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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.



BLM Statement in Response to the 2015 MI State of the State Address

In response to the 2015 Michigan State of the State address, Business Leaders for Michigan released the following statement: 

"Business Leaders for Michigan believes fixing our roads and accelerating efforts to increase both education and skill levels are the most important steps the legislature can take this year to create more good jobs. Helping more people get the education and job skills they need to secure jobs will require both greater state support and collaboration to make college more affordable. Fixing the roads and continuing to prioritize job training and higher education funding in the budget are the next steps in Michigan's turnaround.  The Governor's priorities align well with these goals."

---- Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, Business Leaders for Michigan.

Download the statement. 


Business Leaders for Michigan Supports Road Funding Package

LANSING, Mich. December 18, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, announced today that it was pleased Governor Snyder and the Michigan Legislature reached an agreement on a proposal to increase investments in Michigan’s transportation infrastructure.

Doug Rothwell, President & CEO said: “We are pleased to see Michigan’s transportation needs being addressed. Today’s actions will help Michigan build on the turnaround that’s underway in our state by making meaningful investments that will accelerate our growth. The proposal will fix our roads and represents a big step toward a broader long-term solution to expand the capacity of our roads to grow the economy. While there is some risk in relying on a ballot measure that requires a strong public awareness campaign, this proposal offers some very positive benefits for citizens, schools, communities and businesses alike.”

 Download the statement


Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Passage of MI Senate’s Transportation Package

DETROIT, Mich. – Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, strongly applauded today the Senate passage of a long-term solution to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges. 

Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO, said that today’s Senate action will help existing Michigan companies and prospective businesses see that our state is willing to take care of itself. 

“Business executives rank access to and condition of highways as one of the top factors in making site location decisions,” Rothwell said. “If we want to protect the jobs we have and grow new jobs, we need to fix our roads and bridges. Today was a major step in the right direction.” 

Providing a long-term solution for our roads also eliminates the need to use scarce general fund dollars. 

“For the past several years, general fund dollars were used to plug the hole in road and bridge funding. We can’t sustain that,” Rothwell said. “Those dollars should be prioritized for our other urgent need—growing our workforce, which includes worker training and making college more affordable. Today’s Senate action will also make us stronger in those areas.” 


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Charting the Course to Michigan’s Future

CEO Summit Highlights Growth & Progress, Pushes for Aggressive Strategy that Leverages the State’s Competitive Strengths 

DETROIT, Mich. November 13, 2014—An audience of 400+ business, nonprofit and community leaders, and policymakers gathered today at the Westin Book Cadillac to take stock of Michigan’s economic transformation to date and rally around strategies for moving Michigan forward. Headlined by XPRIZE Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis and McKinsey & Co. Director Jonathan Woetzel, the event emphasized the need for aggressive action to compete in today’s highly competitive economy. 

“The pace of change in business has rapidly increased,” said Jeff Fettig, Chairman and CEO of the Whirlpool Corporation and Chair of Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), which hosted today’s event. “You have to be first in the market or better than everyone else.  Industry leaders must constantly be reinventing themselves if they are to stay ahead of the curve and Michigan must too.” 

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BLM & MEDC: Suppliers Needed for Michigan Matchmaking Supplier Summit

LANSING, Mich. –Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM) and MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect office are partnering on an invitation-only supplier summit to be held on October 8 at the Lansing Center. The goal of the event is to help businesses and universities identify Michigan-based suppliers to meet their procurement needs.

The summit will feature purchasing representatives and subject matter experts from some of the largest and most influential businesses and universities in Michigan, all of which are interested in keeping their supply chains local.

“Some of the state’s largest companies have identified their future supply needs and this event is designed to help them find Michigan-based partners capable of delivering crucial resources,” said Doug Rothwell, BLM President and CEO. “This is a great strategy for improving Michigan’s economy and growing jobs and income.  Through this summit, we hope to see some amazing partnerships take hold and flourish.”

