Brown & Brown of Detroit Leader Honored by Walsh College

(Sterling Heights) . . . Todd Piersol, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Detroit is pleased to announce that Sales Leader Brian Pilarski has recently been named the Walsh College Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD).

Since receiving his MBA from Walsh College in 2007, Brian has enjoyed success both in his career and with the many community organizations he supports. He has served twice as President of the Walsh College Alumni Association, and is a member of the President’s Club. In addition, Brian serves on the Philanthropy Committee of the Walsh College Foundation Board, which he joined in 2013.

In addition to his involvement at Walsh, Brian also supports other community organizations such as Forgotten Harvest and Cornerstone Schools. Brian has been employed at Brown & Brown of Detroit since 2008, where he worked as a Producer. He was promoted to the role of Sales Leader due to his innovative ideas and sales talent.

“Our entire team at Brown & Brown of Detroit is proud of Brian’s accomplishments as an insurance professional as well as a community leader. For him to be recognized by an institution as respected as Walsh College is very impressive,” stated Todd Piersol.

The GOLD award will be bestowed on November 21 at a special event at MGM Grand in Detroit.

Brown & Brown offices in Michigan comprise the third largest segment of insurance brokerage in the state, placing over $500 million in insurance premiums for our clients. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown & Brown Insurance, the sixth largest insurance intermediary in the United States.

Brown & Brown of Detroit Expands Via Recent Merger With Bolton & Company

(Sterling Heights) . . . Todd Piersol, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Detroit recently announced the Detroit profit center’s merger with Bolton & Company, effective May 1.

A long standing fixture in the community, Bolton & Company was founded in 1912 and was located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. They served the needs of their clients in the areas of property and casualty insurance and risk management consulting.

Merging the two companies was a natural fit due to their similarities. Todd Piersol stated, “We are thrilled to add Chris and Lisa to our team at Brown & Brown of Detroit. Bolton & Company, like Brown & Brown, has thrived in the property and casualty arena, because of our commitment to putting the client first.”

Chris Bolton, former President and Owner of Bolton & Company agreed, adding, “As you can imagine, choosing a merger partner for a 103-year-old family owned insurance firm was a complicated proposition. My goal was to choose a firm with a decentralized structure that allowed me the flexibility to continue to provide the highly personal, professional service approach that has been the hallmark of Bolton & Company, while also providing the highest level of resources in both the property/casualty and employee benefits arenas. I made the right choice!”

Brown & Brown offices in Michigan comprise the third largest segment of insurance brokerage in the state, placing over $500 million in insurance premiums for our clients. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown & Brown Insurance, the sixth largest insurance intermediary in the United States.

Brown & Brown Employee Promoted to Sales Leader

(Sterling Heights) . . . Todd Piersol, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Detroit is pleased to announce that Commercial Agent & Counselor Brian Pilarski was recently promoted to the leadership team, in the role of Sales Leader. Brian has been with Brown & Brown since 2008 and his promotion was based on his history as a top performer for the agency. He has received numerous national awards from Brown & Brown, stemming from his new business production, client retention, and mentorship.

In his new role, Brian will provide support and guidance to the Producers. He will also work closely with the office president in the areas of workforce development, regional growth, and overall strategy. Brian will continue to provide excellent service and support to his clients.

In Todd Piersol’s words, “Brian has been a leader on our team and in our community for years. I am very excited to add him to our leadership team, where he will continue to service his clients as well as help us develop the next wave of leaders for our agency.”

Brown & Brown offices in Michigan comprise the third largest segment of insurance brokerage in the state, placing over $500 million in insurance premiums for our clients. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brown & Brown Insurance, the sixth largest insurance intermediary in the United States.

June 23: Leadership Detroit Honors Top Regional Leaders at Class XXXVI Commencement; Schlichting Appointed to U.S. Commission on Care

Leadership Detroit Honors Top Regional Leaders at Class XXXVI Commencement

Last week, Leadership Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, celebrated the commencement of its 36th class, while presenting its annual awards to three alumni who have made a positive impact on the region. Commencement took place at The Garden Theater in Detroit and featured 66 executives from across the region, representing business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services and community organizations.

