Let's Save Michigan

Economics of Place

Center for 21st Century Communities


About the Speakers...

puentesRobert Puentes, Senior Fellow
The Brookings Institution

Robert Puentes focuses on the broad array of policies and issues related to metropolitan growth and development. He is an expert on transportation and infrastructure, urban planning, growth management, suburban issues and housing.


gilmartinDan Gilmartin, Executive Director
Michigan Municipal League

Dan Gilmartin is the executive director & CEO of the Michigan Municipal League. Through his work with communities, Dan is recognized as a national leader in the fields of urban revitalization, placemaking, local government reform and transportation policy. Model D Media recently referred to him as “an urban thinker with an eye for the small, oft-unnoticed changes that can make ‘places’ out of streets and buildings.” Dan serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the National League of Cities and as a member of the Michigan Future, Inc. Leadership Council. He also served for four years as the lead advocate for Michigan’s communities in Lansing and in Washington, where he concentrated on a number of key issues including transportation, land use and urban redevelopment.


studleyRich Studley, President and CEO
Michigan Chamber of Commerce

As Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Chamber, Rich is responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing of all Chamber programs including legislative and political action. He is a registered lobbyist and serves as the Chamber's chief spokesperson on a wide range of subjects including Transportation, Travel & Tourism, and Telecommunications.


neunerRory Neuner, Project Coordinator
Transportation for Michigan

Rory Neuner is the project coordinator for the Transportation for Michigan coalition, created in 2011 to make Michigan communities more livable and economically robust through transportation policy reform. Rory has nearly a decade of experience working on land use and transportation policy reform at the local and state levels. Prior to joining Trans4M, Rory managed coalition-building and policy campaigns in ten states for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership's State Network Project. From 2008 to 2010, Rory worked for MEC as an Urban Policy Specialist, where she advocated for Michigan's first local complete streets ordinance (Lansing), and co-founded the Michigan Complete Streets Coalition, a group of organizations that helped pass statewide complete streets legislation in 2010. A resident of Lansing, Rory earned a political science degree from Yale University, spent a year studying city planning at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Design, and holds a Master's Degree from the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy. She is the Vice-Chair of the Board of the League of Michigan Bicyclists, and was a 2010 Michigan Political Leadership Fellow.


kolbChris Kolb, Executive Director
Michigan Environmental Council

Chris Kolb assumed the presidency of the Michigan Environmental Council on Jan. 1, 2009. An environmental champion in the legislature and a veteran of the environmental management field, Kolb was one of the legislature’s most consistent and vigorous defenders of clean water, clean air and public health during his six years as State Representative from the 53rd District. He was instrumental in important environmental legislation, including joint planning commissions, land bank authorities, lead poisoning prevention for children, regulation of dangerous polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs), establishment of a fund to help clean up leaking underground storage tanks, and numerous land use initiatives.



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