Road conditions offer opportunity for change

Feb. 25, 2018

Crain’s Detroit Business

Chad Livengood

The treacherous state of metro Detroit’s roads is an opportunity to fix the pothole of a road-funding plan the Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder agreed to less than three years ago.

That plan’s slow phase-in of $1.2 billion in new road funding has proven to be insufficient for tackling an infrastructure crisis posing a real threat to the state’s economy and safety of motorists.

The Legislature’s rush last week to approve $175 million for emergency road repairs as concrete was literally crumbling in real time is, at best, another Band-Aid to the 2015 road funding plan that won’t be fully funded until 2021.

This election-year window-dressing was mounted just as the pockmarked roads of metro Detroit were wreaking what felt like a week-long assault on the tires, rims and front-ends of countless personal and business vehicles.

Instead of being resigned to the national embarrassment of our roads, the current crisis is a chance for business leaders to push lawmakers to give counties the option to ask voters for county-level fuel and vehicle registration taxes. That money could be dedicated to fixing local roads that are the lifeblood of commerce.

In November of 2015, Snyder almost reluctantly agreed to the $1.2 billion road-funding plan, which relied upon $600 million in tax increases from motor fuel and vehicle registration fees that went into effect in January 2017.

The other half has yet to come — a $600 million bite out of the state’s $10 billion general fund that traditionally supports social services, prisons, business development and higher education.

It’s an earmark the next governor and Legislature could very well ax in the next recession.

Just a year into the actual funding of this scheme, there are pretty clear signs — or, in this case, holes in our roads — that the amount of money is insufficient for the needs, particularly when we get a winter like this with multiple freeze-and-thaw cycles that cause metro Detroit’s heavily trafficked roads to split wide open.

In Oakland County, there are 600 miles of roads rated in poor condition that need to be repaved. Last year, the Road Commission of Oakland County repaved 45 miles of county roads, which was a record, said Craig Bryson, senior manager of communications for the road commission.

At a rate of 45 miles of repaving each year, it will take 13 years to fix the roads in Michigan’s second-largest and arguably most politically influential county.

Less than 25 percent of Oakland County’s roads are rated as “good,” Bryson said. During the next 13 years, the good roads will become fair and the fair roads will become poor — and the cycle repeats.

“We’re not going to get roads in good condition on a large scale at this rate,” Bryson said.

Oakland County’s total state funding was about $60 million before the 2015 plan passed. When the plan is fully funded, Oakland County will have $100 million in state funds, most of which goes to maintenance and repaving, Bryson said.

“That will help us to begin to solve the road condition problem,” Bryson said. “It doesn’t do anything for the congestion problem, which presuming the economy remains strong, will just get worse.”

No new funding for widening or creating a boulevard along the congested Southfield Road.

No new funding for widening any of the mile roads that clog during morning and afternoon rush hours.

No new funding for public transit to cut down on congestion, get workers to jobs and attract new employers to the region.

Even with the full $1.2 billion in new funding, transportation leaders have been warning legislators, business leaders, drivers and taxpayers alike for years that Michigan’s roads are going to get worse before they get better.

A lot worse.

On just highways and state trunklines such as Gratiot, Woodward, Grand River and Michigan avenues, about 75 percent of the pavement is rated as being in good or fair condition, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation.

By 2021, when the 2015 road funding plan is fully funded, 57.5 percent of the state’s highways and trunklines will be rated in good or fair condition. By 2028, that good or fair condition rating is project to fall to less than 43 percent of the trunklines and highways, according to MDOT.

Before the Great Recession, a coalition in metro Detroit called Businesses for Better Transportation had lobbied lawmakers for the ability to raise new revenue locally that would bypass Act 51, the statewide funding formula law for local roads that was conceived when Harry Truman was president.

Act 51 is the third rail of road funding politics in Lansing — no one dares to try to reform it. And, because of term limits, no one really has time or long-term political clout to do so.

On a per capita basis, rural counties in the Upper Peninsula and west Michigan get more money through the formula than Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

That stalemate caused Businesses for Better Transportation to lobby to let counties ask voters for special taxes on fuel, vehicle registrations, driver’s licenses and real estate transfers and even a dedicated sales tax, which would require a constitutional amendment.

