Oakland Community College Professional Named President of National Council

Michele Kersten-Hart, manager of multimedia and web services at Oakland Community College, is the new president of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR) Board of Directors. She was installed at the council’s national conference in Charleston, S.C., succeeding Jennifer Boehmer, associate director for strategic communications at Portland Community College in Oregon.

A resident of White Lake, Mich., Kersten-Hart has over 27 years of experience in marketing and 17 years in higher education. In addition to leading the College’s web presence, brand standards and project design team, she has also has taught marketing and advertising classes as an adjunct instructor at OCC.

Before becoming NCMPR president, Kersten-Hart served on the council’s board as vice president/president-elect, secretary and District 3 director. Prior to joining OCC in 2000, Kersten-Hart held a sales and relationship management position with Addis Marketing and Incentives, Corp., where she worked with numerous industry clients, including advertising firms and radio media outlets.

Kersten-Hart graduated magna cum laude from Cleary University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. She later earned a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University and a master’s of business administration in strategic management from Davenport University. Kersten-Hart received post-master certificates in interactive marketing and leadership from Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration.

NCMPR supports the professional development of community college communicators, representing more than 550 colleges across the United States and Canada and 1,700 members. It is the only organization of its kind that exclusively represents marketing and public relations professionals at community and technical colleges and one of the largest affiliates of the American Association of Community Colleges.

About OCC

With five campuses throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College is committed to providing academic and developmental experiences that allows each student to reach their full potential and enhance the diverse communities they serve. A fully accredited college, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields and university transfer degrees in business, science and the liberal arts. More than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965.

Media Contact: Bridget M. Kavanaugh | Marketing & Community Relations | (248) 341-2020 | bmkavana@oaklandcc.edu

Forward Detroit Quarterly Results

January – March, 2017 

 
Between January and March, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team assisted in closing three deals, which created 97 jobs and brought in an investment of $4.8 million to the Detroit region. Learn more about the Chamber’s Business Attraction efforts.
Investor Blog_D3_4.17
During the last quarter, the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) initiative wrapped up the Race to the FAFSA Line challenge for Southeast Michigan. Since the kickoff of this challenge in October, 16,467 students in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties have completed their FAFSA. These students extend from 85 schools that participated and five were awarded for their outstanding completion rates. Learn more about the Detroit Drives Degrees.
MICHauto, Michigan’s first-ever strategic initiative dedicated to promoting, retaining and growing the automotive and next-generation mobility industry is a program under the Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy. During the last quarter, MICHauto held a Legislative Tour and Reception during the North American International Auto Show, educating 32 elected officials on the industry. In addition, MICHauto held a Discover Auto career series event that exposed 72 Oakland University students to automotive careers with the participation of 12 automotive suppliers. Learn more about MICHauto.

 

Read more about what the Forward Detroit initiatives accomplished:

Education Advocates: Reform, More Training Opportunities Needed to Sustain Detroit’s Momentum

 

Tech Startup Lessons from Israel: Entrepreneurs Thrive with Collaboration, Government Support

Business and Education Leaders: College Access Programs Are Launchpad for Region’s Economic Prosperity

 

Chemical Financial Corporation Reports 2017 First Quarter Operating Results

Chemical Financial Corporation (“Corporation” or “Chemical”) (NASDAQ:CHFC) today announced 2017 first quarter net income of $47.6 million, or $0.67 per diluted share, compared to 2016 fourth quarter net income of $47.2 million, or $0.66 per diluted share and 2016 first quarter net income of $23.6 million, or $0.60 per diluted share. Excluding transaction expenses and the change in fair value in loan servicing rights (“significant items”), net income in the first quarter of 2017 was $50.7 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, compared to $49.9 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $25.3 million, or $0.65 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016.(1)

During the first quarter of 2017, significant items included transaction expenses of $4.2 million and a $0.5 million detriment to earnings due to the change in fair value in loan servicing rights, compared to transaction expenses of $18.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016, that were partially offset by $7.4 million of net gain on the sale of branches and a $6.3 million gain due to the change in fair value in loan servicing rights. Transaction expenses for the first quarter of 2016 were $2.6 million.

