April 30: Fortune’s Nina Easton to Moderate Entrepreneurship Panel at Mackinac Policy Conference; Education Reform Coalition Supports Smarter Balanced Test

Fortune’s Nina Easton to Moderate National Entrepreneur Panel at Mackinac Policy Conference

Nina Easton, the Washington Bureau Chief at Fortune Magazine and a commentator on Fox News, will moderate a panel discussion on entrepreneurship at the 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference. Discussion will expound on how entrepreneurs can overcome obstacles and capitalize on emerging opportunities in today’s economy.

Speakers will explore the opportunities and challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs, focusing on failure as a learning experience. Easton will be joined by a panel of national entrepreneurs, including:

  • Peter Gardner, Founder and CEO, Startgrid
  • Adam Lowry, Co-Founder, Method
  • Eric Ryan, Co-Founder, Method
  • Jason Sosa, Founder and CEO, IMRSV

The panelists will explain how startup failures can serve as learning experiences, and describe the business environment needed for startups and innovators to thrive.

To view complete Conference information, including an updated agenda and lineup of speakers, click here.

The Chamber announced the launch of Startgrid at the Detroit Policy Conference. To learn more about this online community platform for entrepreneurs, click here.

Education Reform Coalition Urges Legislature to Adopt Smarter Balanced Assessment System

The Chamber and a coalition of organizations sent a letter to state lawmakers urging them to fund the Smarter Balanced test, a proposed replacement for the outdated Michigan Education Assessment Program. The letter stems from a recent Education Trust-Midwest report that revealed that Michigan has regressed in student performance in certain areas compared to other states.

Drawing support from a coalition of organizations around the state, including Business Leaders for Michigan and the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Smarter Balanced test would help measure students’ progress on Common Core standards and raise levels of teaching better than any other assessment option. The Chamber has supported the adoption of Common Core standards and the Smarter Balanced test to ensure students receive the education needed to provide Michigan with a globally competitive workforce. To read the full Smarter Balanced press release, click here.

MICHauto’s Glenn Stevens Highlights Today’s Intelligent Mobility Event with WWJ’s Jeff Gilbert

Glenn Stevens, the Chamber’s vice president of MICHauto and strategic development, recently joined Jeff Gilbert of WWJ Newsradio 950 to discuss the Driving Intelligent Mobility in Michigan event taking place this evening, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit.

The event will showcase how to position Michigan to capitalize on emerging technology to sustain its role as the global leader in the intelligent mobility sector. Programming will focus on how Michigan can utilize its existing automotive assets – a strong engineering talent pool, an extensive base of major OEMs, and testing facilities for connected cars – to ensure that this technology is developed and integrated in Michigan, versus other areas of the U.S. or world. For more information on the event and to register, click here.

Model D Launching Series to Highlight the Detroit Region’s Dynamic Food and Agriculture Industry

In partnership with the Detroit Food and Agriculture Network (DFAN), which the Chamber is a proud member of, Model D is launching a 10-month series to share the story and economic impact of the Detroit region’s food and agriculture industry. The series will highlight the diversity of the scale and type of food businesses throughout the region, and explore what is needed to start a food business in Detroit. To read the first of this 10-part series, click here.

The Chamber also highlighted the emerging food economy in the September/October edition of its Detroiter Magazine. Click to read The ‘Whole Food’ Picture.

Accounting Aid Society, Walsh College Partnership Helps Non-Profits with Tax Return Preperation

Accounting Aid Society (AAS) and the Walsh College Accounting and Tax Student Organization (ATSO) are piloting a tax return preparation program to help resource-limited charities, nonprofit agencies, and other tax-exempt organizations in southeast Michigan maintain their tax-exempt status.

Federal tax-exempt status allows nonprofit agencies to apply directly for grant funds. Most foundation and government grants require 501 (c) (3) status, part of the Internal Revenue Code. The status also allows potential donors to make tax deductible contributions.

Most organizations exempt from income tax must file an annual information return. In the Pension Protection Act of 2006, the IRS was authorized to revoke the tax-exempt status of organizations that failed to file the required tax return (Form 990, 990-N, 990-PF or 990-EZ).

“Many tax-exempts operate with extremely limited resources or with such small budgets that just trying to keep their lights on is a struggle,” says Daniel S. Hoops, chair, Accounting and Taxation Department, Walsh College. “Complying with the IRS reporting requirements becomes secondary and, unfortunately, sometimes nonexistent.”

Accounting Aid Society, a nonprofit with more than 35 years of income tax preparation assistance, has a long history of working with individuals and organizations through various partnerships and collaborations in metropolitan Detroit.

“Expanding this support to our friends in the nonprofit community and partnering with the students at Walsh College is a win-win for everyone involved,” says Kathleen Hatke Aro, AAS president.

AAS and ATSO will combine their network of tax professionals and tax students to soften the IRS demands placed on tax-exempt organizations. For more information, contact Diana Goode, AAS controller, at diana@theform990.com.

