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Posted on Tue, May 22, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Pure Michigan: Ann Arbor area executives featured in latest video promotion

By Lizzy Alfs

The new Pure Michigan campaign showcasing Washtenaw County isn’t just targeting tourists.

The latest four-minute promotional video — which is featured on Ann Arbor SPARK’s website — has a different goal in mind: promoting the city’s thriving business climate.

“I think people have always thought about the University of Michigan first, but the fact is, there is a fantastic business community here,” says Patrick Doyle, CEO of Ann Arbor Township-based Domino’s Pizza, in the video.


Barracuda Networks, located on Depot Street in Ann Arbor, employs roughly 140 people here with plans to at least double that.

Melanie Maxwell |


Google was co-founded by University of Michigan alum Larry Page.

Angela Cesere |

The promotion features other executives from flourishing companies in Washtenaw County, including Rich Sheridan of Menlo Innovations, Jan Garfinkle of Arboretum Ventures, Michael Miller of Google, Sean Heiney of Barracuda Networks and Mark Sutter of Terumo Cardiovascular Systems.

“We still see and have the same kind of ingenuity, entrepreneurship and really strong engineering core talent that really allows us to create products that will change the world,” says Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Paul Krutko.

The video is part of the $1 million Pure Michigan campaign showcasing Washtenaw County’s opportunities for business and tourism.

The campaign, which was announced in February, also features the county in national cable TV ads and on the state’s Pure Michigan website. Four articles will appear on the site throughout the year, written by the local Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs) and featuring various local attractions.

A 30-second TV spot featuring Ann Arbor was posted to the Pure Michigan YouTube channel in March. The ad’s message: “Ann Arbor does it up different.”

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is contributing $500,000 to the campaign, with Ann Arbor SPARK allocating $70,000. The CVBs are allocating the remaining $430,000.

The new promotional video on SPARK’s website shows a variety of visuals in Washtenaw County, including downtown Ann Arbor streets, Depot Town in Ypsilanti, The Ravens Club, Prickly Pear, Palio, Nickels Arcade, Michigan Stadium, U-M’s Law Quad, State Theater and the well-known “Welcome to Ann Arbor” sign at the Main Street Party Store on North Main Street.

Sean Heiney, director of new product initiatives for Barracuda Networks — an information technology security company that announced plans last year to hire 300 to 500 employees at an expanded Ann Arbor office — says Ann Arbor has a great pool of talent and a “savvy” business community.

“Our employees love coming into work and they’re happy to live in Ann Arbor,” he says. “It’s a low cost of living with a high amount of happiness; they live a Silicon Valley-like culture.”

Arboretum Ventures co-founder Jan Garfinkle, whose Ann Arbor-based venture capital firm has become one of the most influential in the Midwest, said she chose Ann Arbor over San Francisco because she wanted her kids to grow up here.

“The thing I love about Ann Arbor is the fact that it is such a nice combination of being able to have a great work and family balance,” she says.

She later adds: “There are a lot of universities here with a lot of really smart people developing a lot of really cool technologies.”

Watch the “Ann Arbor does it up different” TV ad spot.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Ed Fenton

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

loved it, untill I saw Toyota

Scott Rosencrans

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

Terrific video. Thanks, SPARK.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 4:28 p.m.

"Ann Arbor does it up different." This IS Ann Arbor, right?

John of Saline

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

There are some amusing "Pure Michigan" parody videos out there....


Tue, May 22, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

I saw one of the recent Pure Michigan videos featuring Ann Arbor on TV - it was fantastic. Michigan should continue to tout its best resources, which clearly includes this fine city.

Ann English

Tue, May 22, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

I think you're referring to the one that shows the giant cube rotating on one of its corners, one of the entrance gates to Michigan Stadium, and a semi-interior hallway at Plymouth Mall, east of Nixon Road. I've seen that ad twice so far on one TV set at L.A. Fitness, but like its predecessor, Bally Total Fitness, the sound is always off; we're there to exercise. Close-captioning is used instead of sound, but I don't remember any captioning for this Pure Michigan video; I just recognized Ann Arbor when I happened to look up at that particular TV.


Tue, May 22, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

Where is Tim Allen? I was so looking forward to hearing his voice. I love Pure Michigan videos. There is a new one that just came out. I think it showcases Lake Michigan.


Tue, May 22, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

That - is a great video and promotion piece - well done! And, it's all true


Tue, May 22, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

I couldn't find the newer ad, only the previous A2 ad and one for the state of Michigan. Please post the link for the new ad.


Tue, May 22, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

Really a good vid! Congrats.