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July 30, 2013: Expert Business Climate Panel Added for Michigan Automotive Summit; Detroit Primary One Week Away

Expert Panel to Discuss Moving Auto Business Forward at 2013 Michigan Automotive Summit
Join Michigan industry leaders and government officials at the 2013 Michigan Automotive Summit, held on September 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., for a panel discussion titled “Competitive Environment: Business Climate for Success.” This expert panel will weigh in on how changes such as the right-to-work law and the proposed elimination of personal property tax are impacting the automotive industry and the state’s automotive business attraction and retention efforts. 

Panelists include Daniel Domenicucci, senior manager, Ernst & Young LLP; Frank Ervin III, director, government affairs, Magna International Inc.; Steve Hilfinger, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation; and Brian O’Connell, regional director, state government relations, General Motors Company. For more information or to register for the Summit, click here


Primary Election One Week Away: Meet Chamber PAC-Endorsed City Council Candidates

 The Detroit Regional Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) recently endorsed seven candidates for Detroit City Council and encourages all Detroiters to elect a pro-growth City Council for 2013. This year, only four of the nine incumbents eligible to run for reelection chose to seek another four years in office. Of those four current Council members, three earned the Chamber’s endorsement in 2009 and proved that they are excited about Detroit’s reinvention.

Saunteel Jenkins (At-Large)

Saunteel Jenkins was recently elected by her peers to serve as the new Council president. Council member Jenkins is a former Council staff member and social worker. She is running for one of the two at-large seats on the council in 2013. She has earned the endorsement of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

Andre Spivey (District 4)

Andre Spivey has proven to be a positive and thoughtful member of the Council. Council member Spivey was recently elected to serve as president pro tempore, following the resignation of Council member Gary Brown. He is running to represent District 4 which encompasses much of the East Side of Detroit. He is the pastor of St. Paul’s AME Church in Detroit.

James Tate (District 1)

James Tate has been one of the bright lights on City Council for the past four years. He is running to represent District 1 on the northwest side of the city. Besides earning the endorsement of the Chamber, Council member Tate has the endorsement of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. Prior to being elected to Council in 2009, Council member Tate served the Detroit Police Department as a second deputy chief.

In addition, the Chamber PAC decided to endorse four other candidates running for City Council hoping to serve their first term.

Scott Benson (District 3)

Developer and Coast Guard veteran Scott Benson is running to represent District 3 on City Council. Benson ran for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2012 with the Chamber’s endorsement, and was narrowly defeated. Scott has the endorsement of both major newspapers as well as State Sen. Bert Johnson.

Rick Bowers (District 2)

Attorney Rick Bowers has been serving Detroiters for over a decade as a staff attorney for Council members Ken Cockrel Jr. and James Tate as well as a member of Mayor Cockrel’s team. Bowers is campaigning on his experience and longtime residency in District 2 to be able to effectively represent the District’s needs. Both major daily newspapers in the city have endorsed Bowers’ candidacy.

Adam Hollier (District 5)

Adam Hollier also narrowly missed winning a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives with the Chamber’s support in 2012. Hollier served as chief of staff to State Sen. Bert Johnson prior to his 2012 campaign and has been serving as Mayor Bing’s liaison to City Council since. Hollier also carries with him the endorsement of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News.

Vince Keenan (District 6)

Lifetime Detroit resident Vince Keenan has been helping Detroiters influence there government for years as the founder of, a voter education website. Keenan was also one of the leaders of the effort to create a City Council that was elected by district as opposed to at-large. Keenan is taking that experience, along with several major endorsements, to attempt to represent District 6 on City Council. 

For more information on city council districts, visit

2011 Detroit Regional Chamber Supplier Summit Leads to $16 Million Contract with DEUTZ

DEUTZ Corporation recently awarded a $16 million contract to Farmington Hills-based automotive supplier PKC Group through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect program. The two companies connected initially during a Detroit Regional Chamber Connection Point supplier summit in 2011. The Connection Point program has since merged with PMBC to put on a series of similar purchaser-supplier matchmaking engagements for Michigan vendors.

The Chamber continues to work with PMBC as a strategic partner for events in Southeast Michigan and recently partnered with PMBC to host amatchmaking event with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. To read additional coverage of the DEUTZ contract in Crain’s Detroit Business,click here.