Brooks Kushman Welcomes Four New Associates, Expands Patent Prosecution and Litigation Practice

Brooks Kushman is pleased to welcome four new Associates, Karen Feldman, Corey Neil, Isheeta Patel and Brett Smith, to the firm’s growing patent prosecution and litigation practice.

“The new associates are a strong addition to our patent prosecution and litigation practices,” said Brooks Kushman president Mark Cantor. “We continue to expand our practice to meet the growing IP needs of our clients.”

Karen’s practice focuses on the preparation and prosecution of domestic and foreign patent applications in the mechanical and electromechanical arts. Her expertise extends to all facets of intellectual property law including patentability searches and opinions, drafting agreements involving the transfer, licensing, and protection of intellectual property, trademark procurement and protection, and litigation support. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, Feldman spent the last five years practicing at a local general practice firm. She also served as a process engineer for Intel prior to entering the field of law. She has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico and a Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Corey focuses his practice on patent prosecution in the mechanical arts. Prior to becoming an associate he was a patent searcher at Brooks Kushman, providing instrumental research for clients to determine whether to patent an inventive concept, whether they have freedom to operate, the state of the art of a specific technology market and if there is any white space within that technology market. Corey holds a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman he was an engineer for a large automotive supplier.

Isheeta’s practice will focus on the preparation and prosecution of domestic patent applications in the chemical engineering and material arts. Prior to becoming an associate, she was a patent searcher at Brooks Kushman, where she gained invaluable knowledge supporting intellectual property negotiations, settlements and litigation. Isheeta holds a Juris Doctor from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Brooks Kushman, she gained patent experience as an in-house clerk at a prominent auto company and technical experience at Owens Corning developing wind turbine blade technology. Her hands-on engineering experience and deep knowledge of patent searching positions Isheeta to better understand clients’ needs and provide exceptional, comprehensive counsel.

Brett focuses his practice on all aspects of domestic and foreign patent prosecution and litigation in the mechanical and electrical arts. His practice extends beyond these two areas and includes freedom-to-operate opinions, as well as preparing and reviewing contracts including licensing agreements and joint development agreements. He has deep knowledge of medical device, acoustic device, automotive, electronic products, industrial systems and information technologies. Brett previously practiced at a mid-sized intellectual property boutique in Chicago, IL. He holds a Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University.

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, World Trademark Review, and Intellectual Property Today.

For more information, please visit www.BrooksKushman.com.

American Society of Employers (ASE) seeks nominations for Michigan’s 2016 HR Executive of the Year award; deadline is July 1

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, is seeking nominations for ASE’s 2016 Michigan HR Executive of the Year award. The call for nominations was announced by Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE.

“The HR Executive of the Year award is a coveted honor in Michigan’s HR community that recognizes leaders in the profession who dedicate their careers to bettering not only their organizations, but also their industries and the broader community,” Corrado said.

Nominees will be evaluated on their commitment to the HR profession, successes in past/current positions, contributions to the community, impact on the lives of others and the success of the organization he or she serves. Nominees must meet the following criteria for consideration:

 Are currently employed as an HR executive
 Serve as the company’s highest-ranking HR person residing in Michigan
 Have at least 10 years of HR management experience
 Demonstrate consistent proven successes, enthusiasm and leadership/support of the HR profession
 Apply professional experience both inside and outside his or her organization

A selection committee comprised of ASE board members, past award recipients and HR executives will review all nominations and select the award winners. A total of four individuals will be recognized in the following categories: executive of an organization with 1,000 or more Michigan employees; executive of an organization with fewer than 1,000 Michigan employees; health and human services organization with 500 or more Michigan employees; and a health and human services organization with fewer than 500 Michigan employees.

The 2015 HR Executive of the Year honorees and their titles when the awards were announced in Nov. 2015 were Scott Pepin, Senior Vice President, Global Human Resources, Federal-Mogul Powertrain; Meghan Berg, HR Director, Fortis Energy Services, Inc.; Sharon Butler, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources, Michigan State University; and Ron Carr, Human Resources Director, United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Nominations are being accepted now through July 1. To view the nomination form or to nominate an HR executive, click here. The 2016 HR Executive of the Year recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Detroit Athletic Club in Detroit on Nov. 3.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people.

Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

FreeStar Financial Credit Union earns Macomb County’s Best of the Best Award for fifth year

FreeStar Financial Credit Union, formerly known as Central Macomb Community Credit Union, was named in Macomb Daily’s Best of the Best Readers Choice Awards as the best credit union for the fifth year in a row.

“We are thrilled that the Macomb Daily readers and our members feel so strongly about the excellent service and products at FreeStar Financial that they voted for us again,” said Drema Isaac, President/CEO.
With technological advancements like mobile deposit and online loan closings to provide convenience to our members, the credit union has been able to retain members who now reside in 49 states and throughout the world. Additionally, the credit union created programs to help members rebuild their credit with a Fresh Start loan or Fresh Start checking account. Niche programs like the first-time auto buyers program and the Visa One card were created to help young members without credit establish themselves without the need of a cosigner.
Educating members is another important element of FreeStar Financial’s success. Complimentary educational seminars are presented at the credit union for members on topics such as Wills & Trusts, Elder Law, Home Buying, and Understanding Your Credit Score each spring and fall. A special team of volunteers also visits high school students to conduct a budgeting simulation called Mad City Money. In the 2-1/2 years since the program started, the credit union has reached over 1,200 students with the message of save early and create a budget.
In addition, the credit union grants $4,000 in scholarships to high school seniors annually for either Community Action, demonstrating community involvement, or Military Honor, having a parent in the military while also demonstrating academic and community achievements.
“We are very appreciative of our volunteer board of directors and supervisory committee who exemplify the credit union philosophy of ‘people helping people’ by volunteering their time to the oversight of our great credit union,” said Isaac. “With that model, our employees donate over 200 hours each October for Make A Difference Day, celebrated the fourth Saturday, by assisting at soup kitchens, helping with senior citizen activities, and organizing at food pantries.” The credit union sponsors dozens of events and organizations each year in the Macomb County area.
FreeStar Financial Credit Union was originally established in 1957 at what is now the Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Today, the credit union serves over 18,000 members with the ability to accept members from 10 counties in Southeastern Michigan and military and veterans throughout Michigan.

Butzel Long’s Immigration Department is the only Michigan law firm recognized in Immigration ranking by Chambers USA 2016; Detroit-based law firm increases attorney rankings and recognition in Chambers’ “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 – The Client’s Guide”

Butzel Long attorneys and practice areas have been recognized by Chambers USA 2016. – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2016 – The Client’s Guide. Notably, the firm’s Immigration Practice Department is the only Michigan law firm ranked in Immigration by Chambers.

“Our Immigration Department has expanded to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said Clara DeMatteis Mager, Practice Group Manager, Butzel Long. “Our recognition by Chambers is significant and a testament to everyone in our Immigration Department.”

Other Butzel Long practice areas included in Chambers USA are:

— Corporate/ Mergers and Acquisitions – Michigan

— Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation –Michigan

— Labor and Employment – Michigan

— Litigation: General Commercial – Michigan

Butzel Long attorneys ranked and highlighted in Chambers USA 2016 include:

— Justin G. Klimko – Corporate/ Mergers and Acquisitions

— Stephen A. Bromberg – Real Estate

— David F. DuMouchel – Litigation, White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations

— John P. Hancock, Jr. – Labor and Employment

— Mark Jane – Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

— Thomas Kabel – Real Estate

— Nancy Keppelman – Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

— James S. Rosenfeld – Labor & Employment

— Robert B. Stevenson – Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

— Andrew Stumpff – Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation

— Daniel B. Tukel – Labor and Employment

Other Butzel attorneys recognized by Chambers USA 2016 include:

– Arthur Dudley II

– Nicholas J. Stasevich

– Carey A. DeWitt

– Lynn McGuire

– James Bruno

Justin G. Klimko is President and Managing Shareholder of Butzel Long and serves on the firm’s Board of Directors. He is based in the firm’s Detroit office. Klimko has extensive experience in securities regulation, corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate matters, fields in which he has practiced since 1980. Klimko has substantial experience in securities regulation matters for publicly and privately held companies.

