American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes 17 New Members

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, announces 17 organizations joined ASE as members during the third quarter of 2017. The organizations are:

• ATS Printing is a volume apparel decorator specializing in screen printing, embroidery, and digital printing located in Bay City, MI.
• Banner Engineering is a global leader in industrial automation, developing smart sensor solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) headquartered in Plymouth, MN.
• BMI Mobile Imaging provides high quality mobile diagnostics services geared specifically to the needs of homebound and non-ambulatory patients and is headquartered in Southfield, MI.
• Consolidated Agencies is an independent insurance agency located in Birmingham, MI, representing various insurance companies.
• Die Services International, formerly Republic Die & Tool Company, is a stamping and assembly facility located in Belleville, MI.
• DSA Systems, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of hardware and software systems for electrical and electronic testing of vehicle components located in Troy, MI.
• Kistler Instrument Corporation is the global leader in dynamic measurement technology for measuring pressure, force, torque and acceleration located in Novi, MI.
• Irvin Automotive Products is an automotive interior trim and seating material manufacturer based in Pontiac, MI.
• Samsung SDI America, Inc. is a global leader and creator of energy and materials solutions located in Auburn Hills, MI.
• Smith Brothers Tool Company is a manufacturer of a variety of tool fabrication solutions for the Aerospace, Defense, Automotive and Power & Energy Industries located in Shelby Township, MI.
• Spider Development is a web development company located in Waterford, MI.
• StarrVista, Inc. is a care management organization that offers a system of services designed to invest resources of time, energy and people in the lives of youth and their families. They are located in Detroit, MI.
• Synergy Computer Solutions, Inc. is a comprehensive IT professional services provider performing highly effective custom software development, application maintenance, and complete IT strategic staffing located in Bingham Farms, MI.
• The Allen Law Group, PC is a Detroit-based law firm serving the increasingly diverse needs of the private and public sector.
• The Tetra Corporation is a leading in-office dispensed pharmaceutical provider in the podiatric and dermatological physician office space located in Eaton Rapids, MI.
• Total Door Systems is a global leader in the design, engineering, and manufacturing of integrated door systems and related technology located in Waterford, MI.
• WABCO North America, LLC is a global supplier of technologies and services that improve the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles located in Rochester Hills, MI.

ASE president & CEO, Mary E. Corrado, made the announcement and stated, “ASE welcomes our 17 newest members, and we look forward to providing them services that grow their bottom line and enhance their talent for years to come.”

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

Patti Poppe

Patti Poppe is president and CEO of Consumers Energy. She previously served as senior vice president of distribution operations, engineering and transmission for CMS Energy, and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy.

Poppe oversees the company’s electric and gas distribution systems, energy operations and electric transmission. Her responsibilities include engineering, maintenance and operations of the electric and natural gas delivery systems.

Prior to her current role, Poppe served as Consumers Energy’s vice president of customer experience, rates and regulation. Before joining Consumers Energy, Poppe served as a director of energy optimization and as power plant director at DTE Energy overseeing five generating facilities. Prior to working for DTE Energy, Poppe held a variety of plant management positions in the automotive industry.

Anthony Minghine

Anthony Minghine is chief operating officer and deputy executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. He is a tireless advocate for local government, and frequently testifies to the state Legislature on matters relating to local government finance. With more than 25 years of combined experience, Minghine is an expert in operational and finance issues relating to municipalities and nonprofits. He is a regular speaker on a variety of topics affecting local government, and plays a key role in training local officials.

Minghine is a member of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, the Governmental Finance Officers Association, and the Michigan Governmental Finance Officers Association.

Virginia Sabia Wilkinson

Director, Strategy and Business Intelligence, Detroit Economic Growth Corp.

Virginia Sabia Wilkinson is the director of strategy and business intelligence for the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. (DEGC). In this role, Wilkinson facilitates both internal and external thought partnering for multi-disciplinary activities in the recovery of the Detroit economy. Her work includes place-based and sector-based strategies extending throughout the city and region.

