It's been an exhilarating ten months preparing for the 2008 Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Policy Conference. Our goal was to focus the Conference on identifying issues that matter most to the business community. There has been a concerted effort over the last few years to connect the dialogue on the island to tangible results back in the Detroit Region, and this year's Conference will once again meet this objective.
I owe the Mackinac Policy Conference Planning Committee a debt of gratitude for the countless hours they volunteered and the limitless great ideas they produced. Without them, the Conference agenda would not be what it is today. I am honored to have had the privilege of serving as the chair of such a great group of leaders.
This year's Conference theme, "Building a Stronger Michigan-Policy and Political Reforms that Support Regional Transformation," says it all. We set out on a path to make the event an interactive experience for the business community before, during and after the event, and we succeeded.
We had businesses prioritize the policy and political reforms they felt were essential for the transformation of the Detroit Region and Michigan. We accomplished this in three stages. Phase one consisted of a poll and focus groups to gauge the pulse of the business community. This phase was instrumental in identifying the issues that needed to be addressed on the island. During phase two, we will have a healthy debate on those topics and then vote to select the top reforms to work on in the coming months. During phase three, the Chamber will take the lead to develop strategies in collaboration with other organizations that support building a stronger Michigan.
One D is an integral part of the Mackinac agenda again this year. This important collaborative effort among the Detroit Region's leading business and community organizations is...