2023 Annual Meeting Sponsor Spotlight
Elite Corporate Sponsors
Consumers Energy partners with local, regional, and state organizations to promote economic development. As Michigan’s largest energy provider, the company delivers natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. Their Clean Energy Plan is a roadmap to eliminating coal, achieving net-zero carbon emissions, and meeting 90 percent of the state’s energy needs with clean resources by 2040.
For Small Businesses: Powerful Business Intelligence from Consumers Energy - Taking care of customers and providing service after the sale – especially in challenging times – embodies Consumers Energy’s purpose of world-class performance delivering hometown service. Michigan’s largest energy provider is committed to helping all businesses, nonprofits and communities prosper – in energy and beyond – now more than ever. Consumers Energy now offers a new, free online small business insights tool to any Michigan small business to help SizeUp their competition, improve marketing and customer acquisition results, obtain comparisons to local competitors and gain insight on employee pay and benefits. Take your business to the next level with new insights into customers, competitors, and suppliers. Get started. Whether it's saving money, staying up-to-date, or growing your customer base, Consumers Energy has tailored solutions for all businesses. Check out resources to save money, stay informed and grow your business. Meanwhile, the company’s nation-leading clean energy transformation calls for zero-methane emissions from its natural gas delivery system by 2030, and Consumers Energy plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, end coal use, and dramatically increase clean energy resources by the year 2040 in its electric business. Learn more at MICleanEnergy.com.
Economic Development Rate for Michigan - Consumers Energy’s new economic development rate makes Michigan more competitive for business growth opportunities. This innovative rate is intended to both attract new business to Michigan and encourage existing businesses to expand their operations in our service territory.
Contact Consumers Today - Reach out to Consumers Energy's Economic Development Team.
DTE Overview and Clean Energy Plan – DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric company serving 2.3 million customers in Southeast Michigan and a natural gas company serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE portfolio includes energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, renewable natural gas, and energy marketing and trading. Through its commitment to cleaner energy, DTE Electric plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 90% and DTE Gas will plan to reduce methane emissions by more than 80% by 2040 to produce cleaner energy while keeping it safe, reliable and affordable. DTE Electric and DTE Gas aspire to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. For more information on our investments in solar, wind, battery storage, etc., visit IRP_Executive_Summary.pdf (dtecleanenergy.com). DTE is committed to serving with its energy through volunteerism, education and employment initiatives, philanthropy, and economic progress. Information about DTE is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
DTE MiGreenPower Program – In 2022, DTE announced the two largest renewable energy transactions through a utility in the history of the United States. Through MIGreenPower, DTE will add 650 megawatts of new solar energy for Ford, and 400 megawatts for Stellantis. Learn more about our ongoing MiGreenPower efforts.
DTE Infrastructure Investment – In the first quarter of 2023, DTE Electric invested over $750 million on continued improvements in reliability and cleaner energy generation for its customers, while DTE Gas invested over $170 million on infrastructure and main renewal improvements.
Contact DTE Today – Connect with DTE's Economic Development Team.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with more than 100 economic development partners, markets Michigan as the place to do business, assists businesses in their growth strategies, and fosters the growth of vibrant communities across the state. Contact an MEDC Representative for assistance.
The MEDC Supports Small Business – In Michigan, nearly every indicator of our success is influenced and reflected by our small businesses. At the MEDC, we value both the financial and community contributions small businesses make by preserving culture, promoting innovation, and attracting and retaining talent to help sustain and grow our great state for generations to come. The MEDC’s Small Business Services and Business Solutions team exemplifies our heightened focus on supporting small businesses of all sizes – from micro to growth stage – across the state. We are inspired by Michigan’s small businesses, and proud to help them thrive. We provide support to Michigan's entrepreneurs and small businesses through grants, loans, and other services. Click here for more.
Building Strong Communities – To be vibrant and competitive, Michigan communities must be proactive, including planning for new investments, identifying assets and opportunities, and focusing limited resources. The MEDC is proud to be the first state agency in the nation to produce a comprehensive “toolkit” on such resiliency measures for local communities, and prouder to support them in their journey to get there. Whether you need help through technical assistance programs, financial incentives, or simply knowledge-sharing, we are happy to support you. Click here to learn more.
Michigan Pure Opportunity - Click here to watch the video.
Select Corporate Sponsor
Bedrock is a full-service commercial real estate firm based in downtown Detroit specializing in the strategic development of urban cores. With a portfolio of more than 100 properties totaling over 19 million square feet, Bedrock is the largest real estate partner in downtown Detroit and also has a strong presence in Cleveland.
