Brooks Kushman Hosts Intellectual Property Panel at Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition

Southfield, Mich. – To help start-up companies understand the importance and value of intellectual property (IP), Brooks Kushman Shareholder Sangeeta Shah will host an IP panel at the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition, which the firm is also sponsoring.

The panel will take place on November 5, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. Ms. Shah will lead a panel of Metro Detroit technology and start-up leaders in a discussion on the growth of technology companies and start-ups in the region.

“We had a great turn out at our panel last year,” said Ms. Shah. “We’re looking forward to assisting this year’s companies with any questions they have regarding intellectual property. The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition provides such a fantastic opportunity for these businesses, we’re happy to give them all of the advice we have to offer.”

Ms. Shah is Brooks Kushman’s co-chair of post-grant proceedings and chief diversity officer. Her practice is primarily focused on post-grant challenges and patent opinions. She represents several Fortune 500 clients for whom she provides strategic counseling and guidance on their global IP portfolios. She is frequently called upon to counsel clients in developing best practices and strategic planning of their patent portfolios, including writing successful patent applications in complex and novel situations, in anticipation of possible future litigation. She works closely with clients from the earliest stages of their technical development, offering valuable advice about how to protect their inventions and new ideas in view of their business strategies.

The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition is an international business competition designed to highlight Michigan as a robust and vibrant venue for innovation and business opportunity. The competition honors the best and brightest early-stage entrepreneurs and rewards them with more than $1 million in cash and in-kind prizes. The event takes place Nov. 4 to Nov. 6 in Detroit. For more information about the competition, visit

About Brooks Kushman:
Brooks Kushman is a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices in Michigan and California, and represents clients nationally and internationally with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The firm has more than 90 intellectual property professionals specializing in various technical disciplines, and has a reputation for providing leading IP counseling with a focus on the business objectives of their clients.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, and Intellectual Property Today. For more information, please visit

Economic Inclusion Must Top Priority List

From The Detroit News

By Sandy Baruah and Mark Davidoff

Oct. 29, 2015

The national discussion on racial and economic equity that has grown in intensity over the last year resonates with leaders in Detroit, the region and our state. As a new era of economic growth is defined, we should consider also addressing the breadth of economic opportunity in a unified manner, causing economic inclusion to run parallel to economic development atop the list of regional priorities.

Economic inclusivity could multiply the impact of Detroit’s momentum. Investments being made in the city, and across our state, will likely inure greater returns if the opportunity is shared. Leadership from business, political and philanthropic circles, and the community can have a role in setting the tone for this commitment.

The road to addressing such a complex issue as economic equity must start with difficult, honest and continuing conversations. We all can and should consider Detroit “Our City,” from longtime residents who epitomize the spirit and resiliency of Detroit, to motivated Millennials working in and now living in the city, to invested employers proud to do business south of Eight Mile, to the suburbanites flocking to enjoy all that is great about Detroit. They perceive Detroit through their own lens, but they consider Detroit theirs.

Key to Detroit achieving a unified recovery is ensuring that “Our City” includes the broadest possible meaning – with all parties engaged. There is a great foundation for elevating this agenda given the recent partnerships evidenced between the public and private sectors and the unprecedented political alignment between Lansing and Detroit under the leadership of Governor Rick Snyder and Mayor Mike Duggan.

The Detroit business community recognizes the significance of its role. As important, it realizes there has to be an intentional effort to extend opportunity to all corners of the city. That recognition was evidenced during the poignant town hall discussion at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference, where business and philanthropic leaders discussed how to bring together what could otherwise be “Two Detroits.” We also saw it this past summer when Mayor Duggan’s Grow Detroit’s Young Talent program exceeded its goal of providing 5,000 young Detroiters summer jobs through activating businesses based throughout the region in making a commitment to this program’s success.

Currently, work continues on the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2015 Mackinac “To-Do List” to increase financial literacy in Detroit’s neighborhoods and narrow the opportunity gap by promoting entrepreneurship and micro-lending. The Chamber is partnering with the John Hope Bryant’s nonprofit Operation Hope and the city of Detroit to recruit businesses to host additional Hope Inside Centers, like the one that opened this April at the Northwest Activities Center with sponsorship from Fifth Third Bank. These centers can transform communities by empowering residents to manage their personal finances by improving their credit scores, turning renters into owners and dreamers into entrepreneurs.

Although there are encouraging signs, these are just the early steps in what will likely be a long journey. Helping Detroit realize its ultimate recovery may require a sustained effort, more candid conversations and an engaged business community focused equally on economic development and economic inclusion. We have an opportunity to be a light for the nation on what a true recovery really means.

