Advocacy Blue Arrows

Show 9, September 23, 2010:
Michigan Prosperity Agenda: Economic Development and Entrepreneurship

Program Explores How to Make a Better Michigan

We talked about creating sustainable economies in the 21st century by growing knowledge-based jobs. Strategies that solely focus on seeking out large manufacturers and big box retailers overlook the positive impact entrepreneurs and small businesses have on local communities. We discussed how Michigan communities can and are encouraging economic development efforts.

Prosperity Agenda host Dan Gilmartin will be joined by co-host John Bebow, Executive Director of the Center for Michigan. Guests include Brian Balasia, CEO of Digerati Inc., David Lossing, Lansing mayor and director of government relations for University of Michigan-Flint, and Karen Majewski, Mayor of Hamtramck.

Listen to the full show

Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League, explains the large population losses experienced in some of Michigan’s largest cities and what community leaders are now trying to do to improve their cities.

Gilmartin explains why economic development is so important to Michigan communities.

John Bebow

John Bebow, 43, is executive director of the Center for Michigan, a nonprofit "think-and-do" tank devoted to heightening citizen engagement in public affairs, producing in-depth public policy journalism, and otherwise advocating for an improved climate for prosperity in Michigan.  Before joining the Center in 2006, Bebow worked for 16 years as an investigative reporter for The Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Ann Arbor News, and Traverse City Record-Eagle. He covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq for the Detroit News and Gannett newspapers. He also served as editor-in-chief of

Bebow explains what his organization is doing to promote the positive stories happening across Michigan.

Brian Balasia

Brian Balasia is president and CEO of Digerati, Inc., and is recognized as an expert in business process engineering. As a sophomore at the University of Michigan, Balasia and classmate Joe Klecha co-founded Digerati, Inc., a company that develops individually tailored electronic records systems for medical practices and institutions.

Balasia is an example of young talent that has decided to locate in Detroit to help make Michigan a better state.

David Lossing

David Lossing has served as mayor of the city of Linden since 2004 after serving on the Linden City Council since 1998. Lossing, a member of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, currently works for the University of Michigan-Flint as the director of government relations and as an adjunct lecturer for the School of Education on UM’s Ann Arbor campus. 

Lossing talks about the Town Gown movement and how it could help Michigan communities.

Karen Majewski

Karen Majewski, a historian by profession, is the Mayor of the city of Hamtramck. Majewski, vice president of the Michigan Municipal League Board of Trustees, began her work in public service on Hamtramck's Historical Commission. She served on city council and as city council president before being elected Hamtramck's first woman mayor in 2005. She is former executive director of the Polish American Historical Association, and on the board of the Dekaban Foundation and the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. She is also a member of the Michigan Association of Mayors and Michigan Women in Municipal Government.

Majewski talks about her diverse community and the variety of businesses located there.




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