The Must-Know Digital Marketing Tools Every Business Needs

By Nick Mattar
Director of Marketing
Detroit Regional Chamber

Digital marketing analytics should be used as a tool to improve both your marketing strategy and your business’s bottom line. However, not all statistics are created equal and it is important to focus on those key performance indicators (KPIs) that truly dictate your digital marketing success. They can also be critical when informing your organization’s top leadership or board of directors on its strategic marketing direction.

With so many different digital marketing mediums, it is important to know what exactly to measure. Thus, consider these three overarching categories:

  • Website analytics
  • Email marketing stats
  • Social media metrics

Each category has its own set of KPIs. Most companies will be able to gather digital marketing intelligence from these numbers, but feel free to combine these with other numbers you believe to be important.

Website Analytics

Websites should do more than provide information to visitors; they should also generate leads. One of the best stats you can measure is the number of leads brought in by your website – or the number of new customers. In terms of standard measurable numbers from a basic Google Analytics account, there are five numbers to monitor closely:

  • Exit rate: Percentage of people who left your site from a specific page
  • Bounce rate: Percentage of people who only visited a single page and then left the site
  • Average time on page: How long visitors spent on the page
  • Organic search: How many people found the page organically via search engine (Google, etc.)
  • Mobile visitors: The number of unique visitors on a mobile devices

It is important to note that these numbers can be deceiving, depending on the goal of the webpage. Consider the average time on page. While you want your customers or members to spend a lot of time on a webpage, a shorter average time for landing pages or transition pages such as a homepage or internal homepage is also important.

If you recently reorganized your menu structure and subsequently notice your average time on page significantly increases, chances are your visitors are more confused rather than consuming all of your content.

Pay special attention to mobile visitors. The need to communicate with consumers anytime and anywhere is paramount in today’s world and that is measured by mobile visitors. If you receive over half of your hits from mobile devices, you should make sure to test your new pages and posts by viewing them on a phone.

Email Marketing Stats

Email has become one of the most popular forms of communication over the past 20 years. But the way email is consumed is rapidly changing. What was once checked once or twice per day is now constantly monitored. People are always online sending and receiving emails.

Three numbers are most important when reviewing email stats:

  • Unique open rate: How many different people open an email
  • Time and day of sends: How open and click rates differ based on the time and day
  • Conversions: Number of recipients who actually took the desired action from an email

Conversions can best measure an email’s return on investment. If an email promotes an event and aims to increase registrations for that event, the total conversions would equal the number of registrations from that specific email. Marketing automation programs measure conversions, but you can also measure them via Google Analytics by setting up personalized goal conversions.

The time and day of a send is important to note because your audience may be more likely to open an email at different times. At the Detroit Regional Chamber, email recipients are most likely to open emails in the 1:00 p.m. hour and the 4:00 p.m. hour on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays are the weakest days and the 12:00 p.m. hour is the weakest, statistically. However, other companies have reported emails perform the best in the morning or evening.

An additional item to note is that email marketing has several statistical shortcomings. As of 2016, most email marketing programs cannot measure how long an individual views an email or inbox before making a decision on whether or not to open or click an email. Some email programs such as Microsoft Outlook offer preview windows where individuals can view the content of an email without technically “opening” it, allowing people to read an email without it counting as an open on the analytic side. And while A/B email testing is incredibly popular with most email marketing programs, there are many flaws that allow for errors and inconsistencies.

Social Media Metrics

With an ever-changing landscape and thousands of self-proclaimed experts, social media is both popular and difficult to integrate into a marketing strategy. With a bevy of eye-popping stats published every day about hot, new social media websites, it is easy to make the case for up to a dozen social media platforms.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and now Snapchat have entire books published about their successes and shortcoming, especially as they relate to small business. While this article will not delve into the ocean of available social media stats, there are some you can measure from your own social accounts that provide helpful takeaways.

  • Click rates: How often users click on your social media posts to a third-party (often your own) site
  • Follower loss: Can be difficult to measure, but is as important as follower growth
  • Conversations: How often users comment or share your posts and how/if you respond

The click rate stat is undoubtedly the most important measurable number. While social media can work wonders for a brand’s awareness, it can also provide tangible new web hits and conversions. If you post a tweet with a link to an event registration page, you can measure the number of clicks that tweet received (some programs can also measure the number of clicks that tweet also turned into paying customers.)

