What’s Next For Detroit? With Dennis Archer Jr.

January 22, 2020

Daily Detroit

Jer Staes

The New Year is a great time to take inventory of what we’ve done and where we’re headed, and I like to talk to Dennis Archer Jr.,the CEO of Ignition Media Group and the president of Archer Corporate Services ahead of the Detroit Policy Conference that’s coming up this Wednesday, January 29.

We touch on a variety of topics including transit, education, development, the focus going forward on the neighborhoods, and why Archer doesn’t like the word “comeback” when it comes to Detroit.

Archer is also the chair of the conference, with speakers like Dug Song, who has gotten more visibly involved in policy and such since selling his company, Duo Security, to Cisco. Actor Hill Harper, who owns the Roasting Plant in downtown Detroit and bought a house in the city.

The suburbs are in, too. Oakland County Executive David Coulter is speaking. A statewide perspective from Lieutenant-Governor Garlin Gilchrist.

Listen to the conversation:

View the original article

UHY LLP CPAs expands into Port Huron; merges with Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple

Port Huron, Mich. January 23, 2020 – UHY LLP, certified public accountants, with over 400 employees in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties, has merged with Stewart, Beauvais & Whipple, of Port Huron. This is the firm’s fifth office in Michigan and entrance into St. Clair County, and positions them as a leader in nonprofit, municipal and government auditing.

“Reaching up into the thumb allows us to better serve our existing client base in the Bluewater area,” said Tom Callan CEO of the UHY Great Lakes Region. “The addition of SBW deepens our resources in various practice areas, and will present new opportunities for our staff and our firm.”

Harold Burns and Dan Markey, partners of UHY LLP and members of the firm’s executive committee, have been heavily involved in St. Clair County for decades. This includes serving on boards of SC4 Foundation, Community Foundation of St. Clair, St. Clair County RESA, Memphis Community Schools, and the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.

“We are very excited about the opportunities that this merger brings to both firms and all of our clients. Both firms have a great reputation in providing quality service and this will only improve by bringing together our talented professionals. With UHY wanting to have an office in Port Huron, it is a testament to the economic growth happening in St. Clair County and UHY will only help sustain this growth”, said Mike Turnbull, (former principal of SBW) managing director of the Port Huron office.

SBW employees were memorably welcomed into the UHY family during their annual busy season kickoff celebration at Royal Oak Music Theatre over the weekend.

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About UHY Advisors
UHY Advisors provides tax and advisory services to entrepreneurial and other organizations, principally those enterprises in the dynamic middle market. UHY LLP, a licensed CPA firm, provides audit and other attest services to publicly traded, privately owned and nonprofit organizations in a number of industry sectors. UHY Advisors, operating in an alternative practice structure with UHY LLP, forms one of the largest professional services firms in the US. While that scale might provide confidence for some clients, others tell us our greatest value is the way we bring these resources to bear to help address today’s evolving business challenges. It’s a philosophy we call “The Next Level of Service”. To learn more visit www.uhy-us.com.

All of the above entities are members of Urbach Hacker Young International Limited (“UHYI”), a worldwide network of independent professional services firms that provide audit, tax and advisory services around the globe. UHYI is ranked among the top international accountancy networks and a proud member in good standing of the Forum of Firms. Collectively, the US operating entities (UHY Advisors and UHY LLP) are the largest independent members of UHYI with significant participation, bringing the power of the international network to serve the individualized needs of US clients.

UHY Advisors, Inc. provides tax and business consulting services through wholly owned subsidiary entities that operate under the name of “UHY Advisors.” UHY LLP is a licensed independent CPA firm that performs attest services in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities. UHY Advisors, Inc. and its subsidiary entities are not licensed CPA firms. UHY Advisors, Inc. and UHY LLP are US members of UHYI, a UK company, and form part of the international UHYI network of legally independent accounting and consulting firms. “UHY” is the brand name for the UHYI international network. Any services described herein are provided by UHY Advisors, Inc. and/or UHY LLP (as the case may be) and not by UHYI or any other member firm of UHYI. Neither UHYI nor any member of UHYI has any liability for services provided by other members.

Brad Williams Testifies on Infrastructure Funding to Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee

The following is testimony from Detroit Regional Chamber Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams to the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee on Jan. 23, 2020.

Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. My name is Brad Williams, I am the Vice President of Government Relations at the Detroit Regional Chamber. Some of you have visited the Chamber’s office in Downtown Detroit and you know that we have one of the most stunning views of any Chamber of Commerce in the entire country. As we do our work, promoting economic growth in our region, we overlook the Detroit River and literally watch commerce flow. Across Jefferson Avenue sits the Detroit Wayne County Port Authority, which represents an opportunity to capitalize on a set of unique assets in our region.

