In 2007, founders Chuck Newman and Susan Herman, both Michigan natives with a passion for the vibrancy of Israel, met to discuss a new idea. They knew Michigan has a renowned base of manufacturing, human resources and infrastructure. And they knew Israel is a country with a vibrant technological workforce and the desire to expand their manufacturing, development and distribution to North America.
Thus was born the idea of a “bridge” between the two. The idea snowballed, meetings were held throughout the state, and within months the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (MIBB) was formed.
MIBB moved quickly, showing how effective Michigan know-how could be. In the first year, seven Israeli companies visited Michigan to consider locating their North American operations here. MIBB representatives participated with several State legislators in a trade mission to Israel. By the end of the first year, 16 Israeli auto related companies attended a match-making event to meet 10 U.S. automotive manufacturers and suppliers. New business deals that were previously unimaginable were started between Israeli and Michigan based companies.
The Bridge expanded, hiring a professional staff, and became a matchmaker creating partnerships between Israeli and Michigan companies.
Under the leadership of President, Hannan Lis and board members from both Michigan and Israel, MIBB has flourished over the last 3 years. The membership base tripled. And, in June of 2013, President, Hannan Lis and Executive Director, Pamela Lippitt accompanied Governor Rick Snyder on a Trade mission to Israel. An Advisory Council was established to help make connections throughout the year.
MIBB continues to advance economic ties by holding networking events throughout the year to showcase current Israeli innovation like 3D printing, smart vehicles and the newest medical devices. Business delegations and government officials from Israel are routinely welcomed receptions and meetings coordinated by MIBB. Ongoing partnerships have been forged with the Michigan Economic Developments Corporation (MEDC), the Israel Economic Mission based in Chicago and the Export Institute in Israel.
In September 2014, MIBB held its first Ambassador Awards Dinner honoring companies and business leaders who have made a strong impact in the Michigan Israel workspace. MIBB was pleased to present General Dynamics Land System with the MIBB Bridge Builders Award, and founder, Chuck Newman with the MIBB Impact Award.
THIS WAS ALL THE RESULT OF THE WORK FACILITATED BY THE MICHIGAN ISRAEL BUSINESS BRIDGE.