Nameless regional economic group launches, selects CEO

November 1, 2018 

The Detroit News

By: Breana Noble

A group of 15 CEOs from Southeast Michigan and the Detroit Regional Chamber have launched an unnamed regional economic entity dedicated to spurring job growth.

Barry Matherly, who heads a similar organization in Richmond, Virginia, will serve as the nonprofit’s CEO starting Jan. 3, working to attract out-of-state and international companies to the 11-county region. The organization will fill a need to attract new businesses to the region and create a single point of entry to connect businesses interested in opening up shop with the right resources.

“Site consultants have been pretty clear that you need to get a group like this to make your region much easier for businesses to enter,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy Co. CEO who leads the CEO group. “It’s really a place that is going to help bring new investment and make it much easier to enter. That’s our job.”

The nonprofit will spin off from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Destination Detroit business attraction program that operates off $750,000 per year. Five people currently work in the program and the plan is to expand that up to 20 employees.

“The intent or the goal is to increase our capacity to attract new business investment and jobs into the 11-county Detroit region,” said Sandy Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber CEO. “We’re doing that now. We want to do more of it.”

The informal group of CEOs, known as the Regional CEO Group, consists of leaders from the largest companies in the region including Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., Quicken affiliate Rock Ventures, Ilitch Holdings Inc., health-care systems and major foundations. They meet quarterly at DTE headquarters in Detroit to identify areas they can affect with funding and leadership: transit, job training, public place-making and economic development across Southeast Michigan.

Anderson said private corporations and foundations initially will fund the nonprofit, though he said he expects the public sector eventually will contribute, as well. Based on similarly sized regional economic development organizations, he said the target investment for the nonprofit is about $6 million.

Following a nationwide search, Matherly comes from the Greater Richmond Partnership, which covers the city of Richmond and three surrounding counties. During its 2017–2018 fiscal year, the partnership helped to create 20 economic development projects and 1,623 new jobs.

A certified economic developer, Matherly has more than 24 years of leadership experience and previously served as the chair of the International Economic Development Council, the largest economic development association in the world.

“The chance to build a region is just intoxicating to me,” he said. “That was one of the big drivers to be able to work in Southeast Michigan with a lot of people who want to have a very successful regional economic group.”

Matherly said his first steps will be to conduct a month-long “listen and learn tour” as he familiarizes himself with the Southeast Michigan business community. Anderson said he hopes the preliminary structure of the group will take shape by the end of the first quarter. Matherly said efforts will include increased marketing to raise the region’s profile and growing a pipeline of companies.

“Thank goodness Detroit has an excellent hub there with connections across the country and world,” he said.

In the meantime, market research efforts and collaboration are taking place to select a name for the nonprofit. Matherly said one will be chosen over the next three months.

Anderson will lead the nonprofit’s board that will grow overtime. So far it includes Baruah and Mayor Mike Duggan as well as Charles “Chip” McClure, the managing partner at Michigan Capital Advisors, and Ray Telang, greater Michigan managing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and Detroit Regional Chamber chair. Macomb and Wayne County executives Mark Hackel and Warren Evans are also on it. Phil Bertolini, Oakland County deputy executive, will serve in an advisory role.

Bertolini said Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is open to joining the board, though he is waiting to see how the group is formed and how it performs.

“We are very involved in the group,” Bertolini, however, said. “We are using the resources, and we are working with them.”

The CEO group made headlines in August when Patterson told reporters that he would sooner “join the Klan” than join the effort. He later apologized and changed course in September, telling The Detroit News that he was sending representatives from the county to a meeting for the group.

The tipping point, Bertolini said, was a meeting earlier this month between Anderson and Patterson.

“Early on, we were concerned it was being formed to strictly focus on the city of Detroit,” Bertolini said. “They’ve assured us that’s not the case, that they’ll be a neutral broker to all of the region. It’s important for us to be there to ensure that’s actually happening.”

Bertolini said Oakland County’s own economic development efforts have brought in nearly $5 billion in investment since 2004. He said the county would like the group to be transparent and provide new leads for economic growth.

