American Society of Employers (ASE) welcomes 15 new members

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, announces 15 organizations joined ASE as members during the third quarter of 2016. The organizations are:

• Arcadia Benefits Group, Inc., a third party administrator (TPA) located in Kalamazoo and providing administration solutions for employer-sponsored benefit programs.
• Holy Cross Services, a faith-based organization whose mission is to bring hope, promote change, and help children and adults live free, healthy and productive lives; based in Clinton, Mich., with agencies throughout SE Michigan.
• Hanon Systems USA, LLC, a producer of compressors, heating, ventilation and air conditioning components, fluid transport components, powertrain cooling components and electric vehicle and hybrid battery cooling components, based in Van Buren Township.
• GEDIA Michigan LP, a specialist in lightweight vehicle body engineering and chassis components and headquartered in Orion Township.
• The JRT Agency, a creative marketing communications company based in Farmington Hills.
• FEV, Inc. designs and develops advanced gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains and vehicle systems; its U.S. headquarters is in Auburn Hills.
• Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, provides high quality youth development programs for children ages 6-18 in ten communities throughout the region.
• Plast-O-Foam, LLC, a leading supplier of custom thermoplastic injection molding for automotive manufacturers and their suppliers and based in Clinton Township.
• Mike Morse Law Firm, Michigan’s largest personal injury law firm; based in Southfield
• Adient LTS, the world’s largest automotive seating supplier and based in Detroit.
• Osco Inc., a provider of quality runnerless molding systems, based in Rochester Hills.
• HoMedics, Inc., a provider of health and wellness brands, including home massage products, based in Commerce Township.
• Detroit Athletic Club, long recognized as one of the finest private clubs in the country and located in Detroit.
• AGM Automotive, a leader in the design, development and manufacturing of the automotive industry’s most advanced interior technologies and based in Troy.
• Armor Express, providing a full line of body armor and accessories and based in Central Lake.

“ASE’s trend of membership growth in a variety of sectors across the state continued in the third quarter,” Mary E. Corrado, CEO of ASE said. “We welcome these new members and look forward to assisting them in growing their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people through ASE’s wide array of HR services.”

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.

UHY LLP Michigan Hosts Annual Not-for-Profit update

UHY LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in southeast Michigan, will host their third annual Not-for-Profit Accounting Update on Thursday, November 10 from 8:00AM-10:15AM in Farmington Hills.

Join UHY to learn more about the proposed changes to nonprofit financial reporting, upcoming changes to the Single Audit, and other best practices and developments. Two hours of A&A CPE (qualifies for Yellow Book credit) is available.

“After years of design, there has been significant changes in the presentation of financial statements for nonprofit entities. Our annual Not-for-Profit Update will explain and clarify the changes made in order to prepare your organization”, said Erica Battle, nonprofit specialist, UHY LLP. “It will surely be a valuable resource for all those involved in the financial planning of their organizations.”

Click here to view the invitation: http://www.uhy-us.com/Portals/0/Not%20For%20Profit/NFP_Annual_Update_2016_Invite%20FINAL.pdf

To RSVP contact Jessica Labut at jlabut@uhy-us.com or 586 843 2507.

Walsh College to Honor Four Local Business Leaders at Annual Leadership Awards Dinner on Nov. 18

Walsh College will honor John Carter, Faye Alexander Nelson, Jeffrey Littmann, and Mary Owen at its annual Leadership Awards Dinner, which takes place at 7 p.m., Nov. 18 at the MGM Grand Detroit.

The Leadership Awards Dinner recognizes alumni and local business leaders whose exemplary careers and philanthropic community service make them sterling examples of true leaders. The event is sponsored by DTE Energy Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Lear Corporation, and MGM Grand Detroit.

Recipients of the Jeffery W. Barry Award for Educational Excellence & Community Service are Carter, of Bloomfield Hills, and Nelson, of Grosse Pointe. Carter is the president of Michigan Middle Market, JPMorgan Chase. Nelson is vice president of public affairs, DTE Energy, and president of DTE Energy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of DTE.

