In October of 2008, the Governor’s office called with an invitation for dinner at the official residence in Lansing. I pulled up to the iron gates in the dark of an unassuming, ultra-modern dwelling and was asked to state my name by security into an intercom. A guard met me at my car and led me to the mammoth red front door, opened by the First Gentleman.
I was shocked to promptly find myself seated next to the Governor with only 8 people in attendance: her Chief of Staff, Press Secretary, the VP of the MEDC, and the Directors of the MWF and the MWC. The Governor had to excuse herself throughout dinner to take calls from leaders at Chrysler as she negotiated a multi-billion dollar bail-out in Washington as I watched
The economy was in free fall and Michigan was ground zero. Michigan was about to become a state of entrepreneurs, by necessity, not choice, and they wanted to know my ideas for helping laid-off autoworkers make the transition.
“Connect women with capital,” I boldly told them, “and stop incentivizing failure by giving investors the tax-deduction when they put their money into the start-up, instead of when it fails.”
I spoke my mind and by the time I was done I was confident they would never invite me back..