Not all posts will have calls to action, so those posts should not be included in the measurement of this stat. By dividing the total number of URL clicks by the total number of posts that include a URL, you get a good average number of clicks per applicable post. At the Chamber, Facebook has proven to attract more organic clicks per post, while Twitter has historically struggled to attain more than a few clicks per tweet. But again, these numbers vary based on the company and the target market.


The aforementioned key performance indicators are all important, but there are many others that can measure digital marketing performance. Each company’s digital marketing footprint is different – make sure to tailor your analytics to your end goals.

Nick Mattar is also the founder and CEO of Digital Detroit LLC.


More from Nick Mattar:

Generation Z and Snapchat: The Future of Advertising

ASG Renaissance Earns Award for Social Media Marketing Campaign

ASG Renaissance was honored with a Platinum MarCom Award for its Driving on Energi social media campaign. The program has put more than 60 social media influencers behind the wheel of a new Ford Fusion Energi or Ford CMAX Energi to share content about their experiences with the cars. The aim of the project is to promote plug-in electric vehicles through social media.

“We’re proud to be honored with this award and pleased that the hard work and dedication of the ASG team has been recognized by an international group of industry peers,” said Lizabeth Ardisana, CEO ASG Renaissance. “This award demonstrates that we can develop and execute digital strategies to help our clients find success online.”

MarCom is one of the oldest, largest and most prestigious creative competitions in the world. It recognizes the outstanding achievements of creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs. Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry.

About ASG Renaissance

ASG Renaissance is a woman and Hispanic-owned, integrated marketing communications, public relations and graphic design firm. For more than 30 years, ASG has been helping clients generate awareness and credibility for their products and services by telling their stories across a wide range of traditional and digital media. Founded in 1987, ASG Renaissance is based in Dearborn, Mich.

For more information, visit  or follow us on Facebook and Linked In.

A Candid Conversation with Michigan’s Promising Next-Generation Industry Leaders

What excites and motivates you about mobility and the industry you are working in?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

Mobility excites us at SPLT because of the industry’s power to make large and widespread impact that affects people’s lives. When we think about mobility, we think about transforming the way people meet and move by leveraging urban technology. Mobility is a fascinating space to be in because it is changing so rapidly and that is precisely what makes it both challenging and inspiring.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

At Ford I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to work on solving both current and long-term mobility challenges to make mobility affordable economically, environmentally and socially. It’s exciting to look at the future of our transportation system, and more importantly wor

k to solve real challenges people are facing. We’re seeing global megatrends such as explosive population growth, an expanding middle class, air quality and public health concerns, changing consumer attitudes and priorities that continue to impact the practicality of personal vehicle ownership in cities. It’s been exciting to partner with Ford leadership on our Ford Smart Mobility plan, forging a new business area for Ford — one that continues our tradition of providing mobility for all, but now beyond just through personal ownership.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

Cars are an integral part of our everyday lives, and it is exciting to know that the products we develop reach so many people around the world. Products we work on today may not go to market until 2020, so I have a unique glimpse into the future and know my work will continue to impact drivers for years to come.

What does having a great “culture” in a company mean to you?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

At SPLT, culture is baked into everything we do. We believe our company is family. We strive to create a space where our team feels comfortable to grow and innovate. Our culture is a reflection of the people that make up our team. Without culture, what do you really have? We’re about being a great company for our customers, but also for our employees, and achieving that balance requires discipline and mindfulness.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

I’ve been at Ford for 16 years and I think having a great company culture is extremely critical in providing an environment to inspire innovation, creativity and a willingness to continually evolve. We’ve worked hard to energize the entire workforce to think outside of the box and are challenging employees through encouraging experimentation and enterprise-wide innovation challenges. The core company principle of treating others with dignity and respect is something that I really value, and you can see how this plays out within both our internal and external relationships. We’re using our 113 years of industry expertise and talent within the company to evolve as both an auto and mobility company, and our dynamic company culture has contributed to that.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

To have a great culture, you have to go beyond competitive salaries and benefits. For me, work-life balance, team collaboration and good leadership are key. Fostering a company culture that challenges and empowers employees to reach their full potential, while also recognizing their innovations, is equally important.

