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In his conversation with Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, Governor Snyder discusses’s Deals of the Year and three great Ann Arbor success stories, The Corner Brewery, Llamasoft and Barracuda Networks. The Governor also discusses the importance of Michigan talent and the quality of life and how the two benefit the state of Michigan. Hear how business, talent, and tourism connect with the Pure Michigan brand and boost the Michigan economy.


Paul:  One of the things that we found with Barracuda and several of the other companies is that the talent piece and the quality of life is very, very important for the workforce today.

Rick: It absolutely is.  It’s the combination of those things that I talk about keeping our young people in Michigan.  They need two things: they need a job and then they’re looking for quality of life.  That’s the strength that Ann Arbor’s had for a long time.  It only gets better.  Ann Arbor’s been a great role model to help the rest of the state in terms of seeing how that winning combination can make a difference to keep our young people here in Michigan.

Paul: SPARK participated in a pilot program to leverage the Pure Michigan brand for business attraction.  Everybody really embraces the Pure Michigan brand, but we were trying to work with it in a business context.  What are your thoughts about how Pure Michigan can help us grow and attract businesses here?

Rick:  The Pure Michigan brand has been great.  It started with tourism and it’s a huge success.  If you talk to a Michigander, they take great pride in the Pure Michigan brand. I thought it was appropriate, and we had a good discussion at the state level–could we expand it?  I really appreciate you to be a pilot of that and take it out.  It’s working well.  We’re doing Pure Michigan business connect, Pure Michigan talent, some of those variations, but I would say it’s not to dilute the brand too much. You have to be careful, you can’t put Pure Michigan on everything.  It really is intended to be special efforts that really distinguish Michigan, and that’s the nice part.  SPARK has the track record to really be a place that stands out and can distinguish itself.  I think that’s the right progress, so let’s continue to let it grow.

To listen to the rest of the Governor’s conversation, please visit this link.