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November 18: Advocacy Team Active in Solution to Fix Michigan Roads; Ford Motor Co. Vice President to Highlight Michigan Supply Base at MICHauto Annual Meeting

Advocacy Team Active in Solution to Fix Michigan Roads

The Detroit Regional Chamber applauds the Michigan Senate for taking a critical step to address Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure. The Senate voted 24-13 last week to modify how gas taxes are calculated in order to raise at least $1 billion to fix state roads and make strategic infrastructure investments. Leveraging its bipartisan reputation, the Chamber’s advocacy team worked closely with key legislators to push for the bill’s passage, a top legislative priority for the organization.

Improving roads and other transportation infrastructure is paramount to the economic vitality of the region and state. The legislation passed by the Senate provides a comprehensive, sustainable solution to a problem that would otherwise continue to cost businesses and residents much more in the long run. The Chamber calls on the Michigan House to approve the Senate’s bill to send to Gov. Rick Snyder prior to the end of the legislative session in December.

Ford Motor Co. Vice President to Highlight Michigan Supply Base at MICHauto Annual Meeting, Jan. 8

The future of Ford Motor Co.’s automotive supply base in Michigan will take center stage at MICHauto’s Annual Meeting and Reception on Thursday, Jan. 8 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of global purchasing at Ford, will deliver the keynote address, focusing on the need to further develop the local supply base, and share his insight on Ford’s efforts to assist suppliers in their expansion overseas – to supply the company globally. Attendees will also receive a brief update on MICHauto’s activities over the past 12 months. The event is sponsored by PwC.

A complete event agenda will be released at a later date. For more information, contact Rob Luce, MICHauto director, at 313.596.0383.

Chamber Traveling to China with Gov. Snyder on Trade Mission

As part of its effort to support and grow the business community in Southeast Michigan, business attraction representatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber are traveling overseas to China on their fourth trade mission with Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

The weeklong trip, held the week of Nov. 19-26, will include matchmaking meetings between Chinese delegates in Beijing and Shanghai and business representatives from nine Michigan companies.

The Chamber’s role will be to meet with manufacturing firms looking to grow their business in the United States, as well as facilitate dialogue with Michigan companies wanting to increase their exports to China. Foreign direct investment in the United States from China continues to excel, with Michigan as one of the top 10 states for direct investment.

Revamped, Mobile-Optimized Website Offers Chamber Information on the Go

The Detroit Regional Chamber recently optimized its website for mobile and tablet platforms to accommodate the increasing number of mobile website visitors. The site is now “responsive,” which means the site recognizes the size of the viewer’s browser and adjusts its size appropriately.

Responsive sites can be viewed on nearly all mobile devices and tablets including the new iPhone 6, iPad, Windows phone and Android devices. It also will adjust to any desktop browser size.

While web visitors may not notice many changes on a desktop or laptop computer, the mobile and tablet versions now display webpages that are easier to read and navigate. Visit on your phone or tablet device to view the updates.

Tony Michaels Gives Insiders a Glimpse of Leadership at The Parade Company

Last week, Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, offered business leaders and community members an inside look at what makes the company tick during the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Inside the CEO Mind series. Michaels told a packed audience of more than 60 attendees that consistency, honesty and a willingness to listen to others has been his guiding principles both as the former CEO of Big Boy Restaurants and since taking over the reins of one of Detroit’s most successful companies five years ago.

Under his leadership, The Parade Company’s signature event remains one of the highest rated national programs on Thanksgiving Day, and the company boosted its revenue from $3.6 million in 2009 to $7.6 million in 2013. Michaels says the company is “not the little engine that could, but the big engine that does” and that all it needed was “a little love, brand focus and absolute freedom for the staff to encourage innovative ideas.”

The 2014 America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Art Van is themed “Walking on Sunshine” and will focus on Detroit’s comeback. Michaels said he hopes anyone watching the parade will see that Detroit continues to be a great place to live, work and play.