“We continue to make good progress towards our goal of being the preeminent Midwest Community Bank. Our first quarter 2017 financial results yielded solid underlying operating results. Importantly, we continued to generate strong organic loan growth, exceeding $280 million in the first quarter to bring our total organic loan growth over the past twelve months to more than $1 billion. During the quarter, we fast-tracked implementation of key infrastructure initiatives including significant risk management and compliance platform upgrades, accelerating the important benefits associated with those initiatives,” noted David B. Ramaker, Chief Executive Officer and President of Chemical Financial Corporation. “Our operating expense run rate in the first quarter modestly exceeded expectations and, as a factor that we can control, will continue to be an area of significant focus as we move forward in 2017.”

“We continue to build a great franchise, laying a strong foundation for future growth and enhanced shareholder value. In addition, the communities and markets we serve provide an attractive economic environment in which Chemical Bank can grow and prosper, and our talented team of bankers continues to capture an increasing share and range of our customers’ financial service needs.”

The Corporation’s return on average assets was 1.09% during both the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 1.02% in the first quarter of 2016. The Corporation’s return on average shareholders’ equity was 7.4% in both the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 9.3% in the first quarter of 2016. Excluding significant items, the Corporation’s return on average assets was 1.16% during both the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 1.09% in the first quarter of 2016 and the Corporation’s return on average shareholders’ equity was 7.8% in both the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 9.9% in the first quarter of 2016. (2)

Net interest income was $130.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, $2.4 million, or 1.8%, lower than the fourth quarter of 2016 and $55.8 million, or 75.0%, higher than the first quarter of 2016. The decrease in net interest income in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 was impacted by there being two less days in the quarter, a decrease in interest accretion from purchase accounting discounts on acquired loans and a reduction in prepayment fees recognized, partially offset by the positive impact of organic loan growth. The increase in net interest income in the first quarter of 2017 over the first quarter of 2016 was primarily attributable to loans acquired in the merger with Talmer Bancorp, Inc. (“Talmer”), although also partially attributable to organic loan growth. The Corporation experienced net organic loan growth of $282.6 million during the first quarter of 2017. The merger with Talmer added $4.88 billion of loans on August 31, 2016.

The net interest margin was 3.41% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 3.48% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 3.50% in the first quarter of 2016. The net interest margin (on a tax-equivalent basis) was 3.49% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 3.56% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 3.60% in the first quarter of 2016. (3) The decrease in the net interest margin (on a tax-equivalent basis) in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, was largely attributable to lower average yields on the Corporation’s loan portfolio resulting from a lower contribution of interest accretion from purchase accounting discounts on acquired loans and a reduction in prepayment fees recognized. Interest accretion from purchase accounting discounts on acquired loans contributed 12 basis points to the Corporation’s net interest margin (on a tax-equivalent basis) in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 14 basis points in the fourth quarter of 2016 and three basis points in the first quarter of 2016.

The provision for loan losses was $4.1 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $6.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2016. The decrease in the provision for loan losses in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, was primarily the result of overall credit quality and collateral position improvements, partially offset by organic growth in the loan portfolio. The increase in the provision for loan losses in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the first quarter of 2016, was primarily the result of an increase in organic growth in the loan portfolio.

Net loan charge-offs were $3.5 million, or 0.11% of average loans, in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $1.8 million, or 0.06% of average loans, in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $4.5 million, or 0.25% of average loans, in the first quarter of 2016. Net loan charge-offs in the first quarter of 2017 included $1.5 million of losses from one commercial loan relationship.

The Corporation’s nonperforming loans totaled $47.8 million at March 31, 2017, compared to $44.3 million at December 31, 2016 and $53.4 million at March 31, 2016. Nonperforming loans comprised 0.36% of total loans at March 31, 2017, compared to 0.34% at December 31, 2016 and 0.73% at March 31, 2016. The decrease in the percentage of nonperforming loans to total loans at March 31, 2017, compared to March 31, 2016, was primarily due to $4.9 billion of total loans added as a result of the merger with Talmer, as none of these loans are classified as nonperforming after the merger date since they are recorded in loan pools at their estimated net realizable value in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

At March 31, 2017, the allowance for loan losses of the originated loan portfolio was $78.8 million, or 0.99% of originated loans, compared to $78.3 million, or 1.05% of originated loans, at December 31, 2016 and $70.3 million, or 1.17% of originated loans, at March 31, 2016. The allowance for loan losses of the originated loan portfolio as a percentage of nonperforming loans was 164.7% at March 31, 2017, compared to 176.5% at December 31, 2016 and 131.6% at March 31, 2016. The reduction in allowance for loan losses as a percentage of originated loans primarily reflects overall credit improvement and collateral position improvement on loans individually evaluated for impairment.