In addition, Leadership Detroit held its annual awards ceremony, recognizing past alumni that act on and support the program’s five pillars of exemplary leadership, and who have made a positive impact to move Michigan forward. This year’s award recipients included:

  • Lifelong Leadership Award: Eva Garza Dewaelsche, president and CEO of SER Metro-Detroit Jobs For Progress Inc.
  • Inspirational Leader Award: Michael Khoury, president of Detroit Cristo Rey High School
  • Moving the Needle Award: Carla Walker-Miller, president and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services

To view photos from commencement, click here. The complete Leadership Detroit Class XXXVI roster is available at detroitchamber.com/LD.

 

Henry Ford Health System CEO Nancy Schlichting Appointed to U.S. Commission on CareThe Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Henry Ford Health System CEO and Chamber executive committee member Nancy Schlichting on her appointment by President Obama as chair of the U.S. Commission on Care, an organization established to examine how to best deliver health care to military veterans.

Schlichting’s support for military veterans in the Detroit region extends beyond the health care industry. As chair of the 2012 Mackinac Policy Conference, Schlichting helped shape a statewide dialogue on the importance of hiring veteran talent in order to spur the state’s economy. A key To-Do List item from the Conference was the creation of a military veterans hiring conference with the goal of securing Michigan employment for veterans. In leading Henry Ford Health System, Schlichting remains a critical partner in attracting veteran jobs and talent to Southeast Michigan.

Click here to read an article on Schlichting, who was featured on the cover of the March edition of the Detroiter magazine for her innovative leadership in health care.

 

Discover How to Maximize Your Chamber Membership, July 15

New and existing Detroit Regional Chamber members can learn how to take advantage of all the benefits of their Chamber membership at the upcoming Membership Maximizer on July 15 at TPC Michigan golf club in Dearborn. Attendees will hear a brief overview of benefits, programs and events, as well as meet face-to-face with Chamber executives in attendance to ensure their membership is working for them and their business needs. Following the Membership Maximizer, attendees will have the opportunity to network with fellow Chamber members by attending Connections & Cocktails from 5 to 7 p.m. To register, click here.

 

The Henry Ford’s ‘Innovation Nation’ Wins Daytime Emmy Award, Highlights Importance of STEM Education

The Henry Ford’s “Innovation Nation” television series, featured on CBS Detroit, recently won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Series at the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards. It is the first nomination and win for the show, currently in its first season.

“Innovation Nation,” hosted by CBS News correspondent Mo Rocca, debuted in fall 2014 and highlights inventors and innovators across the country. Its goal is to spark interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers among young people — an issue critical to Michigan and the United States’ global competitiveness and a topic of discussion at the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference. To view past episodes, click here.

 

Chamber Staff Give Back by Volunteering with Youths at Southwest Solutions

Detroit Regional Chamber staff members volunteered with dozens of youths at the Southwest Solutions Early Learning Community Family Fun Day in Detroit last week. The program was part of a monthly series that promotes literacy through fun and creative themes.

Throughout the afternoon, Chamber volunteers engaged in numerous activities, ranging from helping with arts and crafts with kids and their families to leading dinosaur fossil digs and running a scavenger hunt.

Southwest Solutions Early Learning Communities provide free training and resources to parents and caregivers so that they can prepare children to be ready to learn when they enter school. To learn more about Southwest Solutions’ services, visit http://www.swsol.org/elc.

Detroit Regional Chamber Hosts Commencement For Leadership Detroit Class XXXVI, Recognizes Past Alumni for Moving Michigan Forward

DETROIT, June 18, 2015 – Today, Leadership Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, celebrated the commencement of its 36th class, marking the end of the 10-month transformational leadership program designed to challenge emerging and existing community leaders from Southeast Michigan to bring about positive change.