Littmann, of Grosse Pointe, will receive the Walsh College Distinguished Alumni Award. He earned his Bachelor of Accountancy in 1977 and Master of Science in Taxation in 1981. He is a life trustee and chairman of the board of The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

Owen, of Birmingham, is the recipient of the Walsh College Graduate of the Last Decade Award. She earned her Master of Business Administration in 2012 and is a life trustee of The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

“We will honor four true leaders in the community,” said Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron. “They not only have the expertise to show others the way, they give their time and they lead by example. Their commitment to excellence and leadership by example makes us a stronger and more vibrant community. They improve the quality of life and the lives of real people each and every day.”

Carter has worked for more than 30 years in commercial banking for JPMorgan Chase and predecessor organizations, serving as manager or executive in charge of various lending and corporate banking groups, which provide operating and capital raising services/products to corporate clients.

He serves on various internal bank committees and is involved with several outside organizations as either member or director, including YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit (director and past chairman of board), YMCA Foundation (board member), Forgotten Harvest (board and executive committee member), Judson Center (chairman of board and trustee), Business Leaders of Michigan (director), Detroit Chamber of Commerce (director), Detroit Historical Society (director), Downtown Detroit Partnership (director), Alma College Business Roundtable, University of Michigan Alumni Association, and U of M Business Club of Greater Detroit.

Nelson has worked in the community on a variety of transformational projects, including the redevelopment of the Detroit riverfront. In her current role, she leads the DTE Foundation’s strategy and investments in communities throughout the state in such areas as education and jobs, economic development, arts and culture, and the development and sustainability of neighborhoods.

She serves on a number of boards, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Henry Ford Health System and Health Network, Midtown Detroit, Inc., M-1 RAIL, and the Sphinx organization. She is also a member of the Executive Leadership Council, the State Bar of Michigan, and a Life Member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, International Women’s Forum-Michigan, Detroit Athletic Club, and the Economic Club of Detroit.

Littmann began his career at Ziebart International, an international franchising organization. In 1982, he joined Arthur Andersen as a tax professional and became a national manager for their firm-wide specialty team on professional sports. From 1986-2014, he was a V.P. and the CFO of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Enterprises and also served the NFL’s Buffalo Bills as a director and their CFO. He has held several other positions within the Wilson organization and its affiliates.

In addition to his Walsh degrees, Littmann also holds a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law. He has served as an officer or board member for various nonprofits, including the Jaycee’s, St. John Health Foundation, and the Grosse Pointe Club.

Owen began her career with the Buffalo Bills in 2000, where she served in multiple positions throughout her tenure, including manager of marketing and communications, director of business systems, and vice president of strategic planning. In 2003, she directed the philanthropic work of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. In this role, she managed the Ralph Wilson Medical Research Foundation until 2009. In recent years, she oversaw a Buffalo-based advisory committee to manage Buffalo-specific grant requests to The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.

In addition to her Walsh MBA, Owen received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce with concentrations in marketing and management from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia. Owen also currently sits on the National Advisory Board of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is a graduate of Leadership Detroit and Leadership Buffalo.

For more information on the Leadership Awards Dinner, contact Andrea Richards, Walsh College Development Office, at 248-823-1204.

For full biographies of the award recipients, visit www.walshcollege.edu/leadershipawards.

Walsh College offers Master of Science in Taxation Open House on Nov. 15

Walsh College will hold an open house for students interested in pursuing a Master of Science in Taxation (MST) from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Troy campus (3838 Livernois).

The Walsh College MST program is among the most well respected in the nation for its preparation of tax professionals. The Walsh MST program “has a legacy in the metro Detroit tax community that is unmatched by any other tax program,” said Richard Davidson, J.D., CPA, vice chair, Tax and Business Law department.

Walsh is also home to the Walsh College tax library, one of the finest tax research libraries in Michigan, with more than 5,000 tax titles available for research.

