Chamber Statement Following Governor Snyder’s State Of The State

Chamber CEO Statement on State of the State Address

DETROIT, January 23, 2018 – Today, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy Baruah released the following statement following Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address:

“The Detroit Regional Chamber was the first business organization to publicly endorse Rick Snyder for Governor in 2010 and our support for him has only grown over the years.  His has been a transformational tenure.  Budgets are now balanced, completed on time, and we enjoy decent financial reserves.  The city of Detroit is now a city the entire state, and nation, can be proud of.  Michigan is now gaining in population.  Real incomes are up 28 percent and our unemployment is within national averages.  We are the epicenter for global next-generation mobility.  All largely thanks to the leadership of Gov. Rick Snyder.  We look forward to working with Gov. Snyder on the remaining elements of his agenda, specifically our shared priorities of talent, mobility and infrastructure to achieve a sustainable future.”

About the Detroit Regional Chamber
Serving the business community for more than 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber is one of the oldest, largest and most respected chambers of commerce in the country. The Chamber’s mission of powering the economy for Southeast Michigan is carried out through economic development, education reform, regional collaboration and providing valuable benefits to members. For more information, please visit

American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes 19 New Members

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, announces 19 organizations joined ASE as members during the fourth quarter of 2017. The organizations are:

• Arbor Oakland Group works with corporations, educational institutions, municipalities, and ad agencies to provide them with marketing solutions to help them effectively and efficiently speak visually to their customers and prospective customers. They are located in Royal Oak, MI.

• Aspire Rehabilitation Services, LLC provides a full range of rehabilitation services for survivors of brain and spinal cord injury. They are based out of Troy, MI.

• CW Bearing specializes in the development and production of a wide range of premium quality ball bearings for electrical motors, gearboxes, power tools and the automotive industry. They are located in Northville, MI.

• Dart Bank is a financial institution with locations throughout West Michigan.

• Detroit Thermal Systems, LLC develops and manufactures high quality climate control systems and components for automotive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. They are located in Romulus, MI.

• Entrega Systems Group, Inc. delivers technology services to businesses nationwide, including web & mobile, application development, user experience design, data & analytics, and digital business services. They are located in Troy, MI.

• Financial One Accounting, Inc. provides accounting, financial and consulting services for nonprofit organizations. They are based in Plymouth, MI.

• Hausbeck Pickle Company is a 90-year old company that produces a range of pickles and peppers. They are located in Saginaw, MI.

• Humane Society of Livingston County is an independent, non-profit, 501(c) 3 animal shelter located in Howell, MI.

• Makower Abbate Guerra Wegner Vollmer is a law firm dedicated to the representation of community associations and the advancement of community law. They have locations in Farmington Hills and St. Clair Shores, MI.

• Mercedes-Benz Financial Services is a full-service automotive finance company that exclusively provides Mercedes-Benz dealers and their customers with attractive finance products. They are located in Farmington Hills, MI.

• Mubea Inc. Engineering Center is located in Auburn Hills, MI and is a global partner for the automotive industry who provides heavy duty spring components and related products.

• NH Learning Solutions is the world’s largest independent training company that offers expert training from desktop productivity tools, to professional development, to complex server systems. They are located in Livonia, MI.

• Nidec Automotive Motor Americas LLC offers a wide selection of motors ranging from brushless motors for electric power steering, dual clutch transmissions, engine oil pumps, and others, to brush motors for engine cooling, ABS, seat adjustment, etc. They are located in Auburn Hills, MI.

• Nissan Technical Center North America is responsible for blending technology and engineering to create cars that deliver total customer satisfaction. They are located in Farmington Hills, MI.

• Oakland County Michigan Works! Southfield provides services to help employ and train job seekers and assist businesses with obtaining and training talent.

• SLM Solutions North America, Inc. is a leading provider of powder bed fusion machinery and applications development for metal prototypes and manufacturing production located in Wixom, MI.

• Wheeler Trucking provides premier automotive logistics services including light and medium duty vehicle hauling. They are located in Flushing, MI.

• Yanfeng Automotive Interiors delivers superior automotive interior solutions and is located in Novi, MI.