Noninterest income was $38.0 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $54.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $19.4 million in the first quarter of 2016. Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2017 decreased compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 primarily due to the fourth quarter 2016 net gain on the sales of the Chicago, Illinois and Las Vegas, Nevada branches totaling $7.4 million and a $5.3 million decrease in mortgage banking revenue. Mortgage banking revenue included a $519 thousand detriment to earnings due to a change in fair value in loan servicing rights in the first quarter of 2017, compared to a benefit of $6.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. As of January 1, 2017, the Corporation elected to account for loan servicing rights previously accounted for under the lower of cost or fair value method under the fair value measurement method. This change in accounting policy did not impact the income statement retrospectively, but resulted in a positive balance sheet adjustment to retained earnings as of January 1, 2017 in the amount of $3.7 million. Noninterest income in the first quarter of 2017 was higher than the first quarter of 2016 due primarily to incremental revenue resulting from the merger with Talmer.

Operating expenses were $104.2 million in the first quarter of 2017, compared to $114.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $58.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. Operating expenses included transaction expenses   of

$4.2 million in the first quarter of 2017, $18.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $2.6 million in the first quarter of 2016. Excluding these transaction expenses, operating expenses were $100.0 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $96.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $56.3 million in the first quarter of 2016.(4) The increase in operating expenses, excluding transaction expenses, in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 was primarily due to increases in credit-related expenses of $2.2 million, mostly due to a reduction in the amount of gains on sales of other real estate, and employee benefits of $2.0 million primarily due to an increase in payroll taxes due to stock option exercises and the beginning of a new tax year. The increase in operating expenses, excluding transaction expenses, in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the first quarter of 2016, was primarily attributable to incremental expenses resulting from the merger with Talmer.

The effective tax rate was 20.5% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 28.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 29.2% in the first quarter of 2016. The decrease in the tax rate for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the prior and year ago quarters was primarily due to the tax benefit received from stock option exercises that occurred in the first quarter 2017 and growth in the Corporation’s lending on real estate projects that receive either low income housing or historic tax credits.

The efficiency ratio is a measure of operating expenses as a percentage of net interest income and noninterest income. The Corporation’s efficiency ratio was 62.0% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 61.2% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 62.8% in the first quarter of 2016. The Corporation’s adjusted efficiency ratio, which excludes transaction expenses, changes in fair value of the loan servicing portfolio, amortization of intangibles and net gains on sales of branches, closed branch locations and investment securities, was 57.4% in the first quarter of 2017, compared to 53.7% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 57.6% in the first quarter of 2016. (5)

Total assets were $17.64 billion at March 31, 2017, compared to $17.36 billion at December 31, 2016 and $9.30 billion at March 31, 2016. The increase in total assets during the three months ended March 31, 2017 was primarily attributable to loan growth that was funded by a combination of organic growth in customer deposits and an increase in FHLB advances. The increase in total assets during the twelve months ended March 31, 2017 was primarily attributable to the merger with Talmer in addition to organic loan growth.

Total loans were $13.27 billion at March 31, 2017, an increase of $282.6 million, or 2.2%, from total loans of $12.99 billion at December 31, 2016 and an increase of $5.91 billion, or 80.2%, from total loans of $7.37 billion at March 31, 2016. The Corporation experienced organic loan growth of $282.6 million during the first quarter of 2017 and $1.02 billion during the twelve months ended March 31, 2017. The Corporation added $4.88 billion of loans as part of the merger with Talmer on August 31, 2016.

Total deposits were $13.13 billion at March 31, 2017, compared to $12.87 billion at December 31, 2016 and $7.65 billion at March 31, 2016. The Corporation experienced organic growth in customer deposits of $259.2 million during the first quarter of 2017. The Corporation added $5.29 billion of deposits as part of the merger with Talmer, including $403.2 million of brokered deposits. The Corporation reduced the balance of brokered deposits by $318.5 million during the period of September 30, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

Securities sold under agreements to repurchase with customers were $398.9 million at March 31, 2017, compared to $343.0 million at December 31, 2016 and $283.4 million at March 31, 2016. Short-term borrowings were $900.0 million at March 31, 2017 and $825.0 million at December 31, 2016 and consisted of short-term FHLB advances utilized by the Corporation to fund short-term liquidity needs. Long-term borrowings were $490.9 million at March 31, 2017, compared to $597.8 million at December 31, 2016 and $273.7 million at March 31, 2016.

