LIFT Opens Doors to Advanced Manufacturing Learning Lab in Corktown

Detroit-based LIFT – Lightweight innovations For Tomorrow has opened the doors on its 6,500 SF immersive Learning Lab, located in the LIFT Manufacturing Innovation Institute in Corktown.

Eight unique labs are equipped to prepare incoming students for the most in-demand manufacturing careers, with K-12, community and technical college, and university programs.
CNC Operations and Welding Technician Training Centers, maker spaces for hands-on fabrication, as well as labs to learn Smart Factory basics and explore materials science and metrology are available to partnering organizations.

Detroit’s University Prep Science and Math High School (UPrep) will be utilizing the Fundamental Skills Development and Project Fabrication labs during the 2019-2020 school year. UPrep Schools will roll out the “IGNITE: Mastering Manufacturing” curriculum to students in the Learning Lab to produce the “multi-skilled technician” needed in today’s workplace.

Looking ahead, additional schools, organizations and businesses are invited to partner with LIFT to provide education in a real, working advanced manufacturing setting.

For more information, please visit or contact LIFT Communications Director, Joe Steele at c: 734-233-4567,

About LIFT – Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow
LIFT is a Detroit-based, public-private partnership committed to the development and deployment of advanced lightweight materials manufacturing technologies, and implementing education and training initiatives to better prepare the workforce today and in the future. LIFT is one of the founding institutes of Manufacturing USA and is funded in part by the Department of Defense with management through the Office of Naval Research.

Sean C. Griffin Elected to Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel Board of Directors

Detroit – August 6, 2019 — Dykema, a leading national law firm, is proud to announce that Sean C. Griffin, a Member in Dykema’s Washington, D.C., office, was named to the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s (FDCC) Board of Directors. The FDCC named Griffin as a director on August 3 during its annual meeting.
The FDCC is composed of recognized leaders in the legal community who have achieved professional distinction, and are dedicated to promoting knowledge, fellowship, and professionalism of its members as they pursue the course of a balanced justice system and represent those in need of a defense in civil lawsuits.
Griffin focuses his practice on commercial litigation and specializes in cases involving allegations of breach of contract or fraud. His experience includes litigating cases in federal and state courts and arbitration panels around the country. Griffin also responds to subpoenas investigating violations of federal or state laws, including the False Claims Act, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and securities laws. Additionally, he assists clients with data security and responding to data breaches and is an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US).
After graduating from Columbia University School of Law, Sean clerked for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. After his clerkship, he worked as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, where he handled commercial litigation trials and appeals as well as government contract and construction litigation.
About Dykema
Dykema serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema lawyers and other professionals in 13 U.S. offices work in close partnership with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – to deliver outstanding results, unparalleled service and exceptional value in every engagement.

Walsh and Washtenaw Community College Sign Articulation and Reverse Transfer Agreement

TROY, Mich., Aug. 6, 2019 — Walsh and Washtenaw Community College (WCC) have signed an additional articulation agreement solidifying both institutions’ longstanding commitment to provide a clear and accessible pathway to higher education. The agreement offers more flexibility because it applies to any student meeting the minimum requirements for a bachelor of accountancy, bachelor of business administration, or bachelor of science in information technology degree at Walsh, rather than requiring specific degree to degree transfers. The agreement is effective until March 2022 and subject to review for continuation at that time.

Under the agreement, students may continue to transfer up to 82 semester credits, which has been the case at Walsh for many years. Students also have the ability to concurrently enroll in both schools and transfer credits from Walsh back to WCC to earn their associate degree while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Financial aid eligible students who are enrolled at both schools in the same semester should contact Walsh to inquire about setting up an individual consortium agreement. Additionally, all community college students who transfer with a grade point average of 3.5 or higher are eligible to receive the Community College Excellence Award Scholarship from Walsh.

“This articulation agreement continues our longstanding partnership with Washtenaw Community College and demonstrates our mutual commitment to providing options for students to obtain high quality education and pathways to career success,” said Marsha Kelliher, President and CEO, Walsh.

