Grand Rapids Chamber discusses upcoming Mackinac Policy Conference

May 10, 2019


Nina DeSarro

The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce welcomed several state leaders to discuss the upcoming Mackinac Policy Conference.

This year’s conference centers around education, economic development.. and sustainability. The event runs for four days, from May 28-31 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

“This is a statewide conference very much by design where we are focused on statewide issues and bring in national speakers to input into what’s happening here in Michigan, so it is a thorough leadership conference and we could not do it without our friends and leaders here in west Michigan,” Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sandy Baruah said.

Stacey Abrams, the former gubernatorial candidate from Georgia, will be there along with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Dan DeVos, John Kasich and Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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Business leaders prepare for Mackinac conference

May 10, 2019

Rick Albin

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference will be held three weeks from now.

On Friday, leaders from both the Detroit and Grand Rapids Chambers of Commerce, as well as the West Michigan Policy Forum, talked to reporters about this year’s agenda.

About 1,700 attendees will talk about challenges and problems facing the state. They will also discuss successes and how to capitalize on progress made when it comes to the economy and employment in Michigan.

Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy CEO and chairwoman of the conference this year, says that education will be one focus, noting business leaders worry about the lack of performance of Michigan schools.

“The conference is perfectly timed and perfectly positioned opportunity for people to sit down at the table together and really talk about what is the best outcome for Michigan and stay in that space,” Poppe said.

Another important pillar for the conference will be encouraging lawmakers and other elected officials to work together as one Michigan.

“What we want this conference to be is a convening of those policymakers, creating the space where we remember that we’re one team here, we are not fighting each other. Our victories come together. Our losses come together,” Poppe said.

The conference will be held the last week of May on Mackinac Island.

Reforming auto no-fault is also expected to be discussed, which is another priority for many of the business leaders who will be in attendance.

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