Medicaid Expansion Passes Senate, Headed Back to House

After waiting through the summer for the Michigan Senate to vote on Medicaid reform, supporters, including the Detroit Regional Chamber were finally able to declare victory, as the Senate passed the bill with a 20-18 vote this week. The bill, which now heads back to the House, would expand coverage to approximately 300,000 individuals at 133 percent of the federal poverty line.

Expanding Medicaid allows Michigan to lower health care costs by reducing the level of uncompensated care, and encouraging low-income individuals to pursue care from a primary care physician instead of the much costlier emergency room. It also puts into place key reforms that will allow for greater cost-sharing and increased incentives for Medicaid participants to adopt healthy behaviors. The expansion also will help keep business’ health care costs in check by reducing levels of uncompensated care.

The expansion will be paid for by the federal government for the first three years and they will pay 90 percent in the years after. Estimates from the University of Michigan indicate that these savings will more than pay for the increased financial expectations of the state as federal assistance declines.

Sandy Baruah on ‘Morning Joe’ Detroit Broadcast

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” broadcast from the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant on Thursday, August 29 and featured a roundtable focused on the next steps as Detroit navigates bankruptcy. The three-hour morning news program hosted regional leaders including in a discussion focused on all things Motor City including why Detroit is a great place to do business.

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO and President Sandy Baruah appeared alongside Bedrock Manufacturing CEO Heath Carr and Carhartt Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Linda Hubbard. “Morning Joe” hosts, and 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference speakers, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough led a brief discussion about what needs to be done to attract businesses and strengthen the pro-growth climate in Detroit.

Plante Moran Announces the Election of Seven New Michigan Partners

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., August 29, 2013 – Plante Moran, one of the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, has elected 12 new partners firmwide. Seven of them are based in Michigan.

Dennis Bagley is based in Southfield and focuses on information technology and operations consulting for public sector clients across the United States. He holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Michigan–Dearborn and an MBA from the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business.

Jason Drake, CPA, is based in Auburn Hills and co-leads the International Concierge Desk at Plante Moran. His practice focuses on assurance and consulting services for global and private equity-owned businesses. Jason also led the formation and manages the operations of Plante Moran’s Mumbai, India location. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University.

Lonnie Maxwell-Cook, CPA, is based in Flint. Maxwell-Cook focuses on audit, review, compilation, accounting, tax and business advisory services for clients in the construction, manufacturing and service industries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration/accounting from Northwood University.

Carole McNees, CPA, is based in Kalamazoo and leads the professional standards team for the firm’s real estate and construction industry group, serving developers, institutional and investment funds, contractors, homebuilders and others. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from Western Michigan University.

Matthew Petrucci is based in Southfield. Petrucci focuses on leading financial due diligence engagements for proposed acquisitions by private equity funds and their portfolio companies, real estate investment trusts and middle-market companies strategically expanding their businesses. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Northern Michigan University.

Stacey Reeves, CPA, is based in Southfield and focuses on helping governmental, not-for-profit and family office clients implement long-term financial forecasts, analyze and mitigate risks to their organizations and ensure compliance with regulatory agencies. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Wayne State University.

Jason Widman, CPA, is based in Ann Arbor. Widman leads the business and consumer services vertical in Plante Moran’s service industry, serving owner-managed and private equity-owned clients in the middle market. His practice focuses on financial statement reporting, tax consulting and preparation and general business consulting. Jason holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Kalamazoo College and a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan.

ABOUT PLANTE MORANPlante Moran is among the nation’s largest accounting, tax and consulting firms and provides a full line of services to organizations in the following industries: manufacturing and distribution, financial institutions, service, health care, private equity, public sector and real estate and construction. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work. For more information, visit plantemoran.com.

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Health care community invited to Fourth Mackinac Learning Collaborative Outcomes Congress on Sept. 17

Event puts spotlight on integrating collaborative care teams in behavioral health and primary care following the patient-centered medical home model

Troy, Mich. —Aug. 29, 2013— Health care leaders are invited to attend the fourth annual Mackinac Learning Collaborative Outcomes Congress on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch. The event features transformation success stories from 12 primary care practices from Southeast Michigan who have attained or are transitioning to what is known as the patient centered medical home (PCMH) model. It is sponsored by Practice Transformation Institute (PTI), which provides the health care community with Continuing Medical Education and customized learning programs that improve patient health outcomes and the individual care delivery experience.

