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 - 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 5

Ray Maczik, The Standing Company

Listen to Ray Maczik, Owner of The Standing Company, discuss their unique customized standing wheelchairs, how he personally delivers them to customers around the country, and his close partnership with the Veterans Administration. Also learn how Pure Michigan Business Connect identified a Michigan-based supplier of chromoly steel and facilitated a connection with the company to Boyer Steel in Warren.

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 46

Shawn Pomaville-Size, Executive Director, MotorCities National Heritage Area

Hear from our guest Shawn Pomaville-Size, Executive Director, MotorCities National Heritage Area, as she explores the fascinating world of a US Heritage Area discusses the nonprofit's affiliation with the National Park Service and more. 

Season - 2 Episode 45

Jeff Thompson, Partner/Product Design Engineer and co-founder, Shaggy's Copper Country Skis

Listen to Jeff Thompson, Co-Founder of Shaggy's Copper Country Skis, and host Ed Clemente, explore the unique ski manufacturer and how the Thompson family keeps their heritage alive in Boyne City, Michigan. 

Season - 2 Episode 44

Gina Thorsen CEO and Co-Owner, Jacquart Fabric Products, home of Stormy Kromer

Join Gina Thorsen CEO and Co-Owner, Jacquart Fabric Products, home of Stormy Kromer hats, and host Ed Clemente, as they discuss this fascinating unique manufacturing and outdoor recreation industry that makes much more than hats. 

Season - 2 Episode 42

Brad Garmon, Director, Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office

Join our guest Brad Garmon, Senior Strategic Advisor & Executive Advisor for the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office as he and Ed discuss the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry.

Season - 2 Episode 37

Josh Freeney, Partner YETi CGI, Grand Rapids Public Museum

YETi, not the mythologic Himalayan creature, but a global CGI company based in Grand Rapids. Yeti is active with recruiting talent to Michigan and reimagining education with the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Season - 2 Episode 29

Awenate Cobbina, CEO - Bedrock Manufacturing Company & Chair, MEDC Executive Committee

From pro-sports to presidents, to a legal career to wearable fashion, MEDC’s Executive Committee Chairman Awenate Cobbina has had an exciting and eclectic career.

Season - 2 Episode 22

Dale A. Robertson, President and CEO – Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is changing the way people experience education. As the only XQ Super School in the Midwest, the museum is setting the pace to move and blend the future of knowledge jobs and sense of place.

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.