About the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas

The Michigan Economic Center is a center for ideas and a network of state and local leaders and citizens working to:

Advance a vision for Michigan’s economic renewal;
Provide policy ideas and solutions that realize the vision; and
Engage and support a diverse network of citizens, leaders, and organizations in advancing the vision and making ideas for a more competitive, innovative, and global Michigan a reality.

Download Original Report

Project Team

John Austin, Michigan Economic Center at  Prima Civitas

Dan Thompson, Prima Civitas

Phil Roos, Roosterworks Consulting

Producer / Project Manager: Martina Guzman

Video Director / Producer: Andrea Clair Maio

Photographer: Cybelle Codish

Editor: Brian Smith

Digital Design: Courtney Hurtt

Media Strategist: Terry Parris Jr.

Michigan Economic Center at the Prima Civitas

John Austin, Director  |  303 Detroit St. Suite 400  |  Ann Arbor MI 48104  |  734.474.3110  |  @John_C_Austin



The “Michigan Dream” Restored Initiative – Public Goods Policy Development and Agenda-Setting Project, has been made possible by the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Financial support was also provided by a set of institutions and individuals who make up the Investor-Leadership Council of the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas who have given generously of their time and dollars including:

  • Amber Arrellano, Director, Education Trust Midwest
  • Todd Anuskiewicz, Retired Executive VP MERRA
  • Derek Bailey, Past Chairman, Grand Traverse Band – Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
  • Fay Beydoun, Executive Director, Arab American Chamber of Commerce
  • Fred Blanck, Strategic Advisor, Wallside Windows
  • Paul Brown, Founder, Front Door Insights
  • Kathleen Cavanaugh, Cavanaugh Gallery
  • Jonathan Citrin, Founder & CEO, Citrin Group
  • Matt Clayson, Director, Detroit Creative Corridor Center
  • Daniel Cherrin, Attorney, Fraser Trebilcock
  • Paul Dimond, Senior Counsel, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone PLC
  • Steve Ender, President, Grand Rapids Community College
  • Barbara Ryan Fuller, Director, Director, MI List
  • Jan Garfinkle, Founder and Managing Director, Arboretum Ventures
  • Robert Garvey, President, Thomas, Garvey, Garvey & Sciotti, PLLC
  • Steve Hamp, Chair, New Economy Initiative; Michigan Educational Excellence Fund/EAA;
    • Former President the Henry Ford
  • William Hall, Director, Sustainability and Business Continuity, Chrysler Corporation
  • Fred Hoffman, Of Counsel, Clark Hill PLC
  • Mohamad Issa, Director, Global Educational Excellence
  • Arthur Horwitz,  Publisher & Executive Editor, Detroit Jewish News
  • James Jacobs, President, Macomb Community College
  • Riyaz Kanji, Kanji and Katzen, P.L.L.C.
  • Dan Little, Chancellor, University of Michigan Dearborn
  • William Milliken, Jr., Principal, Milliken Realty Company
  • Jeff Padden, President, Public Policy Associates
  • Phil Roos, former CEO, Gfk Strategic Consulting
  • Dan Scripps, Vice-President of Capital Innovation, Advanced Energy Economy
  • Dan Varner, CEO, Excellent Schools Detroit
  • Arnold Weinfeld, Prima Civitas
  • Katherine E. White, Professor of Law, Wayne State University

As Director of the Michigan Economic Center, I would also like to acknowledge the critical support, guidance and help in this project from the Prima Civitas Board of Directors and staff, including CEO Arnold Weinfeld, and the staff team for their collaboration and support.

The Advisory Board assembled for the project has been an invaluable resource and source of guidance, ideas, and continued collaboration moving forward. The MEC thanks Advisory Board Members:  Peter Battani, Kalamazoo County Administrator; Regina Bell, former Policy Director, Governor Granholm; Fred Blanck, Strategic Advisor, Wallside Windows; John Bebow, President and CEO, Center for Michigan; Mike Boulus, Executive Director, Presidents Council State Universities of Michigan; Rosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids City Commisioner; Paul Brown, Founder, Front Door Insights; Andy Buchsbaum, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Region; Paul Dimond, Miller Canfield, former National Economic Council; Rob Fowler, President, Small Business Association of Michigan; Dan Gilmartin, Executive Director, Michigan Municipal League; Don Gilmer, former State Budget Director, Kalamazoo County Administrator; Jennifer Goulet, ArtServe Michigan, Thomas Haas, President, Grand Valley State University; Mike Hansen,  President, Michigan Community College Association; Steve Hamp, Chair, New Economy Initiative; Michigan Educational Excellence Fund/EAA, Former President the Henry Ford; Jim Jacobs, President, Macomb Community College; Gilda Jacobs, President, Michigan League for Public Policy; Lou Glazer, President, Michigan Future, Inc.; Chris Kolb, Executive Director, Michigan Environmental Council; Glenn Mroz, President, Michigan Technological University; Timothy J. Nelson, President, Northwestern Michigan College; Tremaine Phillips, Policy Director, Prima Civitas Foundation; Cyndi Roper, Executive Director, Michigan Voice; Karla Swift, President, Michigan AFL-CIO; Dan Varner, CEO, Excellent Schools Detroit; Kayla West, former CEO Lake Superior Hospice, American Red Cross, Marquette; Tom Woiwode, Director, Greenways Initiative, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan; Lisa Wozniak, Executive Director, Michigan League of Conservation Voters;  — for their service and commitment to this work.

I also thank EPIC- MRA its leadership and staff for active, timely and high quality assistance with the citizen survey, in particular Bernie Porn, John Cavanagh, and Kelly Sullivan.

Finally, I would like to thank a key set of individuals: Steve Hamp, Lou Glazer, Phil Roos, and Dave Waymire for ongoing work and planning to develop and set the course of this initiative; Chris Dorle for pitching in joining his former colleague Phil Roos in planning, executing and analyzing the Focus groups; and Cassie Basler for aiding  ongoing work of the initiative

June 30, 2014



John Austin