“What success is going to look like is increased development opportunities,” Bertolini said, “and more jobs brought to the region.”

The 11 counties the nonprofit will serve are Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Claire, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Anderson said he expects representatives from all the counties will hold a board position or serve on a board committee.

View the original article here

Exploring the Talent Dividend in Southeast Michigan

By Greg Tasker

The urgent need to improve Southeast Michigan’s talent pool is reaffirmed in a study conducted by Georgetown University that shows that by 2020, at least 65 percent of all jobs will require some form of postsecondary education and training beyond high school. Nationally renowned economist Joe Cortright argues that retaining and growing the number of educated adults with a postsecondary degree is critical to a region’s economy. A 1 percentage point increase in the four-year college attainment rate is associated with about a $1,250 per year increase in average incomes in a metropolitan area. 

On Why Young, Educated Talent Matters 

“We are increasingly in a knowledge economy. Your success as an organization, as public-private partnerships, as communities depends on having smart, creative, innovative people.” 

Cortright’s research shows that U.S. cities that have the highest levels of per capita income also have the best-educated populations. There is also an education spillover effect. Living in a better educated region means workers have more job opportunities, higher wages and lower unemployment.  It also improves public services, infrastructure and other amenities. 

 On Detroit’s Economic Prosperity 

 “Detroit is starting from a tougher spot than most other places. The important thing to remember is to celebrate the successes you’ve already had: The city’s population is not declining anymore and things are visibility turning around. The big challenge is to figure out what the next iteration of Detroit looks like and get everyone involved.” 

 On Feeling Connected  

 “You must do a great job educating your children. Education is important to get even the minimum skills needed to do well in a knowledge-based economy. There’s a broader community task: How do we build communities where everyone fills connected and can find their ways to better education and better jobs and so on?” 

 On Building Places Young Talent Want to Live 

 “I think there is a substantial difference among metropolitan areas in the United States in how robust their urban core areas are. It’s not about making suburbs better. It’s about how do we make the urban core better. It’s shared space for everyone. The question is how do we transform the vibrancy of all the people who live in the community?” 

 On Detroit’s Selling Points 

 “Every city is a little bit different. I don’t think the answer is to look at another city and see how we can be more like that city. A lot of times people get fixated on what other cities have done that’s successful. What worked in places like Nashville, Portland or Austin doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Detroit is its own story.” 

 Greg Tasker is a metro Detroit freelance writer. 

 Data for Chart 

San Francisco: 48.5% adults ages 25 and older with a four-year degree or higher, $84,675 per capita income 

Seattle: 42% adults ages 25 and older with a four-year degree or higher, $64,553 per capita income 

 Boston: 46.9% adults ages 25 and older with a four-year degree or higher; $70,157 per capita income 

 Detroit: 30.4% adults ages 25 and older with a four-year degree or higher; $58,589 per capita income 

Detroit Regional Chamber Launches “Let’s Detroit” Talent Attraction and Retention Tool engages talent by connecting them to their peers through a website, one-of-a-kind texting function, social media and events.

DETROIT, Sept. 20, 2018 – With 36 percent of Michigan college graduates leaving the state within a year of graduation, the Detroit Regional Chamber and its partners created Let’s Detroit to attract and retain the talent to Southeast Michigan. Using a website, “Text a Detroiter” function, and social media engagement, the platform aims to achieve three main objectives: improve the narrative around Detroit and Southeast Michigan, increase the number of graduates retained, and cultivate an innovative, engaged and culture-focused business community to drive economic prosperity.

“Regional businesses have continued to indicate the No. 1 issue they have is attracting and retaining talent,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Let’s Detroit will increase retention of talented professionals fleeing to cities like New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles by helping them connect to the Detroit region, in a way they will respond to.”

Let’s Detroit showcases local ambassadors in several focus areas and creates a platform for others to connect and find their community. There are texting and employment ambassadors that are the voices representing the Detroit region to their peers. These individuals are the young professionals and others who are immersed in their communities and want to help others get connected.

