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 - 3 Episode 21

Adam Tomasek, Supervisory Division Chief in the Private Sector Engagement Hub of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Adam Tomasek, supervisory division chief in the Private Sector Engagement Hub of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), disscusses how he helps carry on USAID’s long history of working with the private sector on a broad range of development priorities around the world. As a U of M alumni, he holds experience with the World Wildlife Fund, U.N., World Bank, World Economic Forum, Peace Corps, and more.

Season - 3 Episode 20

Roberta Dall’Olio, Director of EURADA

Hear Roberta Dall’Olio, Director of the European Association of Development Agencies (EURADA) as she discusses how the association facilitates the cooperation among regional economic development practitioners, is tasked with building out and advocating for European Union projects and more. Roberta has established strong ties with the International Economic Development Council alongside Michigan Native Nathan Ohle.

Season - 3 Episode 19

Richard Florida, Renowned Urbanist and Author

After recently speaking at the Mackinac Policy Conference, world leading urbanist, Richard Florida, discuss his 3 Pillars of Focus: Tech, Talent, and Place. He is the international best-selling author of “The Rise of the Creative Class” and the founder of the Creative Class Group. He also advises companies such as BMW, Starwood Hotels, Facebook, Bloomberg, Microsoft and others.

Season - 3 Episode 18

Special Episode: Mackinac Policy Conference 2023 Day 2

Join host Ed Clemente for a special The Michigan Opportunity Podcast live from Mackinac Island for day two of the Mackinac Policy Conference. Hear from Michelle Grinnell, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Maureen Donahue Krauss, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Partnership. Ed also chats with Lisa Lunsford, CEO of GS3 and Glenn Stevens, Executive Director of MICHAuto and VP Automotive & Mobility Initiative, as well as Jennifer Hayes, Senior VP Operations & Policy, at Invest Detroit, Linzie Venegas, President, The Ideal Group and Michele Economou Ureste, Executive Director, Workforce Intelligence Network.

Season - 3 Episode 17

Special Episode: Mackinac Policy Conference 2023 Day 1

Join host Ed Clemente for a special The Michigan Opportunity Podcast live from Mackinac Island where the Mackinac Policy Conference. On this special edition podcast hear from guest Pete Pellerito, Senior Public Affairs Advisor, Federal/State, Economic Development & University Relations for Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) as he discusses tech transfer, reshoring manufacturers to the US, BIO startups and more. Then Brad Williams, Vice President of Government Relations at the Detroit Regional Chamber discusses the mission and history of the Mackinac Policy Conference, and overview of all of the guests and keynote speakers. Kevin Johnson, President and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation chats about the initiatives the city of Detroit is making to develop a livable infrastructure for the right balance for quality of life for those who live, work and play in Detroit. Lastly, hear Teresa Woodruff President, Michigan State University discuss her view of the mission of the university, the quality of the education MSU students receive, the FRIB, MSU Extension and much more.

Season - 3 Episode 16

Herb Drayton, Executive Director at Goldman Sachs 10000 Small Businesses – Detroit

Guest Herb Drayton chats about the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses’ program, which gives participants valuable practical skills in topics such as negotiation, marketing, and more. As well as receive tools and professional support to develop strategic growth plans, taking small businesses to the next level.

Season - 3 Episode 14

Lisa Katz, Sr. Program Officer, Economic Vitality & Entrepreneurship, William Davidson Foundation

Hear from Lisa Katz as she discuss the William Davidson Foundation, a philanthropic Michigan organization. Lisa has a very qualified background to be in this field looking into the future for private sector growth. As an entrepreneur and investor, Bill Davidson, the Foundation’s namesake, helped boost local job creation and contributed to a thriving and resilient economy in the community where he lived and worked.

Season - 3 Episode 13

Dr. Neil Hawkins, President, Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation

Hear Dr. Neil C. Hawkins of the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation discuss a broad range of topics around environmental, social and governance (ESG). As a global expert in sustainability practices and policy, he talks the Great Lakes ecosystem, CFR, Bloomberg, the Olympics, and more.

Season - 3 Episode 12

Special Edition: Brian Calley, President & CEO, Small Business Association of Michigan

In this special edition join Brian Calley of Small Business Association of Michigan, as he discusses how important small businesses are to help communities and drive the state’s economy. As a former Michigan Lt. Governor, he shares about his career and helping small businesses and why Michigan Small Business Week is so important to the backbone of our economy.

Season - 3 Episode 11

Matt Johnson, Manager of ESG and External Affairs, Eagle Mine

Join Matt Johnson as he discusses the world renowned Eagle Mine, located in the Upper Peninsula. Learn how the world of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) is a growing effort; from countries and governments around the world visiting the remote mine, to how it is leading the way to find precious metals for battery manufacturing and electric vehicles.

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.