Josh Linkner, CEO and managing partner, Detroit Venture Partners, moderated the panel comprised of Angel Gambino, senior vice president, digital innovations, Westfield Shoppingtowns; Rick DeVos, CEO, Start Garden; Chris Rizik, CEO and fund manager, Renaissance Venture Capital Fund; and Dave Zilko, chairman, Garden Fresh Salsa Inc.
The panelists emphasized the need for Michigan business and entrepreneurs to abandon business as usual, move into a new culture of ideas and opportunity, and rediscover the early-stage business. Zilko said Michigan has been too focused on security and stressed the importance of learning to treasure and embrace opportunity.
The 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference kicked off this afternoon with an opening address from Governor Rick Snyder, who took the Conference stage following an introduction by 2012 Conference Chair and CEO of Henry Ford Health System Nancy Schlichting.
Ralph Gilles addressed the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference this morning in a discussion focused on the importance of innovation and design in the automotive industry following an introduction from David Breen, North American Automotive Leader and Greater Michigan Managing partner, PwC.
The automotive industry has gone through an amazing transition in the last three years. This session will feature a discussion on how product innovation and design were critical elements in the global turnaround and how companies who kept new product designs in the pipeline were able to lead the recovery. Paneled session featured Ralph Gilles, President and CEO, SRT Brand and Motorsports; Senior Vice President, Design, Chrysler Group, LLC and Imre Molnar, Dean, College of Creative Studies, with John McElroy, Host, Autoline moderating.
Former Mayor of Washington, D.C. Anthony Williams said building a collaborative effort to confront existing challenges and leveraging Detroit’s assets is crucial to leading Detroit’s recovery. Williams, who is largely credited with turning around Washington, D.C. during his two terms as mayor, was introduced by Dennis Archer, chairman emeritus of Dickinson Wright PLLC and chairman and CEO, Dennis W. Archer PLLC.