Your Partner in Growing Your Community

21 AM Brochure Graphic2021 Annual Meeting Agenda

Sunday, August 22nd

6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Early Arrivals Reception at Forty Pearl Wine Bar
Join MEDA’s Board of Directors, Committee Chairs, and staff for this light-hearted networking reception.
Free to attendees - Guest Fee: $35

Monday, August 23rd

2:00 to 5:30 p.m. Conference Registration
Conference registration is not only for checking in, but also for picking up your materials, paying if you have not, asking any questions that you have, and networking with fellow attendees as they arrive.

Concurrent Tours - CANCELLED 8/3 - Please enjoy Grand Rapids during your free time. See the Make Your Travel Plans page for ideas.

5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Emerging Leaders Happy Hour at Grand Rapids Brewing Company
Many new leaders have emerged in economic development in the last year and a half. We need to get to know each other! Please come to GR Brewing Company for a casual meet-up to start connecting with new peers or getting caught up.

6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Opening Reception at Warner Norcross + Judd LLP Rooftop
Take in the view of Grand Rapids from the Rooftop of the Warner Norcross + Judd LLP building while you connect with old friends, make new ones, and get excited about the conference at our Opening Reception.
Free to attendees - Guest Fee: $50

Tuesday, August 24th

7:45 a.m. Registration Opens

8:15 a.m. Welcomes Attendees
Nora Balgoyen, Area Manager, ITC, and 2021 Conference Chair
James McBryde, President and CEO, Middle Michigan Development Corporation and 2021 MEDA Board President
Randy Thelen, President and CEO, The Right Place, Inc.

8:30 a.m. Our Business Resilience Story                   
SALON A

Perrigo is a multi-national company - with a new location in Grand Rapids - with over 10,000 employees. With those employees being both remote and essential, and major changes occurring in the supply chain, their operations have no doubt been impacted by the pandemic. Hear about what they learned and what they plan to do for continued success moving forward.
Moderator: Birgit Klohs, CEO, The Right Place, Inc. (retired), Honorary Conference Chair
Panelists: Ron Janish, Executive Vice President of Global Operations and Supply Chain, Perrigo
Richard Sorota, Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Self-Care Americas, Perrigo

9:15 a.m. Networking Break

9:30 a.m. The Right Infrastructure for the New Landscape
SALON A
The need for new and upgraded infrastructure to meet the needs of innovations, such as electric vehicles, has not gone away. Learn what is being done to address the growing and diversified needs.
Moderator: Jill Bland, CEcD, Managing Partner, Southwest Michigan First
Panelists: Paul C. Ajegba, Director, Michigan Department of Transportation
Dave Allen, Vice President, Regulatory and Gas Operations, Midwest Energy and Communications

Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer, Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, State of Michigan
Simon Whitelocke, President, ITC Michigan

10:30 a.m. Networking Break

10:45 a.m. Our New Talent Landscape
SALON A
The pandemic caused a rapid change in not only how work is done, but also where work is done, how staff is managed, the hiring process, talent sourcing, and much more. Hear how this multinational, but Michigan-born, company has adjusted its practices.        
Ann Harten, Vice President, Global Human Resources, Haworth

11:30 a.m. Networking Break

11:45 a.m. Concurrent Sessions 1            

>> Equitable Economic Development and Mobility Plan Implementation
SALON C
Increasing equitable economic development outcomes is a primary focus of many EDOs across the country. In January 2020, the City of Grand Rapids adopted its Equitable Economic Development and Mobility Strategic Plan. The Plan is aligned with the City's Strategic Plan and seeks to: 1) support economic competitiveness with more equitable participation in the economy; 2) enhance citywide mobility options and increase safety; and 3) promote inclusive growth and access to City services. We will share policy changes made, lessons learned, and report on outcomes that will help you with your equitable economic development strategies and results.
Jeremiah Gracia, CEcD, Director, Economic Development, City of Grand Rapids

>> Deeper Dive into the State of Michigan’s Broadband
SALON A
An increase in online activity due to the pandemic has brought a lot of challenges, one of which is the lack of broadband internet access in Michigan, and it is not only in rural communities. This panel will focus on the challenges Michigan residents face in relation to broadband internet access.
Moderator: Britany Affolter-Caine, Executive Director, Michigan's University Research Corridor
Panelists: Eric Frederick, AICP, LEED AP, Vice President, Community Affairs, Executive Director, Connect Michigan
Ron Houtman, MM, ED.S., Education Technology Consultant/REMC 8 Director, Kent ISD
Gavin Leach, Vice President, Finance and Administration, Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, Northern Michigan University

>> Grand Rapids’ Revitalization Task Force
SALON D
Mayor Rosalynn Bliss formed the Grand Rapids Area Revitalization Task Force at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Task Force is focused both on the short-term needs of helping the community navigate through the pandemic and the long-term vision of using this crisis as an opportunity to “build back better” than when we entered the pandemic. This presentation will look at how the Task Force came into existence and how it is facilitating collaboration between numerous different, but like-minded business, community, workforce, and tourism-related organizations.
Joe Agostinelli, CEcD, Executive Director, Grand Rapids Area Revitalization Task Force

12:30 p.m. Lunch and Keynote Address from Quentin Messer Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
SALON B

1:20 p.m. Concurrent Session 2

>> New Supply Chain Links
SALON C
The supply chain is the structure that keeps businesses moving around the world. Disruptions, such as the semiconductor shortage triggered by the pandemic, can make a huge difference to any company that might need a part to finish a job. A trusted expert that automotive companies and suppliers often rely on to make supply chain decisions will share an economic review that is used to frame automotive forecasting as well as a high level global light vehicle sales and production update along with a discussion on vehicle powertrain trends and other insights into how Michigan’s manufacturers can structure their supply chain activities.
Mike Wall, Executive Director, Automotive Analysis, IHS Markit

