Long-time Auburn Hills mayor Jim McDonald retires from public office

Auburn Hills, Mich.—Nov. 20, 2013— Following a 24 year relationship with the city of Auburn Hills, serving 12 years as a city council member and 12 years as mayor, lifelong resident Jim McDonald will now return to private life. McDonald, who chose to retire from public office and did not run for the city council this past election, had served on the city council since 1989. He was first appointed mayor in 1994 and served consecutive terms through Nov. 1999. Most recently, McDonald served as mayor from 2009 until Nov. 18, 2013.

“It was a privilege for me to be the mayor of a city I love and care deeply about,” said McDonald. “Every decision I made was guided by a desire to represent the city as a whole, including residents, businesses and city employees.”

In Auburn Hills, the mayoral role is to serve as the executive officer of the city and the official head of the city for ceremonial purposes. The mayor presides at all city council meetings but speaks and votes in such meetings as any other member of the Council. City Manager Pete Auger, who came to Auburn Hills in 2008, congratulated McDonald on his service to the city.

“Jim McDonald always served Auburn Hills with the best interests of the city at heart,” said Auger. “He’s the perfect example of a citizen who gets involved with community politics for the right reasons. His able leadership guided us through the majority of the city’s growth and I think it’s fitting that he’s retiring in the year we celebrate 30 years as the city of Auburn Hills.”

Indeed McDonald recalls Auburn Hills’ early history, including the days of Squirrel Road as one-lane each way.

“Drivers practically had to move onto the shoulder to let someone pass,” said McDonald. “We’ve come a long way with Squirrel Road, now a modern five lane boulevard that serves as a beautiful gateway to and from the city.”

During McDonald’s various terms as mayor and councilman, the city itself also saw tremendous development, including the Auburn Hills community center, public safety building and renovation of the city’s administration building on the city’s municipal campus, as well as three new fire stations throughout the city, Fieldstone Golf Club and the Department of Public Works on Brown Road.

McDonald also commended Auburn Hills employees for their devotion to the city.

“Auburn Hills’ employees are so dedicated. I’m always impressed by how they approach their work and put the city’s needs first,” said McDonald.

McDonald, who retired from DTE’s real estate group in 2001, looks forward to his second retirement.

“My wife Bonnie and I plan to visit our children in Texas and California more often and spend more time at our cottage near Cadillac, but Auburn Hills will always be home,” said McDonald.

About Auburn Hills
Celebrating 30 years as a city in 2013, Auburn Hills is home to 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at www.auburnhills.org.

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Sachse Construction’s Sheila Suppes Named President-Elect of CREW Detroit

DETROIT, Nov. 20, 2013 – Sachse Construction is proud to announce Sheila Suppes has been named president-elect of Commercial Real Estate Women Detroit, an international business networking organization dedicated to helping women succeed in the commercial real estate industry.

“Sachse supports the efforts of CREW to help women advance in the commercial real estate industry,” said Todd Sachse, CEO, Sachse Construction. “As the Detroit commercial real estate industry continues to grow, it is important that we work with CREW to educate and connect women professionals in our industry.”

Suppes, Sachse’s director of business development and marketing, will assume her new role in January 2014. She will begin her presidential term in 2015. Suppes has been active in CREW Detroit leadership dating back to 2009. Her previous positions include: executive board member in 2012 and 2013, chair of the golf committee in 2011, co-chair of the communications committee in 2009 and 2010, member of the strategic planning committee in 2011, and member of the golf committee in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“Sheila will be a valuable contribution to the leadership team,” Sachse said. “She has unmatched vision and drive, as well as a thorough understanding of the industry. She has the perfect skill set to help CREW Detroit reach its goals.”

Suppes also actively participates as a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and was a roundtable leader at the 2012 Centerbuild Conference. Additionally, she has participated in a social media panel discussion with the Construction Association of Michigan and is a member of the Michigan Business & Professional Association and Airports Council International.

Suppes holds a Michigan real estate license and a bachelor’s degree in advertising with a minor in graphic design from Central Michigan University. She currently resides in Commerce Township, Mich.

ABOUT SACHSE CONSTRUCTION
Sachse Construction is headquartered in Detroit and provides premium commercial construction services throughout North America from design-build, construction management and general contracting to tenant coordination, ground-up construction, program management and several LEED initiatives.

