Blog: Jennifer Cornell

The go-to-girl for new economy public relations and proud co-owner of local fitness club, Joust, Jennifer Cornell is a daily fixture in Ann Arbor's biz scene. She volunteers at several non-profits and sits on the Governor’s Council for Labor and Economic Growth. Jenn will be writing about being an entrepreneur in today's economy and what she sees on the local horizon.

Jennifer Cornell - Post 1: Dear Michigan

Dear Michigan, 

It’s been a tough time for you and I thought you could use some words of encouragement. Contrary to what you may think, there are plenty of people who love living here, working here, innovating here, growing a business here and raising a family here. There are people who love this state because it’s affording them an opportunity to be successful, personally and professionally.   

It’s not all bad, Michigan. I, for one, am here to stay, and I know lots of young professionals and young businesses who are, too.   

You are a fine state with so much to offer. From my home just south of Ann Arbor, I can tap into multiple options for entertainment, culture, dining and recreation within an hour. I love that my commute is through honest farmland where people are working hard everyday to feed us. Fresh food through CSA supports my neighbors and my health. I don’t mind having to pass a tractor on my way into town –- the "best of both worlds" combo of country living and world-class culture is top notch.   

Add just a few more hours to the commute and I can be in the gorgeous wilderness that makes you such a unique place to play. You can’t beat your Great Lakes, sand dunes, or miles and miles of forest for hiking, camping and fishing.  Swing by Bell’s Brewery on your way to the dunes and you’ve got a winning combo that can’t be beat.   

I love that I can actually afford to live here in this fine state. Unlike friends of mine who left Michigan for a perceived better life (in postage stamp apartments because they can’t afford a home), I own a home that’s on a river with lots of acreage. My property taxes are fair. I can walk from my house to downtown where people actually shop on Main Street and support small local businesses.   

You may have been worried that my work in other states and big cities would lure me away, but you’ve got my heart. The hard work ethic of the people I meet everyday inspires me and is truly unique to our Midwest heritage.   

The dizzying amount of innovation taking place across the state – software, hardware, fuel cells, biotech – is incredibly cool and makes me incredibly hopeful that your "new" economy is thriving. The fact that we can create new industries based on our heritage, like training auto talent to work in the alternative energy sector, shows that Michigan’s brightest aren’t simple, one trick ponies. 

Instead of leaving you, I’m committed to doing my part to supporting your continued growth. I’m excited to be part of your future. 


  As a PR consultant who works with growing companies, I'm fortunate to have my finger on the pulse of who's innovating in Michigan and growing key industries that are our future. Tomorrow I'll take a look at a few bright stars -- and what they're doing that others can copy.