CEC Statewide Conference Program

Howell, MI, October 4 - 5, 2017

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2016 Port Huron Key Note Speakers

Wednesday Opening Key Note - Mark Walker, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michigan Mutual, Inc. ''

Click here to watch Mark Walker’s speech

Mark will share his secrets to starting a company today versus 10 years ago, his drive to launching a national company with no experience while maintaining its headquarters in downtown Port Huron, and what truly differentiates companies in the same industry regardless of the industry.

Mark M. Walker is Founder and CEO of Michigan Mutual, Inc., a full-service mortgage bank that specializes in mortgages for homebuyers and homeowners. Michigan Mutual also includes a wholesale mortgage lending division responsible for purchasing mortgages from brokers, banks and credit unions.

Walker attributes the success of Michigan Mutual, Inc. to the exceptional service of each of the company’s team members, as the company has grown from four to more than 300 employees since 1992. Additionally his passion for the company’s core values-integrity, problem solving, fun, family, and commitment-ensure continued success. 


Thursday Opening Key Note - Chuck Reid, Owner Chi and CityFlats Hotel, First Class Seating, Sperry’s ''

Click here to watch Chuck Reid’s speech

Chuck will share his journey as an early entrepreneur starting out, to a trail-blazer responsible for launching multiple businesses from one side of the State to the next, to his vision for bringing his entrepreneurial concepts to downtown Port Huron.

Chuck Reid’s journey from teacher to trail-blazer in the quick-service restaurant seating and décor industry has been defined by his vision, creativity and determination. After working his way from sales positions to upper management with several major suppliers of the quick-service restaurant industry, Reid used his extensive sales, management and restaurant experience to found his own company, Base Design, in 1996. Today, Base Design holds three patents and has licensed their intellectual property to renowned companies such as McDonald’s and Franke, Inc. Additional ventures followed over the years leading to a bold new venture in 2007. CityFlats Hotel, the first LEED Gold Certified Hotel in the Midwest, launched in Holland, Michigan during December of 2007 and was quickly followed by the opening of a sister property in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 2011. Plans are underway for a new CityFlats location in Port Huron, Michigan, slated to open this year. In 2010, Reid received Michigan Small Business Person of the Year award and the Character Award from the West Michigan Character Council. He also received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for most creative innovators. Mr. Reid is also owner of Chi, First Class Seating, and Sperry’s.

Thursday Closing Key Note - Dave Lorenz-Vice President, Travel Michigan ''

Dave will share how the Pure Michigan campaign is strengthened by our entrepreneurs and communities that support them. Using leading examples, he will share how investment into communities can spur promotion and vice versa, thus making places where people want to do business and visit.

Dave Lorenz serves as Vice President of Travel Michigan where he is responsible for leading the state’s tourism branding, advertising and public relations efforts. He oversees the award-winning Pure Michigan tourism campaign, and coordinates overall statewide tourism initiatives. He previously led Travel Michigan’s efforts in the areas of international marketing, packaged travel, conventions and meetings, industry relations, golf and sports-event promotion. Prior to coming to Travel Michigan in October 2002, Mr. Lorenz was the Manager, Partnerships and Promotions, for Meijer, Inc., where he was responsible for the facilitation of collaborative marketing programs with key consumer goods manufacturers such as Nabisco, Kraft, Kellogg’s, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Disney and Mattel. His prior work included 14 years’ experience in radio broadcasting in roles varying from announcer, news reporter and numerous management positions.

Break Out Sessions