ASE president & CEO, Mary E. Corrado, made the announcement and stated, “ASE welcomes our 19 newest members. We look forward to working with them in 2018 and for many years to come.”

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
Celebrating 115 years, the American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. Hires New Director of Intake, Information and Referral

Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) is pleased to announce Kyle Williams as the agency’s Director of Intake, Information and Referral (I&R). MPAS, a nonprofit advocacy organization, protects the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan through free and confidential services that include information and referral, short-term assistance, selected individual and legal representation, systemic advocacy, monitoring, and training.

In this position, Williams will be responsible for leading skilled advocates as they provide information, referral, short-term assistance, advice and direction to clients. The I&R division of the organization receives nearly 7,000 calls per year from individuals across the state of Michigan.

“This is an exciting time for MPAS and for Kyle,” said Elmer Cerano, MPAS Executive Director. “We are fortunate to have a person with Kyle’s expertise, knowledge and passion committed to MPAS and our clients. Through his leadership, our intake division will have a deeper impact on those we serve.”

Williams most recently held the position of staff attorney for the City of Jackson where he represented and advised all government departments. Prior to his most recent city service, Kyle has worked as a staff attorney for MPAS and an associate attorney for Foster & Harmon, P.C. Williams holds his Juris Doctorate from Michigan State University and a Bachelors in Business Economics from Grand Valley State University.

“I am honored to accept this position and will continue the mission of MPAS through our advocacy efforts,” said Williams. “I look forward to working with our team as we improve lives, restore rights and help our clients realize their potential.”

Michigan Protection & Advocacy Service, Inc. (MPAS) is the independent, private, nonprofit organization designated by the governor of the State of Michigan to advocate and protect the legal rights of people with disabilities in Michigan.

WIN Launches Apprenticeship Innovation Hub To Cultivate A World-Class Michigan Workforce

The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) today launched, as part of the Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation (AMCAI) initiative – a $4 million U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) grant aimed at fostering and strengthening the registered apprenticeship ecosystem in southeast Michigan.

As part of the DOL’s mandate to create “5 million apprenticeships in 5 years,” the new website will support this initiative by acting as a central hub for employers, individuals interested in becoming apprentices, and partners that want to support apprenticeship efforts in Michigan to gain access to the resources they need to be successful when creating, maintaining, or joining registered apprenticeship programs.

As part of the user experience, the website offers access to a range of features including:
– Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator – A tool for employers to determine, by occupation, ROI in Michigan for employing apprentices as part of their business model.
– Process Guide – An interactive, step-by-step guide for administrators that provides resources to develop, launch, and monitor a registered apprenticeship program.
– Apprenticeship Hotline – A central phone line for anyone interested in apprenticeship to ask questions and receive answers in real time, and gain access to a network of support based on their immediate needs.

“We are developing a competitive, Michigan workforce trained for in-demand occupations,” said Michele Economou Ureste, Executive Director, WIN. “The apprenticeship website is the first resource of its kind to help streamline the registered apprenticeship process both for employers and those seeking apprenticeship opportunities, while also dispelling myths and stigmas that have hindered our state’s economic growth.”
Within five years, AMCAI will serve nearly 900 individuals, both new and incumbent workers, including 28 percent from underrepresented populations, in high-demand industries including: health care, IT, logistics, robotics and automation, manufacturing, and many others.

“Employers will recognize the ease and benefits of employing apprentices to support their often crippling need for workers,” added Economou Ureste, “while individuals looking to grow and establish new careers will realize another path to success.”

To check out this new tool for easing the process of creating and maintaining a registered apprenticeship, visit AMCAI’s website at For more information, call the Apprenticeship Hotline at 734-229-3559.

The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between 10 community colleges and six Michigan Works! Agencies, in partnership with numerous other organizations, to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in Southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success. WIN covers a 16-county area, including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw and Wayne.

Led by the Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA) and WIN, AMCAI is comprised of six southeast Michigan community colleges—Henry Ford College (HFC), Oakland Community College (OCC), Schoolcraft College, Mid-Michigan Community College (MMCC), Lansing Community College (LCC), and St. Clair County Community College (SC4)—along with many local and regional corporate and workforce and economic development partners. This partnership of community colleges and other community partners represent AMCAI, which is focused on establishing and expanding apprenticeship programs responsive to the evolving technical needs in the high-demand, new-age automotive and transportation sectors of the advanced manufacturing industry.

