Copyright 2024 SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK is driving the region forward and helping to create viable economic opportunities for businesses, job seekers and employers. Our work has led to creation and retention of thousands of jobs in the region, new business location and business expansion as well as millions in new investment.  In a time when communities are struggling, SPARK is working hard to diversify our local economy and generate meaningful collaborations that result in investments and jobs.

Today we welcome Stephen Forrest, vice president for research at University of Michigan as Ann Arbor SPARK’s new board chair.  We thank Rick Snyder who served as chairman since SPARK’s formation in 2005.

Jonathan S. Newpol, executive vice president, Thomson Reuters was elected to the board of directors.

New members joining the SPARK Executive Committee are:

  • Carsten Hohnke, Ann Arbor City Council Member and president, West Pole, Inc.
  • Trevor F. Lauer, vice president marketing, DTE Energy
  • Mark Ouimet, Washtenaw County Commissioner and founder, The Ouimet Group
  • Dave Tatman, plant manager, GM Powertrain Willow Run Site

Over the last year, the results of Ann Arbor SPARK’s work have led to:

  • 40 successful business expansion projects in the region
  • $225 million in new investments in the community
  • Commitment of 2,033 new jobs and retention of 1,561 jobs
  • 11 new businesses attracted to the region
  • Support of 41 start-ups though Ann Arbor SPARK’s Business Accelerator
  • More than 100 educational, networking and career enhancement events, including the bi-annual Entrepreneur Boot Camp

Ann Arbor SPARK has also assisted 350 regional companies with candidate searches and more than 3,000 job seekers with employment searches.