Highlights from our Cross-Border Connections Joint Conference


On March 5, in partnership with ACG Toronto and ACG Western Michigan, ACG Detroit hosted the Cross-Border Connections Joint Conference at the beautiful Detroit Athletic Club. The conference presented a unique opportunity for open dialogue with our cross-border partners around the issues facing business operations in our country and abroad, as well as the future of international relations and how we must work together to create a brighter future.

We’re honored to have hosted our counterparts from Grand Rapids and Canada. With 142 attendees, the Cross-Border Connections Joint Conference proved to be a successful, high-energy networking and education session for all. 

Over the course of the morning, we heard from some amazing panelists, lending insight into U.S. business and policy trends and cross-border relations with Canada and Mexico. Our first round of panelists who broke down the USMCA, tariffs and trade diversification included:

  • David Olsen, Regional President & Principal Officer (PNC Bank)
  • Dan Ujczo, Practice Group Chair-Canada-U.S. (Dickinson Wright)
  • Kal Beidas, CFA, President (Aetna Bearing Company)
  • Sergio Lora Gomez, CEO (IQOM)
  • Alex Kotsopulos, Vice President & National Government, Healthcare and Education Industry Leader (RSM Canada)

After a short break for refreshments and networking with colleagues, we continued our program with a discussion on the business of marijuana, including political regulations and community implications. The panel, entitled “Cannabis in Canada and the U.S.: Convergence and Divergence,” featured:

  • Bob Hendricks, Partner (Cannalex Law)
  • Michael Elias, President & CEO (Michigan Pure Med)
  • Doug Mains, Partner (Honigman LLP)
  • Wes Reynolds, CEO (Green Mill Supercritical)
  • Wendy Hulton, Partner (Dickinson Wright)

Our final panel of the day highlighted U.S. trade and investment opportunities related to the future of business in Canada. Our high-profile speakers who drew from years of international business experience included:

  • Mark High, President (Canada-US Business Association-Detroit/Windsor)
  • David Costa, CEO (Windsor Industrial Services)
  • Rob Wildeboer, Executive Chair (Martinrea International Inc.)
  • Therese Thill, VP Business Development (The Right Place Inc.)

Finally, attendees enjoyed lunch while Heather Grondin, Vice President of Communications & Stakeholder Relations, Windsor - Detroit Authority delivered the keynote address.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Cross-Border Connections Joint Conference and remained involved in the ongoing commentary around business partnerships with Canada and Mexico. We’d like to extend a special thank you to all who participated in our panel discussions and provided insight around the intersection of policy and international business practices. And, as always, thank you to our loyal sponsors who make these events possible.

We look forward to seeing you at our next event, the “Life Cycle of the Deal” panel discussion on March 12 at Glen Oaks. For more information about that event and future ACG Detroit events, visit acg.org/detroit/events.