Two Dickinson Wright Attorneys in Michigan Listed in Chambers 2018 High Net Worth Guide

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that two of the firm’s attorneys in Michigan are listed as “Leaders in their Fields” by Chambers 2018 High Net Worth (HNW) Guide.

London-based Chambers & Partners, publisher of the world’s leading guides to the legal profession, conducts research into the strengths and reputations of U.S. law firms by state, through in-depth interviews with peers and competing firm attorneys, in-house counsel and significant purchasers of legal services.

Below is a list of Dickinson Wright attorneys who were listed in Chambers 2018 HNW Guide:

Private Wealth Law
Henry M. Grix, Troy
James P. Spica, Detroit

About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 19 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 12 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville and Music Row, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.

Internships Build Critical Skills to Grow Detroit Region’s Talent

By Yazmine Brooks

Cultivating and retaining local talent is critically important as our region and state prepare for the workforce of the future. As an intern with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees initiative, I have an up-close view of the Chamber’s important work to increase the number of talented adults in the region with a postsecondary degree or credential through research and writing blogs. I’m also learning about myself and developing important 21st century skills for the workplace.

I grew up in Detroit with my mom and attended a Detroit Public Schools elementary and middle school, where I was consistently placed on the honor role. While attending middle school, I got involved with a school program called “Future Leaders.” This opportunity helped me learn many of my foundation skills — i.e., reading comprehension, math and technology proficiency. Foundational skills are also things like critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and creativity – necessary skills to be productive in the workplace.

According to the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, roughly 200,000 adults in Detroit – half of the adult population—have a gap in their foundational skills. Similarly, 27 percent of high school students in the tri-county region need remediation in math or reading when they enter college. These individuals will struggle to earn a degree, struggle in the workforce, and our entire region will struggle because we’re leaving people behind.

Last year, I took the SAT for the first time and, despite my good grades and involvement in extracurricular activities, my score was lower than I expected. My foundational skills are strong, but I have plenty of things to learn and skills to develop before I start college. And I’m being proactive in developing these skills: I’m studying for and retaking the SAT this fall and I’m doing an internship at the Chamber this summer.

Internships are crucial to help young people and adults learn communication, discipline, time management and more. Michigan’s future is dependent on my generation and future generations of young people who aren’t typically provided with business and workforce opportunities.

As Malcom X explained, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

Business have a role in developing talent and educating the future workforce. One of the easiest ways to fulfill this role is by inviting students into your workplace through job shadow, open houses, mentorship, internships and entry-level jobs. Students need to know that the future holds many opportunities for us to be successful. Exploring careers, getting exposure to office and industry settings, and learning from industry experts is invaluable. Reach out to your community today and explore ways to get involved in students’ lives.

Need assistance? Contact Sarah Craft at to start the conversation.

Yazmine Brooks is a Detroit Drives Degrees intern at the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Clayton & McKervey promotes three to senior manager

Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping closely held businesses compete in the global marketplace, announces that David Van Damme, Catherine (Katie) Faysal, and Ben Smith, all certified public accountants in the Assurance Department, have been promoted from Manager to Senior Manager.

Smith joined Clayton & McKervey in 2008 and is key to the firm’s transaction services team. He also leads the firm’s technology initiatives. Smith specializes in growth driven business tax planning and consultation, accounting support services including operational and owner reporter packages, financial statements and agreed upon procedures reporting. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He also serves on Oakland University’s Accounting and Finance Advisory Board. Smith holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oakland University and is a resident of Royal Oak.

Van Damme also joined Clayton & McKervey in 2008. He specializes in audits of closely-held companies, internal controls analysis, fraud/data extraction analysis, financial statements and agreed upon procedures reporting, financial reporting automation and employee benefit plan audits. He is involved with the MICPA, MICPA Fraud Task Force, Turn Around Management Association and Risk Management Association. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Oakland University and is a resident of Ferndale.

Faysal joined Clayton & McKervey in 2009 specializes in audits and reviews of closely-held companies, mergers and acquisitions, agreed upon procedures reporting, component audit reporting, AICPA Financial Framework for Small and Medium-Sized Entities and employee benefit plan audits. She is involved with the MICPA, AICPA, Turn Around Management Association and Risk Management Association and is a leader of Clayton & McKervey’s Women’s Network. Faysal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Hillsdale College and is a resident of Novi.

The announcement of the senior manager promotions was made by Clayton & McKervey President Rob Dutkiewicz, CPA. “We are pleased to welcome Katie Faysal, David Van Damme and Ben Smith to their new roles as senior managers,” Dutkiewicz said. “They are impressive young leaders doing outstanding work for our clients.”

