The Michigan Opportunity

Through dynamic discussion, The Michigan Opportunity markets the state and promotes Michigan as a world-class business location. The podcast serves as a forward-thinking voice for Michigan as a conduit to global trends and applications in the new global economy.


This Just In:
The Michigan Opportunity Podcast Now Airing on WJR’s The Great Voice

The Michigan Opportunity Podcast

Season - 4 Episode 12

Paul Jones, CEO, ProsperUs Detroit

Hear Paul Jones as he discusses ProsperUs Detroit, a community organization that strives to help build equity, knowledge, and healthy communities in Detroit. The Training program teaches general business skills and offers individualized feedback. To date, there have been over 1,500 program graduates. Programs support small businesses with grant money for specific projects and to ensure funding is available to people who may not qualify for a traditional loan.

Season - 4 Episode 11

Jeanette Pierce, Founder & President, City Institute

Since 2005, City Institute has provided more than 150,000 locals and newcomers with tools to better equip residents and stakeholders in Detroit. Through private tours and learning journeys, Jeanette Pierce works with companies and organizations to help their teams have a deeper understanding and connection to the city. She shares that the only way to equitably engage in Detroit is to understand the bigger picture by connecting the dots between the city’s past and present.

Season - 4 Episode 10

Laurie A. Tannous, Cross-Border Attorney, Tannous & Associates Ltd.

Laurie A. Tannous is a Cross-Border Attorney and a renowned speaker. She provides public policy counsel to government officials and industry leaders on matters relating to business immigration law, public-private partnerships and economic development initiatives. As President of Canada United States Business Association (CUSBA), she works in cross border e-mobility, customs and trade. She is also closely associated with Farrow and the University of Windsor.

Season - 4 Episode 9

Tammy Carnrike, Chief Operating Officer, Detroit Regional Chamber

Tammy J. Carnrike is the Chief Operating Officer at the Detroit Regional Chamber, working with businesses in the 11-county Southeast Michigan Region. Hear Tammy discuss the chamber's nationally recognized Mackinac Policy Conference, and the statewide automotive and mobility cluster association, MICHauto, including a comprehensive education and talent strategy in the state.

Season - 4 Episode 8

Charles Elwood, Microsoft AI MVP | TEDx Speaker & SolisMatica

Charles Elwood's mission with SolisMatica is to harness the transformative power of AI to create inclusive tools that empower communication and foster an inclusive society. Recognized as one of only 16 Microsoft MVPs in AI and the sole recipient in Michigan, he brings a direct line to Microsoft's R&D team and with it strategic initiatives focused on enhancing talent attraction and retention within Michigan's post-secondary institutions.

Season - 4 Episode 7

Justine Johnson, Senior Vice President & Chief Mobility Officer, Office of Future Mobility and Electrification

As Senior Vice President & Chief Mobility Officer, Justine Johnson leads the state’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification in working across state government, academia and private industry to enhance Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including developing dynamic mobility and electrification policies and supporting the startup and scale up of emerging mobility technologies and businesses.

Season - 4 Episode 6

Jon Will, President and Founder, Michigan Fastener

Hear Jon Will share the story of how he and his family built the business, from garage to a successful family owned, innovative entrepreneurial asset to Michigan. Michigan Fastener truly embraces the methodology of Making it in Michigan. The company produces a wide variety of Michigan-made nails and fasteners out of there shop in North Branch.

Season - 4 Episode 5

Todd Brassard, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, and Dr. Meredith LaBeau, Chief Technology Officer, Calumet Electronics Corp.

Deep in Copper Country, advanced manufacturing company Calumet Electronics engineers and develops microchip circuit boards for a broad list of industries. Hear from Todd Brassard, Vice President/Chief Operations Officer, and Dr. Meredith LaBeau, Chief Technology Officer, about the company’s award-winning research, design, engineering, and manufacturing specializing in high-quality printed circuit boards.

Season - 4 Episode 4

Dr. E’Lois Thomas, President, Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL)

Listen to Dr. E’Lois Thomas, PHD, President of SEEL, LLC talk about the nationally ranked logistics solutions company that prioritizes innovation and efficiency, while playing a vital role in driving sustainable energy practices and advancing program effectiveness in the industry. SEEL is a nationally certified minority business enterprise (MBE) service-disabled, veteran-owned (DVBE) energy efficiency program implementation contractor and also a Top 20 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/Led companies in the country.

Season - 4 Episode 3

Joe Steele, Vice President, Communications and Legislative Affairs, LIFT

Hear from Joe Steele, Vice President of Communications and Legislative Affairs at LIFT, explain how this Detroit-based public-private partnership is designed to help develop and deploy advanced lightweight metal manufacturing technologies, as well as implement education and training programs to better prepare the workforce today and in the future.

About the Host: Ed Clemente

Ed Clemente joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2020 as the Senior Advisor for Trends and Development.

From 2012-2020, Clemente served as a two-term governor appointed Hearing Commissioner for the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). Executing over 7,000 judicial Orders/Decisions, over the tenure of service. Prior joining the MLCC, Clemente launched Michigan’s Energy Innovation Business Council (EIBC) establishing it as 501c3 and 501c6 entity and serving as its first President.

Ed Clemente was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2004 representing parts of southern Wayne County. During his three terms in the State House (2004-2010) he led task forces on electric vehicles, biosciences, film industry, Brownfield restoration, economic development, quality of life and advanced energy. Before his tenure as a public official, Clemente held several leadership roles at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce, including President and Director Economic and Business Development. He also previously chaired the Economic Development Committee of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and was elected as a Trustee for Wayne County Community College District, serving four terms.

Clemente has earned degrees from Ferris State, Michigan State University and Sienna Heights Universities. Clemente was awarded with a prestigious fellowship to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and The National Judicial College for Administrative Law. He graduated from several political leadership development programs, including Leadership Detroit, Michigan Political Leadership Program, and Leadership 21. He is a previous small business owner and has taught at Northwood University. Additionally, he hosts a “Critical Conversations” podcast and is a member of the Workforce Advisors for Wayne County Community College. Ed serves on the Board of Directors for Global Ties Detroit and the Motor Cities National Heritage Area. An avid traveler, Ed has visited more than 80 countries and territories, 150+ UNESCO World Heritage sites, many to play rugby tournaments, others for professional exchange and some for just intellectual curiosity.

The Michigan Opportunity is brought to you by Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). In collaboration with more than 100 economic development partners, MEDC markets Michigan as the place to do business, assists businesses in their growth strategies and fosters the growth of vibrant communities across the state.