ACCOUNTING AID SOCIETY

Founded in 1972, Accounting Aid Society is a nonprofit organization who provides tax assistance and promotes the economic self-sufficiency of low to moderate income families, seniors and others in need through volunteerism and partnerships.

WALSH COLLEGE
Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE, www.iacbe.org). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.

Discover and connect at Macomb Community College IT careers event: Learn how you can train for information technology jobs with starting salaries as high as $50,000 per year

Metro Detroit is one of the hottest information technology (IT) job markets in the country. If you are a creative problem solver with a lot of curiosity, that’s good news for you. On May 8, Macomb Community College and Walsh College will present a free event for people interested in getting on the fast track to a career in information technology.

Careers in IT: A Night to Discover and Connect will take place May 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Macomb Community College University Center, Center Campus, 44575 Garfield Road, Clinton Township. Online registration at www.macomb.edu/itnight is required.

At the event, attendees will learn how to earn an associate degree in IT from Macomb and transfer to Walsh College to finish a bachelor’s degree, saving thousands in tuition. They also will hear about the hottest IT careers in the region and connect with industry experts, current IT students, and faculty.

The keynote speaker will be technology journalist Matt Roush, formerly editor of WWJ Newsradio 950’s “Technology Report with Matt Roush,” and now director of communications and public relations at the Engineering Society of Detroit. Other speakers will include:

Suzanne Chartier, vice president and director of engineering services at eyeWyre Software Studios, a Mt. Clemens-based software development firm that focuses on mobile application development, as well as web, desktop, and cloud solutions. Chartier also is CEO and co-founder at Iconia LLC, a digital content platform for mobile devices.
Brett A. Hansen, a student with a bachelor’s degree in computer science who is working on a master’s degree in information assurance at Walsh College. As an IT professional for more than 10 years, he manages a team that oversees 2,000-plus Windows 7 systems that operate as self-checkout kiosks around the country.
Jane Harper, information security compliance assessment and advisory services leader at Health Alliance Plan.
Shawn Penrice, a select account manager at Cisco Systems with eight years of sales experience in the consulting and IT industries. He is responsible for developing and delivering the Cisco IT strategy to a diverse set of accounts in metro-Detroit.
WALSH COLLEGE
Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456) and the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE, www.iacbe.org). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.

MACOMB COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Macomb Community College (www.macomb.edu) is one of the nation’s leading community colleges, providing learning experiences to nearly 48,000 students annually. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and as the largest grantor of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Jay Want Keynote at 2014 Health Care Leaders Forum

In the U.S. health care system, consumers have become increasingly distanced from the payment and delivery of health care. Additionally, health care costs have increased aggressively over the past few decades. In order for the market to drive change and ultimately reduce costs in the health care system, patients need to be able to select health care delivery options based on price and quality. The only way to do this is to create transparency for both the cost of procedures, as well as quality of care providers. Jay Want outlines his organization’s work in providing the patients of Colorado with usable data to influence health purchases.

Action Plan: Learn how consumer transparency for quality and price can drive changes in the market.

Tune into the following times for further explanations on the following topics:
2:50 Transparency is Cool
4:15 Why does Health Care cost more in the US than in other country?
11:30 Reducing the price of procedures is more critical than reducing number of procedures
18:20 Variation in pricing for a knee replacement.
19:45 Can market forces regulate prices?
27:20 The U.S. uses an average amount of health care, but charges much more.

David Lansky Keynote at 2014 Health Care Leaders Forum

As health care costs increase, there is a growing incentive for large and small employers to stop offering health benefits. Jumbo employers have the power and financial incentive to drive better quality and lower costs for their health care benefits. However, even these large employers cannot sustain improvements in health care quality alone. The business community, large and small, needs to move together to drive change into the market. Large employers are implementing two types of strategies to drive change and value into the health care market.

1. Changes in payment to providers
2. Properly incentivizing consumers to choose high quality, lower cost providers

Action Plan: Small and large employers need to take an active role in driving change into the health care market instead of executing passive strategies like cost shifting or cutting benefits.

Tune into the following times for further explanations on the following topics:
5:38 See how cost is driving employers out of the insurance game.
8:00 Employers have the power to drive health care value and prevent their own exit.
9:04 Best performing large employers can save 15-20% on premiums through payment strategies for providers and incentivizing employees to change health behaviors
14:30 Engage and incentivize consumers to choose high quality providers
17:00 Example of how Reference Pricing can drive down costs of a procedure over time
23:30 How do you operationalize value?
37:00 On the horizon in the employer market.

Strategies for Preserving Trade Secret Rights are focus of Butzel Long May 13 webinar

DETROIT, Mich. – The most valuable assets many companies have today are their trade secrets – confidential information about their clients, business and manufacturing processes.

