Marc Hudson

Marc Hudson is the founder and CEO of Rocket Fiber. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Engineering Society of Detroit and was a member of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The BDAC’s mission is to make recommendations for the FCC regarding the deployment of broadband. Hudson is a graduate of MSU.

Daniel Howes

Daniel Howes is the columnist and associate business editor of The Detroit News. Prior to that, Howes served as the News’ European correspondent and automotive columnist, as well as senior automotive writer and an investigative and projects reporter. He is the recipient of numerous awards including multiple International Wheel awards for column writing, and a four-time winner of Northwestern University’s Medill award for general markets coverage. He is a regular contributor on NewsTalk 760 WJR in Detroit and Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor.

Paula Herbart

Paula Herbart is the president of the Michigan Education Association, a 140,000-member association. She has held the position since September 2017.  Previously a K-12 music teacher in Macomb County’s Fraser Public Schools, Herbart served in numerous leadership roles within her local, including local president.

In 2012, she was elected president of MEA/NEA Local 1, serving 16 districts in Macomb and Wayne counties. She has served on the MEA and NEA Board of Directors, as chair of the 6-E Coordinating Council, and vice chair of both the MEA’s Local Option Coalition and the Instructional and Professional Development Committee. A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Music, Herbart lives in Lansing with her husband and son.

Stephen Henderson

Stephen Henderson is the host of “Detroit Today” on WDET 101.9 FM and of “American Black Journal” on Detroit Public Television. He is also a contributor to “MiWeek” on Detroit Public Television. In a 25-year newspaper career, Henderson was a reporter and editor at the Detroit Free Press, the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, where he covered the U.S. Supreme Court. His work has been honored with more than two dozen national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.

Keeping You in the Know on Legislative Updates From Lansing

Legislative Update: Minimum Wage and Paid Medical Leave

The Detroit Regional Chamber has actively engaged legislators since the adoption of the minimum wage and paid medical leave initiatives in September. The Michigan Senate acted swiftly and deliberately yesterday to amend these policies and ensure that they work for Michigan’s employers. As the House of Representatives continues to deliberate this important legislation next week, the Chamber is encouraging legislators to ensure the bills address the unique needs of our state’s employers and support Michigan’s ongoing economic expansion and continued job growth, while honoring the will and intent of Michigan’s residents and the unwavering efforts of so many to enact these reforms.

Chamber Supports Riverfront Growth Through BIZ Reform

Earlier today, the Chamber testified in support of legislation (HB 5720) that would enable the continued growth and success of Detroit’s riverfront by creating a mechanism for a sustainable funding source through changes to Michigan’s Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) statute. The Chamber will continue to advocate in collaboration with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Downtown Detroit Partnership for this important tool to help keep the Rivertown neighborhood clean and secure for commercial and residential property owners, visitors and patrons.

Small Cell Digital Communications Legislation Sent to Gov. Snyder

A proposed law (SB 637) to provide a uniform regulatory framework for the deployment of emerging 5G wireless technology has passed the Michigan Legislature and is awaiting Gov. Snyder’s signature. The Chamber supported this important legislation, building on broader, ongoing efforts to maintain Michigan’s leading role in the development and implementation of next-generation mobility and autonomous vehicle technology.

Legislative Advances for Recent Federal Tax Reforms

This week, SB 1097 and 1170 received legislative action to avoid unintended consequences as a result of recent federal tax reforms. The Chamber is engaging with legislators and encouraging the passage of both bills, which address the definition of taxable income and the tax deduction limitation on pass-through businesses in order to maintain Michigan’s competitive business climate and ensure that employers are not inadvertently penalized through increased tax obligations.





Three Foster Swift Attorneys Named to dbusiness 2019 Top Lawyers

Foster Swift attorneys Michael R. Blum, Lisa J. Hamameh and Frank T. Mamat have been named to the 2019 Top Lawyers list by dbusiness magazine. The dbusiness Top Lawyers list is a peer review survey that polls 19,000 attorneys throughout five counties in the metro Detroit area, among 50 legal specialties. All three attorneys practice from the firm’s Southfield office.

Blum is listed in the area of Labor and Employment Law and practices in the areas of labor law, employment law for both private and public employers, employment litigation and alternative dispute resolutions.

Hamameh is listed as a Top Lawyer in two categories: Land Use and Zoning law and Municipal Law. She complements her practice in the related areas of municipal law, representing cities, townships and villages; liquor licensing law; as well as condominium and homeowners’ association law.

Mamat is also listed in the area of Labor and Employment Law. Mamat focuses his practice on complex labor issues with a special focus on union matters, contract negotiations, OSHA and MIOSHA matters and unfair labor practice litigation among others.