About Clayton & McKervey
Clayton & McKervey is a full-service certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping closely held businesses compete in the global marketplace. The firm is headquartered in metro Detroit and services clients throughout the world. To learn more, visit

Walsh Introduces Cutting-Edge IT Curriculum

Walsh’s IT/Decision Sciences Department’s new leadership team includes Dave Schippers, Thomas Petz and Christopher Heiden, three professionals with decades of diverse experience in information technology who are enhancing curriculum with unique hands-on learning experiences to prepare graduates for careers in cybersecurity, automotive cybersecurity, business information systems and more.

“We’ve developed curriculum that blends academic theory and rigor with extensive hands-on development of critical skills. Walsh is the only school in Michigan to offer an experience like our Attack and Defend course, where teams attack and defend a mock business infrastructure in a controlled environment,” said Schippers. “Our graduates leave Walsh ready to enter the IT workforce, all the way up to the federal level.”

Assistant Professor and Department Chair, Schippers has 20 years of experience in information technology, cybersecurity and project management. He spearheaded Walsh’s new Automotive Cybersecurity concentration, which is available within the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program.

Associate Professor Petz has 20 years of IT experience and in 2015 was named the Keith A. Pretty Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year from the Alliance for Excellence in Online Education. He is helping to revitalize core programming courses in Walsh’s undergraduate and graduate IT degrees and specializations.

Associate Professor Heiden brings 20 years of experience in information technology, digital marketing, and database technologies and is focused on expanding Walsh’s data sciences degree concentration.

Walsh was the first school in Michigan to be recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE/CD). Our IT degrees align with Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security NICE Framework Standards. For more information about Walsh’s IT/Decision Sciences program, visit or call 800-WALSH-01.


Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school. Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township and Port Huron, as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (

Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Detroit Regional Chamber Align on Gubernatorial Endorsements

In June, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Political Action Committee (PAC) announced gubernatorial candidate endorsements for Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer for Governor in the upcoming primary election, Aug. 7. Since then, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press have also released their own endorsements for these candidates.

The Chamber PAC prides itself on being one of the most sought after, bipartisan endorsements in Michigan and regularly endorses candidates with the potential to represent the regional business community. Calley has been a dependable leader in the issues that matter to businesses, such as Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy, during his time as Lieutenant Governor under Gov. Snyder. Whitmer’s understanding of infrastructure investment and her plan to improve Michigan’s education system make her the best Democratic candidate to support the Chamber’s priorities.

Additional primary election endorsements by the Chamber’s PAC include: Sen. Ian Conyers (D-MI13), Rep. Tim Greimel (D-MI11), Sen. Mike Kowall (R-MI11), and Andy Levin (D-MI9) for the U.S. House of Representatives, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for the U.S. Senate. View the full list of the PAC’s endorsed candidates.

For more information on the Chamber PAC, please visit

‘Unconventional, but highly effective’: Hard-working Marchionne led with distinct style

July 25, 2018

Crain’s Detroit Business

By: Dustin Walsh

In December 2011, Crain’s Detroit Business and Automotive News reporters met with organizers from the North American International Auto Show, same as every year, to discuss the upcoming January show.

The floor plan, a complex game of Tetris for the show’s organizers, revealed a small, unmarked room near the Fiat Chrysler display in Cobo Center. Someone asked what, exactly, was that room.

The 2012 Detroit auto show’s chairman that year was Bill Perkins, owner of Bill Perkins Automotive Group. He bellowed a laugh.

“That’s Sergio’s smoking room,” he blustered.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, a well-known smoker, required a private room to enjoy his vice on the show floor. The hours following that anecdote were filled with frantic calls from Chrysler’s communications apparatus condemning the notion that its top executive would have a smoking room — Michigan had banned smoking in public venues in 2010. He did. We saw it.

But that was Marchionne. He did, and said, what he wanted. He was an iconoclast.

“He was definitely unconventional, but highly effective,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “He had a distinct style, from how he dressed to how he spoke. He had the most effective monotone speaking voice you’d ever heard. He made people pay attention to him.”

In May 2014, as Marchionne launched a five-year business plan for the combined Fiat and Chrysler, Automotive News graded his first five years atop the formerly bankrupt Chrysler. Marchionne received a composite grade of B+, and he objected, albeit tongue-in-cheek, that the grade was too low during a news conference after the daylong rollout of the 2014-18 business plan.

