Snyder bonds with Israel's Netanyahu during June trade trip

Governor Snyder bonds with Netanyahu during trip

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    ​By Tom Walsh.

    Detroit Free Press

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    Apparently Michigan’s tough-nerd Gov. Rick Snyder really hit it off with Israel’s tough-guy Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu, as the two men bonded over wonky stuff like cyber-security and reinventing government.
     
    So I’m told, anyway, by guys who were in the room with them in Tel Aviv on June 17 during Snyder’s recent trade mission to Israel.
     
    That trip got scant attention back in Michigan, in part because Snyder cut it short by two days to rush home for a failed attempt to prod the state Senate into voting on Medicaid expansion.
    In an Israeli itinerary packed with meetings with venture capitalists and automotive, medical and environmental firms, the Michigan visitors had expected a polite, perfunctory 20- or 30-minute sitdown with the Israeli head of state.
     
    Instead, they talked for about 90 minutes, according to Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., and Mark Kinsler, the MEDC’s vice president for business attraction and international trade.
     
    “It was one of the top five most interesting meetings I’ve ever been in,” said Kinsler, a seasoned global executive who logged more than 2 million air miles in 25 years of selling Herman Miller office furniture to companies and governments before joining the MEDC in 2011.