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Knowledge • News • Insights
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Upcoming and recent MBN Speakers Series events.

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The Michigan Business Network Speaker Series connects some of the most influential business and thought leaders with the Michigan business community. Industry experts share their stories, expertise, and advice covering a variety of business topics. Sponsorship support and generosity allow MBN to offer the series six times per year.

Thank you to those who made it out to April 23rd's Spring Business Sports Luncheon, we are processing the photos, and video from that occasion, so check back so for highlights from:

Robyn Fralick :
MSU Women's Basketball Head Coach

April 23, 2024, 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Friendship Hall - Capital Region International Airport, Lansing MI

Robyn Fralick Online Promo V6


The recent MBN Speaker Series Luncheon Event took place on February 22nd at the Eagle Eye Golf and Banquet Center.  

george-franklin-Cropped-1Our guest speaker this month is George Franklin (left).  As a lawyer, lobbyist and former Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs for Kellogg Company, George Franklin has an insider’s perspective on how Washington works and doesn’t. He spent years in the halls of Congress as a major player on behalf of the food industry where he developed the anecdotes and saw firsthand the outrageous personalities parodied in this book. 

Here's his presentation from the Eagles Nest, that afternoon it is shared below in this YouTube Video:

Here's the series of presentations for the Michigan Future Business Index, and other 2023 reviews and 2024 forecasts from the breakfast event in January 2024.


Thanks to those who came out for the recent 2024 Mid-Michigan Economic Forecast Breakfast.

Lots of great stories came out of that morning, we will be posting them across the MBN website. Click on the graphic below to check out the presentation.

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The MBN Speaker Series 2023 Fall Business Sports Luncheon is on Nov 30th at the Capital Regional International Airport.  Taking place in their newly renovated conference room located in the main terminal area near TSA.  Doors open at 11 am and will end at 1:30 pm.

Jake Boss Jr. was appointed the 16th head coach in Michigan State baseball history on July 1, 2008, and has quickly become one of the most successful coaches in the program’s 130-year history.

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MBN 2023 Speaker Series: Mobility and Talent Luncheon

MBN hosted MICHauto's Glenn Stevens Jr. and MEDC's Kerry Ebersole Singh to speak to us about Auto, Mobility, and Talent.

Date and time: Tuesday, September 12 · 11 am - 1:30 pm EDT

Location: Capital Region International Airport

MFBI Q2 Release Webinar V5

MBN Speaker Series | Q2 2023
Michigan Future Business Index
(MFBI) Release Virtual Statewide Webinar

July 6, 2023, 10:30 am to 12:00 Noon

Location: Online via ZOOM - Watch for the Follow-up Video in days to come.

MBN & Cinnaire Story about the MFBI release!


2023 Spring Business Sports Luncheon

Was held May 3rd featuring MSU Men's Hockey Coach Adam Nightingale.

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Lunch with Michigan's U.S. Senators

Took place on February 10th.

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2023 Mid-Michigan Economic Forecast Breakfast

Took place on January 11th.

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2022 Fall Business Sports Luncheon

A professional administrator with more than 20 years of experience in athletics, law enforcement, and higher education, Alan Haller was appointed Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on Sept. 1, 2021, by Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.

Thursday, December 1st Haller was the latest Featured Speaker for the MBN Speakers Series - Fall Business Sports Luncheon. Chris Holman has been hosting Business Sports Luncheons since 2004, and MBN has held two events each year since 2017. This was hosted at Friendship Hall in the Capital Region International Airport.

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A former MSU football player and member of the track and field team as well as a former cornerback in the NFL, Haller joined MSU Athletics in 2010, following a 13-year career with the MSU Department of Police and Public Safety. He is credited with being part of the successful efforts to recruit MSU’s all-time winningest coach Mark Dantonio and current MSU head football coach Mel Tucker. He also championed the addition of the department’s inaugural chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Dr. Ashley Baker.

In his first year as athletic director in 2021-22, Michigan State finished 41st in the Learfield Directors’ Cup standings, the highest finish for the department since 2014-15. Led by Big Ten Coach of the Year Mel Tucker, the football team won 11 games for just the sixth time in school history and finished in the top 10 of the national polls (No. 8 Coaches, No. 9 AP) after beating No. 12 Pitt in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, marking MSU’s second New Year’s Six bowl win. Six teams earned team NCAA postseason bids, including men’s and women’s cross country, men’s basketball, gymnastics, and men’s and women’s golf. The men’s basketball team extended its Big Ten record with its 24th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, while the gymnastics team posted a team-record score and a program-best final ranking of No. 9 in the nation.