Leadership Detroit’s Class XXXVI features 66 executives from across the region, representing a cross-section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, media, civic groups, health services and community organizations.

“This group of exceptional leaders brought to the table a rich diversity of talent, skills and perspectives. They recognized quickly that the pace of change we are experiencing in the region is driving an ever-growing need for collaborative leadership,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Chamber. “The Leadership Detroit experience validates the reality that the issues and challenges facing today’s leaders are the same across industries and communities. This class is primed to forge the dynamic collaboration that’s key to the success of any organization or community and will impact the region in a very meaningful way.”

The commencement ceremony took place at The Garden Theater in Midtown and included Leadership Detroit’s annual awards, recognizing past alumni that act on and support the program’s five pillars of exemplary leadership, and who have made a positive impact to move Michigan forward. This year’s award recipients include:

  • Lifelong Leadership Award: Eva Garza Dewaelsche, president and CEO of SER Metro-Detroit Jobs For Progress Inc.
  • Inspirational Leader Award: Michael Khoury, president of Detroit Cristo Rey High School
  • Moving the Needle Award: Carla Walker-Miller, president and CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services.

The complete Leadership Detroit Class XXXVI roster is available at detroitchamber.com/LD.

About Leadership Detroit
Leadership Detroit is a community leadership program for executives in Southeast Michigan led by the Detroit Regional Chamber with over 1,800 alumni. Launched in 1979, the program aims to create awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region and to challenge emerging and existing community leaders to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com/LD.

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. For more information, please visit detroitchamber.com.

Brinks Gilson & Lione attorney looks at significant impact of Supreme Court’s Alice decision one year later

ANN ARBOR– June 17, 2015 -Taking a close look at the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Alice v. CLS Bank on its one year anniversary (June 19), James Cleland, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., says the decision fundamentally changed the way software claims are analyzed for patent eligibility.

“The impact of Alice was immediate and the court’s decision has been used aggressively by litigants to challenge the validity of many different types of software and internet-based patents under 35 U.S.C §101,” Cleland said.

The claims at issue in Alice v. CLS Bank were directed to financial-trading systems where trades between two parties who were to exchange payment were settled by a third party in ways that reduce the risk of the transaction. The Court determined that the claims were not patent eligible because they were directed towards an abstract idea and did not contain an inventive concept sufficient to transform the abstract idea into a patent-eligible concept. The Court stated that tying an abstract idea, i.e. a method of reducing risk by using a third party in a financial transaction, to generic computer components was insufficient to transform the idea into patent-eligible subject matter.

“The Supreme Court’s Alice decision has had a significant impact on motion practice involving software and internet-based patents in district courts across the country,” Cleland said. “As of June 9, 2015, district courts issued over 70 decisions addressing pretrial dispositive motions based on patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C §101. District courts found the asserted patents invalid in 53 of 75 (71%) of those decisions.”
Breaking the types of pretrial motions down into smaller groups, Cleland notes district courts granted 14 of the 19 Rule 12(b)(6) motions (74%), 15 of the 22 Rule 12(c) motions (68%) and 24 of the 34 Rule 56 motions (71%). Not included are partial rulings of invalidity pursuant to two Rule 12(b)(6) motions and two Rule 56 motions.

Additionally, following Alice and as of June 9, 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“PTAB”) issued 30 final written decisions addressing unpatentability challenges under 35 U.S.C §101. The PTAB deemed all of the challenged claims unpatentable.

“Moving forward, companies accused of infringing software and internet-based patents should give careful consideration to filing dispositive motions based upon Alice under 35 U.S.C §101 early in the litigation process or petitioning for inter-partes review or other PTAB proceeding, to invalidate patents that cannot pass the Supreme Court’s Alice test,” Cleland said.
“At the same time, owners of software and internet-based patents need to give careful consideration to the patent eligible subject matter of their patents when considering making an accusation of infringement or filing suit.”
Brinks Gilson & Lione
The attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents at Brinks Gilson & Lione focus their practice in the field of intellectual property, making Brinks one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world rely on Brinks to help them protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Brinks attorneys provide counseling in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. More information is available at www.brinksgilson.com.

