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pri•ma civ•i•tas (n.) First state; first nation







Artistic rendering of MICH Development’s proposed plans for commercial and retail space in Iraq. See Cover Story on page 3.

©MICH Development Sketch produced by ICON


Dear Readers:




Thank you for taking the time to pick up and page through our magazine! At PCF, we are committed to creating a vibrant, innovative, economically sustainable Michigan. We believe that Michigan’s success depends on three key areas: talent, innovation, and collaboration - with a critical emphasis on “international connectivity.” Our mission is in the very definition of our name: Prima Civitas - meaning “first state” or “first nation.” While we work to make Michigan’s economy a powerhouse within the nation, we also endeavor to assist the rest of the United States in connecting with international opportunities. We’re a team of 15 people who wake up each morning and think, “How am I going to work towards real change today?” I’m enthusiastic about our work, and I look forward to the projects we’ll accomplish throughout 2012. I encourage you to visit our website ( to learn more about who we are and what we do.

PCF launches That Michigan Show



MICH Development’s bid to rebuild Iraq


PROMOTING COLLABORATION “Next Michigan” designation


BRIDGING INTERNATIONAL TRADE Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub Summit



9 11

SUPPORTING NEW SECTORS Opportunities with Turkey

BUILDING TECHNOLOGY GIG.U to help “wire” Michigan



13 15


Flint Area Reinvestment Office

Your partner for a better Michigan,

CONNECTING TO TALENT Employer Internship Training Sessions and Toolkits



Steven Webster Chief Executive Officer

MEDC’s new program helps professionals transition to new careers



Fellows, Scholars, and Interns

©2012 Prima Civitas Foundation Any photos, logos, service marks, and graphics that are not the property of PCF remain the exclusive property of their respective organizations. No reprints without permission. To obtain permission, please contact Holly Hetzner at

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HIGHLIGHTING MICHIGAN PCF launches “That Michigan Show” radio show and podcast Co-Hosts Steven Bennett and Holly Hetzner take turns answering questions about PCF’s new radio show, That Michigan Show! What is “That Michigan Show” (TMS)? HH: TMS is a weekly radio show that promotes the positive people, opportunities, and economic trends in Michigan. Each week we interview guests that are leading transformative efforts or are on the cutting edge of new economic sectors in Michigan. We also think the show is unique because it’s coming from the perspective of “young professionals.” What’s the Michigan where we want to live, work, and raise a family? - That Michigan! Why start TMS? SB: We wanted a platform to highlight positive stories - from big to small - all across Michigan. There are so many positive things happening, from new economic sectors to innovative student groups. By telling their stories, we document Michigan’s economic recovery.

Why is TMS in an audio format? HH: If I had to worry about looking good for TV cameras in addition to sounding good on microphones, I might faint! But seriously, audio is a very versatile format. It can be broadcast over the radio, downloaded on mobile devices, and played streaming online. We haven’t ruled out video or television down the road, but we want to get a solid foundation with our audio show first. Where can I hear TMS? SB: On radio, TMS is broadcast on Michigan Talk Network throughout the state. For podcasts, check out iTunes. We also include pages on our website with guest information and links to every show for online streaming. n Broadcasting Schedule iTunes Downloads

Online Streaming

How did you start TMS? SB: Holly and I chatted about the idea for a radio show for years. Then in July [of 2011], I met with representatives from Citadel Broadcasting [now Cumulus Media]. Everything just aligned. We became intrapreneurs- we launched a new program within our organization. It has been a lot of work, but our guests have been amazing and the audience response has been very positive. Have there been challenges? HH: Steve and I are new to broadcasting, and many of our initial challenges involved getting used to the flow of radio. There’s also a fair bit of research that goes into each show. Steve and I need to become mini-experts on our guests and topics quickly so we can direct questions. While time-consuming, it’s also very interesting! SB: We also walk a fine line of information vs. entertainment. If a show is boring, no one will listen. In the same way, if all we do is tell jokes then we don’t have any content. We just try to put on a good show and let our natural personalities come through.

Holly and Steve interview Jamey Fitzpatrick from Michgian Virtual University

New to TMS? Check out the Hosts’ favorite episodes! Steve’s pick: Episode #019

Holly’s pick: Episode #020

DeWitt Creativity Group

Creative Economy

“DCG is a great example of an organization that successfully blends economic development, education, and youth.” Spring 2012

“This episode was a lot of fun and packed with information about Michigan’s growing creative economy.” Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine 2


EXPLORING GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES MICH Development signs MOU to construct housing units in Iraq New Initiative Provides Export Opportunities for Michigan Businesses Article by Tremaine Phillips, Chief Program Officer

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n November 13, 2011, the PCF-convened consortium, MICH Development, signed a multiyear Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Investment Commission of Iraq (NIC), bringing Michigan-based businesses a step closer to participating in the designing, financing, building, and operating of a large residential community in the Republic of Iraq.