Bedrock's Expertise - Bedrock’s experienced real estate experts provide a full range of services, with in-house teams for each area of expertise, including Leasing, Acquisition, Finance, Construction, Architecture, Historic Rehab, and Property Management. Our tenants include leading technology companies and startups, world-renowned restaurants, and national retailers, as well as Detroit locals who love the city as much as we do. Whether you represent a business seeking to lease office space in Detroit, or a retailer looking for the right location for a new store or restaurant, our leasing agents can assist you. Bedrock also leases mixed-income residential properties to individuals and acquires and renovates properties for new development. To view a complete list of their properties, click here. To learn more about their services, click here. Contact Bedrock Detroit.
Detroit. Move here. Move the world. - Click here to watch the video. With space to grow, collaborate, and thrive, Detroit is a city unlike any other. Meet the Detroit you don’t know.
Travel Marquette is the official destination marketing organization for Marquette County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula—where business, recreation, and leisure converge to create a #ReMARQable experience. Marquette County is the ideal destination to host your next group retreat or conference. With ample outdoor activities perfect for team building, a delicious selection of restaurants perfect for meals together, and choice venues throughout the area perfect for hosting conferences and events, Marquette offers a unique opportunity to escape the everyday hustle and bustle and create a memorable experience for your attendees. Plan your adventure at TravelMarquette.com #MakeYourMarq.
See it for Yourself - See some amazing scenes and fun activities in this video.
Contact Travel Marquette Today - Start your adventure by reaching out to https://www.travelmarquette.com/contact/.
Opening Reception Sponsor
By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP builds a better partnership with its clients. An AmLaw 200 firm, they’re one of Michigan’s largest law firms focused on providing the best legal solutions and exceptional client service to organizations throughout the world. The firm provides client-focused, proactive legal and business counsel to clients of all sizes – from startups to Fortune 500 companies to closely-held businesses and high-net-worth individuals. With more than 230 attorneys working in numerous specialized industries and practice areas, Warner meets the legal needs of clients operating throughout North America and around the world.
Warner’s Economic Incentives Practice Group − When projects powered by economic incentives succeed, they harness human ingenuity, innovative yet airtight investments, and collaborative relationships to fuel commerce, produce profits, generate jobs, build homes and businesses, and enhance cities. Highly regarded for our top-tier, efficient client service, our multidisciplinary team knows how to make multiparty partnerships work, often creating something out of nothing. We collaborate closely with businesses, developers, investors, nonprofit entities, local, state, and federal agencies, and others to secure financial incentives for our clients. We then help them every step of the way on projects that drive development and enrich the communities in which we live, work, and grow.
Setting the Standard in Michigan and Beyond − Warner offers clients the largest economic incentives team in the state of Michigan and, in terms of years of experience and range of expertise, one of the deepest legal-business benches in the nation. Because of our nationally recognized knowledge and strategic skills in environmental, real estate, tax, finance, and administrative law and our history of headline-making success, many consider us an economic-incentive powerhouse. But we remain humble. Our attorneys believe clients deserve the credit for placing their names and livelihoods at risk as we work together to launch and complete projects. Our team serves a wide range of businesses and nonprofits on a full spectrum of enterprises, from $500,000 to $1 billion developments and everything in between. We give every client our undivided focus regardless of the project’s size and dollar value.
Warner routinely works with over 50 types of incentives. Some of the most popular incentives include:
- Brownfield TIF Funding
- Community Revitalization Program
- Business Development Program
- Industrial Facilities Tax Abatement (Public Act 198)
- Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ)
- Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act (OPRA)
- Local TIF Districts
- New Markets Tax Credits
- Federal Historic Tax Credits
- Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
- MDEQ Grants and Loans
- Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)
Warner uses a variety and a combination of the above tax credits to help numerous clients realize their development dreams. Here’s a snapshot of some of the projects where Warner made an impact:
- Venue Tower: $32.7 Million Entertainment and Apartment/Condominium Project
Warner helped secure a Brownfield Michigan Business Tax Credit totaling $4.52 million and tax increment financing through the City of Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority Development Support Program totaling approximately $1.75 for the project. Warner established the joint venture and helped facilitate the land acquisition and drafting and negotiation of myriad agreements, including development agreements, condominium documents, and agreements with neighbors and the City of Grand Rapids.
