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 - 1 Episode 22

Dr. Weisong Shi, Associate Dean & Professor of Computer Science

A peek into the future. Dr. Shi demystifies connected and autonomous vehicles, edge computing and wireless health wearables including how and why all of these will affect you sooner than you think.

Dr. Weisong Shi is a professor of computer science and Associate Dean for the College of Engineering, at Wayne State University. He has published books and multiple other publications and has more than 3,000 cited references. Join him and Host Ed Clemente to learn about the Mobile and Internet SysTems Laboratory (MIST) and Connected and Autonomous dRiving Laboratory (CAR) at WSU. They also discuss the expanding world of quantum computing, edge computing, cloud computing and their differences as well as the future of connectivity, autonomous vehicles, LIDAR, cybersecurity and potential career paths in these areas, as well as wireless health and wearables.

Season - 1 Episode 21

Dr. Steve Melnyk, Professor Supply Chain Technology, Michigan State University

What do these hot issues of supply chain, logistics, cybersecurity, blockchain and many other moving parts have in common? Professor Dr. Steven Melnyk.

Dr. Steven Melnyk is a Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Management, Broad College of Business, at Michigan State University. He has co-authored 20 books, and over 90 refereed journal articles. Join him and Host Ed Clemente and learn about the difference between supply chain and logistics, how cybersecurity and supply chain are linked, and how there needs to be more than just blockchain to prevent hacking.

You will also learn how Amazon has capitalized on consumer driven data to become an expert in the field of supply chain, and how China is changing the world in future distribution paths. Learn why university research is critical for strategic planning for the U.S. and in career opportunities for individuals. Also, how does the automotive industry change with a new ecosystem of supply chain and other trends?

Season - 1 Episode 17

Jenelle Jagmin, Director, Michigan Craft Beverage Council and Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Come discover the Beverage Culture in Michigan, with over 500 Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries.

Representing the tasting worlds of wine, beer, distilleries and ciders, join Jenelle Jagmin of the Michigan Craft Beverage Council, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and Host Ed Clemente and learn about Michigan’s unique business ecosystem of craft beverages. Learn why Michigan's climate is so conducive to growth of the industry and the supply chain of products. Find out some of the numbers and geography of where all these unique businesses are located throughout the state, and their growing trends. Learn more about Michigan's growing hot spot sector, agritourism.

Season - 1 Episode 16

Dr. Stephen Rapundalo, President and CEO, MichBio

10 reasons you should be talking about MichBio; everything from wearables to health care, pharmaceuticals to ag bio and medical devices, and much more around the state of Michigan.

Dr. Stephen Rapundalo is President and CEO of MichBio, Michigan's official bio-industry association serving the pharmaceutical, medical device, ag-bio, R&D, health IT, and life science logistics sectors in the state. Join Dr. Rapundalo and host Ed Clemente as they discuss the wide array of the membership and sectors in these ever-growing fields for future bio industry areas and career guideposts. Dr. Rapundalo will be our guide across the state as he empirically shows that this organization is in every corner of Michigan and the sectors are ingrained into our economy. Discover how recent world events have been affected by what happens here in Michigan especially involving Pfizer, and the rich history of pharmaceuticals in the state.

Season - 1 Episode 15

Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, Vice President for Research, University of Michigan

VP Dr. Cunningham walks us through life sciences, mobility, Tech Transfer and much more at the nation’s largest public research university.

With a mission and responsibility as the nation's largest public research university, the University of Michigan Office of Research (UMOR) aims to catalyze, support and safeguard U-M research, with the bigger vision for research to serve the world. Join Dr. Cunningham as she walks us through the wide range of research that falls under her department ranging from animal care to Tech Transfer. She helps explain what Mcity and mobility research is doing for the future, as well the vast life sciences research. She also dispenses some real sound advice for future talent and how she and her department navigated Covid-19, for both operations and research.

Season - 1 Episode 9

Eric Frederick, Vice President of Community Affairs, Connected Nation Michigan

What do global nomads, the digital divide, Starlink & health care have in common? Connected Nation Michigan ties them all together

Executive Director, Connected Nation Michigan Eric Fredrick takes us into the exciting new world economy of how we will be connected for many of our daily activities in the near future. He explains how in the last year this industry has accelerated, and how digital connections impact us all. He discusses the highlights of the growing glossary of connectivity and how we build this out to rural and urban settings alike. Learn a little bit about Digital Nomads, telemedicine, Starlink, broadband, business & workforce opportunities and many other interesting topics.

Season - 1 Episode 5

Keona Cowan, Executive Vice President, Invest Detroit

A discussion about community-based lender “Invest Detroit” and their support of small business owners and developers of color.

The Michigan Opportunity had the pleasure of having a passionate discussion with Keona Cowans, Executive Vice President for Invest Detroit. Invest Detroit is a mission-driven lender, investor, and partner that supports business and real estate projects that will assist economic growth in Detroit and the region. Invest Detroit’s mission is to work for all Detroiters for an improved quality of life – inclusive housing, resourceful and walkable neighborhoods, and to provide equitable opportunities for jobs and business growth.

Ms. Cowans walks us down the many avenues of how the city weathered COVID-19 challenges, as well as the organizations many partners and stakeholders, the challenges of underserved communities and many other topics.

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.