“We are excited to continue our relationship with Walsh through this comprehensive agreement that covers our accounting, business and information technology programs as well as a reverse transfer option for students who transfer prior to completing an associate degree,” said Dr. Kimberly Hurns, Vice President of Instruction, WCC. “This agreement allows students to save more money by completing 82 hours at Washtenaw and then transferring to an excellent institution that combines theory with real-world application. The synergy between the approaches to learning of both WCC and Walsh make this a great path for many of our students.”

For more information about Walsh, visit

For more information about Washtenaw Community College, visit

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Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of Southeast Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, offering classes in several locations and online. Our nationally-ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, human resources, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (

About Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Community College (WCC) has made education accessible and affordable for the local community for more than 50 years. Located in Ann Arbor, MI, the College offers over 120 degrees and certificates, an open door admission policy and affordable tuition rates. WCC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, the regional accrediting organization recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Butzel Long attorney Rebecca S. Davies featured during NAAAHR State of Michigan Conference August 26 and 27 in Novi

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Rebecca S. Davies is a featured speaker during the 2019 National Association of African Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) State of Michigan Conference August 26 and 27 in Novi. Her presentation is titled, “Wage and Hour Update.”

Davies concentrates her practice primarily in the areas of employment law and commercial litigation. She represents employers in federal and state court litigation and before state and federal administrative agencies.
She has represented both the private and public sectors for nearly 20 years including companies with two to 20,000 employees. In the public sector, she has represented numerous municipalities, libraries, counties and government authorities.

Davies has had repeated success both in and out of the courtroom. In federal court, she has received no cause verdicts in the defense of employment and commercial jury trials. In state court, she has obtained numerous dismissals and favorable settlements in a wide range of employment disputes, including harassment, wrongful termination, employment discrimination and wage claims.

She also has repeatedly obtained dismissals of charges before federal and state administrative agencies. Her greatest successes, however, may be her efforts to prevent litigation. She has regularly counseled employers regarding compliance under federal and state employment laws (including FLSA, FMLA, ADA and Title VII), drafted employment policies, and advised on preventative strategies.

In 2018, Davies was named a 2018 “Best of MichBusiness Awards” recipient. She also facilitates two monthly affinity groups of human resource professionals for MichiBusiness. She also was named a “2017 Honoree for Michigan Women in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. In addition, she is a frequent author and lecturer, not only for client in-house trainings and publications, but also outside organizations including Walsh College, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Automation Alley and the American Society of Employers.

At the same time, Davies is an adjunct faculty member at Walsh College, where she teaches the SHRM-CP/SCP certification courses as well as general business law courses. Davies is active in national and local legal associations and regularly volunteers in her community.
Davies is a regular contributor to the annual supplement for the American Bar Association’s The Fair Labor Standards published by BNA. She also serves on the Board and was the past Chair of the North American Transportation Employee Relations Association (NATERA). She is a member and previously served as the Chair for the Labor and Employment Section for the Oakland County Bar Association. She serves on the Workforce and Education Committee for Oakland County.

Davies earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan at Dearborn and a juris doctorate, magna cum laude, from the Detroit College of Law in 1995. She completed her master’s degree in 2010 from Wayne State University Law School by obtaining her L.L.M. with a GPA of 3.79 in Labor and Employment 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 or follow Butzel Long on Twitter:

Michiganders Aren’t Polarized, They Want to Talk Kitchen Table Issues

By Brad Williams

Detroit made national headlines last week as the second round of Democratic presidential debates took place in the city’s own historic Fox Theatre. From immigration and climate change to foreign policy and health care, candidates outlined and defended their respective plans to lead the nation. Ahead of the debates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper and to the attendees and shared some advice for the 20 presidential hopefuls as they prepared to address Michiganders and the country: “Stay focused on the fundamentals.”

She talked about the “kitchen table issues” like fixing roads and clean drinking water, which she championed during her campaign. Whitmer advised the candidates to attach bigger ideas and topics, like health care and climate change, to the daily lives of people.

What are the fundamentals important to Michiganders? The week before the debates, the Detroit Regional Chamber shared results from a statewide survey gauging what’s on the minds of Michigan voters. From immigration to trade, constituents are in consensus over most national issues. Results reflect a political center, not polarization. In other words, voters are not nearly as divided as Twitter or cable news would lead one to believe.

