Study Supports Detroit Promise Path’s Effectiveness in Boosting Student Success

“Providing Detroit high schools students access to college is one part of a solution to ensure student success,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “It is equally important to understand and address the barriers students face in order to help them persist in college.” 

The Chamber and Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) released a study conducted by MDRC, a nonprofit education research firm, supporting the effectiveness of the Detroit Promise Path in increasing student success in community college. The Detroit Promise Path was created in 2016 to help Detroit Promise scholarship students navigate various hardships common for first-generation college students from underserved communities.

The Detroit Promise Path Alleviates Barriers for Underserved Students

(From left to right) Detroit Promise Success Coach Ashley Robinson, Detroit Promise student Preston Welborne El, Detroit Promise student Ronnie Foster, and the former Detroit Promise Path Manager Monica Rodriguez discuss the program and results at the Michigan College Promise Symposium last month.

While college access is one part of a solution to ensure student success, it is equally important to understand and address the barriers students face in order to help them prosper and graduate. The Detroit Promise Path uses four strategies to help students stay in college: it requires campus coaching, offers a monthly financial stipend for expenses not covered by financial aid (i.e. transportation, food, books), encourages students to take summer classes, and uses a management information system to track and monitor students.

Detroit As a Leader in College Promise Scholarship Programs 
Since 2005, more than 300 college scholarship programs across the country have been created to help students afford college costs. However, most college promise scholarships focus on getting students to enroll in college, not helping them succeed once they get there.

When the Detroit Promise launched in 2013, the Chamber noticed that only 35% of students stayed enrolled. In 2016, the Detroit Promise Path was created to help students progress and graduate.

“The effects of the Detroit Promise Path on persistence and full-time enrollment in the second semester are among the largest we’ve seen in rigorous tests of higher education interventions,” said Alexander Mayer, deputy director of postsecondary education at MDRC.

Download the Report 
Download the MDRC report, “A Path from Access to Success: Interim Findings from the Detroit Promise Path Evaluation,” read an article in The Detroit News on the findings, and watch a video on the Detroit Promise Path. The Detroit Promise Path and study are funded by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF) with additional support from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The Ford Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and The Kresge Foundation.

Results from the MDRC report on the effects of the Detroit Promise Path program to ensure success for community college students.

Rehmann’s Sejla Kulaglic named one of Corp! Magazine’s Most Valuable Millennials

TROY, Mich., May 15, 2019 – Rehmann announced today that Sejla Kulaglic, international tax manager in the Firm’s Farmington Hills, MI, office has been named one of Michigan’s Most Valuable Millennials by Corp! Magazine.

The award recognizes individuals who are creating job opportunities, driving economic growth, nurturing community advancements or leading successful companies. Michigan’s Most Valuable Professionals, Entrepreneurs, and Millennials were honored at The Colony Club in Detroit on Thursday, April 25.

“Congratulations to Sejla on her well-deserved recognition by Corp! Magazine as one of Michigan’s Most Valuable Millennials,” said Rehmann Principal Bryan Kearis. “Sejla is an outstanding business advisor to her clients; she has a passion for client service and community involvement. Sejla will continue to shine as one of Rehmann’s current and future leaders.”

Kulaglic earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in German and a master’s in taxation from Wayne State University.

Since 2016, Kulaglic has volunteered for the Detroit chapter of Kiwanis International, a community service organization focused on serving the children of the world. She is currently a board member and the co-chair for the service and strategic planning committees.

Additionally, she is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants, MICPA International Practice Task Force and Michigan Women’s Tax Association.

About Rehmann
Rehmann is a fully integrated financial services and advisory firm that provides accounting and assurance, business solutions and outsourcing, specialized consulting and wealth management services. For more than 75 years, Rehmann has provided forward-thinking solutions to our clients, making it our duty to anticipate our clients daily and future needs. Rehmann has nearly 900 associates in Michigan, Ohio and Florida. Rehmann is an independent member of Nexia International, offering clients a global approach. Find us online at

Contact: Holly Shier

Clayton & McKervey shareholders to participate on ACG Detroit panel about Navigating Cross-Border Transactions on June 7

Southfield, Mich.—May 15, 2019—Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm helping growth-driven companies compete in the global marketplace, announced that two of its CPA shareholders, Tim Hilligoss and Margaret Amsden, will be participating in an upcoming panel hosted by ACG Detroit about “Navigating Cross-Border Transactions.” The program will take place on Friday, June 7, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich.

The event is designed to help business owners understand the legal, business, banking and accounting issues that surface in a cross-border transaction. The panel will present a description of steps that business owners can take to prepare their companies for successful cross-border transactions, in addition to discussing practical concerns, common issues and best practices.

Hilligoss, who will be a speaker on the panel, provides leadership to Clayton & McKervey’s growing Transaction Service practice. He was recently named Advisor of the Year by the ACG Detroit and was honored at the organization’s fourth annual ACG M&A All Star awards.

Amsden, who will serve as a moderator on the panel, specializes in partnership and Limited Liability Corporation structuring; transaction consulting, structuring and compliance; and mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations. She is a board member for ACG.

For more information about the event as well as a complete list of panelists, please visit

About ACG
Founded in 1954, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) is a global organization with 59 chapters. Its membership is comprised of 14,500 professionals from private equity firms, corporations and lenders that invest in middle-market companies, as well as from law, accounting, investment banking and other firms that provide advisory services. For more information, visit

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


Legal Publication names Cooney among ‘Leaders in the Law’

Plunkett Cooney partner Henry (Hank) B. Cooney was recently nominated as a 2019 “Leaders in the Law” by Michigan Lawyers Weekly (MLW), an industry publication serving the state’s legal community.

