Second Shift

from crisis to collaboration
second shift building logo.png

a production of Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art and MessageMakers


"Second Shift: from Crisis to Collaboration" is the inside story of how the Lansing region’s collaborative “Keep GM” campaign turned a crisis into a gift that keeps on giving.


  • Tell the story of how the Lansing community, through the “Lansing Works! Keep GM” campaign, helped to persuade General Motors to stay in the region and build three state-of-the-art plants.

  • Underscore the importance of collaborative, regional problem solving and the ongoing benefits that grow out of creative partnerships.


Forty interviews were conducted with individuals involved in the Keep GM campaign, as well as with other regional leaders. While not all made it into the film, their testimonies provided important background for story content.

Financing: The budget for producing the film was $200,000. More than 30 organizations and individuals donated funds, grants or in-kind services to support the project. The Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art is the fiduciary for the project.

Additional funding will be sought to complete Phase 2 of the project— further website development, marketing and distribution, instructional/case study video, and more. To donate, contact Ray Tadgerson at 517.799.3888.

Advisory Team: A team of former Keep GM campaign participants and other interested individuals was convened at the project’s start to seek input on the fim’s scope and content. Their guidance was invaluable throughout the film’s progress.


Second Shift: from Crisis to Collaboration

The Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art presents a MessageMakers production

Produced and Directed By
Tom Lietz

Associate Producers
Matt Penniman
Rick Weaver

Executive Producer
Terry Terry

Bill Adcock
Mayor Virg Bernero
David Cole
Paula D. Cunningham
John Daher
Tim Daman
Jack C. Davis
Jim Donaldson
Ed Donovan
Joe Drolett
Governor John Engler
George Fulton
Bo Garcia
Mike Green
John Grettenburger, Sr.
Mark Hogan
David Hollister
Chris Holman
Bruce McAttee
Larry Meyer
Bill Reed
Doug Rothwell
Berl Schwartz
Steve Serkaian
Lou Anna Simon
Alan Spitz
Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Bob Swanson
Ray Tadgerson
Randy Thayer
Bob Trezise
David Wiener
Jim Zubkus

Ken Beachler

Additional interviews available soon
James Butler
Janice Karcher
Joel Spitz

Primary Videography
Rob Sumbler

Additional Videography
Barret Baxter
Aaron Card
Adam Cate
Tom Lietz
Kolien Owens
Jared Page
Rick Weaver

Glidecam Operator
Ian Busch

Helicopter Pilot
Nick McMahon

Remote Aerial Videography
Eric Snyder
Tommy Knight

Production Assistant
Amelia Kosciulek

Tom Lietz

Assistant Editors
Ryan Frederick
Kolien Owens

Motion Graphics
Mike Boddy
Matt Giorno

Original Score
Written by:
Glenn Brown & Brian Brill
Produced by:
Glenn Brown & GBP Studios
Published by:
Sylvan Hill Records (ASCAP), ©2014

Audio Mix
Thomas Myers

Advisory Committee
Bill Adcock
John P. Beck
Charles Blackman
Bill Castanier
Mike Crawford
Ed Donovan
Mike Green
Jerry Hollister
Kathy Hollister
Valerie Marvin
Bruce McAttee
Ray L. Michaels
Steve Serkaian
Beany Tomber
David Wiener

Archival Media Provided By
GM Historical Center
Lansing State Journal/ Gannett Company
Leavenworth Photographics
WILX / Gray Television, Inc.
WLNS / Young Broadcasting of Lansing, Inc.

Special Thanks
Linda Burnham
Sophia Cheng
Andy Doerr
Rosanne Goacher
Igor Houwat
Bob Kolt
Bill Kimble
Erin Lietz
Katherine Lietz
Regina R. Strong
Lisa Twenter
John Wickham
City of Lansing
Center for Automotive Research
Delta Charter Township
Flint & Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce
General Motors Lansing Delta Township Assembly
Lansing Charter Township
Lansing Community College
Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
LorAnn Oils
Michigan State University
R. E. Olds Transportation Museum
University of Michigan

In Memoriam

Our special thanks and appreciation for the key roles played by UAW 652 leaders Art Baker, Chris “Tiny” Sherwood and Ralph Shephard, who have all passed away. They were critical partners in keeping GM because of their vision, leadership and openness to change.


