MEDC Announces New Appointments

Friday, January 21, 2011

Amy Cell, Douglas Smith named to lead talent enhancement, strategic partnership efforts; Martin Dober promoted to direct new entrepreneurship and innovation team

LANSING – Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) President and CEO Michael A. Finney today named Amy Cell, vice president of talent enhancement & entrepreneurial education for Ann Arbor SPARK, MEDC senior vice president, talent enhancement, and Douglas J. Smith, Oakland County deputy executive, MEDC senior vice president, strategic partnerships. Start dates for Cell and Smith are January 31 and February 7, respectively. In addition, Finney announced MEDC New Markets Vice President Martin Dober has been promoted to senior vice president and will lead the new entrepreneurship and innovation team. 

“We are reinventing MEDC to support Governor Snyder as he works to reinvent our state,” Finney said. “Amy and Doug are leaders in their respective fields and their expertise will be a tremendous asset not only to MEDC, but also to the Michigan businesses, communities and workers we serve. 

“And, I’m excited about the new role Martin has agreed to,” Finney continued. “He has provided strong leadership within MEDC, and I look forward to utilizing his abilities in new ways.” 

Cell will direct MEDC talent programs to support attraction and retention, economic gardening and entrepreneurship. At SPARK since August of 2006, her responsibilities included creation and management of all talent enhancement programs, direction of all entrepreneur education programs and oversight of the SPARK East incubator. She positioned SPARK to be the talent hub for knowledge-based workers, an effort which resulted in the posting of 1,000 jobs for 400 companies each year at considerable cost savings. Among her entrepreneurial education programs: one-day Starting Your Own Business, Michigan Energy Forum, Entrepreneur Education 1.0 and 2.0 series, Expert Resource Board, Power Lunch and SPARK East speaker series. 

Cell is a Certified Public Accountant and holds Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from University of Michigan. 

Smith will be charged with working with MEDC’s statewide network of local and regional economic development partners and integrating economic gardening, international trade and entrepreneur efforts. 

As Oakland County deputy executive since July of 2009, he ran the county’s efforts in industry diversification and commercialization of technology through the Emerging Sectors program, Medical Main Street and the Business Roundtable. As head of the economic development and community affairs division, his responsibilities included community and home improvement, planning and economic development services, and workforce development, marketing and communications and the film office. 

This marks a return to state government for Smith. He was an aide to Gov. William Milliken on education, finance and taxation, on the State Board of Education for five years, director of policy and legislation for the Michigan Department of Commerce and Michigan Business Ombudsman. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government from Lawrence University and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Public Policy, specializing in international economics. 

Dober will lead a new team focused on delivering programs that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation across business sectors. The team involves the consolidation of two MEDC departments, capital and entrepreneurial services and new markets. As vice president of new markets, he focused on federal funding opportunities for Michigan in alternative energy and defense. 

Prior to joining MEDC, Dober held business development roles with several technology companies including iRobot, and he served as a consultant to technology companies through the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center. His career also includes experience in mergers & acquisitions at Delphi, finance at Chrysler, and manufacturing engineering at the Budd Co. He received an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (formerly GMI). 

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.