Butzel Long attorney Bushra Malik named Chair of AILA’s Global Migration Section

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder, Bushra Malik, was recently named Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s (AILA) Global Migration Section (GMS). AILA is the national association of more than 15,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law.

She also served as the Vice Chair AILA’s Global Migration Section. Malik previously served on the AILA Department of State National Liaison Committee; AILA Customs and Border Protection National Liaison Committee; was the Program Chair of the 2015 AILA Global Immigration Forum; and has presented at numerous AILA National, AILA GMS and AILA Rome District conferences. She also previously served as the Chair of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service Liaison Committee for the Michigan Chapter of AILA.

Notably, Malik was elected Chair of the Michigan Chapter of AILA earlier this year.

Malik practices in the area of immigration law, focusing on the representation of multinational and domestic clients’ inbound and global migration needs. Her experience includes Employment based (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher, Multinational Manager, and PERMs) and Family based Permanent Residence Petitions, Non-Immigrant Petitions (H-1B/Specialty Occupation, J-1/ Exchange Visitor, L-1/Intracompany Transfers, O-1/Extraordinary Ability, TN/ NAFTA); Employer Compliance (I-9 Audits and H-1B Public Access File Audits); J-1 waivers; Compliance under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiate (WHTI); U.S. Passports; complex naturalization matters; and currency seizures.

She has extensive experience in securing work and residence permits for numerous countries around the globe, including: China, India, Canada, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Malaysia, Hungary, Poland, Italy, and Belgium. Malik routinely represents clients at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services District Office, U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, and various Foreign Embassies and Consulates.

Prior to joining Butzel Long, Malik was a Vice Consul for the United States Foreign Service, Department of State in Seoul, South Korea. She also worked with the Executive Office of Immigration Review at the Chicago Immigration Court and had externships with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in New Delhi, India, and the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, Office of the General Counsel in Washington, DC.

Malik is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Bar Association, the South Asian Bar Association, the Michigan Muslim Bar Association, and the Japanese Business Society of Detroit. Malik speaks Hindi, Japanese and Urdu.

Malik is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1998) and Michigan State University’s James Madison College (B.A. in International Relations with High Honors, 1996 and an additional major in Japanese and Certificate of Asian Studies). She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Immigration Law) and was named one of DBusiness magazine’s Top Lawyers in the field of immigration 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 an alliance office in Beijing. 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

Center for Neurological Studies Board Member to receive “Distinguished Volunteer” Award

Novi, MI, Oct. 31 –  Maj. Melvin H. Patton, MLA, (Ret.)  is being honored by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals for his volunteer service at Novi-based Center for Neurological Studies (CNS).  The Distinguished Volunteer award will be presented to Patton at the group’s annual dinner Nov. 6 at The Henry in Dearborn.

Patton, a 22-year veteran of the U. S. Army, with service in Vietnam, Germany, Italy and the U.S., is a member of the CNS Board of Directors and works closely with military veterans who come to CNS for diagnosis and treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries.  He serves as an ambassador for CNS’ work and generally “does whatever we ask him to do,” says CNS Founder and CEO John Russell.

“Mel is absolutely dedicated to doing whatever he can to assist the veterans who come to us.  He provides support and understanding that makes them feel comfortable and appreciated. He’s our biggest advocate and an outstanding volunteer,” says Russell.

A resident of Southfield, Patton is married and has a grown daughter.  He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Command and General Staff College.  He holds a Master’s degree in Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Coker College in Hartsville, S .C.

Center for Neurological Studies was founded by John Russell, its CEO, in 2011 with the objective of advancing scientific research for neurovascular disease and TBIs and improving the lives of people with neurobehavioral disorders.  CNS is a not-for-profit organization. Its hypersensitive MRIs have been called “the equalizer” for their ability to more accurately diagnose brain injuries leading to precise treatment plans for brain injury victims.

Media Contact: Bud Liebler, bud@lieblergroup.com  (248)-229-7047

Detroit Regional Chamber To Expand Strategy To Fill Talent Gap With $765K Grant From Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation

The Detroit Regional Chamber recently announced an expanded strategy to help fill the talent pipeline for employers and a grant of $765,000 from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation to fund this work for the next two years. The Chamber’s effort is targeting the region’s population who have some college experience but haven’t earned a postsecondary degree or credential. The work removes barriers for these individuals to pursue their degree or credential and offers a pathway to a sustainable career.

