20 regional business leaders. The tour, the first in a new Chamber series, included site visits and presentations from leaders of the Michigan-based defense industry and attendees received an in-depth look at why Michigan is a premier destination for the defense and homeland securities industries.

Speakers included Major General Michael J. Terry, Commanding General of U.S. Army TACOM LCMC, and Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and site visits included trips to General Dynamics Land Systems Maneuver Collaboration Center, the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center and BAE Systems. The Detroit Free Press’ Tom Walsh participated in the day’s events and chronicled his experience here.

Rock Ventures Purchases Chamber Headquarters Building

The Detroit Regional Chamber is pleased to welcome Rock Ventures, LLC, a Dan Gilbert-owned company, to One Woodward Avenue in Detroit, where the Chamber is a tenant. Gilbert has purchased the building, his 10th downtown Detroit building purchase in less than two years, and hopes to greatly increase occupancy and maintain his commitment to supporting the city’s continued growth. Click here to hear Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah discuss the purchase with WDET’s Pat Batcheller. To read coverage in the Detroit Newsclick here.

Final Reminder to Help Michigan Build a Stronger, Healthier and More Business-Friendly Economy

The Detroit Regional Chamber is participating in the first Michigan 2013 Economic Outlook Survey along with more than 70 organizations who have joined together from around the state to gain a better understanding of how to accelerate business and job growth in Michigan. This venture will help the participating groups in the Michigan business community to better understand your business priorities and determine what services will be valuable to your business in 2013.

Please take a few quick minutes to fill out a short survey, here, and share your business insight. By providing your feedback in this survey, you are part of a statewide collaborative effort to help Michigan become a stronger, healthier and more business-friendly economy in 2013.

Auburn Hills Department of Public Services Has the Beet (Juice) for Environmentally Friendly Winter Road Maintenance

Also, City Council Approves Collaborative Agreement with Road Commission of Oakland County for Snow Removal on Two County Roads; Awaiting Final RCOC Okay

Auburn Hills, MI—December 4, 2012—The City of Auburn Hills, a dynamic community committed to innovation and growth, will continue to use Michigan-made ‘beet juice’ in its snow removal efforts again this year. While some observant drivers may see brown, the City is being green, according to members of the Auburn Hills Department of Public Services.

“What we call beet juice is actually a mixture of 20% sugar beet derived organic ice melting product and 80% liquid salt brine solution,” explained director of public services, Ron Melchert. “Auburn Hills uses it as an anti-icing, pre-winter storm treatment on city-owned bridge decks, select high-traffic intersections and substantial hills and curves to interrupt the bonding of packed snow and ice to the pavement. The result is safer road travel due to improved braking and traction performance during a winter snow storm and a more efficient and effective way of providing winter road maintenance.”

Drivers may notice an unusual substance on the road because the anti-icing liquid is applied in lines, and has the look and consistency of maple syrup. Areas that have been treated using the anti-icing program often require little or no salt once the roadway is plowed. The approach is also more environmentally friendly because it uses less salt per event to clear city roads and can last two-three days if there is no rain to wash it away.

Dan Brisson, Roads and Facilities Manager for Auburn Hills, says a 725 gallon liquid tank of the beet and brine mixture can be used to treat approximately 35 lane miles of City roadway. It’s also a Michigan-made product.

“The city currently purchases the organic product from Advance Dust Control in East Lansing, which uses sugar beets harvested from the Michigan thumb area. The salt brine used in the anti-icing and pre-wetting programs is manufactured on-site at Auburn Hills’ Department of Public Services,” said Brisson.

Through a combination of updating nine city dump trucks with computer controlled salt spreading equipment and implementing anti-icing and pre-wetting programs, Auburn Hills has seen a 30% reduction in salt use since 2008.

In other road maintenance news, the Auburn Hills City Council voted last night to approve a collaborative Winter Roads Maintenance Agreement with the Road Commission for Oakland County (RCOC). The agreement is now pending approval by the RCOC’s Board of Directors. Under the agreement, Auburn Hills would provide snow removal and ice control on two RCOC roads, South Blvd from Adams to Opdyke and Adams Road from South Blvd to the Rochester Hills city limit, for an annual fee to the City of $15,291.

About Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills is home to more than 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at


The State of Detroit


From The Atlantic Cities
May 15, 2012

“So much has been said of the crisis of Detroit or the ruin of Detroit. I think what’s really interesting is, enough’s been said about that. It’s really an interesting place to look at as a laboratory of rebuilding. … Great economic crises are generational events. We’re only four or five years into this one, and already you can see the seeds of renewal and revitalization.” — Richard Florida

Last month, Cities readers sent in their questions and ideas on the current state of Detroit and where it’s heading. Over the next several weeks, Atlantic Senior Editor Richard Florida responds by leading a conversation on the future of the Motor City. This is the first installment.

MedNetOne Health Solutions Names New Director of Clinical Services

Rochester, Mich.—December 3, 2012– MedNetOne Health Solutions (MNOHS), a Rochester-based full service health solutions provider offering clinical, technology and programming support services to its 1,000 plus primary and specialty care private practice physicians and behavior health specialist members, announces that William Porter, RN, has been named Director of Clinical Services.

Mr. Porter joined MNOHS in 2012 as a Hybrid Care Manager, providing coordinated care, nursing services and administrative oversight to numerous member practices. In his new role, Mr. Porter will provide leadership and executive direction to 17 multidisciplinary care managers at 30 primary care practice sites in the MedNetOne Health Solutions network. He will work with physicians, behavioral health specialists, care managers and other health practice teams to deliver innovative care solutions that optimize patient outcomes, reduce service costs and increase patient and provider satisfaction.

According to MNOHS CEO Ewa Matuszewski, this position leverages Mr. Porter’s clinical and coordinated care expertise in the patient centered medical home (PCMH) team approach model and the transitions of care process.

“Changes resulting from the PCMH movement and health reform, including new reimbursement models and structural alignments, are coming at an unprecedented pace,” Matuszewski says. “Bill has the capacity to generate and apply new clinical, technology and programming support services to help our network members adapt to national healthcare reform as well as new programs offered through the State of Michigan,” she said. “Our organization looks forward to his continued efforts to promote whole person care.”

Immediately prior to joining MedNetOne Health Solutions, Mr. Porter was a site review consultant for Inovalon (formerly MedAssurant), a national healthcare data analytics solution provider. He also served as a patient care nurse and nurse technician at Providence Hospital and Medical Center. Prior to entering the nursing field, Mr. Porter was a skilled tradesperson in the auto industry. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.

Mr. Porter graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He also holds associate degrees in nursing, liberal arts and general science from Henry Ford Community College. He is a member of the American Nurses Association, Michigan Nurses Association, National Transitions of Care Coalition and the American Academy of Professional Coders.
About MedNetOne Health Solutions:
MedNetOne Health Solutions (MNOHS), a leader in advancing the development and implementation of the Patient-Centered Medial Home (PCMH), is a healthcare management organization for primary and specialty care physicians and behavioral health specialists that provides administrative infrastructure and clinical support and programming to develop and sustain high performing, patient-centric practices while meeting government healthcare reform mandates. Learn more at