The Corporation’s shareholders’ equity to total assets ratio was 14.7% at March 31, 2017, compared to 14.9% at December 31, 2016 and 11.1% at March 31, 2016. The Corporation’s tangible equity to tangible assets ratio and total risk-based capital ratio were 8.8% and 11.4% (estimated), respectively, at March 31, 2017 compared to 8.8% and 11.5%, respectively, at December 31, 2016 and 8.2% and 11.5%, respectively, at March 31, 2016. (6) The Corporation’s book value was $36.56 per share at March 31, 2017, compared to $36.57 per share at December 31, 2016 and $26.99 per share at March 31, 2016. The Corporation’s tangible book value was $20.32 per share at March 31, 2017, compared to $20.20 per share at December 31, 2016 and $19.20 per share at March 31, 2016. (7)

  • Net income, excluding significant items, and diluted earnings per share, excluding significant items, are non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this press release and to the financial tables entitled “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures.
  • Return on average assets, excluding significant items, and return on average shareholders’ equity, excluding significant items, are non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this press release and to the financial tables entitled “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial
  • Net interest margin, on a tax equivalent basis, is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please refer to the section entitled “Non- GAAP Financial Measures” in this press release and to the financial tables entitled “Average Balances, Fully Tax Equivalent (FTE) Interest and Effective Yields and Rates” for a reconciliation of net interest income used to compute net interest margin on a tax equivalent basis to the most directly comparable GAAP financial
  • Operating expenses excluding transaction expenses is a non-GAAP financial
  • Adjusted efficiency ratio is a non-GAAP financial Please refer to the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this press release and to the financial tables entitled “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure.
  • Tangible equity to tangible assets ratio is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please refer to the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this press release and to the financial tables entitled “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial
  • Tangible book value per share is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please refer to the section entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this press release and to the financial tables entitled “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a reconciliation to the most directly comparable GAAP financial

Conference Call Details

Chemical Financial Corporation will host a conference call to discuss its first quarter 2017 operating results on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. ET. Anyone interested may access the conference call on a live basis by dialing toll-free at 1-855-490-5692 and entering 268798 for the conference ID. The call will also be broadcast live over the Internet hosted at Chemical Financial Corporation’s website at www.chemicalbank.com under the “Investor Info” section. A copy of the slide-show presentation and an audio replay of the call will remain available on Chemical Financial Corporation’s website for at least 14 days.

About Chemical Financial Corporation

Chemical Financial Corporation is the largest banking company headquartered and operating branch offices in Michigan. The Corporation operates through its subsidiary bank, Chemical Bank, with 249 banking offices located primarily in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana. At March 31, 2017, the Corporation had total assets  of $17.64 billion. Chemical Financial Corporation’s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CHFC and is one of the issuers comprising The NASDAQ Global Select Market and the S&P MidCap 400 Index. More information about the Corporation is available by visiting the investor relations section of its website at www.chemicalbank.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains references to financial measures which are not defined in generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). Such non-GAAP financial measures include the Corporation’s tangible equity to tangible assets ratio, tangible book value per share, presentation of net interest income and net interest margin on a fully taxable equivalent (FTE) basis, and information presented excluding transaction expenses or significant items, including net income, diluted earnings per share, return on average assets, return on average shareholders’ equity, operating expenses and the efficiency ratio. These non-GAAP financial measures have been included as the Corporation believes they are helpful for investors to analyze and evaluate the Corporation’s financial condition. Reconciliations of non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure may be found in the financial tables included with this press release.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on management’s beliefs, assumptions, current expectations, estimates and projections about the financial services industry, the economy and the Corporation. Words and phrases such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “continue,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “future,” “intends,” “is likely,” “judgment,” “look ahead,” “look forward,” “on schedule,” “opinion,” “opportunity,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “probable,” “projects,” “should,” “strategic,” “trend,” “will,” and variations of such words and phrases or similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Such statements are based upon current beliefs and expectations and involve substantial risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These statements include, among others, statements related to future levels of loan charge-offs, future levels of provisions for loan losses, real estate valuation, future levels of nonperforming assets, the rate of asset dispositions, future capital levels, future dividends, future growth and funding sources, future liquidity levels, future profitability levels, future deposit insurance premiums, future asset levels, the effects on earnings of future changes in interest rates, the future level of other revenue sources, future economic trends and conditions, future initiatives to expand the Corporation’s market share, expected performance and cash flows from acquired loans, future effects of new or changed accounting standards, future opportunities for acquisitions, opportunities to increase top line revenues, the Corporation’s ability to grow its core franchise, future cost savings and the Corporation’s ability to maintain adequate liquidity and capital based on the requirements adopted by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and U.S. regulators. All statements referencing future time periods are forward-looking.