“Like a lot of stuff when it came to trying to get somebody to agree to allow us to increase taxes, it died on the vine, more or less,” said Roy Rose, chairman of Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc., a Shelby Township-based civil engineering, architecture and surveying company that works in the road-building industry.

Thirty-seven other states allow some kind of locally-assessed vehicle tax and eleven states allow cities to impose local fuel taxes, according to a new report from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan.

Locally generated money could be applied differently by different communities — even to expand public transportation, said Melissa Roy, executive director of Advancing Macomb, a countywide business group.

“Then you’re talking about something that everybody recognizes as a need, and wants, and you’re addressing the transit,” Roy said.

Rose and Roy think the time has come to revisit the way local roads are funded and give voters in Southeast Michigan more local options besides countywide property taxes.

Business Leaders for Michigan and the Detroit Regional Chamber have long advocated for roads to be funded by users.

“This idea of having a local option for road funding does make an element of sense,” said Brad Williams, vice president of governmental affairs for the Detroit chamber.

Local road funding sources would reduce dependence on a Legislature often dominated by outstate members whose communities have different economic development needs and often better roads because they have less traffic and fewer of the dramatic freeze-and-thaw cycles that plague metro Detroit.

“Unfortunately, we as the taxpayers, the users … we’re going to have to flip the bill or switch everything back to gravel,” Rose said.

Read the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business here. 

A tech approach to automotive acquisitions: What Bosch’s deal with SPLT means

Feb. 25, 2018

Crain’s Detroit Business 

Dustin Walsh

Anya Babbitt gets to keep her company. Mostly.

Following nine months of negotiations, she, and her board, agreed last week to sell her startup Splitting Fares Inc., doing business as SPLT, to German automotive conglomerate Robert Bosch GmbH — with the caveat that the Detroit-based corporate ride-sharing software firm be an independent subsidiary.

This means Babbitt and her team remain in place to lead and expand the startup, while Bosch’s leadership operates more as an advisory and investment partner than an owner.

“They understand that why SPLT is successful is not the technology, it’s the people,” Babbitt said.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

The accelerated rise of new technologies and the changing consumer landscape around automotive — driven by mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and electrification — has shifted the legacy industry’s approach to acquisitions. Southeast Michigan’s largest industry is now more like California’s tech sector, pushing for higher risk, lower-value deals with long-term potential instead of near-term profits.

“We want to be very careful to not destroy anything we buy,” said Rene Schlegel, president of Bosch’s Mexico operations, Robert Bosch S. de R.L. de C.V., and a member of SPLT’s board. “When it comes to startups, it’s about talent. We’re keeping them independent because we want to keep its strength while we build the company going forward. It’s important for the continuity of the acquisition for the people that started the company, that made it strong, to remain with it. Not because we see it as a trend, but because that’s what makes it successful.”

Glenn Stevens, executive director of Detroit-based auto industry marketing organization MichAuto, said Bosch’s approach to SPLT is becoming the new normal and representative of the paradigm shift in the industry’s approach to new bets on technologies.

“This is just another example of the auto industry and the tech industry converging; no, colliding,” Stevens said. “The tech industry is traditionally more used to operating in partnerships and these two industries are learning from each other and adapting their business models in different, but similar ways.”

The approach is different because its acquisitions are different. Legacy automotive traditionally engaged in M&A activity that immediately impacted its bottom line — acquiring a competitor or plant, for example — and led to an immediate vertical integration and takeover of the acquired asset’s corporate governance, balance sheet and operational fortitude. But software acquisitions aren’t bolt-on entities designed to be rolled out through the chain of operations, said Mike Wall, director of automotive analysis for research firm IHS Markit in Southfield.

“We’re all living in the near-term pressure of selling cars, but acquisitions like this are a different value proposition,” Wall said. “They are investing in these entities and these people, not in a parts plant. These are standalone investments, where they are dedicating capital, letting it gestate and see what comes out of it and not wanting to disrupt what made these companies successful.”

