LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has announced initial investments for the Invest Michigan! Fund, which was proposed in the governor's 2008 State of the State address. The Invest Michigan! portfolio now includes investments in Auburn Hills-based Microposite, an advanced manufacturer of clean technology home building products, and Ecosynthetix, a Lansing-based clean technology producer of bio-based replacements for petroleum-based chemicals.
"Microposite and Ecosynthetix are the types of companies that will enhance our efforts to transform Michigan's economic future," Granholm said. "Given the economic realities facing many small and medium-sized business owners, this is an ideal time for Michigan to provide a pool of capital to help attract growing businesses and good-paying jobs to our state."
The Invest Michigan! program is funded by $300 million in state pension funds. It features The Michigan Opportunities Fund and the Growth Capital Fund to grow the state's pension funds by investing in new businesses in emerging sectors and encouraging companies in established industries to innovate and expand. Investments in small and medium-sized Michigan-based companies will diversify the state's economy by retaining and attracting successful businesses, which will create jobs for Michigan workers. The co-general partners for Invest Michigan! are Beringea, Credit Suisse, and Glencoe Capital.
The general partners will be aided by members of the Business Leadership Council, a group of highly successful Michigan business leaders who will offer their experience, expertise, and support to Invest Michigan! The Business Leadership Council held its inaugural meeting on November 12.
"I am very pleased that so many of Michigan's top executives have pledged their time and effort to this important program," Granholm said. "Their experience and networking abilities will be key assets to the Invest Michigan! general partners."
Roger Penske, chairman and CEO of the Penske Corporation is chair of the Business Leadership Council.
Additional members of the Business Leadership Council include: Jon Barfield, chairman and president, The Bartech Group; John Brown, chairman, Stryker Corporation; Ben Carter, EVP and COO, Detroit Medical Center; James Epolito, Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company; Dan Gilbert, chairman, Quicken Loans, Inc.; James Hackett, president and CEO, Steelcase, Inc.; William Hartman, Citizens Bank; Jim Herbert, chairman and CEO, Neogen Corporation; George Jackson, president and CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; Thomas Kinnear, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; Josh Linkner, founder and CEO, ePrize, LLC; Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO, Dow Chemical Co.; Mark Murray, president, Meijer, Inc.; Bob Naftaly, former COO, Blue Cross Blue Shield; Roger Penske, chairman and CEO, Penske Corp.; Rich Peters, managing director, Transportation Resource Partners; Mary Petrovich, CEO, AxleTech International; Sandra Pierce, president and CEO, Charter One Bank (MI and IN); Rebecca Smith, east Michigan regional president, Huntington National Bank; and, Ken Whipple, chairman, CMS Energy.
"I am pleased to have this opportunity to work with the state, the Invest Michigan! general partners, and members of the Business Leadership Council," Penske said. "While each member offers his or her own business expertise, I believe each will play a key role in assisting the general partners by reviewing potential investments and considering how to enhance the program's success."
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