Connection Point program moves to MEDC’s Pure Michigan group

From Crain’s Detroit Business

February 1, 2013

By Chris Gautz

Connection Point, a program to help Michigan companies land contracts with out-of-state and international customers, is now a part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., under its Pure Michigan Business Connect portfolio.

The MEDC and the Detroit Regional Chamber made the announcement today.

The program was launched with funding from a two-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, as well as the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan, and developed by Trevor Pawl, then-program director for Connection Point with the chamber.

Pawl, director at Pure Michigan Business Connect, was one of Crain’s 40 under 40 winners in 2012.

Pawl began working for the MEDC, along with program manager Ryan Michael, at the beginning of the year.

The goal, Pawl said, is to bring more national purchasers to the state, plus ultimately support job growth.

Before moving to the MEDC, Pawl’s program did the same for the Detroit region by bringing in The Boeing Co., Deutz AG and ManTech International Corp.

Now, he said, as part of Pure Michigan Business Connect, they can do the same, but with more resources and a statewide presence.

Connection Point has made more than $200 million in bid opportunities available to businesses in the state across 24 industries, according to a statement.

MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney said in a press release that the Connection Point “commitment will significantly add to the bid opportunities available to Michigan companies.”

Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private initiative that encourages Michigan businesses to buy and sell products and services from other companies in the state.

“As the programs grew along parallel paths, it became clear to both organizations that a greater degree of collaboration could amplify their successes across the state and throughout the global economy,” Benjamin Erulkar, senior vice president of economic development at the chamber, said in the statement.

Chris Gautz: (517) 403-4403, Twitter: @chrisgautz

October 2, 2012: Regional Transit Crucial to Regional Economy; Chamber Returns from Gov.’s Trade Mission in China

Regional Transit Crucial to Regional EconomyDetroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah co-wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press last week with U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI 9) and metro Detroit American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations President Chris Michalakis on the importance of a system of regional transit to the regional economy.

Baruah, Peters and Michalakis outline their commitment to encouraging the passage of legislation that would create a regional transit authority (RTA) and discuss the importance of overcoming partisan lines to invest in the future of the region and ultimately create thousands of new jobs. The federal government is poised to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a transit project, contingent upon the creation of an RTA. To read the full article, click here.

Detroit Regional Chamber Returns From Governor’s Trade Mission in ChinaRepresentatives from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction program organized Governor Rick Snyder’s trade mission to China along with the State of Michigan and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation last month at the Governor’s request. The delegation met with government officials and business leaders in cities including Guiyang and Hangzhou in order to strengthen relationships, expand exports and attract new investment to Michigan. While there, the MEDC signed a cooperation agreement with the Guiyang Department of Commerce to foster partnerships between their respective communities and businesses. The Chamber’s MICHauto program played a pivotal role in helping to secure meetings for Gov. Snyder throughout the trip with Chinese automotive suppliers who have foreign direct investment potential.

The Chamber’s Business Development Representative, Justin Robinson, blogged about the experience throughout the weeklong trip. Click here to read his blog and view photos. The Chamber also participated in the Governor’s trade mission to Europe in March and to Asia in September of 2011.

Chamber’s Connection Point Director Named Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 Under 40 The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Connection Point Program Director Trevor Pawl for being named one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 Under 40. This selection designated Pawl as one of the best and brightest in Southeast Michigan who exemplifies brainpower, creativity and business savvy that can help rebuild the region. He will be honored for this award at a ceremony on October 24.

Pawl joined the Chamber in January of 2011 to help launch the Connection Point program and has helped to bring in more than $200 million in quotation opportunities to Michigan companies during his tenure. For more information on Connection Point, click here. To read more about Pawl’s award and accomplishments, click here.

Celebrate Exceptional Leaders at the 2012 Leadership Detroit Awards, October 11Please join the Detroit Regional Chamber for the 2012 Leadership Detroit Awards on October 11 from 5 to 7 p.m. on the M@dison Building rooftop in Detroit, as several exceptional leaders are honored for their work to create positive change in the community. Selected from over 1,500 alumni, these individuals epitomize the spirit of lifelong leadership and will share their insights on leadership and community involvement.

This year’s winners of the Emerging Leadership Award are members of the Leadership Detroit XXXII Race and Reconciliation Committee, including: Alicia Alvarez, University of Michigan; Leslie Andrews, Rock Ventures, LLC; Alejandro Bodipo-Memba, DTE Energy; Gerald Chiddick, Amerisure Insurance Company; Scott Alan Davis, Vanguard Community Development Corporation; Al-Azhar Pacha, ALPAC, Inc.; Gina Polley, Legal Aid & Defender Association; Sharnita C. Johnson, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and Mary Jo Larson, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP. Also being recognized are Elizabeth Barton, LD XXIX, of The Waverly Group-Midwest, LLC for the Inspirational Leader Award and Faye Nelson, LD XIII, of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, Inc. for the Lifelong Leadership Award. For more information or to register to attend, click here.

Celebrate Entrepreneurship with TiEcon Midwest 2012Join the Detroit Regional Chamber in celebrating the passion and perseverance of entrepreneurs around the world as they sponsor TiEcon Midwest 2012 on October 11-12 at the Sheraton Detroit Novi. Connect with over 3,000 participants and engage in rich dialogue with a dynamic group of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, industry executives and thought-leaders over two full days of networking, inspiring talks and idea sharing. To learn more or to register, click here.

Chamber Staff Help Build Playground at Detroit Innovation AcademyLast month, several members of the Detroit Regional Chamber staff joined the YMCA in building a new playground for the students at the Detroit Innovation Academy in Detroit to ensure students have a new, safe place to play and stay active. The project had more than 225 volunteers who successfully built the playground from the ground up in one day. To view pictures from the day, visit the Chamber’s Facebook page, here.