Oakland County Executive, L. Brooks Patterson welcomed the public and private sectors on Tuesday morning at the Troy Marriot for the 2014 Business Roundtable meeting and breakfast. Patterson founded the Business Roundtable in 1993 so business leaders could engage with county government on issues that would enable them to prosper. Four Business Roundtable committees were organized to focus on specific areas within the county. They are the: Economic Development, Quality of Life, Transportation and Workforce and Education Committees. Also in attendance were the Elite 40 under 40 classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Deputy County Executive, Matt Gibb, remarked to the gathered group that he was pleased to see a lot of excitement in the room this year and attributed it to the growing economy.
Fifth Third Bank sponsored the event and David Girodat, President and CEO, spoke on its behalf. The company was proud to sponsor the event and be a part of strengthening leaderships that have a vested interest in Oakland County. Girodat remarked that Fifth Third Bank was glad to share the mission of ensuring the preservation of the county’s quality of life and economic vitality.
Kevyn Orr, Emergency Manager of the City of Detroit, was the keynote speaker this year. He began by personally thanking Patterson for coming to the table and shepherding the Great Lakes Water Authority process. He also thanked Governor Snyder for taking on the most longstanding issues, including Detroit’s bankruptcy, in the state of Michigan. Orr spoke to the group about how he and his team were able come up with a plan to put Detroit back on the map to financial recovery. He emphasized that he wanted the residents of Detroit to feel cared about, that they mattered and that somebody invested in them. On Detroit’s bankruptcy problems, Orr said “the thing that surprised me the most was the resilience of the people. Even though they were upset, they knew it had to happen, and reason prevailed over emotion.” He recommended that people pull together, dig in, address issues and get in front of problems as soon as possible.
Stephanie Bergeron, President and CEO of Walsh College Co-Chaired the event and shared the news that Walsh College would be investing in a location in Troy. She also related that about half of Walsh college graduates stay in Oakland County and they are working to build the future through scholarships.
The Economic Development, Quality of Life, Transportation, and Workforce and Education committees gave reports and provided recommendations for branding, promotion, growth, communication and accessibility.
Economic Development Committee
- M1 “Coolest Corridor’ Super Task Force
- Improve Access to Resources Available for Businesses
Quality of Life Committee
- Age Friendly Oakland-aimed at retaining everyone from seniors to millennials
- Increased branding and social media
- 1-75 Corridor Expansion
- Connected Cars
Workforce & Education Committee
At the close of the meeting, Patterson advised that he and his team would come together and take a look at all of the recommendations and see what can be done to implement them. In closing he said, “On behalf of the 1.3 million residents of Oakland County, I thank you for your contribution and appreciate you being here.”