Angela Barbash, Founder of Reconsider
Barbash studied Cultural Anthropology and History at Eastern Michigan University, developing an appreciation for entrepreneurship while working at the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center before entering the financial services industry in Metro Detroit. Following the 2008 market correction she began to notice a significant shift in the industry toward local investing, social entrepreneurship, and putting meaning back into money making. She launched Reconsider in 2012. She now primarily serves as a Principal and Investment Advisor at Reconsider’s sister company Revalue, a registered investment advisory firm.
Ralph Becker, Salt Lake City Mayor
Now in his second term of office, Mayor Ralph Becker continues his commitment to champion the goals of efficient and accessible transit, sustainability and furthering Salt Lake City as a transcendent, sophisticated and burgeoning urban powerhouse. His agenda centers on increasing livability through initiatives that give choices back to residents including transportation alternatives, green initiatives, and equality. In his first term he greatly expanded transportation options focused on public transit, trails, and bikeways, enhancing the region's economy.
Jase Bolger, Speaker of the House, Michigan
Speaker of the House Jase Bolger is in his third term as a State Representative and his second as Speaker. He represents Michigan's 63rd District, which includes the cities of Marshall and Galesburg and Richland, Ross, Kalamazoo, Comstock, Charleston, Pavilion, Climax, Brady, and Wakeshma townships in Kalmazoo County; and Emmett, Marengo, Marshall, Leroy, Newton, Fredonia, Eckford, Athens, Burlington, Tekonsha, Clarendon, and Homer townships in Calhoun County. Bolger is a successful small businessman who spent a decade in civic and community involvement before being first elected to public office in 2004 as a Calhoun County commissioner.
Lt. Governor Brian Calley, State of Michigan
Prior to becoming America's youngest lieutenant governor in 2011, Calley spent a decade in the private sector working as a community banker helping entrepreneurs grow or maintain Michigan-based jobs and operations. As an Ionia County commissioner, Calley advocated for transparency and accountability. He became a state representative in 2007 and served as the ranking Republican on the House Tax Policy Committee. As lieutant governor in partnership with Governor Snyder, Calley played a key role in Michigan's recent tax overhaul.
Cortese is an award-winning journalist and editor who covers topics spanning business, finance, food, wine and environmental issues. Her work has appeared in the the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, New York, Business Week, the Daily News, Portfolio, Mother Jones, Afar, The American, the Daily Beast, Talk, Business 2.0 and Wired, among other publications. Her book, Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From it (John Wiley & Sons, June 2011), explores how a small shift in investment away from multinationals towards locally-owned enterprises can reap enormous economic and social benefits for individuals and communities.
Driskell is serving her first term in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing Michigan’s 52nd House District which encompasses northern and western Washtenaw County, including Saline, Dexter, and Manchester. Before serving in the Legislature, Driskell served as the mayor of Saline for 14 years and prior to that served six years as a city council member. She has worked as a commercial real estate agent and an accountant, and previously served as vice president and a board member of the Michigan Municipal League, MML Elected Officials Academy, and as chair of the MML Workers’ Compensation Fund.
Rick DeVries, President & CEO, Monarch Community Bankcorp, Monarch Community Bank
DeVries was previously the president and CEO of Pavilion Bancorp Inc./Bank of Lenawee in Adrian, Michigan. During his five years as president he developed a dynamic sales and credit culture while significantly increasing shareholder value. DeVries also has a diverse background in banking, working as the president and CEO of Bank One/Citizens Bank in Ypsilanti and Lansing, commercial lending, venture capital lending, corporate training, commercial loan officer, and commercial lending trainee. He obtained his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Central Michigan University in the areas of Finance, Marketing, and Economics.
Steve Duchane, Eastpointe City Manager
Eastpointe City Manager Steve Duchane has worked in local government management for more than 31 years. Prior to becoming Eastpointe’s manager, Duchane served as Lincoln Park’s first city manager and also held similar positions in Sterling Heights, Corunna, Howell, and Marysville, California. His public service includes the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, Michigan Suburbs Alliance Board of Directors, and the Michigan Municipal League Public Services Committee.
Greimel is serving his first full term in the Michigan House of Representatives and is the House Democratic Leader. He represents the 29th District, which includes Auburn Hills, Keego Harbor, Orchard Lake Village, Pontiac, and Sylvan Lake. Before joining the Legislature, Greimel worked as an attorney in the field of labor, employment, and civil rights. He is also a former school board member and school board president, as well as a member of the Oakland County Commission. Greimel’s signature issues include K-12 education funding, jobs creation and small business growth, environmental protections, and restoring tax deductions and credits for middle-class families.
Kevin Hitchen, Co-Founder of Localstake
Prior to founding Localstake, Hitchen worked in institutional investment management and due diligence at the Indiana Public Retirement System. He began his career at J.P. Morgan providing investment and wealth advisory solutions to individuals and families, many of whom were business owners or former business owners. Hitchen received his Bachelors of Science in Finance from Butler University. He holds the Series 7, 24, 79, and 66 securities licenses and is a CFA charterholder.
