Lambert Acquires New York Banking And Financial Services Firm Casteel Schoenborn Investor Relations Corporate Communications

DETROIT, Mich., January 14, 2020 – Lambert & Co., a top-10 investor relations firm and a top-5 private equity communications agency nationally, today announced the acquisition of Casteel Schoenborn Investor Relations & Corporate Communications. The deal marks Lambert’s seventh transaction and second in the last two months.

The transaction advances Lambert’s strategy to be the nation’s leading integrated investor relations and public relations firm for emerging and established market leaders through organic growth, acquisitions and innovation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The Casteel Schoenborn team has built a tremendous business offering strategic guidance to publicly traded regional and community banks and other U.S. financial services firms, making them a perfect fit to accelerate our strategic plan and bolster our IR and financial services sector expertise,” said Jeff Lambert, founder and CEO. “Their unique approach, enduring partnerships with management teams and vast experience set enhances our current client roster and creates a true financial services powerhouse.”

Casteel Schoenborn serves public and private enterprises, private equity firms and their legal and financial advisors in other industries nationwide, advising on a wide range of issues including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, public offerings and private placements, regulatory enforcement actions and litigation, governance issues, as well as special situations and crisis communications. Casteel Schoenborn’s professionals have worked with publicly held firms with market capitalizations ranging from under $100 million to more than $80 billion to execute IR and communications programs that achieve corporate objectives and secure full and fair valuation for the companies’ shares.

Casteel Schoenborn is based in Williamsville, N.Y. and its team is joining Lambert as part of the transaction, with principals Lynn Casteel and Jeffrey Schoenborn named managing directors.

“Joining Lambert provides us additional scale and access to talent across its network of offices in Michigan, New York City and Phoenix,” Casteel said. “Our team is excited to leverage the additional breadth of industry expertise and integrated communications capabilities for our client, as well as contribute to the success of Lambert’s clients on each end of the capital markets spectrum – from pre-revenue companies raising their first round of capital to well-established publicly traded corporations. We have advised numerous U.S. financial services companies over the years, with a strong emphasis on banking, and look forward to this next chapter in our business to provide a broader array of services that clients seek.”

Keynote Added to 2020 Detroit Policy Conference: Hill Harper, Actor, Author, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist

Hill Harper will not only bring his star power to the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference stage, but he will also share insight from a career rooted in philanthropy and service to communities in need in a can’t-miss keynote address.

Whether by helping city residents restore credit to pursue homeownership, his purchase and restoration of the Charles T. Fisher Mansion, or his youth empowerment program in partnership with Wayne State University and local businesses, Harper’s connections to Detroit run deep.

Spots are filling up quickly for this year’s Conference. Secure yours today to hear more from Harper and the rest of this year’s renowned speakers. Register here. 

Integrated Marketing Firm MCCI Sells to Executive Team

Mort Crim Communications, Inc. (MCCI), one of the fastest-growing integrated marketing firms based in Detroit, today announced it has been sold to the company’s executive team. The announcement was made by the outgoing owner, President and CEO Terrence Oprea. Terms of the transaction were not released.

“This is the culmination of years of planning between our executives and me,” Oprea said. “The new ownership team knows virtually every detail of leading, growing and managing this award-winning agency, so I expect a seamless, excellent future for MCCI. I’m thrilled this is happening at a time when we’re experiencing unprecedented client momentum, top-line growth and significant expansion of our downtown Detroit headquarters.”

Purchasing the agency are former Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Christopher Heaton, who now leads as CEO of the firm; Senior Vice President Richard Donley, APR, now president; Senior Vice President Todd Haight, now chief strategy officer; and Senior Vice President Jennette Smith Kotila, now chief marketing officer. Oprea will be of counsel to the agency for the short term to aid in transition details.

MCCI boasts more than 40 clients, representing many national and international brands. Industry expertise includes automotive, supply chain, professional services, manufacturing, education, government, healthcare, real estate, association and nonprofit segments. MCCI has continued to expand its integrated capabilities including advertising, branding, creative services, digital media, video production and public relations.

