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.


The Michigan Opportunity Podcast

Season - 2 Episode 29

Awenate Cobbina, CEO - Bedrock Manufacturing Company & Chair, MEDC Executive Committee

From pro-sports to presidents, to a legal career to wearable fashion, MEDC’s Executive Committee Chairman Awenate Cobbina has had an exciting and eclectic career.

Season - 2 Episode 28

Dr. Thomas Glasmacher, FRIB Laboratory Director (Facility for Rare Isotope Beams) - Michigan State University

What has 1,600 users, 620 employees, 124 colleges and universities, 52 countries, & 13 National Labs, all working under one Michigan State University facility? The FRIB.

Season - 2 Episode 27

Natalie King, Founder and Chief Executive Officer - Dunamis Clean Energy Partners, LLC

With over 150 employees throughout Michigan, Natalie King is changing the manufacturing face of electrification for vehicles and clean energy!

Season - 2 Episode 26

Raymond Boeman, Research Professor at Michigan State University, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), Scale-up Research Facility (SuRF)

This gem of an institute in Corktown, Detroit may be the future of manufacturing materials and composites, which can lead to a more sustainable future! 

Season - 2 Episode 25

Heather Lanier, Chief Operating Officer & Shareholder - NBS Commercial Interiors

The future of work. Heather Lanier of NBS Commercial Interiors, a Steelcase premier partner, explains how the hybrid workplace is now more of a “destination than a directive” with the assist of technology!

Season - 2 Episode 14

Anthony Garofali, Country Managing Director - Altair

Altair! Who knew a multinational information technology company was in our backyard? Apparently, companies around the world!

Come hear their story. Join Anthony Garofali, Country Managing Director for Altair, and host Ed Clemente as they discuss the diverse international technology company with its world headquarters here in Troy, Michigan. Altair provides software and cloud services for simulation, IoT, high performance computing (HPC), data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), for a large variety of fields such as automotive, rail, aerospace, health, energy, architecture, marine, and much more. Listen in to Anthony walks us through the complex but exciting industry he’s in.

Season - 1 Episode 52

Michelle Grinnell - MEDC Senior Vice-President & Host Ed Clemente, Senior Advisor for Trends and Development

The Michigan Opportunity Podcast is celebrating it’s one year anniversary! Join Michelle Grinnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for MEDC who puts Ed on the hot seat with a ‘year in review.’

Join Michelle Grinnell, MEDC Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications as she grills host Ed Clemente about the 50+ economic development guests over the last year. Though Ed has a very nontraditional background, it “uniquely” compliments MEDC’s The Michigan Opportunity Podcast. Learn the sage advice from the many economic development guests, especially in areas of their unique career paths, their elevator speeches, future trends and disrupters, career advice and what they like best about Pure Michigan. Listen to the many stories of the Michigan geographic ecosystems and trends observed over the year such as: variety small business, connectivity, mobility, talent, higher education, finance, Industry 4.0, digital nomads, supply/block chain, edge computing, international footprints, digital nomads, BIO R&D, infrastructure, CED and what Michigan could look like by 2050! And so much more!

Season - 1 Episode 44

Lisa Lunsford, Co-Founder and CEO of GS3 Global

Listen to a dynamic automotive manufacturing leader, with her hand on the “wheel” as to how the future of mobility is evolving!

Join Lisa Lunsford, co-founder and CEO of GS3 Global, for an energetic discussion with host Ed Clemente about mobility, engineering and leadership. Global Strategic Supply Solutions offers a variety of services including assembly, CNC bending, engineering, advanced manufacturing, as well as new services in development. Lisa is very committed to creating a better future for all, especially with her leadership. She is the Chairperson of Michauto, serves on the board for the Detroit Regional Chamber and is on the Wayne State University Mike Illitch School of Business Global Supply Chain Management Advisory Board. She is also part of the Winning Futures Advisory Board and spends time mentoring as well as many other activities. Lisa has unique perspective on mobility and the future!

Season - 1 Episode 43

James Weakley, President, Lake Carriers Association

Great Lakes Shipping, who knew? Learn all about the new Soo Locks, ice breaking, supply chain economy, 9/11, coast guard, Boat Nerds, and many other unique freshwater stories!

Join James Weakley, President Lake Carriers Association, as he has a conversation with our host and landlubber Ed Clemente about the critical economic role they play in Michigan, the Midwest and North America. The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway combine to form the longest deep-draft navigation system in the world, extending 2,300 miles into the North American heartland. Since 1880, Lake Carriers Association (LCA) has represented the U.S.-flag Great Lakes fleet, which today can annually move more than 90 million tons of cargo that are the foundation of American manufacturing, infrastructure, and power generation: iron ore, limestone, coal, cement, and other dry bulk materials such as grain and sand. Learn especially about how the Soo Locks expansion finally happened and what it means to the economy. Who are Boat Nerds anyway and where is the Great Lakes Maritime Academy?

Season - 1 Episode 41

Dr. Tarek Sobh, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost, Incoming LTU President

“If you are wondering what the future will be like for careers, take out your notebook and follow this discussion with the new incoming LTU President!”

Join Dr. Tarek Sobh, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Provost, and the incoming President for Lawrence Technological University and host Ed Clemente, for an innovative discussion on entrepreneurship, engineering, robotics, design, global fingerprints, and many other future trends and careers! LTU is recognized for its transformative STEM and Design education structures that develops leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset and global perspective. Find out about Dr. Sobh and his ‘boots on ground’ academic passion that led him on a path from Alexandria, Egypt to Michigan.

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.