Michigan Economic Developers Association

The Leading Voice for Economic Developers in Michigan

2017 Annual Meeting Agenda

17 AM Cover GraphicThe best economic developers have a passion for their community and continuously rebuild their vision for success based on industries, themes and tools that will keep success moving forward. They know that the right partners facilitate ideas and solutions.

This year’s Annual Meeting is designed to prepare you for a society that is connecting at a rapid rate. Connected vehicles are driving change in automotive, research and technology development. Extensive partnerships are putting talent in the right jobs, and established industries – life sciences, agriculture, defense – are powering our economy through innovation.

Relax while building your own connections during learning tours and networking activities in and around Holland, which among many accolades was named one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” by Forbes and the number one town in the United States to start a small business by WalletHub.com.

Please join us so that you can see what is in store for the future of economic development in Michigan so you can be prepared to CONNECT and go when it gets here.

Wednesday, August 16th

2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Registration at Haworth Inn and Conference Center

4:30 – 7:00 p.m. Opening Reception with Guest Speakers at City Flats Hotel
Sponsored by Lakeshore Advantage

Fierce Competitors Join Forces to Develop Talent Pipeline
Two high-profile CEO’s decided to do something about their struggle to find qualified and dedicated talent. This session will focus on the importance of employers working together and getting engaged in improving the outcomes of the education system to ensure that students are prepared for real world careers; essential elements that ensure the growth and prosperity of our businesses and our national economy.
Franco Bianchi, President and Chief Executive Officer, Haworth, Inc.
Brian C. Walker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Herman Miller, Inc.

7:00 p.m. Meetups/Other

Thursday, August 17th

8:15 a.m. Registration Opens

9:00 a.m. The Future of a Driverless Society – The Supplier Side
Talk of autonomous vehicles is everywhere around us! Get insight on what connected, semi-autonomous, and autonomous vehicles mean for the industry (OEM’s, suppliers, consumers and everyone in between), as well as the role Michigan plays in this rapidly developing technology.
Douglas E. Patton, Executive Vice President, Engineering Division Chief Technical Officer, DENSO International America, Inc.

9:45 a.m. Networking Break

10:00 a.m. Concurrent Sessions 1

>> Protect and Grow
The Protect and Grow Initiative is a comprehensive statewide effort to protect Michigan’s federal and state military facilities and missions while growing assets, missions, and opportunities for Michigan companies in the cutting-edge emerging markets needed by our nation’s defense agencies. Learn more about the report that was released last year, as well as how this comprehensive initiative can be applied at the local level.
Sean Carlson, Executive Director, Michigan Defense Center

>> Crisis Management Preparedness
As a representative of the community to the businesses, it is important for economic developers to be prepared when crisis occurs. Consumers Energy has adopted the Incident Command System, which standardizes emergency response and supports seamless communications with first responders, local emergency management, and customers. Learn about some of the resources available and how this flexible system can easily be implemented in any community.
David Brown, M.S., ABCP, Business Continuity Lead, Emergency Management, Consumers Energy
Karen McCarthy, Community Affairs Manager, Consumers Energy
Beth Thomas-Baas, Emergency Services Management Director, Ottawa County

>> The Future of a Driverless Society – The Business Start-up Side
Now that you have an overview of the progress that is being made on autonomous vehicles, drill down to the businesses that are being created because of this world-changing technology, such as software to protect the cars (and the passengers inside) from hackers. Also, you can get perspective from a venture capital that is fueling the rise of autonomous and connected vehicles, as well as the technologies needed to support them.
Moderator: Glenn Stevens, Vice President, Automotive & Mobility Initiatives and Executive Director, MICHauto, Detroit Regional Chamber
Panelists: Paul Brown, Managing Director, eLabs Ventures
Randall J. Peck, Partner, Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
Kevin Virta, CEO, InfiniteKey

