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.


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The Michigan Opportunity Podcast Now Airing on WJR’s The Great Voice

The Michigan Opportunity Podcast

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 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 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.

Season - 3 Episode 46

Thomas Schuelke, President of Fraunhofer USA Inc.

Listen to Thomas Schuelke, MSU professor and President of Fraunhofer USA, explain how this unique global organization is making business innovation better in the state and around the world. Headquartered in Michigan, Fraunhofer USA, Inc. is an R&D organization in the high-tech problem-solving business, utilizing world class scientific and engineering expertise to respond to technical problems. From designing and developing prototypes to developing and proofing the manufacturing processes, they work to bridge the gap between basic research and new market developments all along the technology readiness scale.

Season - 3 Episode 41

Ingrid Tighe, President of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center

Ingrid Tighe, President of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), has an impressive background and deep understanding of the manufacturing industry in Michigan. Her journey from being a veteran to becoming the president of MMTC showcases her dedication and expertise in this field. Hear Ingrid discuss MMTC's approach of providing comprehensive consulting services and classes to help clients train and develop their employees and management in the market.

Season - 3 Episode 33

Cynthia Hutchinson, CEO, U.S. Center of Advanced Manufacturing (USCAM)

Listen to Cynthia Hutchinson, CEO, U.S. Center of Advanced Manufacturing (USCAM) as she explains the mission and vision of the USCAM and its international impact. The USCAM drives state, regional and national initiatives that accelerate and strengthen advanced manufacturing in the U.S., while helping to inform the global manufacturing agenda. She and host Ed Clemente also discuss her long stint working and living at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland.

Season - 3 Episode 30

Paul Bussey, Vice President Operations of Grand Traverse Engineering and Construction, Anton Matye, President at Bay Shore Steel Works, LLC and Tom Durkee, Director Tribal Business Development at MEDC

Listen to our three guests as they discuss their unique relationship between the tribes, the MEDC and the collaboration to ensure economic growth and prosperity through our tribal partners, regions across the state, and the communities in which they support, live, and thrive.

Season - 3 Episode 25

John Walsh, President & CEO Michigan Manufacturers Association

Join John Walsh, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association as he discusses the manufacturing industry and the next generation of innovators driving Michigan into a future that will continue to shape our state’s economy, communities, businesses, and more. He also shares his unique career path from the legal world to advisor to the Governor and everything in between.

Season - 3 Episode 24

Steven Dyokas, Director of the U.S. APEC Host Secretariat within the U.S. Department of State

Steven Dyokas, Director of the U.S. APEC (Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation) Host Secretariat within the U.S. Department of State, discusses the historic visit to Detroit, and all the elements to this unique global organization. Hear how Michigan’s private, public, NGO, and higher education sectors are helping drive that agenda with mobility, manufacturing, international trade border crossings, energy transition, health, digitization, and much more.

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.