Your Partner in Growing Your Community

MEDA Legislative Economic Development Champion Award

Camilleri ResizedThe Legislative Economic Development Champion awards were developed in 2020 by the Association to recognize legislators that show a passion for championing economic development work by assisting economic development efforts that affect the entire state, assisting with local economic development projects, championing the restoration of funding for economic development, participating with their local economic development organization, or sponsoring economic development legislation.

2021 Awardees

Four Michigan legislators received the 2021 Legislative Economic Development Champion Awards.

The awards were presented at MEDA's Virtual Capitol Day event on March 9th.

2020 Awardees

Tate Hammoud BestTen Michigan legislators received the 2020 Legislative Economic Development Champion Awards.

MEDA intended to present the awards to the legislators at its Capitol Day program in March, but the event was canceled due to COVID, so the awards were individually distributed to the legislators.

Webinar Subscriber Bonus Material

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Bonus Material

Business Development

Your Role in a Healthy Venture Capital Ecosystem - Access this Webinar
Venture and angel investors are a strong part of what drives job creation and economic growth in our state. In your seat as an economic developer, you can be a link between businesses and the right investor by knowing how investors become part of the deal, common language, what investors look for, what a good referral entails, etc. A panel of venture leaders will share with you how you support a healthy investment ecosystem so you’re ready the next time a client business or local entrepreneur has an idea worth sharing!
Moderator: Ara Topouzian, Executive Director, Michigan Venture Capital Association
Panelists: Paul D’Amato, Managing Director, Grand Angels
Adrian Fortino, Managing Director, Mercury Fund
Fredrick Molnar, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Tom Shehab, M.D., Managing Partner, Arboretum Ventures

Community Development

Making the Most of Opportunity Zones in Your Community - Access this Webinar
With Opportunity Zones still being a new evolution of investment in communities to spur economic development, there are still a lot of economic developers that are struggling to make the most of them. Hear the word straight from the top about how they are used on a national level, what to know, and who to know.
Moderator: Kurt Brauer, Attorney/Partner, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Panelists: Gary Heidel, Acting Executive Director, Michigan State Housing Development Authority
William C. Lentine, Partner, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP

Diversity and Inclusion

The Influence of Diversity and Inclusion in Economic Development - Access this Webinar
As economic developers look for opportunities to make their communities stand out from the crowd and attract businesses and people, it is important to consider the role of diversity and inclusion. What opportunities are there, what strategies are available, and how do communities overcome challenges to having an inclusive economy?
Moderator: Anne Partington, Director of Entrepreneurial Services and SPARK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Lead, Ann Arbor SPARK
Panelists: Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist
Kevin Johnson, President and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
Tifini McClyde, Associate Vice President Human Resources, Interlochen Center for the Arts
Khalfani Stephens, CEcD, EDFP, Economic Development Director, City of Flint

EDO Funding

Benchmarking for EDO Funding - Access this Webinar
When funding diversification is needed, sometimes the answer doesn’t just knock at your door; you have to go really far out to find it. Warren Call researched funding models from around the country to find what is best for the Grand Traverse region. He would like to share what he learned with you and how he took that information to find solutions for his EDO.
Warren M. Call, President and CEO, Traverse Connect


Housing As Economic Development - Access this Webinar
All recent research points to quality, affordable workforce housing at crisis need in Michigan, across all regional and local markets. Economic developers can take action in addressing the shortage by making housing a part of their strategy. How can practitioners join the challenge long-term to assure that affordable housing is available when an employer or site selector comes calling?
Moderator: James Tischler, Development Director, Michigan Land Bank Authority
Panelists: Dave Allen, Principal, InnovaLab
Jill Ferrari, Managing Partner, Renovare
Sarah Lucas, Executive Director, Housing North

Responding to Housing Needs to Attract/Retain an Employer - Access this Webinar
Business attraction and expansion deals happen fairly quickly. Because it’s difficult to forecast where they will happen, economic developers working with a business expressing concern about housing need to understand how to seek the right information from a business regarding their employee housing needs. Doing so will help a housing financer or developer move toward getting the appropriate housing products in place fast enough to accommodate new employees.
Marilyn Crowley, Investment Director, Michigan Community Capital

General Practices and Updates

Economic Development During and After a Crisis - Access this Webinar
In 2020, the pandemic, as well as strong national attention on racial dynamics, has brought about several challenges around the state and nation. Major flooding in central Michigan has created additional challenges in our state. With those, the role of economic developers has quickly and in unexpected ways. Economic development leaders will share their experience as well as how they are thinking about their EDO’s role in the future.
Moderator: Britany Affolter-Caine, PhD, Interim Executive Director, University Research Corridor
Panelists: Birgit Klohs, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Right Place, Inc. (at time of recording)
Matt McCauley, Chief Executive Officer, Networks Northwest
Tony Stamas, President & CEO, Midland Business Alliance

