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Media Center

Welcome to the Media Resource Center.  Here you'll find press releases, images, webcasts, postcasts and the latest news and information about Business Leaders for Michigan and its work.  Please consider bookmarking this page and return frequently for the most up-to-date information.



Business Leaders for Michigan Takes Michigan Ambassador Program to Silicon Valley

Michigan’s turnaround to be highlighted at The Commonwealth Club

San Francisco, October 1, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state's business roundtable, today brings the Michigan Ambassador Program to the heart of San Francisco. State execs meet with local leaders that have Michigan ties, sharing news of Michigan’s comeback and growth opportunities that exist in the state's emerging mobility industry.

“In just a few short years, Michigan has transformed itself and its business climate,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. “The steps Michigan has taken to become more competitive have paid off.  Our tax climate has flipped from one of the nation’s worst to one of the best; Michigan is a national leader in terms of R&D production and talent; and Michigan’s per capita GDP, per capita income and employment have all grown faster than the national average and are reaffirming our state’s quality of life. Simply put, we’re now a top place nationally to live, work, do business, and play.”

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of the Ford Motor Company, kick off the day with an hour-long discussion at The Commonwealth Club of California, the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum. Their presentation focuses on a variety of economic issues including growing the talent pipeline, the value of public/private partnerships, the country’s biggest growth opportunities, and how new mobility solutions will change the auto industry and cities alike.


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New Renaissance Venture Capital Investments Bring National Focus to Michigan's Technology and Healthcare Sectors

ANN ARBOR, Mich., September 15, 2015 – Renaissance Venture Capital Fund, the venture capital fund-of-funds created by some of Michigan’s most important organizations, announced today that it has made a series of five new investments in top tier venture capital funds that will bring additional national focus to Michigan’s emerging technology and healthcare startup scene.

These new investments, totaling over $20 million, were made in firms that not only demonstrated past track records of financial success, but also expressed a desire to actively look for new opportunities in Michigan, helping emerging Michigan companies to grow and increase Michigan employment. Each firm brings an expertise in an industry that shows great promise for Michigan. The announced venture capital funds include (alphabetically): 

  • Arboretum Ventures: Ann Arbor-based Arboretum invests in promising healthcare-related companies, and has been the most active venture capital investor in Michigan. (
  • Atlas Venture: Also based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Atlas Venture focuses on the creation and growth of world class biotechnology companies. (
  • Edison Partners: Based in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, Edison Partners helps nurture and create value for growth stage technology businesses. (
  • Flagship Ventures: Cambridge, Massachusetts fund Flagship Ventures invests in breakthrough innovations in healthcare and sustainability, and is the creator of the VentureLabs start-up incubator. (
  • Pelion Ventures Partners: Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Pelion Venture Partners is a nationally prominent investor in software and information technology infrastructure and security. (

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Agenda Released for 4th Annual MI CEO Summit 

Competitiveness, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Job Growth are Key Themes 

DETROIT, Mich., September 14, 2015 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, released the full agenda and speaker list for its upcoming Michigan CEO Summit on Nov. 12, 2015 at the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

The fourth annual Michigan CEO Summit will bring together more than 400 business executives, policymakers, and community leaders to assess Michigan’s continued progress toward a comeback and discuss new strategies to keep the state moving forward. This year’s speakers will reinforce the theme that businesses, organizations—and even states—need to be constantly innovating to advance and remain competitive in our rapidly changing world. The event costs $125 and includes breakfast and lunch.

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New MI Higher Ed Council Begins Work

A unique panel of business, government and college/university leaders met today, launching a new, voluntary partnership aimed at boosting the economic contributions of Michigan’s higher education sector.

The Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council was created in response to a growing demand for educated, skilled workers in Michigan and the need to fully leverage the potential of higher education to meet that demand and drive economic growth.  The partnership is unique in that other such bodies across the nation are usually operated by government or public authorities.  

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BUSINESS LEADERS ECONOMIC FORECAST: In Short- and Long-Term, Job Leaders Think the MI and U.S. Economies will Stay Flat

DETROIT, Mich., July 30, 2015 – According to a survey conducted by Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, the majority of Michigan’s largest employers project that the Michigan and U.S. economies will remain flat in the next 6 to 18 months.  

