“Michigan Matters” Mackinac Focus: Detroit, That Senate Race, And The State’s Talent Gap — Movers & Shakers Weigh In

By Carol Cain
CBS Detroit

MACKINAC ISLAND (CBS 62) – Mayor Mike Duggan, Gov. Rick Snyder and Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr dominated headlines coming from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s policy conference held here.

But it was talk of Michigan’s talent gap, the red hot U.S. Senate and Governor’s race, and Detroit’s future that movers and shakers appearing on “Michigan Matters” on the island and in studio mentioned.

Among those appearing on the show: Denise Ilitch, Bankole Thompson, Tom Kinnear, Gene Michalski, Matt Elliott, Bob Shuman,  Sharnita Johnson, Tony Michaels, Jon Cotton, Kelly Rossman-McKinney and Beth Chappell .

“I keep hearing over and over again from my members about the talent gap,” Chappell, president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Club said when asked what the top issue in  the state was.

Chappell appeared with other leaders on the island who attended the standing room only WWJ Newsradio 950 & CBS62 “Schmooze & The News”  reception at the Pink Pony.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s team was there, including market manager Debbie Kenyon, morning co-anchors Roberta Jasina and Tom Jordan, reporter Vickie Thomas, and legal analyst Charlie Langton, as were CBS62’s general manager Tom Canedo and Brian Watson from sales.

The reception was ground central for “Michigan Matters” as CBS62 Chief Videographer Paul Pytlowany captured the interviews.

Photographer Gary Schrewsbury did the same with photos he took during the reception.

SEE PHOTOS FROM THE MACKINAC POLICY CONFERENCE HERE

Other CEOs echoed Chappell’s concern about the 70,000 jobs that remain unfilled in Michigan.

Thompson mentioned the U.S. Senate forum held during the conference featuring former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land and Cong. Gary Peters.

“It was more of an advertisement for each,” said Thompson, who would have preferred more interaction between the two leaders vying to take the seat of retiring U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

Duggan stole the show with his metric-minded presentation that any CEO would love as he documented how his city was doing which is why Michaels gave him high marks.

“He gets things done, it’s as simple as that,” added Ilitch, who has worked with Duggan on various projects through the years.

Snyder, who is facing re-election against Democrat challenger Mark Schauer, was omnipresent.  He gave speeches and a sea of media interviews.

“I don’t know who is advising him (Schauer) but I would have been all over that island giving interviews and the contrarian point of view,” Thompson added of Schauer, who was on the island only a few hours of the four day conference.

(You can catch “Michigan Matters” 11:30 a.m. Sunday on CBS 62.)

(Carol Cain is the Emmy winning senior producer/host of “Michigan Matters.” She also writes about politics and business in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press. She can be reached at clcain@cbs.com)

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