Second Shift has attracted significant press coverage over the course of its production and release. If you are a media professional interested in doing a story on the film, please get in touch.

Tony Conley Show featuring Tom Lietz (MP3 audio), 10/31/14

Second Shift tells the story of GM in Lansing, and how in the late 90’s, in the midst of changes in the auto industry, General Motors was ready to leave Lansing. In the face of what seemed like an inevitable decision, a team of government, business, labor, education and other community leaders came together in some pretty unlikely ways to convince GM to change their decision. While the old facilities did close, GM reinvested in the community instead of leaving.

“East Lansing Film Festival will be a treat”, Lansing State Journal, 10/30/14

“You can see such variety,” said fest fan Terry Terry. “You see fun things and stylish things. … I’m looking for (filmmakers) who have a fresh approach to visuals and storytelling.”

And this time, he’ll also have a film at the festival. Terry (head of local Message Makers) produced the “Second Shift” documentary. “It’s all about how Mayor (David) Hollister and different executives collaborated to keep GM in Lansing,” Woods said. “Everyone in the area loves it.”

“ELFF discovery: Mid-Michigan gets its close-up in 17th Annual East Lansing Film Festival”, Lansing City Pulse, 10/29/14

“(The Lansing area) is in the spotlight in this year’s festival more than in any other year,” said festival director Susan Woods. “It’s really quite extraordinary. It wasn’t planned this way, it just came together.”

The documentary “Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration,” produced by MessageMakers in Old Town, depicts the work of former Lansing Mayor David Hollister and a team of public and private entities who convinced General Motors to stay in Lansing when the automaker considered pulling up the stakes in the late ‘90s.

Tony Conley Show featuring Ray Tadgerson and Mayor David Hollister (MP3 audio), 10/29/14

David and I [Ray] had a conversation about five years ago that we were going to write a book about it. It went from a book, to an ebook, to interviews uploaded to a website, finally to this documentary. We’ve been working on this for the last two and a half years.

“Film: Lansing saves itself in ‘Second Shift’”, Lansing State Journal, 10/26/14

“This is definitely our biggest year for local films,” said ELFF founder Susan Woods.

[…] none are more local than “Second Shift,” a documentary about Lansing saving itself.

That starts in 1996, amid economic troubles for General Motors and others. “GM came and said, ‘Hey, it’s a 100-year-old factory, we’re cutting back, we’re out of here,'” said Terry Terry, the “Shift” producer.

Instead, he said, people mobilized. “You have Dave Hollister and John Engler – not really close politically – working together.”

“Keep GM film: ‘Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration’” (gallery), Lansing State Journal, 9/16/14

“David Hollister on ‘Second Shift’” (video),, 9/16/14

“Documentary to Capture Lansing/GM New-Economy Collaboration”, Greater Lansing Business Monthly, 9/1/13

“It was one of those ‘we have some good news and some bad news to report to you,'” vividly recalls Hollister, who was serving as Lansing Mayor from 1993 to 2003, a time period during which he undertook several projects to benefit Lansing. “Yes, there was some good news to start out about the 100th year anniversary of Oldsmobile marked by a five year line of product (specifically the Alero model) for Lansing, but it was the ‘bad news’ — that when that five year cycle of product (1998-2003) ends in 2004 … there would be no more GM product to build in this town.

“Keep GM documentary in the works” (audio), WKAR, 8/26/13

 The memorable campaign involved concessions from the city and the United Auto Workers along with a collaborative, sometimes dramatic, approach to unite a diverse array of stakeholders.  Some participants have called Lansing’s “Keep GM” effort one of the first serious efforts in regionalism. Ray Tadgerson was at the center of the effort. Ray, along with filmmakers Tom Lietz and Terry Terry, discuss their film project.


What happened in Lansing matters not just to the people who live there, but also to anyone considering the future of manufacturing and economic development in the United States. The story of Lansing is one of unlikely collaboration, a community who came together to save their auto-based economy where so many others failed.

