Michigan Economic Developers Association - Your Partner in Growing Your Community

Capitol Day

Michigan CapitolThis event will be held on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at the Lansing Center in Downtown Lansing.

Capitol Day is MEDA's annual legislative conference, which includes sessions on the latest legislative issues related to economic development at the local, state, and federal levels.

Capitol Day attendees are encouraged to invite their legislators to talk about the topics presented during the day or to talk about issues specific to their community. Legislators are welcome to attend complimentary.

In order to develop the conference around the most important legislative issues of the time, MEDA's Advocacy Committee, a volunteer group of MEDA members, plans the agenda.

Invite Your Legislators

Legislators are welcome to attend complimentary, but we ask that they RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. One staff person can be sent in place of the legislator. Staff receives the MEDA member rate if they attend with the legislator.

Current Legislator RSVP List

  • Representative John Cherry - District 49
  • Senator John Bizon - District 19
  • Senator Jon Bumstead - District 34

Thank You Sponsor

ITC FortisThank you ITC, A Fortis Company for sponsoring this event.

You can join ITC, A Fortis Company as a sponsor. See Membership Program Sponsorship on our Sponsor MEDA page.

First Ever MEDA Legislative Economic Development Champion Awards

The following Michigan legislators – all nominated by members of MEDA – will receive a Legislative Economic Development Champion Award, which recognizes them for championing economic development initiatives both locally and statewide, during the Legislative Reception at our Capitol Day conference.

  • Representative Darrin Camilleri (D) – District 23
  • Representative Ben Frederick (R) – District 85
  • Representative Matt Hall (R) – District 63
  • Representative Abdullah Hammoud (D) – District 15
  • Representative Steve Marino (R) – District 24
  • Representative Joe Tate (D) – District 2
  • Senator Ken Horn (R) – District 32
  • Senator Jeff Irwin (D) – District 18
  • Senator Jeremy Moss (D) – District 11
  • Senator Dale W. Zorn (R) – District 17


(Agenda subject to change due to the unpredictable nature of the schedules of public officials.)

2020 vision has a whole new meaning this year! Having a strong vision for your community and being able to communicate that to your stakeholders is more crucial than ever, especially after significant economic development programs were cut last year. Capitol Day will focus on getting to know 2020 Senate candidates, making sure you are aware the State-level opportunities, receiving insight on how to ask for what you need from former legislative leaders, learning tactics that communicate value on an ongoing basis, and more!

9:20 a.m. Registration Opens

TENTATIVE: 9:50 a.m. MEDC Legislative Update
Greg Bird, Managing Director, Legislative and External Affairs, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

10:15 a.m. Short Break

10:25 a.m. MML Legislative Update
Learn about what our partners at the Michigan Municipal League (MML) are doing legislatively to meet the needs of Michigan's municipalities.
Jennifer Rigterink, Legislative Associate, MML

10:45 a.m. Networking Break

11:00 a.m. Housing Michigan 2020
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) partners to provide homes and preserve places for the people of Michigan. What strategies are at the forefront in 2020? How are they addressing the affordable housing issue? Take home what you need to know as an economic developer for partnering with MSHDA’s team.
Gary Heidel, Acting Executive Director, MSHDA

11:30 a.m. Opportunity Michigan 2020
The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is focused on connections, expertise and innovative solutions to drive continued business growth, build vibrant communities, create affordable housing, generate tourism and attract and retain key talent to fill Michigan’s vast pipeline of opportunities. What are their priorities for 2020 and how can you work with them to meet your mutually-beneficial goals?
Jeff Donofrio, Director, LEO

12:00 p.m. Lunch, Membership Meeting, and Panel Session

Looking Around; Looking Back
The end of a term limit is not always the end of a public services career for many former legislators. From the perspective of a former lawmaker, what do these community leaders need from the current administration? Does their experiences change how they will ask for those needs?
Moderator: James McBryde, President and CEO, Middle Michigan Development Corporation
Panelists: Kurt Heise, Supervisor, Plymouth Township
Vicki Barnett, Mayor, City of Farmington Hills
Andy Schor, Mayor, City of Lansing

1:30 p.m. 9 Tips for Improving Perceptions of Economic Development in Your Community
MEDA’s Advocacy Committee found, after a series of focus groups, that Michigan’s economic developers have a great need for strategies that help to create awareness for, and increase the perception of, economic development. Enter MEDA’s Pilot Program. With guidance from Public Sector Consultants, MEDA, and in consideration of their current strategies, this small-staffed EDO moved the needle in a positive direction and you can take notes on what they did!
Melissa Jimison, Senior Consultant, Public Sector Consultants
Trevor M. Keyes, EDFP, President and CEO, Bay Future, Inc.
Megan Manning, Investor Relations and Marketing Manager, Bay Future, Inc.

2:15 p.m. Networking Break

2:30 p.m. Clean Michigan 2020
The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) mission is to protect Michigan’s environment and public health by managing air, water, land, and energy resources. What are their priorities for working with the economic development community in 2020 to assure that businesses are making the most of properties while partnering with them to preserve our vast natural resources?
Liesl Eichler Clark, Director, EGLE

3:00 p.m. Meeting the Infrastructure Needs for Autonomous and Electric Vehicles
As autonomous vehicles continue to develop and testing takes place, plans for their implementation continue to develop. As more people purchase electric vehicles, the discussion continues about the needs for charging stations. What legislation and preparation is needed to get these wonders of technology on the road and charged up to keep our people and economy moving?
Moderator: Arnold Weinfeld, Associate Director, Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, College of Social Science, and Director for Workforce and Economic Development Partnerships, Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship, Michigan State University
John C. Muhs, Associate, Warner, Norcross + Judd LLP
Jeff Myrom
, Director, Renewable Energy & Electric Vehicle Customer Products, Consumers Energy
Brett Smith, Director, Technology Group, Center for Automotive Research

4:00 p.m. Growing Michigan 2020
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is constantly observing and modifying their programs and services to meet Michigan’s growing agriculture products and services industry. Hear what is on top of their agenda for 2020 so you know what to expect next!
Gary McDowell, Director, MDARD

4:30 p.m. Adjourn Educational Sessions

4:30 p.m. Legislative Reception

6:00 p.m. Adjourn


Early Registration: MEDA Members $115/Non-Members $185*

Regular Registration (starts at midnight one week before the program): MEDA Members $130/Non-Members $200

Ask This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. how you can attend this program for free by joining MEDA.

Recertification Credits

This program has been approved for (1) continuing education credit for Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) certification from the National Development Council (NDC). Use the form on this page to claim your credit.

This event is recognized by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as a professional development event that counts toward the recertification of Certified Economic Developers (CEcD).


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Michigan Economic
Developers Association
P.O. Box 15096
Lansing, MI 48901-5096
PH: 517-241-0011

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