Debra Horner, Project Manager, Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, University of MIchigan
Horner is a project manager with UM's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, where she manages the surveys of the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS) program, an ongoing research program of state-wide surveys of local government leaders in Michigan. She received her doctorate in Political Science from the University of Michigan and has experience in survey research both in academia and the private sector with Ford Motor Company. Her primary areas of research center on political attitudes and political participation, as well as local government policy and policymaking.
Ed Koryzno, Administrator, Michigan Office of Fiscal Responsibility
Koryzno was appointed by the Michigan State Treasurer’s Office in 2012 to serve as administrator of the Office of Fiscal Responsibility, working with financially stressed communities to help them avoid emergency management. Koryzno previously served as the city manager of Ypsilanti for 15 years. Prior to that he served as city manager for Fenton, Spring Lake, and Grand Haven, and was also on the board of directors of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance.
Daniel Miller, Co-Founder of Fundrise
As co-founder of Fundrise, Miller's responsibilities include expanding the company’s presence in new markets outside of Washington, D.C. Daniel is also co-founder of Popularise, a real estate crowdsourcing website, and Managing Partner of WestMill Capital Partners, a Washington D.C. based real estate development company. He remains involved with Western Development Corporation, his family’s real estate organization which has developed more than 20 million square feet in its 46-year history.
John Norquist , President and CEO of the Congress for New Urbanism
Norquist served as mayor of Milwaukee from 1988 to 2004 and worked there to promote sustainable development and walkable neighborhoods. In 1998, he authored "The Wealth of Cities,"a book that describes how new urbanism "a planning concept where new development imitates the narrow streets and mixed-uses of traditional neighborhoods" could help rescue American cities.
Schor is serving his first term in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing Michigan’s 68th House District, which includes the city of Lansing as well as parts of Ingham County and Lansing Township. Before serving in the Legislature, Schor served in the Lansing community for years, most recently as assistant director for state affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He also has extensive experience in the Legislature working for Democratic state Sen. Gary Peters and Democratic state Rep. Paul Condino. Schor also served for a year in Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s administration. He was reelected four times as an Ingham County Commissioner starting in 2002.
Sam Singh, State Representative
Singh is serving his first term in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing Michigan’s 69th House District, which includes East Lansing, Haslett, Okemos, Williamstown Township, and Locke Township. A proud first-generation Indian-American whose parents immigrated to Michigan from India in the 1960s, Singh was first elected to the East Lansing City Council at age 24, where he served a term as mayor during his 10 years on council. Singh also served as president and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association and also worked on the New Economy Initiative, working to move Michigan to a knowledge-based economy.
Tim Skubick is a senior member of the Capitol Press Corp whose career in Michigan political journalism has spanned four governorships and more than 30 years. Read More In addition to his role as Capitol reporter for the Michigan Radio Network, Skubick is political editor for Lansing’s NBC affiliate, WILX, and also reports on the state capitol for WWJ in Detroit. Skubick also anchors “Off the Record,” a public television interview show which chronicles Michigan government. Skubick was recently inducted into the Michigan Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and has published two books focusing on Michigan politics.
State Representative Jim Townsend is serving his second term in the Michigan House of Representatives, representing Michigan’s 26th House District, which covers Madison Heights and Royal Oak. Townsend is a local small business owner who previously served as the executive director of the Tourism Economic Development Council, guiding a strategy to increase Southeast Michigan’s tourism economy. He also founded the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to revitalizing and reinventing communities including Royal Oak and Madison Heights.
VerHeulen was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2012, representing Michigan’s 74th House District, which includes the cities of Walker, Grandville, Rockford, and Cedar Springs, and the townships of Solon, Tyrone, Sparta, Algoma, and Alpine. VerHeulen was the city of Walker's mayor from 2001 to 2012. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee where he chairs the Transportation Subcommittee, is vice chair of the Department of Community Health Subcommittee, and serves on the subcommittees on Judiciary and Higher Education.
Dayne Walling, City of Flint
Walling is currently serving his second term as mayor of the city of Flint. A Flint native, Walling is a graduate of Flint Central High School and has the distinct honor of being Flint’s only Rhodes Scholar. His past professional experience includes: owner and manager of 21st Century Performance, work with the Genesee County Land Bank’s affiliated Genesee Institute, and founder of Flint Club. Mayor Walling has also worked with the Urban Coalition of Minnesota. He was an aide to Washington DC Mayor Anthony Williams, and worked for U.S. Congressman Dale Kildee. His educational background includes a Master of Arts in Urban Studies from Goldsmith's College, University of London.
Senator Gretchen Whitmer of East Lansing is Senior Democratic Leader and is the first woman to lead a caucus in the Michigan Senate. First elected to the State Senate in 2006, she previously served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2000-2006, where she served as the ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee. As an attorney in private practice, Whitmer specialized in regulatory and administrative litigation. Her record includes spearheading changes to the Michigan law regarding embryonic stem cell research, and she is a strong supporter of education, government reform, and anti-bullying legislation, as well as numerous consumer protection issues.