Conference SpeakersCapital Conference Expo

Massive changes have been proposed for the state's tax structure, revenue sharing and other key areas that will have a direct impact on how your community operates. It's never been more important to be informed, involved and engaged with what's going on in Lansing and Washington, D.C.

We've gathered speakers who are at the forefront of what's happening at the state and federal levels, who will talk about all the issues that could affect you and your community in the months ahead.

Here are just a few:

Charles Ballard has been on the economics faculty at Michigan State University since 1983, when he received his PhD from Stanford University. In 2007, he became director of the State of the State Survey, in MSU’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research. Also in 2007, he won the Outstanding Teacher Award in MSU’s College of Social Science. In 2011, he joined the board of directors of the Michigan League for Human Services. He has served as a consultant with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health & Human Services, and Treasury, and with research institutes in Australia, Denmark, and Finland. His books include Michigan at the Millennium and Michigan’s Economic Future. Session: Tax Reform: A Look at Long-Term Budget Fixes.

Mitchell E. Bean is the director of the Michigan House Fiscal Agency and chief fiscal advisor for the Michigan House of Representatives. He is one of three voting members of the Michigan Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference which, by law, determines the official economic and revenue forecast that serves as the basis for the state budget. Bean has extensive experience in forecasting Michigan’s tax revenue, and has produced numerous publications on related topics. He served as a statutorily-appointed commissioner on Michigan’s Legislative Commission on Government Efficiency and as the staff chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Budgets and Revenue Committee for 2009-2010. Bean is currently a member of the NCSL’s Deficit Reduction Task Force to consult with the newly created National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and serves as overall staff vice chair of the NCSL Standing Committees for 2010-2011. Session: Tax Reform: A Look at Long-Term Budget Fixes.

CeCe Grant is the Michigan organizer for Transportation for America, a national campaign working to reform federal transportation policy. She previously worked as a Program Analyst for the Department of Transportation in the Office of the Secretary. In this role, she worked closely with the Federal Railroad Administration, NHTSA, and Governmental Affairs on issues including ARRA funding for high-speed rail, Cash for Clunkers, and the federal investigation of the Toyota recall. Grant graduated from Wayne State University with an MA in Communications and is working on her second masters in legislative affairs from George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management. Session: Match Game: The Battle to Keep Federal Road Funding Dollars.

Tim Hoeffner is the administrator of the Office of High Speed Rail & Innovative Project Advancement. He also led the MDOT support team for the Transportation Funding Task Force (TF2) and former administrator of the MDOT Intermodal Policy Division. Session: Match Game: The Battle to Keep Federal Road Funding Dollars.

Gilda Z. Jacobs became president & CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services on Jan. 3, 2011. Prior to that, she was in the Michigan Legislature, serving eight years as a state senator and four years as a state representative from Huntington Woods. She made history as the first woman floor leader in either house of the Legislature.

As senator, Jacobs was the vice-chair of the Campaign & Election Oversight Committee; Families & Human Services Committee, and the Finance Committee and also served on the Economic Development & Regulatory Reform Committee; and the Health Policy Committee. Prior to serving in the Legislature, she served as an Oakland County commissioner from 1995 to 1998. She also is distinguished as the first woman elected to the Huntington Woods City Commission, serving from 1981 to 1994. General Session: How Do We Fix the State Budget Mess?

Mike Latvis is director of public policy at ArtServe Michigan, providing leadership, strategic direction, and implementation of its arts, culture. and arts education advocacy efforts. He develops advocacy campaigns and public policy initiatives to build support for the arts, artists, arts education, and cultural activities within the Michigan Legislature, State Executive Office and U.S. Congress. He also regularly contributes to discussions, forums, and texts that promote the importance of high quality diverse arts and cultural activities in Michigan communities. Latvis joined ArtServe Michigan in 2007. Latvis serves on American’s for the Arts nationwide State Arts Action Network Council, serving on the council’s Executive Committee while chairing the Programs Committee. He is currently leading ArtServe’s efforts to increase support for the arts and cultural program funding in the 2012 budget. Latvis brings extensive knowledge from over nine years of involvement with the legislative process, polling and campaigns. Latvis has experience in political and corporate research at the federal, statewide and local levels and has also worked on a number of legislative campaigns. Latvis received his bachelor of arts in political science/pre-law from Michigan State University in 2004. Session: Advocating for Our 21st Century Assets: Let's Save Michigan, Together.