The Mackinac Learning Collaborative is focused on transformation to a more patient-centric approach in small, primary care physician practices and this year’s session focused on integrating behavioral health in the primary care practice setting for conditions such as depression, suicide risk and addiction. The Outcomes Congress will highlight how individual primary care practices implemented measurable process changes and then documented clinical outcome improvements as a result of their Mackinac Learning Collaborative participation. Participating practice teams are:

  •  Anchor Bay Clinic Family Medical Center, P.C.
  •  Country Creek Family Physicians
  •  Country Creek Pediatrics
  •  Michigan Healthcare Professionals P.C.
  •  Rosa Parks Geriatric Center of Excellence- DMC
  •  Hampton Medical Center
  •  Health Centers Detroit Foundation
  •  John R Medical Clinic
  •  Macomb Pediatric Associates
  •  Ronald Williamson, MD, P.C.
  •  Wayne State University Physician Group –Family Medicine Residency
  •  WSUPG-Internal Medicine

Mackinac Learning Collaborative IV was co-chaired by Kevin M. Taylor, M.D., M.S., FACP, a practicing internist in the Ann Arbor area and a leader in the patient centered medical home movement, and Lori Zeman, Ph.D., Director of Behavioral Health Integration at Rochester-based MedNetOne Health Solutions and an Assistant Professor in the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences.

As implementation of health care reform enters the urgency stage, the Mackinac Learning Collaborative participants are establishing benchmarks for transformation at the primary care practice level.

“True health care reform cannot happen without the primary care physician community getting fully engaged in the process,” said Dr. Taylor, “Through the Mackinac Learning Collaborative, physicians and their practice teams are making transformative changes to the way primary care medicine, including behavior health, is delivered and are re-focusing efforts on patient-centric care.”

THE MACKINAC LEARNING COLLABORATIVE OUTCOMES CONGRESS
What: An up-close view of how 12 Southeast Michigan-based primary care medical practices, generally with one or two physician leaders and a staff less than ten, went through a series of process changes and enhanced behavior health services to improve whole person patient care; qualitative and quantitative outcomes data from the Collaborative will be shared

When: Tuesday, Sept. 17; registration and continental breakfast at 8:30am; program begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs through 3:30 p.m., including lunch

Who should attend: Members of the greater health care community; employers

Where: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch; 1600 East Warren Avenue, Detroit Michigan

Cost: There is no cost to attend but registration is mandatory due to security requirements at the Federal Reserve. A picture ID is required upon arrival.

To register: Contact Laurel English at lenglish@transformcoach.org or call 248-475-4704 for more information.

About the Patient-Centered Medical Home
The ultimate goal of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) is to improve patient health through an efficient, patient-centered health care delivery system. At its core, PCMH is founded on the patient/physician relationship and seeks to transform the primary care physician’s office to ultimately renovate our health care system for better health outcomes, increased viability and long term cost effectiveness.

About Practice Transformation Institute (PTI)
Practice Transformation Institute is Michigan’s leading provider of CME and IACET accredited experiential learning programs for the Patient-Centered Medical Home and other primary care transformation initiatives. PTI was the first training organization in the country to be certified by URAC to audit primary care practices aiming for PCHCH designation. Practice Transformation Institute is a founding partner of the Mackinac Learning Collaborative, a learning community linking Michigan physicians with their peers to rapidly test and implement meaningful, sustainable change within their physician practices. PTI also runs the Physician’s Training Center in Madison Heights. To learn more about Practice Transformation Institute or the Mackinac Learning Collaborative, please visit www.transformcoach.org.

 

Doeren Mayhew Staff to Join the Ranks of Firm Managers

TROY, MICH. – Aug. 29, 2013 – Doeren Mayhew, a Michigan-based certified public accounting and advisory firm with locations in Michigan, Texas and Florida, has announced the promotion of six of its staff within its headquarters in Troy, Mich. Effective Oct. 1, 2013, John P. Burns, Kyle S. Lusczakoski, Tyler M. Mitchell, Linda M. Pelczarski, David A. Praet and Stephen T. Skok will join more than 50 managers in the firm.

Each staff is being promoted to manager within their designated services area and will take on added responsibilities, including engagement oversight and increased interaction with clients, providing valuable insight for their long-term sustainability.