Economic Development Ethics - Access this Webinar
Incorporating ethics into professional standards is critical to the ongoing growth of the economic development profession. Ethical standards ensure accountability, transparency, and integrity. Learn what your economic development organization should include in its ethics policies and practices.
Tim Robinson, CEcD, EDFP, Director of Operations, Lenawee Now

Health and Economic Development - Access this Webinar
The recovery of our state depends upon several factors including vaccine distribution and continued monitoring. Learn about the current status of the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as implications for businesses and the workforce due to the pandemic. 
Natasha Bagdasarian, MD, MPH, Senior Public Health Physician, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Looking Forward to 2021 from the Economic Development Administration - Access this Webinar
The bureau with the mission to lead the federal economic development agenda, the Economic Development Administration (EDA), housed in the U.S. Department of Commerce, has had a big job managing CARES Act funding in 2020 among other initiatives. What is the outlook for future EDA funding and programs moving forward?
Lee Shirey, Economic Development Representative, Economic Development Administration

Managing an Economic Development Organization - Access this Webinar
This session will cover the issues specific to economic development organizations such as; working with leaders, developing a vision for the organization and community, delegation of available resources to the right programs and the development of the most appropriate programs for that organization and community.
Justin Horvath, CEcD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership

MEDC Update at 2021 Capitol Day - Access this Webinar
The team at the MEDC worked hard to support businesses and communities during the challenges in 2020. What is the latest and how will it impact their budget, staff, and program offerings? What does the CEO foresee for 2021?
Amanda Bright McClanahan, Chief Operating Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Meet the Economic Development Leaders for Michigan - Access this Webinar
The Economic Development Leaders for Michigan (EDLM) is a coalition of 12 leading regional economic development organizations throughout the state. Learn about the initiatives that they are advocating for in the coming year, such as Good Jobs for Michigan, and how you can partner with them.
Moderator: James McBryde, President & CEO, Middle Michigan Development Corporation
Panelists: JoAnn Crary, President, Saginaw Future Inc.
Kevin Johnson, President & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
Maureen Donohue Krauss, President & CEO, Detroit Regional Partnership

Michigan Launch Initiative Discussion - Access this Webinar
The Michigan Launch Initiative (MLI) is a public/private non-profit entity that provides a collaborative platform for academia, industry, and governmental agencies to provide low earth orbit (LEO) and hypersonic launch technology for commercial and defense applications. The MLI’s priority is to organize industry partners to establish and operate satellite launch facilities and a command center in Michigan. The panel will focus on recent developments, economic opportunities for the entire state, and challenges and barriers to success.
Kurt Brauer, Partner, Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
Gavin Brown, Executive Director, Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association

National Perspective on Economic Development - Access this Webinar
Many of you have experienced the impact of the pandemic on your own EDO and community.  This session will showcase EDOs from around the country so we can learn from their unique experiences in having to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. This insight can better prepare us for moving forward in more efficient and effective ways. We will also hear about future trends in the economic development industry. Learning about the experiences of EDO’s around the country, and what they have done to adjust to the quickly changing environment, can provide insight into ways to be efficient and effective moving forward. Related to moving forward, learn what is being said about the future of the industry.
Jeff Finkle, CEcD, President/CEO, International Economic Development Council (IEDC)

Post-Pandemic Economic Development Policy - Access this Webinar
Four MEDA 2020 Legislative Economic Development Champions from opposite sides of the aisle will discuss what they would like to see for growth as COVID-19 loses its hindering influence on Michigan. They will also touch on current and proposed policies and how they could impact economic development.
Moderator: Justin Horvath, CEcD, President & CEO, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership
Panelists: State Representative Ben Frederick
State Representative Abdullah Hammoud
State Representative Steve Marino

State of the State Legislature - Access this Webinar
Hear from Chad Livengood, a Senior editor on politics, policy and Detroit rising, as to what he sees taking place at the Capitol that has emerged from the challenges brought forth in 2020 and what we might see in the year ahead.
Chad Livengood, Senior Editor, Politics and Policy, Crain’s Detroit Business


Conducting Virtual Site Visits - Access this Webinar
Site visits have been a staple in economic development practice for years. Due to the pandemic, they have quickly moved to a virtual format. Your community needs to prepare for a virtual showcase as this trend becomes more popular due to efficiencies such as a reduction in travel costs. Get feedback on preparation and best practices from the site selection community.
Susan Proctor, CEcD, Strategic Initiatives Director, Business Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Carla Sones, Managing Partner, Southwest Michigan First

