Continuing to Grow Locally

Ann Arbor SPARK’s Business Development team promotes the region’s unique assets to advance the economy through the attraction and retention of innovative businesses selling goods and services globally. Through continuous relations with company representatives, our team identifies and coordinates programs and incentives that can assist companies in their growth plans. Below, we highlight some of the most recent investments announced around the... [Read More...]

MichAGAIN event in D.C. gathers large crowd

Some of the event organizers: LeRoy Newland, GE; Stefanie Ridenour, MEDC; Me; Valerie Furchi, GE; and John Hill, MSU      What do you get when you mix a handful of Michiganders and 125+ alums from the great state? An amazing night filled with networking, laughs, rivalry talk and memories. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s MichAGAIN Campaign was in full effect last night at Policy Lounge in Washington DC. The group of state and... [Read More...]

Dear Chicago: I Now Know Why People Call You “The Windy City”

Chicago skyline created a great backdrop for our MichAgain event After grabbing a quick lunch at RJ Grunts, we were ready to go prepare for our MichAGAIN Alumni event in Chicago. We spread the good news that is coming out of Michigan at Maggiano’s restaurant downtown. We welcomed over 50 excited alumni from various Michigan Universities. There was definitely a strong University of Michigan presence, but we also had many representatives... [Read More...]

Entrepreneurial Programs in Austin, Texas

Another beautiful day in Austin. After walking around downtown and seeing some beautiful views in the downtown park alongside the river it was time to meet with the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas. Amanda Chiampi and Eugene Sepulveda are doing some pretty amazing things around Austin. The community involvement and leadership projects really give back to the area. It was my second time hearing about Lemonade Day, an annual event that teaches... [Read More...]

Lots to do in Austin, Texas

Tuesday morning I was able to get a real feel for the surrounding downtown area in Austin. It was only about 9:00 AM but there were already many people out jogging and walking their dogs. The river had many jogging paths around it as well as benches and a gazebo where you could sit and enjoy the beautiful morning. There were lots of shops near the Warehouse District near their Congress Drive. Driving down Congress really resembles our capital loop... [Read More...]

Another Blog from Austin, Texas!

After grabbing lunch with Maureen Krauss, Director of Oakland County Economic Development & Community Fairs, at Jason’s Deli we both agreed that it good but NO Zingerman’s! We were then off to our meeting with AngelouEconomics to chat with Steve Vierck, President of Economic Development. Steve is a native of the Midwest. We agree the view from his office is pretty amazing BUT I bet he misses the beautiful fall colors we are enjoying right... [Read More...]

SPARK blogs from Austin, Texas!

Welcome to Austin, Texas! A beautiful 65 degree day welcomed me this afternoon….Not too far off the weather we are having in Michigan this week. The feel is very similar to downtown Ann Arbor. Lots of great restaurants, shops and beautiful buildings to walk around and explore before my meeting this afternoon. I am looking forward to sharing our region with Steve Vierck, President of Economic Development at AngelouEconomics. He will learn why so... [Read More...]

Reflection on the IEDC Annual Conference: Day Three

This week, I’m sharing my experiences from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2010 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Day 3 The day began with great discussions from Honorable John Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Department of Commerce, and James Hagedorn, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Marysville, Ohio. It was exciting to hear Mr. Fernandez speak about the importance... [Read More...]

Reflection on the IEDC Annual Conference: Day Two

This week, I’m sharing my experiences from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2010 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio. Day 2: It was a gloomy start with temperatures around 60 and rain but my morning tour of Technology and Higher Education really stood out in the trip. We toured the Ohio Supercomputer Center, TechColumbus, and the Dublin Entrepreneurial Center (DEC). All three locations were very unique in their infrastructure... [Read More...]

Reflection on the IEDC Annual Conference: Day One

When I left Sunday morning at 8:00 am for the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) 2010 Annual Conference in Columbus, Ohio I didn’t realize how much I would really see and learn over the next 4 days.  Over the next four days, I’ll post reflections on my experience. Day 1 My first experience at IEDC was attending the conference for the Rural/Agriculture Focus – Union County tour. Agriculture is such a strong industry in Washtenaw... [Read More...]