  • Employment ambassadors are people currently engaged with a Southeast Michigan professional industry group willing to connect with users about their field of work via LinkedIn, Twitter, email, or potentially text. Users will reach out to ask questions, get advice, and how to expand their network.
  • “Text a Detroiter” ambassadors are people who love to text and want to share knowledge about their communities with others. Texting ambassadors select topics they want to talk about (i.e. networking events, nightlife, places to eat, etc.) and users connect through a protected, third party number to ask questions, get recommendations and learn.

The Chamber conducted global and local research on what successful regions are doing to retain and attract talent and it revealed key findings that led to Let’s Detroit:

  • Human resource professionals need help attracting talent to the region.
  • Young professionals don’t want to be marketed to; they want to make a difference in their communities; and they need an “in” to help navigate career, social and other aspects of the region.
  • Talent in Southeast Michigan cares most about their career path, as well as other quality of life aspects like regional transit, placemaking and recreation.

To ensure the process was collaborative, the Chamber brought together a talent retention working group of nearly 100 public, private, nonprofit and grassroots organizations across Southeast Michigan to provide insight and feedback throughout the process.

The launch of Let’s Detroit was generously supported by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). In addition, The Department of Talent and Economic Development (TED) is an active partner in the development of Let’s Detroit in coordination with their statewide “Choose Michigan” initiative. Through this effort, Let’s Detroit can serve as a wireframe for other regions in the state if they want to implement a similar talent strategy. To continue to be successful, the Chamber is seeking additional support for the Let’s Detroit platform. Please visit to explore and learn more.

 About Let’s Detroit

Let’s Detroit was created by the Detroit Regional Chamber to retain the young talent leaving the state. Using a website, texting communication, and social media engagement, the program aims to achieve three main objectives: improve the narrative around Detroit and Southeast Michigan, increase graduates in Southeast Michigan, and cultivate an innovative, engaged and culture-focused business community to drive economic prosperity. Let’s Detroit was launched to help achieve the Chamber’s goal of increasing postsecondary education attainment in the region to 60 percent by 2030. Explore at

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.

Media contact: Kelly Weatherwax,, 313.596.0360


Under Construction: Michigan’s Build-To-Suit Market

By Paul Vachon

Several years into Michigan’s economic recovery has provided the business community with a unique perspective: One that has begun to show the fruit of years of rightsizing, innovating and reimagining their mission. The return of a healthy economy has cleared away excess inventories and set the stage for new expansion.

Despite significant industry diversification, however, automotive and manufacturing dominates Southeast Michigan, which makes the status of the industrial real estate market a key indicator of economic health. According to a recent report by Colliers International, the region’s overall vacancy rate stands at 4 percent — a historic low.

Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction at the Detroit Regional Chamber, attributed this durability to a strong local economy and not just to the routine swing of the market pendulum.

“Right now, the market looks stable for the next several years. One factor is that during the last downturn many of the older, more inefficient buildings were demolished, thus removing that space from the market,” Robinson said. “These were mostly legacy buildings constructed from the 1950s to the 1970s that had been home to OEMs and tier one suppliers. The market has thus been rightsized, so even if it were to experience a downturn, I don’t think it would have a significant impact.”

Despite the tight supply, new space is being added slowly and cautiously, with build-to-suit as the predominate mode of construction. Industry experts say that this is due to a low appetite for risk on the part of many investors.

This approach has both pros and cons, Moran explained. A big disadvantage is the lead time involved with these types of projects. A company opening a new plant generally wants to be up and running within six to nine months, a realistic timetable if a preexisting building can be found. However, Robinson said the schedule for a build-to-suit project is much more time consuming.

“An average building can take as much as 18 months to deliver by the time you identify the site, address potential brownfield issues, get the infrastructure in the ground and put up the structure,” he said.

“This type of timeline can be difficult for many companies.” Robinson pointed out that in other major metropolitan areas, speculative building is common, but its relative scarcity in Southeast Michigan often forces tenants to be creative.