- Downtown Market, Grand Rapids, MI: $30 Million Design, Construction and Real Estate Project for Retail, Restaurant, and Agriculture
Warner helped secure a $5.2 million Brownfield Michigan Business Tax Credit, a $3 million community revitalization loan from the Michigan Strategic Fund, Brownfield Tax Increment Financing of $3.5 million, Downtown Development Authority Tax Increment Financing and other grants and loans from the Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. EPA for environmental cleanup. They structured the design and demolition construction contracts for the project and prepared and negotiated the documentation necessary to establish the public-private partnerships of the Downtown Market. Additionally, Warner created documents for ground leases, market hall vendor leases, retail tenant leases, restaurant leases, office users, and myriad other tenancies, and parking on-site and off-site.
- Lormax Stern Development, Detroit, MI: $33 Million Meijer Grocery and Retail Project
Warner secured a $3.3 million Brownfield Michigan Business Tax (MBT) credit and $6.5 million in Brownfield Tax Increment Financing (TIF) incentives in a relatively short period of time. Warner’s team credits its relationship with Detroit officials, state officials, and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) for its success.
- Zingerman’s Delicatessen, Ann Arbor, MI: $6.7 Million Expansion Project
Warner helped control long-term and short-term costs throughout the project by securing a $1.18 million Michigan Business Tax credit, $817,265 in Brownfield Tax Increment Financing Incentives, and a $407,000 grant from the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. No project is too large or too small – and they meet you where you are and where you plan to grow. Every project is unique, and the depth and breadth of experience positions Warner as the law firm best suited to deliver the incentives that work for you and within your timeline and budget.
Reliable, high-speed internet access can keep you connected to family and friends. It can strengthen relationships and build new ones. It can help businesses grow and expose you to new ideas. It can open doors and level the playing field. Simply put, it’s a necessity. Highline believes everyone deserves instant access to every opportunity that comes from fully participating in today’s digital world. They are committed to bringing the power of fiber-enabled internet to communities across the U.S.
Awards Reception Sponsor
How can we help you? - Our mission is to improve the quality of life for residents of Michigan and beyond through the development and implementation of innovative, actionable public policies.
It feels different to work with PSC because we bring a fresh perspective, mutual trust, and infectious energy to every project. Our research-based, non-partisan approach helps clients move toward the best policies, no matter what stage they're at. We draw from a full suite of services to identify priorities, address conflicts between corporate and community interests, create strategic plans that get results, and improve internal management.
For us, progress is a pathway for discovery that increases your capacity to evaluate, educate, and evolve. Find out what we’ve been working on, thinking about, and learning from.
Enbridge exists to fuel people’s quality of life. We operate across North America and beyond—powering industry, empowering society and safely delivering reliable, affordable sources of energy through our four core businesses: liquids pipelines, natural gas pipelines, gas distribution and storage, and renewable energy. These activities deliver a variety of economic benefits and fuel people’s quality of life, whether they’re:
- well-paying jobs in towns and cities,
- tax revenue that can help build schools, hospitals, and roads,
- procurement spending that stimulates local economies, or
- grants and volunteer labor for community-strengthening projects.
Established in 1956, Fishbeck is a 100-percent employee-owned firm with 15 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. Our projects range from small feasibility, planning, and regulatory studies to very large design and construction projects. Our civil division ranges from civil engineers to surveyors to stormwater/drainage experts. The environmental division specializes in a broad array of services from due diligence/brownfields to industrial hygiene and remediation. Complete building design capabilities is the hallmark of our architectural division; supported by structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers. Design/build services and construction management drive our construction division.
Fishbeck’s mission is to meet our clients’ needs and achieve our business goals in a manner that exemplifies our core values. Our mission basics include:
- Providing innovative and excellent designs within budget.
- Working in a supportive and synergistic way with other team members of all disciplines.
- Considering the client a project team member.
- Knowing the program requirements and meeting them in the simplest, most constructible, cost-effective manner.
- Aligning expectations with clients’ needs, budgets, and the scope of our services.
- Conducting preschematic multidiscipline brainstorming.
- Keeping cost estimates updated, informing the client, and designing to stay within approved estimates.
- Conducting QA/QC reviews at appropriate milestones to minimize redesign.
- Minimizing addenda, bulletins, and change orders.
- Minimizing allowances, alternatives, and construction phase interiors and finishes selections.
We are listeners, collaborators, and partners. Fishbeck’s ability to connect across our numerous in-house disciplines allows us to see the big picture and, because we approach each project from many different perspectives, gives us an unparalleled ability to innovate. We are a hands-on, design-oriented practice at heart. Our experts take pride in our commitment to reliability in design, connection to our clients, and creativity at our core. We take personal responsibility for helping each other, clients, and colleagues succeed, as we fulfill our core purpose; to help our clients realize their vision while benefiting society.