At the request of the NIC, several members of the MICH Development Executive Committee, led by PCF’s Director of International Programs, Patrick McRae (see page 5), travelled to Iraq to present formal design plans for a 100,000-unit community. After many hours of meetings with Dr. Al-Araji and NIC staff, the team left Baghdad with the signed MOU.

The MICH Development consortium is now redesignMICH Development is a consortium of Michigan ar- ing various components of the master plan and finalchitecture, engineering and construction companies. izing the strategy for obtaining short and long-term PCF, along with key partners including the Michigan financing. MICH Development will be actively seeking Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Michigan more partnerships with Michigan-based, national, and State University (MSU) and international companies the American Arab Chamber who can provide construcof Commerce (AACC), formed tion expertise and capital MICH Development in order investment. The National Investment to pursue global construction PCF, through its private and development opportuniCommission of Iraq received sector subsidiary, Prima ties for Michigan-based busiCivitas Global LLC, will approximately 135 proposals from nesses. continue to act as the conaround the world. The MOU details MICH Devener of the MICH Develvelopment’s commitment opment team, as well as MICH Development’s is one of to develop 100,000 dwellprovide government relaing units, city activities, and tions, communications, nearly ten viable proposals sustainable infrastructure and administrative supin Iraq. Two Baghdad-area port to the consortium. currently under consideration. sites have been identified Through MICH Developfor MICH Development, each ment, PCF is continuing to for an initial 35,000 dwelling build strong relationships units with other sites also in Eurasia and North Africa, possible throughout Iraq. MICH Development’s bid is particularly in post-conflict regions. part of Iraq’s larger need for 2 to 3 million new residenTo learn more about MICH Development, or to register tial units. to become part of the consortium, please visit With projected costs of over $5.5 billion, Michigan n businesses could earn an estimated $1.5 billion in revenue from exporting materials and services. The multiyear project will also position Michigan to be a critical exporter of goods, services, technologies, and knowCover image and photos on page 3: These how into Iraq and will support the Republic’s transition concept sketches, developed by MICH Developfrom a conflict zone to a market economy. The opportument member ICON-GAE, were included in the nity for job creation is likely – with the potential of hunproposal to the National Investment Commission dreds to thousands of jobs for both Michigan and Iraq. of Iraq. They represent the consortium’s plans for MICH Development’s efforts are largely due to the commercial and residential space for Iraqi cities championing of NIC chairman, Dr. Sami Al-Araji. Dr. Allike Baghdad. Araji, an MSU alumnus, has the enormous responsibility of rebuilding Iraq’s dilapidated infrastructure and opening up the country to global investment. On June 4 of 2011, Dr. Al-Araji, via an invitation by Prima Civitas, returned to his alma mater and presented the housing opportunity to companies and State of Michigan officials in attendance. With the guidance of many stakeholders and partners statewide, PCF worked diligently to convene the MICH Development team and develop a proposal to present to the NIC. Spring 2012

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Meet Patrick McRae

Director of International Programs


atrick McRae has recently joined the Prima Civitas Foundation as the Director of International Programs. He brings deep global experience to the position; most recently as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. While at Commerce, Patrick spent his first year in New Orleans spearheading a global inbound investment initiative for reconstruction and investment in the post-Katrina Gulf Coast Region. He then spent six months at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute in the Spanish Language and Regional Studies Immersion Program. He also served at Commerce headquarters in Washington, D.C. before accepting an assignment as an International Trade Specialist at the Grand Rapids Export Assistance Center. The majority of Patrick’s career has been in the private sector and includes 18 years of international business experience ranging from global aviation management to security and business consulting in the former Soviet Union to international market development in the construction and building materials sector. His countries of primary experience include Russia, Hungary, South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, the Philippines, the U.K., New Zealand and Japan. As a deputy leader of the International Trade Administration’s Global Design and Construction Team, Patrick has also focused on developing projects for U.S. firms in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

“I’m relishing the

stretch assignment of a lifetime.”

Born and raised in Michigan, Pat has a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies and a varsity letter in wrestling from the University of Michigan. He also earned an MBA in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona. He has recently retired (semi-intact) from a 20year rugby career, which included playing for clubs in London, Washington D.C., Traverse City, Phoenix, New Orleans and Midland. n

On November 13, 2011, Pat was interviewed on “That Michigan Show” regarding his then upcoming trip to Iraq. To listen to the interview, scan the QR code with your smartphone’s QR scanner! (iPhone users - launch in Safari after scanning):

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Or visit:


PROMOTING COLLABORATION Creating “Next Michigan” Region becomes the fourth and largest Aerotropolis in Michigan By the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce


n February 27th, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Strategic Fund Board approved the Act 7 interlocal agreement for the I-69 International Trade Corridor to become the state’s largest Next Michigan Development Corporation (NMDC). The I-69 NMDC covers four counties – Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, and Shiawassee – 33 municipalities, major transportation assets such as Bishop International Airport, Canadian National and CSX railways, the Blue Water Bridge, and a number of major highways along the corridor including I-69, I-75, I-94, and U.S. 23. According to Tim Herman, CEO of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce (GRCC), the announcement represents the culmination of a yearlong effort to create a new economic growth opportunity to bring jobs to the region. “Today is a great day for the region,” says Herman. “Not only was this one of the most sophisticated collaborative initiatives spanning the four counties, it was by far the largest in geographic scope and number of partners. This is a huge example of what can be accomplished when we work together.” David Hollister, Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances for PCF, notes that the challenging economic situation over the past decade has brought government and business groups together in an unprecedented manner.

