Global Mobility Forum Led by Bill Ford to be Held in Detroit in September


August 31, 2016 

By Emma Klug

An invitation-only group of more than 250 global automotive and technology leaders, as well as government officials, will come together Sept. 28-29 in Detroit for the World Mobility Leadership Forum, an event with a goal of beginning a worldwide conversation about how mobility solutions can address societal challenges.

Topics to be covered at the forum include urban congestion, the delivery of health care, the environment, transforming cities, and transportation access for disabled citizens.

The World Mobility Leadership Forum will feature more than 20 key speakers, including: Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co.; Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors Co.; Anne Berner, minister of transport and communications for Finland; Emily Castor, director of transportation policy at Lyft; Chuck Gulash, director of Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center; Diarmuid O’Connell, vice president of business development at Tesla Motors; and more.

“The societal and mobility challenges being faced around the globe only can be addressed by working together,” says Ford. “Now is the time for our industries, infrastructure partners, nonprofits, and government agencies to accelerate the development of the necessary transportation solutions that will improve people’s lives.”

The forum, which will also feature networking opportunities and an immersion experience displaying new mobility technologies, will take place at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport hotel, located at 2501 Worldgateway Place in Romulus.

Business Leaders for Michigan and MICHAuto are organizing the event, while McKinsey and Co. is facilitating sessions as discussion providers. Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the Detroit Regional Chamber are event partners.

For more information, visit

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Michigan is still driving auto innovation

The Detroit News 

August 30, 2016

Re: Kaitlyn Buss’s August 24 column “Ford stiffens Detroit, Silicon Valley competition”: Michigan might be facing strong competition in the race to define the future of mobility, but we’re far from losing when it comes to being the smart choice for investing in the automotive industry.

Ford’s autonomous vehicle research and development efforts continue to be headquartered in Dearborn and the Michigan-based team collaborates with its Palo Alto and Aachen facilities. As Buss rightfully points out, the automaker is also embarking on a 10-year transformation of its more than 60-year-old Dearborn facilities to create a high-tech campus. The drastic transformation is part of Ford’s goal to move from an automotive company to a mobility company.

When you consider the number of West Coast tech companies and startups that are opening offices in Michigan, the storyline isn’t about competition. It’s about collaboration. Just look at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which signed a deal with FCA U.S. to develop a fleet of 100 autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans and open a research and development office in Novi.

Another is California-based electric car startup Faraday Future, which is inquiring about licenses to test self-driving vehicles in Michigan. These stories are just two of numerous other cases where the Motor City and Silicon Valley are coming together and changing the automobile as we know it.

The Planet M campaign was created to showcase Michigan’s ongoing evolution into a hub of mobility.

Seven global or North American research and development headquarters are operated in Michigan by automakers like Ford, General Motors Co., FCA U.S., Hyundai Motor Group, and Toyota Motor Corp. Eight research and development facilities for original equipment manufacturers like Honda Motor Co., Subaru, and Volkswagen of America Inc. call Michigan home.

We still rank number one nationally for our number of advanced automotive industry jobs and businesses that are here, as well as our concentration of engineering talent. And our University Research Corridor—consisting of the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University—directly impact automotive innovation, spending more than $60 million a year on research and development projects. For almost 50 years, Michigan has averaged one automotive patent per day.

We’re also home to nationally-ranked engineering programs and schools like Kettering University, which recently broke ground on the General Motors Foundation Automotive Research Area that was funded by GM. This advanced proving ground will provide academic opportunities to research numerous mobility technologies, including self-driving vehicles.

This new proving ground is just the latest such facility in our state, which already has two purpose-built self-driving vehicle proving grounds, the 32-acre Mcity at the University of Michigan and the soon-to-be-completed 335-acre American Center for Mobility. These facilities have attracted international attention, with major automakers, suppliers and West Coast startups looking to use these assets to bring technology from concept to reality.

It’s because of our talent and assets that Michigan leads the nation with 49 connected and automated vehicle projects being conducted in our state, outpacing the 35 projects that are occurring in California.

So in the race to define mobility, Michigan isn’t sitting on the sidelines or struggling in last place. We’re right where we’ve always been: foot on the gas, racing into the future.

Sandy Barauh, Detroit Regional Chamber

Doug Rothwell, Business Leaders for Mich.

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Brinks Gilson & Lione’s Oberholtzer interviewed by Comcast Newsmakers; advises caution on collaborative projects between the auto and tech industries

Brinks Gilson & Lione’s Oberholtzer interviewed by Comcast Newsmakers; advises caution on collaborative projects between the auto and tech industries

Steven L. Oberholtzer managing shareholder of the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., was a guest on Michigan’s Comcast Newsmakers, a news platform presenting public affairs information via interviews with local, state and federal officials and business and community leaders.