Up until recently, companies could rely on state law to protect those trade secrets. However, state laws cannot always effectively protect trade secrets in today’s expanding global markets, especially when the threat comes from a foreign company that is beyond the reach of most state and federal courts. Recent cases have created a whole new option for companies seeking to exploit global markets to bring their trade secrets cases in the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

Butzel Long will host a complimentary webinar titled, “Preserving Your Trade Secret Rights Around the World – Can the ITC Help?” from Noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 featuring firm attorneys who will explain how the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) can help in protecting trade secrets from foreign threats – and what businesses need to know to defend claims in the ITC concerning the products they import.

Presenters include the following Butzel Long attorneys:

• Joseph Cosby, a seasoned ITC litigator and author based in Butzel Long’s Washington, DC office;

• Phillip Korovesis, whose Detroit-based practice focuses on trade secret and non-compete commercial disputes; and,

• James Gehrke, a veteran commercial litigator based in Butzel Long’s Washington, DC office who has practiced in the ITC.

Registration is required for this complimentary webinar. To register, visit www.butzel.com/events/. For inquiries, contact Jonathan Spencer at spencer@butzel.com.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in the United States. It was founded in 1854, making this year its 160th anniversary of providing trusted client service. Butzel’s full-service offices are located 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. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com.

IPS Technology Services Wins a SharePoint Contract from a Large Gaming Industry Client in Michigan

TROY, Mich., April 23, 2014 — IPS Technology Services is currently building a SharePoint site for a gaming industry client in Michigan.

By winning this contract, IPS Technology Services will be able to provide the client’s human resources department with a SharePoint site designed to consolidate the department’s communications into one easy-to-access portal. By utilizing the SharePoint site to disseminate important company information and announcements, the client will be able to avoid the costs of printing and distributing memos. It will ensure that time-sensitive information can be accessed by all employees in an efficient manner and within a relevant time frame. The SharePoint site will also give access to critical documents that can be searched with popular keywords.

With the rise of digital technology, SharePoint has become an essential component of effective company communications strategies. IPS Technology Services offers SharePoint site development and implementation as one of many systems development services.

About IPS Technology Services

IPS Technology Services provides end-to-end IT services. 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, SharePoint, Enterprise Architecture, Best Practices
3. Web based Enterprise 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 248-526-9000 or click www.ipstechnologyservices.com.

Detroit Chamber Event to Focus on Autonomous Vehicles

From: DBusiness

April 28, 2014

MICHauto, an economic development program of the Detroit Regional Chamber, will focus on how Michigan can better position itself as a hub for intelligent mobility and autonomous vehicles during the Driving Intelligent Mobility in Michigan event at the Westin Book Cadillac Detroit on Wednesday.

“Intelligent mobility is the sexy topic of the day — everybody is interested in cars that talk to each other, cars that talk to roads, and cars that drive themselves,” says Rob Luce, MICHauto’s program manager. “There are a lot of organizations focusing on the technology aspect, but this event is really meant to focus on how Michigan can capitalize on its existing automotive assets to ensure that this technology is developed and integrated here, versus in Silicon Valley or Germany or Asia.”

The region’s assets include a strong engineering talent pool, an extensive base of major OEMs, and testing facilities for connected cars at the University of Michigan and the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. “These assets should be embraced, promoted, and coordinated to ensure that this is the place to be when you’re talking intelligent mobility,” Luce says.

During the event, three speakers — Masa Hasegawa, principal of Deloitte Consulting; Bill Kohler, partner and co-chair, of Clark Hill’s Automotive and Manufacturing Practice Group; and Doug Patton, senior vice president of engineering at Denso International America — will discuss various aspects of intelligent mobility, ending with a 45-minute Q&A session about Michigan’s relation to the subject.

For more information about the event, which runs from 5:30 to 9 p.m. and costs $25 for chamber members ($50 for prospective members),click here.

Butzel Long named a ‘Top Referring Firm for 2013’ by Lex Mundi

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long has been named a “Top Referring Firm for 2013” in the 101-200 lawyer category by Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. The Lex Mundi award recognizes firms that have made the greatest number of outbound referrals to other Lex Mundi members during the calendar year.

Butzel Long will be among the winners recognized at the Lex Mundi Summit and Annual Conference on May 3, 2014 in New York.

About Lex Mundi

Lex Mundi is the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries. Member firms are able to offer clients preferred access to more than 21,000 lawyers worldwide – a global resource of unmatched breadth and depth.

Each member firm is selected on the basis of its leadership in – and continued commitment to – its local market. Lex Mundi’s principle is one independent firm for each jurisdiction. Firms must maintain their level of excellence to retain membership within Lex Mundi.

Member law firms are located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America. Through its nonprofit affiliate, the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, member firms also provide pro bono legal assistance to social entrepreneurs around the globe.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in the United States. It was founded in 1854, making this year its 160th anniversary of providing trusted client service. Butzel’s full-service offices are located 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. As noted above, Butzel Long is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com.