Butzel Long attorney to participate in panel presentation during 12th Annual Alumni Career Day at James Madison College at Michigan State University on January 31

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Reginald A. Pacis will be a featured panelist during the 12th Annual Alumni Career Day at James Madison College at Michigan State University on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Pacis, who received his B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University in 1992, will participate in a panel session along with other attorneys focused on the law and judiciary.

Based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, Pacis concentrates his practice in immigration law and has handled a variety of immigration matters including
H-1B specialty occupation cases, L-1 Intracompany transfers, Labor Certification matters, Immigrant Visa Petitions/Adjustment of Status applications and interviews, TN Free trade cases, H-1B Department of Labor Investigations, I-9 employer verification compliance, and U.S. Port of Entry airport and land port interviews.

Pacis was named Immigration Lawyer of the Year 2013 in the field of Immigration Law by The Best Lawyers in America and has been listed in Best Lawyers for several years. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Samahang Pilipino Ng Oakland Filipino organization. He served two consecutive one-year terms from 2003 to 2005 as Chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA and was a member of the AILA National Board of Governors for those terms. Pacis previously served as Secretary (2001 to 2003) and Membership Chairperson of the Michigan Chapter of AILA (1998 to 2003).

He has been a speaker on immigration topics at many business, Hispanic, and Filipino presentations. Pacis has served in a variety of committees in the Filipino community and is a member of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce of Michigan. He completed an appointment by former Governor Granholm for service on the Advisory Committee for Asian Pacific American Affairs (ACAPAA). He served on the Michigan AILA Advocacy Committee from 2007 to 2010.

Pacis previously served as Chairperson of the Michigan AILA Committee responsible for liaison with the Michigan Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security presiding over inspections and security of the U.S. border, from 2005 to 2007.

His service expanded to the AILA National CBP liaison Committee as a member and Vice Chair and Chair. He presently serves as Vice Chair on the AILA United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Field Operations Liaison Committee.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. 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 or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Tonya Allen

President and CEO, The Skillman Foundation

Tonya Allen-Skillman-0463 (2)Tonya Allen is president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation, where she works to align education reform, urban revitalization and public policy to improve the well-being of Detroit’s children. She is the architect of the Foundation’s 10-year $100-million Good Neighborhoods program, and helped orchestrate the development of Excellent Schools Detroit, a $200-million, citywide education reform organization. Her decades-long career has centered on pursuing, executing and investing in ideas that improve Detroit neighborhoods and reduce the plight of underserved people. She has been instrumental in numerous successful philanthropic, government and community initiatives and has a comprehensive understanding of philanthropic governance and strategy.

Chamber CEO: Governor Set Tone for Four More Years of Reinvention

DETROIT, January 20, 2015: Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s President and CEO Sandy Baruah released the following statements on Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address:

“Tonight Gov. Snyder set the tone for another four years of reinventing Michigan – starting with his call to vote “yes” on the ballot proposal to fix Michigan’s roads.

With talent the key to future economic growth, the Chamber echoes the Governor’s call for the Legislature to continue the conversation about making Michigan an attractive place for talented individuals regardless of sexual orientation. There’s also a need to provide greater opportunities to pursue training in the skilled trades and post-secondary education to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.

With Detroit’s historic rebirth underway, the ultimate success of the city hinges on the neighborhoods. That will require the same political cohesion between Lansing and Detroit and public and private sectors that led to the Grand Bargain.  The Governor’s focus on the streamlining of delivery of social services and reimagining public education are the right steps to bring the economic opportunities in Detroit’s renaissance to Detroiters.”

Additional statements:

On Skilled Trades:

“Skilled trades and technical training are a critical part of increasing overall education attainment. The inability of businesses to find skilled workers stifles job creation and economic growth.  We applaud the Governor’s focus on skilled trades because it will help maintain the talent pipeline Michigan companies need to compete.”

Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

On Detroit’s comeback and Grand Bargain:

“Investors from around the world continue to reach out about doing business in Detroit. It’s a new era of opportunity in the city and state, due in large part to the Governor. His work throughout bankruptcy serves as one of the finest examples of executive leadership anywhere in quite some time. He continues to reject partisan politics to do what is best for Michigan. Building on the unprecedented political cohesion brokered in the Grand Bargain is of utmost importance to continuing the comeback of the city and state.”

Sandy Baruah, President and CEO, Detroit Regional Chamber

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. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members.


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Frank Venegas Jr.

Frank Venegas-goodeditFrank Venegas, Jr. is the chairman and CEO of the Ideal Group headquartered in Southwest Detroit. With annual revenues approaching $250 million and 500 employees, Ideal enterprises deliver innovative facility solutions to customers including major OEMs.

Venegas currently sits on the General Motors Global Supplier Council and the DTE Energy Supplier Advisory Council.  Governor Rick Snyder appointed Venegas to the State of Michigan’s Governor’s Talent Investment Board.  Venegas and The Ideal Group are known for their community outreach and development activities focused on education and  family sustaining employment opportunities and clean neighborhoods.

Dennis Archer Jr.

Founding Principal and President, Archer Corporate Services; President and CEO, Ignition Media Group

Dennis' Headshot(1)Dennis Archer, Jr. is founding principal and president of Archer Corporate Services (ACS), and president and CEO of Ignition Media Group. Leveraging his background in marketing and advertising, Archer has created a portfolio of companies, each creating niches for themselves. Under his leadership, ACS has grown into one of the nation’s leading marketing fulfillment services firms serving clients such as General Motors Co., Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Michelin. Ignition Media Group, a boutique integrated marketing agency headquartered in downtown Detroit, specializes in experiential marketing, public relations, event production and brand development.

Safe, Effective Roads Will Help Grow the Economy

From: Michigan Business Network 

January 20, 2015

Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams was on the Michigan Business Network to explain why safe, effective roads are not a luxury item for Michigan’s businesses and economy.

Nemeth Law P.C. founder named Leading Lawyer for 2014-2015

Detroit, Mich. —Jan. 19, 2015 — Patricia Nemeth, founder of Nemeth Law, P.C., a Detroit-based management labor and employment law firm, has been selected by her peers as a Leading Lawyer in labor and employment law for 2014-2015. This is the first year Leading Lawyers has covered the state of Michigan.

In addition to being recognized as a Leading Lawyer, Nemeth was recently named among The Best Lawyers in America for 2015 by Best Lawyers, a Michigan Super Lawyer and was included among Michigan’s Top 50 Women Michigan Super Lawyers for 2014.

Nemeth founded Nemeth Law as a solo practitioner in 1992. The firm now has 12 attorneys and is largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

Nemeth’s areas of expertise include all aspects of traditional labor and employment litigation law, including complex employment investigations and analyses, discrimination/harassment, age, disability, sex, race, whistleblowers, wrongful discharge, union organizing activities and union issues, and multi-party lawsuits. She is also an arbitrator and a certified mediator for all types of civil litigation, including employment.

Nemeth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate and LLM in Labor Law from Wayne State University School of Law. She is an ABA Foundation Fellow and a member of the Michigan, Illinois, Federal and the United States Supreme Court Bar.

To view a complete list of all Leading Lawyers, visit www.leadinglawyers.com.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law, mediation and arbitration and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.


January 20: Chamber Supports May Ballot Initiative to Fix Michigan’s Roads

Chamber Supports May Ballot Initiative to Fix Michigan’s Roads

The Detroit Regional Chamber is supporting the May 5 ballot initiative designed to fund transportation infrastructure and fix Michigan’s roads. The current condition of the roads hurts economic investment and impedes the region and state’s resurgence.

Creating a solution for Michigan’s roads has been a top priority for the Chamber, which last fall supported a proposal by the Senate that more closely tied the cost of fixing the roads to the users of the roads – and prevented the uncertainty and cost of a ballot initiative.

The Chamber is advocating for a “yes” vote on the initiative, which would generate an estimated $1.3 billion annually for roads and bridges, along with additional funding for schools, local governments and public transit. To read the Chamber’s statement announcing its support, click here.

Get Your Mackinac Policy Conference Questions Answered, Feb. 12

The Detroit Regional Chamber will host a special Mackinac edition of its Membership Maximizer program from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Chamber for anyone planning to attend the Mackinac Policy Conference for the first time or attended a past Conference and may have questions.

This special edition of Membership Maximizer is designed to help prospective attendees get the most out of their Conference experience. It will also provide participants with the resources and knowledge to make the 2015 Conference successful. To register for this event, click here.

Böllhoff USA Partners with MICHauto to Donate SMART Board to Carver STEM Academy

MICHauto, an economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, recently presented a brand new SMART board to an eighth grade Algebra class at Carver STEM Academy in Detroit. The SMART board was donated by Böllhoff USA, a MICHauto partner company whose North American headquarters is based in Troy.

The donation underscores MICHauto’s talent pillar, which aims to cultivate the talent pipeline for the automotive industry by partnering with schools and organizations across the state. Carver STEM Academy also was the winning recipient of MICHauto’s photo contest in 2014 during the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Jet Toy Challenge. It was then that, after speaking with the school’s principal, MICHauto saw a need to update Carver’s technology in order to prepare students for 21st century careers.

The SMART board was installed on Dec. 11. A mentoring program to educate Carver students about opportunities in the automotive industry is also in the works.

Last Chance: Enter #MichiganIsAuto Contest to Win $500 Gift Card

With the 2015 North American International Auto Show in full swing, MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber are hosting a social media contest as a platform to reinforce why Michigan is the epicenter of the auto industry. MICHauto will award a $500 VISA gift card to a lucky participant who posts the best, most creative reason why #MichiganIsAuto.

To enter the contest, simply post your submission on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #MichiganIsAuto this week. A winner will be selected on Friday, Jan. 23.

Congratulations to last week’s contest winner, Kristin Shaw, whose creative Twitter post (pictured) captured why Michigan is the global epicenter of the automotive industry. To learn more about MICHauto and the #MichiganIsAuto campaign, click here.

Peter Varga

Varga, PeterPeter Varga is CEO of the interurban transit partnership known as The Rapid, an urban transit system with an operating budget of $42 million. He has held the position since 1997.

Varga previously served on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Public Transit Association, including five terms as president. He is the past chair of the Grand Valley Metro Council Policy Committee and a commissioner on the Grand Rapids Parking Commission.

Varga has worked in transit since 1980 in several capacities and was appointed to the Michigan Transportation Funding Taskforce by former Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2008. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New York University.