What critical actions are needed to attract, promote and grow Michigan’s next-generation workforce?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

We need to think different. The easy answer is that we need to attract talent from around the region, the country and around the world to bridge diverse perspectives. But we also need to look right next to us and change the way we value talent. The history of entrepreneurship here is rich and remains, and we need an expectation shift that fosters entrepreneurship among young people.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

The changing automotive and mobility landscape makes Michigan an exciting place to work right now. As we look to bring new talent to our teams, we’re constantly looking to recruit smart minds from diverse backgrounds that will help us create these next-generation transportation solutions. Michigan needs to foster an environment of innovation, continue to bring in and create a receptive environment for entrepreneurs, work with universities to ensure curriculum prepares and generates students that provide the right talent, and be open to expanding into new areas.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

The continued revival of downtown Detroit will help. We must evolve to meet the expectations of the next-gen workforce that grew up with digital devices and lacks patience for outdated tools. Companies must invest in technology, and partner with local colleges and universities to tailor programs so graduates have the skills to work in Michigan. Internships identify talent and build industry knowledge prior to graduation.

What is one thing you like about Detroit and Michigan?

Anya Babbitt, Founder and CEO, SPLT

It’s hard to focus on just one thing, but I would say it’s the people and — in one word — the community. The people of Detroit and Michigan have opened their arms up to us, especially the founders coming from New York and Atlanta. I joke with my co-founder that southern hospitality is one thing, but the Midwestern hospitality is second to none, and we have benefited from the tremendous values of hard work and hustle that makes up the fabric of this community.

Erica Klampfl, Future Mobility Manager, Ford Motor Co.

I am constantly impressed by the resilience and resourcefulness of the people of Detroit. Their willingness to transform their own identity and pivot from just being the Motor City to driving entrepreneurship around new mobility solutions inspires me.

Laurent Vioujas, Software Design Champion, Visteon

There’s so much to love about Detroit and Michigan. I especially love the “never give up” mentality here. Detroit has been through some tough times, but the recovery has been remarkable. The automotive industry is moving forward, and Detroit is at the heart of it all – constantly pushing the limits and boundaries of innovation.

Dan Ammann and Julia Steyn Leverage General Motors’ Legacy of Innovation to Lead in a Bold New Technological Era

General Motors Reimagining Personal Mobility

By Daniel Lai

Imagine a world with no cars parked on the sides of streets, minimal traffic congestion, and picking up a friend from the airport is as simple as ordering an autonomous ride from the safety and comfort of your sofa. That reality is not so far off, automakers say.

Catalyzed by the influx of new technology, Michigan’s OEMs are working feverishly on innovative ways to stay ahead of the mobility game, especially as the face of consumers gets younger and preferences shift away from vehicle ownership in favor of convenience.

Recognizing these changing trends, General Motors Co. exploded out of the gate with a flurry of product and partnership announcements this past year. The strategy was led by GM President Dan Ammann, a former Morgan Stanley investment banker who cut his teeth on Wall Street. That experience coupled with a keen forward-thinking prowess has proven to be a golden ticket for the automaker.

In January, GM announced a $500 million investment in San Francisco-based Lyft to put an integrated network of on-demand autonomous vehicles on the roads in the United States. The partnership leverages GM’s deep knowledge of autonomous technology and Lyft’s capabilities in providing a broad range of ride-sharing services. Three months later, GM and Lyft launched a short-term rental program called Express Drive, which provides vehicles to Lyft drivers for a weekly rate. The service rolled out in Chicago, Baltimore, Boston and Washington, D.C.

GM’s increased focus on personal mobility solutions signals a new culture and bold leadership shift to position Michigan’s automotive industry as a formidable leader in autonomous technology research and development.

“We want to make sure that we’re in position that when (customers) think about mobility, they think about us every single step of the way. We are investing very heavily to define the future of personal mobility in the areas of connectivity, car- and ride-sharing, autonomous driving, alternative propulsion, and of course, all of the new technologies that are required to underpin those developments,” Ammann said during keynote remarks at the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference.