Management’s determination of the provision and allowance for loan losses; the carrying value of acquired loans, goodwill and mortgage servicing rights; the fair value of investment securities (including whether any impairment on any investment security is temporary or other-than-temporary and the amount of any impairment); and management’s assumptions concerning pension and other postretirement benefit plans involve judgments that are inherently forward- looking. There can be no assurance that future loan losses will be limited to the amounts estimated. All of the information concerning interest rate sensitivity is forward-looking. The future effect of changes in the financial and credit markets and the national and regional economies on the banking industry, generally, and on the Corporation, specifically, are also inherently uncertain. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions (“risk factors”) that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent, likelihood and degree of occurrence. Therefore, actual results and outcomes may materially differ from what may be expressed or forecasted in such forward-looking statements. The Corporation undertakes no obligation to update, amend or clarify forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Risk factors include, but are not limited to, the risk factors described in Item 1A of Chemical’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. These and other factors are representative of the risk factors that may emerge and could cause a difference between an ultimate actual outcome and a preceding forward-looking statement.

Chemical Financial Corporation Announces Second Quarter Cash Dividend

Chemical Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CHFC) today announced that the Board of Directors of the Corporation declared a second quarter 2017 cash dividend on its common stock of $0.27 per share. The second quarter 2017 dividend will be payable on June 16, 2017, to shareholders of record on June 2, 2017. The ex-dividend date is May 31, 2017.

Chemical Financial Corporation is the largest banking company headquartered and operating branch offices in Michigan. The Corporation operates through its subsidiary bank, Chemical Bank, with 249 banking offices located primarily in Michigan, northeast Ohio and northern Indiana. At March 31, 2017, the Corporation had total assets of $17.64 billion. Chemical Financial Corporation’s common stock trades on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol CHFC and is one of the issuers comprising The NASDAQ Global Select Market and the S&P MidCap 400 Index.

More information about the Corporation is available by visiting the investor relations section of its website at www.chemicalbank.com.

Clayton & McKervey identifies and explains key components of President Trump’s tax proposal

The CPAs and tax advisors at Clayton & McKervey, an international certified public accounting and business advisory firm located in metro Detroit, see major changes ahead for businesses and individuals should President Trump’s proposed tax overhaul become law.

The largest and most immediate perceived impact on businesses would be the drop in the highest marginal corporate tax rate from 35 % to 15%, while the top marginal tax rate for individuals is proposed at 35%, down from the current 39.6%.

“For individual business owners, the tax drops could be a significant windfall,” Margaret Amsden, CPA, a shareholder in the tax department at Clayton & McKervey said. “The tax rate on business income reported on tax returns of individuals in pass-through businesses organized as LLCs or Sub-S corporations would drop to 15% rather than being taxed at individual rates. It is not yet clear how the changes to deductions and the closing of “loop-holes” will impact the overall tax burden.”

The President’s plan to repeal the provision of the tax code allowing individuals to deduct state and local income and real estate taxes from their income is expected to have a measurable effect on those who have historically itemized deductions. To offset this in some part, the President’s plan calls for a doubling of the standard deduction.

Individuals in general are expected to see tax changes in the following areas:

  • A drop from seven tax brackets to three: 10%, 25%, 35%
  • Double standard deduction for married filers $24,000
  • Repeal of AMT
  • Repeal of the 3.8% investment tax
  • Repeal of the estate tax
  • Only charitable deductions and home interest itemized deductions will remain.

Back to the proposed business changes, there is an intention to move to a Territorial Tax System, a system that would only tax profits earned in the United States versus the current system that taxes worldwide income. The proposal also provides a one-time lower tax rate on the repatriation of overseas earnings. It should be noted, however, that no specifics have been revealed for either of these concepts yet.

