Nikolai Vitti

Nikolai Vitti is the superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Vitti has decades of expertise in education and improving academic performance for children. He recently launched Blueprint 2020, DPSCD’s strategic plan for rebuilding Detroit’s public schools. In his short tenure, he has raised student enrollment, actively engaged internal and external stakeholders, and improved teacher shortages.

Vitti is currently focused on rebuilding the district’s systems and processes with a focus on recruiting, retaining, and developing teachers and leaders, addressing the whole child through expansion of the arts and wraparound services, transforming the district’s culture, and improving fiscal stewardship.

Vitti previously led Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Fla. Under his leadership, the school district reached an historic high in graduation and college readiness rates through the expansion of accelerated programming and early warning systems.

Vitti received the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was a member of the Urban Superintendent Program, which has developed numerous successful superintendents throughout the country.

Dan Varner

Dan Varner is president and CEO for Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, whose mission is to co-create independence and dignity through the power of personal and workforce development. In addition to its training and educational programs, Goodwill Detroit also operates four social enterprises: Goodwill Automotive (a Tier 1 automotive supplier), Goodwill’s Green Works (an industrial recycling subsidiary), its iconic resale stores, and a contract labor operation.

Varner previously served as CEO for Excellent Schools Detroit and is the co-founder and former CEO of Think Detroit, which he led through a merger with Detroit PAL to create the largest provider of youth sports programs in Detroit.

Varner’s work has been recognized by two presidential administrations. He is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and serves on numerous boards, including Capital Impact Partners, American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, and Detroit PAL. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Michigan Law School.

Nikolai Vitti

Superintendent, Detroit Public Schools Community District

Nikolai Vitti is the superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Vitti has decades of expertise in education and improving academic performance for children. He recently launched Blueprint 2020, DPSCD’s strategic plan for rebuilding Detroit’s public schools. In his short tenure, he has raised student enrollment, actively engaged internal and external stakeholders, and improved teacher shortages.

Vitti is currently focused on rebuilding the district’s systems and processes with a focus on recruiting, retaining, and developing teachers and leaders, addressing the whole child through expansion of the arts and wraparound services, transforming the district’s culture, and improving fiscal stewardship.

Vitti previously led Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Fla. Under his leadership, the school district reached an historic high in graduation and college readiness rates through the expansion of accelerated programming and early warning systems.

Vitti received the prestigious Presidential Scholarship from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and was a member of the Urban Superintendent Program, which has developed numerous successful superintendents throughout the country.

OU takes the next step in furthering higher education availability

The Oakland Post 

Laurel Kraus

November 28, 2017

As of 2015, around 60 percent of Americans had not obtained an associate’s degree or higher, according to Forbes. Oakland University has entered a full partnership with the Detroit Promise Program beginning fall of 2018 to provide Detroit students with the opportunity to combat that statistic.

“We’re trying to create a culture and an understanding in Detroit that if you graduate high school, there is a pathway for you to go on to higher education,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education on the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Detroit Promise Program, established in 2013, is a scholarship program in which Detroit students are offered the ability to attend either two or four years of college tuition-free.

“Most of our students come from Oakland and Macomb County,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland, James Lentini. “We’d like to actually expand our opportunities for Wayne County students, and Detroit students in particular with the Detroit Promise, to be able to attend Oakland.”

For the previous two years, Oakland has participated through accepting up to five students in the program each year, but with the full partnership it will now be accepting an unlimited number.

“We are trying to increase our presence in the Detroit area,” Director of Financial Aid Cindy Hermsen said. “I think this is another step toward Oakland University expressing our interest in providing access to students throughout the entire state.”

Students who have lived in the city all four years of high school and have graduated from a Detroit school, achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and earned a minimum score of either 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT, are automatically eligible for the scholarship but must register with the Detroit Chamber of Commerce.

Since Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the idea for such a program in 2011, the Detroit Regional Chamber has been responsible for managing it, with funding from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation.

The Detroit Promise Program is considered a last dollar scholarship, which means that Oakland will first accept and apply all other scholarships and/or grants that a student is eligible for before utilizing the program’s scholarship to pay any remaining tuition balance.

“We build on existing sources of support so that we’re really leveraging our resources in a way that allow us to be sustainable,” Handel said.

While the Detroit Promise Program fully covers tuition costs, it does not aid in books or housing.

“We understand that there are still barriers to students being able to continue, but we’ve removed a major one,” Handel said.

Under the program, five classes have graduated from high school and moved into the community college program and two classes have moved into the four-year university program, according to Handel.

As similar scholarship offered at OU is The Wade H. McCree Scholarship Program, which holds the same academic requirements as the Detroit Promise Program, but awards full tuition to students in Detroit, Pontiac and Royal Oak who are nominated by their school districts.

 

View the original article here.

Butzel Long’s Robin Luce Herrmann elected to Board of Directors of The Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center

Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Robin Luce Herrmann has been elected to the Executive Committee of The Defense Counsel Section of the Media Law Resource Center (MLRC). The MLRC Executive Committee oversees activities of MLRC’s law firm members.

The MLRC, founded in 1980, is the leading professional association for media organizations and their lawyers. It provides its members with a wide-range of resources, including: daily updates on legal, regulatory and legislative developments; numerous publications; legal and policy analysis; media litigation practice guides; and national and international media law conferences. MLRC has more than 110 media company members. The MLRC Defense Counsel Section includes over 200 law firms which represent media clients.

Herrmann leads Butzel Long’s media team and concentrates her practice in the areas of media law, particularly defamation and access issues; commercial litigation; and civil rights.

At the same time, Herrmann serves as General Counsel to the Michigan Press Association, the official trade association for the newspapers of Michigan, with more than 300 members throughout the State.