“That’s really important because as we look at consumer behavior, we see a very clear trend where customers are willing to wait for the right vehicles, for the right level of connectivity before they make their purchase decision, we’re seeing increasing evidence of that every day,” Ammann added.

In addition to the Lyft partnership, GM announced a collaboration with MobileEye to crowd-source advanced mapping data for self-driving cars, introduced the Chevrolet Bolt, the first long-range, consumer-friendly electric vehicle, and unveiled its personal mobility brand, Maven.

Currently in 13 markets throughout the United States, the car-sharing service provides access to highly personalized, on-demand vehicles. Maven customers use its app to search for and reserve a vehicle by location or car type and unlock the vehicle with their smartphone.

“With more than 25 million customers around the world projected to use some form of shared mobility by 2020, Maven is a key element of our strategy to changing ownership models in the automotive industry,” Ammann said.

The Maven team is made up of professionals from Google, Zipcar and Sidecar and led by former Alcoa vice president, Julia Steyn. The Detroiter recently sat down with Steyn to talk about Maven, the future of car-sharing, and GM and Detroit’s next steps in the new mobility era.

How would you describe a Maven user?

It is actually really interesting how Maven customers are very different from the traditional way how we sell cars. First of all, it is very simple because in traditional car sales, it is a one-time transaction and you really market a product. With Maven, we want as much repeat use and as often of a repeat use as possible. We are marketing an overall service and the experience to the customers. Just based on the numbers, Maven customers’ average age is 30 and the average income is above $80,000. We’re talking to the customers that we would not have had in the GM brand family. That’s where Maven is so additive to our traditional brands.

What makes Maven unique in the exploding next-generation mobility scene?

We are, as Maven, building on GM’s competitive strength. That comes first and foremost with the breadth of our portfolio. We have anything from Corvettes and the luxury vehicles and Escalades on one end, to the trucks. We are very fortunate that we can tailor the portfolio to our customers regionally.

Secondly, we obviously have the ability with the connection to the vehicle. We have been doing this with OnStar for a long time to create this very on-demand service. It is not only the app, it is the whole experience … how you interact through the phone and the app, and the same phone opens the vehicle and you kind of bring your whole digital life through what we have put through OnStar in the vehicle as well as the dedicated concierges who can curate anything from safety and finding directions to booking your restaurant or booking your hotel. They are specifically trained to interact with Maven customers.

We are also positioning vehicles where the demand is. Through our two services, Maven Home and Maven City, we track very closely whether these spots are the right ones. We understand where our Maven users are going and how to really tailor the services toward that. I believe that we are quite unique in elevating the whole car-sharing experience to a very different level.

Maven sits at the intersection of “traditional” automotive companies and next-generation mobility and technology firms. In your viewpoint, are traditional OEMs and suppliers ready for this transformation that is upon us?

It is happening as we speak. You kind of have to follow where the customer wants to go with that. I firmly believe that a company like GM has so many assets that are so crucial to the new space. First of all, looking traditionally at our scale, which we are able to do, we can finance the cars. We can obviously build the cars. We understand how to deal with insurance. We actually have been in the forefront of consumer marketing for over a hundred years. It comes in sort of a variety of innovation that has to happen, but the base is there, we are just doing it in a different way.

Technology is the table stakes right now. What is fascinating to me, what is happening in the industry right now in automotive, is a really big convergence of the technology that is just software and app creation with real assets. The consumers need both. They are not just consuming an app, they are consuming a service. They want something that is relevant to their lifestyle. That is why it is so important for us to take the Maven brand to be relevant to that lifestyle. We have customers who have taken Maven (vehicles) almost a hundred times in different geographical areas, so we want to be relevant. Where do they want to go? What do they want to see?

It is almost re-teaching this next generation how to interact with a vehicle in a fun way. The reality is, whether OEMs are ready for it or not, we are ready and we are very aggressively pursuing this strategy.

Major cities across the globe are competing to own next-generation mobility. Assess Detroit’s strengths and weaknesses in this competition.

I’m actually very excited about Detroit. It is clearly a story of revival and renaissance in a very young and modern way. If you look back at where Detroit has been, when you look a hundred years ago, it really was the industrial Silicon Valley. It is coming back. I actually strongly believe that it is important for Maven to ground itself in where we are, and Detroit just has this amazing energy not to give up and be really out there in trying new things. At some level, the city itself doesn’t have much to lose.

