2014 will be an interesting year and one which I feel can bring many opportunities to the State of Michigan. Whether you are a Spartan fan or not, winning the Rose Bowl for the 100th game is a nice win for in many regards for our state and I hope this good luck continues in other ways this year.
Thank you for re-electing me to the Board of Directors; it is my pleasure to serve as your Chairman for this year. As we have in the past, MEDA listens to you, our members, when we develop new initiatives. I am excited to give you a sneak preview of that.
A new website is in the final stages of completion and will have a new look along with easier navigation. It will include online payments for all of our events.
Along with a new website comes with it new branding and marketing plan that we will be pushing in order to grow the Certified Business Park program, a valuable resource for business attraction.
One of the valuable resources any association can provide is training. Look for new National Development Council (NDC) Courses as well as Courses from International Economic Development Council (IEDC) throughout this year.
Last year we started a Young Professionals group and they continue to plan and execute ideas and events for the year. One of those planned will be Get Hired for a Day, a pilot program which will mentor young professionals in the field of economic development, giving them actual on the job experience. In a few months, they will also host an education and networking opportunity.
Our annual meeting will be held at Boyne Mountain Resort from August 20-22nd. This years theme will be Operation Sandbox: Where Collaboration Shapes Success. The committee is hard at work on the content and you will be seeing information come out in a few months about our annual event.
We plan on having an active year and I urge you to become involved. I am fortunate to work with a great group of Board members; many of them are new and eager to lend a hand. Our staff which includes John Avery and Cassandra is some of the finest professionals in the association world and we are looking forward to developing new programs and listening to you, our membership. Please do not hesitate in contacting myself or other members on the Board if we can be of assistance to you in role of economic development.
Thank you and cheers to 2014!
Ara Topouzian, 2014 MEDA President
President and Chief Executive Officer, Troy Chamber of Commerce