Bosch’s confidence in SPLT stems from its long-by-tech-standards relationship. Bosch became a SPLT customer in 2016 after an internal survey in Mexico found that the perk its workers most desired was an efficient way to get to work.

After hearing Babbitt pitch her company at Google Demo Day, Schlegel knew SPLT could solve his workers’ problems. The app works by creating a community of carpoolers within an individual company, matching co-workers to share their ride to work. Employees can see their match prior to accepting the ride and can communicate within the app.

“Mexico City has the most congestion in the world,” Schlegel said. “The pain point of getting to work or school is exceptionally high. It’s not just time, it’s money. Shared transport makes this more economical for my employees and others and cuts emissions — that’s highly attractive.”

Which is another dramatic shift in the politics of operating in the automotive business: Socially and environmentally aware companies outperform their peers.

The 58 companies recognized as “green” buyers — those whose procurement practice accounts for climate risk — in a January list of sustainable companies by McKinsey & Co. and environmental impact research nonprofit CDP outperformed the S&P 500 by 6 percent over four years. And according to 2017 study by Cone Communications, 87 percent of consumers said they would purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about and more than 75 percent said they would boycott a brand if the company supported an issue contrary to their ethics and values. This showcases the buying power of the millennial generation.

For Babbitt, a 36-year-old millennial, reducing carbon emissions is critical to her business case. Her college thesis focused on the Kyoto Protocol, the 1995 treaty that committed nations to reducing greenhouse gases, and sustainability is now part of SPLT’s core mission.

“Knowledge is valuable,” Schlegel said. “The learning is not one directional. SPLT is not just going to gain from our expertise. We also learn about opportunities and pain points in an operation that’s relatively small. We gain these little insights, whether that’s about business or the environment, that we can use in future acquisitions. We see this as a sound investment with a good chance to deliver good profitability to us and our end users and externalities for communities as well as our mission.”

Bosch’s mission is the critical word, as it and its peers are searching in these types of acquisitions for what the future of automotive holds and how their business will disrupt or be disrupted.

“Are we in the automotive parts business? Are we in the mobility business?” Schlegel said. “We understand that in a broad way we’re now in the mobility business and we want to be active and play a significant role in that sector. That means acquisitions like this that provide solutions for our customers and benefits to society.”

Read the original post from Crain’s Detroit Business here.

Fostering Civility + Collaboration At The Detroit Policy Conference With Marlowe Stoudamire, Detroit 67 & Butterfly Effect Detroit

Feb. 23, 2018

Daily Detroit

Fred Gustafson

This year’s Detroit Policy Conference takes place March 1 at MotorCity Casino Hotel, and the agenda is all about civility and putting aside our differences to help move Detroit forward.

On this episode of the Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast, we talk with two people closely involved in putting the conference together.

  • Marlowe Stoudamire is the owner of Butterfly Effect Detroit, a business consultancy, the founder of the MASH Detroit neighborhood business incubator and the project director for Detroit 67, the Detroit Historical Society’s innovative effort to commemorate the 1967 uprising and use it as a springboard to chart the city’s next 50 years.
  • Devon O’Reilly, manager of entrepreneurship and Detroit engagement for the Chamber and an occasional Daily Detroit contributor.

The one-day conference will feature more than 60 speakers, including keynote addresses from Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, and Wes Moore, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York nonprofit tackling poverty.

On the show, we discuss why the conference’s theme is so important to Detroit in 2018, what we learned from the Detroit 67 project and how MASH Detroit has handed off the baton on its eastside location and is currently scouting for its next neighborhood location. Plus, Stoudamire tells us what “social capital” means and why it’s so important.

 

View the original post from Daily Detroit on their website.

PlanetM Landing Zone Amps up in First 90 Days, No Sign of Slowing Down

Logo for Planet M Landing Zone

Ninety days since the official launch of the PlanetM Landing Zone, efforts to attract and connect global mobility startups to the Detroit region are moving rapidly, with 18 global mobility startups, three Tier 1 OEM partners and a venture capital firm actively engaging at WeWork Merchant’s Row. The Chamber launched the PlanetM Landing Zone in October 2017, in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Connection Point for Global Mobility Startups

This first-of-its-kind space creates a physical entry point for startups and businesses to share and collaborate to drive innovation in next-generation mobility.

