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CEOs on “The Power of &”

May 18, 2023

Leading Executives Discuss the Impact of the 2023 Conference Theme


AB Ghosh

AB Ghosh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Hemlock Semiconductor

“Building a more robust talent pipeline for skilled trades workers and STEM disciplines like engineering is a top priority at Hemlock Semiconductor. We appreciate the debate over which track will better serve Michigan’s long-term prosperity and we encourage policymakers to continue investing in preparing workers for production and certificatebased, skilled trades careers as well as STEM education. Both are essential to creating and sustaining Michigan’s future manufacturing workforce.”

Kouhaila Hammer_Ghafari

Kouhaila Hammer, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ghafari Associates

“As business leaders and policy makers, it’s critical to remember that we all share common goals at the most fundamental level. We want to keep our best and brightest talent in Michigan and position our state to be a center of innovation and boundless opportunity. The only way we can achieve these goals is by working together, recognizing that diversity in perspective, background, and experience brings forth new ideas.”

Kenneth Kelly Headshot

Kenneth Kelly, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, First Independence Bank

“Many of the greatest achievements are indicative of “the Power of &.” It is essential to incorporate, and it yields countless possibilities for Michigan’s future. The relationship of “the Power of &” leads us to all the potential that teamwork, togetherness, and inclusivity offer. We are so fortunate to be among leadership who sees all of us through “the Power of &.”

Ronia Kruse

Ronia Kruse, President and Chief Executive Officer, OpTech

“As leaders, we seek to involve our communities, clients and employees with inclusivity and acceptance of diverse thought, with “and’s” rather than “but’s.” Inclusivity and “and’s” result in disruptive thinking; it is this disruption of thought that leads to innovation, which is desperately needed to confront our state’s challenges, to solve complex problems, and prep for changes within our markets and economy.”

Suzanne Shank

Suzanne Shank, President and Chief Executive Officer, Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC

“The “either or” approach prioritizes certain communities and needs over others. We must fully embrace “the Power of &” if we want to make progress in advancing Michigan’s economic competitiveness, attracting high quality talent, accelerating the pace of business creation, improving our educational systems, and reducing the state’s poverty rate. We are only as good as the weakest among us! An all-inclusive approach to tackling the state’s problems puts Michigan first, not east vs. west.”