Aired: 09/15/15

Rating: TV-G

56m 48s


We would like to recognize the many supporters who have contributed to the production of Second Shift. We want to thank you all again for making it possible to tell the story of how our region collaborated to keep GM. We are deeply grateful for your support and friendship.

A few words from our sponsors: 


“As Mid-Michigan’s principal workforce development institution, Lansing Community College is proud to sponsor ‘Second Shift,’ which details the story of the remarkable collaboration that solidified the capital city’s economic stability. The documentary is a must-see for anyone who cares about urban areas, especially those hit hard by manufacturing losses. It is a story about self-determination, grit and community pride.” – Brent Knight, President, Lansing Community College


“MotorCities National Heritage Area is a non-profit affiliate of the National Park Service, dedicated to preserving and promoting the automotive and labor heritage of southeast Michigan. It is in that spirit that we support this project as documentation of the significant history of Lansing and its relationship with GM. This project captures the spirit of the community that built these cars and the cars which built this community.” – Brian Yopp, Director of Operations and Community Liaison, MotorCities National Heritage Area


“The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to partner with the Keep GM documentary project to showcase the Greater Lansing area as a desirable and welcoming destination for visitors and businesses.” – Jack A. Schripsema, President/CEO, Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau

Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau


“At the Capital Region Community Foundation, we believe economic development is essential for the success of our region. Good jobs build a good community, benefitting us all.” – Capital Region Community Foundation


“In the mid-1990s the Lansing region was faced with the fact that its aging auto manufacturing facilities were scheduled to be closed. It was a defining moment. Thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in investment were at stake. Clearly it was a crisis, and the story of how the Lansing region came together to convince GM to stay is important to preserve, celebrate and replicate.” – David and Christine Hollister, Hollister Solutions


“This documentary not only will provide a record of a significant collaborative effort providing a major economic boost for Lansing but it can also be used to share a way of problem solving with other cities, and even other states and the nation. I’m excited to be able to support this effort.” – Charles Blackman, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University, and Trustee Emeritus, Olivet College


“Neogen is pleased to support the Keep GM documentary in hopes that it will serve as a reminder of the great things that can be accomplished when partisanship can be put aside. Our company does not derive revenues from the local area, but it is the worldwide headquarters of a leading food safety company where we host customers and researchers from around the world. The financial vibrance of the area fostered by the GM story is important to our 800 worldwide employees. Hopefully the documentary will rekindle cooperation and enthusiasm with current and future area leaders.” – Jim Herbert, Chief Executive Officer, Neogen


“C2AE supported this project so that the story could be told of how public and private entities can work together to achieve success that changed the Greater Lansing region forever. We are proud and honored to have one of our firm leaders, Mr. Ray Tadgerson, play a key role in the Keep GM Campaign.” – Bill Kimble, Chief Executive Officer, C2AE


“This Model Works serves a valuable lesson for today’s city and business leaders of how to seize a collaborative moment for the benefit of the community. Saving GM for Lansing set the table for many subsequent successes, like the adaptive re-use of the Prudden Wheel Automotive site into premier living and working spaces. Thank you Mayor Hollister and everyone involved in making the model work for Lansing.” – Harry H. Hepler, President, H Inc.

Additional Supporters Include: 


Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art

Tadgerson Consulting

Loomis, Ewert, Parsley, Davis & Gotting

National Electrical Contractors Association

IBEW Local 665

Sparrow Health System

Capitol National Bank

Dean Transportation

Mike Flintoff, CPA

Jack and Sue Davis

Jerry and Kathy Hollister

Mark Hooper

Young Chevrolet Cadillac

Motor Wheel Lofts, LLC

Historical Society of Greater Lansing

Don LeDuc and Susan Coley

Terry N Terry

H&H inc.

R. E. Olds Transportation Museum

Doty Mechanical

Kim, Shaun & Cale Mullenix

Jeff Crippen

James B. Fry

Todd, Valorie, Max and Kate Hollister


Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art

1210 Turner St.
Lansing, MI 48906
P 517.371.4600

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