By Carol Cain
It will be talk of urban cities as economic catalysts as well as what the east side and west side of the state can learn from each other that will dominate the next “Pancakes and Politics” this Thursday at the Detroit Athletic Club.
“Pancakes” panelists include: Harvey Hollins III, director of the Governor’s Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives; George Jackson, president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corp.; H. James Williams, dean, Seidman College of Business, Grand Valley State University; and Tim Terrentine, vice president, Southwest Michigan First in Kalamazoo.
“The focus of what we are doing is empower a portion of governor’s team to really dig deep and engage cities very directly in terms of opportunities for investment,” Hollins told me in advance of Thursday’s event. Hollins oversees the state’s four urban centers created under the Snyder administration (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Flint).
It’s the second “Pancakes” of the 2012 season and is sponsored by the Michigan Chronicle. (There are four held each spring). The event is in its seventh year and I will serve as moderator. Hollins mentioned the importance of engaging the Gen Y generation into the conversation as they offer a fresh perspective.
Hollins also mentioned innovative ventures like ArtPrize, launched four years ago by 30-year-old Grand Rapids social entrepreneur Rick DeVos, and the Kalamazoo Promise, as wonderful ideas that will help Michigan move forward. “We simply need to work through the institutional impediments in coming up with ideas,” said Hollins, sounding remarkably like DeVos in talking about what will be needed to help Michigan transition to a stronger economy.
For more on “Pancakes & Politics” call 313-963-8100.
Have a question for the panel about Detroit, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Gov. Snyder? Leave a comment below.
Carol Cain is the Emmy winning senior producer and host of “Michigan Matters” airing 11:30 a.m. Sundays on CBS 62. She writes about business and politics in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at 248-355-7126.