The Spartans also continued their excellence in the classroom over the past year, extending the department’s run of compiling over a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average for the 23rd straight semester. In the spring of 2022, the department compiled a cumulative 3.2831 GPA, the second-highest in school history. Eighteen teams delivered a 3.0 semester GPA and 19 teams are maintaining a 3.0 cumulative GPA, including five programs (women’s golf, women’s soccer, softball, baseball, and women’s basketball) that posted their highest cumulative GPA in team history. In addition, 371 student-athletes were recognized on the Academic All-Big Ten team, including a conference-best 11 honorees with perfect 4.0 GPAs in the fall, and 126 earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors.

Now in his 12th year overall with MSU Athletics, Haller was promoted to Deputy Athletic Director in 2019 after serving as the Chief of Staff and Senior Associate Athletic Director the previous three years.

As a member of the department’s senior executive staff, Haller’s career in athletics placed him in numerous leadership positions. His role as Assistant Vice President and Deputy Athletic Director had him responsible for coordination of external relations, capital projects, athletics facilities, and event management. He assisted with the department financial planning and management of the budget, led the facilities planning team, oversaw coordination and completion of a facility master plan, and supervised all athletics construction projects in addition to being a senior advisor to the Athletic Director.

Haller has extensive experience working directly with teams as a sport administrator, including football. He also has led coaching search committees, including playing a prominent role in the hiring of football head coach Mel Tucker in February 2020. Haller previously led the senior staff/sport administrator group responsible for administration of all varsity sports and provided leadership, direction, and supervision to sport supervisors.

As the head administrator of the external relations team, Haller worked closely with athletic communications, marketing and the Spartan Fund to coordinate all aspects of planning, implementation, execution and measurement of the goals and objectives of the department’s external units.

Haller also works directly with campus leadership in providing guidance to the department on a wide range of issues, including serving as a liaison to the General Counsel’s Office, Office of Institutional Equity, Residential and Hospitality Services, Student Affairs, and student governing organizations. He led the reopening/return to campus planning for Athletics Department in 2020 and is currently on committees for the Reopening Campus Taskforce; Community Relations Committee; Race, Diversity and Inclusion Group; and the Clery Compliance Committee.

A former Spartan football letterwinner, Haller’s relationships with current and former student-athletes continues to be an important asset for the athletic department and the overall well-being of the student-athletes. He also helps manage student-athlete conduct and accountability.

Haller joined the athletic department as an Associate Athletic Director in 2010. In 2015, he was promoted to Senior Associate Athletic Director, and added Chief of Staff to his title in 2017.

Haller led the transition of the Varsity ‘S’ Club into being a fully integrated part of the MSU Athletics Department when was named the executive director in January 2013. The Varsity ‘S’ Club previously was run entirely by volunteer Spartan letterwinners. With the utilization of the resources of the athletics department, the collaboration has enhanced the club’s ability to gather and engage all Spartan letterwinners through more involved interaction.

Prior to his appointment in athletics, Haller was a 1st Lt. for the MSU Police Department and served on the force for 13 years. While serving as a 1st Lt. for the MSU Police Department, Haller was in charge of the Uniform Division, which is the largest component of the department.

A four-year letterman as a cornerback for Coach George Perles from 1988-91, Haller earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as both a junior and senior and made three postseason bowl appearances with the Spartans (1989 Gator, 1989 Aloha and 1990 John Hancock). The former Lansing (Mich.) Sexton star, who also lettered in track at MSU, was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fifth round of the 1992 National Football League Draft. Haller spent three seasons in the NFL, playing for Cleveland (1992), Pittsburgh (1992-93) and Carolina (1995).

During the football coaching search in 2006, Haller played a key role in the hiring process of Mark Dantonio, who went on to become the winningest coach in Spartan history, joining former MSU Athletics Director Ron Mason, head men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo, and Mark Hollis on the selection team.

Haller holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State and a master’s degree in human resources from Central Michigan.

Capital Region International Airport - Friendship Hall Conference Room.

For those attending, please park in CRAA Short Term Parking.