“They might have to take an older or smaller structure and modify it to meet their needs,” Robinson said. An advantage to the build-to-suit option is the ability for the client to specify features that will meet his or her unique needs and operate at maximum efficiency.

As Moran explained, some examples might include a minimal floor thickness to support heavy equipment, steel framing strong enough to accommodate overhead cranes or other equipment, and a sufficient HVAC system that meets state and federal regulations.

As the overall market matures, developers report that build-to-suit options are becoming more specialized. Ryan Dembs, CEO of Dembs Development in Farmington Hills, said that while his company’s build-to- suit volume is increasing, much of it is for technology-related companies. Dembs said his company does do a limited number of on-spec buildings and anticipates other developers will gradually fall in line as their confidence level increases. One developer that recently resumed embracing speculative development is New York-based Ashley Capital, which builds and manages industrial real estate throughout the eastern United States and has an office in Canton.

“In Michigan, we manage 18 to 20 million square feet, the clear majority of which is space we built on greenfields or brownfields, or existing, often blighted, buildings we renovated. In both cases, we worked without a tenant in hand and subsequently leased the buildings out,” said Susan Harvey, senior vice president at Ashley Capital.

“We’re just finishing our first speculative project since the end of the Great Recession, on the site of the Hazel Park Raceway, a 575,000-square-foot building,” she added. For Ashley Capital and others, the gradual emergence from the recession has been fraught with obstacles.

“Lending practices have changed, and it’s gotten more difficult for developers to put together deals for spec buildings,” Harvey said. She does, however, express cautious optimism for the future both locally and throughout the nation.

Paul Vachon is a metro Detroit freelance writer.

Read more from this issue below: 

Detroit-Area Developers Choose to Reuse

Dan Gilbert Taking Detroit to Overdrive

The Ilitch Touch: Transforming Detroit’s Downtown



Detroit’s Next Opportunity: A Premier Destination for Health Care Innovation, Investment

With high-quality hospitals, world-renowned programs and nationally recognized research universities and medical schools, the Detroit region is a premier location for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs who want to lead the health care industry. But unfortunately, it remains a hidden jewel.

Promoting that message to industry leaders across the state and country has been a key focus of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s HealthForward initiative this year.

“Despite Southeast Michigan’s robust health care ecosystem, it has not achieved recognition as a national destination for health or a hub of health care innovation and jobs,” said Roy Lamphier, the Chamber’s vice president of health care and business solutions.

Changing that narrative, Lamphier said, builds on the Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy to sustain Southeast Michigan as one of the fastest growing regions in the country.

“It’s about getting the message out there among professional health care players — hospitals, suppliers, insurers and providers — as well as entrepreneurs — about why Detroit can be a player in the new health economy,” Lamphier said. “Subsequently, that will help attract more talent, investment and jobs for the region.”

To do that, Lamphier said the Chamber has already begun meeting with health care stakeholders to craft the region’s story. He said plans are also underway to convene regional CEOs and C-suite leaders to define the health care story.

“The Chamber is in a position where we touch a large cross-section of the health care industry. Bringing these key players together to think about the future and craft the message we want to tell the rest of the world is in our collective interest,” Lamphier said.

But it is only one piece of the puzzle.

Detroit also ranks at the bottom 20th percentile nationwide in the overall health and wellbeing of its workforce, impacting the competitiveness of the region.

Building on its longtime effort to educate employers on ways to lower costs on care, the Chamber is going a step further by working with business and health leaders to craft a placemaking strategy focused on projects, programs and policies to support healthy communities.

“We’re not focused on creating capacity and adding cost to the system,” Lamphier said. “We want to determine the business agenda on health and tie that agenda to leadership action,” Lamphier said.

Recently, the Chamber partnered with Crain’s Detroit Business for a Health Care Leaders Dinner (pictured) featuring 40 academic, government, health and civic leaders to identify areas where the business community can make an impact on a recurring basis.

“Our end goal is to help businesses make investments that raise the health and well-being of the region’s workforce,” Lamphier said. “The more money we pour into treating sickness is money that could have gone into wages and investment. We need to start investing upstream to get ahead of the curve.”