“We admire and respect Terry for his 26 years of leadership since he joined the firm in 1993,” said Heaton, who has been with MCCI for 22 years. “Our agency, founded on the principles of integrity and excellence, is well-positioned in this competitive market to continue the acceleration of our growth and success as we begin this next chapter.”

Heaton said the new ownership team is committed to the firm’s Detroit home and will keep its headquarters in the Murphy-Telegraph Building, located in the heart of the financial district. MCCI also is expanding the footprint of the firm by adding 4,000 square feet of space; a grand opening is expected in the first quarter of 2020. MCCI moved to Detroit in 2014. The firm also has operated an office in Orlando since 2014.

“MCCI’s momentum stems from adding new clients, exceptional talent, as well as introducing new channel offerings,” Donley said. “We’re excited with where we’re headed in 2020 all while delivering ‘Seriously Creative’ service and results for our clients.”

About MCCI
MCCI was founded in 1993 by legendary broadcaster Mort Crim, joined by Post-Newsweek (WDIV-TV) Executive Producer and journalist Terry Oprea. Crim retired in 2008, selling the firm fully at that time to Oprea.

One of the most trusted Michigan-based integrated marketing agencies, MCCI has earned more than 70 awards for strategy, creativity and results. The firm has particular expertise in outcome-centered campaigns. MCCI specializes in brand marketing and marketing services; public and media relations; video production; advertising and creative services; web design and development; digital, social and content marketing; coaching and training; and event services.

For more information, visit www.mccicorp.com.
Follow MCCI on Twitter @MCCICorp or Facebook: facebook.com/MCCICorp
Follow MCCI on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/mort-crim-communications/

Integrated Marketing Firm MCCI Sells to Executive Team

Mort Crim Communications, Inc. (MCCI), one of the fastest-growing integrated marketing firms based in Detroit, today announced it has been sold to the company’s executive team. The announcement was made by the outgoing owner, President and CEO Terrence Oprea. Terms of the transaction were not released.

“This is the culmination of years of planning between our executives and me,” Oprea said. “The new ownership team knows virtually every detail of leading, growing and managing this award-winning agency, so I expect a seamless, excellent future for MCCI. I’m thrilled this is happening at a time when we’re experiencing unprecedented client momentum, top-line growth and significant expansion of our downtown Detroit headquarters.”

Purchasing the agency are former Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Christopher Heaton, who now leads as CEO of the firm; Senior Vice President Richard Donley, APR, now president; Senior Vice President Todd Haight, now chief strategy officer; and Senior Vice President Jennette Smith Kotila, now chief marketing officer. Oprea will be of counsel to the agency for the short term to aid in transition details.

MCCI boasts more than 40 clients, representing many national and international brands. Industry expertise includes automotive, supply chain, professional services, manufacturing, education, government, healthcare, real estate, association and nonprofit segments. MCCI has continued to expand its integrated capabilities including advertising, branding, creative services, digital media, video production and public relations.

“We admire and respect Terry for his 26 years of leadership since he joined the firm in 1993,” said Heaton, who has been with MCCI for 22 years. “Our agency, founded on the principles of integrity and excellence, is well-positioned in this competitive market to continue the acceleration of our growth and success as we begin this next chapter.”

Heaton said the new ownership team is committed to the firm’s Detroit home and will keep its headquarters in the Murphy-Telegraph Building, located in the heart of the financial district. MCCI also is expanding the footprint of the firm by adding 4,000 square feet of space; a grand opening is expected in the first quarter of 2020. MCCI moved to Detroit in 2014. The firm also has operated an office in Orlando since 2014.

“MCCI’s momentum stems from adding new clients, exceptional talent, as well as introducing new channel offerings,” Donley said. “We’re excited with where we’re headed in 2020 all while delivering ‘Seriously Creative’ service and results for our clients.”

About MCCI
MCCI was founded in 1993 by legendary broadcaster Mort Crim, joined by Post-Newsweek (WDIV-TV) Executive Producer and journalist Terry Oprea. Crim retired in 2008, selling the firm fully at that time to Oprea.

One of the most trusted Michigan-based integrated marketing agencies, MCCI has earned more than 70 awards for strategy, creativity and results. The firm has particular expertise in outcome-centered campaigns. MCCI specializes in brand marketing and marketing services; public and media relations; video production; advertising and creative services; web design and development; digital, social and content marketing; coaching and training; and event services.

