Ann Arbor IT Zone receives award for economic development

April 28, 2000

ANN ARBOR—In less than six months after its grand opening, the Ann Arbor IT Zone has been honored for its economic development efforts by the state’s Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).

Doug Rothwell, president and chief executive officer of MEDC, presented the “Excellence in Economic Development” award to Jose-Marie Griffiths, IT Zone chair and University of Michigan chief information officer, at the Michigan Information Technology Summit 2000 held in Dearborn on April 12.

“The IT Zone has become active in a short period of time,” said Griffiths. “This achievement was not just a team effort; it was a ‘community’ effort involving many members of the U-M as well as leaders from Ann Arbor and other locations in the state. We’re encouraged by our growing membership of emerging and successful area IT companies and by the sponsorship of industry leaders.”

“Since its inception, the Ann Arbor IT Zone has been a focal point for the growth of the IT industry in the Ann Arbor area,” said Rothwell. “We hope recognizing this organization for excellence in economic development will encourage other development agencies to follow their lead.”

The mission of the Ann Arbor IT Zone is to promote the growth of the technology industry by bringing together entrepreneurs, emerging and established companies, business service providers, and university and community resources. It is accomplishing this mission by providing networking opportunities through scheduled events and its innovative “Technology Tuesdays” where information technology professionals representing expertise in a variety of areas meet with local business leaders and entrepreneurs for presentations on subjects related to information technology and business developments. Since its opening in late November, membership of the Ann Arbor IT Zone has risen to over 125 information technology-related companies in southeastern Michigan.

“Information technology is rapidly becoming an ubiquitous feature of modern life. We want to be part of the creative, entrepreneurial process that is transforming areas of sciences, commerce, and the arts,” said U-M President Lee C. Bollinger.

The Ann Arbor IT Zone is a collaborative effort between the U-M, the Washtenaw Development Council, the Ann Arbor local government, the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, and several local businesses and community leaders.


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