For example, a clear majority of Michigan voters believe immigrants are good for the state’s economy. 93.7% believe it’s important to receive a postsecondary education or certificate. An overwhelming majority of Michigan voters support fixing the Soo Locks. The only exception to a consensus on issues was health care. Michigan voters are split on health care, with 51.5% opposing the elimination of private insurance in favor of a “Medicare for All” plan.

During the debates, we saw candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders defend Medicare for All while former vice president Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg offered a more middle ground approach, retaining private insurance while still providing Medicare.

The candidates — not all of them, but a good chunk — spoke to a Michigan general election audience in a way that we’ve not seen in this campaign so far. Whoever wins the election next November almost certainly is going to need to win Michigan. We saw an awareness of that from the candidates.

Although the poll doesn’t reflect what’s on the minds of all Americans, results are comparable to what is happening throughout the Midwest. And the Midwest is going to determine how this election goes. There is a common sensibility among Midwesterners.

There may be some individuals on the fringes of issues in Michigan, both left and right, but most Michiganders live in the center. There isn’t a great divide. As the survey illustrates, Michigan voters are going to be attracted to candidates with concrete solutions to solve real problems.

Read results from the survey here.

Brad Williams is vice president of government relations for the Detroit Regional Chamber. 

Walsh Reveals Prestigious DeRoy Scholars-Students Receive Full Tuition Scholarships

TROY, Mich., Aug. 1, 2019 – Walsh has announced the recipients of its full academic DeRoy Testamentary Foundation Scholarships, named for the foundation started by philanthropist, automotive businesswoman and community leader, Helen L. DeRoy. This year’s DeRoy Scholars are Aysha Abdul Shahid of Warren and Anna Duffer of St. Clair Shores. Both students earned associate degrees in accounting at Macomb Community College and will pursue bachelor of accountancy degrees at Walsh this fall.

Abdul Shahid came to Michigan at age 17 from her home city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She plans to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and also mentor other international students through academic and other challenges they may be facing.

“This scholarship is everything to me” she said. “I don’t have to worry about the financial burden that comes with being an international student taking out a loan and I will have the freedom to pursue my goals without the stress of wondering how to pay for it. I’m very happy I moved here, because this is the land of opportunity where I can pursue my dream.”

Duffer works full-time for Macomb County as the administrative coordinator for community development and has also been involved with the county’s weatherization initiatives. A bachelor’s degree in accountancy will align with her work in government funding and support her career goals of helping low income families find the resources they need to live better lives.

“Being awarded this scholarship is surreal. It shows me that hard work does not go unnoticed and I am so very appreciative that I received the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation Scholarship,” she said.

The first DeRoy Testamentary Foundation Scholarship was awarded in 2011. The DeRoy Testamentary Foundation provides funding support for programs and projects that improve the quality of life and well-being of individuals in metro Detroit. It received the President’s Award for Outstanding Partner in Education from Walsh in 2018.

To learn more about the DeRoy Testamentary Foundation Scholarship, visit For more information about Walsh and its academic programs, visit

Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of the region’s largest business schools and Michigan’s third largest graduate business school, offering classes in several locations as well as online. Our nationally ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, finance, information technology, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (

Clayton & McKervey promotes four senior accountants to tax managers; announces expanded role for director of marketing

Southfield, Mich.—August 5, 2019— Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping growth-driven companies compete in the global marketplace, is pleased to announce that four senior accountants have been promoted to tax managers. The announcement of the new tax manager promotions was made by Clayton & McKervey President Rob Dutkiewicz, CPA, and includes the following:

Tarah Ablett, CPA helps clients in the integrators industry take advantage of the research and experimentation credit.  She works with large international consolidated groups of entities to fulfill the many required federal, state and foreign compliance filings. The Rochester Hills resident received her B.S. in Accounting from Oakland University in 2006.

Miroslav Georgiev, CPA, is the team lead of Clayton & McKervey’s state and local tax practice.  Helping inbound and outbound clients with an international focus to succeed, he is involved in tax planning as well as structuring and compliance—and has experience in the private equity/venture capital industry.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and his Masters in Taxation (MST) from Walsh College, and lives in Rochester Hills.