Event-Driven Attraction - Access this Webinar
Communities are cranking up the creativity to get people to relocate to, or stay in, their region. Learn from experience how event ideas came about, procedures, challenges, and results.
Rachel Bartels, Executive Director, Hello West Michigan
James McBryde, President and CEO, Middle Michigan Development Corporation

Marketing/Attraction - Access this Webinar
As an economic developer, it is important that you have a basic knowledge of the marketing process and its benefits. This session will focus on the marketing process, geographic and economic considerations, suspects vs. prospects, and advertising & promotion. Also addressed will be market research and targeting.
Therese Thill, Vice President of Business Development, The Right Place, Inc.

Messaging the Value Proposition for Economic Development - Access this Webinar
Bay Future completed an exercise with MEDA and Public Sector Consultants to see if they could raise the perception of economic development in their area. They did. Messaging and method of distribution played a strong role in the process. Learn from their experience.
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.

Metrics that Show Value Proposition of Economic Development Projects - Access this Webinar
Economic development work, by nature, requires tracking a lot of information. Whether it be basics like tax revenue and expected job creation, or comprehensive like export data, you can’t remember all of it, but need to have it available. What is the most important information to have on hand when you are working on a substantial project? How can you best work with your local partners to share information? What key overall metrics are important for communicating project value to your organization and partners?
Alan Weber, Vice President, Global Investment and Trade, Detroit Regional Partnership

Promoting Your Community’s Wow Factor - Acces this Webinar
There is something wonderful about every community. Your community’s WOW factor can be promoted through data-driven model marketing that gets – and keeps – attention. Discover, and learn from examples, about how you can find that WOW factor and promote that strength to target customers and stakeholders to create opportunities that lead to growth.
Dave Parsell, CEO, LocalIntel

That Site Might be Ready for Business, but Are You? - Access this Webinar
Business sites are everywhere and in various phases, but are they ready? Are you ready for an open inquiry in your community or region? With the competition in today’s marketplace, it is important not only to have a site ready but also to know the most pertinent information to have on hand for a potential client. Hear from experts on various sides of the site readiness world.
Moderator: Stephanie Carroll, Economic Development Director, City of Auburn Hills
Panelists: Jill Ferrari, Managing Partner, Renovare Development
Nicole Whitehead, Director, Sales and Service Operations, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Kennis Wooten, Business Development Manager, DTE Energy

Retention and Expansion

Business Retention and Expansion - Access this Webinar
Business retention and expansion is critical in today’s economy. The objectives of this session will include how to organize a business retention and expansion program. We will cover how to provide examples of programs and activities that foster the growth of existing businesses, to recommend strategies helpful in implementing a successful program and identify valuable local resources.
Andy Hayes, Retired, Northern Lakes Economic Alliance

Real Estate Development and Reuse - Access this Webinar
In this session, participants will be introduced to the land development process, with an emphasis on the role that the economic developer plays. Participants will learn about the various tools that are available at the local level, including tax increment financing, bonds, land assembly, and eminent domain, in addition to the many federal programs available.
Jeff Hawkins, CEO, Envirologic Technologies, Inc.

Workforce and Talent

2020 Vision for Talent - Access this Webinar
Finding and keeping the right talent has been a challenge for companies for quite some time. Until the pandemic hit in 2020, the economy was booming, but the struggle continued. These business leaders will share the challenges that they foresee as well as their plans and ideas for countering these challenges.
Moderator: Nick Posavetz, Economic Development Manager, Bedrock Detroit Confirmed
Panelists: Gretchen Overbeek, Vice President of Human Resources, Hagerty
Sue Peters, Vice President of Human Resources, Munson Healthcare
Bob Sutherland, President, Cherry Republic

Business Collaborative Efforts to Meeting Talent Needs - Access this Webinar
A healthy and smart business knows that being in a region with other healthy and smart businesses can be a key component of success. In order to maintain a good balance, a talented workforce is vital. That is why some businesses invest resources in their community or the entire region’s talent needs in collaboration with others that understand the importance.
Kevin Stotts, President, Talent 2025

Partnering With Statewide Entities to Meet Workforce Needs - Access this Webinar
Learn from best practices how you can work with statewide entities like the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan Works! Association to improve the talent landscape. Perhaps you just need a refresher on their newest programs and services. Join this session to build your partnership network!
Stephanie Beckhorn, Director, Office of Employment and Training, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
Luann Dunsford, Chief Executive Director, Michigan Works! Association