He may have been right. Under his tobacco-stained thumb, Fiat Chrysler grew from a $2 billion company in the depths of the Great Recession to a $30 billion company today. And he found a winning formula in stripping off undervalued assets from the Italian industrial conglomerate and monetizing them for shareholders, doing so with what is now CNH Industrial ($20.25 billion) and Ferrari ($22.34 billion).

FCA plans to reveal its 2018-22 business plan June 1 in Balocco, Italy, outside Fiat’s historic home in Turin. The site and date have a nostalgic double meaning: Marchionne became CEO of Fiat on June 1, 2004, and Balocco was where he laid out his first five-year business plan for the company. Marchionne said last month that the 2018-22 plan would be carried out by his successor, whose identity would be revealed by the FCA board sometime after the presentation.

With Marchionne gravely ill Saturday, the company appointed Mike Manley, 54, head of the automaker’s Jeep and Ram brands, as Marchionne’s successor.

It’s the attention to detail in those now legendary presentations that provided a fine-tuned control that propelled Chrysler, said Julie Fream, president and CEO of the Original Equipment Suppliers Association.

“(Sergio) capitalized on the assets of the company, particularly Jeep and Ram, created an intense and driven culture, focused on achieving objectives and (he) walked the talk,” Fream said. “Everything he expected of his team, he also expected of himself.”

That style and all its machismo still created value, Baruah said.

“It’s a mirror of what he did with the brands,” Baruah said. “He knows how to frame an issue or a set of facts in a presentation in an incredibly unique and impactful way. He did the same with the brands. If Fiat Chrysler is known for anything, it’s the brand power he created. They have some of the strongest identities in the industry.”

Marchionne had no shortage of people who will disagree with him, but most colleagues, competitors and acquaintances respect his intellect. He is unapologetically emotional — as in 2014, when he choked up reading aloud from a scholarship application from the daughter of an FCA line worker in Detroit. He is also unabashed about questioning the foundations of the auto industry and capitalism itself. His 2015 analysis of the auto industry’s wasteful spending habits, “Confessions of a Capital Junkie,” was roundly applauded by analysts for its thoroughness and drew quiet praise from competitors, even if they didn’t act on it.

“The Detroit area, Fiat Chrysler and the auto industry all are in better shape because he had a vision for Fiat and Chrysler that he successfully executed,” said James Verrier, president and CEO of BorgWarner Inc.


You can view the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business on their website.

Business, political leaders remember ‘larger-than-life’ Marchionne

July 25, 2018

Crain’s Detroit Business

Sergio Marchionne, 66, died Wednesday of complications from shoulder surgery. The Fiat Chrysler executive responsible for transforming the ailing Chrysler out of bankruptcy made an impact on the industry and those that worked in it and those who called Detroit home.

Here is a collection of comments from area business and political leaders about the iconoclastic Marchionne:

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

“We often joked about how we were just two accountants who started our careers across the Detroit River from each other — Sergio in Windsor and me in Detroit. The many times we met, both in Michigan and overseas, will always provide me with fond memories of this outstanding businessman, leader, and friend to all of us in Michigan.”

Mary Barra, president and CEO, General Motors Corp.

“Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss.”

Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman, Ford Motor Co.

“Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker. His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him.”

Ray Scott, president and CEO, Lear Corp.

“Sergio was a larger-than-life figure in the industry and had a profound impact on everyone who came in contact with him. I met him on several occasions during the United Way committee meetings, and his passion for social justice was always very evident. He put his money where his mouth was and provided us all with great lessons on what it means to be a socially responsible business, while demonstrating a strong appreciation for the community.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell

“He was brilliant, focused, strategic, intense and helped Michigan and the industry I love. Sergio taught me over the years many things and he was a friend, not afraid to yell, but then could laugh so ever hard. Our community should celebrate his life and be thankful for his many contributions.”

Sandy Baruah, president and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

“Sergio Marchionne was one of a kind. An iconoclast and larger than life, he had an outsized impact on the industry and therefore our region. He didn’t just save Chrysler and Fiat, he increased the value of these companies by more than 10-fold. Countless employees, dealers, suppliers and the driving public directly benefited from this one man’s incredible accomplishments.”


You can view the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business on their website.

Detroit Regional Chamber Announces Ballot Initiatives Decisions

DETROIT, July 25, 2018 – The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors has agreed to positions on the following ballot initiatives for the 2018 general election:


Promote the Vote

“The health of our democracy requires active participation from voters,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The Promote the Vote ballot initiative will make it easier for voters to speak and bring Michigan more in line with voting practices of other states across the country.