She previously taught Law of the Press in the Journalism Department at Oakland University. Herrmann has been a guest speaker on Law of the Press at Wayne State University, Central Michigan University, and Oakland University.

Herrmann earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law.


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 and Shanghai. 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

Shri Thanedar

Shri Thanedar is an author and entrepreneur. Born in India, Thanedar worked odd jobs to help support his family throughout high school. He came to the United States in 1979 to pursue a doctorate degree at the University of Akron.

In 1991, Thanedar bought Chemir/Polytech Laboratories. By 2005, the company’s totaled revenues were $16 million and it employed 160 people. In 2011, Thanedar sold Chemir and launched his own chemical testing laboratory, Avomeen Analytical Services. In 2016, he sold a majority stake of the business to the private equity firm High Street Capital.

Thanedar was named the EY “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the Central Midwest Region in 1999, 2007 and 2016.

OEMs of the Future Need More Talent From Silicon Valley

By Matthew Dankovich, LSSBB, GWCBA
IT Business Analyst, General Motors Co.

This post is part of the MICHauto Summit series, a collection of articles aimed to shed light on the evolving culture and careers in the automotive and mobility industries. This post is the view of the writer and does not reflect the views of MICHauto or the Detroit Regional Chamber. Learn more and register for the Summit today.

OEMs of the future will build their success not solely based on their manufacturing capabilities and vehicle hardware but also by developing advanced operating systems, electrification, enhanced in-vehicle entertainment and connectivity.  Over the next 10 years, the demand for young talent with backgrounds in electrical engineering, analytics, cyber security and programming will dominate the automotive industry in relation to job opportunities for the 16 OEMs that call Michigan their home. As automakers and tech companies disrupt the future of mobility through advances in technology it will be important for these companies to attract top talent that is also targeted by the Silicon Valley giants.

Michigan has long been known as the automotive capital of the world and currently has more projects relating to connected and autonomous vehicles than any other state. This puts Michigan at the precipice of a tech boom within the industry that will redefine manufacturing processes, vehicle connectivity, automation and consumer demands.

For example, in the U.S., tech companies have 28 times more engineers with expertise in artificial intelligence. Additionally, the ratio of software engineers to non-software engineers is 1:11  in the automotive industry, whereas the tech industry ratio is 1.6:1. Automakers will need to shift this allocation of spending from traditional vehicle development to software development as well as customer service.

With over 2,000 job postings monthly relating to the evolving tech landscape of Michigan’s automotive industry, there is an increasing need for a paradigm shift from hardware development to software development and customer experience. OEMs of the future will require individuals with a broader skill set and entrepreneurial mindset. The largest challenge for many of these manufacturing giants will be to break away from the rigid operating models of the past and aversion to risk in order to develop the disruptive technology that will drive the industry forward.

Matthew Dankovich is an IT business analyst at General Motors Co.

More from the MICHauto Summit

How the Sharing Economy Will Impact Car Ownership in the Immediate Future

Automotive Culture: Improving or Downward Spiraling?

By Kiara Thomas
CEO, Quality Resolution Systems

This post is part of the MICHauto Summit series, a collection of articles aimed to shed light on the evolving culture and careers in the automotive and mobility industries. This post is the view of the writer and does not reflect the views of MICHauto or the Detroit Regional Chamber. Learn more and register for the Summit today.

Our culture. It’s the definition of the legacy from the past, our present existence, and what we promote for the future.  When we leave, our culture is the essence of our work that is left behind.

There are many people whose families have generations of auto workers. From corporate positions to manufacturing associates, salary to hourly workers, non-union to union workers, the one commonality is the culture. Despite a person’s position in the automotive industry, culture is the one consistent thing. Yet, the principles of how to conduct yourself as an employee of any company in the automotive industry – be it OEM or supplier – is very discombobulated.

The culture must evolve in line with the technology that we see grow every day. Things like “shop talk” and doing whatever it takes just to move up the corporate chain while risking the consumer to cut costs must become a thing of the past. Some companies use legal jargon and loopholes to get themselves out of the “finger-pointing” zone, but where does it end? Why are these bad practices continuously & knowingly filtered throughout such a prominent industry?

Many associates, managers and executives in the automotive industry do interviews, write blogs and books about being aware of the misshaped mentality of individuals working in the automotive industry, but that must be turned into action. Rather than simply stating the changes that need to happen, these high-level executives need to enact them.

There are companies and individuals that strive to make changes to today’s culture, but it will only work if automotive companies are receptive to the necessity to make some very important changes. Changes starts with awareness. Be realistically aware of the current culture, and make strides to improve in areas that are not cultivating development.

Kiara Thomas is CEO of Quality Resolution Systems and has seven years of experience in the automotive industry.

Ray Telang

Ray Telang is the greater Michigan manager partner and the U.S. automotive leader for PwC, with more than 25 years of experience in auditing, business risk management and internal control consulting. He has successfully helped his clients resolve complex accounting and auditing issues,  and has assisted in identifying internal control improvement recommendations.

In addition to sharing his insights as a frequent industry speaker and media spokesperson, Telang is serving as the Chair of the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference. He is a longstanding leader for the Detroit Regional Chamber, of which he has served on its Finance and Audit Committee since 2004. Telang joined the Chamber’s Board of Directors in 2012 and the Executive Committee in 2013. His involvement has included advising the Chamber and its CEO Advisory Group on successful regional economic development strategies throughout country.

 

2018 Conference Pillars Announced

The 2018 Conference pillars are:

Is Michigan Prepared?

Ensure Michigan’s competitiveness for major business investment by protecting the existing business climate and addressing issues preventing sustained prosperity for all.

The Mobility Disruption

Strengthen Michigan’s readiness for the disruption that next-generation mobility will create for industry and society.

Trust

Restore confidence in the critical institutions of government, media and business to build trust in society.