Michigan’s turnaround to be highlighted at The Commonwealth Club
San Francisco, October 1, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today brings the Michigan Ambassador Program to the heart of San Francisco. State execs meet with local leaders that have Michigan ties, sharing news of Michigan’s comeback and growth opportunities that exist in the state’s emerging mobility industry.
“In just a few short years, Michigan has transformed itself and its business climate,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “The steps Michigan has taken to become more competitive have paid off. Our tax climate has flipped from one of the nation’s worst to one of the best; Michigan is a national leader in terms of R&D production and talent; and Michigan’s per capita GDP, per capita income and employment have all grown faster than the national average and are reaffirming our state’s quality of life. Simply put, we’re now a top place nationally to live, work, do business, and play.”
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, kick off the day with an hour-long discussion at The Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Their presentation focuses on a variety of economic issues including growing the talent pipeline, the value of public/private partnerships, the country’s biggest growth opportunities, and how new mobility solutions will change the auto industry and cities alike.
Later in the day, the group meets with San Francisco-based Michigan alumni at an evening Michigan Ambassador event.
“Michigan is a great example of American ingenuity. We created a way of life by inventing and making things that improve people’s lives,” said Bill Ford, who champions BLM’s Michigan Ambassador Program. “With all the elements necessary to be an economic leader, Michigan is creating a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, and working with start-ups and small companies with big ideas to identify growth opportunities.”
The objective of Michigan Ambassador Program is to increase the engagement of business executives, those who formerly lived, worked or graduated from school in Michigan and now lead companies or organizations that span the nation and globe.
“The Michigan Ambassador program is important, because our state is poised for economic expansion with unique assets and strengths, including the development of top talent,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan. “We have one of the highest concentration of engineers per capita in the country, rank #1 in automotive R & D and are a Top Ten state for a skilled-trades workforce. In addition, over two billion dollars of university research is conducted in Michigan annually and we continue to lead in the number of patents granted.”
Created in 2011, the Michigan Ambassador Program includes hosting alumni reunions in Michigan, convening alumni “chapter” meetings in cities with substantial numbers of Michigan alumni such as Chicago, New York and Washington D.C., and publishing a semi-annual alumni newsletter.
Those representing Michigan in the day-long activities include Michigan Governor Rick Snyder; Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company; Mike Miller, Head of Ann Arbor Office and Director of Business and Industrial Markets, Google; and Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan.