In The News: Keynote Speaker Dan Ammann

Detroit Has Valley Envy

From Bloomberg Businessweek

By Keith Naughton and David Welch

April 28, 2016

A traffic jam of Silicon Valley companies has a mission: to destroy Detroit’s business model and take over transportation with driverless cars and shared mobility services. Yet last summer, General Motors’ top brass ventured behind enemy lines to meet with the very forces trying to upend the industry. When the 15 executives returned to Detroit, they realized they needed to defend their turf not only by accelerating their own mobility programs—from ridesharing outfits to driverless-car software—but also by forming alliances with the challengers in the Valley.

By Thanksgiving, GM, which since 2000 had invested heavily in self-driving cars and rolling 4G hotspots, was in a hurry to find a partner to combine its in-house technology with a ride-hailing service. But Uber Technologies wasn’t interested in aligning with old-line manufacturers. So GM struck an agreement to invest $500 million in Lyft for a 9 percent stake in the No. 2 ride-hailing business. GM President Dan Ammann now sits on Lyft’s board. A few months later, GM dropped almost $1 billion for self-driving software maker Cruise Automation, one of the richest deals ever in the Valley. “It’s more than getting a window view,” Ammann says of the investment he contends is critical to GM’s future. “We want to make it clear that this is a significant strategic investment.”

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American Society of Employers (ASE) annual Mid-Michigan Employment Law Workshop set for May 18

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will help bring clarity on changing employment laws to employers in the Mid-Michigan area with its annual Employment Law Workshop set for Wednesday, May 18 at the Horizons Conference Center in Saginaw.

“From the pending changes regarding overtime payments, questions about acceptable employee handbook language and the push for paid parental leave, employers are faced with a rapidly changing legal landscape in the workplace,” Mary E. Corrado, ASE CEO, said. “ASE’s Employment Law Workshop will cut through the often ambiguous areas of employment law to help HR professionals stay informed and up to date.”

The Employment Law Workshop will feature attorney-led panels and specialized interactive breakout sessions reviewing the laws and regulations that impact the day-to-day employer/employee relationship. Highlights of the workshop include:

• Overview of Federal and State law changes
• “Ask the Lawyer” open forum lunch session
• Tips and strategies for maintaining a harmonious workplace
• Clarifying the impact recent court decisions will have on employers
• Understanding how employee handbook content can help or hurt employers in legal claims

For a complete conference agenda and registration information, please visit the ASE website.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people.

Learn more about ASE at

American Society of Employers (ASE) looks at 5 emerging HR trends in 2016

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, along with McLean & Company, a trusted ASE collaborator and service partner, announced today the 5 emerging trends in HR based on McLean’s annual survey of top HR priorities and trends in the U.S. and Canada. Survey respondents in the international survey included more than 100 ASE member companies.

“ASE was pleased to facilitate member input in this year’s survey,” Mary E. Corrado, ASE CEO, said. “Their participation allows ASE to look at survey findings with an emphasis on HR practices and trends particularly relevant to Michigan. “

According to the McLean & Company survey findings, the top 5 emerging HR trends in 2016 are:

1. Creating manager accountability for performance coaching. Shifting accountability for performance coaching is the first step in creating more agile performance management.
2. Encouraging managers to hold frequent engagement conversations. Engaging leadership behaviors are a series of micro experiences that leaders have with their employees. Through ongoing dialogue, leaders influence employees’ energy and connections to business outcomes. Employee engagement is essentially a reflection of effective day-to-day management practices.
3. Identifying when to develop staff for career opportunities rather than hiring externally. An ongoing challenge is the decision to build or buy talent to fill vacant roles. A thoughtful, balanced approach is required to meet short term needs while anticipating and preparing for the needs of tomorrow.
4. Driving employee engagement through recognition and appreciation. Sometimes the greatest power lies in a simple thank you and focus on desired behaviors.
5. Improving the candidate experience. Organizations must ensure their talent acquisition process places a strong focus on the candidate experience or otherwise risk losing candidates to employers who do.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

About McLean & Company
McLean & Company, a division of Info-Tech Research Group, Inc., is a research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools and advice that have a clear and measurable impact on business..

Rehmann honored several times on Vault Accounting 50’s ranking of best accounting firms to work for

Rehmann, a fully integrated financial services firm, recently received several accolades in the latest Vault Accounting 50 rankings, which highlights the best accounting firms to work for.

From November 2015 to February 2016, more than 9,300 accounting professionals nationwide filled out Vault’s survey to compile the list. The survey consisted of questions about life at the professionals’ current or former firms.

Rehmann came in at #23 overall and reached the upper echelon on multiple categories, including:

• #16 Best accounting firms for work-life balance
• #17 Best accounting firms for client interaction
• #17 Diversity for women
• #18 Best accounting firms for firm leadership
• #19 Best accounting firms for culture

“At Rehmann, we’re constantly striving to find ways to put people first, which is a foundational core value for our firm,” said Katie Strehler, Rehmann’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “We want to ensure that each and every associate enjoys coming to work, grows professionally and has at their disposal the resources necessary to deliver the best client service possible. It’s no coincidence Rehmann is celebrating 75 years of business success and we’re honored to be included in the Vault Accounting 50 rankings.”

Vault is a comprehensive resource for rankings and reviews, which are sourced from directed surveys of professionals and students. The complete Vault Accounting 50 rankings are available at

About Rehmann
Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs & 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

Butzel Long promotes Michelle Brown to Chief Financial Officer

Butzel Long has promoted Michelle Brown to Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A 14-year employee of Butzel Long, she previously was the firm’s Director of Finance.

“Michelle is an important member of our management team,” said Justin G. Klimko, President and Managing Shareholder. “We are pleased for her to achieve this career milestone and appreciate her valuable assistance in helping us reach our firm goals.”

Before joining Butzel Long, she spent nine years in the food and beverage industry. For two years, she was the Accounting Manager for HMSHost, located at Detroit Metro Airport, which operates a significant number of food and beverage establishments inside airports nationwide

Brown began her career at Little Caesar Enterprises where she worked her way up through the organization and was a Regional Controller for Company owned stores.

In 2000, Brown earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Magna Cum Laude, from Walsh College. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Michigan- Dearborn in 1992.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms.

Learn more by visiting or follow Butzel Long on Twitter:

Walsh College Graduate Student Aaron Dubin Earns Place in Bloomberg Aptitude Test Hall of Fame

Walsh College dual Master of Business Administration (MBA)/Master of Science in Finance (MSF) student Aaron Dubin of Farmington Hills, Mich., has achieved “Worldwide Top 3” and “Americas Top 5” status on a recent Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT) Hall of Fame list.

Dubin’s final score of 730 placed him in the 99th percentile out of more than 200,000 students who have ever taken the highly competitive BAT. Bloomberg L.P., a world leader in financial data analytics and news, hosts the 100-question, two-hour online test that measures students’ aptitudes for careers in finance.

“The BAT Hall of Fame is home to some of the brightest students in the world of finance,” said Gregory Todd, associate professor and chair, Finance, Walsh College. “Aaron’s achievement is tribute to his determination to succeed and the quality of the Finance faculty and curriculum here at Walsh.”

Consisting of eight sections, the BAT includes math, analytical reasoning, analysis of charts and graphs, news analysis, economics, global markets, analysis of financial statements, and investment banking.

The BAT helps students and recent graduates connect with financial employers worldwide. The test was developed in partnership with premier financial institutions and university faculties around the world.

Students who take the BAT uncover their strengths across a range of finance, business, career and personal competencies and gain insight into their suitability for careers in business and finance.

Dubin is a systems engineer at Edward Rose and Sons, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with a minor in Japanese, from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He has achieved several previous monthly BAT Hall of Fame list honors, including a “Worldwide Top 3” in July 2015.

Walsh College undergraduate and graduate Finance degrees include a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, the MSF, and the MBA/MSF dual-degree. More than 5,600 students have graduated from the Walsh Finance program since its inception. More than 4,900 Walsh Finance alumni live in Michigan.

For more information on Walsh College and all degree programs, visit

Brooks Kushman Shareholder to Discuss Securing 360-degree Protection at IP in the Auto Industry Conference

Brooks Kushman Shareholder Frank Angileri will serve on a panel at the IP in the Auto Industry conference on May 3, 2016.. The conference provides IP legal professionals working in the auto industry with greater insight into the strategies and operational efficiencies to maintain a competitive edge.

