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 40

Olga Stella, Executive Director – Design Core Detroit & VP of Strategy and Communications – College of Creative Studies

Learn about the institution’s core mission, not only the aspirations for their students, but it’s fabled history in the automotive and design world.

Join Olga Stella, Executive Director, Design Core Detroit & VP of Strategy and Communications for the College of Creative Studies and host Ed Clemente, for a creative discussion on design, form & function, art, business, international footprint, and a rich learning history! The college educates visual artists and designers, knowledgeable in varied fields, who will be leaders in creative professions that shape society and advance economic growth. CCS alumni are entrepreneurs, they are working artists, Fortune 500 companies hire them, and the impact CCS alumni are making in the art/design world.

Season - 1 Episode 39

Sue Tellier, Owner and President of JetCo Federal

Sue shares fascinating defense contracting tactics that can help your business grow, but she also shows the equity networking behind it.

Join Sue Tellier, Owner and President, JetCo Federal and host Ed Clemente, for a lively discussion on small business, defense suppliers and what is WIPP? Jetco Federal, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a prime contractor in supply chain management and logistics serving in the defense industrial base. She also has great credentials on many associations including SBAM, National Defense Industrial Association, Vice Chair of the Women in Defense National Council and the Vice President of Women in Defense - Michigan, Board member for WIPP and a Governor appointee on the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Season - 1 Episode 38

Dr. Bill Pink, President, Grand Rapids Community College

President Dr. Bill Pink ardently guides us on the grand path of the future workforce, through the prism of Grand Rapids Community College and the constantly evolving opportunities

Join Dr. Bill Pink, President, Grand Rapids Community College and host Ed Clemente, to discuss multiple workforce issues from certificate training, degrees and stackable certificates. Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages the opportunity to gain credits for degrees and to transfer to in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. Dr. Pink is making great progress bringing a lot of energy to a very evolving learning atmosphere. Learn about his career advice to all and about his non-traditional sports and coaching path to his current position. Dr. Pink is a member of the MEDC Executive Committee.

Season - 1 Episode 37

Robin Terry, Chairwoman & CEO, Motown Museum

“You’ll be “Dancing in the Streets”, when you hear the Motown story from Ester Gordy’s granddaughter Robin Terry, Chairwoman & CEO of the Motown Museum.”

Join Robin Terry, Chairwoman and CEO for Motown Museum, and host Ed Clemente as they talk about the exciting future of the Motown Museum and the bigger ecosystem it is creating. The Motown Museum is the ongoing heartbeat of the Motown legacy, a global tourist destination for music and history fans that celebrates their story, from the humble beginnings to its emergence as the “sound of young America." Learn about the exciting 50,000 ft. Motown Museum expansion and the $55 million dollar expansion program and how you can be a part of it, as well as the economic impact it will have for Detroit and Michigan’s youth, entrepreneurship, innovation, performing artists, academics, and even the fresh new campus, while preserving the architectural history. Learn about some of the organizations who have helped make this possible including, Berry Gordy, Ford Motor Co/UAW Ford, Ballmer Group, Kellogg Foundation, William Davidson Foundation and many more. Plus, hear about all the legacy artists: The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Funk Brothers, Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, etc.

Season - 1 Episode 36

Ryan Hundt, Chief Executive Officer, MichiganWorks! Association

How the 16 Michigan Workforce Boards across Michigan are adapting to the New Economy, employment opportunities and current challenges being faced by employees and employers.

Join Ryan Hundt and host Ed Clemente, as he explains the ever-changing world of the modern workforce responsibilities through the professional organization representing the MichiganWorks! Network. MichiganWorks! Association is committed to advocating for workforce development issues throughout its system, for the employers they serve and for job seekers alike. Find out about the difference between skills and competencies and how the workforce is evolving in this digital transformation era. Also hear about how these organizations are adapting and brokering to meet the needs of the workforce of today and of the future.

Season - 1 Episode 35

Marian Reich, President - Global Ties Detroit & Jodi Michaels, Executive Director - Global Ties Kalamazoo

Michigan’s “Global Ties” Partners map out a Diplomatic Path for International Exchange for Economic Prosperity!

Join Jodi Michaels (Global Ties Kalamazoo) and Marian Reich (Global Ties Detroit) together with host Ed Clemente to literally cover the globe. Based in Kalamazoo and Metro Detroit areas, these two organizations best exemplify Citizen Diplomacy and share Michigan with the world's future leaders through international exchange.

Season - 1 Episode 34

Jeff Donofrio, President and Chief Executive Officer - Business Leaders for Michigan

What does it take to make Michigan a top 10 state in today’s dynamic world? Business Leaders for Michigan has the map for us on this podcast.

Join Jeff Donofrio, President and CEO for Business Leaders for Michigan, and host Ed Clemente as they discuss this influential business organization, and their myriad of initiatives. Business Leaders for Michigan, a state business roundtable, is dedicated to making Michigan a Top Ten state for jobs, personal income and a healthy economy.

Season - 1 Episode 33

Brian Connors, Partner, Due East Advisors

Discover How International Business Development Drives Local Job Creation from “Due East” Asian Regions, including China and Taiwan!

Join Brian Connors, Partner, Due East Advisors, who works with companies from Mainland China and Taiwan, as he has a conversation with our host Ed Clemente about the critical role they play in the expanding world of foreign direct investment. Learn about their team of bilingual experts and about how the MEDC works to attract international businesses to Michigan. Learn how this Harvard-educated entrepreneur with boots on the ground in Beijing learned how to build relationships through the small businesses he owned and operated there.

Season - 1 Episode 32

Quentin L. Messer, Jr., MEDC CEO and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund

Listen to MEDC’s CEO lay out his 4-point plan for Michigan’s continued economic recovery, some words of wisdom for Michiganders, businesses and communities for strategic growth opportunities.

Join Quentin Messer, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, President and Chair - Michigan Strategic Fund and host Ed Clemente as they discuss his strategic 4-point plan to keep moving Michigan’s economic development needle. Some excellent career advice boiled down to three key guidelines and insight on career path advancement. Quentin shares his passion and his focus on “getting it done!” by raising the tide for all people and communities in the state of Michigan. He also gives us his view of the state on his whirlwind travels to all the corners of the state, of the great people, organizations, companies, and communities that make up the tapestry of Michigan.

Season - 1 Episode 31

JoAnn Crary, President, Saginaw Future

“Saginaw Future”, where its headed, success stories and economic opportunities for the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Join JoAnn Crary, President of Saginaw Future, and host Ed Clemente as they discuss Saginaw area economic opportunities. Learn about the unique ecosystem of Saginaw and the balance between urban business district, agriculture, and manufacturing. She also serves on many other organizations, including being on board for Saginaw Valley State University, helping assist one of her top priorities of talent retention and attraction. Also, she has been actively involved in the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) especially in Inclusive Economic Development. They also chat about the great history of Michigan-based Hemlock Semiconductor as well as other businesses in the Great Lakes Bay 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.