Announcing The Speakers For Ignite UX Michigan 2017

Ann Arbor – Ignite UX Michigan is back! As always, we had a great set of talk submissions. The local UX community is amazing! Below is the list of speakers at Ignite UX Michigan 2017:

  • Test Anything – Jodi Bollaert
  • Write responsively – Heidi Burkhardt
  • Accessibility for everyone! – Chris DeMars
  • Designing for Social Change – Linda Lay
  • Elevate your Changemaking with LEAN UX + Design for Social Impact – Brielle Maxwell and April Jefferson
  • The importance of keeping out the weeds – Tracy Nagy
  • 20 Ways to Say “No” – Andrea Neuhoff
  • Design Sprints in Practice – Derek Poppink
  • If you give a user what she wants, she’s gonna want a glass of wine to go with it – Scott Showalter
  • Empathy Maps: Using them to get your team focused – Jef Smith
  • Your Icons Need a Reference Sheet – Paige Templeton
  • Designing for the moment – Wes Vasher
  • Improving the Sign In Experience – Jesse Woodruff

You can visit the speaker page for descriptions of these talks.

We hope to see you at Live in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, March 14. The event begins at 6 pm for networking, followed by the talks at 7 pm. Ignite UX Michigan is free, does not require registration, and light hors d’oeuvres will be served!

18th West Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium

GRAND RAPIDS – The West Michigan Automotive Suppliers Symposium is a yearly event bringing together business owners, senior management, and decision makers from all tiers of the automotive industry. This premier automotive suppliers event provides the most up-to-date industry forecasts, latest issues, and trends, with opportunities to network and learn from others in the increasingly challenging and ever-changing industry of automotive.

Title Sponsor: Plante Moran

Sponsors: Warner, Norcross & Judd CHASE Bank – Morrison IndustrialThe Right Place – IHS Markit – MEDC – Behco-MRM – Logico

Media Sponsor: MiBiz

Event Flyer


Thursday, March 9, 2017
7:30 AM – 12:00 PM

401 Fulton Street West
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Non-Member Price

Member Price

CloudTech1’s Third Thursday Networking Group

TROY – The group is for early birds and ambitious workers that want to grow together. Job hunters, employees, and decision makers all welcomed.

Format will still be in the works. We want to create a solid group that contributes to the association and invites new members.


Times and meeting subject to change.


730am – Network – vendors/partners/companies bring breakfast.

8:00am – Announcements – Thank breakfast contributors

8:15am – Commercials/1 minute intros

8:35am – 10 Minute Boost -friendly advice/motivational speech

8:45am – Open networking

9 am – Meeting closed




Automation Alley
2675 Bellingham Drive
Troy MI, 48083

Map It


Nathan Burns

SBAM Webinar: Extreme Communication Makeover Feb. 23

GRAND RAPIDS – You expand your product and service portfolio. Upgrade your IT tools and technology. Refresh your facilities. Isn’t it time you thought about an extreme communication makeover? Join us to learn the five things you should do now (and a few things you should stop doing) to ramp up your communications to grow your business.
Join this webinar Feb. 23 from 2 to 3 pm to get all your questions answered. Presented by Cynthia Kay & Co.

Michigan STEM Partnership Gets $26K From Bosch Community Fund

HOWELL – The Michigan STEM Partnership has received a $26,000 grant from the Bosch Community Fund to further define the Partnership’s opportunities to improve the evolving STEM landscape in Michigan.

Information gathered through research, assessment and evaluation will be used to identify the necessary role, structure, functions and capacity needed for the Partnership to bolster STEM training and workforce development activities statewide.

“We are grateful to the Bosch Community Fund for recognizing these critical needs for the evolution of STEM education & workforce development in the state of Michigan” said Linda Daichendt, Co-Chair of the Michigan STEM Partnership Strategic Directions Committee. “The grant funding will provide the opportunity for an objective review of the STEM landscape in Michigan through research and analysis, and allow the Partnership to align its organizational structure and services to benefit all STEM stakeholders.”

This approach will serve to:

  • Guide organizational vision and strategy
  • Support the regional alignment of STEM activities
  • Establish shared measurement practices
  • Build positive public will and engagement
  • Engage Michigan’s business community
  • Advocate policy
  • Mobilize resources
  • Drive funding initiatives

The funding provided will provide the Partnership with resources to research and document the evolving status of STEM in Michigan and benchmark against effective models from across the U.S. while collecting data and reporting on common STEM metrics in Michigan. Additionally, the Partnership will identify the elements that are needed for a quality STEM program and determine what model is required for credentialing instructional STEM programs.

STEM information, initiatives, and resources developed through this grant will inform educators, businesses, policy makers, parents and students about opportunities to improve STEM curriculum and activities in the state. The Partnership will continue to secure additional operational and development funding for activities to further research and report on STEM.

The Michigan STEM Partnership seeks to provide statewide connections and communications between employers, educators, students and parents, community and professional organizations, and policy-makers, providing strategic support for the development of resources and programs that provide for the effectiveness and sustainability of STEM education and talent development.

Information about the Partnership can be found at

U-M Tops Public Universities For Fulbrights For 12th Year In A Row

ANN ARBOR – University of Michigan students received 21 Fulbright grants for the 2016-17 academic year – the most of any public university in the nation for the 12th year in a row, the U.S. State Department announced.