I think GM is also a bit like that. I’ve been with the company for close to five years and when I came it was the story of restructuring and survival. Now we are looking at a very different dialogue. I’m very thrilled. Frankly from a talent standpoint, our Maven team comes from all over the world. We speak 20-plus languages and between our team, we have more than 40 startups under our belts, so it is a very entrepreneurial team. Detroit has been an attractive place to come and work. We never lost a single candidate because we were in Detroit. People love the city.

The automotive industry has traditionally had a perception problem. The mobility industry offers technology to solve global issues. What can we do to change the old perceptions with millennials to attract more talent?

I think that Detroit is very much on the way there. I see the revival of some art, the revival of the food culture, and more companies that we have on the cutting edge, whether it is automotive or other industries. Real estate is dramatically changing Detroit and what has been happening; we are very linked with this. I think giving Detroit more credit is good. It needs to continue to be marketed as a destination — as a destination for travel and leisure, as a destination for new companies and new ideas. Nobody should be shy about putting a stake in the ground in that.

How important is it for the startup ecosystem to be in Detroit and around these automotive companies, and what can we do to foster that?

Personally, it has been a very fascinating experience for me to open and start a startup within a 100-year-old company. From the outside it might appear as a very daunting task. In reality, on every level of the corporation we have received tremendous support because I think it permeates not just the senior leadership team but also everybody who sees the industry that we are in the cusp of tremendous changes. People are excited to explore opportunities. In fact, most of the folks who supported our Maven startup did it not as part of their main job, but as something that they really wanted to put their fingerprint on.

I think getting the culture back, you have to move fast. You have to be able to experiment. You have to take ownership of what that looks like in a real commercial way. We at Maven are not about running experiments. We are running a new commercial business, and we are learning tremendous amounts through this and building very new capabilities for the company. I don’t know what can be more exciting. I think it is true for anybody who is going to start something new in Detroit.

What is next for Maven and General Motors?

This year our big push was to really launch a brand and get the exposure and the on the ground operation. We are very much happy with how the year went and how quickly we accomplished that. Next year we are going to be focused on growing our customer base and really deepening the relationships that we have developed throughout the country. A lot of exciting opportunities, a lot of exciting ways to grow.

What do you love most about Detroit and Michigan?

I definitely will not say the weather. I just like the attitude and the grit of the city and the energy and the vibe. I have seen that in New York, but many, many years ago when Brooklyn was hustling and bustling. Now I live downtown in Detroit and even in the past five years I have seen the amazing change in the restaurant scene and a change in who my neighbors have become; it is so cool. I just want to contribute to the growth of the city. I think anything from the art scene to the fashion scene, all of that is so honest and so raw and so sincere that you just have to be amazed in what happens next, so I’m watching.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Cracking the Millennial Code

Metro Detroit businesses shifting culture, workspaces to attract younger talent

By Daniel A. Washington

With a proven track record of innovation and career advancement, the region’s auto industry, suppliers and service providers are becoming leading destinations for millennial talent.

Companies such as Lear Corp., TI Automotive, P3 and Tweddle Group have invested greatly in Southeast Michigan and are leading the way in reinventing themselves to appeal to a new generation.

“Design and creative talent is exceptional in Detroit and the opening of the Lear Innovation Center will help us gain a competitive advantage within the industry,” said Dave McNulty, vice president of human resources and global talent acquisition at Lear, regarding the recent $10 million investment in Detroit’s Capitol Park.

Creating a place and space dedicated solely  to creativity, the Innovation Center will  focus on next-generation automotive battery  charging, seating designs and technology  integration and non-automotive projects for  clients such as Shinola, Nike, Under Armour  and New Balance.

The Southfield-based global supplier  of automotive seating and electrical  systems’ latest investment is just one of  the many examples that auto suppliers  and service providers are taking to  retain a competitive edge ahead of others  seeking to poach talent.

“We love metro Detroit because it is a talent-rich area and is where grit and ability go  hand-in-hand, which results in a pool of local people who have the vision to see the  future and the guts to get us there,” said Paul Arnegard, vice president of creative services at Tweddle Group.

