Flashpoint 2/16/20: Sandy Baruah On Rethinking the electoral college

February 16, 2020

Click on Detroit  | Local 4 | WDIV


Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO, Sandy Baruah made an appearance on Local 4 News’s round-table discussion, Flashpoint, for a lively discussion on the electoral college.

Editorial page editor of The Detroit News, Nolan Finley; Stephen Henderson, host of WDET’s show Detroit Today; Vince Keenan, special projects manager for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s Department of Neighborhoods; Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Read the full article here

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Gubernatorial Primary Poll Findings, To Host First Bipartisan Debate

DETROIT (April 26, 2018) – The Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) will host the first debate featuring both the top Democratic and Republican candidates for Michigan governor at the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. The debate will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 31 in Grand Hotel’s Theatre.

The top three candidates for each party’s nomination were identified by a poll commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber PAC and conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. in April. The poll was a research survey of public opinion from 800 Michigan primary election voters, 400 from each party. The results do not necessarily reflect the views of the Chamber or its PAC.

Republican candidates who will participate in the debate and the percentage of voters who say they are supporting each candidate in the primary are:

  • Brian Calley, Lieutenant Governor, State of Michigan (23 percent)
  • Patrick Colbeck, Senator, State of Michigan (4.3 percent)
  • Bill Schuette, Attorney General, State of Michigan (36.3 percent)

(34 percent of Republican primary voters surveyed indicated that they are undecided.)

Democratic candidates who will participate in the debate are:

  • Abdul El-Sayed, Former Executive Director, Health Department, City of Detroit (6.5 percent)
  • Shri Thanedar, Author and Entrepreneur (29.6 percent)
  • Gretchen Whitmer, Former Senator, State of Michigan (26.3 percent)

(34.8 percent of Democratic primary voters surveyed indicated that they are undecided.)

“We appreciate the fact that candidates in both parties are participating in multiple debates to help voters decide. But, with this event, we are trying to do more than just narrow down a field. We want to help Michigan choose its next governor,” said Brad Williams, vice president of Government Relations for the Chamber. “The Mackinac Policy Conference has long influenced major statewide races and we expect that this debate will have a similar impact on the 2018 election.”

The candidates will be moderated by the Detroit Public Television (DPTV) “MiWeek” co-hosts Nolan Finley, Stephen Henderson and Christy McDonald. The debate audience will be comprised exclusively of Conference attendees. A separate ticket is required to attend the debate and the proceeds benefit the Chamber’s PAC. DPTV will livestream the debate at mpc.detroitchamber.com.


The in-depth results of the poll’s findings on the governor’s race, commissioned by the Detroit Regional Chamber PAC, can be found at detroitchamber.com/poll-findings. The initial analysis conducted by Glengariff Group Inc. in April includes:

“The Democratic race is a toss up at this point with Thanedar’s television advertising paying dividends in Wayne County where Gretchen Whitmer is simply unknown yet.  We’re in the early stages of this race.  But Thanedar’s early television buy has made him a strong competitor early in the race,” said Richard Czuba, founder of Glengariff Group Inc.

“The Republican primary is very much a two-person race at this point with the difference being viewers of Fox News, who are going disproportionately for Bill Schuette, while Republicans who get their news from sources other than Fox are breaking relatively even between Schuette and Calley,” added Czuba.

For more information on the Mackinac Policy Conference, visit mpc.detroitchamber.com.







Flashpoint 1/21/18: Examining Detroit’s lacking Amazon campaign Watch Flashpoint at 10 a.m. on Local 4

January, 21, 2018

WDIV Local 4 – Flashpoint

Devin Scillian – Anchor

On Tuesday, Detroit learned it wouldn’t be the location for Amazon‘s second world headquarters. This week’s Flashpoint examines what can be taken away from the city’s lacking campaign.

Also, this year’s North American International Auto Show is about trucks and SUVs, but why?

Flashpoint is hosted by WDIV Local 4 anchor Devin Scillian. Watch Flashpoint on WDIV at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Visit clickondetroit.com to view the original post. 

Philanthropic Leaders: Greater Impact on Detroit’s Revitalization Dependent on Business Partnerships

Watch the full panel here. 

The philanthropic community’s contributions – from housing sustainability programs to youth education – was a critical step in Detroit’s post-bankruptcy revitalization. In the discussion, “Detroit’s Resurgence: Philanthropy’s Leading Role,” panelists highlighted how their respective organizations stimulated development throughout the city through projects, initiatives and programs while emphasizing the need for more collaboration with businesses.










“The foundation community, as well as the corporate community is slowly growing in the understanding that if we work together more, there are great things we can accomplish,” explained Faye Nelson, vice president of DTE Energy and board chair and president of DTE Energy Foundation.

Key takeaways include:

  • The community has needs that the public sector and government cannot address. Individually, philanthropic organizations cannot fill this void.
  • As paradigms shift in Detroit post-bankruptcy, foundations and philanthropic organizations have stepped in to invest in projects that the state and federal government historically funded.
  • Moving forward, for foundations and business it is no longer about investing in as many projects as possible, as much as it is about funding projects that best serve the community.