Attorney Howard Named to Novi Planning Commission

Foster Swift attorney Katila Howard was recently appointed to the Planning Commission for the City of Novi. Her term will last from January 2018 until June 2019.

Made up of seven members appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the City Council, the Planning Commission reviews and approves site plans and special land use permits for new commercial and residential development for the City. The Commission may also make recommendations to the City Council in regards to rezoning applications and proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance.

Katila is a member of her firm’s Business & Corporate practice group where she practices employee benefits matters, ERISA, 409A and Internal Revenue Code compliance matters. Additionally she also works with both tax exempt organizations and nonprofits.

Automation Alley to reveal major report on Industry 4.0 with research from seven leading Michigan academic institutions

Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, has assembled a collaborative team of academic and corporate partners to create an in-depth research report on Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, to be released April 30 in Detroit. This is the first collaborative Industry 4.0 report of its kind in Michigan.

Automation Alley’s 2018 Technology in Industry Report will be a data-rich guide to Industry 4.0 adoption comprised of observations, emerging trends, challenges, opportunities and implications for industry, created to help manufacturers keep pace with rapid technological changes. Research will center on the eight core technologies of Industry 4.0, including the Industrial Internet of Things, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, the cloud, cybersecurity, advanced materials and additive manufacturing, and modeling, simulation, visualization and immersion.

This is Automation Alley’s 11th year releasing this report, and the first time the organization is taking a collaborative approach to the research. Academic research partners include University of Detroit Mercy, Lawrence Technological University, Central Michigan University, Oakland University, Baker College, Macomb Community College and Oakland Community College. Ford Motor Company is backing the report research with funding and providing corporate insight.

“Ford Motor Company joined Automation Alley in late 2017 to take advantage of the unique networking opportunities. Ford clearly sees the opportunity to collaborate with Southeast Michigan business leaders on critical Industry 4.0 initiatives, and jointly define and develop the way forward in this space,” said Michael Lee, Ford’s global core manager of body structures and closures.

Comau, Siemens PLM, Eaton and Trumpf will provide guidance through peer review and industry-specific feedback. In addition, Plante Moran and RSM have come on board to help facilitate and organize the data collected. Additional corporate partners will be announced in February.

“Manufacturers around the globe are attempting to wrap their heads around the magnitude of change involved with Industry 4.0, where there is much uncertainty, but also opportunity,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director and CEO. “We understand that the key to our state’s success in Industry 4.0 is dependent on knowledge, not only for business owners, but also for a workforce that will need to be upskilled as jobs are replaced by automation. This report will be of great value to manufacturers both at home and abroad, one that will serve as a roadmap to help companies large and small navigate this massive industry shift.”

Automation Alley’s 2018 Technology in Industry Report will be released at Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Reveal, April 30, from 8-11:30 a.m., at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where attendees will receive a free copy of the report. At the Reveal event, hundreds of technology and manufacturing professionals will enjoy a strolling breakfast as they network and explore a technology spotlight featuring the latest Industry 4.0 innovations. Following the spotlight, there will be a formal presentation of the 2018 Technology in Industry Report’s key takeaways and a panel discussion featuring leading industry experts and academic researchers.

Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Reveal comes on the heels of Automation Alley’s sold-out, global Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8™, that attracted 550 industry experts to Detroit in November.

“Automation Alley’s mission is to lead the charge in Industry 4.0 in Michigan for our members as well as our state’s strong manufacturing ecosystem. Our goal is to keep our manufacturers ahead of the curve as technology transforms industry. This report is a logical next step to achieve that goal,” Kelly said.

For information on sponsorship opportunities related to the Technology in Industry Report and Technology in Industry Reveal, visit To register for the Technology in Industry Reveal, visit

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

Our Mission
Automation Alley is Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center with a global outlook and a local focus. We work tirelessly to help our members achieve success by increasing sales, reducing costs, and thinking strategically during a time of rapid technological change in the manufacturing industry.