The topic of the interview, which can be viewed here, was a discussion on the unique challenges faced by traditional automakers and their supplier partners amid high profile collaborations between the auto and tech industries. Oberholtzer advises the auto industry to protect its core competencies while using shared technologies vital to the ongoing development of autonomous vehicles, hybrids and other technology-driven initiatives which reflect a fundamental shift in the auto industry. The interview followed a blog post Oberholtzer contributed to Automotive News in June 2016 on the same topic.

Oberholtzer’s practice at Brinks focuses on patent and trademark counseling, corporate intellectual property policy development and administration, technology licensing, joint development and joint venture relationship agreements. He has extensive experience with the intellectual property legal issues of the automotive industry and a lifelong interest in the industry and its products. Oberholtzer was previously employed as a senior project engineer with a domestic OEM manufacturer and as in-house patent counsel for a Tier 1 supplier. In private practice, he has acted as primary outside counsel for a number of Tier 1 and lower tier supplier engagements that include worldwide responsibility for all intellectual property issues and management of teams of attorneys handling all facets of these matters.
Oberholtzer is the principal author of a primer on intellectual property entitled, The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Kettering University, formerly known as the General Motors Institute, and received his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University.

Comcast Newsmakers is presented online at and across Comcast’s national Xfinity on-demand service.

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

Level One Bancorp, Inc. to Enter Grand Rapids Market

Expansion reinforces Level One’s commitment to growth, community banking in Michigan

Patrick J. Fehring, President and CEO of Level One Bancorp, Inc. (Level One Bank) announced today that the bank plans to enter into the Grand Rapids marketplace.

On September 1st, Level One Bank will acquire the lease of a currently vacant bank branch property located at 2355 Burton Street SE on Grand Rapids’ east side. Over the next several months, the 7,000 square foot building will be updated and remodeled with a branch opening date scheduled for early December.

“Grand Rapids has one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in the nation, one of the lowest unemployment rates, and is well recognized as one of the best places to live in the country,” said Fehring. “We are incredibly attracted to the robust market that Grand Rapids offers for a community bank and we look forward to serving this city well with an eye toward future expansion here.”

Said Tim Mackay, Executive Vice President of Consumer Banking: “Having lived and worked in the Grand Rapids community for over a decade prior to joining Level One, it is exciting to return to my roots and once again serve this quality market and its quality people. There is a great need here for a new, Michigan-based community bank. We plan to fill that need.”

In the coming weeks, Level One Bank plans to hire 12-13 banking professionals from the Grand Rapids area, including: Commercial Lenders, Mortgage Loan Originators, Business Development Officers and other branch personnel, including a Banking Center Manager. Employment inquiries can be made at: 248-737-0300.

Level One Bank currently operates ten full-service banking centers throughout the Metro Detroit region. Level One Bank has been recognized both locally and nationally as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) ‘Community Lender of the Year’ and ‘Export Finance Lender of the Year’, Inc. Magazine’s list of 5,000 ‘Fastest Growing Private Companies in America’, one of American Banker’s ‘Best Banks to Work For’, and ranks 10th in the nation among best-performing community banks as published by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

About Level One Bank

Level One Bank is a full-service, 5-Star BauerFinancial rated commercial and consumer bank headquartered locally in Farmington Hills, Michigan with assets of approximately $1.0 billion. It currently operates ten full-service banking centers located throughout the Metro Detroit region. Level One’s Commercial Division provides a complete menu of products including lines of credit, term loans, leases, commercial mortgages, SBA loans, Export-Import Financing and a full suite of Treasury Management services. The Consumer Division offers personal savings and checking accounts and a complete array of consumer loan products including residential mortgages, home equity, auto, and credit card services. Level One Bank offers a variety of online banking services and a robust mobile banking application for individuals and businesses. Level One Bank offers the sophistication of a big bank, the heart of a community bank, and the spirit of an entrepreneur. For more information, please visit

Chamber Calls on State Leaders to Stay the Course with M-Step Assessment

Following the release of the statewide M-Step assessment results, the Detroit Regional Chamber is calling on state leaders to stay the course, with respect to standards and assessments, in order to better prepare students to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce. The results, released today, reveal only modest gains from the previous year.

“The M-Step results reflect an honest reckoning with where Michigan students stand with respect to mastering rigorous, real-world standards. Year-over-year results show a need to improve, but also why high standards and aligned assessments are critical to measuring Michigan against the states with which we compete,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent for the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Continuing to use this high-quality assessment will provide reliable information that can help improve classroom instruction, accelerate learning and help make Michigan a top 10 education state, Handel said.

The M-Step replaced the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) in 2015 and aligns with the demands of college-level learning while providing a better mechanism for measuring critical thinking skills. However, the Michigan Department of Education is considering replacing the test with a new measurement next year.

