• Paul Hillegonds to Address Firm on Michigan’s Future

Paul Hillegonds Former Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives Paul Hillegonds will be addressing the firm at a Diversity Lunch-and-Learn on Monday, May 5.  Mr. Hillegonds, who is currently Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at DTE Energy in Detroit, served on a nonpartisan study group tasked with answering this question: “What really matters in better positioning Michigan for success in a knowledge-driven and entrepreneurial economy?”

The study group, formed under the auspices of Michigan Future Inc., a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization funded primarily by Michigan foundations, concluded that “the places that do the best in attracting talent from anywhere on the planet win.”  And the places that do that best are characterized by “[t]olerant attitudes and great diversity.”  If Michigan is to develop a knowledge-driven, entrepreneurial economy, the report concludes, we need to “develop a culture that unambiguously celebrates diversity and nurtures tolerance.” 

According to the study group’s report, “A New Agenda for a New Michigan,”  the group had not anticipated that their recommendations would begin with an emphasis on the importance of culture.  “It is not where we expected to end up when we began this project,” the report states, “So all of us together will have to learn how communities can change culture.” 

We have invited Mr. Hillegonds to talk to us about the evidence that drove the group to the conclusion that culture and diversity are important drivers of success.  Please save the date by marking your calendar for Monday, May 5.  More details will follow.