Connecting Business to Energy Infrastructure - ITC is different from other utilities in that we focus only on electric transmission infrastructure, which plays a vital role in economic development. That’s one of the reasons ITC invests in a modern, robust power transmission grid. As a result of our sustained investments, ITC’s transmission systems routinely perform in the top tier of utilities nationally for service reliability. Our energy-intensive customers connected to ITC at transmission-level voltage expect nothing less.
Connecting Customers to the Power Grid - ITC’s sole focus on transmission allows us to facilitate the reliable and efficient delivery of electricity to our wholesale customers – regardless of the generation source. ITC is committed to:
- Providing reliable wholesale electric service
- Ensuring system capacity for the demands of tomorrow
- Enabling electric customers and generators access to competitive wholesale markets
Providing a Critical Link to Tailored Power Solutions - Our ongoing assessment of electric transmission needs for the grid is driven by the requirements of energy-intensive customers, and include:
- Transmission infrastructure investment
- Premier electric reliability
- Focus on power quality
- Knowledge of available system capacity
Facilitating Strong State and Local Economies - ITC connect a variety of industrial customers at transmission-level voltage including:
- Investor-owned, vertically integrated electric utilities
- Commercial/large load connectors and site selectors
- Municipal utilities
- Independent power producers or non-utility generators
- Developers and subscribers of contracted, merchant transmission lines
Click here to learn more about ITC.
The Michigan Center for Employee Ownership serves as the central hub for information and resources around employee ownership in Michigan. Employee ownership is a business model in which employees collectively own a percentage of the business for which they work. Two of the main forms are Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and worker cooperatives. In both, employees are given a financial stake in the business. As the business prospers, employees prosper.
- Over the next 10 years, more than 4 million U.S. businesses owned by retiring baby boomers will change hands or dissolve
- More than half of all small business owners do not have a succession plan
- Many businesses will be sold and leave the state of MI, or close their doors permanently, resulting in lost jobs, tax base, and community impacts
The Silver Tsunami: A Looming Threat to Communities Across Michigan
Economic developers are working hard to attract and retain businesses in their communities. They have to offer very competitive packages to attract new businesses and ensure that the existing businesses are properly incentivized to stay. While such threats are rightfully front and center for most economic developers, there is another threat that is slowly building that has probably not been addressed.
Michigan, like the rest of the country, is facing the “Silver Tsunami.” That is, as business owners aged 55 plus approach retirement, what comes next for them and for the enterprises they run?
How concerned should your agency be about the Silver Tsunami? Let’s break it down. Here are the statistics of the privately held businesses owned by individuals who will retire in the next ten years:
- Total firms: 80,000 firms
- Number of employees: 1,000,000
- Annual revenues: $2 billion
- Annual payroll: $40 billion.
The impact on the community and those who work with the business can be huge. The issue is more acute in many rural communities across Michigan. About half of the counties in Michigan have over 50% of the privately held businesses owned by these individuals. What is the impact on your community if 25% of the private businesses disappeared in the next 5 or 10 years?
There are three general ownership transfers when the existing owner exits the business:
- Internal - someone already involved in or associated with the business
- External – a competitor, a strategic buyer, or a financial buyer (has resources and wants to experience running a business)
- Cease operations, liquidate, layoff the employees, shutter the business
Far too often the outcome of an owner exiting the ownership of their business is negative for the community. In the case of an “external” sale, especially when private equity is the buyer, the bulk of the local business operations cease or are greatly diminished within a few years. The local community suffers the loss of the financial and ancillary impact when the company just ceases operations.
Most company owners haven’t planned for their exit from the business. A recent life insurance company survey indicates that 75% of business owners don’t have an exit plan. Unfortunately, many of them don’t know where to start with planning their exit. An economic developer who is knowledgeable about the exit planning process and options can encourage the business owner to become educated about how to transition the business to the next owner(s).
Let’s face it – when business owners are looking to retire, they start exploring their options. Maximizing the sale proceeds is often a key goal. Many are also concerned about the impact on various stakeholders in the enterprise (family, employees, customers, vendors, and community). Transfers to a family member are becoming rarer, so owners must consider other options. Selling to a third party, especially in the case of private equity, doesn’t always generate the owner’s desired outcome for the stakeholders. The owner may want to consider Employee Ownership, which is a lesser-known option. Either through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), a Worker Cooperative, or an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), a retiring business owner can use employee ownership as an exit strategy depending on the owner and company’s goals and circumstances. The Employee Ownership option is a great way to leave a legacy in your community. Of course, there may be potential tax advantages for the selling owner.