freeways, the Blue Water Bridge, CSX and Canadian National rails, as well as several water ports to businesses that are engaged in international multi-modal commerce. Businesses can benefit from state and local incentives, tax increment finance plans, and real and personal property tax abatements, as long as they use at least two of the four designated transportation modes: air, freight, rail or water. “This is not just great news for Genesee County, it is great news for all of the counties involved,” says Jim Rice, Director of Bishop International Airport. “We are much stronger as a group than we are individually. I look forward to the continued economic progress we can make in the region by acting as a team.” According to Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the GRCC, the collective strength and the collaborative spirit of the four counties was what made this designation happen. “This is an incredible opportunity to grow the region and create jobs,” said Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the GRCC. “Now that we are officially an NMDC we are poised and ready to make things happen in the region. The tools we gain through this designation will definitely enhance our job creation efforts.” There are now four designated regions including metro Detroit, Lansing, the I-69 Corridor and Grand Traverse. The Next Michigan Development Act allows for up to five NMDCs in the state to be granted by the Michigan Strategic Fund in cooperation with the MEDC.n For more information, please visit:

“The I-69 NMDC is a major accomplishment and sends a clear signal that the communities see working together on increasing trade as a way to create new jobs,” said Hollister. As an NMDC, the I-69 Corridor can now offer economic incentives to businesses that utilize multiple forms of transportation provided that they locate near major transportation facilities. The Corridor will benefit from marketing Bishop Airport, major Spring 2012

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BRIDGING INTERNATIONAL TRADE Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub Summit puts spotlight on supply chain potential By Tremaine Phillips, Chief Program Officer


hen combined, the border crossings at Detroit and Port Huron render Southeast Michigan the largest international trade gateway in the United States. Yet only 6% of inbound freight stops in the state, constituting a tremendous missed economic opportunity. Created to address this gap and bring jobs to the region, the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub (GLITTH) initiative is a multi-organization, multi-sector, multi-region, and multinational effort to turn southeast Michigan into a global freight and logistics hub. To accomplish this transformation, the GLITTH Executive Committee sought to engage key actors in the logistics and transport fields from both businesses and government agencies. Thus, on October 16th, 2011, Michigan State University (MSU) and PCF convened the GLITTH Summit.

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The Summit was attended by over 100 participants, with nearly equal representation from federal, state, and local government entities, universities and nonprofit organizations, and private companies from both the U.S. and Canada. The Summit saw keynote speeches from Russell MacLellan, the 24th Premier of Nova Scotia, Doug Rothwell of Business Leaders for Michigan, Roy Norton of the Canadian Consulate, and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. In addition to these keynote addresses, the Summit consisted of interactive panel discussions. These discussions yielded several priority action items. Chief among the key items was the need for businesses, economic developers, and government agencies to adopt universal messaging to effectively convey the region’s supply chain potential across the country and around the world. PCF and the GLITTH committee continue to work toward job creation and economic growth through the process of positioning Michigan and the immediate region as a center for global commerce and trade.n


DCG students meet with Governor Snyder at the GLITTH Summit



tudents from the DeWitt Creativity Group had a unique opportunity to participate in the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub (GLITTH) Summit (see page 7). The DeWitt Creativity Group (DCG) was launched in 2008 by two DeWitt High School Teachers, Jason Lafay and Jeff Croley. DCG’s main focus is to promote student creativity in connection with public service and entrepreneurship. For entrepreneurs and those interested in economic development, global trade is a critical component for economic sustainability and growth. “Going into the GLITTH Summit, I thought I was going to be a thorn in the sides of all the CEOs and the politicians, just trying to insert my views as much as I could regarding K-12 Education and the trade hub concept as a whole,” says Jason Traub, a DeWitt student conference participant. The students’ experiences at the summit, however, were quite different. “Everyone not only advocated for the educational system becoming more involved in this issue, but they wanted our opinions as well. Instead of trying to throw our views in the discussions as much as we could, we were put in the spotlight and our viewpoints were regarded with respect,” concludes Traub. Why were the Summit attendees so eager to engage the DeWitt students in the conversation? Rachel Heinze, another student participant, notes, “We are the future and we need to start getting educated about this. We have a major problem with trade between our countries and if they do not get it solved now, then it will be left for us to fix.”

