SOUTHFIELD — A day or two earlier than normal, metro Detroit’s business, government, education, nonprofit and labor leadership is heading north Tuesday for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference.

The formal agenda was moved forward a day this year to avoid conflict with this weekend’s return of the Detroit Grand Prix to Belle Isle. So the event will run Tuesday through Thursday this year rather than Wednesday through Friday.

And things get under way in a big hurry. At 3 p.m. tomorrow, the chamber has called a press conference to unveil a new regional economic development campaign to drive economic development and investment in Detroit and Southeast Michigan.

The campaign will be co-chaired by DTE Energy chairman, president and CEO Gerry Anderson and Meritor Inc. chairman, CEO and president Chip McClure, who will join Chamber president and CEO Sandy K. Baruah and Michigan Economic Development Corp. president and CEO Michael Finney for the announcement on the porch of the historic Grand Hotel.

The rest of the day Thursday will feature a welcome from Gov. Rick Snyder; an innovation panel moderated by serial entrepreneur and best-selling author Josh Linkner, and featuring Start Garden CEO Rick DeVos, Nonopoly co-founder Angel Gambino, Renaissance Venture Fund CEO Chris Rizik, and Garden Fresh Salsa president Dave Zilko; and a speech on innovation from CNN, Time Magazine and Washington Post commentator Fareed Zakaria.

The next two days will be crammed with panels and keynotes on early childhood education, health care reform, innovative product design, entrepreneurship, urban redevelopment, advanced manufacturing, work force development, export assistance and more. Business Leaders for Michigan will also give an update on their plan for the future of the state. And there will be the usual keynotes by Gov. Snyder and the “Big Five” metro Detroit leaders, as well as a presentation on Michigan’s role in the economic transformation of the nation by author Thomas Friedman.

Watch for comprehensive coverage of the Mackinac Policy Conference at and listen for news and updates on WWJ Newsradio 950.


Leave a Reply