Nonprofit groups like ours can offer owners and their advisors a manageable pathway to exploring exit planning and employee ownership if that is a viable option. The Michigan Center for Employee Ownership provides the information you can use to help your customers explore the employee ownership option. Our educational information is provided in a self-paced format, so business owners don’t feel like they’re drinking from a fire hose. We can also provide a preliminary assessment to determine if employee ownership is a potential exit strategy. We can refer your clients to qualified partners to address advanced aspects of employee ownership transitions.
While employee ownership might not be the ideal exit strategy for every business owner, it can be the right fit for many. Our experience and research show that employee ownership helps small business owners leave a legacy, preserve local jobs, and protect income over time.
Roy Messing is the Executive Director of the Michigan Center for Employee Ownership. Go to www.miceo.org for more information.
Northern Initiatives is also a Tour Sponsor for this Year's Annual Meeting.
Who We Are
Started in 1994 as a program of Northern Michigan University’s College of Business to help build economic resiliency in the face of declining resource extraction in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Northern Initiatives now serves all 83 counties in Michigan.
As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Northern Initiatives has a mission to level the playing field in business ownership. We know that one of the best ways to build generational wealth is through business ownership (home ownership is the other). We also know that small businesses build resilient communities, provide good jobs, and improve quality of life.
Northern Initiatives is unique in the marketplace and one of the most successful CDFIs in the Midwest.
Who We Serve
Northern Initiatives’ typical customer is one with strong growth prospects, but often has a limited track record, limited or insufﬁcient collateral, and is cash constrained. What Northern Initiatives measures as compensating factors are character and cash ﬂow. In 2022, that was reﬂected in the fact that 67% of our loans were to startups.
But access to capital is only part of Northern Initiatives’ mission. We also support our customers with training, education, and technology systems that we’ve been building for years.
Early on, Northern Initiatives saw the need for online technical assistance to serve our expansive geographical footprint, not to mention the varied needs of entrepreneurs. That’s why we created Initiate, our online small business education platform with hundreds of interactive tools, templates, videos, and guides available in both English and Spanish. In 2017, we expanded access to other entrepreneur support organizations nationwide and now Initiate used in 42 states.
We also work with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to train partner organizations throughout Michigan, so they can in turn help their community’s businesses utilize Initiate. In 2022, Initiate supported 1,600 entrepreneurs who utilized 14.000 resources.
At the Annual Meeting
At the MEDA Annual Meeting, Elissa Sangalli, President of Northern Initiatives, will be leading a tour of downtown businesses in Marquette. These small businesses, all Northern Initiatives customers, are making an impact in the community in multiple ways. One has brought together a community; another has literally built a community.
To learn more about Northern Initiatives’ approach to community development, visit www.northerninitiatives.org.
The Rudolph Libbe Group is a one-stop provider of construction and facility services that range from site selection and construction to energy solutions and ongoing facility management. The full-service contractor, comprised of Rudolph Libbe Inc., GEM Inc., GEM Energy, Lehman Daman, and Rudolph Libbe Properties, is focused on ensuring that its customers succeed. The Rudolph Libbe Group is headquartered in Toledo with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Lima, Ohio, and the Detroit, Michigan area. Contact Ben Eisel, General Manager, Rudolph Libbe Group, 419-601-3718 or 734-455-3131.
Rudolph Libbe Group, Southeast Michigan office – 2022 has been an unprecedented year in terms of our owner’s growth, expansion and emergence into new markets and sectors. Our chemical sector clients are receiving orders at new levels and utilizing our turnkey services to maintain plant operations. The energy sector has been roaring and we have supported a number of clients through control room and conference room renovations. Several customers are rearranging their campuses and integrating new energy solutions.
We also are supporting a huge wave in the auto sector. The large automotive companies and their Tier 2s, from steel manufacturers to sub-assembly providers, are expanding rapidly. This rapid growth phase is restricted only slightly by the supply of materials and manpower. We see this trend as the limiting factor going forward through 2022 into 2023. Our company has the capacity for additional work utilizing a strong network of supporting companies that use pre-purchases and large-scale buying power. When plans change or emergencies arise, long-term partnerships and turnkey solutions become more important than ever. Facility maintenance is key to keeping buildings fine-tuned for productivity, energy efficiency, comfort, and reduction in operating costs. It’s essential to keep planning for the future.