11:00 a.m. Networking Break

11:15 a.m. Concurrent Sessions 2

>> Innovative Talent Initiatives for Global Talent
Immigrant talent can be a powerful part of any region's talent agenda. Nearly 40 percent of the immigrants in Michigan possess a four-year college degree (about 15 percent more than U.S.-born Michiganders) and immigrants dominate the STEM skills. In fact, between 40-70 percent of all graduate students in the U.S. pursuing an advanced degree in a STEM field are international students, including over 70 percent of the masters and PhD students in electrical engineering, and over 60 percent of the masters and PhD students in computer science. Relatively new efforts to help underemployed green card holders with college degrees and international students with STEM degrees have made Michigan a leader in integrating skilled immigrant talent. Yet, few local economic development agencies and talent initiatives are fully connecting with these innovative talent initiatives. Learn how your talent initiatives and local businesses can connect with the supply of global talent to fuel the growth of Michigan companies.
Moderator: Maria Nevai, EDFP, Vice President of Development and Chief Operating Officer, The Opportunity Group Alliance
Panelists: Bing Goei, Director, Michigan Office of New Americans
Steve Tobocman, Executive Director, Global Detroit and Co-Chair, Welcoming Economies Global Network

>> The Future of the Medical Device Industry in Michigan
Michigan’s medical device industry is continually advancing and is generating large investments in research, technology development, and manufacturing each year. A key industry leader will share what you can expect to come in the future, as well as provide insight on the talent that is needed to maintain continual growth.
Brad Saar, President, Stryker Corporation

>> Anchor-Leveraged Development Strategies
Anchor-leveraged strategies recognize that many millennials, and particularly the talented and young professional segment of this age cohort, seek a vibrant urban experience when choosing where to start or continue their career. It is in the best interests of anchors (large employers, legacy businesses, and community institutions) to support the acceleration of downtown revitalization to help attract and retain these talented workers. Large, mid-sized, and small communities can benefit from a good strategy. The concept seeks to engage these anchors in a mutually beneficial proposition where they leverage their collective capabilities -- the unique commitments, policies and practices they can implement -- to promote downtown development while they simultaneously address their own competitive and operational challenges.
Allan Hooper, Principal, Downtown Strategies LLC

12:15 p.m. Lunch and Membership Meeting

1:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions 3

>> Building Tomorrow’s Talent Through Meaningful Engagement
The talent gap, an epidemic across the country, doesn’t have a one-size fits all solution. It takes a collaborative effort among employers, educators, students, and parents to develop a strong and sustainable talent pipeline. This session will share examples of how this collaboration can be built by answering the following: 1) How can I engage employers and educators to work together? 2) How can I assess my community's strengths and position it for a stronger talent base? 3) What tools are in place to keep students a part of the conversation? 4) How can I effectively support the conversation between these audiences so our community sees results?
Moderator: Timothy S. Robinson, CEcD, EDFP, Director of Operations, Lenawee Now
Panelists: Luke Bonner, CEcD, EDFP, CEO, Bonner Advisory Group
Sarah Sebaly, Senior Program Manager, Workforce Intelligence Network
Sarah Stanley, Founder & CEO, Hoyden Creative Group

>> Entrepreneurial Operating System: A powerful tool for HEALTHY growth & TWO proven methods to start
The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) is a proven process for strengthening entrepreneurs with a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools that can be easily implemented for large and small businesses. Learn about the system, its models and toolbox, as well as how it has been implemented for success.
Scott Patchin, Owner and Founder, trU Group

>> Agribusiness: Powering Michigan's Economic Future
Session Sponsored by Warner Norcross and Judd LLP
Farm to Fork. Seed to Sandwich. Dirt to Distribution. No matter which catchy phrase you use, agriculture will continue to be one of the powerful forces that will move economic development forward in the state of Michigan, and here in Ottawa County especially. This session will give attendees the opportunity to hear directly from those advocating for and investing in new ag technologies, business expansions, and startup companies. Discussions will be focused on what is on the horizon in agribusiness and how economic development professionals can work in concert with the industry to maximize the outcomes, as well as how to make sure your community is ag development friendly.
Moderator: Becky Huttenga, Economic Development Coordinator, County of Ottawa
Panelists: Dave Armstrong, President and Chief Executive Officer, GreenStone Farm Credit Services
Jim Byrum
, President, Michigan Agri-Business Association
Steven Cooper
, COO/General Manager, Continental Dairy Facilities, LLC

2:30 p.m. Concurrent Tours

>> MSU Bioeconomy Institute Tour
Sponsored by MSU Bioeconomy Institute
MSU Bioeconomy Institute (BI) helps organizations quickly and cost-effectively accelerate new specialty and biobased chemicals to commercialization. With flexible infrastructure, MSU BI takes technology from the lab bench to the pilot plant in preparation for successful manufacturing, while assuming regulatory compliance burdens that could prove daunting to start-ups. By taking this tour, you will see a full spectrum of how science, engineering, operational, and business expertise work together. - You will need to wear close-toed shoes. The facility also suggests that ladies don't wear dresses as you will be walking over open grates.

