Home // News // 2018 CEO Summit highlights statewide growth strategies

2018 CEO Summit highlights statewide growth strategies

400+ leaders convene to focus on Michigan’s economic future
2018 CEO Summit highlights statewide growth strategies
Monday, Nov 5, 2018

DETROIT — With election day approaching, top leaders from across Michigan came together in Detroit on Thursday, Nov. 1 to focus on tools for business growth, as well as a set of shared strategies for boosting the state’s prosperity over the long term.

More than 400 business executives, nonprofit and community leaders, philanthropists, and policymakers were on hand to discuss what it takes to succeed, both as individual enterprises and as a state.    

“Our economic recovery in Michigan has been impressive, thanks in large part to the hard work of leaders who were willing to make thoughtful, strategic choices about key statewide policies,” said BLM president and CEO Doug Rothwell.  “We’ve all been successfully connected to a strong shared plan for continuing our economic growth in place—a Plan for a Stronger Michigan—and on Tuesday we’ll have an opportunity to go to the polls and support leaders who are ready to keep moving that plan aggressively forward.”

At the event, Rothwell posed a series of five questions for voters to consider when deciding on candidates:

  • Will they continue to follow sound fiscal management practices?
  • Do they support specific actions to reduce the state’s long-term debt?
  • Are they prepared to raise user fees to fix our roads permanently and sustainably?
  • Are they serious about ensuring our schools deliver better results, our kids get an affordable college education and our workers get the training they need?
  • Are they committed to Michigan having a strong and competitive economic development program and building on Michigan’s strengths to grow our mobility, engineering, travel, logistics and other critical sectors?

“We need to keep Michigan moving along a pathway to success by pursuing strategies that are proven effective,” Rothwell said. “We cannot afford to let the growth we’ve achieved in recent years evaporate.”

Summit highlights included a keynote presentation from Richard Anderson, president and CEO of Amtrak and former CEO of Delta Air Lines. Patti Poppe, president & CEO of Michigan-based CMS Energy & Consumers Energy, also spoke.

“Each of our keynote speakers shared insights about ways organizations—and the state as a whole—can work to become more competitive,” Rothwell said.  “With that competitive strength as our asset, we can begin to work on the investment and growth Michigan needs to become a ‘Top Ten’ state for jobs, income, and productivity—which is the cause BLM has championed for the past decade.”

Other panel discussions throughout the day addressed the future of the health care sector, the importance of designing positive user experiences, and the unique challenges faced by family-owned businesses. Rothwell himself provided a short update about his organization’s Plan for a Stronger Michigan and offered access to a link showing how each of this Tuesday’s election candidates aligns with the Plan.

The one-day Summit was held at Cobo Center in Detroit.


Recent News


One More Item On Our 2018 To-Do List

Dec 12, 2018

Leading What’s Next… As we come to the end of another calendar year, it’s great to reflect on all that has been accomplished. We’ve made new strides in connecting business with...

Read More

BLM releases 2018 statewide economic benchmarking data

Nov 12, 2018

DETROIT, Mich.—Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, released a major report on the state’s economic performance Monday, highlighting the impact of key policy and...

Read More
What We're Reading

Launch Michigan releases Phase I recommendations

Dec 22, 2019

Launch Michigan is a diverse alliance of education, labor, business and philanthropic organizations, and parents and civic leaders committed to establishing a shared agenda to ensure all Michigan stud...

Read More
What We're Reading

Is Michigan ready for the next recession? Not even close

Nov 19, 2019

From Crain’s Detroit – In the last couple of years, many economists have suggested that the U.S. economy could enter a recession in 2020 or 2021. Trade wars, ballooning corporate and perso...

Read More

What actions can we take to keep accelerating Michigan’s growth?

Nov 19, 2019

That’s a wrap for another fantastic CEO Summit. Our event on Nov. 5 was aimed at figuring out what’s headed our way next: a recession? Further economic growth with new hires and business expansion...

Read More