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 www.detroitchamber.com 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.

October 28: Chamber Leads Delegation on Lessons Learned Tour of New Orleans; Election Day Nears, Check Out Chamber PAC-Endorsed Candidates

Chamber Leads Delegation on Lessons Learned Tour of New Orleans

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber led a delegation of over 30 business, civic and philanthropic leaders, and representatives of the city of Detroit, to New Orleans, La. for a three-day lessons learned tour to bring back insight for Detroit’s continued revitalization. The trip focused on New Orleans’ successful – and still developing – recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

The Detroit delegation toured key areas of the city and attended panel discussions comprised of New Orleans experts who have firsthand experience and insight on efforts to revitalize the city. Topics explored the major factors contributing to New Orleans’ path to recovery including economic development, education and charter school reform, government function, the entrepreneurial ecosystem and urban resiliency.

The New Orleans trip was a continuation of an action item from the Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do List. The Chamber extends its appreciation to The Kresge Foundation, Strategic Staffing Solutions and the offices of Mayor Mike Duggan and Mayor Mitch Landrieu for their partnership in supporting the trip. Click here to view photos from the tour.

Date Change: Inside the CEO Mind Moved to Nov. 14

The date has changed for the Chamber’s next installment of Inside the CEO Mind, featuring Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. Originally scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13, the event will now take place on Friday, Nov. 14. The event will still be held at The Parade Company from 8 to 10 a.m.

Come hear Michaels share his leadership perspective on how innovation and creativity can combat challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Following the program, attendees can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the company’s headquarters in Detroit ahead of America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by Art Van Furniture. Click here to register for the event.

Election Day Nears, Check Out Chamber PAC-Endorsed Candidates

The Nov. 4 general election in Michigan is quickly approaching, and the Detroit Regional Chamber encourages its members to get out and vote.

This year’s elections are crucial to Michigan’s continued comeback. The Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) has diligently spent the past year interviewing and reviewing candidates across Michigan in order to endorse and support pro-economic growth candidates. For a full list of the Chamber PAC’s endorsements, please click here.

Remember, polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day. Click here to view a sample ballot and find your polling location.

Candidate Spotlight: Rep. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Township)

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) is endorsing Congressman Gary Peters for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat. Peters has a consistent record of representing the Detroit region and the state on issues that align with the Chamber’s mission.

During the 2008 financial crisis, Peters was an effective voice in rescuing Detroit’s automotive industry, providing necessary congressional support to companies, including General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, to reinvent themselves and save thousands of jobs across the country. Peters also helped implement the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act, and the State Small Business Credit Initiative.

Peters is a leading advocate to secure $250 million in federal funding for the Detroit Customs Plaza, a key component of the New International Trade Crossing. He has shown similar support for freight and rail infrastructure investment critical to the region’s success.

Peters’ commitment to the business community has spurred the foundation for strong economic growth. He embodies the characteristics that are required of an effective civil servant, and the Chamber looks forward to partnering with him as Michigan’s next U.S. senator. For a full list of the Chamber PAC’s endorsements, please click here.

October 21: Chamber to Unveil State of the Region, Dec. 10; Go Behind the Scenes of The Parade Company at Inside the CEO Mind

Chamber to Unveil State of the Region, Dec. 10

The Detroit Regional Chamber will provide an update to membership and release a State of the Region during its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit.

Attendees will hear an annual briefing on the Chamber’s work over the past year in economic development, regional collaboration, education reform and membership value. The Chamber’s State of the Region report will offer an analysis of the economic indicators related to business growth, talent, innovation and international commerce for Southeast Michigan. The information will also highlight the automotive, aerospace and defense, health care, transportation, distribution and logistics industries.

Following the program, attendees will have the opportunity to network with business professionals and government leaders. Click here for more information.

Candidate Spotlight: Dave Trott (R-Birmingham)

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) endorses Republican Dave Trott for Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. Trott is an accomplished businessman, growing his family title insurance law firm from 12 employees to thousands of employees across the Midwest. The firm serves clients in a variety of fields including commercial, real estate and building trades.

Trott’s business insight, complemented by years of public administration and philanthropy, provide him the diverse background that is needed as crucial decisions arise in Washington. His commitment to Michigan’s economic comeback will focus on enhancing Southeast Michigan’s infrastructure and lessening the tax burden on businesses that supply investment and create jobs. For a full list of Chamber-endorsed candidates, click here.

Go Behind the Scenes of The Parade Company at Inside the CEO Mind

On Nov. 13, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Inside the CEO Mind series will give participants a sneak peek of what it takes to pull off one of Detroit’s largest holiday extravaganzas.

Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company, will share his leadership perspective on how innovation and creativity can combat challenges and capitalize on opportunities. Following the program, attendees can take a behind-the-scenes tour of The Parade Company headquarters in Detroit ahead of America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade presented by Art Van Furniture. Click here to register for the event.

Chamber Staffers Compete in Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon

Ten staff members from the Detroit Regional Chamber competed in the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon this past weekend. The two teams placed 27th and 126th, respectively, out of approximately 355 relay teams. Chamber staff were proud to be part of the Free Press’ signature event that brought more than 25,000 runners to the city to compete in numerous marathon events. Click here for a complete list of results.

Chamber CEO Joins Panel on Southeast Michigan’s Manufacturing Outlook

Detroit Regional Chamber President Sandy Baruah will join leaders in Detroit to shed light on the manufacturing industry’s growth in Southeast Michigan at a seminar hosted by UHY LLP on Nov. 20 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

The seminar, titled “An Era of Disruptive Transformation,” will focus on Detroit’s developing industry trends including disruptive technologies, economic outlook, mergers and acquisitions, and the revitalization of the manufacturing industry. Jacques Panis, president of Shinola, will be the keynote speaker. Click here for more information and to register for the seminar.

Detroit Creative Corridor Center Seeks Applicants for Residency Program

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) is seeking design-based businesses to apply for its intensive, six-month Creative Ventures Residency Program. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 24, and candidates will be announced in early December.

Four design-based service providers will be selected to join the six-month program where they will learn to quickly grow and scale their business by gaining access to DC3 expertise, exposure and exclusive opportunities – all while working out of the DC3 studio in Detroit.

Ideal applicants are post-revenue, high potential service providers, studios and agencies seeking to scale and grow their business in advertising/branding, architecture/interior design, graphic or industrial design, Web Development or media production. Click here for more information.