Mark Davidoff is Michigan Managing Partner of Deloitte and Chair of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors. Sandy Baruah is president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Customizable Reporting Tool Puts Regional Data at Your Fingertips

The Detroit Regional Chamber recently unveiled a new web functionality that allows members to easily create customizable regional reports highlighting Southeast Michigan’s assets. This new tool puts information at the fingertips of businesses that engage in national and international operations to attract companies to the region. The information can also be used as a tool for making informed business decisions related to talent recruitment and industry trends.

The online Data Center offers a variety of information, including business costs, workforce, education, demographics and quality of life. Users can also download the Chamber’s quarterly Regional Snapshot, a summation of major economic indicators such as employment and population. Any combination of available regional data can be selected and downloaded into a single PDF file. Pages can be reordered based on user preference and each report includes a cover and back page with Chamber branding and contact information.

The Data Center also provides a one-stop shop for site selectors and businesses considering the Detroit region for expansion or relocation. Explore and create your own personalized report.

U.S. CoC CEO Deborah Wince-Smith Shares Keys to Competitiveness

Detroit Regional Chamber President Sandy Baruah hosted Deborah Wince-Smith, president and CEO of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness (CoC) for a dinner with 11 regional CEOs in October.

A 2011 Mackinac Policy Conference keynote speaker, Wince-Smith presented on the work of the CoC, which brings together corporate CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders to put forward public policy solutions to make America more globally competitive. Baruah is a former Distinguished Fellow on the Council. Following the presentation, attendees shared thoughts on Detroit’s post-bankruptcy revitalization effort and the obstacles, challenges and opportunities for the region.

Chamber Member Discount at the Macomb Center

Give the gift of entertainment this holiday season by planning an outing to the Macomb Center for the Performing Arts! Our holiday line up includes Handel’s Messiah performed by the Metropolitan Detroit Chorale and Merry Christmas Darling: Carpenters’ Christmas featuring Michelle Berting Brett.

Chamber members receive a $5 per ticket discount on select performances. Call 586.286.2222 for tickets today!

Michigan’s Mobility Leadership on Display at ITS World Congress

MICHauto, along with several key public and private partners from the state, attended the 2015 Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Bordeaux, France in October to drive home the message that Michigan remains the global epicenter of automotive industry, and is leading in the testing and development of connected and automated vehicles.

More than 10,000 international ITS experts, public and private sector leaders, researchers, engineers and students attended the weeklong event.

ITS1MICHauto’s Glenn Stevens, Oakland County Executive Matthew Gibb, and Michigan Department of Transportation Director Kirk Steudle, in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the University of Michigan Mobility Transformation Center, carried the flag for the state of Michigan throughout the week, staffing a Pure Michigan booth and coordinating over 20 business attraction meetings with OEMs and suppliers interested in learning about Michigan’s next-generation mobility leadership.

As a result of the one-on-one meetings, Stevens said numerous technology-related transportation companies have already reached out to MICHauto to learn more about how they can capitalize on the mobility community in Southeast Michigan and have a presence in the region.

“Our goal was to position Michigan as the center for automotive and connected and autonomous vehicles. Because that leadership was recognized by companies in attendance at ITS, we were also able to tie the trip into a tactical business attraction opportunity for the region and state,” Stevens said.

Michigan was the only state in the country with such a large representation in Bordeaux, Stevens said. Throughout the week, MICHauto distributed copies of its Michigan Mobility Map, which it developed in collaboration with key partners of the Michigan Mobility Initiative. First announced at the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference, the Michigan Mobility Initiative strengthens, protects and promotes the state’s global leadership in next-generation mobility development.

The World Congress also offered the Michigan delegation the opportunity to learn about and experience new technology from around the world. Nearly 400 international companies exhibited at ITS.

Gibb said attending ITS was an impactful experience and a great way to build on the collaborative synergy between Oakland County, MICHauto and state and regional economic development partners.

“The ITS World Congress affirmed that our region is leading the world in research and advanced connected technologies, but it also served as a reminder that that same world is fast approaching in our rearview mirror. Working with MICHauto to build investment in this most important of sectors reflects the positive that comes from collaboration,” he said.

“The entire state must focus and acknowledge that the race for talent, economy and sustainability is rooted squarely in the advancement of connected intelligent technologies, most significantly automotive. We must be finding the companies that are creating this new world and make sure they’re here,” Gibb added.

The 2016 World Congress will be held in Melbourne, Australia.

