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Upcoming Events, Leadership Summits and Forums

Business Leaders for Michigan annually hosts events to support and foster dialogue and shape ideas surrounding Michigan’s economic future.  Our signature events include our Leadership Summits, which have assembled experts and leaders in the fields of business, community, education and policy.  The topics covered vary from economic growth, public sector efficiency, state competitiveness to proper management of state finances. 


2015 Michigan CEO Summit 

Thursday, November 12, 2015
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Westin Book Cadillac Detroit 

Event bio and agenda booklet

Event Press Release



Word on the Street: A Frank Conversation about Michigan’s Progress 
Michigan is making progress, but is anyone noticing? Get an eye-opening view of the steps other states are taking to be competitive and what outsiders and rivals say about our state.
Albert Berriz, Chief Executive Officer, McKinley, Inc.
Barry Broome, President & CEO, Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council 
Moderator: Christy McDonald, Anchor, MiWeek

Download Albert Berriz' presentation. 

The Hard Facts about Michigan’s Competitiveness
Review data on how Michigan stacks up to its competitors on an array of key performance measures.
Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan 
Getting Real: How New and Seasoned Entrepreneurs Survive and Thrive
Get an insider’s look at the obstacles, opportunities and available support for entrepreneurs in Michigan.  
Abir Ali, Creative Director, Designer & Co-Owner, Ali Sandifer Studio 
Chip George, Chief Executive Officer, Comfort Research
Carl Winans, Co-Founder, Mega Tiny Corporation 
Moderator: M. Roy Wilson, President, Wayne State University 

Everyone Can Have a Role in Growing Michigan Jobs and Our Economy
Learn what some companies are doing to help grow more jobs in Michigan while they grow their bottom line.

Staying in the Game: Keeping a Competitive Edge in a Rapidly-Changing World
Learn how three CEOs have evolved their products and business strategies to keep pace with the times.
Evan Lyall, Chief Executive Officer, Roush Enterprises
Dennis Mannion, President & CEO, Detroit Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment
Brian Walker, President & CEO, Herman Miller, Inc.
Moderator: Nancy Kaffer, Columnist, Detroit Free Press

Did You Know? 
A quick look at some surprising and interesting facts about Michigan’s homegrown companies.

Luncheon Keynote Speaker: Innovation for Growth
Hear from a global innovation expert on how to foster the innovation necessary to continually reinvent your products so your company remains relevant in a constantly changing marketplace.
Tom Kelley, General Manager, IDEO 
Moderator: Nolan Finley, Editorial Page Editor, The Detroit News 

Thank you to our Made in Michigan Lounge companies!

View the videos from today's event. 


BLM 2015 Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan

BLM 2015 New Michigan Summit
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Lansing Center, Lansing, MI

Download the Summit Agenda

Download the 2015 New Michigan Report

Download the New Michigan Report Summary

Download the speaker bios



View Video Highlights of the Event

View photos from the event

Program Information

The New Michigan Playbook for Growing a Vibrant Economy
Find out why the New Michigan strategy matters more now than ever in attracting and growing good paying jobs
Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner & Director, McKinsey & Company

Download Hans-Werner Kaas' Presentation

Progress in Building a New Michigan Economy
New data will reveal which of Michigan’s strongest assets are creating the most new jobs
Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan

Download Doug Rothwell's Presentation 


Ohio’s Third Frontier Program
Hear how another Great Lakes state is investing in its future through an internationally-recognized initiative to grow its economy
Brian Hicks, President & CEOHicks Partners & chief architect of Third Frontier
Ray Leach, Chief Executive Officer, JumpStart Inc.

Download the Ohio Third Frontier Presentation


Roundtable Discussion on Opportunities for Michigan to Drive Economic Growth
Panelists will explore options for implementing the New Michigan Strategy and whether other states’ initiativesncould work in Michigan
Steve Arwood, Director, Talent & Economic Development Dept. & CEO, MEDC
Brian Hicks, President & CEO, Hicks Partners
Michael Jandernoa, Board of Directors, Perrigo Company
Hans-Werner Kaas, Senior Partner & Director, McKinsey & Company
Ray Leach, Chief Executive Officer, JumpStart Inc.
Sandra Pierce, Chairman & CEO, FirstMerit Michigan
Maureen Krauss, Vice President, Economic Development, Detroit Regional Chamber


Download the press release. 


Please join us in thanking our generous New Michigan Summit sponsor!



2014 BLM Michigan CEO Summit

Thursday, November 13, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The Westin Book Cadillac-Detroit

Download the event agenda & bios

Download the attendee list

Download the press release

Event Agenda

The Accelerated Pace of Change in the Marketplace: Surviving & Thriving
There are many ways to move forward but one sure way to fall behind… complacency.  An experienced, global CEO shares what businesses can do to outperform their competition in today’s fiercely competitive marketplace.
Jeff Fettig, Chairman & CEO, Whirlpool Corporation 

Download Jeff Fettig's presentation

Click here to watch Jeff Fettig's presentation

Where does Michigan Rank? A Preview of the 2014 Economic Competitiveness Report 
Learn how Michigan stacks up to its competitors.  Are we thinking big enough to become a Top Ten state? Are we taking advantage of our greatest strengths? 
Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan 

Risk Management: A critical component of every business growth strategy
Whether you are looking to expand, introduce a new product or enter a new market, hear how identifying and managing risk can help prevent missteps as you work to grow your business.
Matthew Elliott, Michigan Market President, Market Executive, Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America Merrill Lynch    

Growing Innovation through Collaboration 
Growing new products and services happens faster in environments that encourage creative thinkers to collaborate. This panel showcases how collaboration can occur at any level and how to benefit from it.  
Blake Krueger, Chairman, President & CEO, Wolverine World Wide – GRid70
Matt Clayson, Director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center 
Moderator: Mary Kramer, Publisher, Crain’s Detroit Business

