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January 6: January Detroiter Features Ford’s Mark Fields, Celebrates Automotive Innovation

January Detroiter Features Ford’s Mark Fields, Celebrates Automotive Innovation

Just in time for the North American International Auto Show, the January edition of the Detroiter magazine hit newsstands recently. The magazine features Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields on the cover and explores Ford’s latest innovations, including the all-aluminum bodied F-150 pickup truck.

Among this issue’s stories are several profiles of key automotive players, including James Verrier, president and CEO of BorgWarner Inc. Other highlights include interviews with suppliers and original equipment manufacturers, and their presence in Michigan. In addition to showcasing MICHauto’s latest efforts to promote, grow and retain the automotive industry, the magazine also explores the infrastructure and resources beyond the automotive industry that assist companies as they navigate the global market.

The Detroiter includes a letter from Gov. Rick Snyder celebrating the industry’s comeback, and takes a closer look at Kevin Kerrigan, the new vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Automotive Office, and his leadership of the state’s automotive strategy. Watch your mailbox for the newest edition or click here to read select stories online.

North American International Auto Show Kicks Off Jan. 12

The spectacular 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicks off next week at the newly renovated Cobo Center. One of the largest events of its kind, NAIAS brings together thousands of global auto enthusiasts and the industry’s top leaders to the Motor City.

The NAIAS begins with the Press Preview on Jan. 12-13, a two-day media event packed with new vehicle and industry announcements. Following that is the Industry Preview on Jan. 14-15 and the Charity Preview on Jan. 16 featuring the Steve Miller Band and Your Generation in Concert featuring Fifty Amp Fuse.

The nine-day Public Show runs from Jan. 17-25 and features more than 500 vehicles, including at least 40 never-before-seen cars and trucks. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

Startgrid Detroit Launches ‘Ask Me Anything’ Campaign to Help Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business in the Detroit region have a new tool in their arsenal. Startgrid Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, is offering entrepreneurs a chance to ask advice and have their questions answered from industry experts in a new interactive campaign launched this month titled “Ask Me Anything.”

Throughout January, users can submit their questions on the Startgrid website. A panel of experts will provide feedback via a question and answer format. Upon logging into the website and creating a free profile, users can select an expert, submit their question and will be notified when they receive a response. Experts include Rachele Downs, vice president of entrepreneurial strategies for Inforum Michigan; Mike Evans, founder and developer of Loveland Technologies; Angel Gambino, founder of Alchemists Collective; David Kirby, owner of Parker Street Market; Amy Peterson, co-founder of Rebel Nell; and Rick Williams, co-owner of Burn Rubber/The Social Club. All answers will remain on the Startgrid website at the conclusion of the campaign.

“Ask Me Anything” is the latest addition to Startgrid Detroit, which serves as an open forum for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, gather feedback and make connections on a free online community. New features include “the markets,” which allows users to explore vertical markets and connect to people, places and ideas in their region and across the country. The new “follow” option also allows users to stay updated with industry experts and fellow entrepreneurs.

Explore all the new features on Startgrid Detroit at For more information or to request a demo, please contact Devon O’Reilly at 313.596.0335.

Harvard Names Chamber Board Members Gordon Krater, Sandra Pierce Business Leaders of the Year

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Gordon Krater, managing partner of Plante Moran, and Sandra Pierce, vice chairwoman of FirstMerit Corporation and chairwoman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan, for being named Business Leaders of the Year by the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan.

Krater and Pierce both serve on the Chamber board, with Pierce serving as former board chairwoman. They are being honored for their strong leadership and ability to “create and sustain a culture of corporate citizenship that fosters community engagement for the betterment of the region.” A dinner held in their honor will take place on March 26 at Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy.

The Chamber looks forward to continuing its work with such impactful board members to grow the economy of Southeast Michigan.

Chamber Staff Volunteer at FOCUS: Hope to Provide Food Assistance

In December, nearly 20 Chamber staff members spent the day volunteering at Detroit’s Focus: HOPE, helping to pack boxes of food for low income and struggling families throughout Southeast Michigan.

The Chamber participated in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program that assists mothers, children up to age 6, and low income seniors. In its over 40 years, Focus: HOPE has provided critical canned and packaged food for 21 million people. In addition to food assistance, Focus: HOPE also runs career training and neighborhood quality of life programs.

To learn more about the nonprofit’s efforts to combat poverty in the Detroit region, visit