Todd Sachse formed Sachse Construction in 1991 on the foundation of a systematic approach to project management, and the principles of doing the right thing and striving for excellence by constantly raising the bar. The result is more than 20 years of successfully completing millions of square feet of customer projects in health care, education, airport concessions, office, retail, fitness, restaurant and multi-family.

ABOUT CREW DETROIT
Since 1986, CREW Detroit (www.crewdetroit.org) has been advancing the success of women in the commercial real estate industry through networking and member-to-member-driven business opportunities. It is a founding chapter of CREW Network, a professional organization made up of more than 8,000 women and men from across the United States and Canada. The network serves as a key resource to CREW chapter members and the commercial real estate industry as a whole. Members hail from all disciplines of commercial real estate and represent every type of expert necessary to complete a commercial real estate transaction.

Clayton & McKervey, P.C. Named a 2013 Top Workplace and a Best and Brightest Company to Work

Southfield, Michigan, November 19, 2013 —CPA firm Clayton & McKervey, P.C. is pleased to announce it has been named one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ and a 2013 Top Workplace by the Detroit Free Press.

“We are honored to be recognized for the ninth consecutive year as one of Metro Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For and named for a third time as a Top Workplace,” said Kevin McKervey, CPA, president of Clayton & McKervey, P.C. “It is our people that have set Clayton & McKervey, P.C. apart in the marketplace for more than 50 years. This recognition validates our focus to recruit, develop, and retain the best talent to serve our globally minded clients.”

An independent research firm evaluated each company’s entry to determine the Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Bets and Brightest Companies to Work For. Categories included compensation; benefits and employee solutions; employee enrichment; engagement and retention; employee education and development; recruitment, selection and orientation; employee achievement and recognition; communication and shared vision; diversity and inclusion; work-life balance; community initiatives; and strategic company performance. A luncheon was held October 30 to celebrate the companies that received this honor.

The Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. The employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. The results were published in a special section of the November 17 publication of the Detroit Free Press.

About Clayton & McKervey, P.C.
Founded in 1953, Clayton & McKervey, P.C. is an accounting, tax and business advisory firm that focuses on assisting privately-held, middle market compete in the global marketplace. The firm’s clients include US companies that have established subsidiaries in foreign countries and the US subsidiaries of foreign companies from throughout the world. Clayton & McKervey, P.C. is member of PKF International, a worldwide network of legally independent accounting firms.

IPS Technology Services Adds a Project Manager to Their Growing Team

Troy– November 19, 2013 – IPS Technology Services recently hired project manager Carol Christensen to coordinate upcoming projects for their growing business.

Christensen—who holds advanced degrees from Oakland University and Saginaw Valley State University—brings to IPS Technology Services years of experience in consulting, training, and managing large-scale projects for companies in the automotive, manufacturing and advanced education industries. As IPS Technology Services wins projects in these industries in the coming months, Christensen’s skill-set will prove to be quite valuable.

“The addition of Carol to our team indicates a continued period of growth at IPS Technology Services,” says Pradip Sengupta, President and CEO, “We are happy to share the news of our success as we add valuable, skilled professionals to our company.”

About IPS Technology Services

IPS Technology Services provides end-to-end IT services to the Small and Medium Businesses (SMB) marketplace. IPS develops custom applications using state of the art tools such as .Net, C#, VB, SaaS, SOA, Oracle, SQL Server, and/or by using third party software. IPS provides IT services in the following six areas:

1. IT Staffing (SharePoint, Oracle, Java, Dot Net, SQL Server, SAP, PM)
2. Technology Consulting
3. Web based and Mobile Application Development and Integration
4. Healthcare IT with EHR and Practice Management implementation
5. Engineering IT services
6. Website development, Digital Marketing, and Social Media

For more information on IPS Technology Services, please call 248-835-9895 or, click www.ipstechnologyservices.com.

Shareholders from Brinks Gilson & Lione’s Ann Arbor office named Top Lawyers for 2014 by DBusiness magazine

ANN ARBOR – Nov. 19, 2013 – Steven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of Chicago-based Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., were selected by their peers for inclusion in DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers for 2014. Both were included in the category Intellectual Property and Patent Law.

Oberholtzer is the managing partner of the Ann Arbor office and serves on the firm’s Board of Directors. His practice focuses on patent and trademark counseling, corporate intellectual property policy development and administration, technology licensing, joint development and joint venture relationship agreements. He also has experience in United States Patent and Trademark Office administrative proceedings including interferences, re-examinations, re-issues, trademark oppositions and patent application preparation and prosecution.