“This matchmaking summit, with its diverse range of more than 350 procurement opportunities, will connect Michigan suppliers with some of the state’s largest companies,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “We commend Business Leaders for Michigan for partnering on this event and for its commitment to engaging with veteran-, minority- and women-owned enterprises, as well as all Michigan suppliers.”

“Boosting local supplier partnerships is key to Michigan’s continued economic growth,” Rothwell said.  He encouraged Michigan suppliers interested in attending to complete the online application and identify their qualifications based on the needs of participating businesses and universities. The priority deadline to apply is September 5, 2014. The online application and a listing of the services and products needed can be found at:

Each application will be reviewed and invitations will be sent to those companies that are the best fit for the specific opportunities. Participating businesses and universities include: 

  • Absopure Water Company
  • Amway
  • Barton Malow Company
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Champion Foods
  • Comerica Bank
  • Consumers Energy
  • Detroit Manufacturing Systems
  • Detroit Tigers, Inc.
  • Domino's Pizza, Inc.
  • DTE Energy
  • Fifth Third Bank
  • FirstMerit-Michigan
  • Flagstar Bank
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Google, Inc.
  • Gordon Food Service, Inc.
  • Haworth, Inc.
  • Herman Miller, Inc.
  • Huntington Bank
  • La-Z-Boy Incorporated
  • Masco Corporation
  • McKinley, Inc.
  • Meijer, Inc.
  • Michigan State University
  • MotorCity Casino Hotel
  • MSX International
  • Olympia Development
  • Olympia Entertainment
  • Perrigo Company
  • PNC Financial Services Group
  • Roush Enterprises, Inc.
  • Rush Trucking Corporation
  • Steelcase Inc.
  • The Bartech Group, Inc.
  • University of Michigan
  • Walbridge
  • Wayne State University


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About Business Leaders for Michigan:

Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy. The organization is composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities.  Our members drive over 25% of the state’s economy, provide over 325,000 direct and 820,000 indirect jobs in Michigan, generate over $1 trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly one half of all Michigan public university students. Find out more at:

About Pure Michigan Business Connect:

Launched in 2011, Pure Michigan Business Connect is a public-private alliance of the MEDC, state agencies and major Michigan companies and organizations that connects in-state companies to business resources. Companies can find new ways to raise capital, get access to professional business services at little or no cost, connect with each other through a new business-to-business network, and identify potential supplier opportunities, while developing resources to improve their supply chains. Find out more at www.

Download the press release. 


Business Leaders for Michigan Takes "Michigan Ambassador Program" to Washington D.C. 

Top corporate CEOs, joined by Governor Snyder, meet national  executives with strong Michigan ties

Washington D.C., July 31, 2014 — Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state's business roundtable, today brought leading corporate executives to Washington D.C. to meet with Michigan “alumni” to talk about Michigan’s reestablished position as a leading location for business development and expansion.  Michigan Governor Rick Snyder joined executives in emphasizing the state’s progress on key factors that lead to economic expansion.     

“In just a few short years, Michigan has transformed its business climate,” said Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders for Michigan President and CEO. “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 and talent production and Michigan’s per capita GDP, per capita income and employment have all grown faster than the national average.”

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Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Legislature’s action on FY 2015 University Budget

Provides most significant investment in higher education in over a decade, helps make college affordable

DETROIT, Mich. June 11, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM), the state’s business roundtable, strongly applauded today final passage of the Fiscal Year 2015 budget for the state’s public universities. 

The budget provides a 5.9% increase for Michigan’s 15 public universities. Half of the funding is based on performance measures that reward schools for producing graduates to fill Michigan jobs and to control costs and increase affordability for Michigan students. In addition the budget provides a 5.9% increase for state programs to help students at private colleges pay for their tuition. 