We asked the students about their primary Summit takeaways. The students mentioned opportunities to network with decision makers, learning new information about the concept of international trade and their Canadian neighbors, and increased awareness of some of the challenges in promoting international trade. “Prior to this conference, my knowledge on supply trade management was slim to none. Now I am considering it as a potential major for my studies in college. I am very interested in domestic and international trade, and I had no idea how in-demand supply chain managers are in Michigan,” notes Traub. “I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to attend the Great Lakes International Trade and Transport Hub Summit,” said Heinze. “What I have experienced, I could not have learned from a textbook. This experience gave me an opportunity to network and make connections with people who could help me with my future.” n Learn more about DCG: This article was featured in My Big Idea magazine. My Big Idea was published by PCF’s Moving Ideas to Market initiative to highlight young entrepreneurs and innovators in Michigan. My Big Idea also includes resources and information for parents and teachers. To download a digital copy of My Big Idea, please visit: To receive a free copy, please send your name and mailing address to: Spring 2012

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SUPPORTING NEW SECTORS PCF leads Council to Turkey Trade-mission could signal investment and opportunities for an international garment industry By Eleanor Fuchs, Program Manager


rom February 7th - 11th, PCF led a Council representing Michigan’s garment industry to discuss joint plans for investment and development of an internationally connected garment industry. The Michigan Garment Industry Council (MGIC) is comprised of manufacturers, designers, academic experts, and others working to focus resources and investment on Michigan’s emerging garment industry. PCF and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) are lead facilitators of the MGIC. Representatives from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership and the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce also joined the MGIC to represent Michigan’s economic development sector. While in Istanbul, the Council had the pleasure of taking in the sights of Istanbul’s Fashion Week, which included catwalks, showrooms, trade shows, and oneon-one meetings with Turkish garment industry representatives. The Council also had ample opportunity to showcase the state’s burgeoning garment industry, including products from agricultural to textile fibers as well as fashion apparel. The weeklong trade mission forged new partnerships between Turkish and Michigan businesses, helping to grow their international portfolios and enhance business relationships.

Turkey is an attractive international partner. Its economy is booming and boasts one of the highest growth rates in the world. Turkish officials have ambitions to see their economy rank as one of the top ten economies in the world by 2023. In addition to its strong economy, Turkey is also a fixture in the fashion world, drawing international attention for their annual fashion shows and acclaimed designers. Turkish investment and support could mean big improvements for Michigan’s growing industry.

“Our main objective is to introduce Michigan to successful Turkish garment industry businesses and encourage them to invest in Michigan.” -Nurten Ural, Michigan’s Honorary Consul General for Turkey

In addition to PCF and the MEDC, the Istanbul trip was largely made possible by Ms. Sevtap Akgüloğlu and Ms. Nurten Ural. Ms. Akgüloğlu, a graduate of Western Michigan University, represented the Ministry of Economy of Turkey as the Commercial and Cultural Attaché for the delegation. Ms. Ural, an MSU alumnus, serves as Michigan’s Honorary Consul General for Turkey and as a PCF Board Member. Both are eager to see the cultural and economic impacts that an international trade relationship could have for Michigan and Turkey. One of the trip’s many success stories is that of attendee Montee Holland of the Tayion Collection (www. As the CEO and creative force behind his high-end men’s suits, Mr. Holland said this about his experience at Istanbul Fashion Week: “I had an outstanding experience and can’t wait to return. The networking far exceeded my expectations…I actually met with several factories that I plan on doing business with.” Mr. Holland anticipates direct business growth due to his time in Turkey and is looking forward to being one of

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the many partners to have their businesses contribute to the continued development of Michigan’s Garment Industry.


PCF and Council representatives left Istanbul with leads and opportunities for potential projects. PCF in particular will be following up on several projects, including a Turkish business center, higher education center, and other Michigan/Turkish industry initiatives.

Consul General Yildiz (left) receives a welcome gift from Michigan State University President, Lou Anna K. Simon.

Shortly after the trade mission, Fatih Yildiz, Consul General for the Republic of Turkey, visited PCF’s East Lansing offices as part of a larger Michigan tour. While in East Lansing, the Consul General met with PCF and various economic and private sector partners, highlighting the growing relationship between the Republic of Turkey and Michigan.

For more information on PCF projects with Turkey, please visit: n



n addition to Turkey and Iraq, other PCF Team members have recently traveled across the globe.

In November, Tremaine Phillips, Chief Program Officer, visited Japan as a part of a delegation from the Lansing Regional Sister City Commission (LRSCC). The delegation, which included the Mayor of Lansing and representatives from the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), the Lansing School District, and Lansing Community College (LCC), visited Otsu, Japan for ten days. The main goals of the visit was to strengthen cultural relationships and encourage further economic cooperation between Otsu and Lansing. Japan ranks first among foreign investors in Michigan, with 500 Japanese-owned facilities providing over 31,000 jobs in Michigan. Tremaine is continuing to work closely with the LRSCC in developing further cultural and economic ties between Lansing and its numerous Sister City communities. In September, Jason Caya, FARO Director, returned to Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, for Ek Duniya’s 5th Women’s Leadership Conference. Ek Duniya was formed in 2009

to unite women throughout Rajasthan, India by forming sustainable connections. The primary method of forging these connections is a semi-annual leadership conference. The event promotes sharing of knowledge, access to resources, and open discussion amongst the women.

