Read what others are saying about CBED:


Great Lakes Bay Region Michigan Works

“When the folks at Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! think of innovation, we think of the Center for Business and Economic Development at SVSU.  CBED provides outstanding programming, and we routinely encourage our employer customers to take advantage of it’s valuable services.  Workshops and conferences covering topics such as government contracting opportunities, alternative energy, battery production, lean manufacturing and office processes, bio-manufacturing, and competing-in-the-global-economy are a great resource.  In addition, CBED’s assistance to entrepreneurs in research and development, and in bringing new products to market lays the foundation for more and more job creation.  Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is proud to be a partner with SVSU’s Center for Business and Economic Development.”

Ed Oberski, CEO
Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! 

 Thumb Michigan Works

“No one goes it alone in this time of change and challenges. Fortunately ThumbWorks! and Saginaw Valley State University have embraced this strategy and have attempted to maximize our cross-regional resources to offer development opportunities to residents and businesses. Examples include (but are not limited to) Employment Builders Alliance courses, WIRED project facilitation, Agency website improvements and support for our Inventors Day. Partnering with SVSU and other educational institutions enables everyone to move forward….together.”

Dr. Marvin N. Pichla
Director, ThumbWorks!

 Saginaw Future Inc.

“SVSU’s Center for Business & Economic Development is a key leader in our regional economic development efforts.  The Great Lakes Bay Economic Development Partnership (made up of Bay Future, Saginaw Future and MidlandTomorrow), looks to CBED as the driver of the WIRED program and for development of important initiatives related to manufacturing diversification.  SVSU and CBED continue to serve in an important unifying role and have successfully brought together organizations to work together to achieve common goals.  The Center has added significant expertise in strategic areas such as entrepreneurism, alternative energy and procurement of federal research funding.  We are especially impressed with the sense of urgency and creativity in response to current economic conditions and opportunities that lie before us. The organization also serves a “Door to the University” of sorts for the business community and organizations such as Saginaw Future to access programs, services and assistance.  We have come to rely on Harry Leaver and his team and sincerely value our important partnership.Thanks for the great work of you and your colleagues!”

JoAnn Crary, CEcD
President, Saginaw Future Inc.

Midland Tomorrow

“Over the past 5 years I have had the pleasure to work closely with Harry Leaver and the team at SVSU’s Center for Business & Economic Development.  From the initial discussions of the Federal WIRED grant opportunity to the latest efforts around Alternative Energy Manufacturing and Diversification, I have been continually impressed with not only the originality of ideas they generate, the business acumen and understanding they have, but also with their willingness to partner and foster regional collaboration.  I greatly appreciate their efforts and I feel that they are a great asset for our region.” 

Scott Walker
Midland Tomorrow

Mid Michigan Innovation Center

“The MidMichigan Innovation Center is pleased to have an active, productive and effective relationship with Saginaw Valley State University and particularly the Center for Business & Economic Development (CBED).  Since MMIC's inception, SVSU has been supportive of the incubator and the entrepreneurs MMIC serves as tenants and clients.  There are numerous examples of SVSU faculty and staff providing time and/or SVSU equipment to help young companies overcome various challenges they face while building their companies.  Furthermore, MMIC and SVSU have collaborated on multiple grant proposals that help students, entrepreneurs, and small companies in mid-Michigan.  The staff at SVSU-CBED recognize the important role they can play to assist to improve the economic conditions in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

Brent Case
MMIC and BlueWater Angels

Fulcrum Composites Inc.