For more information, visit www.mccicorp.com.
Follow MCCI on Twitter @MCCICorp or Facebook: facebook.com/MCCICorp
Follow MCCI on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/mort-crim-communications/

Devon O’Reilly Joined WJR’s “It’s Your Community” to Discuss 2020 Detroit Policy Conference.

January 12, 2020

WJR-AM Radio

“It’s Your Community” with Vanessa Denha-Darmo

Devon O’Reilly joined WJR’s “It’s Your Community” host Vanessa Denha-Darmo to discuss the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference. Listen below.

 

View the original podcast here.

Six Dickinson Wright Lawyers Elected as Members of the Firm

TROY, Mich., January 13, 2020 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce the election of six new member attorneys of the firm’s Troy and Detroit offices, effective January 1, 2020.

“This year’s class of new members represent a diverse range of practices and offices,” says Michael Hammer, CEO of Dickinson Wright. “Each attorney brings an incredible set of qualities and skills that they have developed over their legal career. I congratulate each and every one of them on this well-deserved honor.”

Below is Dickinson Wright’s new member attorneys for 2020:

Andrea Arndt is a Member in the firm’s Troy office. She practices all aspects of intellectual property law, including litigating and prosecuting patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. Ms. Arndt also specializes in foreign patent prosecution and intellectual property law in the fashion industry. She holds a chair position on the Michigan Intellectual Property Association and is a member of the Michigan Intellectual Property Inn of Court and the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Arndt is licensed in Michigan and Wisconsin and is registered to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. She studied Computer Engineering at the University of Michigan and received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and her J.D. from Marquette University Law School.

Jennifer Stallings Dewey is a Member in the firm’s Detroit office. Her practice includes a wide variety of transactional work with a focus on franchise, distribution and unfair competition. She has experience representing small and large companies in all aspects of business including financing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general business matters. She is recognized as a leader in her field by Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Ms. Dewey received her B.A. from Oakland University and her J.D. from Michigan State University College of Law.

Eric Gregory is a Member in the firm’s Troy office. His practice is focused primarily in the areas of ERISA, employee benefits, and executive compensation. He advises clients on all aspects of employee benefits including qualified retirement plans, welfare plans, and nonqualified compensation programs. He regularly provides advice to plan administrative and investment committees on fiduciary compliance, has advised buyers and sellers on benefit due diligence and benefit transition issues in the mergers and acquisitions context, has successfully challenged tens of millions of dollars in proposed assessments made under the “pay-or-play” provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and has counseled employers with respect to multimillion-dollar withdrawal liability allegations. He is a member of the Tax Council of the State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section, is a past chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Taxation Section, and is a past chair of the Oakland County Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Committee. He is also a member of the American Bar Association. He is recognized as a leader in his field by Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars, and DBusiness Top Lawyers. He was also selected as a “2017 Up & Coming Lawyer” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. Mr. Gregory received his B.A. from Michigan State University’s James Madison College, his J.D. from Wayne State University, and his LL.M. in Taxation with a Certificate in Employee Benefits Law from Georgetown University Law Center.

James Martone is a Member in the firm’s Troy office. His practice focuses on a broad range of commercial litigation services. He has successfully represented business and individuals alike in trade secret and IP litigation, commercial and residential foreclosures, shareholder and closed corporate disputes, landlord/tenant matters, education law litigation, domestic and international arbitrations, commercial and residential construction disputes and municipal/governmental litigation. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the Italian American Bar Association of Michigan. He is recognized as a leader in his field by Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Mr. Martone received his B.A. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Wayne State University Law School.

Franklin Smith is a Member in the firm’s Troy office. He is a patent attorney with extensive experience in patent, trademark, and copyright acquisition, licensing, enforcement and defense, with broad knowledge of new procedures provided for the American Invents Act. His background in interdisciplinary engineering, including mechanical, civil, materials science, atmospheric oceanic and space science, and computer science engineering, make his skills applicable to a wide range of intellectual property technologies. He is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Michigan Intellectual Property Law Association, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Smith received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his J.D. from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School.