Oberholtzer has extensive experience with the intellectual property legal issues of the automotive industry. He has a lifelong interest in the industry and products, and was previously employed as a senior project engineer with a domestic OEM manufacturer and as in-house patent counsel for a Tier 1 supplier. In private practice, Oberholtzer has acted as primary outside counsel for a number of Tier 1 and lower tier supplier engagements that include worldwide responsibility for all intellectual property issues and management of teams of attorneys handling all facets of these matters.

Oberholtzer also serves on the Brinks Board of Directors and is the principal author of a primer on intellectual property entitled, The Basic Principles of Intellectual Property Law.

In August 2013, Oberholtzer was named the 2014 Ann Arbor Patent Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers™. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Kettering University, formerly known as the General Motors Institute, and received his J.D. from the Detroit College of Law at Michigan State University. He is a member of the Licensing Executives Society.

Eric Sosenko’s practice focuses on the procurement, enforcement and licensing of patents and trademarks in all industrial fields, including the mechanical, electro-mechanical, medical and material arts. He counsels on the strategic implementation and management of domestic and international intellectual property portfolios for various multinational clients and deals with a wide range of intellectual property issues.

In addition to his U.S. practice, Mr. Sosenko has an extensive international practice with significant experience in international protection, both directly with all major foreign intellectual property offices and under various multinational treaties, including the Patent Cooperation Treaty, and has presented at seminars in both China and Japan.

Sosenko received his J.D. and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and serves on the patent law, patent cooperation treaty issues and international education committees, the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, the State Bar of Michigan, the Washtenaw County Bar Association and the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Sosenko is also a past Secretary for the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and serves as the chairperson of Brinks’ Patent Reform Task Force.

About Top Lawyers®
For the 2014 Top Lawyers Peer Review Survey, DBusiness polled 18,200 attorneys in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties. Each attorney was asked to nominate lawyers among 47 legal specialties. To learn more about Top Lawyers, visit the DBusiness Magazine website.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
Brinks has more than 160 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. Based in Chicago, Brinks has offices in Research Triangle Park, N.C., Washington, D.C., Ann Arbor, Detroit, Salt Lake City and Indianapolis. More information is at www.brinksgilson.com.

Auburn Hills’ new mayor is youngest in city’s history

Auburn Hills, Mich.—Nov. 19, 2013— Auburn Hills announces that Kevin McDaniel has been elected by his peers on the city council to serve as Mayor for a two-year term. McDaniel, 34, is a fourth generation resident of Auburn Hills and the youngest mayor to serve Auburn Hills. He was first sworn in as a city councilman for Auburn Hills in November 2007 at the age of 28 and was most recently re-elected to his second four-year term in November 2011, claiming the highest votes of all candidates. McDaniel succeeds Mayor Jim McDonald, who served as mayor for 12 years and served on the city council since 1989. McDonald did not run for city council re-election.

Auburn Hills is managed under the council/manager form of government, with Pete Auger continuing in the position of city manager. The mayoral role is to serve as the executive officer of the city and the official head of the city for ceremonial purposes, as well as purposes of military law and the service of legal process upon the city. The mayor presides at all city council meetings but speaks and votes in such meetings as any other member of the council.

McDaniel, a healthcare consultant for Pfizer and an Oakland University graduate, received Oakland County Executive L. Brook’s Patterson’s Elite 40 under 40 award earlier this year for his impact on Oakland County. He welcomes the opportunity to serve as mayor.

“I am honored to be chosen to serve as mayor of a city that I care deeply about,” said Mayor McDaniel. “Auburn Hills is a city that has seen great economic development over the past few years and is positioned to continue to grow not only in the commercial realm, but also in residential and educational space. I look forward to working with my fellow council members, city staff, residents and members of our business community to continue making Auburn Hills a great place to live, work and play.”

Also at the Nov. 18 meeting, the city council voted newly re-elected councilman Bob Kittle mayor pro tem. The mayor pro tem steps in when the mayor is unavailable. Kittle succeeds Mayor Pro Tem Maureen Hammond, who served in the role since 2009 and continues as a member of the Auburn Hills city council. Kittle is a long-time Auburn Hills resident and co-founder of MUNETRIX, an internet financial business management software company.