Talent Incentives; Not Business Incentives - Access this Webinar
For years, businesses have received incentives for hiring. The tides are turning as some organizations and communities are providing incentives directly to employees and students for staying in, or moving to, a community. How does it work? Is it working? What could turn this experiment in talent retention into permanent factors of economic development?
Rob Cleveland, CEcD, President, Cornerstone Alliance
Audrey Sochor, Scholarship Programs Officer, Community Foundation of St. Clair County

Von Washington, Executive Director, Community Relations, Kalamazoo Promise

Untapped Resources for Workforce Needs - Access this Webinar
As companies work to fill positions after the unemployment caused by the pandemic, there are individuals who are waiting for companies to give them an opportunity that they might not initially consider: the formerly incarcerated, the disabled, and immigrants. Motivated organizations are implementing strategies to help these members of our economy find jobs.
Leon EL-Alamin, Founder and Executive Director, MADE Institute
Nancy Lindman, Director of Public Policy and Partnerships, Michigan Association of United Ways

Workforce Development - Access this Webinar
Workforce development is quickly becoming the #1 focus for economic development organizations. A skilled and educated workforce is crucial in today’s economy. This interactive session will focus on the need for the creation of workforce development programs that address both community and business needs.
Zachary Morris, EDFP, Executive Director, Market Van Buren

COVID-19 Recovery Resources

Compilation of Resources for Businesses, Workers. and Economic Recovery During COVID-19

Several resources are being shared right now to help businesses and workers that may have hardships due to the closings that are taking place to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

Below is a compilation. Please send any additional that you might see or be aware of to Cassandra at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Discuss, Share, Support

9/20/21 Updates

COVID-19 EIDL Program Updates

8/2/21 Updates

EDA Has Released its ARPA Funding

7/26/21 Updates

Michigan Awarded $10M Grant to Expand Employment Opportunities for Residents

7/19/21 Updates

EDO's Being Sought for Post-COVID Nationwide Summer Challenge - Participants Receive Free Report - Other Awards Possible

7/12/21 Updates

Work at Home or the Office? Either Way, There’s a Start-Up for That.

7/6/21 Updates

The Way Forward: Michigan Small Business, Retail Look to Innovation to Rebound

6/28/21 Updates

Michigan Future Business Index Survey Will Help Understanding of How Businesses are Doing Post-COVID

6/21/21 Updates

Gov. Whitmer Announces State will Open to Full Capacity on June 22

6/14/21 Updates

Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Push for Billions in Additional Aid for Restaurant Revitalization Fund

6/7/21 Updates

Michigan "Back-to-Work" Employer Resources from LEO

6/1/21 Updates

UPDATED MIOSHA Emergency Rules Q&A (Recorded Webinar)

5/24/21 Updates

Gov. Whitmer Accelerates “MI Vacc To Normal” Plan

5/17/21 Updates

Peters, Stabenow Welcome $11 Billion in Federal Funding through American Rescue Plan

5/10/21 Updates

Michigan Loosening Mask Requirements for Vaccinated Residents This Week

5/3/21 Updates

Whitmer Unveils Plan to Get ‘MI Vacc to Normal’

4/26/21 Updates

Free 4/28 Webinar on Restaurant Revitalization Fund

4/19/21 Updates

$175M in Federal Funding Going to Small Businesses in Michigan

ARPA Allocations Provide Potential Relief for UP Businesses, Communities, and Non-profits

Lean Rocket Lab, LTU's Centrepolis Accelerator Receive Federal Grant to Grow COVID-19 Response

4/12/21 Updates

Grants for Northern Michigan Small Business Relief from COVID-19 to Begin in Apri

Shuttered Venue Operations Grant Information and Application

4/5/21 Updates

Michigan Communities Anxiously Await Rules for Spending Billions in Stimulus Funds

Payment Protection Program Extended to May 31

3/29/21 Updates

SBA to Increase Lending Limit for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans

3/22/21 Updates

MIOSHA Submits Request for Formal Rulemaking Related to COVID-19 Rules

3/15/21 Updates

Gov. Whitmer Signs Supplemental Funding to Support COVID-19 Recovery Plan

3/8/21 Updates

Michigan to Relaxes Restaurant, Other Business COVID-19 Restrictions

3/1/21 Updates

SBA Prioritizes Smallest of Small Businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program

2/22/21 Updates

SBA Weinbar Series THIS WEEK: Small Business Recovery and Resilience

2/8/21 Updates

Businesses Face Hard Decisions on Whether, When to Hire

2/1/21 Updates

Feds Offer Look at Who's Getting PPP Loans this Time, and How Much

1/25/21 Updates

Michigan Stages Survival Grant Program for Entertainment Venues - Applications Being Accepted