Alexandra Vallee is a Member in the firm’s Troy office. She practices in all areas of health care law and represents a variety of health and behavioral health professionals and organizations. She advises clients on issues involving reimbursement, professional licensing, state and federal fraud and abuse laws, privacy and confidentiality rules and regulations, and the Medicare and Medicaid appeals process. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the American Health Lawyers Association. Ms. Vallee received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law with a certificate in Health Law.

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 11 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.

Reunite and Connect with Leadership Detroit Alumni at the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference

The passion and impact of the Leadership Detroit alumni base will be showcased during the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at MotorCity Casino Hotel. Throughout the day, 14 Leadership Detroit alumni will discuss their insight on Detroit’s next decade in the Detroit Experience Hall and the Sound Board.

Alumni are participating in sessions on regional transit, the future of K-12 education, workforce development, leadership lessons, and small business development. Leadership Detroit Class XVIII alum Dennis W. Archer Jr., the CEO of Ignition Media Group and founding partner of Archer Corporate Services, is serving as the 2020 Conference Chairman. View the full agenda.

Leadership Detroit alumni featured:
• George Adams, Founder and President, 360 Detroit Inc.; Leadership Detroit XIII
• Jeffrey Campbell, Community Development Director, City of Hazel Park; Leadership Detroit XXXVII
• Kenyetta Campbell, Executive Director, Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance; Leadership Detroit XXXII
• Mark Denson, Senior Director, Existing Business and Operations, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation; Leadership Detroit XXVI
• Shamyle Dobbs, CEO, Michigan Community Resources; Leadership Detroit XL
• Jack Elsey, Executive Director, Detroit Children’s Fund; Leadership Detroit XLI
• Zaineb Hussein, Executive Director, Wayne United; Deputy Director, External Affairs, Executive Office, Wayne County; Leadership Detroit XL
• Jeannette Pierce, Director, The City Institute; Founder, Detroit Experience Factory; Leadership Detroit XXXIII
• Veronica Sanchez Peavey, Senior Assistant Vice President, Adult Services, Regional Director, SER Metro Detroit; Leadership Detroit XXXIII
• Terry Rhadigan, Executive Director, Corporate Giving, General Motors Co.; Leadership Detroit XVIII
• Christianne Sims, Deputy Director, Build Institute; Leadership Detroit XXXIX
• Ron Stallworth, Senior Manager, State Affairs, FCA USA LLC; Leadership Detroit XXXIX
• Jamie Kaye Walters, Creative Services and Programming Director, WDIV-TV 4, NBC; Leadership Detroit XL
• Stefen Welch, Diversity Champion; Leadership Detroit XXXVI

All Leadership Detroit Alumni Invited to VIP Reception to Kick Off 2020 Detroit Policy Conference

Join fellow Leadership Detroit alumni, conference speakers, and Chamber Board members for a private breakfast reception at the start of the Conference. This reception will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Overdrive in the MotorCity Casino Hotel. To attend, you must be registered for the Conference. Registered alumni will receive a separate reception invitation later this month. Register Now.

Leadership Detroit Alumni interested in attending the Detroit Policy Conference who have not registered are encouraged to register today. Registration increases on Thursday, January 16.

For more information, please contact Katy Palahang at 313.596.0384.

Comcast Business: Best Practices for Small Businesses to Combat Cybersecurity Threats

By: Jeffrey Marston, VP of Business Services, Comcast Business

Companies need a front-line defense against malware and other threats, or risk crippling consequences of a breach.

Cybersecurity attacks have become a destructive and all too common occurrence. And the harsh reality is that no organization is too large – or too small – to be a target.

While cyberattacks facing large corporations and government entities may dominate headlines, small businesses are victim to the majority of cybersecurity breaches. In fact, nearly half of small businesses in the United States suffered a cyberattack in 2017, according to a recent study.

Cybersecurity attacks are constantly evolving to accommodate the latest technologies. Small businesses contend with several existing and emerging internet-related threats, including malware, ransomware, phishing and botnet infections.

Faced with increased competition and restricted resources, it is easy to imagine the daunting challenge small businesses face to defend themselves from nefarious cyber actors. But as the threat landscape becomes increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, small businesses cannot afford inaction.