Angileri will discuss strategies for a 360-degree approach to securing intellectual property protection including building an effective portfolio, finding the appropriate balance between trade secrets versus patent protection, and maximizing design protection in the 3D world.

Angileri is co-chair of Brooks Kushman’s Post-Grant Proceedings practice, and focuses on IP litigation. He has successfully tried patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright cases in Federal Courts nationwide, the Courts of Appeals for the Sixth and Federal Circuits, and the International Trade Commission. Angileri was also named Michigan’s IP “Litigator of the Year” by Managing IP. His litigation experience spans across various technologies and industries including, automotive, consumer electronics, industrial technologies, food and beverage, and home appliances.

The IP in the Auto Industry program addresses challenges and opportunities in the converging landscape of today’s automotive marketplace. The event will be held at Ford Motor Company Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, MI. For additional information, visit

About Brooks Kushman P.C.
Brooks Kushman P.C. 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, World Trademark Review, and Intellectual Property Today.

For more information, please visit

Long-awaited Defend Trade Secrets Act passes; Brinks Gilson & Lione attorney looks at impact on Michigan business

James Cleland, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., says Michigan businesses just gained additional protection of their trade secrets following approval of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) by the U. S. House of Representatives late yesterday. The U.S. Senate passed the DTSA on April 4, 2016 by a unanimous vote of 87-0. President Obama is now expected to sign the bill into law.

“This is a win for Michigan businesses and businesses throughout the country seeking strong protection for their trade secrets,” Cleland said. “Although individual state laws governing trade secret protection and misappropriation existed prior to the passage of DTSA, the lack of a federal statute made enforcement of trade secrets non-uniform, slow and highly dependent on the particular state in which theft of trade secrets occurred. A federal statute is particularly welcome in an age where the theft of electronic information using sophisticated technology occurs quickly and across not only state borders, but our country’s borders.”

Cleland noted Michigan corporate behemoths like Ford and GM immediately come to mind as beneficiaries of the DTSA.

“Several automakers were the unfortunate victims in recent years of high profile, high stakes cases of trade secret theft when foreign nationals they employed fled the U.S. and returned to their native countries with valuable trade secrets in hand,” Cleland said. “Providing federal courts with jurisdiction over trade secret cases, enhancing the civil seizure procedures and beefing up damages unquestionably will help wronged companies pursue these individuals across state and international borders.”

Cleland notes the Defend Trade Secrets Act is the most sweeping trade secret reform in a generation. Key provisions of the DTSA are:

• Providing a uniform law on the protection of trade secrets and giving federal courts jurisdiction over disputes involving trade secrets relating to products or services used in interstate or foreign commerce.

• Enhanced ex parte civil seizure procedures to help U.S. companies immediately seize property necessary to prevent trade secret theft, particularly useful when an employee plans to leave the country with stolen trade secrets.

• Recognizing that the most important remedy in many cases is to stop the trade secret theft in its tracks, and thus providing options for immediate court intervention and involvement of law enforcement officers.

• In addition to civil seizure and injunctive relief, setting forth multiple options for damages for trade secret theft to ensure that wronged companies are made whole.

• Establishing enhanced damages and attorney’s fees for willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets.

• Requiring periodic public reports on the scope and breadth of the theft of U.S. trade secrets outside the U.S.

• Creating whistleblower protections for individuals who disclose trade secrets to the government to report a violation of the law or in the context of a retaliation lawsuit.

“With the evolving knowledge economy in Michigan and beyond, trade secrets play an increasingly important role in defining the value of any company, whether it is a chemical formula, manufacturing process or a critical customer list,” Cleland said. “Assuming companies affirm the value of their trade secrets by taking the proper steps to safeguard them in the first place, the DTSA will provide companies with added protection and expand civil enforcement options.”

The DTSA language can be viewed here.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
The attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents at Brinks Gilson & Lione focus their practice in the field of intellectual property. Brinks is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Brinks lawyers provide counseling in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law.

More information is at

New ‘Destination Detroit’ Brand to Strengthen Business Case for Southeast Michigan Among Global Investors

Investor exclusiveOne region. Endless opportunity.