The grants – one of the U.S. government’s most prestigious awards – fund the students’ research or teaching overseas for six to 12 months. This year, their interests range from studying Bengali women relationships in India to examining piracy between Spanish and British America in Jamaica.

“Global education and international engagement enhance cultural understanding and make our world safer,” said U-M President Mark Schlissel. “I am proud that so many U-M students are committed to using their talents to make a positive impact across international borders.”

Fulbrights were also awarded to nine U-M faculty members. Their interests range from  investigating doctor communication about cancer in China to studying St. Lucia Lake’s environment in South Africa.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, the Fulbright program seeks to increase mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries, as well as help the recipients achieve their academic goals. Nearly 2,000 U.S. students, artists and young professionals from 100 different fields are offered Fulbrights each year.

Crucial to U-M’s success has been the staff at the university’s International Institute who provide individual advising to applicants throughout the application process.

“These results reflect the quality of our students and the commitment of the faculty and staff at the International Institute to preparing students to succeed in this competition,” said Pauline Jones Luong, the institute’s director. “It is also a testament to U-M’s broader commitment to international experiences and education. The institute is proud to be a key partner in fulfilling this commitment.”

Recipients are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. Former grantees include actor John Lithgow, U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, opera singer Renee Fleming and economist Joseph Stiglitz.

U-M’s student grantees this year include Farida Begum, who is spending time in India and Bangladesh researching daily lives of early Bengali women.

“Receiving a Fulbright means that I get to interact with people in the host country and spend time in the local educational institutions,” she said. “It is incredible for my research because a big chunk of my work is based on oral history.”

Another grantee, Andrew Rutledge, is a doctoral student studying smuggling and piracy in between Jamaica and Cuba in the 1700s.

“The fulbright scholarship is a springboard of my long-term goals,” he said. “Being supported for six months while I research and write my dissertation is invaluable.” 

2016-2017 Fulbright institutions

Full list of U-M student grantees

Full List of U-M scholar grantees


Lawrence Tech University Summer Camps

DETROIT – Lisa R. Kujawa, the Assistant Provost for Enrollment at Lawrence Technological University, joined us for the first  hour of the show to highlight the summer camp schedule coming this July at LTU. Over 500 students from all over the state and a few foreign countries attended last year’s camps as commuter campers and many as live in residents at the Southfield university. Jeff Morrissette is chairman of the Natural Sciences Dept. and teaches one of the most popular classes on bioscience.  Jeff joined the conversation to describe his course content which is highly practical and includes using DNA to identify “suspects” in a crime.

To listen, click on


Dataspeed, Great Lakes Comic Con, PT Muldoon and ERC

ROYAL OAK – Another week, another great episode with our guests as we rolled through episode 183 of the IT in the D podcast from our Podcast Detroit studios.  We were joined by Dataspeed talking robotics and driverless cars, Great Lakes Comic Con chatting about their event next weekend (that you should totally be at…and we’ll have some passes for free admission with us tomorrow night at our event), and then returning guest PT Muldoon talking about his career as an author that we apparently launched during his last appearance on our show as well as the work he’s doing at ERC…and what electronics remanufacturing is for those not in the know…

Dataspeed is at:

Great Lakes Comic Con is at:

PT Muldoon is at:

His book is at:

ERC is at:

To listen, click on

Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Grandville, Rochester Teams WIN VEX Robotics At MSU

Grandville Robotics (PRNewsFoto/Grandville Robotics)

EAST LANSING – Detroit Catholic Central High School’s VEX Shambots B team won the coveted VEX Robotics Excellence Award and a three-team alliance from Bloomfield Hills, Grandville, and Rochester were high school tournament champions at the 2017 Michigan VEX Robotics State Championship on Sunday, Feb. 19, at Michigan State University.

At the middle school level, Hudsonville Robotics took home the VEX Excellence Award and a three-team alliance that included two teams from Flint’s Carman Ainsworth Middle School Robotics and the Technology First team from Lambertville were tournament champions.

There were 76 teams, including 48 high school and 28 middle school teams, competing at the 2017 state games, all working for the right to represent Michigan in the 2017 VEX Robotics World Games in Louisville, Ky., April 19-25.

The 2017 MSU VEX High School State Championship results are:

Meet Michigan’s Newest Venture Capital Company – Grand Ventures

GRAND RAPIDS – In Michigan Venture Capital has been on a slow and steady rise. Now, experienced investor Tim Streit of Huron River Ventures along with McKeel Hagerty an entrepreneur and investor, launched the newest VC firm Grand Ventures. 

Previously Streit co-founded Huron River Ventures, which raised $16 million and invested in leading technology companies including Ambiq Micro and FarmLogs. Its portfolio has raised more than $200 million in follow-on funding from some of the nation’s top venture capital funds. McKeel started his company Hagerty Insurance with just 30 employees and now has more than 840 employees worldwide measuring a growth resulting in total insured value coverage in excess of $36 billion. Together the two co-founders of Grand Ventures aim to provide capital and strategic support to entrepreneurs starting high impact technology companies in industries with a strong presence in the Midwest.

We got to chat with them both to learn more on their goals and vision for Grand Ventures.

To find out the details, click on