“Efforts to water down this assessment simply sends a message to businesses that Michigan isn’t serious about competing for jobs in the global economy,” Handel said. “Our focus should be on improving these results rather than changing the test itself.”

Support for improving accountability and student success in schools is among the Chamber’s top 10 legislative priorities for 2016 and was a key topic discussion at this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

American Society of Employers (ASE) presents annual Employment Law Workshop on Sept. 21

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, will help attendees enhance their understanding of employment laws and regulations at its annual, full-day Employment Law Workshop, to be held Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the VisTaTech Center at Schoolcraft College in Livonia.

“One of the reasons Human Resources is such a dynamic profession is because laws regarding employment are always evolving, and in the past year, we have seen more HR regulatory activity than in the past six years,” Mary E. Corrado, ASE CEO, said. “ASE’s Employment Law Workshop agenda is based on timely issues impacting the workplace and practical ways for employers to respond to the evolving regulatory landscape. It also provides attendees with opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing with employment attorneys and HR colleagues.”

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

• Weapons in the workplace
• New National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) interpretations on unionization
• “Ask the Lawyer” open forum lunch session
• What to expect with the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rules
• The evolving joint employer relationship
• Avoiding lawsuits from the termination process
• Medical Marijuana in the workplace

For a complete Employment Law Workshop 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

Plunkett Cooney named among nation’s largest, best for female diversity

The National Law Journal (NLJ) has published its annual list of the largest law firms and Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest, has received two important designations.

A perennial member of the NLJ Top 350 list of largest law firms, Plunkett Cooney ranked 252nd nationally with 152 attorneys self-reported in 2015. The firm also reported 84 equity partners, 10 non-equity partners, 54 associate attorneys and 14 attorneys in the “other” category, which includes of counsel lawyers.

In addition to being included among the nation’s largest law firms, Plunkett Cooney was identified as one of the best nationally for female diversity with 30 percent of its 152 attorneys being women. In 2015, 23 percent of its partners were female and 50 percent of the associates were female.

“It’s always nice to be included on the NLJ list, but I’m particularly focused on growing our firm and adding even more depth in terms of diversity,” said Plunkett Cooney’s President and CEO Dennis G. Cowan. “Our clients understand that in order to grow their businesses, they must reflect the communities they hope to reach. We apply that same philosophy, because diversity is truly one of our strengths as a law firm.”

Data included in the largest law firms report is collected through the annual NLJ 500 Survey, which is sent to hundreds of firms throughout the country. The statistics reported above reflect the average full-time equivalent number of attorneys at Plunkett Cooney in 2015.

With respect to its focus on diversity, Plunkett Cooney has established a plan that includes 10 specific goals designed to increase the size of the firm’s diversity pool of employment candidates and to retain them once they have joined the firm.The firm’s commitment to diversity serves to advance each of the strategic goals, which includes policies to recruit, train and maintain a diverse team of exceptional professionals, paralegals and support staff.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney currently employs approximately 140 attorneys in nine Michigan cities, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm, which provides a range of transactional and litigation defense services, has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms.

Plunkett Cooney has received numerous honors related to its diversity efforts in the workplace and as a member of the legal community. The firm has also been recognized for several consecutive years as a top place to work.

For more information about Plunkett Cooney’s placement on the NLJ’s 2016 list of largest law firms, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;

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Walsh College to Host ‘Cyber Chameleon – The Evolving Nature of Cyberattacks’ Webinar on Sept. 7

Your credit card was used online without your authorization. Private customer information at your business has been accessed. Your email has been hacked.

While these scenarios seem different, they all fall under the same category: cybercrime. And the cost of these crimes is staggering. Juniper Research reports that cybercrime will cost businesses more than $2 trillion by 2019.

What exactly are cyberattacks? Can they be stopped?

These and other questions will be addressed when Walsh College hosts a complimentary, live webinar titled, “Cyber Chameleon – The Evolving Nature of Cyberattacks” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 7. The discussion will focus on how cyberattacks are evolving and how they impact individuals and the world’s economy.

The webinar will be hosted by Barbara Ciaramitaro, Ph.D., CISSP, CSSLP, PMP, professor and chair, Information Technology and Decision Sciences, Walsh College. Ciaramitaro is also the director of the Center for Cybersecurity Leadership at Walsh.

“One of the greatest challenges in cybersecurity is keeping up with the change in the nature of cybersecurity threats and attacks,” Ciaramitaro said. “Just when we think one cybersecurity threat is under control, the attack methods and vectors change.”