Highlights of the 5th Leadership Conference include the distribution of crucial health supplements; workshops on nutrition, textile development, and safe drinking water; and a sharing market for women entrepreneurs to sell their goods. Over 100 women attended the conference that spanned two days. In addition to staff travels, PCF also welcomed several international guests! PCF assisted in organizing meetings with the Consulates from Mexico, Libya, Venezuela, Turkey, and Iraq. In January, representatives from Albania’s IT sector visited with the PCF team. n Spring 2012

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BUILDING TECHNOLOGY GIG.U Partners explore new broadband infrastructure for mid-Michigan By Tremaine Phillips, Chief Program Officer


Along with MSU, over 30 of the nation’s leading research universities will work collectively to bring 1 gigabit per second (gbps) ultra high-speed broadband internet service to communities surrounding participating universities. Gig.U, in large part, is a response to the nationwide fervor that resulted from the 2010 Google Fiber for Communities experimental project in which over 1,100 communities applied to be a recipient of 1 gbps broadband deployment by Google.

s economies become increasingly global and interconnected, high-speed internet access and network connectivity will be a vital, if not essenBy aggregating the scale, influence, and impact of all the tial, ingredient in supporting entrepreneurs and participating universities and communities, Gig.U hopes new economy jobs. This need for high-speed broadband to entice private sector internet providers into deploying availability and access is amplified in communities that 1 gbps broadand to businesses and homeowners within host institutions of higher learning. participating communities - (1 gigabite Often, the communities that immediwould be roughly 1000 times faster than ately surround a college or a univerthe average broadband connection in Each 10 percentage sity also possess an above average mid-Michigan.) point increase in concentration of entrepreneurs, techOver the past several months, PCF has savvy research faculty, and socially broadband penetration assembled a committee comprised of networked young adults. The conadds 1.3 percent to a representatives from MSU, regional mucentration of high-speed internet is a country’s gross nicipalities, economic development orsignificant advantage for a college or ganizations, and business technology domestic product. university competing globally for the associations to drive the Gig.U initiative most talented faculty and for a comforward. World Bank, 2009 munity looking to attract innovative young professionals. On February 28, the committee announced that the collective communities were ready for Recognizing the need for Michigan communities to agfurther deployment of ultra high speed broadband. The gressively increase the deployment and availability of committee now seeks local, statewide, and national prifaster broadband, PCF and MSU are engaging in a ground vate broadband providers to bring these speeds to midbreaking national effort called “the University Community Michigan. Removing regulatory and infrastructure hurdles Next Generation Innovation Project,” or “Gig.U”. Led by the will be key to attracting private providers to the region. If Aspen Institute, Gig.U seeks to accelerate the deployment successful, mid-Michigan will blaze a path for other Michiof ultra high-speed networks for leading U.S. universities gan communities and become a nationwide exemplar for and their surrounding communities. next generation broadband. n 11 Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine

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GROWING BIO ENTREPRENEURS I6 Concept Center Project announces new business and pilot plant services availability By Lori Hudson, Michigan State University


egional entrepreneurs and small businesses are invited to apply for a range of subsidized business support and chemical production scale up services now available at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland, Michigan.

useful or benign end products, and those enabling enhanced recycling of products and wastes. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing support for water purification consideration within the project. To inquire about i6 Green services, events, and publications, interested businesses and individuals can visit or call Randy Olinger, Director of the BioVenture Accelerator for Lakeshore Advantage at (616) 395-8974.

As one of only six national winners in a competition sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the i6 Green “Proof of Concept Center” at the institute will assist the development of bio-based and environmentally friendly technologies. Services will be provided by a consortium including Lakeshore Advantage Corporation, NewNorth Center for Design in Business, the Prima Civitas Foundation, and Michigan State University. “Winning the i6 Green project is the result of the economic diversification and sustainability leadership now emerging in Michigan,” said Steve Bennett, Chief Operating Officer for PCF. “We are grateful for the matching support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and we look forward to broadened collaborations with bio-based initiatives across the state and region.” According to William Freckman, director of operations for the institute, “In the last year, the MSU Bioeconomy Institute has successfully performed pilot plant scaleups for four start-ups and one publicly traded corporation. The subsidized ‘green chemistry’ services offered through i6 Green are a natural extension of those efforts.” “Compared to many business incubators and accelerators, this project is unusual in addressing the issues of human factors and aesthetics,” said Stephanie Elhart, Vice President at NewNorth Center. “Considering these factors can help turn a promising technology into a viable product that earns customer acceptance.” A broad spectrum of “green” technologies will be advanced by the project, including those using bio-based starting materials, those using less energy or having less environmental impact, those creating environmentally

A view of the Holland, MI facility.