Along with growing the pool of qualified workers for employers, the Chamber aims to help increase the per capita income for these workers with the goal of cutting the region’s equity gap in half.

“Over the past year, the Chamber’s strategies to fill the talent gap have gained national attention. The grant from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation will build upon that work by targeting Detroiters who are unemployed or underemployed and connect them with a pathway to earn a sustainable living wage by aligning their skills with the needs of regional businesses,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Chamber.

The Chamber’s strategy targets adults and engaging businesses in the following counties — Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. To execute the full strategy, the Chamber estimates this work will require an additional $1.5 million in funding.

Furthering Education For Adults in the Detroit Region
The expanded strategy aims to increase postsecondary degree attainment in Michigan to 60% by 2030, a goal established by the Chamber in 2016 that was adopted by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year. Nearly 700,000 people in the Detroit region qualify as “adult learners” — people aged 25 years or older who attended some college but never earned a degree.

The Chamber is Now Poised to:
1. Help Employers establish an environment to upskill existing employees.
2. Work with regional community colleges to align programs with business needs and become more adult-friendly.
3. Reach adults from the past 15 years who “stopped out” before earning a degree and help them restart their education.
4. Help adult learners navigate their return to education by connecting them with support services to ensure their success.

In Case You Missed It

Protect Your Business From Cyberattacks
Detroit-based public relations agency Franco’s Tina Kozak shared the best tactics to protect from cybersecurity crises is a Q&A with the Chamber. Read here. Learn about cyberattacks, de-escalating disasters, and protecting your organization’s image at the Chamber’s new event, Your Company’s Crisis: What You Need to Know Now.

New Detroiter Issue: People, Planet, and Profit
The October issue of the Detroiter highlights businesses in the Detroit region that are forces for good in their communities, from investing in education to prioritizing the environment. The issue’s cover story features CEO of Ideal Group Frank Venegas Jr. who made giving back to Southwest Detroit imperative to his company. Read the October 2019 issue of the Detroiter here.

CNBC’s Ron Insana to Keynote State of the Region
The Chamber recently announced CNBC Senior Analyst Ron Insana as a keynote speaker for the 2019-2020 State of the Region. The event will feature the latest data on the region’s key economic drivers and assess its standing among peer regions. Insana will provide insight on economic trends, trade and manufacturing, and the role of the workforce in our changing economy. Register for State of the Region.

In The News

Crain’s Detroit Business: Chambers: New Expungement Package Will Help Thousands Find Work
Detroit Free Press: Michigan Bills to ‘Raise the Age” for Adult Prosecution Head to Governor 
Inside Higher Ed: A Second Chance At Detroit Colleges

Healthy Workplaces Help Improve Communities

Businesses have influence when it comes to improving health outcomes in their community. It starts with investing in employee wellness programs and promoting healthy habits within the organization.

Sinziana Luchian, director of health care initiatives at the Detroit Regional Chamber, and speaker at The Business Case for Community Health, provided some insight about the connection between healthy workplaces and communities below.

See the full agenda and register for the event here.

Why should employers focus on the health and well-being of their employees?

The work environment can affect health factors such as weight management, sleeping habits, and stress levels which contribute to the overall well-being of employees. By investing in the workplace, employers are taking care of their employees and reinforcing their bottom line. Wellness programs deliver multiple benefits to businesses:

  • Promoting a culture of wellness within an organization reduces health care spending
  • Healthy employees are more engaged and productive in their roles
  • Businesses that offer employee incentives attract and retain talent

How can employers directly impact communities?

Business leaders have the opportunity to make health a defining factor in the workplace, inspiring their employees to evaluate and improve their own behaviors. This approach spreads healthy habits outside of the workplace and reaches families across communities. Small changes to individual health have the potential to transform the environment over time, creating healthier lifestyles within communities.

Healthy, thriving communities are an appealing place for individuals to live, work, and play. Employers can make an impact in the broader region by investing in their employees’ well-being and encouraging healthier choices within their organization and beyond.

