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LEAP Board of Directors Speaker Series

Our board of directors is comprised of a diverse range of public and private sector leaders committed to building strong communities in the tri-county area. At each of our bi-monthly board meetings, we invite a different guest speaker to discuss a timely economic development-related topic, share updates on LEAP projects within our communities, and more. Learn more about how your organization can take advantage of these kind of member benefits here and read about previous speakers and topics below.


Innovating in Insurance with PROTO InsurTech

Tony Willis, Director of New Economy, LEAP and President, PROTO Accelerator; Ron Shalit, Founder and CEO, Supportomate; Declan Trumble, Founder and CEO, KudosHealth; Alex Devoto, Founder and CEO, LVLFi | June 4, 2019

Tony Willis, Director of New Economy, LEAP and President, PROTO Accelerator, joined our board of directors in June along with PROTO InsurTech's inaugural cohort to discuss how the program is innovating in the insurance space and bolstering Michigan's entrepreneurial ecosystem. After an overview of the PROTO InsurTech program, Ron Shalit, Declan Trumble and Alex Devoto all took the stage to present their companies and products. 

After their presentations, the three insurtech founders participated in a Q & A about the PROTO InsurTech program and the solutions their companies have worked on with PROTO over the three-month accelerator program. Read more about PROTO InsurTech, Supportomate, KudosHealth and LVLFi here.

Trade Deals, Tariffs and Other Implications for the Auto Industry in 2019

Bernard Swiecki, Director of Automotive Communities Partnership and Kristin Dziczek, Vice President of Industry, Labor & Economics, Center for Automotive Research | April 2, 2019

Bernard Swiecki and Kristin Dziczek of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), a nonprofit with more than 30 years experience forecasting industry trends, advising on public policy and sponsoring multi-stakeholder communication forums, joined our board of directors in April to provide information on their 2019 forecast for the auto industry in Michigan, the U.S. and worldwide.

Swiecki covered sales projections, positive influences on the forecast including high levels of consumer confidence and risks to the forecast including substantial uncertainty surrounding trade and the global economy. Dziczek delved more deeply into the implications of trade turbulence including NAFTA, the USMCA, union relations and relations with China and Mexico. Read more about their presentation here


The Power of Placemaking as Talent Attraction and Retention

Lou Glazer, President and Co-Founder of Michigan Future, Inc. | Feb. 5, 2019

Lou Glazer is President and Co-Founder of Michigan Future, Inc., a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that aims to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world-class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its latest report, "A Path to Good-paying Careers for all Michiganders: Creating places across Michigan where people want to live and work," highlights the importance of regional placemaking efforts to talent attraction and economic prosperity.

Glazer currently heads efforts to promote a state policy agenda designed to raise the living standards of all Michiganders. Prior to founding Michigan Future, he served as Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Commerce during the Blanchard administration. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Michigan. Read more about his presentation here

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