Flashpoint 1/21/18: Examining Detroit’s lacking Amazon campaign Watch Flashpoint at 10 a.m. on Local 4

January, 21, 2018

WDIV Local 4 – Flashpoint

Devin Scillian – Anchor

On Tuesday, Detroit learned it wouldn’t be the location for Amazon‘s second world headquarters. This week’s Flashpoint examines what can be taken away from the city’s lacking campaign.

Also, this year’s North American International Auto Show is about trucks and SUVs, but why?

Flashpoint is hosted by WDIV Local 4 anchor Devin Scillian. Watch Flashpoint on WDIV at 10 a.m. on Sundays.

Visit to view the original post. 

ASE’s Annual HR Conference and Workshops will take place March 15 in Novi, MI.

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations celebrating 115 years of services, will hold its 15th annual Human Resource Conference and Workshops on Thursday, March 15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, MI. The event attracts more than 400 attendees and is the region’s most anticipated one-day Human Resources conference.

“This year’s conference is about transforming the workplace,” Corrado said. “Whether its transformation through technology or culture, the workplace is constantly evolving, and HR must lead the way. Our great line up of keynotes and breakout speakers will discuss best practices in the field, compliance updates, and innovative ways to create a desirable workplace.”

Keynote speakers are Jason Averbook, CEO and Co-founder of Leapgen and Jennifer Moss, Co-founder of Plasticity Labs and author of Unlocking Happiness at Work.

Jason Averbook, one of the world’s leading thought experts on the future of work, will discuss the role HR must play in transforming itself and the entire organization to prepare for the future. HR is the function that is most responsible for keeping the workforce engaged. Jason will challenge your thinking and give you new techniques to re-design the HR function and deliver a ‘consumerized’ workforce experience.

Jennifer Moss, author and happiness expert, will discuss the business benefits of adopting a health, wellness, and happiness strategy – critical for employers who want to attract new talent, improve their brand, and boost profitability in an authentic way that is life-enhancing for their staff. With insightful and practical takeaways, case studies, and the most current scientific research from leading experts, Jennifer will debunk the happiness myths, discuss the science of well-being, and explore the role technology will play in building a happier, higher performing, and more innovative workplace culture.

Conference breakout sessions include:
• The Trump Administration – What Can Employers Expect in 2018?
• Developing Business Value as a Human Strategist
• It’s Time to Accept the Truth: Most Employees are Below Average
• Recruiting for the Next Generation
• Are FLSA Ticking Time Bombs Hiding in Your Organization?
• From Customer Experience to Employee Experience – Designing for Moments That Matter
• Building the Habits of High Performing Teams
• Creating a Technology Strategy to Transform the HR Function
• When Employee Rights Compete With Each Other
• The Business Case for Gender Diversity in Leadership Roles
• Resolving Conflict in the Workplace – 8 Vital Keys for Success
• Goodbye Annual Performance Review! Making the Shift to Agile Performance Management

For a complete conference agenda and registration information, please visit the ASE website.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
Celebrating 115 years, the American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

Firm stacks deck with addition of regulatory attorney Card

Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, recently expanded its administrative law and regulatory practice with the addition of attorney Melissa M. Card.

Card joins the firm as an of counsel member of the Administrative & Regulatory Law Practice Group and the Foodservice & Hospitality Industry Group. Her practice includes extensive experience and expertise in the areas of food and beverage regulatory compliance and the defense of related litigation. Her clients include food manufacturers, packaging suppliers, restaurants and other businesses in the food chain industry.

Card’s regulatory expertise includes advising clients with respect to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food Safety Modernization Act, and other state and federal statutes pertaining to food, food additives and labeling requirements.

In addition to her affiliation with Plunkett Cooney, Card serves as a professor of global food law at Michigan State University College of Law. She also serves as associate director of the university’s Institute for Food Laws & Regulations. Card is a sought-after speaker and author, nationally, on the topic of food law, food and drug labeling and prescription medications.

A member of the State Bar of Michigan’s Health Law Section and the Food and Drug Law Institute, Card received her law degree, magna cum laude, from University of Minnesota Law School in 2014. She received her undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Michigan in 2011.

