Episode 90 - Michigan, You Move Me: Mobility, Music and Natural Beauty

From Ransom Olds of Oldsmobile fame inventing the automotive assembly line all the way back in 1901 to Berry Gordy flipping the switch on Motown in 1960, Michigan has a storied history of marrying power and technology to achieve awe-inspiring results.  

But as home to scenes of unrivaled natural beauty, it is also a place whose citizens know the importance of sustaining the environment. That’s why it’s no wonder that Michigan is the epicenter of the burgeoning electric vehicle revolution and its emphasis on clean, green mobility.

In this episode of SAE Tomorrow Today, Quentin L. Messer, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), discusses the work his organization is doing to promote business growth within the state. As a public-private partnership, the MEDC seeks to expand upward economic mobility for all Michiganders by working with employers and educators to promote STEM, talent development and continued innovation, following in the state’s rich tradition of inventiveness.

A recent transplant from New Orleans, Messer, Jr. also shares some perspectives on what it’s been like to relocate from the Big Easy to the Great Lake State, and what others looking to do business in Michigan might expect.

To learn more about why Michigan is an ideal place to start and grow a business, visit http://www.michiganbusiness.org.

Meet Our Guest


Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Economic Development Corporation

As MEDC CEO and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund, Quentin L. Messer, Jr. is charged with implementing and executing MEDC’s core mission of business development and attraction, community development, providing access to capital and enhancing Michigan’s image and brand with a focus on building a strong and equitable economy for all Michiganders.

Immediately prior to his role as CEO of MEDC, Messer served as President and CEO of New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA) leading efforts around business attraction, small business growth, talent development, branding, and driving market-responsive, equitable economic growth for New Orleans residents. As the assistant secretary at Louisiana Economic Development, Messer was designated President of the Louisiana Economic Development Corporation, helping to provide financial assistance to small and medium size businesses in partnership with the private sector and federal agencies including the U.S. Small Business Administration. Messer’s private sector experience includes The Boston Consulting Group and O’Melveny & Myers LLP, as well as work at a variety of start-up ventures, including as a principal at Foster Chamberlain, LLC – a start-up venture accelerator and corporate venturing consultancy.

An IEDC certified economic developer (CEcD), Messer received a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University, where he was a Princeton School of Public and International Affairs major and earned his Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration from Columbia University’s Law and Business Schools, respectively. He sits on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council, where he serves on the board’s Committee for Public Conduct and also is the incoming Co-Chair of the Racism in Economic Development Committee.

Messer was named in Consultants Connect North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers in both 2019 and 2020.

Our Host


Innovation Strategist & Co-Founder, Brulte & Company

Grayson Brulte is an autonomous mobility advisor and consultant who provides strategic counsel and political insights to help clients navigate what’s next.

As an SAE strategic partner since 2017, Grayson brings his in-depth industry knowledge to host SAE Tomorrow Today. His unique perspective factors in economics, politics and technology into one-of-kind weekly conversations with innovators changing mobility and its impact on society.

Grayson is a thought-leader who regularly provides insights to publications including Bloomberg, Reuters, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Forbes. His written opinions and insights have been featured by organizations including the Consumer Technology Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

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