The University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute hosted its inaugural Elevate Forum for businesses, community leaders, and economic development colleagues at the University’s Detroit Center.  With over 100 attendees joining both in person and online, the forum offered a full day of presentations and networking.

The day commenced with opening remarks from EGI’s Executive Director, Steve Wilson.  Morning sessions focused on issues of special interest to small business owners.  Guest presenters included Ken Sanginario, who discussed ownership transition, enhancing business value, and steps leaders should consider to “future proof” their business.  Tom Meloche discussed fast emerging AI technologies and implications for small businesses and adaptive leadership.  Jenna Stolkier wrapped up the morning with her outlook on leadership and organizational culture as organizations navigate the influence of Millennials and Generation Z in the workplace.  The lunch session included Dr. Sherif Farghal’s insights on “Strategic Planning for Organizational Success,” emphasizing alignment with long-term objectives for sustainable growth.

Afternoon sessions included community and economic development-focused topics.  Larry Steckelberg of Michigan Treasury and Joe Meyers from Detroit Regional Partnership discussed the vital role of strategic partnerships and alliances in community development.  Brian Parthanum, economist with SEMCOG, and EGI’s Eli McClain discussed recent economic trends and using data to inform community decisions.  Margo Dalal, Executive Director of Detroit Community Wealth Fund, shared her work in employee ownership and its transformative power in community revievitalization.

The Economic Growth Institute extends its thanks to the University of Michigan’s Detroit Center for hosting the event and to all the sponsors who made the Elevate Forum a resounding success.  We look forward to continuing these conversations and building momentum at our next forum in 2024!

Videos of the day’s presentations will be available on EGI’s YouTube channel.  (Captions are available but are being reviewed for improvement.)

November 13, 2023

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Special thanks to our sponsors!

Event sponsor: Coact Associates

Lunch sponsored by: NSF, International and Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA)

Sponsors: Jetco, EdgeWise, SGS, Endurium, MGA, PTAC, Meaden & Moore

Sponsors of EGI's Elevate Forum 2023