Wilkinson is focused on establishing and enhancing the value proposition for the city of Detroit, cultivating work in the medhealth and design/creative economies, global commerce, and cultivating cross-border opportunities with the Windsor-Essex region and Greater Canada. She also advises all elements of the DEGC including business development, real estate, and small business programs.

Wilkinson has 20 years of professional experience primarily in economic development, transportation and mobility, land use, and environmental work.

Clayton & McKervey shareholder to moderate panel at Integr8™ Industry 4.0 conference on Nov. 9 in Detroit

Clayton & McKervey, an international certified public accounting and business advisory firm located in metro Detroit, announced that shareholder Sarah Russell, CPA, will be a moderator at Integr8™, a new cross-discipline global conference focused on Industry 4.0 technologies, Nov. 9 in Detroit. The conference, the first of its kind to tackle the integration of the eight technologies currently disrupting the manufacturing industry, is being hosted by Automation Alley.

Integr8™ will advance attendees’ knowledge and understanding of Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, and will help companies enhance their global competitiveness. It is expected to attract hundreds of manufacturing and technology professionals from across the region and the world to discuss the eight technologies associated with Industry 4.0: cybersecurity, big data and artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud computing and modeling, simulation and visualization. Russell will moderate a panel on the financial return on investment for Automation & Robotics. The panelists are Kevin Ostby, Vice President, FANUC America Corporation; Brent Kelso, Director of Marketing & Business Development, North America, Comau LLC; and Matt Tyler, President and CEO, Vickers Engineering, Inc.

At Clayton & McKervey, Russell is a point person for implementing tax strategies to help business owners reduce their tax liabilities and maximize cash flow with tools such as the Research & Experimentation tax credit and IC-DISC. She advises owners and executive teams on global operational structuring, foreign tax credit utilization and tax treaty analysis, working with companies that are expanding both within and outside of the U.S. in a variety of industries, including automation. Russell holds a Masters of Business Administration from Wayne State University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Michigan–Dearborn.

Clayton & McKervey is pleased to be a technology sponsor for Integr8™. For a complete list of Integr8™speakers, as well as registration information, visit

About Automation Alley
Integr8™ is presented by Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. The mission of Automation Alley is to position Southeast Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically as they keep pace with rapid technological changes in manufacturing.

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

Butzel Long attorney James Townsend elected to Wayne State University’s Chapter of the Order of the Coif

Butzel Long attorney James H. (Jim) Townsend has been elected to Wayne State University’s Chapter of the Order of the Coif, the highest honor academic honor accorded to law school graduates nationwide. Only a number of schools have chapters of Order of the Coif, and only those who graduated in the top ten percent of their class are eligible for membership.

Based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, Townsend is a member of the firm’s Corporate and Real Estate Practice Group. He focuses his practice on business, corporate, and real estate law.

Prior to joining the firm, Townsend represented the 26th District in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he was the House sponsor of legislation that established the Regional Transit Authority for Southeast Michigan. He was named Legislator of the Year in 2013 by the Michigan Municipal League.

Townsend served in Washington, DC as Legislative Director in the Office of U.S. Representative Nita M. Lowey. He also worked for U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. His private sector experience includes serving as a brand manager at Ford Motor Company; founding and directing the Michigan Suburbs Alliance (now Metro Matters); and, directing the Tourism Economic Development Counsel, a subsidiary of the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau charged with expanding southeast Michigan’s tourism economy.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) recently appointed Townsend to serve on the Advisory Council of the Redevelopment Ready Communities® program, a statewide initiative to assist communities in strengthening and streamlining their planning, zoning, permitting, and marketing efforts to create a predictable and straightforward experience for investors, businesses and residents working within a community. More than 100 communities in Michigan are currently seeking RRC certification. As a nonprofit executive, Townsend led the team of development industry experts, city officials and other stakeholders that established the RRC program in 2004. The MEDC acquired the program in 2012.