← Back to The Business Case for Community Health

Member of the Month October 2019: Switch Utilizes 100% Renewable Energy to Power Its Data Centers in Michigan and Beyond

Editor’s note: The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Member of the Month designation recognizes a Chamber member working to grow the regional economy through innovative leadership in alignment with the Chamber’s programs or policy agenda.

Switch was named the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Member of the Month for October because of its commitment to sustainability and use of locally-generated 100% renewable energy to power its data centers, including its Pyramid Campus in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Switch has been widely recognized as a leader in sustainability. Greenpeace ranked Switch the highest in the world for sustainability among technology companies, and the company achieved all A’s in their 2017 Clicking Clean Report. In September 2019, Switch also received national recognition for its green leadership from the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) when it received the 2019 Green Power Leadership Award.

Switch, a global technology company, develops and operates the world’s highest-rated data centers, and provides colocation, cloud services, telecommunications and content ecosystems. Switch was founded in 2000 by Rob Roy, with sustainability in mind. Switch is committed to ensuring the “data that runs the planet, does not ruin the planet.”

Today, Switch is known “as a world leader in the design and operation of sustainable data centers” with North American operations in Las Vegas, Tahoe Reno, Atlanta, and Grand Rapids. Switch’s clients include FedEx, Box, Amazon, eBay, MGM as well as several leading Michigan based companies.

“One of the key principles for Switch when we expand to other states, including Michigan, is to sustain on locally generated 100% renewable energy,” said Adam Kramer, Executive Vice President of Strategy for Switch.

In 2015, Switch helped to create Nevada’s first green tariff, allowing businesses in the state to purchase renewable energy. Three years later, Switch partnered with Consumer’s Energy and worked with the State of Michigan to also approve a green tariff. “The tariff is the first of its kind in Michigan,” said Kramer.

The Pyramid Campus located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is Switch’s iconic data center that will have a capacity of up to 1.8 million square feet of data center space upon completion. “Switch has used clean energy in Michigan since day one,” Kramer said. He continued, “Energy use is the nature of our business. Switch uses power 24 hours, 7 days a week. The internet never turns off. No other data center in the state is doing what we have accomplished.”

In addition, Switch publishes reports on its energy consumption and emissions. “We publish these reports to ensure that everyone can validate our claims, and to inspire others to use renewable energy,” said Kramer.

WeWork to open large coworking space near TechTown

Coworking giant WeWork, which already operates two spaces in downtown Detroit, will open up a third on Cass Avenue in TechTown. The new location will more than double its footprint in the city.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports that WeWork will lease 91,000 square feet of space in the building at 6001 Cass Avenue at York Street, which is owned by developer The Platform. It will occupy part of the first floor, and all of floors two through five.

WeWork also leases four floors at 1001 Woodward Avenue and seven floors at 1449 Woodward Avenue totaling 85,000 square feet. Both downtown buildings are owned by Dan Gilbert.

WeWork declined to comment to Crain’s about the news, and it’s uncertain when the office will open. At its other Detroit locations, a basic floating desk membership plan starts at $300.

The Albert Kahn–designed building at Cass Avenue opened in 1927 as the Cadillac Sales and Service Building. It later housed WSU’s Criminal Justice department, but had been vacant for some years before being purchased by The Platform in 2016 for $2 million.

View from the intersection of the corner of a square, six-story limestone building. Two red “For Lease” signs hang on the side.
6001 Cass Avenue Google Street View
Other tenants in the approximately 130,000-square-foot building include Novi-based Tata Technologies and a Wayne State University art gallery. It’s slated to open this fall.

Before being put on hold earlier this year, The Platform had been working on a nearby, large-scale development plan called Cass & York that called for luxury condos.

WeWork made headlines in August before its initial public offering after releasing its S-1 filing which showed it was losing nearly $2 billion annually. The company operates more than 525 locations in more than 110 cities worldwide.

Clayton & McKervey CPA eases preparation for year-end business reporting with a roundup of filing requirements for companies

Southfield, Mich.—October 30, 2019—Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping growth-driven companies compete in the global marketplace, knows this time of year brings a host of filing requirements and forms that companies need to finalize in order to file their taxes. Shareholder Margaret Amsden, CPA, who leads the firm’s tax department and is the point person for domestic tax strategies at Clayton & McKervey, says proactive preparation is half the battle in ensuring the tax filing process will go smoothly.