“A Walsh MST says to potential employers that you are committed to tax as a career choice, and that you are willing to spend the time and effort to enhance your skills,” said Davidson.

At this open house, students will have the opportunity to:

> Meet MST faculty
> Learn more about MST degree requirements
> Tour the renovations and new additions to the Troy campus

Students currently enrolled or who have recently completed a Bachelor of Accountancy or Master of Accountancy program will also have the opportunity to meet with an advisor to discuss how credits already earned may be applied toward MST program requirements.

For more information or to register for the MST Open House, visit www.walshcollege.edu/MSTOpenHouse.

To learn more about Walsh College, visit www.walshcollege.edu/

The Must-Know Digital Marketing Tools Every Business Needs

By Nick Mattar
Director of Marketing
Detroit Regional Chamber

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

Digital marketing analytics should be used as a tool to improve both your marketing strategy and your business’s bottom line. However, not all statistics are created equal and it is important to focus on those key performance indicators (KPIs) that truly dictate your digital marketing success. They can also be critical when informing your organization’s top leadership or board of directors on its strategic marketing direction.

With so many different digital marketing mediums, it is important to know what exactly to measure. Thus, consider these three overarching categories:

  • Website analytics
  • Email marketing stats
  • Social media metrics

Each category has its own set of KPIs. Most companies will be able to gather digital marketing intelligence from these numbers, but feel free to combine these with other numbers you believe to be important.

Website Analytics

Websites should do more than provide information to visitors; they should also generate leads. One of the best stats you can measure is the number of leads brought in by your website – or the number of new customers. In terms of standard measurable numbers from a basic Google Analytics account, there are five numbers to monitor closely:

  • Exit rate: Percentage of people who left your site from a specific page
  • Bounce rate: Percentage of people who only visited a single page and then left the site
  • Average time on page: How long visitors spent on the page
  • Organic search: How many people found the page organically via search engine (Google, etc.)
  • Mobile visitors: The number of unique visitors on a mobile devices

It is important to note that these numbers can be deceiving, depending on the goal of the webpage. Consider the average time on page. While you want your customers or members to spend a lot of time on a webpage, a shorter average time for landing pages or transition pages such as a homepage or internal homepage is also important.

If you recently reorganized your menu structure and subsequently notice your average time on page significantly increases, chances are your visitors are more confused rather than consuming all of your content.

Pay special attention to mobile visitors. The need to communicate with consumers anytime and anywhere is paramount in today’s world and that is measured by mobile visitors. If you receive over half of your hits from mobile devices, you should make sure to test your new pages and posts by viewing them on a phone.

Email Marketing Stats

Email has become one of the most popular forms of communication over the past 20 years. But the way email is consumed is rapidly changing. What was once checked once or twice per day is now constantly monitored. People are always online sending and receiving emails.

Three numbers are most important when reviewing email stats:

  • Unique open rate: How many different people open an email
  • Time and day of sends: How open and click rates differ based on the time and day
  • Conversions: Number of recipients who actually took the desired action from an email

Conversions can best measure an email’s return on investment. If an email promotes an event and aims to increase registrations for that event, the total conversions would equal the number of registrations from that specific email. Marketing automation programs measure conversions, but you can also measure them via Google Analytics by setting up personalized goal conversions.


MORE: Major analytics, KPIs and more will be topics of discussion at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15.


The time and day of a send is important to note because your audience may be more likely to open an email at different times. At the Detroit Regional Chamber, email recipients are most likely to open emails in the 1:00 p.m. hour and the 4:00 p.m. hour on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays are the weakest days and the 12:00 p.m. hour is the weakest, statistically. However, other companies have reported emails perform the best in the morning or evening.

An additional item to note is that email marketing has several statistical shortcomings. As of 2016, most email marketing programs cannot measure how long an individual views an email or inbox before making a decision on whether or not to open or click an email. Some email programs such as Microsoft Outlook offer preview windows where individuals can view the content of an email without technically “opening” it, allowing people to read an email without it counting as an open on the analytic side. And while A/B email testing is incredibly popular with most email marketing programs, there are many flaws that allow for errors and inconsistencies.