In addition to Kittle, residents of Auburn Hills elected the following four council members to open full-term seats in the Nov. 5 election:
• John S. Burmeister, an Auburn Hills native and 10 year veteran with the Michigan Air National Guard during Desert Storm; Burmeister retired as fire chief of the Auburn Hills Fire Department in 2012.
 Henry V. Knight, an incumbent council member, was elected to the city council for the first time in 1993 and previously spent 22 years on the city’s planning commission; he is retired from General Motors.
 VeRonica Mitchell, who served for the past eight years as a member of the environmental review board as well as the planning and recreation commission and president of the library board of trustees. Mitchell has been employed by GM as an engineer for 17 years.

Based on percentage of votes received, Burmeister, Knight and Mitchell were elected to four-year terms; Kittle was elected to a two-year term.

Scott McAllister and Angela N. River were both elected for six-year, full-term seats on the Library Board. Vickie J. Ellis was elected for Library Board with a term set to expire in 2017; Sean L. Johnson and Toni L. Whitley were elected for two seats on the Library Board with terms set to expire in 2015.

For a full list of the Nov. 5 election results, visit the Oakland County Election Division website.

About Auburn Hills
Celebrating 30 years as a city in 2013, Auburn Hills is home to 21,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at www.auburnhills.org

November 19: Chamber’s Annual Reception Moved to December 17; Veterans’ Summit Now Available On-Demand

Chamber’s Annual Meeting and Holiday Reception Moved to Dec. 17

The Chamber has moved the date of its Annual Membership Meeting and Holiday Reception to Tuesday, December 17. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bert’s Warehouse Theatre in Detroit. For more information and to register, click here.

Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent Now Available On-Demand

In case you missed it, coverage of the Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent from November 13 is now available on-demand. As part of the footage, the Governor’s office highlights the successes of the Summit, featuring comments by Tammy Carnrike, chief operating officer at the Detroit Regional Chamber. To view the video produced by the Governors office, click here.

B4B Connect Launches Redesigned, Socially Integrated Website

B4B Connect has announced the launch of its newly re-designed website, showcasing a socially integrated, mobile friendly layout. B4B Connect continues to be a powerful tool for small businesses statewide, serving as an interactive, informative and innovative resource for users to become more engaged in the small business community.

The site is focused on telling the Chamber story – promoting the benefits of chamber membership, and creating connections to issues, insights, and key players in the business community. Users will also have the ability to read expert small business news articles, keep up with local events and share best practices with other entrepreneurs. To visit the website, click here.

Chamber to Host Bagels & Boards Breakfast, Dec. 5

Continuing its efforts to attract leaders to take a public service role in young peoples’ lives in Detroit, the Chamber is hosting its second Bagels & Boards Informational Breakfast from 8:30 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, December 5 to prepare people to serve on a charter school board. The event will be held at the Detroit Edison Early College of Excellence High School in Detroit.

Attendees will hear from current charter school leaders and board members, and learn how to become a decision-maker and agent for change in the growing effort to reform education within the Detroit community. For more information, click here or contact Dan Piepszowski.

Participate in the 2014 Michigan Economic Outlook Survey

The Chamber, in cooperation with chambers and associations throughout the state, is participating in the 2014 Michigan Economic Outlook Survey, and encourages you to participate. By providing feedback in this survey, you are part of a broad effort to help Michigan become a stronger, healthier economy. Your input will also help us to understand your priorities for 2014 and how the Detroit Regional Chamber can help our members succeed in 2014. To take the survey, click here.

Failure: Lab Detroit Event to Embrace the Positives of Failure

Failure: Lab Detroit is hosting an event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 21 that seeks to create a sense of openness around failure, instead of shunning it. Six speakers will share their experiences to help pave the way to eliminating the stigma around failure. Up to 50 Detroit Regional Chamber members can register for free online, using the ticket code ChamberGift.

The lineup of storytellers includes: Jimmy King, vice president of business development at Schechter Wealth Strategies; Diana Sieger, president of Grand Rapids Community Foundation; Andwele Gardner, Detroit singer-songwriter and record producer; Jessica Care Moore, poet and publisher; Charlie Wollborg, marketing strategist and creative director at Curve Detroit; and Marsha Music, writer and blogger. For more information and your chance to be one of 50 Chamber members to register for free, click here

18 automakers have confirmed worldwide vehicle debuts (some multiple) at 2014 NAIAS.

