Business Leaders for Michigan Hosting Michigan’s Road to Top Ten

For more than ten years now the statewide business roundtable known as Business Leaders for Michigan has been focused on returning the state to a Top Ten state in multiple benchmarking metrics that will make it more attractive to business relocation and expansion while increasing the population and stemming the brain drain when the state’s young people depart for other states.

Early next month, the organization is hosting an update called Top Ten Talk at the Lansing Center in the state’s capitol. The breakfast and networking session with focus on Michigan’s Road to Top Ten status, with organizational President & CEO Doug Rothwell sharing the latest benchmarking of performance on almost every indicator possible.

On Monday, February 3rd from 8:30am until noon, Rothwell will open the door to show where Michigan has landed on key data points and touch on how the challenges identified by that research could undermine Michigan’s prosperity. To spur action addressing those challenges, Rothwell will walk through priority recommendations of Business Leaders for Michigan’s data-based strategic plan.

Following Rothwell’s update, the meeting will turn to a session called Winning Strategies from Top Ten States.

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Ten states currently perform above the rest on key indicators of success: jobs, GDP, personal income and population. Knowing the strategies of competitors is key to improvement. So for 3 of those states, the organization has brought together the leaders of business leadership organizations to pick their brains. What strategies have worked, and what can Michigan’s leaders do that will have the most meaningful impact for short- and long-term growth? The session is designed to help learn what has catapulted Massachusetts, Washington and Minnesota to the top of the pack. The discussion will feature:

  • JD Chesloff, Executive Director, Massachusetts Business Roundtable
  • Steve Mullin, President, Washington Roundtable
  • Charlie Weaver, Executive Director, Minnesota Business Partnership

Following that wide-ranging eye-opener, the focus turns to The Importance of Being Top Ten and Business Climate Rankings, featuring Ron Starner.

The questions are: What do large employers look for when they’re choosing a new site? Out of 50 states, what indicators do they use to narrow it down? For a decade Ron Starner has been helping global & national companies navigate those decisions, as well as ranking states on their attraction abilities. It will be a rare opportunity for insight into Ron’s expertise and the advice he gives to companies when making key location decisions.

  • Ron Starner, Executive Vice President, Conway Inc./Site Selection Magazine  

Rounding out the conference is an interview with Business Leaders for Michigan’s new Chair: Gerry Anderson, Executive Chairman of DTE Energy.

Anderson has been Newsmaker of the Year for Crain’s Detroit Business, WXYZ  & the Detroit News, and now he is Board Chair of the organization for the next two years. At DTE, Gerry has been a forward-thinking leader, increasing focus on clean energy as well as increasing the company’s philanthropic contribution to the Detroit region. Gerry will talk about his vision for BLM as the organization starts a new decade.

The Lansing Center is located at 333 E. Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities remain for the event by contacting Courtney Masiarczyk at or 313-259-5400 to secure a spot.

To register to attend the session on February 3rd, click the link below:

The presenting sponsor for the Top Ten Talk is DTE Energy, with Delta Dental as a Platinum Sponsor, and Wolverine Worldwide as a Silver Sponsor.