The “Cyber Chameleon” webinar is the first in a four-part series titled, “Walsh College: Cybersecurity Expert Series.” It will address all aspects of cybersecurity, from the evolving nature of cybercrimes to what cybersecurity experts are doing to better secure businesses and individuals.

For more information or to register for the webinar, visit

Walsh College is a leader in cybersecurity education, offering several degrees as part of its cybersecurity and IT curriculum, including a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT), a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT), a Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership (MSITL), a Master of Science in Information Technology with a Concentration in Cybersecurity (MSIT-CS), and a dual Master in Business Administration/Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership (MBA-MSITL).

Walsh College also offers a Cybersecurity Certificate, which consists of four to six courses, depending on the student’s prior education. The program is available to students holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students who complete this certificate can apply up to 18 semester credit hours of “advanced standing” credit toward the MSIT or MSIT-CS programs.

JVS Earns Three-Year CARF Accreditation

JVS is proud to announce that the agency has again earned three-year accreditation from CARF International, the international accreditation authority in the fields of rehabilitation, behavioral health, employment and community services.

During the accreditation process, three CARF surveyors from across the country completed the exhaustive examination of JVS’s onsite and offsite programs and business practices. In addition to interviews with staff, program participants and their families, the surveyors talked with employers, board members, funding partners and other stakeholders.

The CARF report highlighted JVS strengths in numerous areas, including programs for people with disabilities. The CARF surveyors applauded JVS’s person-centered approach to connecting people with community services, providing job training and support, and offering an extensive calendar of community events for participants. JVS was also commended for the caring and homelike atmosphere for programs that serve seniors with memory loss.

“This is a peer review process that measures us against best practices and ensures that we’re meeting the needs of the people we serve,” said Leah Rosenbaum, JVS president and CEO. “For JVS, accreditation is an ongoing process that demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement.”

About JVS
JVS is an award-winning human service organization with four main locations in metropolitan Detroit that helps people realize life’s potential through a variety of programs to maximize their self-sufficiency. The agency provides counseling, training, support services and comprehensive programs to the frail elderly, at-risk youth, individuals with disabilities, unemployed workers, and people who are economically disadvantaged.

WWJ Newsradio 950 to put Archer Award on the airwaves

WWJ-AM’s Platinum sponsorship a big boost for annual DMBA Foundation event

On Aug. 22, the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation and WWJ Newsradio 950 announced that WWJ-AM will be joining the Foundation’s annual Archer Award event as a Platinum sponsor.

WWJ-AM’s major sponsorship will take the form of multiple public service announcements and online promotional support starting in September. In addition, WWJ-AM’s reporter and anchor Stephanie Davis has agreed to act as emcee for the Archer Award event.

The 12th annual Archer Award event is scheduled for Nov. 16, with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy as the honoree. The gala will be held at a landmark Detroit location to be announced.

According to DMBA Foundation leadership, WWJ-AM’s support will provide a huge boost both to the Archer Award and to the event’s other sponsors.

“Thanks to WWJ-AM, news about this year’s Archer Award is going to be spread far beyond metro Detroit’s legal community – not only that, but area lawyers, including our members, are going to be hearing about Archer on the radio as well as reading about it in the legal and business press,” said 2016 Archer Award Co-Chair Leo Nouhan.

“Thanks to WWJ-AM’s support this event, our honoree, and our sponsors will all receive more public recognition than ever before.”

Proceeds from the annual Archer Award fund DMBA Foundation charitable efforts including free monthly legal clinics and the organization’s work with foster children.

In addition to the Platinum sponsorship from WWJ Newsradio 950, the DMBA Foundation has secured Gold sponsorships from Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly, the Detroit Legal News, and Hour Media’s dbusiness. Other early major sponsors include Dickinson Wright, Miller Canfield, and Conway MacKenzie.

A complete list of sponsors to date can be found online at:

Event details: the 12th annual Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award

The DMBA Foundation created the Dennis W. Archer Public Service Award to honor legal professionals whose careers demonstrate an outstanding commitment to public service. The 2015 Archer Award was presented to U.S. District Court Chief Judge Gerald Rosen and retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes. In addition to former mayor Dennis Archer, past recipients include former Congressman John Dingell, former Governor Jennifer Granholm, and Judge Victoria Roberts.

The 2016 Archer Award event will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 16 from 6-9 pm at a landmark Detroit location to be announced. Event reservations are $150 per person and are available online at:

Law firms and other areas businesses are invited to become sponsors, thereby supporting the DMBA Foundation’s charitable work. For information about the benefits of becoming a sponsor contact Dawn Wolfe at:

About the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation

The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation supports a diverse mix of programming and advocacy including Detroit Legal Services clinics, other Access to Justice initiatives, and For The Seventh Generation (, which matches donations of services and goods to over 1,000 metro Detroit-area foster children and families in need every year.