Social Media Metrics

With an ever-changing landscape and thousands of self-proclaimed experts, social media is both popular and difficult to integrate into a marketing strategy. With a bevy of eye-popping stats published every day about hot, new social media websites, it is easy to make the case for up to a dozen social media platforms.

Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and now Snapchat have entire books published about their successes and shortcoming. While this article will not delve into the ocean of available social media stats, there are some you can measure from your own social accounts that provide helpful takeaways.

  • Click rates: How often users click on your social media posts to a third-party (often your own) site
  • Follower loss: Can be difficult to measure, but is as important as follower growth
  • Conversations: How often users comment or share your posts and how/if you respond

The click rate stat is undoubtedly the most important measurable number. While social media can work wonders for a brand’s awareness, it can also provide tangible new web hits and conversions. If you post a tweet with a link to an event registration page, you can measure the number of clicks that tweet received (some programs can also measure the number of clicks that tweet also turned into paying customers.)

Not all posts will have calls to action, so those posts should not be included in the measurement of this stat. By dividing the total number of URL clicks by the total number of posts that include a URL, you get a good average number of clicks per applicable post. At the Chamber, Facebook has proven to attract more organic clicks per post, while Twitter has historically struggled to attain more than a few clicks per tweet. But again, these numbers vary based on the company and the target market.

Conclusion

The aforementioned key performance indicators are all important, but there are many others that can measure digital marketing performance. Each company’s digital marketing footprint is different – make sure to tailor your analytics to your end goals.

←Back to Digital Marketing Boot Camp


More from Nick Mattar:

Generation Z and Snapchat: The Future of Advertising

Motor City Brass Band “Sounds of the Season”

What: Motor City Brass Band “Sounds of the Season”
When: Sunday, December 18 at 3 p.m.
Where: Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

Welcome the holiday season than with an afternoon of brass band music. General admission is $19. Student and senior discounts are available by calling the box office at 313.943.2354. Children 12 and under may attend for free.

For tickets, call 313.943.2354 or go to http://dearborntheater.com/whats-on/1-whats-on/10002364-motor-city-brass-band-sounds-of-the-season

Butzel Long hosts reception during the Michigan Association of School Boards Annual Leadership Conference on November 10

Butzel Long is hosting a reception in conjunction with the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) Annual Leadership Conference from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016 in the firm’s Detroit office, located at 150 West Jefferson in Detroit.

Attorney Michael R. Griffie is host of the event. Griffie has a unique background combining both education and law. He has a decade of K-12 public education experience encompassing teaching and school leadership.

Butzel Long has a long and strong history of providing counsel to employers in all aspects of school-related law including collective bargaining, labor arbitrations municipal bonds and real estate.

To register online, visit https://www.butzel.com/event. For inquiries, contact Jocelyn Pomaranski at (313) 225-7075 or email at pomaranski@butzel.com.

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and 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

New Grant Funding Encourages Employers of People With Disabilities

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, through the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Foundation Endowment Fund, has awarded JVS a $36,400 grant for Pathways to Careers, which helps people with disabilities develop work skills and gain employment in the community. JVS is seeking employers to participate in this initiative.

JVS will use the grant to fund a payroll tax adjustment for any employer who hires a participant in the Pathways program. The employer can then apply the savings from lower payroll taxes to offset the cost of support, tools or special equipment that might be needed to help the individual succeed in the workplace.

“We are very excited about the award and hope this is a stepping stone to expanding the program,” commented Jim Willis, vice president of Workforce Development at JVS. “We want to continue to grow this exciting, impactful program in Michigan, and this grant will help us attract more employers.”

Although the Community Foundation award is not the first time a foundation has supported the Pathways initiative, this award is the first to specifically fund the payroll tax adjustment for participating employers in the Detroit area.

“This grant provides confirmation of the appeal of the payroll tax adjustment to employers,” said Willis. “It reinforces that employers are willing to engage with individuals with disabilities looking for work through innovative programs like Pathways to Careers.”