i6 Green business support services include: • • • • • •

Business planning Market assessment assistance Grant-writing aid -- e.g., SBIR, STTR, and seed fund grant proposals Aesthetics and human factors / industrial design consulting and training Referrals to the investor community Chemical scale-up production in the Institute’s 25,000+ L reactor suite

Application forms can be downloaded at n

Spring 2012

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REINVESTING IN FLINT Leadership Transition for FARO The organization continues its important work for Flint area Jason Caya


he end of 2011 saw a great deal of transition for the Flint Area Reinvestment Office (FARO). In December 2011, Governor Snyder appointed Mike Brown as Emergency Manager of the City of Flint. Upon accepting the position, Mike took a leave of absence as President of PCF and Director of FARO. Jason Caya, former FARO Local Manager, became FARO’s Director. Deb Loader, FARO Program Specialist, has assumed additional responsibilities. In addition, David Hollister, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for PCF, is dividing his time between PCF offices in East Lansing and FARO’s offices in Flint. Despite the challenges that can accompany a leadership transition, FARO continues its mission of assisting public, private, and nonprofit organizations with successfully attracting and utilizing federal and state funding for the Flint area. To learn more about FARO, please visit:

I’m grateful for this

opportunity. FARO is a team, and we are excited to continue

New Regional Network Growing Green Economy Cultivating opportunities with E3 network


rowing new opportunities, cultivating new jobs, attracting new companies, and providing a supportive network for green industries are just a few of the things that regional economic development officials and area business leaders hope to accomplish with a newly formed network focused on the green economy. The E3 Innovation Network (E3IN), a collaborative group of regional public and private partners, was formally rolled out at the end of July 2011 during a press conference at the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce (GRCC). At the time of the announcement, a website supporting the network also went live, along with companion Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. E3—which stands for energy, environment, and economy—is a growing network of more than 100 diverse members in Genesee, Lapeer, and Shiawassee counties 13 Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine

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our great work.” that is designed to grow the green economy through collaborative ventures, networking, information-sharing, and state and federal grant opportunities. While the group was formally announced in July, the network actually began as an outgrowth of the Regional Chamber Energy Council. Facilitated by FARO and the GRCC, a group of community leaders pulled together in 2009 to apply for a federal energy grant to fund green energy projects. While the grant was not awarded, the desire to continue working together as a group remained. Following a presentation to a global audience at the 2010 Rework the World Conference in Sweden, a local delegation from the original group began developing the concept for the E3 Innovation Network. E3 is a strategic initiative of the GRCC’s economic development business unit, which has contracted with FARO and PCF to facilitate the project. Deb Loader from FARO is the Project Manager for the E3 Innovation Network. The network will host quarterly meetings designed to


help connect like-minded companies and organizations that are actively involved in growing the green economy through goods and services, she said. It will also better position the region for grant opportunities in the future. “The federal agencies not only want people to work regionally on projects but they want to know that there’s an established group that is working together,” Loader said. Loader and others in the network also hope that the newly created website and social media forums provide regional businesses with another way of communicating information and opportunities related to the green economy. The website also will be used to communicate job opportunities in green industries throughout the region. The network will be used as a way to attract new green industries and companies to the region, said Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the GRCC. By participating in the network, businesses and organizations can also share information and success stories related to the green economy with others, Karcher said.

Since becoming part of the network, Croft has met representatives in other industries that he has partnered with on projects, including some in the engineering and electrical power sectors. For Croft, the network has opened doors and helped him make connections that he would not have made otherwise. “It’s a networking tool that is already spurring economic growth by helping local industries,” he notes. For Derek Bradshaw, Principal Planner with Genesee County, the network has provided an opportunity to learn from others and to share success stories and information. “It is exciting to have a lot of key players in the same room,” he said. “This is a unique opportunity for this network to share information that can help our region lead the way in the green economy.”

There’s a certain power in connecting people.”

And there are already plenty of success stories. Tom Guise, CEO of Swedish Biogas International (SBI) in Flint, said that he has already made connections with someone who has another type of waste byproduct that could potentially be used at the Flint plant. The plant, a 50/50 partnership between SBI and the City of Flint, converts waste into energy. Successful in its first phase, the company is now poised to expand within the next year. If not for the network, Guise said he might not have met this individual or others who may be able to collaborate on future projects. Guise said he is excited about the network and the potential it holds for his company and the region as a whole. “There’s a certain power in connecting people,” he said. Howard Croft, President and CEO of mid-Michigan Solar, agrees. His Flint-based company—which designs, engineers, and installs residential and commercial solar energy systems—has continued to grow since its launch in 2009.