How Successful Entrepreneurs Maintain Their Edge
Hear how CEOs and entrepreneurs propel their businesses from startup to profit, from one stage of growth to the next, while navigating the changing demands of their customers.
Miles Jones, Co-Chairman, Dawn Food Products, Inc.
Florine Mark, President & CEO, Weight Watchers Group
William Pickard, Chairman & CEO, Global Automotive Alliance, LLC
Moderator: Nancy Kaffer, Columnist and Editorial Writer, Detroit Free Press

Getting Your Business Off the Ground 
Get the inside track on how to tackle the challenges of building your company from the ground up. 
Jaeson Brown, Partner & Founder, Root 4
Amy Proos, CEO, Proos Manufacturing
Brian Royster, Founder & CEO, AskSupportNow
Ryan Vaughn, Founder, Varsity News Network
Moderator: Sam Valenti III, Chairman, TriMas Corporation

Luncheon Speaker:  
What does Being Competitive in Today’s Global Economy Really Mean?
Get a clear understanding of global competition and why what’s going on in China and other countries matters to the U.S. and Michigan.
Jonathan Woetzel, Director, McKinsey Global Institute 
Moderator: Laurel Champion, General Manager-Southeast Michigan, MLive Media Group

Keynote Speaker: Do You Know Who Your Competition is?
As more of your competition will come from non-traditional channels, your future competition may not be who you think it is.
Peter Diamandis, Chairman & CEO, XPRIZE Foundation and Executive Chairman, Singularity
Moderator: Daniel Howes, Business Columnist, Detroit News

Click here to see the Peter Diamandis video.  

Special thank you to our Made in Michigan Lounge companies:



Please join us in thanking our generous Michigan CEO Summit sponsors!  

"Made in Michigan" Lounge Sponsor:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsor:

If you have questions about the Summit, please contact Jennifer Hayes at 313-259-5400 or


Regional Leadership Forum Materials 2014

This year, Business Leaders for Michigan Board members are hosting Regional Leadership Forums in different regions across the state.  At these Forums, local community and business leaders engage in a discussion about what’s been accomplished in the Michigan Turnaround Plan to date, what work still needs to be done, and how they can be a part of growing more, good paying jobs in our state.  We are excited by the feedback and support that we are receiving from each region and look forward to working with our local leaders to turn Michigan around!

We’d like to extend a special thanks to our hosts, partners and attendees for making the Regional Leadership Forums a success! Together, we will make Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

Below you will find the information shared at the forums.  Please feel free to share these documents and links with friends, family and coworkers to encourage them to be a part of Michigan's turnaround.

Michigan Turnaround Plan website

2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan Booklet

At-a-glance: Michigan Turnaround Plan

The evolution of the Michigan Turnaround Plan

BLM "Who We Are"

PowerPoint Presentation: Compete. Invest. Grow. The 2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan




March 2014 Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan

Thank you to everyone who attended our BLM Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan on March 10th.


Below you'll find information and materials from the event.  We will be adding additional photos and videos as they become available.


Download a pdf copy of the agenda



Download Southwest Michigan First's Transformation Agenda Booklet
(Booklet William Parfet discussed during presentation)

For more information, contact Jennifer Hayes at or by calling 313-259-5400.

2013 Michigan CEO Summit

Thank you for attending our second annual Michigan CEO Summit at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

Materials and videos from the Summit are available below.

Below is a highlights video of the event:

Click here to view additional videos from the Summit 

Click here for photos from the Summit

Click here to view the BLM 2013 Economic Competiveness Report online

Doug Rothwell's Presentation Slides

Download the Daniel Burrus Hard Trend Report

Download the press release

Download the event agenda



March 2013 Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan

Thank you to everyone who attended our BLM Leadership Summit: Building a New Michigan on March 11th. 

Below you'll find information and materials from the event.  We will be adding additional photos and videos as they become available.  

Download the event agenda

Download the A New Michigan: The 2013 Report on Michigan’s Progress in Six Opportunities

Download the press release from the event


View Videos From The Event Here...

View Photos From The Event Here...




May 2012 Leadership Summit: Growing a Higher Education Marketplace 

Materials from the BLM Leadership Summit: Growing a Higher Education Marketplace on May 7th are available below.

Highlights of the May Higher Education Summit

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Download the full agenda


Download BLM Higher Education Proposal


Download Higher Education Articles

Download Patrick Doyle's remarks

 Download slides from Patrick Doyle's remarks

Download the press release 


March 2012 Michigan CEO Summit

Thank you to everyone who attended our first Michigan CEO Summit.

View our 2012 Michigan CEO Summit Photo and Video Galleries below:

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery


For more information, contact Jennifer Hayes at 313-259-5400 or


June 2011 Leadership Summit

At the June Leadership Summit: Getting Michigan Competitive, Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) released its annual Economic Competitiveness Benchmarking Report comparing Michigan against other states. While strides have been made in recent months to right Michigan’s economic ship and state business leaders are seeing a glimmer of hope for a stronger economy, Michigan’s competitiveness position vis-à-vis other states will continue to require work.

Findings of the study were unveiled before a gathering of more than 300 Michigan business, civic and community leaders convened in Lansing for a half-day session specifically focused on Michigan’s position relative to key economic benchmarks. Nationally recognized experts and local business executives provided context on the measurements and insight on the steps Michigan needs to take to propel its economy forward.

The annual report offers a robust assessment of Michigan’s economic position relative to other states and nations, and is used by BLM to prepare and update its Michigan Turnaround Plan. The Michigan Turnaround Plan contains strategies aimed at making Michigan a top ten state for economic growth and job creation.   The full report is available for download by clicking here.