“The majority of Michigan’s largest employers believe that the state's economy will remain essentially the same over the next six to eighteen months – and only slightly outpace the nation over the same time period,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “Recent global conditions in China, Europe and the Middle East are clearly having an impact. But Michigan’s inability to adopt a long-term road solution and talk of dramatically scaling-back economic development have also contributed to a climate of uncertainty.” 

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BLM Issues Recommendations for Boosting Natural Resources Economy

DETROIT, Mich. —Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today released The Michigan Natural Resources Business Plan: Leveraging Our Assets to Make Michigan a Top Ten State,  showing how Michigan could better leverage its strengths in natural resources, from tourism to agriculture and beyond.

Currently, Michigan’s natural resource industries provide over 7 percent of all Michigan jobs, create over $32 billion in GDP, and account for over $400 billion in sales, according to the report. Exports of natural resource industry products from Michigan account for over $61 billion annually.

“Our natural assets are a powerful engine for economic growth,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO. “Managed responsibly, with careful attention to long-term environmental impact, Michigan has tremendous opportunities to harness these assets and share them—profitably—with the world.”

Natural resources was one of the six industry clusters identified in BLM’s New Michigan strategy as having the most potential to grow good paying and sustainable jobs in Michigan.  The BLM Natural Resources report identifies the industries within our natural resources sector with the greatest opportunity for growth, including tourism and outdoor recreation, agriculture and food processing, timber and renewable energy industries.

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Letter to Michigan Legislative leaders about road funding plans 


To:  Michigan Media

From: Kelly Chesney, BLM VP of Marketing and Communications

Date: July 14, 2015

Re: Letter to Michigan Legislative leaders about road funding plans

Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, delivered the attached letter to the leaders of the Michigan House and Senate outlining our stance on the road funding proposals passed by the Legislature.

Both the House and Senate plans rely on redirecting at least $700 million of income tax revenue from the General Fund to transportation. Permanently shifting such significant General Fund revenue to roads will no doubt have a negative impact in other areas that are critical to Michigan's growth - areas like job training and higher education - that are essential to developing the talent Michigan employers need to compete. 

As the voice of many of Michigan’s largest job providers, we ask that our legislators to act swiftly and cohesively to address the long-term funding demands of our transportation system while protecting the critical services our residents rely on and the important programs which bring good-paying jobs to our state.  

Click here to download the letter



Business Leaders for Michigan urges support for fiscal notes 

DETROIT, Mich.  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement encouraging the Michigan Legislature to provide fiscal impact statements for all legislation.

Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO said, “The adoption of fiscal notes for all legislation has been a part of our Michigan Turnaround Plan (MTP) from the beginning. Michigan businesses, residents and municipalities deserve to know how every piece of proposed legislation could affect them.

“One of the objectives of the MTP is to create an attractive and competitive environment for job providers to start or grow a business. Adopting fiscal notes for pending and enacted legislation is a piece of that puzzle, and a good step towards reducing future financial uncertainty and strengthening Michigan’s fiscal stability.

“We encourage members of the Michigan House and Senate to take a look at the new report issued by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan on this topic, which provides insight into how our fiscal agencies could provide this critical information.”

The Citizens Research Council of Michigan Report, The Cost of Legislation: Expanding Michigan's Fiscal Notes can be found at

The Michigan Turnaround Plan can be accessed at

Download the statement


Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to Senate road funding package

DETROIT, Mich., July 1, 2015  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement in response to the road funding package passed by the Michigan Senate.

“The Senate road funding plan is an improvement over the House package. By raising the state’s gas tax, it asks the users of our system to help ensure good quality road and bridge conditions,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO.  “However, like the House plan, the Senate package redirects a significant percentage of income tax revenue from the General Fund to transportation. We remain seriously concerned about this shift and the potential negative impact it could have on other critical priorities that are important to growing jobs and our economy.”



Download the statement. 


Business Leaders for Michigan issues statement in response to House Road Funding Package

DETROIT, Mich.  – Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, today issued the following statement expressing its disappointment over the road funding package passed by the House of Representatives today.

“The House road funding plan is the wrong direction for Michigan,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO.  “Michigan needs a permanent, long-term solution to increase road repair funding without raiding the General Fund and hurting other critical priorities that are important to our economy.  The revenue should come from the users of our roads and bridges and be sufficient to ensure good quality road and bridge conditions.  We look forward to working with the Senate on a solution that meets these thresholds.”

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Download the statement.