For more information on MICHauto, contact Glenn Stevens at

Investment Mission to Germany and Japan Promotes Detroit, Auto Industry’s ‘Roaring Comeback’

Investment Mission to Germany and Japan Promotes Detroit, Auto Industry’s ‘Roaring Comeback’

For international companies expanding operations in the United States, Detroit is a hot market.

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team recently led a Michigan delegation to Japan and Germany to strengthen business relationships and attract job-creating investment.

“There is great excitement for people (in Europe and Asia) to find out what’s happening in the Detroit region and in our automotive market. They hear ‘Detroit’ and their eyes light up; that didn’t happen a few years ago,” Maureen Krauss, vice president of economic development for the Chamber said. “We’re experiencing a unique moment in time where Detroit is roaring back and the auto industry is roaring back and the international business community is taking notice.”

Making the Case for Michigan in Japan

Sandy at Toyota City Hall (email)As part of the investment mission, the Chamber, along with representatives from the city of Novi, city of Southfield, MEDC and Oakland County attended the Midwest U.S.- Japan Association Conference in Tokyo, where business leaders from the Midwest region of the United States and Japan have met annually for the past four decades to discuss the growth and progress of economic relations between the two countries. Among other issues, the Michigan delegation outlined the business case for growing Japanese investment in Michigan as the automotive and mobility capital of the world.

The delegation also met with 15 automotive, hospitality and medical companies, focusing on retention and attraction. Justin Robinson, director of Business Attraction for the Chamber, said from those meetings, the team is working with five prospects who do not have a presence in Michigan and expressed interest in the market.

“Japan is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Michigan,” Robinson said, adding that the city of Novi alone has more than 100 Japanese companies, the highest concentration in the region.

“It is important for economic developers and for our state to meet with these companies at their facilities and talk with key leaders about the Michigan market as a place where Japanese companies need to be to invest and grow,” he said.

While abroad, the Chamber participated in a concurrent trade mission in Japan hosted by Gov. Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), where Chamber President Sandy Baruah met with leading automotive executives and MICHauto members from Aisin Seiki Co., Denso International Inc. and Toyota Motor Co. to thank them for their continued investment in Michigan and promote the state’s leadership in next-generation mobility research.

“The Japan market is extremely important to the auto industry and Detroit. Through our partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber, we will continue to grow our efforts to welcome Japanese investment in the region,” said Alan Weber, business development representative for Oakland County.

Leading the Automotive Discussion at the Frankfurt Auto Show

Germany1In addition to Japan, Business Attraction led a delegation consisting of representatives from Butzel Long, Clayton & McKervey, Comerica, MICHauto, Oakland County and Signature Associates to the 66th Frankfurt Auto Show. There, the team met with over 100 automotive suppliers that do not currently have a presence in Michigan and provided information on the state’s infrastructure and next-generation research and development.

Chamber partner PwC also hosted a reception on behalf of the Governor with 130 c-suite executives to promote Michigan’s business-friendly tax structure, reduced regulations and talent pool. Business Attraction is currently following up with numerous prospects, Krauss said.

Rob Luce, director of MICHauto and Automotive Retention and Growth for the Chamber, attended the show for the first time to build up international exposure of the MICHauto brand. As part of that effort, a condensed version of the Michigan is Auto report, currently in its third iteration, was provided to suppliers in attendance.

“MICHauto has great success in Michigan. This was an opportunity for the international auto community to understand MICHauto,” Krauss said.

Luce said attending key events like Frankfurt allows MICHauto to build on its overall strategy of promoting, growing and retaining Michigan’s automotive industry while also finding opportunities for MICHauto investors to become more plugged into the Business Attraction program at the Chamber.

To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.


STERLING HEIGHTS, MI – Oct. 27, 2015 – Todd Piersol, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Detroit, is pleased to announce that the office recently welcomed Bernie Gallagher to the leadership team. Bernie has taken on the important role of Commercial Lines Leader.

In her new role, Ms. Gallagher will lead the entire commercial lines department, which currently consists of about 20 teammates. She will be responsible for overseeing the account managers, customer service representatives, and claims representative. Bernie stated, “I am so happy to be part of this team! I am looking forward to getting to know and work closely with each team member.”

Bernie possesses over 25 years of experience in the insurance industry. She most recently worked at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co for over ten years, holding various positions such as senior account manager and area vice president: personal lines. Bernie holds certifications as a Michigan Surplus Lines Agent and Certified Insurance Consultant.

