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Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Patti Poppe as the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference Chair

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. May 31, 2018 – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber announced Consumers Energy and CMS Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Patti Poppe as Chair of the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference. PwC Greater Michigan Market Managing Partner and U.S. Automotive Leader Ray Telang, the 2018 Conference Chair and incoming Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, made the announcement from the main stage.

“Patti’s leadership is invaluable to the Chamber, her perspective as the chief executive of a Fortune 500 company and Michigan’s largest energy provider with more than 7,500 employees will ensure the Conference tackles issues critical to Michigan’s competitiveness and growth,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. “Patti’s insight will offer a fresh approach to convening a statewide discussion focused on Michigan’s long-term prosperity.”

Poppe joined the Chamber’s Board of Directors in 2016 and began serving on its Executive Committee in 2017. Poppe has championed Consumers Energy’s engagement in the Conference, notably recruiting Dean Kamen, founder, FIRST Robotics as a keynote speaker in 2015 and hosting Michigan-based FIRST teams to conduct demonstrations at the Grand Hotel. Poppe has served on the Conference CEO Advisory Committee since 2017.

Poppe was named President and CEO of Consumers Energy and CMS Energy in 2016, leading a company which serves 1.8 million electric customers and 1.7 million natural gas customers. After serving in management roles with General Motors and DTE Energy, Poppe joined Consumers in 2011 and went on to hold multiple positions on the senior management team.

Poppe is credited for her ongoing work to lead Consumers through cultural change within the organization and a disruption to the energy sector, brought on by the need to invest in clean energy technology. In February, Consumers announced its breakthrough goal of planning to meet Michigan’s energy needs by reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent; no longer using coal to generate electricity; and increasing renewable energy to 40 percent – all by 2040. For the first time, under Poppe’s leadership, the company has been named the #1 and #2 Best Large Employer to Work for in Michigan by Forbes Magazine in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“As Chair of the 2019 Mackinac Policy Conference, I am looking forward to helping shape Michigan’s vision through this signature event with other business and governmental leaders who care about our state’s future,” Poppe said. “Discussions on the island help ensure we are prepared for the future and truly competing for increased business investment and top talent – because when Michigan business wins, we all win.”

Planning for the 2019 Conference will begin in the late summer. Poppe, an advisory committee of Michigan-based CEOs and Chamber leadership will develop pillars and the agenda for next year’s event, which will be held from Tuesday, May 28 through Friday, May 31 on Mackinac Island, Michigan.

The Mackinac Policy Conference – the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual statewide event – convenes Michigan’s most influential audience to engage in collaborative dialogue on the state’s economic future. Since 1981, the Conference has provided a unique-in-the-nation experience for Michigan’s top business, government, civic, philanthropic and entrepreneurial leaders. As Michigan’s premier policy event, the Conference attracts more than 1,700 attendees annually to discuss key issues facing the state. The Conference concludes with an actionable To-Do List that transforms dialogue into positive outcomes to create a more business-friendly climate in Michigan. To learn more, visit

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit

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