Accounting, Audit and Assurance Manager PromotionsTyler M. Mitchell, CPA, MBA joined the firm in 2008 and has worked alongside construction, health care, automotive dealership, manufacturing and oil distribution clients, performing a wide range of accounting, audit and assurance services to deliver an accurate financial picture of clients’ organizations. Tyler was an Audit Associate at the firm before his promotion.

Strategic Advisory Manager PromotionsDavid A. Praet, MBA, has been responsible for providing technical and practical analysis in business financing, mergers and acquisitions, and business valuations for the firm’s clients since joining Doeren Mayhew in 2008. David was a Consultant/Senior Analyst at the firm before his promotion.

Tax Manager PromotionsJohn P. Burns, CPA, MSA, MST joined the firm in 2010 and has been relied on by manufacturing, construction and service provider clients to assist them with all their domestic, international, individual and business tax needs. John was a Tax Associate at the firm before his promotion.

Kyle S. Lusczakoski, CPA, MST has assisted with the firm’s manufacturing, construction, real estate and auto dealer clients since 2008, completing their personal and business tax returns while minimizing their tax liabilities. Kyle was a Tax Associate at the firm before his promotion.

Stephen T. Skok, CPA, MST manages all the firm’s property tax returns and related audits.. Additionally, he has assisted construction, auto dealership, manufacturing, not-for-profit and service provider clients with meeting their tax planning and compliance needs since joining Doeren Mayhew in 2007. Stephen was a Tax Associate at the firm before his promotion.

Moore Stephens Doeren Mayhew International Tax Manager PromotionsLinda M. Pelczarski, CPA has more than 15 years of public accounting experience, providing general ledger management, tax planning and compliance, and business advisory services. She joined the firm’s international practice in 2007. Linda was an Associate at the firm before her promotion.

About Doeren Mayhew

Founded in 1932, Doeren Mayhew is a leading group of CPAs and trusted advisors who go beyond traditional accounting to help mid-sized businesses grow and prosper. The firm’s Michigan CPAs, Houston CPAs and Ft. Lauderdale CPAs serve industries such as manufacturing, construction, energy, financial institutions, service, retail/restaurant, wholesalers/distribution with a full range of accounting, audit, tax, merger and acquisition, and business advisory services. Combining a deeply rooted history with a progressive mindset, the firm offers insight into the business, oversight to ensure best practices and foresight for what’s ahead. Doeren Mayhew is an independent firm associated with Moore Stephens International Limited. Please visit www.doeren.com for more information.

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Five Butzel Long attorneys named Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” 2014 in key practice areas

DETROIT, Mich. – Five Butzel Long attorneys have been named Best Lawyers® “Lawyer of the Year” 2014 in key practice areas. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year,” making this accolade particularly significant. The attorneys include:

  •  Robert A. Boonin – Employment Law – Management – Ann Arbor
  •  Robert A. Hudson – International Trade and Finance Law – Detroit
  •  Justin G. Klimko – Corporate Law – Detroit
  •  Thomas L. Shaevsky – Litigation – ERISA – Bloomfield Hills
  •  James J. Urban – Construction Law – Lansing

Lawyers being honored as “Lawyer of the Year” are selected based on particularly impressive voting averages received during the exhaustive peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers each year. Receiving this designation reflects the high level of respect a lawyer has earned among other leading lawyers in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, their professionalism, and their integrity. Best Lawyers® began designating “Lawyers of the Year” in the U.S. in high-profile legal practice areas in 2009.

Since it was first published in 1983, The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 (copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc. of Aiken, SC). has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which nearly 50,000 leading attorneys cast almost five million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Robert A. Boonin

Boonin is a shareholder based in the firm’s Ann Arbor office. His law practice is largely concentrated in the areas of labor, employment discrimination and education law. He has represented public and private sector clients across the country, in more than 30 jurisdictions, in wrongful termination, employment discrimination, wage and hour, tenure proceedings and other employment-related lawsuits and claims, as well as in labor grievance arbitrations, labor negotiations, unfair labor practices and representational proceedings and labor strikes.

Boonin has been recognized by Best Lawyers® in America since 2012 in the following categories: Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment.