Global startups such as DriveSmart, based out of Madrid, the first company in the world specializing in smart driving metrics; and DERQ, a Dubai-based MIT artificial intelligence spinoff, have set up a presence at the Landing Zone.

National startups are also engaging in the space including Mapbox, a location data company, and Spatial, the world’s first human-driven artificial intelligence platform and graduate of the Techstars Mobility accelerator program.

Ford Motor Company and two additional Tier 1 OEMs have signed on as industry partners to actively engage with member startup companies and explore their technology and potential partnerships. With the momentum and attention the Landing Zone has built up in the first 90 days, the opportunities to drive collaboration and innovation in Detroit position our region for strategic growth in the automotive, IT, and mobility sectors.

CES and North American International Auto Show Provide New Leads

From Las Vegas to Detroit, the Chamber started the new year engaging with global mobility and technology startups to promote the Detroit region’s automotive and mobility assets. The Chamber’s business attraction efforts from CES and the North American International Auto Show led to Mighty AI, a tech startup based out of Seattle, Wash. establishing a presence at the Landing Zone and a dozen other global startups considering memberships.

As membership continues to grow, the Landing Zone is actively exploring ways to connect startups to the resources they need to succeed in the region. In the next coming months, aside from networking and curated events, members will also be able to engage and connect through a mobile application, and will also have access to a catalog of legal, tax and human resources services to help grow their businesses.

For more information about the PlanetM Landing Zone or to engage, please visit www.planetmlandingzone.com.

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

Health care innovators discuss entrepreneurial opportunities during Butzel Long conference on March 13 in Troy

Innovation is driving the business of health care in southeast Michigan and entrepreneurs need to know the latest developments to keep a competitive edge.

Butzel Long is hosting a half-day program titled, “The Autonomous Patient: Entrepreneurs Driving Health Care II,” featuring leading area health care and business experts from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. March 13, 2018 at Automation Alley, located at 2875 Bellingham in Troy. The cost is $50, which includes breakfast and lunch.

“We will discuss creative ideas regarding the next generation of health care,” said Robert H. Schwartz, Co-Chair, Butzel Long’s Health Care Industry Group. “This program will offer the latest information to health care entrepreneurs who are planning to take their business ventures to the next level.”

Butzel Long attorneys from the firm’s Health Care Practice Group will be featured along with the following:

Pavan Muzumdar, COO – Automation Alley
Mike Sappington, CEO – TRIARQ
Josephino Tunac, PHD – Health Medical Scientist and Entrepreneur
Brad Martin, Ph.D., Senior Director – Commercialization Programs Fast Forward Medical Innovation – University of Michigan School
Dr. Charles Mok, D.O., – Allure Medical Spa
Iltefat Hamzavi, M.D. – Hamzavi Dermatology
Steven Kent, Manager, Client Strategist – OU Inc.
Kevin Lasser – JEMS Telehealth
Jaideep Rajput, Director of Commercialization – Beaumont Health
Raj Kothari – Cascade Partners
Yusuf Hai – CIG Capital Advisors
Fred Molnar – MEDC
Jared Stasik – Detroit Venture Partners

The seminar will address topics including:

• Technology – The Impact of Industry 4.0 on Healthcare
• Growing and Managing Change in Health Care Delivery
• Entrepreneurship in the Provider World
• Is Technology Your Friend or Foe?
• Great Ideas: How do you plan to finance all of these changes?

For more information or to register online, visit https://www.butzel.com/events/the-autonomous-patient-entrepreneurs-driving-health-care-ii. For inquiries, contact Nairi Bagdasarian at (313) 225-7012 or email at bagdasarian@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 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 @butzel_long or : https://twitter.com/butzel_long

Lowry Solutions Recognized for Excellence in Managed IT Services

Lowry Solutions, a world class Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider for businesses, announced today that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Lowry Solutions to its 2018 Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list in the Elite 150 category. This annual list recognizes North American solution providers with cutting-edge approaches to delivering managed services. Their offerings help companies navigate the complex and ever-changing landscape of IT, improve operational efficiencies, and maximize their return on IT investments.