By both marketing the region’s health care assets and taking steps toward creating a healthy workforce, Lamphier said  Southeast Michigan can craft a vibrant health ecosystem attractive to investment and talent in the 21st century.

For more information on how to get involved with HealthForward, contact Roy Lamphier at, or 313.596.0381. For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at, or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Michigan Coalition receives $5.97 million Department of Defense Grant

DETROIT, Mich. – The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded a $5.97 million grant to support an Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative in Southeast Michigan.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative clears the path to the discovery and growth of emerging markets and industries by providing immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The coalition coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) provided a cash match along with in-kind funding from the Michigan Defense Center—an operation of the MEDC—to obtain these funds. Macomb County Economic Development and the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) for Southeast Michigan also provided matching funds. A special thank you is also extended to Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, and Congressman Sander Levin for providing letters of support for the initiative.

Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Investment Board (M/SCWB) working on behalf of Macomb County Government, will administer the grant with management assistance from the Workforce Intelligence Network.

The grant funding will be used on a variety of projects to identify and diversify Michigan’s defense portfolio, expand educational and workforce training for emerging markets, and provide opportunities for Michigan companies engaged in the defense economy.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative will support resiliency and capacity in:

· Autonomous transportation and connected mobility (particularly the electronics, sensors, and componentry sector)

· Lightweight materials manufacturing sector

· Information technology with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products

“The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative is committed to identifying new opportunities for Michigan businesses and workers that play a critical role in our country’s defense,” said Senator Stabenow. “Thanks to the work of the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board and Workforce Intelligence Network, this project will help strengthen the connections between defense, advanced manufacturing, and cutting-edge research that is truly unique here in Southeast Michigan.”

“Southeast Michigan has been an important defense asset for generations, and the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative will help ensure that this crucial sector of our economy can continue to grow,” said Senator Gary Peters. “I’m honored to help announce this funding that will help promote the development of new technologies and create job opportunities in areas from cybersecurity to autonomous vehicles and smart mobility that will ensure our state and our country continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge that Southeast Michigan’s companies offer.”

“This funding will assist the MEDC and our partners in providing tools and training to offset some of the contraction in the federal defense budget that has affected our companies and workers in Michigan,” says Sean Carlson, VP MEDC, Michigan Defense Center. “These projects will help us identify the vast logistics and acquisition network in Michigan that serves the defense industry as well as grow opportunities for our companies to expand into new and emerging markets.”

“This award highlights the unrivaled set of circumstances we have here in Southeastern Michigan,” said Congressman Sandy Levin. “Our skilled workforce, strong manufacturing base, and longtime collaboration with the auto and defense industries at TACOM and TARDEC all make our region especially competitive for private-public partnerships that can lead to cost savings and new jobs.”

Currently, thousands of Michigan companies, supporting over 52,000 Michigan jobs, bring billions of federal defense dollars to Michigan’s economy. Michigan is home to the U.S. Army’s Detroit Arsenal, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM), Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Army Acquisition Center (AAC), numerous Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) operations as well as Michigan National Guard bases and installations throughout Michigan with active, reserve and National Guard units.

Advance Michigan Partnership
The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative is an investment of Advance Michigan, an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation extended by the White House in partnership with 16 federal-government departments. The Advance Michigan area includes the urban centers of Detroit, Flint and Lansing and the counties of Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. Designated communities are eligible to compete for federal funding from the participating departments, looking to support the growth of manufacturing jobs and related prosperity.

