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University of Michigan President Ono to Deliver Keynote Address at Ann Arbor SPARK’s Annual Meeting

February 24, 2023 Press Releases
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Ann Arbor SPARK will host its annual meeting on Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center. The gathering will include leaders from the business, government, and academic sectors within the Ann Arbor region, providing ample networking opportunities.

At the annual meeting, Ann Arbor SPARK, along with its board of directors, will showcase the organization’s accomplishments in boosting the regional economy over the past year. Ann Arbor SPARK will also present its annual board chair awards, including Project of the Year.

Keynote for this year’s event is the University of Michigan’s new president, Dr. Santa Ono.

“We are thrilled to have President Ono as the keynote speaker at our annual meeting,” said Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO Paul Krutko. “His commitment to a research and development-focused strategy for economic development aligns perfectly with our organization’s mission to drive innovation and growth in the Ann Arbor region.”

“The success of the region is closely linked to the economic development efforts of Ann Arbor SPARK,” said President Ono. “I am delighted to see that the University and SPARK already have such a strong partnership, and I look forward to further developing that relationship. It is a privilege to be the keynote speaker at SPARK’s annual meeting, and I am excited to engage with the region’s business community.”

The 15th president of the University of Michigan, Santa J. Ono, Ph.D., is a distinguished figure in the field of higher education in the U.S. and Canada. President Ono brings a wealth of experience as a vision researcher, with a specialization in experimental medicine and a focus on the immune system and eye diseases.

In addition to his role as president, Ono holds the title of professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. Prior to his tenure at U-M, he was the president of the University of Cincinnati and later the president and vice chancellor at the University of British Columbia.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s annual meeting is made possible by the generous support of sponsors, including partner sponsor, Toyota. Registration for the meeting is required and tickets are available for $75 per person through March 31, and $95 per person thereafter. For more information and to register, visit