Cooney along with 29 other honorees were selected for, among other things, their significant accomplishments or achievements in practice, outstanding contributions to the practice of law in Michigan, leadership in improving the state’s justice system, seeking improvements to the legal and local communities, and setting an example for other lawyers.

The 11th annual luncheon and awards ceremony for the Class of 2019 was held on April 18 at the Detroit Marriott Troy. In addition, the honorees were profiled in a special section of the April 22 issue of MLW.

A member of the firm’s Litigation Department, Cooney has the distinction of having served for 16 years as President & CEO of Plunkett Cooney, one of the Midwest’s oldest and largest law firms, from 1998 to 2015. Among his responsibilities were the review and management of the Professional Code of Ethics for firm members, including all aspects of the attorney-client relationship, conflicts of interest, advocacy, public service and maintaining the integrity of the profession.

A 1980 graduate of University of Detroit School of Law, Cooney’s legal practice entails nearly 40 years of experience in the areas of product liability, construction liability and commercial litigation. He is also frequently called upon to serve as a case arbitrator and facilitator under the provisions of Michigan’s alternative dispute resolution system. Cooney received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1973.

Cooney is a member of the Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association and its Foundation, Michigan Defense Trial Counsel, American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar.

Always giving back to his community, Cooney is a past chair for the board of directors of University of Detroit Jesuit High School and the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion. He has also served on the boards of directors for the American Heart Association of Southeast Michigan and the board of trustees for Life Directions.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in eight Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm has also been selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about Hank Cooney’s selection as a Leader in the Law, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Business Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or via email at


Kate Monti

Kate Monti is the head of operations and account success for Workit Health. Workit Health is an addiction treatment center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In her position, Monti transforms addiction care with evidence-based, engaging, and scalable solutions. She earned dual master’s degrees in social work and public health from the University of Michigan and has been a featured speaker and panel member at SHRM, the 2018 Telehealth Law Forum, and the BCBSA Capitol Hill Innovation Summit. She regularly speaks to employers across the country ready to improve their culture of substance wellness.

Susan Morgan Bailey

Susan Morgan Bailey is the vice president of culture and wellbeing practice leader for Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA). She has more than 20 years of experience in health, benefits, and education settings. In her role with MMA, she calls upon her experience to help organizations build supportive cultures that empower individuals to live healthy, engaged lives.

Bailey was instrumental in the success of several best-in-class wellbeing and culture strategies including initiatives at DTE Energy, Beaumont Health System, and Chrysler. Prior to joining MMA in 2016, Bailey led the health and wellbeing strategy consulting team at RedBrick Health where she provided strategic support and guidance to the account teams and clients. Susan also worked in the public health sector as a health promotion coordinator for the Gaston County Health Department where she developed a county-wide fitness and nutrition program for residents. She remains committed to community health improvement through active involvement in the Michigan Wellness Council.

Bailey earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University. Bailey also earned a master of science degree in health promotion from the University Of North Carolina at Charlotte

Matt Wozny

Matt Wozny is a virtual well-being coordinator in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s wellness programs department. Wozny has ten years of experience working in the health and wellness industry. Earlier in his career, he was a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He also worked at Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services in children’s special health care services developing, implementing, and evaluating programs.

Wozny has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s degree in Public Health from Oakland University. He is passionate about helping organizations enhance a culture of well-being in the workplace by increasing the overall health and well-being of their population.

It’s spring — and time to talk policy

May 12, 2019

Crain’s Detroit Business

KC Crain

The weather doesn’t feel like it, but it is definitely spring. And spring in Detroit means it’s time to head up to Mackinac Island for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Mackinac Policy Conference.

Last week, Detroit Chamber CEO Sandy Baruah and conference Chair and Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe stopped by our office to fill us in on the latest agenda.

You can tell Patti is absolutely interested in covering Detroit issues but really sees this as an opportunity to bring the entire state together.

She is quick to point out that education is not just a Detroit problem but a real statewide concern. This year, for the first time, an entire afternoon at the conference will be dedicated to education.

Shirkey: Whitmer ‘moving the goal posts’ on no-fault reform

May 9, 2019

Crain’s Detroit Business

Chad Livengood


With the annual Mackinac Policy Conference about two weeks away, the possibility of a grand bargain on no-fault and road funding being hatched on the porch of the Grand Hotel seems remote.

These two sides aren’t even talking to each other directly about the high points of the highly complicated issue of auto insurance.

Whitmer argued allowing her insurance department to administratively prohibit the use of non-driving factors for setting rates doesn’t “cut it.”

“The public would be furious if something was passed into law and were told a problem was fixed and it wasn’t,” Whitmer told reporters at the Capitol. “That’s exactly what happened on the last gas tax — they were told the roads were fixed and everyone knew darn well they weren’t. I’m not going to play games.”

And Shirkey made it clear Thursday that the deadline to negotiate a resolution is fast approaching.

“This is days, not weeks, before it goes to the governor,” Shirkey said. “… And there’s no reason to let it sit around because 7 million policyholders are waiting to embrace the savings opportunties that we’re providing them.”

View the full article here

One Detroit – Detroit Civility Project

May 5, 2019

One Detroit – Detroit Public Television

DETROIT CIVILITY PROJECT: A One Detroit report looks at Nolan and Stephen’s Detroit Civility Project, launched with the Detroit Regional Chamber at its 2019 Detroit Policy Conference. The team talks about the project’s goal of getting people who disagree to sit down together and try to understand each other.

View the full article