For more information on dbusiness Top Lawyers, visit

Hakala Joins Plunkett Cooney’s Medical Litigation Practice Group

Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, continued the expansion of its medical litigation practice with the recent addition of attorney Justin J. Hakala.

An associate attorney in Plunkett Cooney’s Bloomfield Hills office, Hakala focuses his practice primarily in the area of medical malpractice liability defense. He represents physicians, health systems and hospitals in healthcare litigation and defends claims of alleged professional liability in cases involving birth trauma, cardiac arrest, nursing home care, missed diagnoses and ophthalmology. He has successfully served as first- and second-chair in numerous jury trials.

In addition to his medical malpractice practice, Hakala defends product liability cases. He has experience with mass tort cases involving defective medical devices and other products. Notably, Hakala is the author of the 2016 book titled: “Product Liability in Michigan,” which draws upon his years of experience as a plaintiff attorney as well as his perspectives for the defense.

Named a Rising Star in medical malpractice by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine since 2013, Hakala received his law degree, cum laude, from the Wayne State University Law School in 2009. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 2004.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, another leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also recently selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year winner.

For more information about attorney Justin Hakala joining the firm, please contact the firm’s Practice Development Manager John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;

Site Selectors Get Firsthand Look at a Changed Detroit During TrustBelt Conference

As a host sponsor for this year’s TrustBelt Conference at the Crowne Plaza in Detroit alongside DTE Energy, Michigan Economic Development Corp. and Consumers Energy, the Detroit Regional Chamber received valuable feedback from site selectors and economic development groups around the country about the city’s revitalization.

Focused on convening corporate decision-makers, site consultants and economic development agencies who make location decisions for businesses looking to expand, the TrustBelt Conference offed a unique opportunity for Destination Detroit, the Chamber’s business attraction team, to connect with site selectors and economic development agencies to showcase the region’s rebirth.

Site selectors expressed overall enthusiasm for the city. Many of those in attendance hadn’t visited Detroit since it exited bankruptcy. The Conference focused on continuing to propel the Midwest and especially the Detroit region’s economy. Conversations focused on the unique benefits the Midwest has. With access to Canada, proximity to a major international airport, and a robust talent and labor pool, the Detroit region has advantages that other areas aren’t privy to offering.

The region’s access to logistic and supply chain centers and proximity to the global automotive industry also make it appealing to companies both outside of Michigan and around the globe looking to expand into the U.S. market. However, when it comes to attracting and retaining the right talent, companies in Michigan must do a better job of adapting to the needs of today’s younger workforce.

“It was great to hear feedback on the city’s rebirth and hear firsthand how pleased everyone was to see the transformed city of Detroit,” said Alan Weber, director of Business Development for the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Key takeaways:

  • The Detroit region has transformed into an attractive area with many diverse assets that other locations lack, including talent and proximity to the global supply chain.
  • Collaboration is key to moving the region forward.
  • Companies must work to bridge the divide between the aging workforce and younger talent to meet the needs and expectations of both groups.

To learn more about Destination Detroit visit

Christine Greig

House Democratic Leader Christine Greig represents Michigan’s 37th District, which comprises Farmington and Farmington Hills.

In her first term, Rep. Greig was accepted into the Bowhay Institute of Legislative Leadership Development program and served as an assistant floor leader and vice-chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus. In her second term, Greig served as the House Democratic floor leader and was a member on the Government Operations and House Fiscal Agency Governing Committees, as well as the Legislative Council. Greig is focused on people-centered policies and an agenda that builds opportunities for all Michiganders by fixing the roads, making health care more affordable, cleaning the state’s water and strengthening Michigan’s public schools.

Before coming to the House, Greig served as a founder and executive director of the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation and president of the Farmington Area PTA Council from 2007 to 2011. She worked for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a consultant and for Kmart Corp. before co-owning Fulcrum Computer Services in Farmington Hills.

Greig earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies and computer applications from the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, Bob, have lived in Farmington Hills and have three sons, Andy, Alex, and Bill.

Matt Gillard

Matt Gillard is the president and CEO of Michigan’s Children, where he oversees all of Michigan’s Children’s programs and operations. As former state representative for the 106th District, Gillard served six years in the Michigan House of Representatives, concluding his service in 2008 due to term limits. A strategic leader with extensive experience in high-level negotiation and policy development, Gillard is dedicated to supporting the implementation of relevant and innovative public policy.

Formerly an attorney from Alpena, Gillard graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Albion College and Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University Law School. He is a member of the Michigan State Bar. Gillard also built a successful advocacy and consulting business, providing guidance to various organizations, constituencies, and decision-makers relative to education policy issues.

He lives in Okemos with his wife, Jessica, and their four children Gracie, Joel, Gus, and Pearl.