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 52

Faris Alami, Founder & CEO of International Strategic Management

Join Faris Alami as he discusses his unique background and career with ISM, Inc., while diving into their five practice areas: entrepreneurship, global leadership, community, technology, and education (with the goal of cultivating the next generation of culturally diverse global leaders and entrepreneurs).

Season - 2 Episode 51

Quentin Messer Jr., Chief Executive & Economic Competitiveness Officer at Michigan Economic Development Corporation, President and Chair - Michigan Strategic Fund

Hear Quentin L. Messer Jr., CEO of MEDC discuss the MEDC and state of Michigan’s successes in the past year and what might be on the horizon from semiconductors to the transition to EVs. Plus, he asks our host, Ed Clemente, about the interesting discussions he's had along the way to his 100th guest.

Season - 2 Episode 40

Amy O-Leary, Executive Director – Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) & President, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC)

Join in listening to Amy O’Leary, Executive Director of Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and President of Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, as she joins host Ed Clemente to discuss the big-ticket items that effect all the businesses, citizens, and environment of the region. 

Season - 2 Episode 35

James McBryde, President & CEO – Middle Michigan Development Corporation

Learn with Jim McBryde about the economic footprint of the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, CMU, Yoplait Yogurt, and other important businesses in the 4 county stretch of the Middle Michigan Development Corporation. Also hear about Jim’s connection with Star Wars!

Season - 2 Episode 31

Roderick A. Hardamon, CEO & Chief Strategist of URGE Imprint & CEO, URGE Development Group

With a career of global experience with M&A and the fast-paced world of Wall Street, Rod felt a calling or an “Urge” to return to Michigan and make a difference in his hometown of Detroit through real estate and placekeeping.

Season - 2 Episode 15

Special Episode from Mackinac Policy Conference - Day 1

Join our host Ed Clemente for a special Michigan Opportunity Podcast live from Mackinac Policy Conference, hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber, and hear from five very interesting guests. Our special edition podcast guests range from higher education, economic development organizations, health care, talent & workforce development and an International Ambassador. Guests include Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, President of Oakland University; Lucius Vassar, Corporate Counsel and Executive Vice President of Cinnaire, Michelle Johnson Tidjani, Esq., Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Henry Ford Health; Cindy Pasky, Founder, President and CEO, Strategic Staffing Solutions; and a special guest, former U.S. Lithuanian Ambassador, Zygimantas Pavilionis.

Season - 2 Episode 12

Martha MacFarlane-Faes, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office

Learn the 3 key points about the future of our Michigan history and preservation from our resident expert at The State Historic Preservation Office, and how it could help in the hunt for knowledge jobs!

Join our guest Martha MacFarlane-Faes, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) as she discusses with our host Ed Clemente the complicated but rewarding value of preservation and how it could be a valuable tool to attract and retain talent to the state. She currently oversees SHPO’s community and economic development programs, including archaeology, local historic districts, planning, survey, historic preservation tax credits, and Certified Local Governments. Also learn about Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation; Michigan Historic Preservation Network, Annual Statewide Preservation Conference and National Preservation Month. Having lived in Silicon Valley, New England and Chicago, Martha is happy to have made Michigan her home.

Season - 2 Episode 3

Frank Muller, CEO - Exlterra

How do you fix Chernobyl? Exlterra has discovered the answer, plus additional sustainable ways to improve brownfield sites around the world!

Join Frank Muller, CEO of Exlterra, and host Ed Clemente and learn how Michigan-based Exlterra is remediating the brownfield world through their patented process. Discover how they develop, produce and commercialize sustainable technological solutions applied to the environment. They have made great progress at the Chernobyl radioactive site, and have operations in Poland, Japan and Switzerland, with the technology made right here in Michigan. Also learn about the interesting path co-founder and Polish-born U.S. inventor Andrew Niemczyk, CTO took to get to Michigan and America. Plus, learn about what its like to be the Michigan Honorary Consul for the Country of Switzerland

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 29

Naheed Huq of Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) and Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC)

How SEMCOG & MAC will change the face of southeast Michigan for Shared Prosperity, Economic Development and expose its New Future!

Join Naheed Huq and host Ed Clemente as they discuss a wide variety of topics from what are SEMCOG and MAC and what they’re doing to support communities and workforce development in southeast Michigan. They discuss the challenges facing talent training, retention and attraction, digital divide, and other workforce issues, including how local governments are handling disruption and change in the new economy. Also, a discussion about Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and how and why it was created. They touch on the region’s shared prosperity for a resilient economy and how it is being implemented. Additionally, how they are approaching the New Future of Southeast Michigan series. Listen in to hear all of the work going into building a more resilient, diverse, and equitable economy in the state’s seven-county southeast region.

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.