Tweddle’s new office, focused on  connected car software in downtown Detroit, is currently home to more than 30  employees. The 65-year-old automotive communications and publishing firm has plans to add up to 20 more employees in  the upcoming year.

“Tweddle Group isn’t going anywhere,” said Arnegard about the company’s commitment to Detroit and the region. “Our focus is on creating a culture where millennials want to be.”

Simply put, Michigan and the region is a proven testing ground for millennial talent  looking to develop and contribute to an  emerging field of connected mobility and  technology.

P3’s new facility in Southfield serves as the  company’s automotive headquarters in the  Americas and includes open collaboration  spaces and a 10-car, full-vehicle workshop  with prototyping capabilities.

The center also houses multiple labs  to provide cutting-edge insights on  connectivity, autonomous vehicles, eMobility, cybersecurity and other in-vehicle telematics and mobility solutions.

“In a time when top talent is in high demand,  P3 realizes the need to set ourselves apart from all of the competition,” said LaToya Palmer, head of human resources and legal at P3.

Palmer expressed P3’s commitment to further advancing millennials’ skill sets and providing advancement opportunities to  increase employment value.

“We are dedicated to helping our employees build a meaningful career, which for many millennials is critical to job satisfaction, and  we pride ourselves on offering opportunities to work on cutting-edge projects for  big clients that help shape the future of  mobility,” she added.

Home to a number of world-class universities  and schools, the region offers auto and tech companies the opportunity to train and work closely with a robust educational  talent pipeline.

TI Automotive’s new corporate offices located in Auburn Hills are home to a collaborative floor-plan and one-of-a-kind architectural design.

“We engage university students as a first  step in attracting young professionals to  the company,” said Domenic Milicia, chief human resources and communications  officer at TI Automotive. “We do this in  two ways: by sponsoring various technical projects in local universities and offering our extensive co-op and internship programs to 20 to 30 students each year.”

The automotive fluid storage and delivery systems supplier is leading the way with others in the region in creating opportunities and environments for talent to thrive and forward-thinking culture and career succeed. The uptick in talent investment placement.

Daniel A. Washington is a marketing by companies is a telling sign, pointing and communications coordinator with the Detroit to the region as a haven for technology, Regional Chamber.

Rehmann names Lynn Valade director of client services and business development

Lynn Valade recently joined Rehmann as director of client services and business development for the Firm’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, offices. In this role, she will pair the needs of potential clients with Rehmann’s experienced staff of advisors to facilitate continued growth within the Firm’s southeast region.

Valade has 25 years of experience in the banking industry, most recently serving as vice president of healthcare practice banking with Citizens Bank and vice president of small business lending with PNC Bank. She specializes in healthcare lending, small business lending, retail, wealth management and business development.

“We’re very pleased to welcome Lynn into this role,” said Rehmann COO Stacie Kwaiser. “Her banking experience and dedication to raising the bar are sure to bolster the Firm’s growth in the years to come.”

Valade earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in finance from Walsh College. She serves as a regional council member and affinity group leader for Inforum in southeast Michigan. She also serves on the fundraising committee of Starfish Family Services, and as a board member of the New Hope Center for Grief Support.

About Rehmann

Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs and consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators dedicated to providing clients proactive ideas and solutions to help them prosper professionally and personally. The firm offers a cross-functional team approach that gives clients direct access to a professional in any available service. Rehmann is ranked as the 30th largest firm in the United States, with nearly 800 associates located in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Online at

UHY Strengthens Presence in EMEA: New Member Firm in Cameroon Joins the UHY Network

We welcome, BBI Advisory & Audit, our new member firm in Cameroon, to the global accountancy network UHY, extending our coverage within the EMEA region.

BBI Advisory & Audit based in Douala with further offices in the capital Yaoundé and in Limbé, provides a full range of services including audit and assurance, business advisory and accounting, corporate finance and corporate tax services to a diverse portfolio of clients.

Managing partner Isaac Joel Bela Belinga says: “Africa has become the destination for emerging market investors and as one of the region’s highest performing economies; Cameroon has high potential for growth and a wealth of natural resources. We are delighted to become part of the UHY global network which matches our commitment to deliver quality services and enhances the services and advice we can offer our clients. It not only strengthens our own capabilities, locally and internationally, but also those of our current and potential clients.”