Corporate Transparency Act Panel Discussion

Michigan Business Network found out about The Corporate Transparency Act, in late July 2022, and on October 13th we shared the important details in an event to educate the business community about this topic!

Todd McCracken, current president of the National Small Business Association shares the stage with Foster Swift Attorney Robert Hamor for a panel discussion led by MBN's Chris Holman to cover a crucial topic for small businesses:

MBN Speaker Series | Special Panel Discussion, this took place Thursday, October 13th • 12:30 Noonhour at the Michigan Room, the campus of Lansing Community College.

Michigan's Mobility Panel Discussion (virtual event)

Chris Holman was joined, Wednesday, September 8, 2021, by a pair of engaging and knowledgeable panelists, to discuss and learn what is going on right now across our state in this sector. Carla Bailo is the President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and is a leader in engineering and vehicle program management with 35 years of experience in the automotive industry. Glenn Stevens Jr. is the executive director of MICHauto and serves as the Detroit Regional Chamber’s vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives. In this role, Stevens provides strategic direction and leadership to the MICHauto program in its efforts to promote, grow and retain Michigan’s automotive and next-generation mobility industries. -- A supplement with intended panelist Trevor Pawl, Chief Mobility Officer MI Office of Mobility and Future Electrification, will be recorded soon.

Thank you very much for the generous support of our event sponsors


Michigan Future Business Index Release (virtual event)

Ryan T. Robinson, CPA​, Executive Vice President, Operations & Corporate Risk Management of Cinnaire stepped in for their CEO Mark McDaniel, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, presenting the results of the recent economic survey.  The MFBI release was accompanied by a series of mid-year reviews and forecasts from leaders across the varied geography of Michigan. With reports coming in from the Upper Peninsula, upper Mitten, Mid-Michigan, Western Michigan, and Southeastern Michigan, their insights remarkably echoed each other and the findings of the MFBI. Watch the video above, or check out the Michigan Future Business Index page.

Thank you very much for the generous support of our event sponsors


BILL BEEKMAN (virtual event)

The MBN Speaker Series continued virtually with a special Business + Sports event featuring the MSU Athletic Director, Bill Beekman! Bill is responsible for oversight of MSU’s varsity sports teams as well as the care of more than 700 Spartan student-athletes. He provides leadership in the areas of sports management, game operations, financial administration, personnel, advancement, corporate interaction, facility management, marketing, and communication. 

Full Bio: Bill Beekman Bio.pdf


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DR. ROBERT McMAHAN (virtual event)

Dr. Robert K. McMahan speaks at MBN Speaker Series

The Michigan Business Network welcomed Dr. Robert K. McMahan to speak at the 2021 MBN Speaker Series. Dr. McMahan is President of Kettering University, one of the nation’s premier engineering, science, business universities, and is a national leader in preparing STEM and business entrepreneurs and innovators.

Full Bio: Dr. McMahan Bio.pdf


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TOM KELLY (virtual event)

The MBN Speaker Series continued virtually with Automation Alley’s Tom Kelly. Tom is a globally recognized expert on Industry 4.0 and its impact on business. As executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, Kelly oversees strategic planning and all ongoing activities for the organization, including programs and services designed to help businesses increase revenue, reduce costs and make strategic decisions during a time of rapid technological change.

Special thank you to everyone who attended and participated in the event! 

Full Bio: Tom Kelly Bio.pdf

Tom Kelly Sponsors (300ppi)


The Michigan Business Network held a 2021 Statewide Economic Forecast on Wednesday, December 16th. Industry experts from around our state will review regional, state, and national trends as they relate to Michigan.

program download: 2021 Statewide Economic Forecast.pdf


  • Paul King, ROI Insight, presenting the Michigan Future Business Index (video)
  • Amy Clickner, CEO of Lake Superior Community Partnership (Slides)
  • Warren Call, President & CEO of Traverse City Connect (video)
  • James McBryde, President & CEO of Middle Michigan Development Corp. (no slides) 
  • Birgit Klohs, President & CEO of the Right Place Inc. (video)
  • Jim Robey, Director of Regional Economic Planning Services, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research (video)
  • Ron Kitchens, Senior Partner & CEO of Southwest Michigan First (no slides)
  • Bob Trezise, President & CEO of Lansing Economic Area Partnership (slides)
  • Tom Kelly, Executive Director & CEO of Automation Alley (video)

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Thank you for joining the Michigan Business Network and community leaders for the annual 2021 Economic Forecast. The 2021 Economic Forecast for Mid-Michigan is one of the most anticipated economic forecast events in our community. 