When it’s time to grow – with new construction, renovations, new equipment, or processes – knowing all the design and construction options is fundamental. RLG’s discretionary property and real estate services can help you source land and facilities with a keen eye toward state, municipal, and workforce-based incentives. And, for every project, safety is a core value for everyone on-site, especially in these challenging and stressful times. For more information about Rudolph Libbe Group and our Southeast Michigan office, please visit www.rlgbuilds.com.
For over 68 years Site Selection magazine has consistently been an award-winning, highest-rated, and most respected publication covering foreign direct investment (FDI), airport cities, and global corporate real estate. Site Selection is published every other month and mailed directly to over 42,000 c-suite level corporate executives. Providing exclusive insight into strategies, real estate markets, relocation costs, and available incentive programs, the key factors involved in corporate facility planning.
We’ve been promoting Economic Development & Corporate Real Estate, since 1954. Let us help tell your story.
Michigan's University Research Corridor Picks Up Momentum - Behind the dozens of high-dollar corporate project investments that landed in Michigan in 2021 — from the likes of vaccine leader Pfizer, automotive leaders such as Stellantis and Magna, and machinery and equipment companies KLA, Sartorius, and Daifuku — there lies a critical mass of brainpower. And behind that lies a network of R&D, talent, and innovation at the state’s higher education institutions. The spine of that network is the University Research Corridor (URC), an alliance of Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. In 2021 Anderson Economic Group released its 12th economic impact report on the URC, based on pre-pandemic data. “But it does demonstrate conclusively the importance of the URC to jobs and income in this state, through good times and bad,” said Patrick Anderson, AEG CEO and president. Click here to read the entire article.
Conference Bag Sponsor
Agracel provides industrial development services to communities, companies, and investors. With expertise in site selection, economic development, leasing, engineering, construction management, and financing, they can provide a solution to any build-to-suit, sale-leaseback, or redevelopment project. Visit www.agracel.com for more information.
For more than 15 years, Ann Arbor SPARK has served the greater Ann Arbor region as a catalyst for economic development. They accomplish this by building awareness of the region as a community that advocates for business and manufacturing development and growth. The SPARK team of experts attracts, develops, strengthens, and invests in driving industries to help our communities prosper. SPARK partners with and represents local municipalities in order to support and enhance their economic development efforts, which allows them access to national site selectors and international exposure, the benefit of regional marketing efforts, and superior project management support. SPARK reports on its successes and challenges to local economic development staff and to city councils. While Ann Arbor SPARK’s core programs are designed for companies and individuals primarily located in Washtenaw County, the organization’s support extends to the six-county Greater Ann Arbor Region (GAAR) which includes Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe, Livingston, and Hillsdale counties. Economic development requires collaboration, and SPARK is committed to bringing together partners — like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Works! Southeast, city and municipal partners, academic institutions, and others — to support the growth of companies and the creation of jobs. Contact Ann Arbor SPARK.
Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) for nearly 50 years has helped people and businesses find ways to create economic opportunity in Southwest Michigan. BCU, a private, nonprofit corporation, serves as the business and economic development arm for the City of Battle Creek. Their services are centered around their mission, assisting new and growing companies or those looking to relocate to find the resources they need to build their business. This includes site selection, redevelopment assistance, workforce research, access to financing, and other incentives or resources to help them make the most of their investments in Battle Creek. Contact Battle Creek Unlimited.
In almost 100 years of business, Champion, Inc. continues to strive for and attain the ideals first set forth by its founders. With careful guardianship, the little company that started out with only gravel to sell has developed into a multi-divisional company with close to $110 million in revenue. Divisions have grown to include Ready Mix, Mechanical Supply and Construction. Champion Concrete has supplied over 5,000,000 cubic yards as a nationwide on-site Ready Mix Concrete producer. Since 1948, Champion Charter has been offering solutions in the mining, utility, industrial, and commercial markets. Founded in 1898, Gundlach Champion is one of the oldest construction firms in the nation and provides a broad range of construction services in the Midwest for both public and private owners. Our diversity enables Champion, Inc. to weather economic downturns in various sectors of the economy, with a pulse on multiple industries and the capacity to respond immediately to customer need. Contact Champion.
The Detroit Regional Partnership is a regional economic development nonprofit serving Southeast Michigan’s 11-county region. Founded in 2019 by a group of business and philanthropic CEOs, the organization is laser-focused on marketing the region to out-of-state and international companies to attract investments and jobs. Contact DRP.
The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development supports an environment where businesses prosper and people thrive. Its activities and programs are focused on stimulating the local economy through business retention, expansion, and attraction while improving the overall quality of life for residents. The department specializes in providing services to businesses at all stages of development with a concentration on the high-growth industries of aerospace & defense, agriculture and food processing, automation and robotics, automotive and mobility, and distribution & logistics. Macomb County is investing in the next generation of our workforce to fuel the talent pipeline while helping our young people discover careers that best match their interests and abilities. For more information, call 586-469-5285 or visit: macombgov.org/business-home.