“Fulcrum Composites Inc is a technology based spin-off from Dow Chemical.  The Company is based in Midland, MI and has been funded by a variety of local sources including North Coast Technology Investors, Blue Water Angels and investments and loans from The State of Michigan. Since the company was founded in 2004 we have worked with SVSU in a number of ways:- Many of our new product developments have undergone testing by the Independent Test Laboratory including work for several SBIR grants- We are receiving advice and assistance regarding SBIR applications from Mark Clevey and are cooperating with Chris Schilling on a new SBIR related to bio-based composites as well as several other alternative energy SBIRs for which SVSU would be a subcontractor.- We are currently getting to know the College of Business management.  We presented at their Entrepreneurship Speaker Day and will likely have two SVSU interns this Summer. We appreciate and value the opportunity to work with the University and particularly value the contributions and assistance from Bruce Hart, Mark Clevey & Chris Schilling.” 

Yours truly,
Chris Edwards President, 
Fulcrum Composites Inc. 

Consumers Energy

“I am impressed with the extremely high regard that communities that I work with have for SVSU and the WIRED program.  I continue to hear very positive comments from many communities in the six-county region that I serve in the Great Lakes Bay Region and the thumb.  Even in the most remote areas they are aware of the program and have, in many instances, taken advantage of it.  It is a tremendous asset to our region.” 

Tom Begin
Community Services, Regional Manager 

East Central Michigan Planning & Development Regional Commission

“As an avid supporter of economic development in Michigan, I am very excited to learn about, and work with, the economic development programs offered through SVSU.Due to the several hats I wear, including that of Chair of the Regional Economic Development (RED) Team for my Region, East Michigan Council of Governments, we embrace these programs both locally and regionally.  These programs and their staff are very important, especially during these economic challenges at the global, national and local levels.Thank you SVSU, for being a powerful tool in our economic tool box.” 

Robert Moffit EMCOG, 
Red Team Chairperson 

Huron Tool & Engineering

“Since we started working with SVSU and MMTC back in 2002 it has been a true learning experience.  Harry Leaver and Bob Schooks helped us to realize that we really needed to get outside of our own four walls and break the current paradigm of how we’ve always done it.  We’ve been through a fair amount of programs from Lean Champion, ABC Costing, Market Diversification and Management development and I can honestly say that the experience has been nothing but positive for us!” 

Dave Nugent, President 

Prima Civitas / Mid Michigan Innovation Team

“I am writing this letter to apprise you of the significant contribution the Saginaw Valley State University’s Entrepreneurship initiative has made to the transformation of Mid-Michigan’s economy.As you are aware, the 13 county Mid-Michigan Region was the recipient of a $15 million over 3 years Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development (WIRED) award.  This grant has as its fiduciary Michigan State University with the Prima Civitas Foundation providing the day to day administrative oversight and staffing as well as the convener for this effort.This collaboration is guided by a volunteer Steering Committee referred to as the Mid-Michigan Innovation Team (MMIT) which includes representation by Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan State University, Mott Community College, Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Saginaw Business and Education Partnership, Michigan Works!, Intermediate School Districts, Midland Tomorrow, Livingston Economic Development Council, Michigan Building and Trades Association and the former CEO of Genesys Health Systems.  Jack Litzenberg, C.S. Mott Foundation is also an ex officio member.  Saginaw Valley State University has been invaluable from the very first meeting of the MMIT and integral in shaping the unique collaboration that has evolved throughout the 13 county Mid-Michigan Regions.  Through the leadership of George Puia and Harry Leaver, the MMIT has received national recognition through the U.S. Department of Labor as a model of collaboration, innovation and service delivery.  One of the distinguishing features of the MMIT has been the support of the philanthropic community by investing in grants to the MMIT designed to build linkages with multiple colleges, community colleges and universities, to strengthen entrepreneurial curriculums, and to create new partnerships with the private sector.  The C.S. Mott Foundation has funded three (3) consecutive grants to reinforce the work of the MMIT and the creative programming coming out of this unique collaboration.  Again, Harry Leaver and George Puia have been key to the leadership, and strategy and curriculum development.  In summary, I can truthfully say that Saginaw Valley State University has been one of our most dependable, contributing and selfless partners.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need more information.”    

David C. Hollister, President and CEO
Prima Civitas Foundation