Boonin is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers; Fellow and former President – Litigation Counsel of America; Chair-Elect of the Michigan State Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section; and, Chair of the Wage and Hour Defense Institute. He also is listed as a top lawyer in Chambers USA and Michigan Super Lawyers.

Boonin is an honors graduate of The University of Michigan Law School (J.D. 1985) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S. Economics 1976). He also holds a Master’s Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Michigan State University (M.L.I.R. 1980).

Robert A. Hudson

Robert A. Hudson is a shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office and serves as Chair of the firm’s Corporate Department. He represents domestic and foreign public and private companies and high-technology companies in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, e-commerce and general business matters.

He has extensive experience in securities matters including numerous public and private equity and debt offerings, venture capital finance, compliance, reporting requirements, doing private transactions, investment management, the organization of hedge funds and corporate governance matters. He regularly assists foreign-based companies in connection with U.S. and cross-border transactions, joint ventures, distribution and sale arrangements and trade matters. His industry expertise includes manufacturing, high-technology including software, internet and computer services, financial services, automotive and real estate investment trusts. Hudson has been recognized by Best Lawyers® in America since 1997 in the following categories: Corporate Law; International Trade and Finance Law.
Hudson is a graduate of Wayne State University (B.A. with Distinction, 1969; J.D., cum laude, 1972).

Justin G. Klimko

Klimko is Butzel Long’s President and Managing Shareholder and is based in the firm’s Detroit office. He has extensive experience in securities regulation, corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate matters, fields in which he has practiced since 1980.

He taught corporation law for five years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, frequently lectures and authors articles on business law subjects and has served as general editor of a treatise on Michigan Business Forms and a contributing author for a treatise on Michigan contract law.

Klimko has been recognized by Best Lawyers® in America since 1995 in the following categories: Business Organizations including LLCs and Partnerships; Corporate Compliance Law; Corporate Governance Law; Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities/ Capital Markets Law, and, Securities Regulation. He also was designated Best Lawyers’ 2012 Corporate Governance Law Lawyers of the Year for Detroit and received a Lexology Client Choice Award for Mergers and Acquisitions for 2013 and the 2009 Stephen H. Schulman Outstanding Business Lawyer Award from the Business Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Klimko graduated from Duke University Law School (J.D., with distinction, 1980) and Ohio University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1977).

Thomas L. Shaevsky

Shaevsky is a shareholder based in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office and is practice leader of the firm’s Employee Benefits Group. He advises large multinational corporations, physicians and other professional practices, hospitals and other nonprofit employers, as well as individuals, on compliance and planning issues pertaining to a wide range of retirement, pension, and welfare plan issues.

His experience includes counseling on fiduciary duty compliance, prohibited transaction avoidance and correction, reporting and disclosure issues, mergers and acquisitions due diligence, QDROs, as well as COBRA, HIPAA, and other benefits issues. Shaevsky represents clients undergoing IRS and U.S. Department of Labor audits.

Shaevsky is an adjunct professor of law at Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Shaevsky has been recognized by Best Lawyers® in America – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law; Litigation since 2011.

Shaevsky is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1992, magna cum laude, The Order of the Coif; Michigan Law Review: Contributing Editor), and the University of Michigan (B.A., with high distinction, Angell Scholar, 1989).

James J. Urban

Urban is Managing Shareholder, Butzel Long’s State Capitol office and Manager of the firm’s State Capitol Practice Group. His practice is focused in the representation of heavy construction infrastructure contractors and their trade associations in the public and private sectors.

Urban has been listed each year in Best Lawyers in America®, Construction Law; Litigation-Construction and in Michigan Super Lawyers since 2007. He has published numerous articles and is a frequent speaker on public contracting and construction law issues.

Urban is a graduate of Michigan State University (B.A., 1977) and the Thomas M. Cooley Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1982).

About Butzel Long

Established in 1854, Butzel Long is a full-service law firm with offices in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. The firm is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Visit the Butzel Long website at www.butzel.com.

Inc. Magazine ranks OpTech as five-time honoree on its annual exclusive list of America’s fastest-growing private companies

Troy, Mich., August 26, 2013 – OpTech, a Troy, Michigan-based information technology and engineering solutions firm, announced today the company has been named as a five-time honoree to Inc. Magazine’s annual 5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

OpTech was ranked 1,743 on this year’s list of 5,000 top companies, achieving a 221% revenue increase over the past three years.