The Chamber supports SB 667, because modern infrastructure is a tool to grow a modern economy. The Detroit region has many existing and future infrastructure assets that will allow for ongoing economic growth and modern port facilities with accelerate that. Michigan’s transportation infrastructure built to support our manufacturing economy is a potential economic advantage. We have redundant highways, meaning that truck traffic has the ability to avoid congestion, we have strong rail infrastructure, we will soon be home to three international crossings for commercial activity including the most modern in North America. However, the policy choices we make will determine whether or not we are able to leverage these assets as successfully as we would like.

That is why the Chamber supports SB 667 to allow for greater investment in port facilities. That is why the Chamber supports efforts to dramatically increase our investment in preserving our surface transportation assets. That is why the Chamber supports efforts to create a regional transit system in our region. Because regions that can effectively move people and goods are going to continue to have a leg up and be more competitive into 2030 and beyond. We encourage your support of SB 667.

Dickinson Wright Earns Top Marks in 2020 Corporate Equality Index

TROY, Mich., January 21, 2020 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that it received a score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s premier benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. Dickinson Wright joins the ranks of more than 680 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.

“We are deeply honored to participate in the 2020 Corporate Equality Index and to achieve a perfect 100 for the third year in a row,” said Harlan Robins, Dickinson Wright’s Deputy CEO – Finance & Diversity. “Our participation in the Corporate Equality Index reflects the firm’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace environment for all of our employees through the firm’s initiatives and policies. At Dickinson Wright, we understand that hiring and retaining a diverse workforce is a core component of the firm’s values and it is instrumental to providing our clients with the best legal service.”

“The impact of the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index over its 18-year history is profound. In this time, the corporate community has worked with us to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies, practices and benefits, establishing the Corporate Equality Index as a primary driving force for LGBTQ workplace inclusion in America and across the globe,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do – it is also the best business decision. In addition, many of these leaders are also advocating for the LGBTQ community and equality under the law in the public square. From supporting LGBTQ civil rights protections in the U.S. through HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, to featuring transgender and non-binary people in an ad in Argentina, to advocating for marriage equality in Taiwan – businesses understand their LGBTQ employees and customers deserve to be seen, valued and respected not only at work, but in every aspect of daily life.”

The results of this year’s CEI showcase how 1,059 U.S.-based companies are not only promoting LGBTQ-friendly workplace policies in the U.S., but helping advance the cause of LGBTQ inclusion in workplaces abroad. Dickinson Wright’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria earned a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

The CEI rates companies and top law firms on detailed criteria falling under five broad categories:

• Non-discrimination policies
• Employment benefits
• Demonstrated organizational competency and accountability around LGBTQ diversity and inclusion
• Public commitment to LGBTQ equality
• Responsible citizenship

The full report is available online at www.hrc.org/cei.

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 18 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, 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.

Michigan Matters: Carol Cain and Dennis Archer Jr. Discuss 2020 Detroit Policy Conference

January 17, 2020

CBS Detroit 

Michigan Matters

Dennis Archer Jr. talks with Cain about the Detroit Regional Chamber’s upcoming Detroit Policy Conference which will focus on issues impacting the Motor City. Archer, an entrepreneur, is serving as Chairman of the upcoming conference which will feature speakers at the Jan. 29th day long event. They include: Lt. Gov. Gilchrist, Mayor Mike Duggan, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, Ford’s Mary Culler, Duo Security Dug Song, HFHS Wright Lassiter, and Detroit Pistons’ Arn Tellem.

Some of the topics discussed will also include creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Detroit and what the next “unicorn” company will be. For information: : www.detroitchamber.com/dpc/agenda/

View the original article

Spotlight on the News: Inside the “New” Detroit Regional Partnership & Detroit Policy Conference

January 19, 2020

WXYZ Detroit

Spotlight on the News

On Sunday, January 19, Spotlight on the News will introduce you to Barry I. Matherly, the leader of the “new” Detroit Regional Partnership. What are his plans? We’ll also go inside the upcoming 2020 Detroit Policy Conference with Detroit Regional Chamber President & CEO Sandy Baruah and Conference Chair Dennis Archer, Jr. Together, how are they moving our region forward?

Spotlight on the News, now in its 55th season, is Michigan’s longest-running weekly news and public affairs television program. It airs every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. on WXYZ-TV/Channel 7 in Detroit and 2:30 p.m. on 23.1 WKAR-HD in East Lansing and 6 p.m. on 23.2 WKAR World.