“Many multi-national businesses have accumulated significant earnings overseas. The repatriation proposal would allow companies to bring these overseas earnings back to the United States at a lower tax rate. This proposal is meant to stimulate growth in the U.S. economy,” Sarah Russell, CPA, a shareholder in international tax at Clayton & McKervey, said.

About Clayton & McKervey

Clayton & McKervey is a full-service CPA firm helping middle-market entrepreneurial companies compete in the global marketplace. The firm is headquartered in metro Detroit and services clients throughout the world. To learn more, visit claytonmckervey.com.

Winning the Race in Connected Technology

On Wednesday, May 31 during the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, the session Michigan’s Digital Future: Opportunities in the Connected World will focus on how Michigan can capitalize on its strengths to lead the race in connected technology.

This panel ties into the Conference pillar of winning the race in connected technology, which focuses on the state’s leadership in next-generation mobility, expanding beyond the “connected car” to the connectivity of all things and big data.

Panelists will share insights on the evolving world of big data, the internet of things and mobility. This session will be moderated by KC Crain Jr., executive vice president and director of corporate operations at Crain Communications Inc. Panelists include:

  • Keith Collins, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, SAS
  • John Kwant, Vice President, City Solutions, Ford Smart Mobility LLC
  • Wright Lassiter III, President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System
  • Ingeborg Rocker, Vice President, 3DExperiencity, Dassault Systèmes

Professional clothing drive to benefit STEP Thrift Store and Donation Centers

STEP Thrift Store and Donation Centers (Dearborn Heights, Downtown Wayne, and Southgate) are unique thrift store operations providing work opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment. Owned and operated by Services To Enhance Potential (STEP), the store operations are utilized as stepping stones towards future employment outside of the STEP program. All donation based proceeds are allocated towards the many programs and services created to benefit STEP clients.

In partnership with Ford Motor Company, a donation drive has been scheduled for the week of May 1st – May 5th, 2017 at two Ford Motor locations in Dearborn Heights, and Livonia. The goal is to collect professional clothing such as dress pants, blazers, suit coats, dress shirts, and shoes to benefit STEP clients for interviewing and job related purposes. All other clothing and shoe items will be accepted.

“STEP Thrift Stores are a place where individuals can explore options in the retail environment. Regardless of the skills learned in the stores, participants can take those new skills and learn to apply them in real world situations. Our objective at STEP is to grow their skill set and encourage independent employment in the community” says Leah Cooley, Regional Retail Sales Manager.

STEP Professional Clothing Drive: May 1st – May 5th, 2017

Community Participation is encouraged

STEP Thrift Store and Donation Center Locations:

23830 Ford Rd Dearborn Hts, MI 48127
(313) 633-0755

35004 W Michigan Ave Wayne, MI 48184
(734) 728-9777

15413 Dix Toledo Southgate, MI 48195
(734) 225-3400

STEP is opening the donation drive opportunity to the community. STEP encourages community members and businesses to collect/ donate clothing items and use this time frame to contribute to a noteworthy cause. Large donation pick-up is available. Tax credits will be issued upon receipt of contributions.

STEP Marketing Department
32229 Schoolcraft Rd.
Livonia, MI 48150
Contact: Sinziana Luchian,
(734) 679-0040, or sluchian@stepcentral.org

Contact: Leah Cooley, Regional Retail Sales Manager at 734-756-7297, or lcooley@stepcentral.org for additional donation information. For more information about STEP services visit: STEPcentral.org.

About Services To Enhance Potential (STEP)

Services To Enhance Potential (STEP) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, which provides support and services to more than 1,300 persons with disabilities and other mental health needs in the Wayne County area. A major goal of STEP is to increase the number of persons who are employed, self-employed, and volunteer in their communities. STEP provides and supports a variety of employment and selfemployment options.

For more information visit www.STEPcentral.org

American Society of Employers (ASE) welcomes 12 new members

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, announces 12 organizations joined ASE as members during the first quarter of 2017. The organizations are:

  • Answer Health on Demand, a joint venture between physician owned Answer Health, LLC and Emergency Care Specialists, P.C. that is dedicated to delivering the community with comprehensive, convenient, and coordinated online healthcare.
  • AW Technical Center, a Michigan based automatic transmission and GPS research and development center for the automotive company headquartered in Japan.
  • Certus Automotive, Inc., a global leader in chrome plated trim, complete with complimentary decorative capabilities, located in Auburn Hills.
  • Coastal Automotive, a forward-looking automotive safety manufacturer located in Rochester Hills.
  • Global Psychological Services, utilizes organizational and educational psychology practices to improve the world of Education.  Located in Farmington Hills.
  • HighScope Educational Research Foundation, an independent nonprofit research, development, training, and public outreach organization with headquarters in Ypsilanti, Michigan, that focuses on early childhood education and the professional development of those that are in the field.
  • Hutchinson Aerospace and Industry, a world leader in development of unique and custom solutions for shock attenuation and vibration isolation mounting systems.
  • Industrial Steel Treating Company, located in Jackson, one of the largest and most modern heat treat facilities in the U.S.
  • Older Persons’ Commission, provides innovative programs and high quality services that stimulate and advance active and healthy living for the 50+ community.  Located in Rochester.
  • One Detroit Credit Union, a credit union servicing people in the Detroit area community who have been overlooked by the mainstream banking system by providing them with credible, fair and reasonably priced financial products and services.
  • Oxford Property Management, a full-service real estate company with more than 15 years of experience investing in the greater Ann Arbor area.
  • Whitlam Group, an industry leader in innovative labeling & packaging solutions located in Centerline.

“ASE is pleased to start 2017 off with new members representing a variety of industries across southeast Michigan,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE president & CEO. “With the new administration, Michigan employers look to ASE to keep them informed on new employment regulations and we look forward to working with this new group of members.”

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

Improving Talent Attraction and Retention

By:  Sarah Craft

Detroit Drives Degrees (D3) has three focus areas: Allowing regional residents improved access to a postsecondary opportunity, improving success within those programs, and retaining this talent once they’ve completed their certification, as well as attract new talent to the region. When we say “talent”, we’re talking about people with any sort of postsecondary credential, including a professional certification, and degrees including associate, bachelors and beyond.

Detroit Young Professional Mixer

We’re working with incredible partners throughout the region to reach our goal of increasing the number of people with postsecondary degrees to 60 percent by 2025. Detroit Young Professionals (DYP) is one of those partners. DYP is dedicated to strengthening the next generation of regional leaders by providing professional development, civic engagement and networking opportunities. Professional organizations like this do an incredible job getting local people connected to opportunities, as well as providing an effective welcoming mat to area newcomers.

D3’s talent working group is doing research to better identify strengths, challenges and opportunities in regionwide talent attraction and retention. We’ll be promoting a broader talent survey in the next week or two, but we’ve also been looking at national models, research and facilitating one-on-one and focus group discussions to better understand talent needs.

DYP serves on our working group, and we recently attended one of their networking events. With more than 200 people present, we collected useful narratives and perspectives on individuals’ experiences related to talent retention and attraction.

Why Here imageThe biggest takeaway was that region’s opportunity for making an impact and the spirit of our people is what seems to matter most. Whatever possible improvements to talent retention and attraction we come up with will be sure to focus on people, equity and relationship building.

Here are highlights from questions we asked at DYP:

Why do you live in the region?

  • Family
  • To be part of positive changes
  • The spirit of Detroiters
  • Deep roots and pride
  • Career
  • It’s a cool place to live

What are your community’s greatest assets?Best Assets

  • People
  • Activities
  • Walkable communities

How can people get connected to your community?

  • Spend time (and money) at local
    businesses
  • Get involved with a local organization
  • Get out and about to talk to neighbors, attend networking events or joining a recreational sports league
  • Through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social sites like Meetup

Unfortunately, many people weren’t sure how to encourage others to get connected to their community, especially when people lived in smaller suburban communities like Romulus or Roseville.

For residents, new to the region or to those who left for a while and recently returned, we asked:

What made your transition to the region easy?

  • Having a friend, colleague, family member or neighbor as a guide
  • Being curious and open to new experiences
  • Finding a community to be involved in, like the music scene, volunteer opportunity, or an interest-based networking group
  • Looking through social media to find out about events

What made your transition hard?

  • Finding new friends
  • Finding a place to live
  • Outside perceptions of the region, especially related to safety
  • Adjusting to the quality of life, like not having regional transit or the lack of walkable communities

What could have made your transition better?

An easier way to:

  • Make friends and meet new people
  • Find things to do, based on interests or personal recommendations
  • Get information about the region, like where to live based on interests and lifestyle

Stay tuned for our upcoming talent survey and opportunities to get involved in our work. For questions, comments, or ideas, reach out to scraft@detroitchamber.com.