NAIAS 2014 Readies World Stage for Global Vehicle Introductions

With the days counting down, NAIAS 2014 is rounding out its list of dozens of worldwide vehicle introductions, including debuts in nearly all vehicle categories—concepts, luxury, sports/performance, crossovers, trucks, SUVs and alternative fuel technologies. The long list of intros comes after numerous meetings with global manufacturers in Detroit, Los Angeles, Geneva and Frankfurt, where NAIAS officials reported back an impressive lineup of confirmed vehicles that automakers plan to show for the first time anywhere. In fact, thus far, 18 automakers have confirmed worldwide vehicle debuts (some multiple). The backdrop for these vehicle reveals will be the more than 30 press conferences planned in the impressively transformed Cobo Center. For the past 25 years, manufacturers from across the globe have designated NAIAS as the venue of choice for worldwide and North American vehicle unveilings, new exhibits, and breakthrough product technology. NAIAS 2014 is no exception. The product unveilings are on their way to Detroit’s world stage, and NAIAS 2014 is anxiously awaiting their arrival.

Butzel Long attorney to serve key role with national association of media lawyers; Robin Luce Herrmann named Co-Chair, Media Law Resource Center’s State Legislative Affairs Committee

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Robin Luce Herrmann has been named Co-Chair, Media Law Resource Center Inc.’s (MLRC) State Legislative Affairs Committee. Attorneys from each state serve on this important committee. The other Co-Chair is Elizabeth Allen, an in-house attorney with Gannett Company, Inc.

The MLRC is a non-profit membership association for content providers in all media, and for their defense lawyers, providing a wide range of resources on media and content law and policy issues.

Herrmann, a Practice Group Leader for one of Butzel Long’s two Business Litigation Groups, concentrates her practice in the areas of media law, particularly defamation and access issues; commercial litigation, including Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO); non-competes and trade secrets; and civil rights. In addition, she is general counsel of the Michigan Press Association.

She previously taught Law of the Press in the Journalism Department at Oakland University. Herrmann has been a guest speaker on Law of the Press at Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, and Oakland University.

In 2011, she was appointed to the State Bar of Michigan Law and Media Committee.

Herrmann is Co-Chair, Roundtable Subcommittee of the Section of Litigation’s Woman Advocate Committee, American Bar Association (ABA). She also serves as Co-Chair for the Women in Communications Law Committee of the Forum on Communications Law. She is a past member and Vice-Chair of the ABA Law and Media Committee; the past Chair of the ABA’s First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee’s Diversity Outreach Subcommittee.

Herrmann is a 1984 graduate of the University of Michigan and a 1993 graduate of the Detroit College of Law (J.D., cum laude), where she was a Managing Editor of The Law Review.

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.

Gov. Snyder Signs Legislation to Facilitate Veterans’ Career Search

BillVetSummitLegislation impacting veterans took center stage at the Governor’s Summit on Veterans Talent, which the Chamber co-hosted with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency at Masco Corporation Headquarters in Taylor, Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder signed one bill of a five-bill package at the event.

The legislation was written to fully recognize veterans for their service to our country and break down barriers to employment by ensuring that education and training acquired in the military meet the qualifications required by civilian jobs.

Below is a summary of the legislation:

  • House Bill 4605, sponsored by state Rep. Gail Haines, allows veterans to use military experience as a qualifying factor to become an emergency medical technician. It is now Public Act 165 of 2013.
  • House Bill 4731, sponsored by state Rep. Ray Franz, recognizes the fire fighter training a veteran received while serving in the military and waives the required test to be a fire fighter in the State of Michigan. It is now Public Act 166 of 2013.
  • House Bill 4752, sponsored by state Rep. Robert Kosowski, allows military experience as the basis for registration for stationary steam engineers and boiler operators. It is now Public Act 167 of 2013.
  • House Bill 4754, sponsored by state Rep. George Darany, allows certain military experience to serve as the basis for licensing as a mechanical contractor. It is now Public Act 168 of 2013.
  • House Bill 4756, sponsored by state Rep. Bruce Rendon, allows eligible veterans to substitute military experience for up to 60 hours of education requirements toward a residential builders or residential maintenance and alteration contractor license. It is now Public Act 169 of 2013.