Townsend earned his BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC (1988 ) (Highest Honors in History); his MBA & Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (1997); and, his JD from Wayne State University, Detroit, MI (2016) where he received the following recognitions:

• Awarded Silver Key for academic excellence, 2014-15, 2015-16
• Member, Wayne Law Review (2015-16), awarded Best Note by Law Review Board
• Faculty Board (student rep.), Levin Center at Wayne Law (2015-16)
• Board of Governors Scholarship, 2013-14, 2014-15
• Raymond Krell Scholarship, 2014-15
• Izumi Scholarship, 2014-15
• Judge Morcum Scholarship, 2015-16
• George Peck Scholarship for Superior Academic Achievement, 2015-16
• Bruce A. Miller Family Scholarship, 2016
• John Reed Scholarship, 2016
• Justice Marilyn Kelly Public Interest Endowed Scholarship, 2016

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting or follow Butzel Long on Twitter:

OCC Hosts Domestic Terrorism Conference Governor Snyder Delivers Keynote Address

There’s no better setting for a two-day emergency planning conference than Oakland Community College’s (OCC) “CREST” facility, a “city” built specifically to train emergency responders.
More than 275 representatives from at least 60 local, state, and national agencies convened to learn more about domestic terrorism and hear from Governor Rick Snyder, who delivered the keynote address. Local police, fire and EMS departments, Michigan State Police, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Patrol, and military personnel from multiple branches attended a two-day event at OCC’s Combined Regional Emergency Services Training (CREST) facility.
“This conference was a tremendous opportunity to assess the threats we all could face and to learn about the resources we have right here in Michigan that can help with this national concern,” said Gov. Rick Snyder.
The conference was organized and co-chaired by Ken Aud, OCC professor of Criminal Justice and Ken Van Sparrentak, OCC professor of Homeland Security. According to Ken Aud, the conference, Domestic Terrorism – Defending Against the Threat “focused on proactive approaches to combating the continuing war on terrorism in our country.”
“Our primary conference goal was to provide a platform for all agencies at the local, state, and federal level to meet, discuss and share the latest technology and information relative to domestic terrorism. According to the preliminary feedback, we successfully achieved that goal.”
Workshops led by area experts covered a variety of hot topics, from ISIS to Technology and Terrorism, Facial Recognition to Cyberterrorism, Unmanned vehicles to a case study of the Boston bombing, and more. In addition to the workshops, attendees were treated to hands-on experiences including drone demonstrations and robots used for security.
“This event is another way Oakland Community College is reaching out to serve the Homeland Security, Criminal Justice, Public Services, and Emergency Services communities,” said Peter Provenzano Jr., Interim Chancellor. “In today’s turbulent times, this work is critical to the safety and security of not only our community, but also the state and the nation.”
OCC offers both degrees and certificates in Criminal Justice and Homeland Security. For more information on the event and/or programs, please contact Ken Aud, OCC Criminal Justice program chair at

About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve. More than 45,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at

Southeast Michigan Economy Growing, But Is It Sustainable?

There’s good news for jobseekers: employers in southeast Michigan are hiring. During the second quarter of 2017 (Q2 2017), the region’s unemployment rate reached 3.8 percent—a low not seen since 2001. Yet, even with the number of job postings on an upward trend year-to-year, a stagnant labor force portends more workers will be needed to meet future employer demand in the region. These latest findings and more are analyzed in the Q2 2017 labor market reports, compiled by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) for a 16-county area in southeast Michigan and other regions.

People are finding jobs, but employers face challenges filling them
Job postings continue to increase—slowly but steadily—while the region’s labor market remains relatively the same. This is because though job postings increased by one percent in between the first and second quarters of 2017, the labor market experienced a slight decrease of 4,406 people in the same timeframe due to natural churning of the economy as it continues to rebound after the recession. When looking at Q2 2017 postings in comparison to Q2 2016 postings, year-to-year employer demand was 16 percent higher with 22,175 additional jobs posted this year, likely because of continued economic growth in the region.

“With the gap between employer demand and labor force growth widening, employers in the region will likely experience increased hiring challenges,” said Alex Rosaen, Director of Data Analytics at WIN. “Efforts to train workers for available jobs and educate jobseekers about in-demand opportunities remain a top priority in the region.”

