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Mackinac Policy Conference

In its 39th year, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference once again convenes more than 1,700 statewide leaders to engage in conversations around Michigan’s economic future. The year’s Conference theme is One Michigan with the program pillars: Prepare Michigan, Grow Michigan, and Love Michigan.   

Former governor of Florida Jeb Bush and Ohio John Kasich are among the national speakers taking Michigan’s Center Stage, alongside 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia and founder and chair of Fair Fight Action Stacey Abrams, former U.S. representative Harold Ford Jr., and political pundits Donna Brazile and Matthew Dowd. The speakers will address politics on the national front and partisanship that works.  

Under the Prepare pillar, education and talent will be a focus area. Grand Rapid Community College’s Bill Pink and industry-wide leaders — from business, government, and philanthropy — will dive into the issues facing the state’s education system, examples of progress, and solutions to catalyze change for Michigan students.    

Delivering a keynote for the first time on Michigan’s Center Stage, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will join Mayor Mike Duggan and Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert for a lineup of speakers discussing Grow Michigan — the state’s economic development and entrepreneurship. Representing the legacies of their families, Impellam Group’s David Barfield, DP Fox Ventures LLC’s Daniel G. DeVos, and A.A. Van Elslander Foundation’s David Van Elslander will share their thoughts on the impact of long-standing corporate philanthropy.  

Love Michigan, focusing on sustainability and stewardship, will convene voices from the corporate community including 2019 Conference Chair and President and CEO of Consumers Energy and CMS Energy’s Patti Poppe, Amazon’s Alicia Boler Davis, Dow’s Jim Fitterling, and Cascade’s Christina Keller.  

After four days of candid conversation, the Conference will conclude with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2019 To-Do List, a roadmap translating conversations on the island into achievable goals for the upcoming year. The Conference brings together national thoughts leaders and provides an opportunity for statewide influencers to share insights on sustaining the state’s economic growth.