Bernard Fay, chairman of UHY comments: “BBI Advisory & Audit’s membership of UHY reinforces our footprint in the EMEA region and strengthens UHY’s regional market expertise and capabilities to support clients’ needs and opportunities in one of the region’s highest performing economies. We are delighted to welcome BBI Advisory & Audit to the UHY network.”

The firm is in the process of adopting the UHY branding and will be known as UHY BBI Advisory & Audit.


UHY LLP, a licensed CPA firm, provides audit and other attest services to publicly traded, privately owned and nonprofit organizations in a number of industry sectors. UHY Advisors provides tax and advisory services to entrepreneurial and other organizations, principally those enterprises in the dynamic middle market.

UHY LLP, operating in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, forms one of the largest professional services firms in the US. While that scale might provide confidence for some clients, others tell us our greatest value is the way we bring these resources to bear to help address today’s evolving business challenges. It’s a philosophy we call “The Next Level of Service”. To learn more visit

All of the above entities are members of UHY International (“UHYI”), a worldwide network of independent professional services firms that provide audit, tax and advisory services around the globe. UHYI is ranked among the top international accountancy networks and a proud member in good standing of the Forum of Firms. Collectively, our US operating entities (UHY LLP and UHY Advisors) are the largest independent members of UHYI with significant participation, bringing the power of our international network to serve the individualized needs of our clients.

UHY LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that performs attest services in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities. UHY Advisors, Inc. provides tax and business consulting services through wholly owned subsidiary entities that operate under the name of “UHY Advisors.” UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. UHY LLP and UHY Advisors, Inc. are U.S. members of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited, a UK company, and form part of the international UHY network of legally independent accounting and consulting firms. “UHY” is the brand name for the UHY international network. Any services described herein are provided by UHY LLP and/or UHY Advisors (as the case may be) and not by UHY or any other member firm of UHY. Neither UHY nor any member of UHY has any liability for services provided by other members.

Liaison office for BBI Advisory & Audit Contact: Managing partner, Isaac Joel BELA BELINGA
Tel: +237 697 54 60 99, email:,

About UHY

Established in 1986 and based in London, UK, UHY is a leading network of independent audit, accounting, tax and consulting firms with offices in over 320 major business centres across more than 90 countries. Our staff members, over 7,600 strong, are proud to be part of the 16th largest international accounting and consultancy network. Each member of UHY is a legally separate and independent firm. For further information on UHY please go to UHY is a member of the Forum of Firms, an association of international networks of accounting firms.

For additional information on the Forum of Firms, visit

Bonnie Mayfield Serves as a Featured Speaker at DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium

Bonnie Mayfield, a member of Dykema’s Litigation and Labor & Employment practices, recently served as a featured speaker at the Defense Research Institute’s Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, which took place in New York, New York.

Mayfield’s presentation, titled “Diversity & Inclusion: 7 Best Law Firm Practices,” was given during the Achieving and Supporting Diversity and Inclusion program, which served as an examination of best practices that law firms and insurance companies employ to achieve tangible results in diversity and inclusion, obtain leadership commitment, implement recruitment strategies and mentoring programs, and create a multicultural environment.

In her presentation, Mayfield identified concrete, best practices that lawyers and law firms can use to achieve tangible diversity and inclusion within their lives and organizations. Mayfield also explained implicit bias and microinequities, subtle and often subconscious negative micromessages that display true thoughts, attitudes and values of inclusion and exclusion.

Crestmark’s Board of Directors Names Barry Essig Vice Chairman Emeritus

Crestmark Chairman and CEO Dave Tull announced that Vice Chairman Barry Essig is retiring in December 2016. In recognition of his outstanding contributions to Crestmark and to the financial services industry, over a long and impressive career, Crestmark’s Board of Directors has named Essig vice chairman emeritus.

“Barry’s contributions to Crestmark’s success are many,” Tull said.” “Chief among them is that he cares deeply about Crestmark’s clients and employees, and about a great workplace culture. He provided invaluable insight and expertise. I am deeply grateful to Barry for all that he helped Crestmark achieve, and also for his wisdom and friendship,” Tull added.

