Trevor Pawl

Director of Pure Michigan Business Connect in Detroit. Pure Michigan Business Connect is a Michigan Economic Development Corp. initiative commissioned by Gov. Rick Snyder to connect Michigan companies with growth and expansion opportunities. Prior to this role, Pawl served as program director of Connection Point with the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. Under his leadership, Connection Point uncovered more than $200 million in sourcing and R&D opportunities for Detroit area suppliers. Related to those achievements, he was named one of Crain's Detroit Business's 40 Under 40, one of Development Counselors International's 2013 40 Under 40 Rising Stars of Economic Development, and received Grand Valley State University's Up And Coming Alumni Award for 2013. He has advised the White House Business Council and the U.S. Department of Commerce on supplier diversity initiatives and serves on multiple nonprofit boards in the Detroit area. Prior to the economic development field, Pawl worked in advertising, first with W.B. Doner and then ePrize LLC. He received his bachelor's degree in economics and marketing from Grand Valley and his MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy, as well as a certificate in global affairs from New York University.

WHERE BORN: “Rochester.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My influences start at home. My creativity and moral backbone come from my parents. Being able to speak up for what's right and be generous with my time and talents come from my recently deceased Aunt Jo. My charisma and humor come from my grandpa. And my work ethic and commitment to quality come from my brother, Tyler, a very successful music teacher.”

LAST BOOK READ: “Keith Ferrazzi's Never Eat Alone. It ingeniously lays out the basic premise that real networking is about finding ways to make other people more successful, not yourself.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Genuine, fearless, innovative, driven, Detroit, Michigan, there.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “Toward two models. The first is economic gardening, an economic-development model that provides and promotes new procurement opportunities and technical assistance between existing businesses in a community. The second is open innovation, a crowd-sourcing model that connects R&D teams across communities and industries to co-develop new products and services. These two models do exist today, but should definitely become more mainstream in the future.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “It's a tie between my iPhone and the Uconnect feature in my Chrysler 300.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “I have a passion for places with grit, history, scenery, and soul. That is why Detroit is an amazing place to live and work. However, if we are talking about my favorite place to vacation.... Vancouver in the summer.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I love adventure. I actually just arrived home from South Africa, where I cage-dove with great white sharks and jumped off the world's tallest bungee-jumping platform. Fear is temporary, regret is forever! I also love to run and have completed the San Francisco and Detroit marathons.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “Redcoat Tavern burgers, power bars, and salads from Holiday Market in Royal Oak.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I guess it's not so hidden after this interview, but lately I've been getting into nature and urban photography. I would love to one day have my work in a show or gallery.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a good dude.”