Print Friendly and PDF

Aug. 18: Students Celebrate Commitment to Higher Education at Detroit Scholarship Fund’s Summer Ceremony

Students Celebrate Commitment to Higher Education at Detroit Scholarship Fund’s Summer Ceremony

More than 200 Detroit students and their families celebrated the start of a new school year and their commitment to continuing higher education at the Detroit Scholarship Fund’s (DSF) Summer Ceremony on Aug. 11. The city-wide ceremony, held at the Max M. Fisher Music Center, provided students the chance to speak with DSF coordinators and meet with academic counselors from the five participating community colleges across Southeast Michigan.

The event kicked off with a keynote address from Tyrone Bledsoe, founder and CEO of the Student African American Brotherhood, who stressed perseverance and the impact of higher education on the regional economy. Following the keynote, students engaged with DSF coordinators about the ins and outs of scholarship eligibility before participating in individual breakout sessions.

This year, more than 3,500 students registered for the DSF. Of those, 500-600 students are expected to enroll full-time in community college classes for the 2015 fall semester. The Detroit Regional Chamber continues to administer the DSF on behalf of Gov. Rick Snyder to ensure that any Detroit-resident student graduating from a high school in the city will have a tuition-free path to an associate’s degree or technical certificate. For more information, visit

Decline to Sign Campaign Challenges Petition to Raise Corporate Income Tax

In an effort to ensure Michigan’s continued economic growth, the Detroit Regional Chamber launched its Decline to Sign awareness campaign, marking a key step against a petition drive to raise Michigan’s corporate income tax.

Decline to Sign opposes a job-killing petition that would nearly double the state’s flat corporate income tax — from 6 percent to 11 percent. If approved, the proposal threatens to undo Michigan’s landmark 2011 tax reform and puts at risk the state’s job creation and tax revenue from jobs that goes to roads and other vital services.

While fixing Michigan’s roads is necessary to the region’s economic prosperity, it should not come at the expense of the state’s continued revitalization. The Chamber is advocating for a road funding plan that adheres to its five principles for transportation funding, which outline the foundation for a comprehensive solution that supports a world-class infrastructure without undercutting key business and economic development. Click here to read an article in Crain’s Detroit Business about the Decline to Sign campaign.

Detroit’s Next Chapter Video Earns ‘Best in Show’ at ACCE, Continues Chamber’s Effort to Promote City and Region

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s efforts to share the story of opportunity and progress in Detroit with the rest of the nation and world received top honors at the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives’ (ACCE) Annual Meeting in Montreal this month, earning a “Grand Award” and “Best in Show” for its 2014 Detroit Policy Conference video.

Bringing to life the illustrated cover of the September/October 2013 Detroiter magazine, the video featured many of the key leaders and organizations driving Detroit’s transformation as it navigated bankruptcy. Like the magazine, the video was created following the city’s bankruptcy filing and communicates a positive story about Detroit’s “next chapter,” including interviews with change-makers such as Ponyride’s Phil Cooley, Detroit Police Chief James Craig, Mayor Mike Duggan, Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert and Midtown Detroit’s Sue Mosey.

The project reflects the collective work and collaboration of the Chamber’s Creative Advisory and Detroit Policy Conference teams, as well as Chamber members — ONE Brand Studio, who produced the video, and Skidmore Studio, who designed the Detroiter cover. Each year the ACCE organization recognizes excellence in marketing and communications at its annual convention as hundreds of chambers across the country submit work related to marketing, communications, publications, etc. to the Awards for Communication Excellence competition. Click here to view the video.

Inaugural Investor Briefing: Innovation Key to Attracting Chinese Companies to Michigan

Detroit and Michigan’s innovative automotive, medical and information technology industries are ripe for investment from the Chinese international market according to a panel of economic development experts, who outlined their business attraction efforts at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s inaugural Investor Update this month.

The panel included representatives from Clayton & McKervey P.C., Comerica Bank, Dickinson Wright PLLC and Oakland County.

Matthew Gibb, deputy executive for Oakland County, said China’s market is experiencing significant saturation, forcing private investors to look elsewhere to expand operations. Foreign direct investment in the United States from China continues to increase, with Michigan as one of the top 10 states for direct investment.

“Understanding where we are going and how we are spending our resources to attract business investment is important,” Gibb said. “There is great value in branding ourselves in China.”

Held quarterly, the Investor Update is meant to inform and engage investors in the Chamber Foundation’s initiatives about efforts to grow the regional economy. The inaugural forum focused on the Chamber’s recent outreach at the Shanghai Auto Show, as well as trade mission trips to China with Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Skidmore Studio’s Tim Smith: Successful Leaders Must Have a Risk-Taking Spirit

Speaking to an audience of over 30 Detroit Regional Chamber members, Tim Smith, CEO of Skidmore Studio and a Detroit Regional Chamber Board member, offered an intimate look at his leadership principles, discussing Skidmore’s move to Detroit at the Chamber’s Inside the CEO Mind session on Aug. 13.

Smith discussed his business values and how he continues to try new ideas. With a motto of “Dare Mighty Things,” Skidmore embraces Smith’s love for taking risks.

“The fear of the ordinary is greater to me than the fear of the unknown,” Smith said.
After purchasing the company in 2010, Smith moved Skidmore to the M@dison Building in downtown Detroit, where it continues to experience positive growth. Following Smith’s presentation, attendees were able to participate in a question-and-answer session and tour the collaborative office space and explore the building’s popular rooftop.

Attend a Maverick Marketing Monday Session for Free with Season Pass Purchase

The Detroit Regional Chamber is offering members an exclusive season pass for its 2015-2016 Small Business: Unlocked Maverick Marketing Monday sessions. The season pass provides discounted admittance and ensures a seat at sold-out sessions. During this season, attendees will hear from industry experts on topics ranging from native advertising and content and mobile marketing, to infographics and social media.

Members can attend one session for free by purchasing the season pass for $120. Each session includes lunch and parking. To take advantage of this offer, please fill out this form and email it to Marianne Alabastro with payment by Monday, Aug. 31. For more information on all Chamber events, click here.