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Friday, May 1, 2009

Southeast Michigan Making Progress Going Green

On April 30, I attended the All Things Green Conference and Expo hosted by the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce. I got a look at several "green" companies and businesses that are either based in Michigan or expanding their operations in the state. It was a good conference. The focus of many of the sessions were on energy.

The presentation by Next Energy focused on the advancement of clean and renewable technologies. There was a presentation by reps from Mariah Power and MasTech who are partnering in Manistee County, MI. They presented a case study on small wind manufacturing.

I enjoyed the "Greening your Business" session. The speakers were:

Loch McCabe, President, Shepard Advisors,

David Mckinney, CEO, Clean Light, Green Light

Mike Dolkowski, President, Carbon Credit Environmental Services, Inc.

All in all it was a good conference. My suggestion for next year's conference is that the organizers include a session on water use conservation and water efficiency.

I also noted the lack of representation of minority and disadvantaged businesses/enterprises in the emerging "green business sector". This was not a fault of the organizers of the conference because this is a problem that is industry wide. As more minority "green" entrepreneurs come to the forefront the industry should make a stronger effort to reach to these groups.

In general, my thoughts are that the "green movement" is a trend that minority entrepreneurs and businesses cannot afford to miss out on, speaking both economically and environmentally for our communities.

My friends at the African American Environmentalist Association have written much on this issue:

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 - Will African Americans Participate In Energy Production? -

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 - Green Jobs? Not From Green Groups For African Americans

Friday, February 27, 2009 - Where Is the Congressional Black Caucus on Energy Ownership?