Small Business’ Path to Cyber Safety

For businesses large and small it’s less about “if” a breach will happen and more about “when” it will happen. That’s why it’s best to invest in protection and prevention before a crippling attack occurs. According to security firm Kaspersky, the average cost of a breach in North America is $149,000. Just as damaging, the loss in public trust and reputation can be irreparable.

Cybersecurity keeps business owners up at night because they face an onslaught of challenges, from various, ever-changing forms of cyberthreats that can result in the loss of sensitive information or the disruption of business operations. When it comes to defending against cybersecurity threats, owners need solutions that can protect all devices connected to their networks without straining budgets.

In the past, cybersecurity tools were developed to suit the needs of larger companies, which have the money and resources available to deploy complex solutions and continually enhance security networks. Now, many small businesses are turning to cloud-based internet security solutions that are engineered to help them effectively manage the growing risk of cyberattacks while maximizing resources without compromising security.

In many cases, small businesses have already established a digital infrastructure but lack the bandwidth to expand it further. Using cybersecurity technology that can be built into existing hardware offers these businesses an all-in-one solution that requires no additional investments in equipment or setup. To further maximize their cybersecurity investments, small businesses can look for tools that automatically cover all connected devices on their networks, from mobile phones to wireless printers, without requiring new software installations.

Comprehensive cybersecurity solutions shouldn’t just protect small businesses against external breaches – tools that block access to compromised or malicious domains can help prevent business owners, employees, or guests from accidentally accessing an infected internet site. Businesses with little to no IT support can also look for tools with dashboards and features that can be customized based on their needs. For example, a tool that allows owners to filter web content will give them more visibility into their network safety.

The ability to gather insights from cybersecurity solutions is critical, but sometimes there is not enough time in a fast-paced work day to pull a threat assessment. Tools that automatically update internet domain threats in real-time can protect companies from attacks without needing manual downloads or updates. Your business works hard to carve out a competitive space – your cybersecurity tools should be a hassle-free addition to the workplace.

To learn more about Comcast Business security solutions, please call or email:
734-277-9910 or email alexandra_barron@comcast.com

Mayor Mike Duggan to Take Detroit Policy Conference Stage in a Can’t-Miss Session

Mayor Mike Duggan joins the growing 2020 Detroit Policy Conference speaker lineup for a one-on-one conversation with Conference Chair Dennis W. Archer Jr. on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at MotorCity Casino Hotel.

As a new decade begins, Mayor Duggan – and a host of local and national leaders – will highlight the work underway, new ideas, opportunities, and challenges that will define the next 10 years for the Detroit region.

View the latest agenda, and register today.

Thank you to MotorCity Casino Hotel for sponsoring this session.

SSDM Records Another Double Win

TROY, Mich. — January 9, 2020 — SSDM, the premier integrated digital marketing agency, has been awarded both a Gold and a Silver Davey Award for its video about the Honor Flight tribute to four veterans from StoryPoint Senior Living in Troy Ohio.

The Davey Award is bestowed by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts and is so named because, as David slew Goliath with a small rock, the Davey celebrates strength derived from big ideas at small agencies, oftentimes accomplished with small budgets as well.

SSDM won a Gold Davey in the craft category of Documentary Editing, and a Silver Davey in the overall Best Documentary category. Both awards were for Honor Flight, a short film which documents the journey of the four StoryPoint residents to Washington, D.C. to be honored for their service to our country.

“It still amazes me that we were able to plan every little detail for this whole trip within only a few months’ time,” says SSDM CEO Nick Skislak. “Our team organized film crews in multiple locations and synchronized schedules with airplane arrival times in several cities in order to capture every moment. We are so proud of our creative team, their professionalism and dedication.”

This is the first Davey Award win for SSDM. The video is on YouTube at bit.ly/2R7DUMO

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About SSDM
Founded in 2008, SSDM is an award-winning, strategic communications agency in Troy, Michigan, focused on the customer journey. It is ranked in the top half of the Inc. 5000 List of the Fastest Growing Companies. For more information, please visit https://ssdm.co.