The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy – America’s independent entrepreneurs. OpTech joins Oracle, CDW, Zappos.com, and LifeLock among other prominent brands featured on this year’s list. OpTech also ranked on Inc.’s 2013 lists for Top 100 Michigan Companies and Top Detroit Metro Area Companies.

“It is such an honor to be recognized as a repeat winner and a catalyst for local economic growth,” said OpTech CEO Ronia Kruse. “The credit belongs to the men and women at OpTech for their continued strong support and to our clients across the country that believed in us.”

In a stagnant economic environment, median growth rate of 2013 Inc. 500|5000 companies is an impressive 142 percent. The companies on this year’s list report having created over 520,000 jobs in the past three years, and aggregate revenue among the honorees reached $241 billion.

About OpTech

OpTech is an award-winning workforce solutions firm specializing in connecting Fortune 500 and government clients to top information technology and engineering talent from coast to coast. Based in southeast Michigan with offices located in Washington, D.C., Denver and Hawaii, OpTech’s innovative solutions address the critical needs of clients in the banking, manufacturing, insurance, utility, healthcare and government sectors. OpTech offers its employees outstanding career opportunities supporting innovative companies with cutting-edge technology. Visit www.optechus.com to learn more about OpTech.

Contact: Deniella Ortiz-Lalain
Company: OpTech, LLC
Phone: 313-879-6202
E-mail: dortizlalain@optechus.com

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August 27, 2013: ‘Morning Joe’ Live from Detroit Thursday; Inaugural Michigan Automotive Summit Less Than a Month Away

‘Morning Joe’ Continuing Detroit Conversation with Broadcast at Ford Flat Rock Plant In continuing the national conversation on Detroit, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program is set to broadcast on Thursday from Ford Motor Company’s assembly plant in Flat Rock. “Morning Joe” co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough teased the trip to Detroit while appearing at the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference and are returning to Michigan to focus their three-hour news show on Detroit’s turnaround.

Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah is slated to appear as a guest at approximately 7:40 a.m. as the morning news show explores Detroit’s bankruptcy and other issues impacting the city and region.

To read more about the broadcast, click here.

Michigan Automotive Summit Less Than a Month Away

MICHauto’s inaugural Michigan Automotive Summit is less than a month away. Scheduled for Wednesday, September 25 at COBO Center, the first-of-its-kind event will bring together original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, academic institutions, government and nonprofit organizations to build on the state’s automotive foundation.

Opening with Governor Rick Snyder, the Summit features a powerhouse lineup that already includes:

  • Dan Akerson, Chairman and CEO, General Motors (In partnership with Inforum Center for Leadership)
  • Jay Baron, President and CEO, Center for Automotive Research
  • John McElroy, Host, “Autoline Detroit”
  • Osamu “Simon” Nagata, President and CEO, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing N.A., Inc.

The daylong event will highlight Michigan’s automotive capabilities and expertise, discuss industry growth opportunities, and touch on the necessity to capitalize on – and maintain – the state’s role as the epicenter of the global automotive industry.

Register today and visit michauto.org/mas for additional speaker information and agenda details.

Make a Difference, Serve on a Charter School Board

Charter schools across Detroit are looking for leaders who are willing to answer the call to public service and take a unique opportunity to change the lives of young people in Detroit. In response to this need, the Detroit Regional Chamber is launching an exciting new program to help leaders become better prepared to serve on a charter school board.

Attend Bagels & Boards Informational Breakfast on Thursday, September 12, from 8 to 10 a.m. at University Preparatory Math and Science Academy for your chance to hear from current charter school leaders, board members and others on whether service on a charter school board might be a good fit for you. Learn more and register today.

MICHauto’s ‘Michigan is Auto’ Piece Wins MEDA Award

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s MICHauto program received a prestigious Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) award last week for its “Michigan is Auto” marketing piece. The Chamber’s Vice President of Economic Development-Business Attraction Maureen Krauss and MICHauto Program Manager Rob Luce were on hand for the award presentation during the MEDA’s annual conference at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.

The “Michigan is Auto” report took first place in the printed materials category for regions with a population of more than 500,000. Released in January, and distributed at the North American International Auto Show, “Michigan is Auto” is a substantive report detailing Michigan’s automotive assets and overall business climate. The 20-page piece is being used by the Chamber’s team to attract business and investment to the region and is available for economic developers throughout the state for their business attraction efforts. For more information, visit www.medaweb.org.