Industry experts reviewed regional, state, and national trends as they relate to Mid-Michigan, providing an overall economic forecast for our area. 

program download: 2021 Economic Forecast for Mid-Michigan.pdf


  • Paul King, ROI Insight
  • Jade Sims, International Business Center at MSU
  • Julie Pingston, Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Tim Daman, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Bob Trezise, Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP)
  • Dr. Charles Ballard, Michigan State University Economic Dept.

MEFS Sponsors


The MBN Speaker Series continues virtually with a special Business + Sports event featuring the MSU Men's Head Basketball Coach, Tom Izzo! 

Now in his 25th year, Izzo has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including the 2000 NCAA National Championship, nine regular-season Big Ten Championships, six Big Ten Tournament titles, eight Final Four appearances, eight National Coach of the Year awards and a Big Ten-record 22 straight NCAA Tournament appearances. This marks the third time Izzo has headlined MBN's Business/Sports event. He previously was featured in 2007 and 2017 for a series which has been running annually since 2004. 
Full Bio: Tom Izzo Bio.pdf
NOTE: MSU Athletic Director Bill Beekman has informed us that he is being called into an unanticipated Board of Regents board meeting. In his place the speaker for Thursday, Oct 29th will be MSU Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Izzo.


Thank You To Our Sponsors!   

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SANDY BARUAH (virtual event)

MBN Speaker Series continued virtually on Wednesday, September 16th with speaker Sandy K. Baruah. Sandy is president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, the third largest chamber of commerce in the nation. The Chamber represents the business interests of a region comprising 5.4 million residents and 11 Fortune 500 companies. The Chamber also executes the statewide automotive and mobility cluster association, MICHauto, and hosts the nationally recognized Mackinac Policy Conference.

Download Full Speaker Bio: Sandy Baruah Bio        


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Thank you to everyone who came out to our MBN Speaker Series with AARP's Director of Innovation Programming Jacqueline M. Baker on Thursday, Feb.20th 2020 at the MSU U-Club. Jacqueline gave a wonderful presentation on innovation within the workplace.

A special thank you to our event sponsors: AARP Michigan, Cinnaire, Tri-Star Trust Bank, Dean Trailways, Capital Region International Airport, Shaheen Chevrolet, James B. Henry Center, University Club of MSU, and WLNS Ch.6.




Michigan Business Network held their annual Michigan Economic Forecast Series breakfast on Dec.12th. The breakfast includes an economic forecast of the mid-Michigan area for 2020.

This year's panel includes:
Chris Holman - Michigan Business Network
Jade Sims - International Business Center at MSU
Mike Maurer - Accident Fund Insurance of America
Jack Schripsema - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau
Tim Damen - Lansing Regional Chamber
Bob Trezise - Lansing Economic Area Partnership
Dr. Charles Ballard - Michigan State University

Part of the breakfast included the release of the Michigan Future Business Index Survey. The latest Michigan Future Business Index (MFBI) data show more than eight-in-ten (82 percent) of statewide business leaders representing small- to mid-sized businesses remain satisfied with the overall economy. Satisfaction is strongest in West Michigan (88 percent) and Metro Detroit (82 percent). . Link to 2019 Fall MFBI Survey: FALL 2019 MFBI REPORT (pdf)

Review a detailed summary of the year-end 2019 Michigan Future Business Index at  http://www.michiganbusinessnetwork.com/michigan-future-business-index-1




Sports Entrepreneur, Tom Dickson speaks at the Michigan Business Network's semi-annual Business Sports Luncheon on October 30th at the MSU U-Club.

Tom Dickson has been one of the chief entrepreneurs in the business of sports, launching his first professional sports team in 1996 - the Class-A baseball team Lansing Lugnuts - and spearheading the team's home, Cooley Law Stadium. The Lugnuts have been one of the most successful minor league baseball teams in history. In 2007, Tom founded Professional Sports Catering - a foodservice company specializing in operating MiLB ballparks around the country.

The Michigan Business Network Speaker Series connects some of the most influential business and thought leaders with the Michigan business community. Industry experts share their stories, expertise and advice covering a variety of business topics. Sponsorship support and generosity allow MBN to offer the series six times per year.