Projects supported by the OEA grant include:

· Establishment of a “Defense Contractor Transition Center” for displaced defense workers

· Formation of a regional Connected Life Collaborative and a strategy and implementation plan for a Connected Life Lab (internet of things) aimed at entrepreneurship and commercialization around connected products

· Development of 2-3 new cyber range facilities and Merit Secure Sandbox testing centers in the region

· Pilot of a university-based Detroit Regional Cyber Training Center

· Regional connectivity plan including asset map and strengths assessment, along with a strategy and action plan to move an overall connected economic development strategy forward

· Launch of 1-3 related demonstrations of autonomous and connected project technologies, with targeted firms receiving technical assistance and commercialization support for their concepts

· Various initiatives to support capacity of the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative, including a regional defense supply chain map; participation in a national network of 13,500 members with commercialization interest and expertise, along with a regional technology transfer/innovation plan; enhancement of the state’s bid targeting system (BTS) to better connect suppliers to business opportunities; economic impact analysis of the Michigan defense industry; defense skills-gap analysis; and action plans and staffing support for the Michigan Automated Systems Collaborative and Opportunity Detroit Tech.

Walsh College Board of Trustees Elects Bournias, Kulak to Foundation Board of Directors

The Walsh College Board of Trustees has elected Laurie Bournias, first vice president and wealth management advisor, Merrill Lynch; and Denise Kulak, owner and operator, Other Fun Stuff, LLC; to three-year terms on the Walsh College Foundation Board of Directors.

Established in 2004, the Walsh College Foundation serves as the official fundraising arm of the College. The Foundation encourages private giving and ensures the integrity of the College’s philanthropy program.

It is staffed by employees of the College and led by volunteers who are business, industry, and community leaders. Walsh alumni comprise 72 percent of the 25-member Foundation Board of Directors.

Bournias graduated from Walsh College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. She joined Merrill Lynch in 1994. As a wealth management advisor, Bournias works with an exclusive group of high net-worth individuals, families, and businesses in developing and implementing strategies to manage their wealth.

She holds the prestigious Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Additionally, Bournias has received the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation.

Kulak earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Walsh College in 2000. At Other Fun Stuff, which is a unique, creative gift boutique she founded in 2012 in Birmingham, Mich., Kulak personally manages customer service, product, pricing, promotion, and financials. She has spent more than 20 years in various retail roles.

Kulak has received several awards and recognitions of her business and commitment to others, including the 2014 Best of MichBusiness “One Person Wonder” award and as a finalist in the Entrepreneur-YOU business plan competition. Kulak is also a member of Blackstone LaunchPad at Walsh College, which provides Walsh students and alumni with the support they need to develop and launch their own business ideas or concepts. It is free of charge to Walsh students and alumni and helps transform untested ideas into vital businesses.

“Both of these extraordinary women are accomplished leaders in their industries and are passionate about serving their alma mater and their communities,” said Audrey Olmstead, vice president and chief development officer, Walsh College.

”Laurie offers financial expertise earned through a large financial organization, while Denise brings entrepreneurial spirit and savvy to promoting quality of life through creativity,” she added. “These two Walsh alumnae will bring important experience from diverse viewpoints to the Walsh Foundation in the years ahead.”

For more information, visit

Walsh College Welcomes Returning Fulbright Scholar Gilkey

Susan J. Gilkey, Ph.D., associate professor and clinical faculty member, Management, Walsh College, has returned to campus after service late last year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Ecole de Gouvernance et d’Economie in Rabat, Morocco.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided the opportunity for students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists to study, teach, and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Dr. Gilkey’s primary lecture focus during her month-long tenure in Morocco in 2014 was cross-cultural leadership behaviors. At Walsh, she has taught classes at the master and undergraduate levels in subject areas such as ethics, leadership, strategic management, foundations of international business, and production and operations management.

“The student population in Morocco is very diverse, with French, Spanish, and Arabic influences,” said Dr. Gilkey, Walsh’s fourth Fulbright Scholar. “The students enjoyed our engagement in the topic of leadership. It was also rewarding to meet with doctoral students to discuss their research topics and tools.”

She added that there was particular interest in the relationships between manufacturing, agriculture, and the service sectors.

Dr. Gilkey sought the position in Morocco as a capstone to a lifetime of global travels. “All of those experiences have been helpful in providing a relevant, contemporary context to global business practices here at Walsh,” she said.

Dr. Gilkey holds three degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University; an Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University; and a doctorate in organizational psychology from Capella University.

