2015 Annual Meeting

2015 Annual Meeting

May 11, 2015
11:30am – 1:30pm

Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest
1275 S Huron St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 Map

The 2015 Ann Arbor SPARK Annual Meeting brought together over 400 leaders and influencers from the region’s top businesses, universities, government and research organizations. Keynote speaker, Governor Snyder, was a highlight of the ten year celebration.

The 10-year anniversary event was held at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest, on Monday, May 11, 2015 from 11:00AM-1:30PM.

Congratulations Award Winners

Ann Arbor SPARK also presented its business leadership awards, including Volunteer of the Year, Entrepreneurial Company of the Year and Business Development Project of the Year.

Volunteer Leader of the Year

Albert M. Berriz

Albert M. Berriz is co-managing member, chief executive officer, board member and co-owner of McKinley. Berriz serves on Ann Arbor SPARK’s board of directors as well as its development and foreign direct investment committees. He was honored for being a tireless champion for economic growth and community excellence. Of particular note is Berriz’s efforts to revitalize Ann Arbor’s Liberty Street corridor, which in recent years has become home to leading technology companies such as Barracuda Networks and Pillar Technology, as well as retail and dining that is supported by this in-flux of talent in downtown.

Entrepreneurial Company of the Year


Seelio partners with universities and colleges to offer software and services that help students connect the dots between their education and career goals. In 2014, Seelio was acquired by Plattform, which committed to continuing to grow the company in Ann Arbor. Seelio, an incubator client at SPARK Central since 2011, was the inaugural client of SPARK’s expanded space for second-stage companies. In addition to incubator space, Seelio has benefited from SPARK’s business accelerator grants, participation in the internship program, pre-seed funding, and LDFA microloan funding. To date, Seelio has raised more than $1.5 million, and employs more than 20 people.

Business Development Project of the Year


Awardee Toyota has consistently grown in Ann Arbor since 2006. During its time in the Ann Arbor region, the company has invested more than $300 million and created 600 new jobs. In 2014, Toyota announced several expansions here, including the consolidation of all of its powertrain operations to its Ann Arbor facility. Additionally, 250 procurement jobs are moving from Erlanger, Kentucky to Toyota’s York Township campus. Ann Arbor SPARK has provided critical support to Toyota throughout its expansions, including securing incentives from state and local partners as well as talent support as Toyota not only relocates workers from other locations to Ann Arbor, but also attracts and recruits employees for the new jobs it is creating.