In today’s fast-paced business environments, MSPs play an important role in helping companies leverage new technologies without straining their budgets or losing focus on their core business. CRN’s MSP 500 list shines a light on the most forward-thinking and innovative of these key organizations.

The list is divided into three categories: the MSP Pioneer 250, recognizing companies with business models weighted toward managed services and largely focused on the SMB market; the MSP Elite 150, recognizing large, data center-focused MSPs with a strong mix of on-premises and off-premises services; and the Managed Security 100, recognizing MSPs focused primarily on off-premise, cloud-based security services.

“Managed service providers have become integral to the success of businesses everywhere, both large and small,” said Bob Skelley, CEO of The Channel Company. “Capable MSPs enable companies to take their cloud computing to the next level, streamline spending, effectively allocate limited resources and navigate the vast field of available technologies. The companies on CRN’s 2018 MSP 500 list stand out for their innovative services, excellence in adapting to customers’ changing needs and demonstrated ability to help businesses get the most out of their IT investments.”

“We are humbled to have been named with such a prestigious honor, “ stated Mike Lowry, CEO of Lowry Solutions. “Our managed services department offers top-notch support to our clients. They help maintain the solutions we provide and their deliverables exceed expectations.”

The MSP500 list will be featured in the February 2018 issue of CRN and online at www.CRN.com/msp500.


About  Lowry Solutions:

Lowry Solutions is a global systems integrator of complete IoT, Blockchain, RFID and barcode solutions for supply chain applications. As the industry leader for over four decades, Lowry has been implementing real-time asset visibility solutions that simply traceability and improve business outcomes. The company continues to evolve alongside its customers to provide the most complete and modern data collection solutions available. 888-881-2477 or lowrysolutions.com. Follow Lowry Solutions: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+

Walsh StudentsExperience Simulated IRS Investigation

It was a thrilling day in class for Walsh College students to actively participate in a simulated IRS undercover operation led by a team of IRS Special Agents this week as part of the Adrian Project. Students in the Tax 598 (Tax Returns Seminar) and Tax 540 (Tax Practice & Procedure) courses experienced an extensive hands-on simulation of the inner workings of a criminal fraud investigation, as seen through the eyes of a team of criminal investigation IRS Special Agents.

Originally developed by the IRS about 15 years ago, the Adrian Project is an education and training program designed to introduce college students to the law enforcement aspects of a career in accounting and tax.
Led by IRS Special Agents, the interactive learning session covered the process leading up to an enforcement action followed with a live exercise in which students were able to participate in confronting suspects and gather evidence.

“This is a great opportunity for Walsh students to participate in an immersive experience outside the parameters and restrictions of a normal classroom exercise and I would like to thank all those who helped make this hands-on learning session possible,” said Rick Davidson, J.D., LL.M., chair of Tax and Business Law.

The Walsh session featured a four-hour interactive workshop for students to solve a hypothetical financial crime and served as a catalyst to inspire students to consider a career in accounting and law enforcement.

“The goal is to get students to apply their accounting skills and common street smarts,” said Kevin Nalu, special agent for the IRS Criminal Investigations and alum of Walsh College. “This exercise demonstrated how accounting has a forensic application in the real world, and how perseverance, both individually and as a team, are needed to complete an investigation.”

LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes
Friday, May 11, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Ford Community & Performing Arts Center

An internationally acclaimed singer, LeAnn Rimes won “Best New Artist” at age 14, making her the youngest recipient of a Grammy Award. She has gone on to win another Grammy, 12 Billboard Music Awards, two World Music Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards, one Country Music Association Award and one Dove Award. Her song “How Do I Live,” ranks #4 on Billboard’s “Greatest of All Time: Hot 100 Songs” and holds the record for being the second longest charting song ever on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Fifteen of LeAnn’s multigenre singles are top-10 hits, including “Can’t Fight the Moonlight,” which climbed to #1 in 11 countries.