Pathways interns undergo an extensive discovery process to identify their skills, interests and abilities. Individuals are then matched with employers for 8-12 week internships at no cost to the employer.

JVS is one of four agencies in the country to receive funding from SourceAmerica® to implement Pathways, which is based upon a successful model launched seven years ago in Utah.

Employers interested in learning more about Pathways to Careers may contact Bill Hielscher at (248) 795-8943 or whielscher@jvsdet.org.

# # #
About JVS
JVS is an award-winning human services organization that helps people realize life’s potential through a variety of programs to maximize their self-sufficiency. With four main locations in Metropolitan Detroit, JVS helps job seekers jumpstart their job search, provides meaningful services to people with disabilities and helps seniors remain active and engaged. Visit www.jvsdet.org.

About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $870 million through more than 58,000 grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, Washtenaw, St. Clair and Livingston counties. For more information, please visit www.cfsem.org.

UHY LLP Hosts Fifth Annual Construction Outlook

UHY LLP, the fifth largest accounting firm in Southeast Michigan, will host their fifth annual Construction Outlook on Thursday, November 3 from 7:00AM–9:30AM in Farmington Hills.

Join UHY to learn more about developing industry trends including a construction outlook for Michigan and the Midwest, and a discussion on what the tax landscape could look like post-election.

“Michigan, and the Midwest at large, is in the midst of a bull market for construction that would have been difficult to fathom during the last recession,” said John Gallo, leader of UHY LLP’s construction practice. “But that bull market has brought to the surface an entirely different set of challenges – namely, the ability to retain key employees and a shortfall of skilled tradespeople. November’s election only adds to the uncertainty of the political and economic climate. UHY’s Construction Outlook will offer unique insights that help companies maximize growth opportunities and increase awareness of market trends.”

To RSVP contact Nicole Turner at nturner@uhy-us.com or phone 586 840 3639. CPE credit is available.

Walsh College to Host Strunk Accounting Fundamentals

Walsh College, which has built its stellar reputation as one of the state’s leading all-business colleges on the success of its undergraduate and graduate accounting programs, will offer a complimentary Strunk Accounting Fundamentals Course beginning Oct. 29 at the Novi campus.

The course consists of four sessions on consecutive Saturdays – Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 – running from noon to 3 p.m. each day. Each session is taught by a different Walsh College full-time or adjunct professor and is designed for anyone wishing to learn more about accounting.

The course is named for Arthur Strunk, who graduated from the Walsh Institute in 1957. It is made possible through an endowment from the Strunk Foundation. The program is a noncredit introduction to financial accounting and covers such topics as the accounting cycle, journal entries, T-accounts, financial statements, adjusting entries, and error analysis.

“The seminar was created with the generosity of the Strunk family, and its purpose is to spread an appreciation and awareness of accounting in the community,” said Ken Gleason, adjunct assistant professor, Accounting Department, Walsh College. “The course attracts a nice range of attendees, from current students looking to go over the basics of the accounting process at a careful pace, to business owners and directors who want to know what their employees do.”

Gleason, who will teach one of the Saturday sessions, added that the classes assume no prior accounting experience and are an introduction for those wanting to learn how to record, organize, analyze, and communicate business information from an accounting perspective.

The classes will be held during Walsh’s fall, winter and spring semesters. The fall and winter sessions are offered at the Troy and Novi campuses on different dates. The spring session will be offered at the Troy campus only.

For more information or to register, contact Diane Barrantes at Dbarrant@walshcollege.edu.

Walsh College accounting degree programs include the undergraduate Bachelor of Accountancy (BAC) and Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting Processes (BBA-ACP), and the graduate Master of Science in Accountancy (MAC).

The BAC has been revised for the fall 2016 semester to include both CPA and CMA concentrations. The undergraduate accounting program is one of only five in the state to earn a prestigious endorsement from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). Walsh College also offers a CMA Examination review program.