Plunkett Cooney’s Regulatory and Administrative Law Practice Group represents clients before numerous state and federal agencies. Among the matters routinely handled by group members are licensing and permit issues, regulatory compliance and appeals of fines and sanctions.

The members of firm’s Foodservice & Hospitality Industry Group serve the needs of restaurants, bars/taverns, grocery stores, theaters, private clubs and hotels. Services include all aspects of business law, governmental affairs and litigation related to such areas as food spoliation, liquor liability, premises liability and security guard disputes.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney employs approximately 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. The firm has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms and is listed among the U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” in 2018. Plunkett Cooney has also received numerous awards naming the firm as a top place to work within the legal industry.

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


OCC Culinary Community Events – Prepared to be Wowed by Student Chefs!

If you like amazing food, prepared with skill and dedication, you’re in for a treat this season. Oakland Community College’s (OCC) award-winning Culinary Studies Institute continues its lineup of events open to the community. Join the College’s aspiring chefs for an incredible dining experience and enjoy the best in food and service. Events and dining are at OCC’s Orchard Ridge Campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. More information and tickets available at

Special Event Dinners
• Chinese New Year Festival, February 22, 2018, 6:00p.m.: Join us to celebrate the auspicious Year of the Dog with a festive five-course dinner of traditional Chinese cuisine accompanied by wine service. Price is $55 per person. Signature drinks available for purchase.
• Espionage Spy vs. Spy, April 19, 2018, 6:00p.m.: You are under specific instructions to enjoy a five-course dinner accompanied by a secret wine selection revealed to you at the appropriate time. Come dressed to kill and join us for a cocktail, wine or beer at our cash bar with passed appetizers as you assume your secret agent identity. Price is $55 per person. Signature drinks for purchase.

Lunch and Dinner Buffets
• Valentine’s Grand Lunch Buffet, February 1, 11:15a.m. – 1:00p.m.: You and your sweethearts will be treated to a special menu featuring appetizers, salads, fish seafood poultry and beef entrées, starches and vegetables and a decadent dessert table. Price is $12/person and may be purchased at the event.
• St. Patrick’s Evening Buffet, March 15, 2018, 5:30p.m. – 8:00p.m.: Celebrate the luck of the Irish with a wee bit of malarkey and lots of good cheer with your family, club or corporate gathering. Price is $25 per person; cash bar is available. Paid reservation required.
• High Tea in Reflections Feb. 8 and April 5, 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. A full lunch is included and ladies are encouraged to wear a fabulous hat! High Tea tickets are priced at $25.00 and sold at the culinary office. Advance purchase is required.

Dine with us at the Orchard Ridge campus.

• The Ridgewood Café – Menu items are freshly prepared from scratch and change daily offering salads, sandwiches, entrées and desserts. Guests are invited to dine in with service or utilize the cafeteria and help themselves. The Café is open 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., most Tuesdays and Wednesdays through April 18. *The Ridgewood Cafe is closed February 27-28 and March 6-7.

• Reflections Restaurant – The restaurant’s Prix Fixe $16 menu features a four-course meal with three entrées to select from that change weekly. Reservations are required. Wine and beer are available. The restaurant is open Thursdays, 11:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. through April 19. *The Reflections Restaurant is closed March 1 and 8.

• The Bakery is open Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on the third floor of J Building. Purchase breads, cakes, candies, cookies and chocolates. *A special bakery sale is being held on March 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

About the OCC Culinary Studies Institute
OCC’s Culinary Studies Institute is Michigan’s premier hospitality school. The largest of the Institute’s programs, Culinary Arts, gives students a combination of classroom and hands on experience. In addition to extensive time in kitchen labs cooking and baking, specialties such as ice carving and wine and spirits are offered. Students participate in events such as the annual Wassail Feast at the student-run Ridgewood Café, a restaurant on the Orchard Ridge Campus.

About OCC
With five campuses throughout Oakland County, OCC offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields as well as university transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts. The College provides academic and developmental experiences allowing each student to reach their full potential and enhance the communities they serve. More than 40,000 students annually attend OCC; more than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965. Learn more at