Soft skills increasing in importance
Though in-demand technical skills, desired education and/or experience, and salary ranges varied among the eleven occupation groups analyzed for the region, nearly every occupation group indicated “communications,” “writing,” or both among the top in-demand employability skills.

“We are seeing soft skills becoming more and more important to employers in every occupation and industry sector,” said Rosaen. “To ensure that jobseekers are equipped with in-demand soft skills, it is important that we continue to connect employers with training and education partners to offer these opportunities.”

What jobs are available and what do they pay?
Registered nurses remain the most in-demand job in southeast Michigan, overtaking truck drivers. Overall, the region’s top in-demand jobs included:
– Registered Nurses: 9,638 job postings
– Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers: 7,901 job postings
– Software Developers, Applications: 5,757 job postings
– Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing, – Except Technical & Scientific: 4,932 job postings
– Retail Salespersons: 4,585 job postings

The Engineering & Design and IT occupation groups offered higher than average advertised salaries than other occupation groups. These two groups continue to promote the highest average salaries, though most jobs within these groups require at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field

The average wage advertised in postings during Q2 2017 were as follows, listed alphabetically:
– Agriculture: $42,000
– Business and Finance: $60,000
– Construction: $49,000
– Customer Service: $52,000 (although most postings listed wages below $35,000)
– Education: $56,000
– Energy: $49,000
– Engineers and Designers (manufacturing focused): $84,000
– Health Care: $63,000
– Information Technology (IT): $91,000
– Skilled Trades and Technicians: $39,000 (although most postings listed wages below $35,000)
– Transportation, distribution, and logistics (TDL): $60,000

The full Q2 2017 labor market report for the 16-county region analyzed by WIN, as well as WIN’s other latest data and research projects and reports are available at:

The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between ten community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 16-county area, including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne.

$450,000 Kresge Foundation Grant will Support Programs to Improve College Readiness, Access and Success

Last week, the Detroit Regional Chamber received a $450,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation to launch a comprehensive plan and campaign to increase postsecondary education attainment in Southeast Michigan.

The three-year grant supports the Chamber’s Forward Detroit strategy to create and sustain an educated, employed and healthy workforce in the 11-county Detroit region. Increasing the number of adults with postsecondary degrees is a goal of Detroit Drives Degrees, a Forward Detroit initiative.

In a joint release, Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson said, “We want to help Detroit fulfill its workforce needs using its own homegrown talent. Detroiters are hungry for the opportunity to get to work, and this initiative will help ensure they’re equipped with the skills, education and credentials required to do just that. We know a postsecondary education is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to move into the economic mainstream, and we’re proud to partner with the Chamber to help more Detroiters and people from across the region get that education.”

The Chamber will work with the Detroit Drives Degrees Leadership Council, led by Co-chairs Daniel Little, chancellor of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Richard Rassel, chairman of Butzel Long, to designate regionwide improvement goals on key attainment metrics. The plan will address each stage of the talent development pipeline including: college readiness, college access, college success and transition to the workforce.

The Chamber thanks The Kresge Foundation for its confidence and support in Forward Detroit’s mission. This grant is a big step in helping the Chamber achieve its goal of increasing the number of individuals with postsecondary degrees from 43 to 60 percent by 2025.

For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Harris at or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Peggy Noonan

Peggy Noonan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Wall Street Journal, where her weekly column, “Declarations,” has run since 2000. She is also the best-selling author of nine books on American politics, history and culture, including “What I Saw at the Revolution,” and “When Character Was King.”

Noonan received the Pulitzer Prize for political commentary for her coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Her essays have appeared in TIME, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and other publications, and she provides frequent political commentary on television. She previously served as special assistant and speechwriter for President Ronald Reagan. She also served as producer and writer at CBS News, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. Her most recent book, “The Time of Our Lives,” chronicles Noonan’s career in journalism, the Reagan White House, and the political arena.