Sponsored by Lakeshore Environmental, Inc.

There is no question that the craft beer industry is flourishing in Michigan. The industry is evolving and maturing as each brewery finds its niche. Visit this one-of-a-kind microbrewery - which has one of MEDA's long-time members, Don Schurr, as an original investor. Learn from management about the history, expansions, distribution, restaurant, and unique Brew on Site system which contributes to the Brewery’s success. - This tour has a 35 person limit, so sign up right away!

>> Holland Energy Park Walking Tour
Sponsored by Holland Board of Public Works

The Holland Energy Park is an international example of a municipal utility with a plan for the community’s future that includes baseline generation, beautifying the eastern gateway to downtown Holland and restoring wetlands. This brand new combined-cycled natural gas power plant is the only plant of its type to be built in the United States this year. Experience some of the latest energy production technology and how the Holland Board of Public Works is managing it. - This tour has a 30 person limit, so sign up right away! You will need to wear long pants, a cap sleeve shirt (4 inches past your elbow) and close-toed shoes. Vests, hard hats and goggles will also be provided for the tour.

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. New Member and Awards Reception at Boatwerks

6:30 p.m. Dinner Meetups
Locations: Big E’s, Butch’s, Curragh Irish Pub, Hops at 84 East, Mizu Sushi, New Holland Brewery

Friday, August 18th

8:00 a.m. Registration Opens

8:30 a.m. The State’s Role in Moving Michigan Forward
The State’s main economic development arm is constantly working to create and improve programs and services that help grow businesses and create jobs in Michigan. Get a big picture overview of how the state is doing economically and what lies ahead.
Jeff Mason, President and Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

9:15 a.m. Networking Break

9:20 a.m. When an Economic Development Project is Not Welcome
Despite facts and numbers proving potential economic benefit and job creation, some projects are not welcomed with open arms by residents and their disdain can be exacerbated by misinformation. Hear from economic developers who have worked – or are working – on projects that caused contention. How did they calm the storm? How did they address the naysayers and propaganda? What finally got the stamp of approval?
Moderator: Jeff Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Public Sector Consultants, Inc.
Panelists: Amy Clickner, CEcD, CFRM, Chief Executive Officer, Lake Superior Community Partnership
Justin Horvath, CEcD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership
Trevor Keyes, President & CEO, Bay Future, Inc.
Jim Sandy, President, Mecosta County Development Corporation

10:20 a.m. Networking Break

10:30 a.m. Ignite Your Economic Development Strategy
MEDA’s Annual Meeting is going out with a bang this year. This fast-paced session will ignite your spirit and your economic development strategy moving forward! Get the top priorities and key takeaways for statewide economic development programs and stick around afterward if you have questions for the speakers.
Peter Anastor, Director, Agriculture Development Division, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Katharine Czarnecki, EDFP, Sr. Vice President, Community Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Denise Graves, University Relations Director, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Valarie Handy, State Community Development Specialist, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Valerie Hoag, Senior Vice President, Michigan Talent Team, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Joshua Hundt, Vice President, Business Development Projects, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Mike Kapp, Administrator, Office of Economic Development, Michigan Department of Transportation
Christine Roeder, Vice President, Retention and Growth, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Lee J. Shirey, Economic Development Representative, Michigan and Wisconsin, Economic Development Administration

11:30 a.m. Roundtables with Ignite Speakers
The speakers from the Ignite Your Economic Development Strategy session will be available to answer any questions that you have from their Ignite talks.

12:30 p.m. Adjournment

Corporate Sponsors

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Web Sponsors


Contact Us

Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011