Over Half of Companies Will Require a Vaccine for Employees to Work On-site, Survey Says

1/18/21 Updates

Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program to Provide $55 Million in Grants for COVID-19 Relief Efforts

1/11/21 Updates

COVID-19 Restaurant Resources (Recorded LEO Webinar)

PPP for Small Businesses to Restart Monday

1/4/21 Updates

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Whitmer Signs $106 Million COVID-19 Relief Bill

12/28/20 Updates

Governor Whitmer Announces Programs to Support Michigan Families, Restaurants & Small Businesses

12/21/20 Updates

MEDC's COVID-19 Winter Strategies Resource Guide

12/7/20 Updates

GOP Leaders See Bipartisan Group’s Covid-Aid Effort Falling Short

11/30/20 Updates

MEDC Encourages Michiganders to “Support Local” this Holiday season, and Beyond

Priority Health to Offer Financial Relief to Large Employer Groups in Response to COVID-19 (second article)

11/23/20 Updates

Discover Oceana Promotes Shopping Local

MIOSHA State Emphasis Program Live Webinar with Sean Egan (recorded webinar)

11/16/20 Updates

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Announces Nearly $100M for Michigan Businesses through Grant Program

Midland County’s Answer to the Childcare Challenge

Small Business Weatherization Grants

11/9/20 Updates

Social District Opens in Downtown Muskegon

11/2/20 Updates

Restarting Delayed Capital Projects

10/26/20 Updates

Manufacturer Overcomes COVID Disruptions with Augmented Reality

U.S. Department of Commerce Launches $25 Million SPRINT Challenge to Address Coronavirus Pandemic Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation

10/19/20 Updates

Governor Whitmer Takes Action to Protect Workers, Keep Workplaces Safe from COVID-19 

SBA Provides Simplified Process for PPP Forgiveness for Loans of $50,000 or Less

10/12/20 Updates

+Impact Studio for Local Businesses

Resources That are Still Available to Small Business (Podcast)

What Comes After COVID-19? Impacts of Global Pandemic on Manufacturing Automation and Strategic Planning

10/6/20 Updates

Consumers Energy Pledges $12 Million Relief Fund for Residential, Small Business Customers

Michigan's University Research Corridor Report - Confronting COVID-19: Research, Innovation and Leadership

9/28/20 Updates

The Michigan Hospitality Industry Employee Relief Fund

9/21/20 Updates

Site Selection's Navigating a Post-COVID World Digital Edition

9/14/20 Updates

How Has Local Government Responded to COVID-19?

Michigan Launches New Plan Offering Free College to 625,000 Essential Workers

State Provides Guidelines to Gyms, Fitness Centers to Open Safely

Economic Recovery and Business Re-Open Strategies

Statewide Resources

Federal Resources

Great Ideas from MEDA Members

Out-of-State Examples

Other Resource Pages, Grant Opportunities, Ways Businesses Can Save Money, Etc.

Thank You 2020 MEDA Sponsors

MEDA would like to show appreciation to those that supported us in 2020.

Please scroll down to see all of the sponsors and visit their webpages.

Corporate Sponsors

Consumers Energy

DTE Energy

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Annual Meeting Sponsors


Consumers Energy

DTE Energy


AKT Peerless Environmental Services

Networks Northwest

Opening Reception

Michigan's University Research Corridor

Lunch Sponsor

Fourth Economy


Ann Arbor SPARK

Envirologic Technologies, Inc.

Indiana Michigan Power

ITC, A Fortis Company

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Oakland County, Economic Development and Community Affairs

PM Environmental

Rudolph Libbe Group

Warner Norcross + Judd


Saginaw Future, Inc.

Traverse City Downtown Development Authority

Friends of MEDA

Battle Creek Unlimited

Bedrock Detroit

Butzel Long

Detroit Regional Partnership

Gibbs Planning Group

Gourdie-Fraser, Inc. (GFA)

GreenStone Farm Credit Services

Hoyden Creative Group



Michigan Gas Utilities

Norfolk Southern

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance

Resource Development Group

Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership

The Right Place, Inc.

Traverse Connect


Michigan Works! Association

Basic Course Scholarships

Consumers Energy

DTE Energy

The Fall Economic Development Fall Toolbox



Agracel, Inc.

Centrepolis Accelerator

Colliers International Valuation and Advisory Services

Hoyden Creative Group

International Strategic Management (ISM, Inc.)

PM Environmental

Corporate Sponsors

consumers-energy DTE Logo Small

Website Sponsor


Contact Us

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

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