This session was moderated by Nolan Finley, editorial page editor for The Detroit News. Panelists also included: David Egner, president and CEO of the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation; Katy Locker, Detroit program director at the Knight Foundation; and Chris Uhl, vice president of community investments for Rock Ventures. The session was sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation.

Read more from the 2017 Detroit Policy Conference:

Food Experts: Maintaining Detroit’s Momentum Begins with Healthy, Sustainable Meals for Communities

February 10: Nolan Finley Explores ‘Two Detroits’ at Detroit Policy Conference, Prices Increase Feb. 19

Nolan Finley Explores ‘Two Detroits’ at Detroit Policy Conference, Prices Increase Feb. 19

Nolan Finley’s recent columns in The Detroit News highlight two narratives emerging in Detroit’s post-bankruptcy era — one of a resurgent downtown juxtaposed with struggling neighborhoods. Following opening remarks by Finley, he and Devin Scillian, WDIV-TV 4 anchor, will lead a panel discussion with local community experts at the Detroit Policy Conference focused on the disparities in economic and entrepreneurial opportunity that exist among the “two Detroits.”

Panelists include Dennis Archer Jr., president and CEO of Archer Corporate Services; Cindy Pasky, president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions; Detroit City Councilman André Spivey; and Eric Williams, director of the Program for Entrepreneurship and Business Law, Wayne State University.

The Conference, scheduled for Feb. 26 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at MotorCity Casino Hotel, brings together key business, community and political leaders to lead dialogue focused on shaping the city and the region’s future. The agenda will feature main stage programming and speakers — including Mayor Mike Duggan and urban strategist and best-selling author Peter Kageyama — while concurrent breakout sessions will focus on education, neighborhood revitalization and transportation.

The Detroit Regional Chamber encourages you to attend this day dedicated to Detroit’s success. Click here to register and to view speaker, agenda and program updates. Conference registration pricing increases on Feb. 19.

Shifting Business, Consumer Needs Focus of 2015 Health Care Leaders Forum, March 31

The health care landscape in Michigan and the United States is evolving at a rapid pace due to changes in regional demographics, rising medical costs and shifting business and consumer needs. On Tuesday, March 31, the Detroit Regional Chamber will host the 2015 Health Care Leaders Forum at the Detroit branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) largely in place, the Forum will focus on the ACA’s wins, losses and consequences for patients and businesses. Mark McClellan, director of the Health Care Innovation and Value Initiative and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will kick off the Forum with a keynote address focused on the current health care setting in the United States and areas for improvement. Click here to register and to view speaker, agenda and program updates.

The Forum has been approved for 6.25 HR (general) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. For more information about certification or recertification, visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.

MICHauto’s Discover Auto Series Gives Lawrence Tech Students Up Close Look at Automotive Industry’s Comeback

As part of its ongoing Discover Auto series, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto initiative collaborated with Lawrence Technological University last week to engage and excite students about careers in the automotive industry.

Over 70 students attended the event to hear from keynote speaker Jeff Nichols, executive director of advanced technology integration at American Axle & Manufacturing, as well as a panel of recent university alumni working in the industry. The speakers shared how new innovations and technology are driving growth and opportunity, emphasizing that there has truly never been a better time to work in the automotive industry.

Following the presentation, the students had a chance to network and exchange resumes with MICHauto partner companies. The event was the third of its kind hosted by MICHauto. The series aims to build the next generation of automotive leaders by attracting and retaining talent to the industry. Click here to learn more about MICHauto.

Michigan Ranks Fifth in Nation for High-Tech Assets, New Brookings Study Finds

A new report released by the Brookings Institution reveals that Detroit and Michigan are outperforming the rest of the country in terms of high-tech assets. The report shows that the state ranks fifth in total number of advanced industry jobs, ranging from automotive to information technology. In addition, among large U.S. metropolitan areas, the study ranks the Detroit region fourth, behind San Jose, Calif. and Seattle, Wash., with jobs directly tied to those high-tech industries.

According to the report’s authors, high-tech industries have a direct impact on the country’s global competitiveness. Since 2010, high-tech industries have led the U.S. economic recovery effort, employing 12.2 million people and producing 17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The report ranks the state and region high on the list due to its large concentration of engineers and research facilities. However, the report concludes that Michigan is not doing enough to prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers. Click here to read the full report.

Chamber Board Member Frank Venegas Honored with MLK Social Justice Award from Dartmouth College

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Frank Venegas Jr., founder and CEO of Ideal Group and Chamber Board member, for being named one of Dartmouth College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award recipients.

The award honors community members who have contributed significantly to social justice, peace, civil rights, education, public health or environmental justice. Venegas is being honored for his community service contributions to the city of Detroit and for “engaging corporations, area nonprofits, government and educational institutions to build a collaborative model resulting in a community socioeconomic transformation of more jobs, increased high school and college graduation rates, satisfying career paths and Southwest Detroit neighborhood pride.”

Venegas will share his leadership insight on growing Ideal Group into a $250-million company on March 25 at the Chamber’s Inside the CEO Mind. A location and time will be announced. For more information, contact Marianne Alabastro.