Stephen A. Bromberg is Counsel to Butzel Long and based in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. He served as a Director and President of Butzel Long. Bromberg has represented borrowers and institutional lenders, purchasers and sellers, non-profit entities and contractors and owners in all kinds of office, commercial shopping center, apartment and subdivisions matters, major construction and zoning matters and workouts, reorganizations and foreclosures, with years of specialization in real estate transactions and litigation.

David F. DuMouchel is a Shareholder practicing in Butzel Long’s Detroit office. He chairs the firm’s Corporate Compliance, Internal Investigations and Criminal Defense practice. DuMouchel’s practice includes white collar criminal defense, professional licensure and criminal health care, criminal IRS investigations of both taxpayers and professionals, SEC enforcement of corporate executives, public corruption, as well as grand jury investigations, internal corporate investigations and compliance.

John P. Hancock, Jr. is a shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office. His practice focuses on collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations as well as counseling of both public and private employers. He also has performed extensive employment litigation and OSHA litigation. Hancock has served as chief negotiator in numerous collective bargaining negotiations. A good portion of his practice is devoted to counseling clients on employment issues.

Mark W. Jane is a senior attorney based in Butzel Long’s Ann Arbor office. He practices in the area of ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation. He is on the Board of Directors of the Washtenaw County Bar Association, and is a District Representative on the State Bar of Michigan Young Lawyers Section Executive Council.

Thomas A. Kabel is a shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Bloomfield Hills office. He is chair of the firm’s corporate and real estate departments. He concentrates his practice in the area of commercial real estate and real estate-related finance. Kabel has been involved in all facets of acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing and development of real property throughout his career.

Nancy Keppelman is Of Counsel and based in Butzel Long’s Ann Arbor office. She practices in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation law. became a fellow in American College of Employee Benefits Counsel (ACEBC) in 2002.

James S. Rosenfeld is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long’s Detroit office. He practices in the area of labor and employment law and is the manager of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Bob Stevenson is Counsel and based in Butzel Long’s Ann Arbor office. He practices in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation. He is a charter fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel Best Lawyer 2013 (ACEBC).

Andrew Stumpff is Of Counsel and based in Butzel Long’s Ann Arbor office. He practices in the area of employee benefits and executive compensation law. He is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

Daniel B. Tukel is a shareholder practicing in Butzel Long’s Detroit office and serves as Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Department. His practice is devoted to representing both public and private employers in state and federal discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation, as well as traditional labor matters such as collective bargaining and union organizational drives.

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 law 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

Ed Wolking Jr. Retiring After 30 Years at Detroit Regional Chamber

DETROIT, June 23, 2016: On Thursday, June 30, Ed Wolking Jr., executive counsel of the Detroit Regional Chamber, will retire after 30 years of service at one of the oldest, largest, and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. Throughout his 45-year career in chamber management, Wolking of Grosse Pointe Park, served as a respected leader with a far-reaching impact in the Detroit region and the national chamber community alike.

“Ed Wolking has touched every department of the Chamber from membership to economic development to health care leadership in his 30 years here,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. “He is a national treasure in the chamber world, and people are better for not only working with him, but knowing him as a person. Over his career, he has changed the way we do things here in Detroit and at chambers across the nation.”

Joined by friends, family and colleagues, the Detroit Regional Chamber honored Wolking on Monday, June 13 at the Tiger Club in Comerica Park.

“Ed Wolking has had a very long career that touched many lives, in many different ways. During my nearly 16 years in Detroit he was consistently the go-to colleague of mine that made new ideas and visions a reality,” said Dick Blouse, former CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber from 1994 to 2010. “As I look back over his career and our time together I could go on for hours at the many accomplishments. Ed is a constant visionary, a leader, an advisor to me, at times a companion, but mostly a friend.”