Special Thanks to Event Sponsors!
Dean Transportation
Shaheen Chevrolet
Lansing Sports Authority
WLNS Channel 6
Capital Region International Airport
James B. Henry Center
MSU International Business Center
MSU University Club



Dennis Archer Jr. (CEO, Ignition Media Group), Chris Holman (Founder, Michigan Business Network) PHOTO: Trumpie Photography

The Michigan Business Network would like to thank everyone who came out to our hugely successful Speaker Series event on September 4th featuring Dennis Archer Jr.  We are most thankful to our sponsors that made this event possible: Cinnaire, Dean Transportation, DTE, Shaheen Chevrolet, Fly Lansing, University Club of MSU, WLNS-TV, Broad College of Business, James B Henry Center for Executive Development, and especially Delta Dental of Michigan for suggesting Mr. Archer.  Finally, we thank Dennis for making the time to share his story and insights in his fascinating and engaging presentation.



Thank you to everyone that joined us for our MBN Speaker Series June 13th featuring Cris Gardner. Cris is VP, Futurecasting at AARP where she is responsible for helping AARP make sense of and respond to emergent future trends and disruptive forces. Watch Cris give information rich presentation about the quickly changing landscape of today's workplace. 



Thank you to everyone who came out to our 2019 Sports Business Luncheon with former Major League Baseball Umpire Rocky Roe! The Former MLB umpire recently spoke at the 2019 Sports Business Luncheon on Tuesday, April 9th at the University Club of MSU! Rocky was first brought up to the American League after the 1979 umpires' strike. He worked the 1990 World Series, 1994 All-Star Game and 1999 World Series most notably, in addition to four Division Series and three League Championship Series.


On February 21st 2019 MBN had their 2019 International Business Luncheon with guest economist Paul Traub. Paul focuses on Michigan's current economy plus perspective of economic issues from around world.




Recently retired manager of the New York Mets spoke at the 2018 Sports Business Luncheon on October 30th at the University Club of MSU. As a MLB manager he won 481 games with the New York Mets (third­ most in team history) and managed more games than any other manager in team history. Terry is Midland, MI native and Eastern Michigan University graduate. He played all four seasons of baseball at EMU and was inducted into EMU's Hall of Fame in 1995. 

Thanks to our sponsors and everyone who came out to our Sports Business Luncheon! 




The Michigan Business Network held its Mobility Luncheon on September 4th, 2018 where Director of Mcity, Huei Peng Ph.D gave a keynote speech on the current status of the mobility industry.

Thanks to everyone that attended the Mobility Luncheon September 4th with speaker Huei Peng Ph.D Executive Director of M |City.  







On June 14th, 2018 Claes Fornell chairman of CFI Group spoke on customer satisfaction at MBN's International Business Luncheon. Thank you to our sponsors and all that attended the luncheon.




Thank you to everyone who joined us April 10th for the Michigan Business Network Event Series featuring Andre Hutson! Andre was part of the 2000 Michigan State Men's Basketball NCAA Championship Team and now Founder/Partner of Conquest Fitness. Andre spoke about pursuing business after playing basketball for many years. Check back on our site for photos and coverage of this event!




MBN welcomed best selling author and motivational speaker Brian P. Moran to the 2018 Strategic Business Breakfast. 




Tom Izzo Speaks at the Fall 2017 Business Sports Luncheon held at Eagle Golf Club in Bath, MI. Tom has been the very successful MSU's Mens Head Basketball Coach for the last 22 years. In his speech he compares the coach/player dynamic to the boss/employee dynamic.



Dr. Doug Barry, Vice President, Conover + Gould Strategy Group, Washington, DC, spoke at the Michigan Business Network's 2017 International Business Luncheon. He talks about the latest international trends and how they are impacting our global economy.



Howard Kass, VP for Regulatory Affairs of American Airlines was the featured speaker at MBN's Aerospace + Business Luncheon June 21st, 2017. He reviewed big issues that the aerspace industry is facing and then answered an extended series of questions from the business audience about airline issues they are concerned about today.


The Michigan Business Network welcomes 10-year PGA Tour Professional Dan Pohl to speak at the Spring 2017 Business+Sports Luncheon held in Bath, MI at the Eagle Eye Golf Club. Since the 1970’s, Dan has been associated with the great American game of golf and has contributed by instructing, designing courses, and committing to first rate charities and non-profits. www.danpohl.com


 *All Photos taken by Trumpie Photography