As an example, the county received $2.6 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant dollars about a year and a half ago, Bradshaw said. In partnership with Johnson Controls, the county has since applied those grant dollars toward a construction project that will translate into $3.3 million in energy savings through the use of solar panels and other energy improvements throughout the county’s eighteen buildings. The eighteen-month project, which began in November 2010, has also created 120 individual jobs. The network provides a forum for sharing information about this project and others in a way that might help area companies and organizations, he notes. “And I think in the long run,” Bradshaw said, “the network is really a stepping stone to putting our county and our community in a leadership role.” To find out more about the E3 Innovation Network (E3IN), to read about the latest developments in the local green economy, to connect with others in the network via Facebook and LinkedIn, and to find out how you and your organization can get involved, please visit the E3IN website at

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Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine 14


CONNECTING TO EMPLOYERS Employer Internship Training Sessions Removing barriers for internship programs


ichigan Internship Initiative (MII) partners, Cindy Brown and Amanda Avila, have been traveling the state presenting Employer Internship Training Sessions (EITS). The sessions are designed to remove barriers for employers interested in building internship programs. Since mid-2010, the duo have trained more than 1,300 employers through EITS at more than 50 venues. But they are not alone in reaching out to employers. “Various partners have been supportive of this effort, including many post-secondary and workforce development partners,” says Cindy Brown, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan. The University of Michigan-Flint, Michigan’s 2010 Fastest Growing University, hosted a successful, collaborative training session that capped registration at 50 attendees. This is the second year for the event at UMFlint, serving over 100 employers in total. UM-Flint’s Director of Academic Advising and Career Center, Aimi Moss, wanted to provide a platform for all Genesee County post-secondary education providers to have an opportunity to connect with employers. “Recognizing that each institution has its specialties and niche areas, it is important that employers understand that we can pull together disparate resources to support them,” notes Moss. She went on to add, “Our focus at UM-Flint is servicing our students, but equally important is our commitment to our community and the employers within the community.”

tise, best practices, and newly developed tools for employers. The tools received rave reviews from employers. Another co-presenter was Malin Clark, from UM-Flint’s International Center. With many companies looking for ways to diversify their portfolios by exploring international markets, Malin’s advice proved invaluable for helping employers connect to international students. MII partners will continue to present Employer Internship Training Sessions, build partnerships, and support employers throughout Michigan. For more information, contact Amanda Avila, Talent Development Manager at 517-708-4240. n

Employer Internship Toolkit

I kit.

n response to various questions about internships that employers have raised during Employer Internship Training Sessions, the MII partners are completing the 2nd phase of the Employer Internship Tool-

Expanding to 50 pages from its original 24, the revised toolkit now includes: • • • • •

Budgeting information Testimonials Additional sample job descriptions A work plan template Expanded international student information




The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) was also on-hand to lend support to employers. MEDC has several programs such as the Michigan Shifting Gears program, which is a great opportunity for employers to connect to experienced, educated career changers who are required to complete an 80-hour probono internship for companies. Brian Partie from the State of Michigan’s Civil Service Commission was a co-presenter and shared his exper15 Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine

Spring 2012



Revised by the Prima Civitas Foundation and Hello West Michigan

The new toolkit will be available for download from PCF, Hello West Michigan, MEDC, Michigan Nonprofit Association, and Internlivingston.coms’ websites on May 14, 2012. n


SHIFTING GEARS FOR TALENT Shifting Gears Program Helping professionals transition to new careers By Amanda Avila, Talent Development Manager


ow long does it take to make a career transition? Participants in the Michigan Shifting Gears (MiSG) program are learning how long it takes and how to do it. Many corporate professionals develop significant depth of knowledge and expertise as they grow their careers; they become masters at doing their jobs. But, not many professionals develop the parallel expertise of managing their careers. MiSG is a career transition program for corporate professionals who are seeking opportunities in the new economy. The program includes four months of comprehensive professional development focusing on career management skills. Each participant benefits from learning experiences that include a personal career transformation assessment, career coaching, 10 day-

workshops, weekly peer networking sessions, mentoring, 3-day business simulations, corporate site visits, resume reviews, mock job interviews, pro-bono internship experiences, and expanded career opportunities. As of December 2011, eight cohorts of participants have completed the program since its inception in 2009. Diana J. Wong, PhD from Eastern Michigan University, created the program to address the need to support the adaptability of experienced corporate professionals into new economy opportunities, without the need to return to complete additional degrees. The MiSG program is sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and delivered by a team of facilitators from Sensei Change Associates, LLC. MiSG is seeking internship host companies to provide projects that participants can complete to satisfy their 80-hour program requirements. To register a project, go to For more information, please visit: n

Phillip Knapman’s Perspective


enrolled in the MiSG program to break through a professional crossroad. My business, Burning Daylight Design, was confronted with a souring economy. It became clear that the only way to grow was through expanded networking.

