The Michigan Defense Center | Arsenal of Innovation
The Michigan Defense Center is an operation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation focused on the support, protection and growth of Michigan ’s defense and homeland security missions and the Michigan businesses that support our nation’s security and our military ’s safety.
The Michigan Defense Center is the State of Michigan’s lead voice on the defense and homeland security economy and guides the state’s policies and programs to protect and grow this important sector of the economy. The MDC acts as a liaison between the state and defense interests in the federal government, defense agencies, the defense industry, academia and the defense community and supporting organizations.
Nearly 4,000 Michigan businesses are currently serving the defense industry and there’s room for more. The Michigan Defense Center has tools to help your Michigan business. Click through to find out more.
Michigan Defense Center Team
Vicki Selva is the Executive Director of the Michigan Defense Center and leads a robust team of professionals to Protect and Grow Michigan’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security industries and missions.
Vicki has been managing budgets, developing programs and strategies for the Michigan Defense Center since 2014 in various roles and is a leader in reshaping the State’s efforts to protect and grow missions and industry in federal contracting sectors of the economy:
- An Architect and Manager of the State of Michigan’s Protect & Grow Initiative; a strategy for Michigan’s defense assets, industry and community.
- Federal Contract Bid Writing Services Program; Co-developed and implemented this tool for Michigan companies to begin federal contracting
- Strategic Communications; Develops the state’s messaging, marketing strategies and materials for Michigan’s defense sector
Prior to taking a leadership role at the Michigan Defense Center, Vicki built her reputation working with defense entities, global, national and local companies and has developed many important relationships with key members of industry, government and academia through her decade long service with U.S. Senator and Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin.
Vicki is an Advisor on the National Defense Industry Association- Board of Directors and has been appointed Michigan Representative to the NDIA National Policy Committee. Vicki is the MDEX2020 (Michigan Defense Expo) Chairperson as well as a Mentor with the Women in Defense (WID) Association and a member of the Association of U.S. Army (AUSA).
Vicki Selva has been awarded the Macomb County Partnership Award, the NDIA Volunteer of the Year Award and is recipient of the 2017 Women in Defense/Crain’s Horizon Innovation Award. Nominations include the NDIA National Red Ball Express Award given to members of the defense community with expertise and a history of supporting tactical wheeled vehicles.
Cheryl Pavic Henner
Program Manager - Protect and Grow
Cheryl is the Program Manager for the Michigan Defense Center’s Protect & Grow Initiative, the state’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security economic strategic plan.
Cheryl is a retired Air Force Reserve Lieutenant Colonel having served in various roles at the operational and strategic levels as an engineering officer including two deployments to Southwest Asia in support of the Iraq War and War in Afghanistan. She also served as a lead partnership facilitator for the Air Force Community Partnership Program, a Secretary of the Air Force initiative that develops installation-community partnerships. In her civilian career Cheryl has worked for public and private organizations in construction management, community planning and development, finance, technology, and government consulting. She has a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, an MBA from California State University—Sacramento, and a Master of Natural Resources and Global Sustainability from Virginia Tech. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP
Callie Oppertshauser is the Michigan Defense Center’s Communications Specialist. She executes strategic messaging for the state’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security sector so that stakeholders are engaged and aware of Michigan’s efforts. Callie supports internal and external communication.
After graduating from Michigan State University, Callie began her career at Michigan.com/A Gannett Company as a Multimedia Advertising Account Executive where she increased market share by gaining new business and grew their existing client base for American and Canadian companies. She also researched potential market segments and created strategies to effectively communicate and promote brand awareness. Callie later entered the government sector as an Administrative Support Assistant to the Executive Director of the Port Huron Housing Commission and was the Housing Commission’s liaison to various government agencies and organizations where she coordinated activities and special events with staff and community leaders.
Program Manager - Business Resources
Dustin Frigy is the Manager for the Business Resources Programs offered to Michigan companies and MEDC by the Michigan Defense Center. These programs directly assist Michigan companies in all stages of defense, defense aerospace and homeland security contracting and engagement.
Dustin has been involved with purchasing for more than 19 years in professional positions with the Federal Government, State of Michigan, and various local government agencies. Before his role with the Michigan Defense Center, he served as the Director of Defense Logistics Agency – Procurement Technical Assistance Center in mid-Michigan for over 12 years, where he led a team of Procurement Consultants helping regional businesses secure hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts. Dustin holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Public Administration from the University of Michigan.
Michigan Defense Center’s Contracted Consultants
With over 100 years of combined political and military experience, The Roosevelt Group is a bipartisan organization offering its skills and expertise in advocacy, consulting, business development, and strategic communications to clients in the defense, security, and intelligence sectors.
The Roosevelt Group provides the Michigan Defense Center with eyes and ears inside the Pentagon and DoD. This allows Michigan to promote our assets and compete for missions in this dynamic sector. Assistance in communicating new information beneficial to our objectives to Capitol Hill leaders is a key MDC strategy for Protecting and Growing Michigan’s defense, defense aerospace and homeland security industry and missions.
Matrix is an Employee-Owned consulting firm providing innovative leading edge solutions across a broad array of complex disciplines and industries.
Matrix works with the Michigan Defense Center to offer third party validation to our programs, resources and economic impact information gathering and analysis by using national industry standards and expertise.