Over 100 members and guests of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce (SWCRC) attended an interesting lunch and panel discussion entitled: “DTE Energy and Pure Michigan Business Connect – A Winning Combination” at The Crystal Palace in Southgate on Thursday, July 31st. This event was part of a continuing series of chamber forums intended to inform members and guests on opportunities and benefits of b2b programs, collaborative efforts from each panel members’ organization and best methods implementing the Pure Michigan Brand for business.
The first speaker, Tony Tomczak, Chief Procurement Officer for DTE Energy, spoke about the organizations’ interest to “buy local”, its commitment to diversity and how its’ business is changing as a result of regulatory reform. Mr. Tomczak emphasized the companys’ focus on increasing local purchasing to $1.3 Billion, which should bode well for small businesses interested in becoming a vendor for the large utility.
Vince Nystrom, VP of Strategic Accounts at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), spoke next about their business development team, the “Pure Michigan Business Connect” program (www.puremichiganb2b.com) and shared a promotional video on one of the strongest state marketing campaigns in the country, that being the “Pure Michigan” brand. He also provided information on the collaborative efforts the MEDC has championed to assist new and small businesses in the past, happily reporting that less support is necessary today than just a few short years ago.
The third and final speaker, Dan Ranks, Director of Operations with RKA Petroleum, a woman owned business, spoke about the 3rd generation family business which has been supplying fuel to the Michigan market for over 65 years. Mr. Ranks spoke of RKA’s mission and vision, its close relationship with DTE and that it supplies over 1,000 companies at the present time.
A short Q & A followed the presentations and ample time was provided for participants to further network with the presenters, ambassadors and other sponsors of the lunch forum. Based on the large turnout, attendees’ upbeat mood and the number of business cards exchanged, the program was very successful on a number of levels.
ROBERT E. MATTLER, Associate Broker, Attorney and LEED AP BD+C, is Director of Green Brokerage at Armada Real Estate Services in West Bloomfield, Michigan. He speaks, writes and reports about emerging green real estate and development issues in Michigan. Bob is also the senior correspondent for www.greeningdetroit.com . For more information, contact Bob at Armada Real Estate (248) 855-1221; or by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org