Eric Lin, CPA, works closely with foreign inbound and outbound clients to help them with their tax and accounting needs, ensuring that their foreign filings are in compliance.  He received his Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) from Eastern Michigan University and is a resident of Oakland Township.

Ruben Ramirez, CPA, is part of the transaction advisory group focusing on tax due diligence, deal structuring, business valuation and related tax planning. He assists owners of closely held pass-through businesses achieve their tax objectives while managing their ongoing compliance needs.  Ramirez received his B.S. in Business Administration–Finance from Wayne State University and his M.S. in Finance from Walsh College. He is accredited in business valuations (ABV) and resides in Dearborn.

“We are pleased to acknowledge these impressive young leaders in their new role as tax managers,” Dutkiewicz said. “Tarah Ablett, Miroslav Georgiev, Eric Lin and Ruben Ramirez have done outstanding work for our clients, and we look forward to their ongoing commitment to achieving success.”

In addition, Dutkiewicz announced that Denise Asker, formerly the Director of Marketing, will take on added responsibility in practice growth for the firm. Reflecting the expanded role, her new title is Director of Marketing & Practice Growth. Asker is responsible for initiating activities that support long-term relationships with clients, future clients, chambers of commerce, economic development partners, and business associates, in addition to the delivery and execution of a marketing strategy that supports the firm’s brand and public image.

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


Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.260.8466; Denise Asker,; 248.936.9488


Bourjaily joins Plunkett Cooney’s Trusts, Estates Group

Attorney Ryan P. Bourjaily is the newest member of the Trusts & Estates Practice Group of Plunkett Cooney – one of the oldest and largest law firms in the Midwest.

Bourjaily, who recently joined the firm as an associate in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office, focuses his practice on litigating probate, trust and estate matters. He represents a range of clients in claims involving alleged breach of fiduciary duty, undue influence, lack of mental capacity, fiduciary removal and surcharge, as well as will/trust contests. He also advises clients regarding trust and estate administrations, protective proceedings and estate planning.

Selected as a “Rising Star” in estate and trust litigation by Michigan Super Lawyers magazine in 2019, Bourjaily received his law degree from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2014. He is also a member of the Probate & Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Bourjaily received his undergraduate degree from Albion College in 2011.

The members of Plunkett Cooney’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group focus their practice exclusively in the area of estate planning. They have particular expertise in drafting trusts and wills, managing estates, administering trusts, preserving assets, addressing tax sensitive distribution of assets to beneficiaries, planning for retirement and planning for effective asset protection. They assist with the selection process for guardians, and they utilize sophisticated techniques for tax and succession planning to the benefit of their clients.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 140 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also recently selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about Ryan Bourjaily joining Plunkett Cooney, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008;


Lynn Capp Sirich Named a “2019 Women in the Law” Honoree by Michigan Lawyers Weekly

TROY, Mich., August 5, 2019 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Attorney Lynn Capp Sirich has been selected as a “2019 Women in the Law” Honoree by Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

With over 27 years of experience in all areas of family and domestic relations law, Ms. Sirich skillfully guides her clients through this legal process, always mindful of the fact that she is assisting clients through an emotional and traumatic period of their lives with more than just their immediate divorce and child custody issues, as the business of divorce incorporates many different legal specialties. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan (Family Law Section), the Oakland County Bar Association, the Wayne County Bar Family Law Bar Association (Past-President), the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and the Michigan Inter-Professional Association. She is President and a Life Fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation and is a Board Member of Humble Design. She is recognized as a leader in her field by DBusiness Top Lawyers and was recognized by Crain’s Detroit Business as a “2017 Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan”. Ms. Sirich received her B.A. from Michigan State University, James Madison College and her J.D. from the Detroit College of Law. She was admitted as a Fellow to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) in 2019.

Each year, Michigan Lawyers Weekly selects 30 lawyers to honor as “Women in the Law”. “Women in the Law” honorees are lawyers who are committed to excellence in the practice of law while inspiring and serving as mentors to other women in the profession. The “2019 Women in the Law” will be honored at an annual luncheon and awards celebration on September 5, 2019 at the Detroit Marriott in Troy.

About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has 19 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 12 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.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; 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.