Minimum Wage Increase

Paid Sick Leave

“Michigan has made remarkable progress the past eight years growing the economy. Both the minimum wage increase and paid sick leave ballot initiatives would slow hiring and create undo burden on job creators,” said Baruah.

About the Detroit Regional Chamber

Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. As the voice for business in the 11-county Southeast Michigan region, the Chamber’s mission is carried out through creating a business-friendly climate and value for members, leading a robust economic development strategy, and convening Michigan’s most influential audience at the nationally unique Mackinac Policy Conference.





Statement From Detroit Regional Chamber on Recent Passing of Sergio Marchionne

DETROIT, July 25, 2018 – Today, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah released the following statement on the passing of former Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne:

“Sergio Marchionne was one of a kind. An iconoclast and larger than life, he had an outsized impact on the industry and therefore our region. He didn’t just save Chrysler and Fiat, he increased the value of these companies by more than 10-fold. Countless employees, dealers, suppliers and the driving public directly benefited from this one man’s incredible accomplishments.” – Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of FCA, has passed away

July 25, 2018


By: Karen Dybis

Automotive executive and well-known turnaround expert Sergio Marchionne died unexpectedly Wednesday at the age of 66, leaving behind a significant legacy in the international automotive world as well as among his peers, employees, media and friends.

The former head of Fiat Chrysler died of complications from what the company described as shoulder surgery. His health took a dramatic turn shortly after an operation, and Fiat Chrysler replaced him with a new CEO in recent days.

Marchionne was considered a “larger-than-life” personality both at work and personally. Known by co-workers and media for his relaxed style – he smoked openly, rarely wore a tie and was known for sporting a black sweater everywhere he went – Marchionne was a respected and intense executive who is said to have brought Fiat and Chrysler together in a way that generated wealth for both companies.

People from across the spectrum of Marchionne’s world offered their condolences on his death Wednesday.

“We at General Motors offer our condolences to Sergio Marchionne’s family and friends. Sergio created a remarkable legacy in the automotive industry. Our thoughts are also with our industry colleagues at Fiat Chrysler as they deal with this sudden loss,” GM’s CEO and Chairman Mary Barra posted on Twitter.

In a statement, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah called Marchionne “one of a kind.”

“An iconoclast and larger than life, he had an outsized impact on the industry and therefore our region. He didn’t just save Chrysler and Fiat, he increased the value of these companies by more than 10-fold. Countless employees, dealers, suppliers and the driving public directly benefited from this one man’s incredible accomplishments,” Baruah said.

David T. Fischer, Chairman and CEO, The Suburban Collection, Michigan’s largest dealer group, also praised Marchionne for his commitment to his industry and work at Fiat Chrysler.

“Sergio Marchionne was a relentless fixer, a great car guy with passion and unbelievable work ethic. I am truly saddened by the news of his passing, he will be sorely missed. Mike Manley and the new FCA team have a great platform that they built together,” Fischer said. “They have a wonderful future.”

Michelle Krebs, Detroit-based Executive Analyst at Cox Automotive’s Autotrader, remembered a complicated yet determined man.

“Sergio Marchionne … had a way with words. You were guaranteed a great quote from his press conferences. He was direct – he’d let you know if he didn’t like your question,” Krebs said. “He was extremely intellectual – he majored in philosophy as an undergrad. At the last event I attended, a June 1 press conference, he gave what now clearly was his farewell address, he quoted Oscar Wilde and Bobby McFerrin.”

His impact on Detroit was significant, Krebs added.

“Sergio Marchionne arrived in Detroit and immediately saw and appreciated the history and potential of Chrysler as well as the city itself. He was blown away by the culture the city had to offer and FCA became a supporter of the arts. Anyone who attended a show at the Fisher Theater couldn’t miss a car – Chrysler Pacifica minivan last time I was there – parked in the lobby,” Krebs said. “He also recognized the opportunity for Detroit’s revitalization and showed it to the world in the now-famous Super Bowl ad featuring Eminem driving the city’s gritty streets.”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles and related parts and services, components and production systems worldwide through 159 manufacturing facilities, 87 R&D centers, and dealers and distributors in more than 140 countries.

Its stable of brands includes Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Jeep, Lancia, Ram, Maserati and Mopar, the parts and service brand. The Group’s businesses also include Comau (production systems), Magneti Marelli (components) and Teksid (iron and castings).

In addition, retail and dealer financing, leasing and rental services related to and in support of the Group’s car business are provided either through subsidiaries or financial partners (such as captive companies, affiliates, joint ventures with leading banks and/or financial institutions, and specialized providers).
FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA”.


You can view the original post from Corp! on their website.