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 - 1 Episode 30

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II

Lt. Governor Gilchrist II mission to help leverage technology as a tool to help those in need and help close the Digital Divide.

Join Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II and host Ed Clemente as they discuss his early passion for technology and at 16 years old starting a computer Lab in a Detroit Rec Center. This helped guide him to get UM degrees in Computer Science & Engineering. Which led him to Microsoft in Washington State and becoming a tech entrepreneur in the process. Also, some of his initiatives in our nation’s capital. Learn about his passion for helping those underserved communities and the imperative of the digital divide and how this was accelerated during the pandemic. A guest on our podcast, happened to have his very own, award-winning podcast as well.

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.

Season - 1 Episode 28

Damian Porcari, Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office

Find out who was the “Real McCoy,” the real world of patents and inventions and where the trends are heading.

The Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office (MWRO) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is located in Detroit serving Michigan and eight additional states. Their goal is to promote innovation and stimulate the economy by connecting entrepreneurs to government resources, supporting students and teachers through our STEM education programs — including professional development for teachers, gathering feedback from regional stakeholders, and recruiting diverse talent from the region. Join Damian Porcari and host Ed Clemente as he highlights the differences between a patent and a trademark, including international patents, his unique story, and how it led him to jobs with the U.S. Army and Ford Motor Company. We also get some history of the creation of the patent office and famous inventors, most importantly, Elijah McCoy. Along the way we also get some insights about future trends in patents and inventions.

Season - 1 Episode 27

Vicki Selva of Michigan Defense Center

The Michigan Defense Center: From Arsenal of Democracy to Arsenal of Innovation, Building a Good Offense!

Join Vicki Selva and host Ed Clemente as they navigate a course though Michigan’s rich historic relationships with the U.S. Defense Department in some of the state's core industries including manufacturing, mobility, aerospace and others. The Michigan Defense Center focuses on the support, protection and growth of Michigan’s defense and homeland security missions and the Michigan businesses that support them. The MDC acts as a liaison between the state and defense interests in the federal government, academia and the defense community and supporting organizations. Nearly 4,000 Michigan businesses, in every corner of Michigan are currently serving the defense industry and there’s room for more. Vicki highlights some of the companies already here as well as how emerging technologies from Michigan companies are the keystone of future growth in Michigan. She points out the opportunities and resources MEDC offers Michigan companies to assist them in contracting with the U.S. government and large companies, whether in cybersecurity, manufacturing, Industry 4.0, DARPA and others. If you're a veteran, there are opportunities for you at many levels for career or entrepreneurship too.

Season - 1 Episode 26

Heather Grondin of Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority

Building Bridges: The Future Between Canada & the United States, maybe thanks to “Mr. Hockey”

Join Heather Grondin and host Ed Clemente as they take a brief international trip (maybe by foot or bike soon!) through the history of this project, as well as all the complexities of building a cross border bridge in today’s modern world. Created in 2012, Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) is a not-for-profit Crown Corporation, which reports to Parliament through the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. WDBA, a public private partnership (P3), is responsible for the delivery of the Gordie Howe International Bridge between Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. Learn about the project’s progress for this enormous development, understand the community benefits as they unfold, and how entrepreneurs can leverage this massive economic impact on both sides of the border. Understand the historic and mutually beneficial economic relationship between these two countries, why it’s one of the busiest border crossings in the world, and how it plays into the evolving world of global supply chains, logistics, connectivity and mobility.

Season - 1 Episode 25

Ray Lozano of Mexicantown Community Development Corporation

Mexicantown: How an already vibrant community is moving into a 21st century High Tech region.

In 1989, a group of Latino community leaders with expertise in business development and training, unified in the mission to create a Latino-owned and operated agency, Mexicantown CDC. Join Ray Lozano, Executive Director, and host Ed Clemente to learn about how this very diverse community is evolving with support from many non-profits and private and public groups working together to solidify this Southwest Detroit region. Learn how the Ford Motor Company mobility innovation district in Corktown, located around the renewed Michigan Central Station, is also affecting the rest of the Southwest region in how they live, work and play. Discover the interesting biography of our guest from his challenging Latino roots, on being a Vietnam Veteran, and running the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, his work with DTE and his many other career paths. Mr. Lozano also discusses some future trend predictions and experienced career advice.

Season - 1 Episode 24

Mary Kramer of Crain’s Detroit Business

Detroit’s Economic Rebound – How P3’s, media, non-profits & higher education helped rewrite the future of Michigan’s largest city.

Mary Kramer is Corporate VP, Director of Detroit Homecoming and Special Projects at Crain’s Detroit Business. Crain’s is one of the largest privately owned business media companies with 21 leading business, trade and consumer brands in North America, Europe and Asia. Join her and Host Ed Clemente to hear about the backstory of her career, her Grand Rapids roots and the incredible growth of one of the leading business publications. See how Mary identified early challenges in the business community in metro Detroit, statewide, nationally and even internationally. She then identified opportunities for key business stakeholders to work together to improve the regional economy. She will identify some new trends including the growth of the Detroit Homecoming, Digital Nomads, non-profits, 40 under 40, 20 in their 20’s and many other topics. She also dispenses some sound career advice and how some ex-pats view Detroit and Michigan as opportunities move to economic needle.

Season - 1 Episode 23

Natalie Chmiko, VP Pure Michigan Business Connect and International Trade, MEDC

Learn how to start using global trade for your business’s success through the MEDC on guided tour by Natalie Chmiko.

Natalie Chmiko is Vice President, Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) & International Trade at Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The PMBC and International Trade programs help Michigan companies grow and diversify their businesses, both domestically and internationally. Learn from Natalie about the assistance you can receive from MEDC, including facilitated matchmaking in more than 100 global markets, international technical assistance, supplier preparedness programming and more. Join her and Host Ed Clemente as she highlights manufacturing trends, especially related to Industry 4.0 and the Michigan partners available to support your business. Also hear about her unique background that led her on this international path, and some advice for people and their career paths.

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?

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.