That’s the mantra of Destination Detroit—a regional brand created by the Detroit Regional Chamber and its economic development partners in the city of Detroit and the 11-county Southeast Michigan region. The brand will be used to collaboratively promote the region’s assets while engaging with international and domestic companies looking to relocate or expand their operations in North America. The brand was unveiled during the Chamber Foundation’s Forward Detroit Annual Meeting of Investors last week.

The brand is a direct outcome of the Detroit Regional Business Attraction Strategy & Action Plan, funded by JPMorgan Chase in 2014, which recommended the development of a regional brand and message specifically for business attraction purposes. Through print and digital collateral, Destination Detroit provides a consistent message and promotes Southeast Michigan’s world-class assets.

“Our public and private partners challenged us to do more to market the diversity of the region both in terms of its asset allocation and economic character. As part of the brand development process, we looked out at the other major metropolitan areas we compete with across the United States and saw a huge opportunity to create something that stands out from the pack,” said Justin Robinson, vice president of Business Attraction for the Chamber.

Robinson said the brand will:
• Serve as a common marketing platform for the Chamber and its public partners
• Place greater emphasis on information sharing with international audiences
• Provide a simple, assertive, and memorable message to investors

Future plans include a new website, social media strategy, video testimonials and targeted advertising.

Federal Reserve Bank VP: Adaptability Key to Region’s Economic Growth

Forward Detroit investors also received an update on the current trends in the U.S. economy during a keynote address from William Testa, vice president and director of regional research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (pictured).

Addressing economic trends and “headwinds,” such as China’s sluggish economy, softening U.S. exports overseas, and a return of the Sunbelt migration, Testa said Southeast Michigan has done well adapting its manufacturing base to position the region for future growth.

Testa shared that Michigan’s economy continues to see roughly 2 percent growth year-over-year, a trend he expects to continue and that he attributes to the revitalization of the auto industry, the state’s manufacturing R&D leadership, and a shift in focus to mobility and connected vehicle technology.

“Michigan is doing well with its efforts to diversify through the technical and life sciences sectors,” he said. “Who would have predicted 50 years ago that technology and mobility would be the prime sector that has sustained the state’s economy?”

In responding to a question from moderator and former Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh regarding Michigan’s competitiveness, Testa said attracting foreign talent, as well as public and private collaboration, good government services, quality of life amenities and reliable regional transit options are all crucial to attracting new investment.

Additionally, Testa said that in the age of the connected consumer Michigan is ripe for cultivating entrepreneurial startups in information technology and software development.

“With so much emphasis on IT, the opportunities are better than they ever were to get an entrepreneurial economy going in places like Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, etc.,” Testa said.

Download the 2016 Forward Detroit Annual Report

Download the 2016 Forward Detroit Annual Report and read how your investment dollars have helped move the region’s economy forward in the past year. For more information, please contact Marnita Hamilton, Director, Investor Relations, at 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

MICHauto Advocacy Committee Update

With an annual economic impact of over $57 billion, it is critical that Michigan’s automotive and mobility industries have a strong and represented voice among local, regional and state government officials. MICHauto’s Advocacy Committee serves as a forum for industry leaders to discuss key issues and formulate actions to address their needs.

“The Advocacy Committee continues to grow in size and scope in terms of its influence among key legislative policymakers,” said committee chair Frank Ervin, senior director of government affairs at Magna International. “It is extremely important that MICHauto represents the entire automotive community in our state, from the OEMs to the tier one and tier 2 or 3 suppliers who are essential to the supply chain.”

Key activities and actions include hosting legislators for a private tour and reception at the North American International Auto Show and supporting the ongoing development and work of the Michigan Automotive Caucus. The Committee meets quarterly and has developed a focused agenda to support MICHauto’s core mission to protect, retain, and grow the automotive industry.

A key event for MICHauto is the annual Supplier Legislative Reception in Lansing. The event will take place on May 3 this year and features 12 MICHauto investor companies. This event, now in its third year, provides a crucial opportunity to demonstrate the economic impact of the industry in Michigan and to connect with legislators.

“Michigan’s automotive industry has been the driving force behind our state’s economic recovery. The future of our state’s growth will also depend on the automotive industry as a platform for diversification into the next-generation mobility industry,” Ervin said. “Right now, however, we must do everything to support the companies that operate in Michigan today, provide jobs, and support local communities. Advocating on their behalf is something we take very seriously.”