Brown & Brown offices in Michigan comprise the third largest segment of insurance brokerage in the state, placing over $500 million in client premiums. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown & Brown Insurance, the fourth largest insurance intermediary in the United States.

Walsh College Research Center for Complex and Strategic Decisions Launches Website

The Center for Complex and Strategic Decisions (CCSD) at Walsh College has launched a website supporting its role as a key research unit for government, business, and other organizations faced with making better decisions in an increasingly complex global environment. The web address is

The CCSD, established by the College’s Management department in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, provides research in complexity, judgment, and decision sciences that can be applied to improve organizational effectiveness and decision-making. These efforts can benefit federal, state, and local governments, as well as multinational corporations headquartered in Michigan and across the country.

Other organizations of various types and sizes also participate in testing and further developing CCSD research tools in the decision-support arena. The project-based CCSD is establishing partnerships with many organizations to conduct and apply research.

“The speed and agility of global commerce, political relationships, and information technology has challenged many leaders’ ability to make quick, reasoned, and accurate decisions,” said Sheila R. Ronis, Ph.D., professor and chair, Management, Walsh College, and director, CCSD.

“Through its academic, business, and government relationships, the CCSD seeks to understand the dynamics and rationale behind the decision-making process and how it can be enhanced, strengthened, and accelerated,” she added.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding, Argonne collaborates with Ronis and Richard Chasdi, Ph.D., professor, Management, Walsh College, to advance systems science and to develop integrated computational analytics solutions to increase understanding of physical, social, economic, and technologic interrelationships; to enable anticipation of possible futures; and to support decision-making and policy making in complex environments.

The CCSD is one of four Walsh research centers of expertise. The others are the Center for Cyber Security Leadership, the Information Assurance Center, and the Mark Solomon Tax Research Center. Each Center specializes in the development and dissemination of knowledge in specialized areas.

The involvement of Dr. Ronis and Dr. Chasdi in global academic and business arenas raises the College’s visibility to key decision-makers at large organizations and governments. Insights gained through this network are incorporated into the graduate Management course curriculum, building students’ knowledge and understanding of complex decision-making.

Dr. Ronis is also president of The University Group, Inc., a management consulting firm and think tank specializing in strategic management, visioning, leadership, national security, and public policy. Dr. Ronis holds a special term appointment with Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago, and serves as vice chairman of the board, National Defense University Foundation.

Her professional affiliations include The Ohio State Alumni Association as former vice-chairman, Board of Directors; life memberships in The Economic Club of Detroit, Association of the U.S. Army, National Defense Industrial Association, and the World Future Society; member, Academy of Management; and fellow, Inter-University Symposium of Armed Forces and Society. In 2013, Dr. Ronis was awarded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Outstanding Public Service Award in a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C.

She served as guest speaker on the use of foresight methodologies to improve public policy in September 2014 at the Royal Society in London, U.K. On that visit to the U.K., Dr. Ronis also presented a paper at the University of Hull on “Strategy, Policy, and Complexity: Lessons from the Study of National Security Systems.” She is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar and has written/edited six books including proceedings from conferences she has chaired at the National Defense University. Her B.S. is in physics, mathematics, and education, and her M.A. and Ph.D. are in social system behavior from The Ohio State University.

Dr. Chasdi joined Walsh in September 2013 following teaching positions at Wayne State University and the University of Windsor. He holds a B.A. from Brandeis University, an M.A. from Boston College, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University in Political Science.

Dr. Chasdi has a long, distinguished career in consulting and international problem-solving in the security arena, in particular international conflict resolution and mediation. He is the author of three books and several articles and book chapters in refereed publications.

For more information, visit

Snazzy & Jazzy Holiday Tea on Dec. 5 features fur and leather fashion show to raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit

The Snazzy & Jazzy Holiday Tea on Dec. 5 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham serves as a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit. Guests are invited to high tea, featuring a fashion show of the new Italian collection from Bricker-Tunis Furs, and jazz by Mike and Mike. Fox 2 Health Reporter Deena Centofani will serve as master of ceremonies. Cost is $60, and proceeds go toward the House’s expansion campaign. “Yearly this event has raised significant funds to help the children and families we serve,” said Jennifer Litomisky, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Detroit.

“The beautiful Townsend Hotel provides a warm, inviting holiday spirit. The attendees not only get a delicious tea service but have the chance to bid on silent auction items and do a little holiday shopping – all while supporting the House and our expansion campaign.”

To RSVP, visit or call (313) 745-5909. Co-chairs are Treva Beckius, of Grosse Pointe, and Charlene Mitchell, of West Bloomfield.