Tickets are available by calling (313) 943-2354 or by stopping by our theater box office, open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

To buy tickets online, go to http://www.dearborntheater.com/whats-on/1-whats-on/10004027-leann-rimes-love-is-love-tour

Clayton & McKervey shareholder named vice chair of Automation Alley’s International Business Services Advisory Council

Clayton & McKervey, an international certified public accounting and business advisory firm located in metro Detroit, announces that Shareholder Tim Finerty has been appointed vice chair of Automation Alley’s International Business Services Advisory Council.

Long active in Automation Alley’s international initiatives, including annual trade missions to Mexico, Finerty was selected as vice chair for his ongoing contributions to Automation Alley and his keen insights on global business issues. He is the practice leader for the Systems Integrators practice at Clayton & McKervey with specialization in Mexican and Latin American tax and accounting issues, including entity structure, IC-DISC analysis, Research & Experimentation tax credits, lean accounting, and improved systems and controls. He also advises small and midsized growth-driven businesses on achieving their global expansion plans.

Finerty is a founding board member of the newest chapter of the United States – Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC), the Great Lakes Chapter, based in Detroit and is also involved with a variety of other professional organizations, including ProMexico & Consul General of Mexico, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, Association for Advancing Automation, Robotics Industries Association, National Tooling & Machining Association, Controls Systems Integrators Association, and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, Manufacturing Task Force. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Michigan State University.

Since its founding in 1999, Automation Alley has sought to enhance the global competitiveness of small and mid-sized enterprises interested in expanding their markets overseas. In addition, it markets and promotes Southeast Michigan as a high-tech powerhouse and global center of innovation to companies exploring investment opportunities here. The member-driven International Business Services Advisory Council (IBSAC) represents a cross-section of business leaders and economic development experts who are well-versed in identifying trends in international trade and foreign direct investment, while ensuring that the region remains at the forefront of innovation. IBSAC members also share their strategies for success and firsthand insights on how to overcome common hurdles companies may encounter doing business around the world.


About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. Automation Alley focuses its efforts on innovation and technology, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources, funding and actionable intelligence to help members grow and prosper in the digital age.

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.

 

Dickinson Wright Attorney Michael Hammer Named a “2018 Leader in the Law’ by Michigan Lawyers Weekly

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Attorney Michael C. Hammer has been named a “2018 Leader in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

Mr. Hammer is a Member of the firm’s Management Group and is based in the firm’s Ann Arbor office. His clients rely on him to provide sound business advice across a broad range of areas, including outside general counsel services, contract negotiations and commercial disputes, financial restructurings, bankruptcy, distressed acquisitions and sales, and wealth-protection solutions. His broad experience ranges from negotiating contracts relating to electric and autonomous vehicle manufacturers and litigating automotive disputes (stop-ship cases, termination claims, and tooling and warranty disputes) to counseling, negotiating and litigating rights and interests for all types of businesses including mining, real estate, oil and gas, telecommunications, gaming and health care.

As a member of the firm’s Management Group, he oversaw the firm’s lateral partner recruitment for the last decade. Under Mr. Hammer’s guidance, the firm has hired over 250 lateral partners and has developed a talent for identifying opportunities in new markets and identifying lawyers that will not only complement, but strengthen the firm’s legal service offerings.

Mr. Hammer is an immediate past Board Member of the National Federal Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Law Section; a Mediator with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Michigan; and past Co-Chair of the Federal Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section, Eastern District of Michigan. He is recognized as a leader in his field by Michigan Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and DBusiness Top Lawyers.

Mr. Hammer received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Each year, Michigan Lawyers Weekly selects 30 lawyers to honor as “Leaders in the Law”. “Leaders in the Law” are lawyers who exemplify the noble tradition of the legal profession, are passionate and active on behalf of clients and the community, have a record of success in the legal profession, and have a record of achievements that display a strength of character and ability to be a leader in the Michigan legal community. The “2018 Leaders in the Law” will be honored at an annual luncheon and awards ceremony on April 5, 2018 at the Troy Marriott.


About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 450 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 18 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 11 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville and Music Row, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.