Graphic design is my passion, and I love tailoring a message that is unique and compelling, yet grounded in market driven branding. The challenge: how can businesses achieve greater results with less resources? After participating in the MiSG program, I’ve learned that the answer comes from asking the right questions. The program brought me to the Prima Civitas Foundation through an internship placement. As an intern, I’ve been charged with re-branding the Employer Internship Toolkit—which is a little ironic, if you think about it. Working at PCF is expanding my network, growing my business, and solidifying the knowledge I’ve gained from MiSG. How can businesses tap in? The short answer: contact PCF. If you are interested in connecting with Phil, please e-mail: n Spring 2012

Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine 16


VOLUNTEERING WITH PCF Fellows and Scholars


n addition to our core Team at PCF, we also rely on the expertise and support of several individuals who lend their time, skills, and knowledge to our organization. We recognize the crucial part these volunteers play in helping us succeed and value their hard work and efforts. PCF Fellows are individuals who want to give back and see working with Prima Civitas as an opportunity to do just that. Donating their time and talents to various activities within the organization, Fellows are highly valued and greatly appreciated individuals who help us work towards re-inventing Michigan’s economic base. Fellows can work on a regular volunteer schedule or on an as-needed basis. Fellows’ activities include data entry, data analysis, technical support, event planning, and project coordination. PCF Scholars are leaders within their fields whose intellect and work benefit our mission to secure a prosperous future for Michigan. These individuals may wish to produce a policy paper, help write a grant, or provide scholarly assistance and leadership on various initiatives within PCF. Scholars-In-Residence contribute to the mission of the organization from an office at PCF and utilize the resources that the organization’s infrastructure can provide as part of their contribution. Scholars-In-Residence are also considered leaders in their fields of expertise. Our current Fellows, Scholars, and Scholars-In-Residence include: PCF Fellows:

William T. Cross, PhD, Native Nations Foundation

Interns and Externs Young, smart, and global, PCF interns and externs gain valuable on-the-job skills while also contributing to our mission. Our current interns and externs include: Jennifer Bragiel, Tristan Chamberlain, Joel Cropsy, Michael Fobee, John Fowler, Jordan Hughes, Latoya Jackson, Aaron Majorana, and Phillip Knapman. We would also like to recognize the hard work of former project specialists, Cameron Mock and Matthew Riggs. Thank you both for jobs well done! If you would like to volunteer with PCF, please visit: n

Serving as a PCF Scholar has given me the opportunity to collaborate with a committed team that is determined to make a positive contribution to Michigan’s recovery.” Lisa Wiley Parker, PCF Scholar

• Linda Webster Scholars: • John Hill, LinkedIn • Christine Hollister, Hollister Solutions • Stefan Johnson, Michigan Native Arts Collection • Tunga Kiyak, MSU International Business Center • Lisa Wiley Parker, Find a Fit LLC • Dennis Sykes, PCF Strategic Advisor 17 Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine


Spring 2012


SHARING CREATIVE CULTURE Art on the walls; music in the halls PCF participates in the Michigan Art Share Program


o support the spirit of creativity and artistic expression, PCF has volunteered our East Lansing office as exhibition space for mid-Michigan artists. Partnering with a Lansing art incubator, Art Alley, PCF is a presentation stop in the Michigan Art Share program. Michigan Art Share gives artists an opportunity to rotate their works through a string of locations across mid-Michigan. This “creative circuit” reaches across Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, and Shiawassee counties. PCF showcases the artwork of local photographers and painters on the walls of our lobby and hallways. All artwork is available for sale with all proceeds going directly to the artists. In addition to the art, PCF hosts a concert in its lobby on the second Wednesday of each month. The musical genres from local artists range from the blues to Middle Eastern fusion. Admission and parking are free and refreshments are provided. All are welcome to attend! n

Tia Imani Hanna and Eldon Kelly perform at PCF.

“That Michigan Show” interviewed Art Alley’s Creative Director, Diane Wilson, about the Michigan Art Share program. To listen to Diane’s segment, scan the QR code with your smartphone’s QR scanner! Or visit:

For more information on Michigan Art Share, please contact Diane at



et the latest information on PCF and our initiatives by following our social media feeds and websites! Prima Civitas Foundation Twitter: @primacivitas Facebook: Prima Civitas That Michigan Show Twitter: @ThatMIShow Facebook: Prima Civitas Flint Area Reinvestment Office Twitter: @ReinvestFlint Facebook: Flint Area Reinvestment Office

Moving Ideas to Market Twitter: @MI2MPCF Facebook: Moving Ideas to Market

MICH Development Twitter: @MICHDevelopment Facebook: Prima Civitas Michigan Garment Industry Council Twitter: @MichiganGarment Facebook: Michigan Garment Industry Council Spring 2012

Prima Civitas Foundation Magazine 18

325 East Grand River, Suite 275 East Lansing, MI 48823









SPRING 2012 VOL. 4, ISSUE 1 pri•ma civ•i•tas (n.) First state; first nation







This newsletter is published by the Prima Civitas Foundation and is distributed free of charge.


Artistic rendering of MICH Development’s proposed plans for commercial and retail space in Iraq. See Cover Story on page 3.

To be added to our mailing list, contact Amiee Evans at An electronic copy is also available on our website.

©MICH Development Sketch produced by ICON

This newsletter is drafted and edited in-house by PCF, and comments, corrections, and/or suggestions can be sent to

Prima Civitas Foundation Spring 2012 Magazine  

Prima Civitas Foundation Spring 2012 Magazine

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