“Income, Social Security, Medicare tax withholding and payments that are not considered wages have to factored in for accurate reporting,” Amsden said. “It may seem a bit overwhelming, but companies that administer a system to ready their information now will have an easier time seeking the best possible financial advantages at tax time.”

Amsden offers a rundown on the key areas to consider when preparing year-end business reporting:

Form 1099’s – Depending on the nature of the non-wage payment, there are several:

Form 1099-MISC (Miscellaneous Income) relates to services rendered which are not reportable wages on Form W-2 and includes: rents, services prizes, awards, medical and health care payments, cash paid from a national principal contract to an individual, partnership, or estate, royalties, or payment to attorney or law firm.
• For non-employee compensation, the form must be filed by January 31.
• Any other type of payment is due by February 28.
• For multiple types of payments, the IRS now requires two filing batches, one on or before January 31 and the second on or before February 28.

Form 1099-DIV (Dividends and Distributions) is required for payees who:
• Received at least $10 in dividends and other distributions on stock—not generally applicable to S Corporation distributions; had any foreign tax withheld and paid on dividends and other distributions on stock regardless of the amount of the payment; had any federal income tax withheld under the backup withholding rules regardless of the amount of the payment; or received at least $600 as part of a liquidation.
• There is also a change in exclusions on gains regarding all qualified small business stock – RICs acquired on or after January 1, 2019. If a RIC was acquired after December 31, 2018, then there will be no additional exclusions on any gain generated from that stock. If the stock was acquired on or before December 31, 2018 then the previous exclusions may apply to gains received.

Form 1099-INT (Interest Income) is required for payees who: received at least $10 in interest (or for certain payees at least $600); had any foreign tax withheld and paid on interest regardless of the amount of the payment; or had any federal income tax withheld under the backup withholding rules regardless of the amount of payment.

Form 1099-R (Distributions from Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit Sharing) is currently required for each payee receiving at least $10 from profit sharing or retirement plans, any IRAs, annuities, pensions, insurance contracts, survivor income benefit plans, permanent and total disability payments under life insurance contracts, and charitable gift annuities.
• Also reports death benefit payments made by employers which are not part of a pension, profit sharing, or retirement plan, and reportable disability payments made from a retirement plan
• Special rules apply for reporting distributions to employees affected by natural disasters (refer to Pub. 976, Disaster Relief)
• Rollovers to a Roth IRA cannot be re-characterized as having been made to a traditional IRA
• Payments made to any state unclaimed property funds on or after January 1, 2019

Form W-2:
Employers must file Form W-2 for wages paid to each employee subject to income, Social Security, or Medicare tax withholding and need to consider:
• Health Insurance Premiums paid for a 2% Shareholder in an S Corporation
• Personal Use of Employer-Provided Automobiles as an excludable working condition fringe benefit
• Group-term Life Insurance Coverage included in the employee’s gross income to the extent the cost of the policy coverage exceeds the cost of $50,000 of such insurance, less the after-tax amount (if any) paid by the employee toward the purchase of the insurance.
• Disability Insurance Coverage which is not required to be included in the employee’s gross income but if it is, then the benefit (if ever claimed by the employee) will be non-taxable
• The Affordable Care Act (ACA) required on the total cost of health care coverage on the W-2 form for all employers with more than 250 W-2 forms.
• Premium Reimbursement Plans on reimbursed payments for the purchase of individual health insurance policies in employees’ compensation.

Form 1095-C and 1095-B:
• Employers with more than 50 full-time employees need to report information regarding the health care eligibility and coverage for their employees on Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage).
• Employers with less than 50 full-time employees sponsoring self-insured group health plans will be required to file Form 1095-B (Health Coverage) to report information regarding the health care coverage for their employees.

Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) updates:
• Qualified Moving Expense Reimbursements Exclusion is no longer allowed during the tax years 2018-2025.
• Donated Leave–the allowance for employees donating their personal, sick or vacation leave days to qualified tax-exempt organizations helping victims of some specified, recent natural disasters, still applies in 2019.
• Qualified Equity Grants Reporting–The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 83(i) covers “qualified equity grants” but comes with increased reporting requirements for eligible corporations with qualified plans. Generally, when stock from an exercise of a stock option or a stock grant is substantially vested, employees are required to recognize taxable income, and income tax withholding requirements apply. Note: In the case of a start-up business, this withholding burden often falls on the employee, which counteracts any incentive of the initial stock option or grant. Complex rules stipulate what companies are covered, employee notification requirements, and penalties if employees are not notified in a timely manner.