Keith Ledbetter is the director of legislative affairs with the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA). He monitors legislative activities on a day-to-day basis and interacts with legislators and staff on issues affecting the heavy construction industry. He provides industry information testifies before committee and meets individually with legislators to educate them on the need to invest in infrastructure and the effect proposed laws may have on the industry. In addition to legislative duties, Ledbetter serves as a secondary spokesperson for MITA and is behind many of the press releases and other public relations efforts seen by the general public. Session: Match Game: The Battle to Keep Federal Road Funding Dollars.

Mike McGee is a principal and a managing director of Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone in the Detroit office.  He has over 25 years' experience in public finance law, including having been bond counsel on the largest bond issue in Michigan history, a $1 billion bond issue for the Midfield Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport.  McGee is a three-time University of Michigan graduate. Session: Economic Development Tools for 21st Century Communities.

Sen. John Pappageorge was raised on the east side of Detroit. His educational experience includes a bachelor of science in engineering from the US Military Academy, West Point, New York; a master of arts in government and politics from the University of Maryland at College Park; and the US Army War College. He served 30 years of active duty in the Infantry including two combat tours in Vietnam. He is airborne, ranger and pathfinder qualified. Pappageorge's decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Superior Service Medal, four Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star, nine Air Medals, the Combat Infantryman's Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

In 1998, Pappageorge was elected to the State House of Representatives for the 41st District. He spent four years as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and served his final two years on the policy side of the House as chair of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and as a member of the Employment Relations, Training and Safety Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Senior Health, Security and Retirement Committee and the Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. Session: The Future of Revenue Sharing: Is there One?

Doug Rothwell has worked as an executive in the public, private and non-profit sectors having worked for three state governors and two Fortune 500 companies.  As president & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, a business roundtable of the state's top 75 CEOs, he has led efforts to make Michigan a top ten state for economic growth through state policy changes and privately-led economic development initiatives.
 
Prior to his current position, Rothwell served as president of Detroit Renaissance, a regional CEO roundtable where he led the development and implementation of the region's first economic growth strategy; Executive Director of Worldwide Real Estate for General Motors; president and Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation; chief of staff to the governor of Delaware; and executive vice president at MBNA Corporation (now part of Bank of America).

Rothwell holds a master of public administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Delaware and attended the John F. Kennedy School’s residential program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at Harvard University. General Session: How Do We Fix the State Budget Mess?

Bill Rustem is the director of strategy for Gov. Rick Snyder. He was the chief environmental affairs adviser for former Gov. William Milliken and was the former president and CEO of Public Sector Consultants, a public policy research firm in Lansing.

Rep. Wayne Schmidt was elected to a first term in the Michigan House of Representatives in November 2008, representing residents of Grand Traverse and Kalkaska counties including the towns of Kalkaska, Traverse City, Kingsley, and Fife Lake. Schmidt attended the University of Chicago, majoring in economics and public policy and is a graduate of the Michigan State University Political Leadership Program. Schmidt was elected five times to the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners where he had terms as vice chair and chair of the board. Session: Economic Development Tools for 21st Century Communities.

Craig Thiel returned to Citizen’s Research Council in 2006 after serving as the Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellow from 1993 to 1995. He previously worked for the Michigan Legislature in the non-partisan House and Senate Fiscal Agencies from 1997 to 2006. Thiel's career also includes work at the Michigan Department of State and the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago. His work at CRC focuses primarily on state government finance issues, including the budget and tax policy.

Thiel holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science from Kalamazoo College and a masters degree in public administration from Wayne State University. He holds positions on various professional, non-profit, and local government boards/associations and works out of the Lansing office. Session: Tax Reform: A Look at Long-Term Budget Fixes.

 

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