Prior to becoming executive vice president, Wolking was the Chamber’s senior vice president of strategic directions, member services and marketing. Since joining the Chamber in 1986, Wolking has held various roles across the organization, as well as developed and implemented the Chamber’s affinity programs, scaling the relationship with Office Depot for chambers across the nation via the National Chamber of Commerce. More recently, he founded and led the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition in response to the region’s economic challenges and led the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation.

“For the past thirty years, it has been my honor to help build and work with one of the great business associations in America, highly respected both within the community and throughout the chamber profession – with visionary volunteer and staff leadership,” said Wolking. “My wife, Mary and I never imagined that we would live in one place for such a long time, but the challenges were always fascinating and the opportunities always abundant, and Detroit has been a great place to raise our family. Detroit is a special place, it has a bright future, and we are proud Detroiters.”

Prior to joining the Detroit Regional Chamber, Wolking served as president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, a manufacturing center in Indiana; group executive at the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce, where he created the first small business program and the first state and federal grassroots legislative advocacy programs. In addition, he built from scratch the third largest chamber in the Cincinnati metro region – the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce, where he then served as the executive vice president.

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.

Rick Hendricks receives Jack J. Rehmann Community Leadership Award

Rehmann Principal Rick Hendricks has been named the 2016 recipient of the Jack J. Rehmann Community Leadership Award. Established in 1995, the award encourages and recognizes Rehmann associates who have taken leadership roles in community volunteer organizations for the betterment of their respective communities. On behalf of each recipient, Rehmann makes a donation to the charity of their choice.

Hendricks, who has been highly involved in Ann Arbor civic organizations for many years, has been recognized for outstanding volunteer leadership contributions to the community. Highlights include leadership positions in:
• The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
• Legatus (Ann Arbor Chapter)
• Measure for Measure
• Christ the King Catholic Church

“Rick is a great example of how one person can positively impact their community,” said Rehmann CEO Randy Rupp. “He exemplifies Rehmann’s commitment to our first core value ‘Put People First.’”

About Rehmann
Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services firm of CPAs & consultants, wealth advisors and corporate investigators dedicated to providing clients proactive ideas and solutions to help them prosper professionally and personally. The firm offers a cross-functional team approach that gives clients direct access to a professional in any available service. Rehmann is ranked as the 30th largest firm in the United States, with nearly 800 associates located in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Online at rehmann.com.

Legislative Update: Detroit Public Schools Funding, Energy Reform Discussions Underway

The state Legislature wrapped up its summer session with a rush of activity, passing several major reforms including a $617 million funding package and restructuring plan for Detroit Public Schools. While lacking the breadth of oversight advocated by the Chamber and other business leaders, the legislation provides much-needed debt relief, district and operational reform, and transition funding.

The Legislature also approved Gov. Rick Snyder’s fiscal year 2016-17 budget, which allocates more funding for Michigan’s universities and community colleges, skilled trades training, and emergency funding for Flint’s infrastructure.

Discussions to address Michigan’s 2008 energy law, including a replacement for the state’s renewable energy standards that expired at the end of 2015, are ongoing. The Chamber’s Energy and Environment Committee met on June 20 with Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Battle Creek), bill sponsor and chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. In addition, the Chamber’s Tax Committee will host representatives from the city of Detroit on June 22 to provide information on changes to city income tax reform and collection efforts.

The Chamber is also engaging with members of Congress on relevant issues such as the Energy Policy Modernization Act at the federal level, as well as proposed solid waste and zoning ordinances in the city of Detroit. For more information on legislative activity, contact Jason Puscas, director of government relations, at 313.596.0348.

Leadership Detroit Graduates 69, Honors Positive Changemakers at Commencement

Last week, Leadership Detroit celebrated the commencement of its 37th 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 69 executives from across the region, representing 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 our region continues to experience unprecedented change and we need collaborative leaders now more than ever before,” said Dan Piepszowski, senior director of community leadership development at the Chamber.