Doug Rothwell, BLM President & CEO, explained the importance of the action, “Increasing funding for our public universities and tying that funding to affordability and performance has been a foundation of our Michigan Turnaround Plan and is critical to making Michigan a top ten state for jobs, personal income, and a healthy economy. In the next 10 years and beyond, Michigan will need more workers with education and training beyond high school to fill job demand. This budget will help make college more affordable so that Michigan students can get the skills necessary to fill those jobs.” 

Mr. Rothwell praised the Governor and legislative leaders for adopting a budget that marks the most significant investment in higher education in a decade. “As Michigan has begun to turn around and its economic condition has improved, Governor Snyder has made reinvesting in higher education a priority. In the legislature, Senator Tonya Schuitmaker and Representative Al Pscholka have been staunch advocates for increasing state support and making college more affordable for Michigan families. They all deserve tremendous credit for reversing a decade-long trend of disinvestment in one of our state’s most important resources.” 

“We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Snyder, our legislative leaders, and our state universities to produce the graduates we need and to make college even more affordable.”



Renaissance Venture Capital Fund Brings More Capital to Michigan Through Investment in River Cities Capital Funds

ANN ARBOR, Mich., June 4, 2014  – Renaissance Venture Capital Fund (RVCF), the venture capital fund-of-funds created by some of Michigan’s largest organizations, announced today that it has invested in River Cities Capital Funds, a growth equity firm investing in healthcare and IT companies. 

“In addition to investing in the strongest Michigan-based venture capital funds, a goal of the Renaissance Venture Capital Fund is to attract leading national venture capital funds to become active in Michigan,” said Chris Rizik, CEO of the Fund. “RVCF is pleased to invest in River Cities Capital, as their skills complement our region’s growing success in creating innovative companies. River Cities Capital is a major growth equity investor and has a sterling reputation for supporting companies in healthcare and IT.”

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Business Leaders for Michigan Applauds Senate’s Action to Help Detroit exit from Bankruptcy

DETROIT, Mich. June 3, 2014 —Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, applauded today the passage of legislation in the Michigan Senate to facilitate Detroit’s exit from bankruptcy. 

The 9-bill package of legislation provides a significant contribution to the comprehensive financial restructuring plan for Detroit and the establishment of a financial oversight process to ensure the maintenance of sound fiscal practices that will improve city services. 

Doug Rothwell, President & CEO, applauded the passage, “This package will help continue the momentum, progress and cooperation building in Detroit by helping the city get through the largest municipal bankruptcy in history in sound fiscal condition. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville and Senator Gretchen Whitmer provided tremendous leadership in securing passage of this important legislation. ”

Rothwell further explained, “Detroit is critical to Michigan’s turnaround. This legislation allows for meaningful and positive change to occur in our state's largest city. When it comes to Michigan’s turnaround, we are all Detroiters now.” 

About Business Leaders for Michigan:

Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for job, economic and personal income growth. The organization is composed exclusively of the chairpersons, chief executive officers, or most senior executives of Michigan's largest companies and universities.  Our members drive over 25% of the state’s economy, provide over 325,000 direct and 820,000 indirect jobs in Michigan, generate over $1 Trillion in annual revenue and serve nearly one half of all Michigan public university students. Find out more at: 


Download the statement. 


Business Leaders for Michigan endorses Rick Snyder for Governor

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich., May 29, 2014 – Today, the Business Leaders for Michigan’s Political Action Committee (PAC) announced its unanimous endorsement of Governor Rick Snyder in Michigan’s gubernatorial election in November. 

“Confidence is high from the business community that under the Governor’s leadership that Michigan is on the right path for a full recovery,” said Michael J. Jandernoa, Director, Perrigo and BLM PAC Co-Chair.  “The state is clearly turning around. Michigan’s fiscal house is in order, state long-term debt has been reduced, the burdensome Michigan Business Tax has been eliminated and our state is much more competitive.  The Governor has prioritized state investments in areas that will most help our economy grow, such as preschool education and higher education.” 

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