View the original article and watch the video. 

Former Fox 2 Anchor Anqunette Sarfoh is Now a Cannabis Entrepreneur

Anqunette Sarfoh will be speaking at the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference: Defining a Decade, on its new date, Wednesday, Jan. 29 at MotorCity Casino Hotel. See the full list of speakers and register for the event.

Former Fox 2 Detroit Anchor Anqunette “Q” Sarfoh retired after 20 years as a TV journalist after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). She found that through a combination of changing her diet and using cannabis, she was able to go from taking nine medications a day to none. Sarfoh co-founded the soon-to-be sold dispensary BotaniQ in Corktown and is currently working on a line of cannabis edibles.

Sarfoh will join other business, civic, and government leaders to explore the continued economic progress for the city of Detroit and region at the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference on Jan. 29.

Read more about her journey with the cannabis industry in a Q&A below:

Tell us about your journey with medical marijuana and how it helped you lessen your dependence on pharmaceuticals.

I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013, I believe. The first year I took all the prescribed medications, including one that is $91,000 a year. I was on nine medications and unfortunately, I didn’t feel better – in fact, I felt worse. [The doctor] suggested that I smoke [cannabis], so I did. The nausea went away relatively quickly, as did my headache. I’m using it as a disease-modifying treatment, along with diet modification. I was able to eventually wean myself off all the other pharmaceuticals that I was prescribed, and now I use cannabis as my primary treatment for MS symptoms.

What do you want skeptics to know about using cannabis for medicinal purposes?

People don’t believe it works; people think that you just want to get high. The way I use cannabis, I’m not necessarily high. I use it at nighttime to help with sleep. I wish people would be a little more open-minded. And when you consider the fact that 40 percent of all our pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, this is real medicine. Unfortunately, it’s just so many people are used to taking a pill. It would be beneficial if people would just open their minds to the possibility that plant-based medicines do work.

What inspired you to co-found BotaniQ, the provisioning center, and dispensary in Detroit?

I wanted a place for women and people who are cannabis naive could be comfortable learning more about the plant and learn how to best use it for their own personal ailments or issues. We wanted to make sure people have an environment where they don’t feel rushed, where questions are not just welcomed but encouraged. We started off with saying that we want it to be a place where you would take your grandma. And sure enough, we have a lot of seniors.

What advice would you give to someone who’s curious about the cannabis industry and wants to participate from a business standpoint?

Find a property that is compliant, that’s going to be the hardest and most challenging part. You have so many communities in Michigan that have opted out, so the places where you can put up your business are extremely limited. Find an investor [then] set a budget and prepare for it to go up 50 to 100 percent.

Get some competency of where you best fit in. This community has so many great conferences, like at the Detroit Regional Chamber. There are so many cannabis conferences all over the country right now. Pick one and just become a sponge and just take in everything. There are so many different avenues, everything from marketing and public relations to the whole business aspect of it whether it be retail or cultivation processing.

Wellness Works Now Available on LinkedIn

Wellness Works recently launched a LinkedIn page to better connect Southeast Michigan businesses with the tools necessary to develop a cohesive wellness strategy and encourage healthy habits in the workplace.

The program’s mission is to create healthy employees, increase business performance, and contribute to a thriving Detroit region. With its new LinkedIn page, Wellness Works is positioned to cultivate a digital community of individuals passionate about health and wellness in Southeast Michigan.

Join regional businesses that are working to improve employee and community well-being.
Follow this page for motivation, support, and inspiration around workplace wellness.

What you can expect:

  • Wellness strategies for your company
  • Business benefits of prioritizing workplace wellness
  • Wellness-related community events and opportunities
  • Healthier workplaces in Southeast Michigan

Kick off 2020 with a commitment to workplace wellness – follow Wellness Works Detroit on LinkedIn to take the first step.

Sean P. McNally Named Managing Partner of Pepper Hamilton’s Detroit Office

Sean P. McNally Named Managing Partner of Pepper Hamilton’s Detroit Office
Trial and Dispute Resolution Lawyer Heads 20-Lawyer Office

Detroit, MI – January 14, 2020 — Pepper Hamilton LLP announced that Sean P. McNally, a partner in the firm’s Trial and Dispute Resolution Practice Group and co-chair of the Automotive Industry Group, has been named managing partner of the Detroit office. He succeeds Thomas P. Wilczak, who led the office for 10 years.