>> Michigan’s Resilient Automotive Industry
SALON A
Eyes have been on the automotive industry in Michigan throughout the pandemic. Sales were impacted, staffing was impacted, and some diversified to make PPE, which generated income and kept our residents safe. With the need to keep workers safe moving forward, what do our automotive companies, mobility startups, and suppliers need to do to keep the production line running strong?
Moderator: Kurt Brauer, Partner, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Speakers: Shana Downs, Director of Sales and Channel Management, May Mobility
Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer, Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, State of Michigan
Glenn Stevens Jr., Executive Director, MICHauto and Vice President, Automotive and Mobility Initiatives, Detroit Regional Chamber                                

>> Move to MI
SALON D
Move to MI is a program that encourages and incentivizes Chicago workers to move to Southwest Michigan. This breakout session will focus on the Move to MI program, the challenges the program faces, and the opportunities it offers.
Rob Cleveland, CEcD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cornerstone Alliance
Christina Frank, Vice President, External Affairs, Cornerstone Alliance

2:05 p.m. Networking Break

2:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions 3

>> Commercial Storefronts Best Practices for Towns and Cities - SESSION CANCELLED. 

NEW! >> American Rescue Plan Programs from the Economic Development Administration
SALON C
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) was signed into law in March of 2021 to help Americans respond and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) was allocated $3 billion under the ARP to help assist communities nationwide in accelerating the economic recovery from the pandemic. This session will cover the six programs the EDA formed after receiving the supplemental funding that your community can use in their recovery plans.
Lee J. Shirey, US Dept of Commerce Economic Development Administration: Economic Development Representative for the State of Michigan

>> Keeping Michigan’s Carbon Footprint in Step
SALON A
Our future depends on keeping our air clean and fresh. Containing our carbon footprint is a great way to do that, as well as to promote our state as a healthy place to live and do business. Three of Michigan’s largest utilities are making moves to assure our safety. This panel will talk about the rise in electric vehicle infrastructure, what the goals are for renewables, creating reliability/value for customers, and more. What does this mean for your community? What are they doing and how can you partner?
Moderator: Britany Affolter-Caine, Executive Director, Michigan's University Research Corridor
Speakers: Kwafo Adarkwa, Director, Public Affairs, ITC Michigan
Karl Bloss, Electric Vehicle Customer Programs, Consumers Energy
Matt Wagner, Manager, Renewable Energy Development, DTE Energy

>> A Healthy Corporate Culture Workout
SALON D
The pandemic sent many workers home very quickly. Employees that were used to networking and strategizing in person on a daily basis had to learn how to accomplish their goals while miles from each other, which caused some muscle strain or torn ligaments to their company culture. Lessons were learned and it is time to hear about the best practices that can be implemented moving forward.
Moderator: Cindy Brown, Vice President, Talent Initiatives, The Right Place, Inc.
Panelists: Ovell Barbee, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, Spectrum Health
Jim Medsker, President, Keystone Solutions Group
Kelly Plawinski, Chief Operating Officer, Adamy Valuation

3:00 p.m. Adjourn

Concurrent Tours - CANCELLED 8/3 - Please enjoy Grand Rapids during your free time. See the Make Your Travel Plans page for ideas.

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Awards Reception at the Grand Rapids Art Museum
This night is for recognizing economic developers that have a rich history of contribution to the profession and a proven record of accomplishment as well as one that is showing great promise for future success. The awards presented include MEDA Medalist of the Year, Mike Conboy Professional Development, President’s, Emerging Star, and Robert Sieghart Award.
Free to attendees - Guest Fee: $50

Wednesday, August 25th

8:30 a.m. Registration Opens

9:00 a.m. The Medical Mile Goes Farther than a Mile
SALON A
The healthcare cluster developed by the Medical Mile has far-reaching implications for our state. In an effort to build Michigan as a health and technology destination, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) established the SmartZone program around 2001. This innovation hub has grown substantially since. Learn where it’s going, the impact, potential partnerships for your community, and much more.
Moderator: Birgit KlohsCEO, The Right Place, Inc. (retired), Honorary Conference Chair
Panelists: Norman Beauchamp Jr., MD, MHS, Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Michigan State University
Jerry Callahan, PhD, MBA, Chief Strategic Officer, Van Andel Institute
Tina Freese Decker, MHA, MSIE, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, Spectrum Health
Philomena Mantella, President, Grand Valley State University
Richard Sorota, Executive Vice President and President, Consumer Self-Care Americas, Perrigo

10:30 a.m. Networking Break

10:45 a.m. Optimizing the New Site Selection Landscape
SALON A
Site consultants will always be a part of the economic development process, whether it is going smoothly or there are mass disruptions such as a pandemic. These site consultants will share their experiences and what you can do moving forward to be prepared when RFP’s come your way.
Moderator: Brent Case, Vice President, Business Attraction, The Right Place, Inc.
Speakers: Greg Burkart, Managing Director and Practice Leader, Site Selection and Incentive Advisory Services, Duff and Phelps
Brooklin Salemi, Credit and Incentives Manager, STS SALT, BDO

11:45 a.m. Networking Break

12:00 p.m. Economic Development Today                       
SALON A                   
With the recent pandemic, economic developers around the country have developed a new role. Hear from economic developers from around the country discuss what they have experienced, how they are navigating the new landscape, the challenges economic developers are facing, and what they believe the future is to look like.
Moderator: Jeff Finkle, CEcD, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Economic Development Council
Panelists: Michael A. Finney, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Miami-Dade Beacon Council
Peter Frosch, Chief Executive Officer, Greater MSP
Jon Roberts, Principal, TIP Strategies, Inc. 

1:00 p.m. Adjourn

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