March 13 2013 12:00 AM

Mayor is on an “economic mission”


Friday, Nov. 16 — Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero left the country Thursday night for a roughly weeklong “economic mission” in northern Italy to meet with “top manufacturers in that country,” Chief of Staff Randy Hannan said today.

While Hannan declined to say which companies Bernero will be meeting with, “We are cautiously optimistic he will be returning to Lansing with some very good news,” Hannan said.

Bernero is traveling with his wife, Teri Bernero, Hannan said. The two left Thursday night and plan to return the weekend of the Thanksgiving holiday. They will visit Torino and Florence.

In addition to meeting with Italian manufacturers, Bernero will also attend the Urban Land Institute’s “Business-Friendly Cities” workshop in Torino being held on Tuesday and Wednesday. The workshop’s program describes it as a “unique opportunity to share learning between European cities recognized for their proactive approach to improving their business environment, and to hear first-hand about the investment location criteria of businesses.”

Hannan said Bernero’s trip is being “privately funded” and that no city dollars are being used to pay for the trip.

This isn’t the first time Bernero’s gone jet setting in hopes of bringing business back to greater Lansing.

In June, Bernero traveled to Turkey with local economic development officials to represent the Lansing region on a panel about how cities can attract businesses. In March 2011, Bernero traveled with a similar group to Mumbai, India, to meet with manufacturers there potentially expanding to Lansing.