“Sean is a proven leader who will successfully manage the Detroit office as the firm transitions from Pepper Hamilton to Troutman Pepper, following our combination with Troutman Sanders in April,” said Thomas P. Wilczak, former managing partner of the Detroit office. “Sean was an obvious choice to assume the role as I look to concentrate more time on my environmental law practice and serving clients.”

Mr. McNally focuses his practice on the construction, manufacturing and real estate industries, where he manages high-exposure litigation matters and serves as external general counsel to a variety of companies. He also manages transactional matters in the automotive, construction and real estate areas.

Mr. McNally is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, was named one of Detroit’s top lawyers by DBusiness Magazine, and is included on the 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers list.

He is a member of the board of trustees of the Fanny Strong Foundation, a fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America, a fellow of the Oakland County Bar Foundation, and a member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Civil Procedure and Courts Committee since 2008. He is also a member of the Original Equipment Supplier’s Association, the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Mr. McNally received his B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University and his J.D, cum laude, from Michigan State University College of Law, where he earned a trial practice certificate from the MSU Trial Practice Institute.

Pepper Hamilton’s Detroit office represents clients in complex matters in a range of practice areas, including corporate and securities, automotive, construction, environmental law, bankruptcy and reorganization, labor and employment, litigation and real estate law. Working closely with lawyers in Pepper’s other offices, the Detroit office provides clients its breadth of national expertise with depth of its local experience. The office was opened in 1979.

About Pepper Hamilton LLP*
Pepper Hamilton LLP counsels each client as if it were our only client. With more than 425 lawyers in 14 offices across the United States, we use the unique skills and talents of our people, the breadth of our practices, and the depth of our experience to deliver powerful solutions to clients’ legal and business issues. The firm was founded in 1890.

*On January 9, 2020, Troutman Sanders and Pepper Hamilton announced the firms had agreed to merge effective April 1, 2020. The new law firm, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP, or “Troutman Pepper,” will have 1,100 attorneys in 23 offices across the country. Troutman Pepper will offer its clients greater resources and bench strength, enhanced practices and expanded geographical reach.

State of Your Detroit Regional Chamber: A Year in Review

Download the State of Your Detroit Regional Chamber

The Detroit Regional Chamber is recognized nationally as one of the largest and most effective chambers of commerce in the nation. Yesterday, the Chamber’s 2019 annual meeting – State of Your Detroit Regional Chamber – highlighted how the organization is addressing critical challenges facing the region and the state.

“We are proud that we have over 2,500 members supporting the regional Chamber,” said Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah. “It’s not enough to have just a footprint here in our metro area, so we cover 11 counties that comprise the Detroit region.”

The Chamber is best known for its best-in-class convening, said Baruah. Iconic events like the unique in the nation Mackinac Policy Conference, Detroit Policy Conference, MICHauto Summit, and State of the Region address the region and state’s most pressing issues and competitiveness, connect companies to resources that can inform business decisions, and bring together business, civic, and government leaders from across the state.

The Chamber also serves as the voice for the business community in the Detroit region, and its top-rated business advocacy team is currently advancing legacy issues such as transportation, education standards, and job growth, among more. The Chamber has one of the most sought-after candidate endorsements in the state with a 90 percent success rate for endorsed candidates.

“We’ve been very involved in some of the key policy initiatives,” said Chamber Board Member Dennis W. Archer Jr., CEO of Ignition Media Group and founding partner of Archer Corporate Services. “We take a hard look at those candidates that are running for office because we have to be able to execute what’s best for the region.”

Along with serving as a voice for business in the region, the Chamber is also securing Michigan’s leadership in the automotive and next-generation mobility industry through MICHauto. With an annual economic impact of $225 billion, Michigan’s economy is dependent on the evolving automotive industry.

In order to retain and grow the industry, MICHauto is working to build the region’s talent base by changing perceptions of automotive and mobility careers among youth.

“We have 120 investors to support the initiatives retaining and attracting the talent to this industry,” said Chamber Board Member Lisa Lunsford, the CEO of Global Strategic Supply Solutions. “We are trying to get those kids a little younger than high school to show that [with a career in this industry] it’s more than an assembly line.”

The Chamber focuses on growing talent for not only the automotive and mobility industry, but for all its member companies as they prepare to create the jobs of the future. Programs such as Detroit Promise ensure that Detroit students have a pathway to a tuition-free college education, and Let’s Detroit works to attract and retain young professionals in the region.

“I truly believe that education is a steppingstone to a better life,” said Chamber Board Member Paul Glantz, co-founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment Inc.