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 15

Mackinac Policy Conference 2024 Part 1: Gordie Howe Bridge, U of M, MSU, Lt. Governor and much more

Join our host Ed Clemente for a special Michigan Opportunity Podcast live from the Mackinac Policy Conference, hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber. Hear from our very interesting guests including Jeff Donofrio, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan; Adrian Lewis, CEO of Forgotten Harvest; CEO Charl van Niekerk & Chief Relations Officer Heather Grondin, of the WDBA-APWD-Windsor Detroit Bridge Authority; President Santa Ono of University of Michigan & President Kevin Guskiewicz of Michigan State University; Maureen Donohue Krauss, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Partnership; Jazmine Danci, Economic Development Administrator for the Downriver Community Conference - MI Works Community Conference; & Michigan’s Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II.

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 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 - 3 Episode 53

Katie MacIntosh, President and Founder Mac Worldwide

Join our high-energy guest Katie Macintosh, Founder of Mac Worldwide and a Detroit Homecoming Hollywood boomerang entrepreneur, as she explains her fascinating career in Hollywood and around the world in the genre of true docuseries and reality television shows. As a highly sought-after development partner, she has teamed up with several renown producers and production companies to deliver original concepts and stimulating casts. She has served on several industry panels and is an active member of The Television Academy, The Academy Museum and Film Independent.

Season - 3 Episode 51

Empowering Innovation: Midwest's Edward Lowe Foundation Teams Up with MEDC in a Dynamic Partnership to Fuel Small Business Growth

Dan Wyant, Chairman and President at Edward Lowe Foundation, and Rodney Parkkonen, Small Business Consultant at MEDC, discuss their unique and dynamic partnership that assists small businesses to thrive in Michigan. Dan also has experience with many previous leadership roles in state government and policy.

Season - 3 Episode 32

Hilary Doe, Chief Growth Officer, State of Michigan

Hear from Hilary Doe, Michigan’s first Chief Growth Officer—and first in the country, on what the Growing Michigan Together Council is tasked with and the members that make up the Council. Hilary leads the state’s efforts to grow Michigan’s population, boost economy, and reputation as the best place to live, work, raise a family, and start a business. With a population goal for 2050, the council will look at ways to successfully attract and retain talent, improve preK-12 educational outcomes, long-term funding solutions for higher education, and develop strategies for upgrading and modernizing our transportation and water infrastructure, including developing long-term, sustainable funding solutions.

Season - 3 Episode 27

Trista Van Tine, Co-founder & Executive Director, Michigan Founder Fund

Listen to Trista Van Tine, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Michigan Founders Fund. This nonprofit network of high-growth entrepreneurs in Michigan develops unique programming to help with venture success, community needs, and ensuring portions of success contribute to the prosperity of Michigan. Since 2020, she created the state's first Social Impact Startup Pitch Competition, first Founders Retreat for early-stage companies, and the first Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Internship Program to pair underrepresented college students with Michigan-based tech companies and VCs.

Season - 3 Episode 26

Diana Callaghan, Managing Director, Endeavor

Diana Callaghan, Managing Director of Endeavor, leads the organization's Great Lakes efforts. Founded in 1997, Endeavor promotes economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the growth of entrepreneurs leading high-performing companies with the most potential to create economic impact. Additionally, she and Ed discuss the University of Michigan alumni's global path to get to this key leadership position.

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.