Amsden has written more in depth on reporting requirements and exceptions, and says that consulting with the appropriate accounting specialists can alleviate confusion and expedite the reporting process.

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.

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Nemeth Law partner Deborah Brouwer named to Crain’s Detroit Business 2019 Notable Women in Law

Detroit, Mich.— October 29, 2019 — Nemeth Law, P.C., a Detroit-based labor and employment law firm, announced that Deborah Brouwer, a partner in the firm, has been selected for inclusion in the Crain’s Detroit Business 2019 Notable Women in Law list, featuring 22 acclaimed women attorneys working in the private and public sector, including law firms, general counsel, non-profits, and government.

Attorneys were selected based on their reputation for excellence in the law, track record of success in their field, involvement with the community, and mentorship of other attorneys. Crain Content Studio worked with advisors in the legal field to review nominations and select the final honorees. Brouwer’s profile for the Notable Women in Law can be viewed here.

Brouwer’s labor and employment practice includes the defense of lawsuits against employers involving claims of race, age, religion, national origin, gender and disability discrimination, and harassment and retaliation, as well as FLSA, FMLA and non-competition suits. She also provides employer training and conducts discrimination and harassment investigations on behalf of employers. Brouwer has extensive experience appearing before administrative agencies, including the EEOC, MDCR, MIOSHA, OSHA and the NLRB, and also appears frequently before the Michigan Court of Appeals and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Brouwer is active in professional and community organizations. She is Treasurer, Board of Directors, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel; Member, State Bar of Michigan Appellate Section and Labor and Employment Law Section; Member, American Bar Association, Litigation Section; Member, DRI; Chair of the Board of Directors of Assured Family Services; and Vice President, Board of Trustees, Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation. Brouwer holds a Juris Doctor from the Wayne State University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree, both from the University of Michigan.

The Crain’s Detroit Business recognition of Notable Women in Law comes on the heels of Brouwer being named a Michigan Super Lawyer in employment litigation defense in September 2019; in September 2018, she was named a Woman in the Law honoree by the legal trade publication, Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

About Nemeth Law, P.C.
Nemeth Law specializes in arbitration, mediation, workplace investigations, employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation/training for private and public sector employers. It is the largest woman-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.
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Bethany Thayer

Director, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Henry Ford Health System

Bethany Thayer is director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in Detroit. She oversees a team of health professionals who provide wellness services to more than 33,000 employees of HFHS, patients, work sites, and community groups.

Thayer was a national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for nine years and served three years as a national leader for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a past-president of the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (MI Academy). She was named the MI Academy 1993 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year, received the MI Academy Media Award in 2004 and 2006, and was recognized in 2012 as the Michigan Outstanding Dietitian of the Year.

Thayer graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in dietetics, completed her dietetic internship at Henry Ford Hospital, and earned a master’s degree in exercise science from Oakland University.

Kathy Forzley

Director, Department of Health and Human Services, Oakland County

Kathy Forzley was appointed by former Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as director of the Oakland County Department of Health and Human Services in 2017. In this role, she provides oversight of the Health Division, Children’s Village, and Homeland Security divisions.

As a recognized public health expert, Forzley’s leadership has focused on population health improvement through numerous collaborative efforts that comprehensively align community partners and resources around complex health issues. Under her oversight, Forzley has created and sustained numerous award-winning community initiatives such as Healthy Pontiac, We Can!, Homeless Healthcare Collaboration, and a countywide health improvement initiative known as Energizing Connections for Healthier Oakland (ECHO).

Prior to her current position, Forzley was the Health Officer of the Oakland County Health Division, Administrator of Oakland County Health Division’s Environmental Health Services, and worked as a Registered Environmental Health Sanitarian. Forzley has a master’s in public administration and a dual Bachelor of Arts in biology and Bachelor of Science in environmental health from Oakland University.