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 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 2

Danny Ellis, CEO, SkySpecs

Michigan-based SkySpecs achieves a global reach through office that span 6 continents with Danny Ellis at the helm. A trailblazer in the realm of wind energy technology, SkySpecs has redefined the landscape of renewable energy asset management, providing tailored technologies and services that elevate industry standards in productivity, efficiency, and returns.

Season - 4 Episode 1

Xinyu Wu, Director of Visiting International Professional Program

Listen to Xinyu Wu, Director of Visiting International Professional Program; Director of the Office of China Program; and Executive Director of Michigan Council of Citizen Diplomacy, as she discusses the unique Visiting International Professional Program through Michigan State University. With 315 international participants from 58 countries and five continents and offers programs in more than 10 different U.S. cities, this program provides cutting-edge professional training and exchange programs for international organizations and professionals.

Season - 3 Episode 54

Howard N. Handler, President, 313 Presents

Inspired by the soul of Detroit, 313 Presents produces more than 350 concerts, theatrical productions, sporting events and family shows a year. Howard N. Handler, President of 313 Presents, is responsible for leading the company’s vision and strategy as well as guiding operations, partnerships and long-term growth. Handler is an entertainment and sports industry innovator with a track record of success across a range of world class companies.

Season - 3 Episode 50

Mark Kramer, President and CEO, SME

Unlocking the Earth's Secrets: Mark Kramer, President and CEO of SME, describes some unique and iconic projects, as well as the infrastructure under our feet. Geotechnical Engineering and Environmental Engineering related, SME Engineering has over 50 years of excellence behind iconic projects from Notre Dame Stadium to clean energy initiatives, the Gordie Howe Bridge and more.

Season - 3 Episode 49

Eddie Gillis, Operations Manager at Third Man Records

Listen to Eddie Gillis, Operations Manager at Third Man Records - a vinyl manufacturing studio in Detroit - discuss the studio's success and his life growing up in SW Detroit. Launched by Jack White in Detroit in 2001, the Detroit location has opened a record and novelties lounge, mastering studio, and Third Man Pressing manufacturing facility. Hear how Third Man became an innovator in the world of vinyl records and a boundary pusher in the world of recorded music.

Season - 3 Episode 48

Voices of Michiganders Across the State

The Voices storytelling initiative aims to share perspectives of Michiganders across all 83 counties. Join MEDC's CEO Quentin Messer and guests Nyshell Lawrence/Eaton, Brandee Cooke-Brown/Genesee, Nancie Oxley/Van Buren, and Benjamin Bartz/Gogebic as they share their compelling stories showcasing what it’s like to live and work in Michigan.

Season - 3 Episode 45

Colin Bird, Consul General for Canada in Detroit

Hear Colin Bird, Consul General for Canada in Detroit, discuss Michigan and Ontario’s trade relationship, the busiest between any Canadian province and U.S. state, supporting thousands of jobs on either side. Last year, total trade between Michigan and Ontario was valued at $80.6 billion (CDN), with imports from Michigan totaling $31.3 billion (CDN), and approximately 22% of North America’s automotive output through both Michigan and Ontario’s highly integrated automotive supply chain.

Season - 3 Episode 44

Duc Abrahamson, Executive Director, Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce

The Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce (APACC) works to facilitate business relationships among Asian and U.S. based companies and to promote the economic advancement of Asian Pacific Americans. Join APACC Executive Director, Duc Abrahamson, as she explains the vision of her organization, her path to this position, and the compelling story on how she came to Michigan.

Season - 3 Episode 43

Terri Fitzpatrick, Executive Vice President, Chief Real Estate and Global Attraction Officer, MEDC

Terri Fitzpatrick, a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, leads the MEDC’s Office of Tribal Business Development. Fitzpatrick is also the chief real estate and global attraction officer for the state’s site readiness and global attraction efforts, helping businesses move to and expand in Michigan. Those two career responsibilities overlap in their focus on building community by diversifying and increasing economic opportunity. Listen as Fitzpatrick explains the economic relationships that Tribes have with Michigan and how their goals align to bring prosperity to every corner of the state.

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.