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KRISTIN SOKUL OF TANNER FRIEDMAN APPOINTED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR REACH CHARTER ACADEMY

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – Senior Account Manager Kristin Sokul was appointed to the Board of Directors for Reach Charter Academy in Roseville, Mich. As a director, she will serve a three-year term focusing on the governance of the charter school.

“Reach Charter Academy has high expectations for its staff, parents and students to ensure our kids receive a quality education,” said Jared Dell, president of the Reach Academy Board of Directors. “Kristin’s passion for education and background in effective communications will be assets to our Board as we maintain and build upon an environment of success for our students.”

Reach Charter Academy is a tuition-free public charter school serving kindergarten through 8th grade in Roseville, Mich., managed by National Heritage Academy and authorized by Grand Valley State University. Reach Charter Academy’s mission is to provide a student-centered learning environment incorporating a challenging curriculum, character development and personal responsibility in partnership with home and community to achieve the goal is to preparing students for success in high school, college and life.

Sokul earned her bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, where she studied public relations and interpersonal and public communication. She graduated summa cum laude and was recognized for excellence in research and composition by the CMU Interpersonal and Public Communications department. She currently resides in Berkley, Mich.

ABOUT TANNER FRIEDMAN

Tanner Friedman is a strategic communications firm specializing in traditional and emerging media relations, adversity management and public relations counsel. Tanner Friedman is located in the landmark Tri-Atria Building at 32255 Northwestern Highway, Suite 298, in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit tannerfriedman.com.

Brooks Kushman Recognized as Michigan’s only Gold-Standard Firm in Patent 1000 Listing

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – For the second consecutive year, Brooks Kushman has been listed as a gold-standard patent firm in Intellectual Asset Management’s (IAM) annual Patent 1000 guide. The Patent 1000 recognizes the world’s top patent law firms and practitioners in key jurisdictions. Of five Michigan firms listed in the directory, Brooks Kushman is the only firm listed as a gold-standard patent firm.

In addition to the firm’s recognition, President Mark A. Cantor and Shareholders William G. Abbatt, John E. Nemazi and Sangeeta G. Shah were also recognized as patent leaders in Michigan. Cantor is recognized for his more than 30 years of patent litigation experience, while Abbatt, Nemazi and Shah are each recognized for their extensive experience in patent prosecution. Nemazi and Shah’s practices also include post-grant proceedings before the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

“Being listed as Michigan`s only gold-standard firm for the second consecutive year is a great honor, and is a tribute to the exceptional work of our attorneys and staff,” said Cantor. “We have an incredible team of patent prosecution and IP litigation attorneys. I am excited to see what the future holds for us.”

According to IAM, the annual guide is compiled through an extensive five month research process. More than 1,500 interviews are completed by in-house counsel and partners at law firms around the world. Only firms and individuals who receive sufficient positive feedback from peers and clients with knowledge of their practice and the market in which they operate qualify for inclusion in the publication.

Brooks Kushman employs more than 90 IP professionals handling a full range of IP matters nationally and around the world.

About Brooks Kushman P.C.
Brooks Kushman P.C. is a leading intellectual property (IP) and technology law firm with offices in Michigan and California, and represents clients nationally and internationally with respect to protection, enforcement and monetization of IP, including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets. The firm has more than 90 intellectual property professionals specializing in various technical disciplines, and has a reputation for providing leading IP counseling with a focus on the business objectives of their clients.

Brooks Kushman counts a number of Fortune 100 companies across a variety of industries among its clients. The firm is also recognized by leading legal publications and rankings, including Corporate Counsel magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Law360, Intellectual Asset Management, Managing Intellectual Property, and Intellectual Property Today. For more information, please visit www.BrooksKushman.com.