During the event,  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 on the region. This year’s award recipients included:

  • Lifelong Leadership Award: David Breen, Former Market Managing Partner for PwC
  • Inspirational Leader Award: David Sampson: CEO, Mariners Inn
  • Moving the Needle Award: Jeanette Pierce, Executive Director, Detroit Experience Factory

For more information on Leadership Detroit, contact Dan Piepszowski.

Intellectual Asset Management Ranks Brinks Gilson & Lione “At the Top of the IP List”; Ann Arbor Managing Shareholder Oberholtzer Singled Out in IAM Patent 1000

Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law boutiques in the United States, is “at the top of the list” again this year for intellectual property according to IAM Patent 1000 2016—The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) magazine’s guide to leading private practice patent professionals and firms.

The IAM Patent 1000, now in its fifth edition, quotes a source who says that Brinks “does a fantastic job in patent litigation.” The publication also praises Brinks’ patent prosecution practice, noting that it “performs flawlessly when it comes to the procurement of patents and adds tremendous value with its wider portfolio development and invention capture services.”

The IAM Patent 1000 also recognized 12 individual Brinks attorneys who were identified by clients and peers for their exceptional skill sets and insights into patent matters. In Ann Arbor, the publication cited managing shareholder Steven L. Oberholtzer for his ability to see client issues from all angles, thanks to his past engineering and in-house experience in the automotive industry. Notes IAM, “[Oberholtzer’s] facility for IP asset management, strategic guidance, and patent litigation makes his advice even more worldly-wise.”

The IAM Patent 1000 seeks to identify and profile leading private practice patent professionals and firms in the world’s key jurisdictions. Individuals qualify for a listing when IAM researchers receive sufficient positive feedback from market sources with knowledge of the attorney’s practice and the market within which he or she operates. Firms qualify on the basis of their depth of experience, market presence, and the level of work on which they are typically engaged.

More information about the IAM Patent 1000 2016 is at http://www.iam-media.com/Patent1000/.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
The attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents at Brinks Gilson & Lione focus their practice in the field of intellectual property. Brinks is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Brinks lawyers provide counseling in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law.

More information is at www.brinksgilson.com.

Brooks Kushman Partners with Girl Scouts to Promote Diversity in STEM Education

In partnership with the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan, Intellectual Property Owners Educational Foundation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Brooks Kushman was able to distribute over 160 IP Patches throughout southeast Michigan during the 2015/2016 Girl Scouts calendar year. The IP Patch was created to supplement the Innovation badge series.

The program was made available to the Brownie, Junior, Cadette, and Senior level Girl Scouts. To earn their IP Patch, the girls learn how to think like an inventor, how inventions can improve lives, how to think like an entrepreneur and how to identify and develop solutions for social problems.

Since the inaugural IP Patch workshop last year, the program has grown to an average of 55 attendees per session. This year a special workshop was hosted at the Detroit USPTO on April 23rd, which included a tour of the facility, one of just four Regional Offices in the United States, and a presentation by Midwest Regional Director Christal Sheppard. Brooks Kushman will host a total of four workshops during the 2015/2016 school year and anticipates hosting eight workshops during the next calendar year; one session for each age group with Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan and Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan.

“We are excited to see the program grow and develop,” said Brooks Kushman Attorney Rachel Smith. “It is especially rewarding to see how each of the programs brings an awareness and enthusiasm for intellectual property. The girls have also demonstrated an eagerness to learn about the abundance of career opportunities available in IP law and other STEM industries.”

Brooks Kushman co-founded the workshop in an effort to promote STEM education and awareness of STEM career opportunities for women in an industry historically male-centric. Smith notes, “Research shows girls typically start losing interest in math and science during middle school; by providing a fun, dynamic, interactive workshop we increase the likelihood they will stay engaged with STEM learning throughout their academic careers. Building a diverse and inclusive industry starts with them.”

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.