Essig joined Crestmark in 2001 with the company’s acquisition of Spectrum Financial Corporation, an established traditional factoring company with expertise in the apparel, footwear, and home furnishings industries. Essig was the president and CEO of Spectrum, which was a wholly owned subsidiary of Wachovia Bank.

Essig’s career in finance and banking includes the following: senior vice president of The CIT Group/Commercial Services, where he was responsible for the unit’s northeast traditional factoring portfolio; senior vice president and manager of Barclays Commercial Corporation in New York – the factoring subsidiary of Barclays Bank; and director, executive vice president and chief operating officer of National Westminster Bank’s factoring operation in the United States.

Active in the industry, Essig served as a director of the Commercial Finance Association, and was a member of its executive committee, and is a past chairperson of The Entrepreneurial Finance and Factoring Committee, The International Trade Services Committee, and the Factoring Committee.

Essig attended the College of the City of New York and the Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management at Dartmouth College. He is a frequent speaker at industry events on a variety of finance-related subjects, and he has been a contributor to industry publications on the topics of domestic and international factoring and finance.

Six State Lawmakers Poised to Make an Impact in 2017

These six state legislators — Rep. Julie Calley, Rep. Laura Cox, Rep. Diana Farrington, Rep. Donna Lasinski, Rep. Sylvia Santana, Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker — are working this year to improve economic development, strengthen education policy, and increase opportunities for students, seniors and Michigan’s workforce.

Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia)

Laura Cox will serve as the state’s Appropriations Committee chair. Entering her second term, Cox currently serves on the Appropriations Committee and chairs the subcommittee on General Government. Cox began her public service career as a U.S. Customs and Border Protection special agent and received a degree in criminal justice at Michigan State University. Cox will continue to work to lower taxes and remove excessive regulation in favor of a smaller, more effective government.

Rep. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit)

After obtaining her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University, Sylvia Santana, wife of state Rep. Harvey Santana, worked in the financial industry for more than 15 years helping to manage loan and funding portfolios. In the financial industry, Santana learned the importance of helping small business owners thrive and making sure that they have the right tools to succeed. It is because of her work that Santana plans to keep dollars in communities through local businesses and job opportunities. Santana will also seek extra funding for police and fire departments to ensure they have the proper resources to keep neighborhoods safe.

Rep. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton)

Tonya Schuitmaker earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Michigan State University and a law degree, graduating cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law. Before her election to the Michigan Senate, Schuitmaker worked as an attorney for Schuitmaker, Cooper and Schuitmaker. First elected in 2011, Schuitmaker is entering her second term. Her focus is on helping disadvantaged citizens, including children, senior citizens and the mentally ill. She has worked aggressively on legislation to protect seniors from abuse. Schuitmaker supports limited government regulation and a pro-business environment. She was a key voice in the Legislature’s decision to repeal the Michigan Business Tax.

Rep. Diana Farrington (R-Utica)

Diana Farrington, a mother of two sons, understands the importance of education and how it can lead to a stronger community. That is why Farrington has made it a priority to lower college tuition rates and to allow parents to choose the K-12 education that their children receive. Farrington is also a strong proponent of healthy communities through combating opioid addiction and human trafficking. As a mortgage auditor with decades of experience, Farrington recognizes the importance of reducing Michigan’s debt. She also supports accountability for transportation infrastructure funding and repealing the harmful senior pension tax.

Rep. Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.)

Donna Lasinski leverages years of education experience as a PTO leader and an early education appointee by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Lasinski has made education a priority, helping to grow early childhood education programs and supporting strong investment in Michigan schools. Lasinski is also founder of the small business ThinkStretch, which works to address summer learning loss among youths. She recognizes problems that people face outside of school and works to provide access to training and living wage jobs, and to grow opportunities for local farmers.

Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland)

Julie Calley brings a strong political background to the Michigan House of Representatives. Calley, the wife of Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Community Service Commission in 2011, and was elected Ionia County Commissioner after serving 10 years in real estate management. Calley advocates for limited government regulation and expanding fiscal conservativism, protecting life at all stages and protecting constitutional rights. Economic growth and education are among her top priorities.