FAA Grants Authorization to Motown Digital for commercial drone operations

DETROIT (June 17, 2015) – A local company is the first in the region to be permitted to use drones to capture aerial video and photographs on local television and movie sets. Motown Digital is now offering a safe and legal solution for those seeking commercial drone footage.
Motown Digital drone operations are conducted by FAA licensed pilots using procedures approved by the FAA to assure safety to people and property in close proximity to aerial productions. Motown Digital’s drone pilots will communicate with local air traffic controllers during many productions to assure safety to air traffic flying in and out of Metro Airport, Pontiac Airport, and other local airports.
Motown Digital’s Dave Scott said his team is ready to get to work helping area producers and companies who need aerial footage and are interested in doing so while compiling with FAA regulations.
Motown Digital, LLC is a metro Detroit digital media production company that specializes in live streaming video, video production, event A/V, website development, and aerial photography/video.
More info at: http://motowndigital.com/michigan-digital-media-services/michigan-aerial-video/

Creative Many Michigan Elects Two New Members to Board of Directors

DETROIT – Creative Many Michigan (formerly ArtServe Michigan), the statewide economic development organization for the arts, culture and creative and design industries, announced Arnold Weinfeld, CEO and chairman of Prima Civitas Foundation in East Lansing, Mich. and Ken Krayer, executive director of Design West Michigan in Grand Rapids, Mich. were elected to the Board of Directors.

Members across Michigan elected to the Board of Directors are active in public policy, business, economic development, cultural organizations, civic affairs, higher education, law, and local government and serve up to three three-year terms. The Board meets quarterly and works collaboratively to guide the organization in its statewide efforts to advocate, connect and support the creative and design community as a contributing force to Michigan’s economic competitiveness and the vitality of its communities.

Arnold Weinfeld

Weinfeld began his role as CEO and chairman of Prima Civitas in March 2014 and serves as the day-to-day officer in charge of carrying out the organization’s mission to strengthen Michigan’s economy by connecting, convening, collaborating and adding expert capacity that supports Michigan’s economic growth. Prior to joining Prima Civitas, Weinfeld served as director of strategic initiatives and state and federal affairs for the Michigan Municipal League for nearly a decade and as president for the Michigan Municipal League Foundation. He also served in various public policy roles, spanning nearly a decade, for the Michigan House of Representatives as a legislative aide, policy analyst and policy director.

Prima Civitas offers a full range of direct services to public and private agencies, including project/grant management and administration services, collaborative brokering services and economic and workforce development consulting.

An active member of the community, Weinfeld is a member of the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, Michigan Rural Council, Prima Civitas Foundation, Michigan Health Insurance and the Life Guaranty Association and served on the Board of Waverly Education Foundation and Waverly Community Schools. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in social science from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.

Ken Krayer

As Design West Michigan’s new executive director, Krayer will use his broad experience as an independent design consultant and adjunct professor of industrial design to help grow the organization and its mission.

As part of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD), Design West Michigan aims to help educate non-designers on design thinking, advocate for design evaluation as part of business strategy, be an on-going catalyst for the region’s design network, bring key design thinkers into the region for public presentations and demonstrate the value of design through case studies and business and design interactions and help promote design thinking experiences in K-12 education.

Krayer is an active member of the Industrial Design Society of America, Design Management Institute, Design West Michigan and Society for Experimental Form. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. and his bachelor’s degree in art education at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in Edinboro, Pa.

Creative Many Michigan, formerly ArtServe Michigan, is a statewide economic development organization focused on the mission to develop creative people, creative places and the creative economy for a competitive Michigan. Creative Many Michigan emphasizes the power of creativity through advocacy/public policy, research/reporting, professional practice programs, strategic communications and networking for the greater good of the arts, culture and creative and design industries. Contact Creative Many Michigan at 313-483-5705 or visit CreativeMany.org.

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