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Chamber pushes 2021 Mackinac Policy Conference to September

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Politicians, lobbyists and business executives will break with tradition again next year as the Detroit Chamber pushes the Mackinac Policy Conference to the fall. 

The Detroit Regional Chamber said Thursday it plans to hold the 2021 Mackinac Island conference Sept. 20 through Sept. 23. The annual event usually draws about 1,500 people at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. 

The chamber canceled the May 2020 event out of concern for the potential spread of the coronavirus, and the group has pushed the date past May again to avoid any potential disruptions from the virus next year. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the 2019 Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference.

The conference will return to its post-Memorial Day schedule in 2022, the chamber said.

“In addition to greater certainty and protecting our attendees’ health, the one-year move to September in 2021 provides the conference an opportunity to explore different formats," said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

The conference will set the stage for a discussion on how the state rebuilds after the pandemic, said Wright L. Lassiter III, conference chair and president and CEO of the Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System. 

“The September 2021 schedule should also provide the right amount of time to ensure a strong comfort level among our attendees in gathering safely," Lassiter said in a statement. "That comfort is key to creating an impactful Conference and attendee experience that we all value and enjoy.”

Registration for the conference will begin in December. 

eleblanc@detroitnews.com