Gov. Synder to be keynote speaker at Cornerstone event

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Gov. Rick Snyder will deliver the keynote speech at the Business Recognition Breakfast next week.

The annual event, co-hosted by the Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstone Alliance, takes place at 8 a.m. Thursday in the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center.

Snyder’s speech will include the benefits of doing business in Michigan with hundreds of guests gathered to recognize the accomplishments of Berrien County’s businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Michigan is a top state for business attraction and expansion thanks to the hard work of the Snyder Administration to create a pro-business climate,” Rob Cleveland, Cornerstone Alliance president, said in a news release. “We welcome Gov. Snyder to the Business Recognition event as we celebrate the innovation, growth and successes of Berrien County businesses who produce world-class products and services.”

Last year was the first time the Cornerstone event was held in the morning, which was turned into a business breakfast through the recommendations of Cornerstone members and investors.

Snyder has kept busy this week with trying to bolster Michigan business. Snyder wrapped up his mission to Israel on Thursday after spending time Wednesday with business executives and government leaders, discussing opportunities for increased trade and investment between Michigan and Israel.

The governor concluded his trip by joining a separate delegation of business leaders from nine Michigan companies to discuss their meetings with prospective business partners, distributors and buyers.

Chris Heugel, Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce president, said communication between the Chamber and the governor’s office began a month go. It wasn’t until a few days ago that the Chamber got confirmation of his presence.

“Since it is a celebration of business, we thought why not reach out to the governor?” Heugel said. “We contacted his office and were honored he accepted our invitation too speak.”

This will be the first time a governor will participate in the signature event, Heugel said.

Last year, it was Dr. Brian Long, director of supply management research at Grand Valley State University, who headlined the event by speaking of the West Michigan economy.

“We’re going to leave the talking points up to (Snyder),” Heugel said. “He’s perfectly aware it’s a business event. People there will be interested in the state of business in Michigan.”

Tom Wilbur, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, confirmed the congressman would also be at the business event to introduce the governor for his speech.

Tables are still available for the event, which includes $200 for a table of 10 and $25 per individual seat. The deadline to buy tickets is Monday.

Tickets can be purchased online at

For more information on the event, contact Patricia Muellen at or by phone at (269) 932-4040.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Feb. 3, 2017)


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