Detroit Chamber Member, and Customer Loyalty Expert Noah Fleming Signs Book Deal With AMACOM

In Customer Loyalty Expert Noah Fleming’s New Book, Evergreen (AMACOM 2014), He Explains Where Businesses Lost Their Way, And How to Reap Huge Profits in Long Lasting Customer Relationships.

Windsor, ON, (August 20, 2013) – Noah Fleming, President of Fleming Consulting & Co. of Windsor, Ontario has signed a contract with the publishing division of the American Management Association for the release of his first book. Fleming’s book, Evergreen, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2014.

Evergreen is a funny, highly pragmatic and detailed playbook on customer retention, customer experience, and customer strategy. The book suggests to readers that most organizations are addicted the thrill of the
chase of gaining new customers  as opposed to finding worthwhile customer relationships that will last for years and years. In addition, many companies fail to analyze the profitability of their existing customers or the potential profitability of different types of new ones. As a result, companies lurch from one customer base to the next—losing some of their most valuable customers, as well as, gaining others many of whom turn out to be duds. Fleming describes this phenomenon in Evergreen to that of how trees lose their leaves each fall.

“One of the real surprises of our recent recession has been that businesses have not paid more attention to the quality of their customer service,” said Senior Acquisitions Editor Bob Nirkind. “Nothing costs less money and has a greater impact on customer retention. With this book, Noah will help readers see the forest for the trees.”

About AMACOM

AMACOM is a global leading business publisher, specializing in non-fiction books on business, management, leadership, human resources, training, communications, career growth, personal development, marketing, sales, customer service, project management, and finance.

About Noah Fleming

Noah Fleming is a strategic marketing consultant who strives to help organizations dramatically maximize profits and customer value. He is a proven Customer Loyalty & Retention expert with years of industry experience. Noah assists organizations with their efforts to foster brand loyalty, increase customer engagement, and improve the customer experience. Fleming is also an expert blogger for Fast Company Magazine, and a regular contributor to The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Section. He’s been quoted in such publications as Forbes, The New York Times and more.

For more information or to contact Noah Fleming, please call 519-259-8037, visit www.noahfleming.com, or email him atnoah@noahfleming.com.

Union charges fee to handle grievances; Mackinac Center Legal Foundation responds with lawsuit

First legal challenge in post-Michigan Right to Work era on grievance fees for non-dues paying members

Detroit, Mich. —Aug. 26, 2013— In one of the first challenges to a Union’s response to Michigan’s Right to Work legislation, the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed a complaint on Aug. 22 alleging that Teamsters’ Local 214 policy of requiring employees to pay a fee for handling grievances and arbitration, but exempting employees who are members in good standing, is unlawful because it violates the Public Employment Relations Act and the Union’s duty of fair representation obligations.

According to Cliff Hammond, an attorney with Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C. and an expert on Michigan’s Right to Work law, this is the first legal challenge since Right to Work went into effect early this year to the Teamsters’ policy of charging non-dues paying members to handle a “grievance”.

“Under the new amendments made to Michigan’s Public Employment Relations Act, public sector employees cannot be forced, intimidated, threatened, or compelled to become a member of a union or financially support a union, and a person cannot be required to pay dues, fees, or assessments as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment,” said Hammond. “The Complaint alleges that the threat of additional fees is meant to compel public employees to join or remain a union member.”

Hammond noted the Complaint also claims the Union’s policy violates the requirement that the Union represent all employees, not just union members.

“The Complaint alleges that compelling nonmembers to pay a fee to provide vital collective bargaining services, specifically grievance handling, is a violation of the Union’s duty to represent all employees,” said Hammond. “The Complaint also claims the policy discriminates against nonunion members by refusing to process a grievance without assessing the merits of the grievance, in violation of the union’s duty of fair representation.

Hammond said it will be interesting to see how the Court responds.

“The use of fees for representation of non-members is not new nationally, but Michigan’s specific law and this particular policy are what are being challenged,” said Hammond. “It will be interesting to see how the Court handles this case, if it all, as it may be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Michigan Employment Relations Commission for public employees and the National Labor Relations Board for private sector employees.”

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.

Nemeth Burwell specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

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