Oakland County is a global destination for world-class talent, investment, and jobs. Our mission is to catalyze innovation, investment, and growth in Oakland County. From small businesses to large corporations, Oakland County is a hub of resilience and growth. A team of Business Forward small business consultants is embedded in communities working with local economic development professionals, downtown development organizations, and chambers of commerce to provide resources and services so small businesses can thrive and grow. Contact their team and learn more at: http://www.oakgov.com/BusinessForward
Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! is a team of dedicated specialists who help people and businesses be more successful. Across the Upper Peninsula, we join together to help maximize the state and federal resources to help companies improve their workforces and our people to be better employees. Upper Peninsula Michigan Works! is committed to supporting and constantly improving the U.P. economy. Contact their team today!
Early Arrivals Reception Sponsor
InvestUP is the lead regional economic organization for the Upper Peninsula. Our mission is to drive prosperity across the Upper Peninsula. Core Values: Proactive, collaboration, leveraging, relationships, thought leadership, and most important to us – results.
Founded in 1854, Butzel Long has played a prominent role in the development and growth of several major industries. Business leaders have turned to Butzel Long for innovative, highly-effective legal counsel for over 165 years. Butzel Long has a long and successful history of developing new capabilities and deepening our expertise for its clients’ benefit. Butzel Long strives to be on the cutting edge of technology, manufacturing, e-commerce, biotechnology, intellectual property, and cross-border operations and transactions. Contact Butzel Long.
Northern Initiatives is also a Silver Sponsor for this Year's Annual Meeting.
Northern Initiatives is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) working throughout Michigan. We provide loans and technical assistance for small businesses. Often, these small business owners might not qualify for loans from traditional banks for a variety of reasons. Many times, our lending is focused on low-income, disadvantaged, and underserved communities. Each of our loans includes coaching and a vast array of constantly updated resources to help businesses – and their communities - thrive. For more about our approach to community development, visit www.northerninitiatives.org.
Friends of MEDA Sponsors
For 125 years, Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. has committed to designing and engineering innovative facilities that surpass the needs of its clients. Guided by the legacy of our founder Albert Kahn and a passion for architecture and engineering, Kahn commits to putting their clients first and delivering a remarkable product. Having designed over 45,000 projects around the world, Kahn’s expertise starts with architecture, engineering, interior design, program management, and master planning, and spans through commissioning, business and management needs, strategic facilities planning, value, and sustainability analysis.
The City of Negaunee is a safe, friendly community with award-winning schools, first-rate medical clinics, unique shopping and dining experiences, and abundant entertainment and recreational opportunities. Located in Marquette County, this city is home to the Michigan Iron Industry Museum, beautiful Teal Lake, the Heikki Lunta Winter Festival (a celebration of all things winter), plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities, and much more. With help from a revitalization and placemaking downtown enhancement grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the City of Negaunee is going through a massive Streetscape Project and can't wait to have you there for the Opening Reception.
The mission of the Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development (CUPPAD) Regional Commission is to foster cooperative analysis, planning and action for economic, social and physical development and conservation within the central Upper Peninsula. Their staff of dedicated planners, economic developers, and GIS professionals are passionate about the prosperity of our region. They understand the rigors of local governance and the disparity of resources. As your advocate, they can help your community prosper with sound planning practices, federal funding opportunities, technical assistance, and much more. For the most up to date information, please follow us on Facebook or sign up for our quarterly newsletter.
The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC) is the City of Detroit’s chief economic catalyst. For nearly half a century, the DEGC has provided a robust pipeline of initiatives, programming and financing to attract investment and create economic opportunity for all who call the city home. With a diverse team representing the communities it serves, the DEGC is helping eliminate economic barriers and build a prosperous and inclusive city for residents. If you’re a business looking to make Detroit your home, the DEGC is the first step on your path to success. For more information, please visit the Services section at DEGC.org.
GreenStone Farm Credit Services is one of America’s largest rural lenders. Headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, GreenStone is the country's seventh-largest association in the Farm Credit System. GreenStone owns and manages $11 billion in assets and serves over 27,000 members with 36 branches throughout Michigan and northeast Wisconsin.