Prior to joining the Walsh faculty, Dr. Gilkey spent more than 27 years in the automotive industry at General Motors (GM), as well as organizational consulting experiences in executive assessments and career transition consulting.

In product development at GM, she served as an interior appearance engineer, executive business manager, strategic business planner, prototype studio manager, and vehicle architecture coordinator.

Dr. Gilkey also instructed on organizational training topics such as change management, benchmarking, process evaluation and improvement, problem resolution, and team building.

For more information, go to

Walsh College Opens Registration for Spring 2015 Semester Classes

Registration for spring 2015 semester classes at Walsh College, a leading, all-business college and one of Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, is now open through Thursday, April 9. Classes begin Friday, April 3.

On “Walk in Wednesdays,” students can meet with an advisor directly, have transcripts evaluated, apply, and register for classes. Appointments are suggested at all other times. Call 1-800-WALSH-01 or email

Walsh offers fully accredited degrees at the bachelor and master levels, as well as graduate-level certificates.

Undergraduate programs offered at Walsh include Bachelor of Accountancy; Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in Accounting Processes, Finance, General Business, Management, or Marketing; and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

Graduate programs include Master of Business Administration (MBA); Master of Science in Accountancy (MAC); Master of Science in Finance (MSF); Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT); Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership (MSITL); Master of Science in Management (MSM); Master of Science in Marketing (MSMKT); and Master of Science in Taxation (MST).

Dual-degree options are available as MBA/MSF; MBA/MSITL; MBA/MSM; and MBA/MSMKT. The MS programs share essential courses with the MBA program. MS programs may also be taken separately.

Business certificate programs for credit vary in length from three to five courses, some of which can be completed on campus or online, including Finance, Human Resources Management, Project Management, and Taxation.

Walsh College offers a range of scholarships to newly admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate students. A limited number of scholarships are also available to newly admitted, degree-seeking graduate students. Walsh College has 27,000 alumni worldwide. More than 85 percent of its alumni live and work in Michigan.

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Walsh College Hosts IMA President and CEO Thomson at Student Success Series Forum

Jeffrey C. Thomson, president and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), will be the featured speaker at the Walsh College Student Success Series at 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, in room 199, Barry Center, Walsh College Troy campus, 3838 Livernois Road.

The event is free and is open to Walsh alumni and the general public. Registration is requested at

The Walsh Student Success Speaker Series provides opportunities to network with outstanding business leaders who offer business experiences, stories, and life lessons.

Thomson will update Walsh students on current and future trends in the accounting profession, career paths, and professional certification. IMA is the leading worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals working in business. It represents more than 70,000 members who work in public and private corporations, academia, and not-for-profit institutions.

Accounting Today honored Thomson with his inclusion in the publication’s annual “Top 100 Most Influential People List” in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin recognized Thomson in its “Global Accountancy Power 50” list of leading influencers. He is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a Certified Association Executive (CAE).

Prior to joining IMA, Thomson worked at AT&T for more than two decades where he served in various financial, strategic, and operational roles. In his last position at AT&T, he served as the chief financial officer for business sales, an $18 billion revenue operation.

“The IMA encourages high standards for the accounting profession and offers superior support for its practitioners,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “We are honored that Jeffrey will discuss important trends, principles, and values in the profession directly with Walsh students on our campus.”

Thomson was also named by Trust as one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” for the past four years in a row. The award celebrates professionals, including CEOs, educators, researchers and other experts, who are elevating societal trust and transforming how organizations conduct business.

Shortly after assuming his role as president and CEO of IMA in 2008, Thomson introduced IMA’s Global Core Values, solidifying the association’s reputation as a trustworthy and valuable business partner. Strengthened by Thomson’s commitment to ethical behavior, IMA has grown in size, influence and respect while pursuing partnerships that serve the public interest.

Thomson holds a master’s degree in statistics from Montclair State University, received a certificate in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and completed the Columbia University Senior Executive Leadership Program. In 2008, he participated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management Certificate Program in Innovation.

His Walsh appearance is supported by the College’s Accounting and Tax Student Organization.