The Luce County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was incorporated pursuant to Act 338, Public Acts of Michigan, 1974 as amended. The EDC was formed in 1978. Their mission is to facilitate economic development through business expansion and location assistance, infrastructure development and community development planning. The EDC is ran by a team of change-driven individuals and is overseen by a passionate board of directors that is eager to improve Luce County through the attraction of talent, retention of business, and growth of industry. The county has one of the largest opportunity zones in the state, which includes its industrial park, the Village of Newberry, and beyond. have the best land prices, lowest utility costs, high-speed fiber internet, and rail spur access.
The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) offers an innovative and solution-oriented approach to helping clients complete successful projects by employing creativity to solve problems, maximizing value, and reaching cost-effective client solutions. MSG offers a full array of consulting services for both the public and private sectors including, but not limited to Civil/Structural Design and Permitting, Construction Engineering, Cultural Resources, Environmental, Geotechnical, Landscape Architecture, Planning/Funding Strategies/Grant Writing, Program Management, and Surveying. MSG offers an unparalleled diversity of infrastructure-related services to public, private, energy, institutional and philanthropic clients. The firm’s mission is to help clients overcome hurdles to get their projects developed quickly, while addressing infrastructure needs and regulatory requirements. Infrastructure is very expensive – and solving infrastructure needs most cost-effectively is their primary value to their clients. The firm has played a major role for over 20 years in the City of Detroit’s ongoing revitalization.
MGU delivers natural gas to about 181,000 customers in southern and western Michigan. They had their start in pre-Civil War days when gas was manufactured from coal and used to light streets, homes, and businesses. Since that time, they have grown and changed along with the communities they serve. Their employees are dedicated to delivering natural gas safely and reliably. They look for ways to reduce costs for our customers. And they help our local communities grow even more.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway Company subsidiary operates approximately 19,300 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern is a major transporter of industrial products, including agriculture, forest, consumer products, chemicals, metals, and construction materials. In addition, the railroad operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a principal carrier of coal, automobiles, and automotive parts.
The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA), established in 1984, is a public/private non-profit organization serving Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties in Northern Michigan. The NLEA works directly with local units of government on infrastructure projects, facilitates local company growth and expansion, and assists many local companies on a wide range of issues that help retain existing jobs and create new jobs. They proactively approach economic development as a “team sport” and work hard to strengthen partner relationships, network public and private sectors, and work collaboratively to address economic development challenges and opportunities in our area.
RACER Trust's mission is to clean up and position former GM locations for redevelopment and beneficial reuse. They are responsible for conducting safe, effective environmental cleanups at approximately 60 locations. RACER is one of the largest holders of industrial property in the United States, and when it was formed was the largest environmental response and remediation trust in U.S. history.
Saginaw Future Inc. (SFI) provides proactive and focused economic development assistance to business executives, site selectors, developers and investors. We strive to create diversified economic growth that includes new and retained jobs, increased business investment, a growing tax base, and a positive environment for businesses to thrive. Since 1992, Saginaw Future Inc. has accomplished these goals, generating over $8 billion in new investment. As an organization, SFI is focused on these key areas: Strengthening existing Saginaw County businesses and helping them to grow; Leveraging major corporations, entrepreneurs and assets to attract world-class businesses; Promoting Saginaw County as a premier location for local and foreign investment; Engaging in local and regional initiatives aimed at improving quality of life; and Recruiting talent by demonstrating the incredible opportunities that are available in Saginaw County. SFI is only one of 64 economic development organizations accredited by the International Economic Development Council as an Accredited Economic Development Organization. Established in 1992, SFI is a private, nonprofit alliance of local businesses, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, the County and City of Saginaw, 16 local municipalities, labor organizations, educational institutions and local foundations. Saginaw Future assists companies with Financial and Incentive Packaging, identifies State Business Opportunity Programs, Government Contracting, Site Location Assistance, Shovel-ready land, Industrial Site Development, Business Advocacy and Community Liaison assistance, Workforce Development needs and more!
The mission of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership is to improve Shiawassee County’s economy through business attraction, retention, and expansion. They cultivate a business-friendly environment in Shiawassee County and provide our clients with access to resources, tools, and knowledge to empower decisions that will lead to their success.
The Upper Peninsula Construction Council (UPCC) is made up of over 250 quality construction contractors located across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The UPCC is devoted to labor management harmony. They are signatory contractors and building trades professionals working together to advance our industry by supplying the safest, highest quality, and most cost-effective construction services at the best possible value.
The Upper Peninsula Economic Development Alliance (UPEDA) provides a network for its members and partners to connect and accomplish economic development activities throughout the region. The group works together to share information, provide ongoing education, and support businesses and entrepreneurial growth across the region.
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