Consumers Energy CEO: Tap Into Your Employee Melting Pot To Tackle Business Solutions

As one of the region’s most successful leaders, Consumers Energy CEO Patti Poppe says collaboration is the fuel that can drive the growth of a business. She also says that giving employees a voice at the table offers them a sense of ownership and pride in a company’s long-term vision. Poppe, a Detroit Regional Chamber Board member, sat down with the eDetroiter to share her secrets for business success. Read the Q&A below.

Hear more from Poppe at the upcoming Inside the CEO Mind event April 19 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

You were named in Crain’s “100 Most Influential Women.” To what do you attribute your success and what is the biggest lesson you can share with aspiring organizational leaders?

I attribute my success to having the ability to harness the power of others and being able to get a team of people committed to an outcome instead of pushing an individual agenda, alone. It is better to be effective than right. I have learned that there are times when I may be right but if I force my authority or power, I will not be effective.

In your opinion, what should be the next steps for the Detroit region to foster business growth?

For the economy to grow in any region there must be a supportive business community. Encouraging local businesses to work together when contracting for supplies and services is a must; that’s why we helped establish Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) and continue to encourage our Michigan-based suppliers and contractors to pay it forward. When Detroit businesses work together, the community will succeed.

How does Consumers tackle the issue of attracting and retaining talent? What can others learn from your success and/or challenges in that capacity?

We attract talent with our strong employment brand, commitment to customers and inclusive culture. We retain talent by offering fulfilling careers where a person can bring his or her full self to work and succeed. Our employees tell us that their work offers them a deep sense of pride and purpose. Everyone comes to the table with a unique perspective, and it is important to recognize that a melting pot of ideas propels a company to succeed.

If you were to give your 20-year-old self some business advice, what would it be?

You can have it all! Surround yourself with people who encourage and enable you to do what you were uniquely born to do so that you can make your mark on the world.

What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why?

At Consumers Energy we make promises every day to be Michigan’s trusted energy provider, delivering affordable, reliable energy and valuable services to enable our customers’ quality of life. It is important work because our customers are family, friends and neighbors.

What are the most-important strategic priorities for Consumers in the coming year? How will you gauge success?

To create a culture of continuous improvement through the Consumers Energy way of doing business: working safely, completing work right the first time, at the lowest cost and on schedule. Focusing on safety, quality, cost and delivery provides us with a strategic advantage so that we can continue to deliver on the promises we make to Michigan each day.

Hear more from Poppe at the upcoming Inside the CEO Mind event April 19 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.


Three Upcoming Chamber Events You Do Not Want to Miss

In March and April, the Detroit Regional Chamber has approximately 15 events. For Chamber members, it can be difficult to know which events are the most important to attend. Non-members often have the same issue, especially considering the numerous obligations and events around the region that can quickly fill calendars.

To help you slim down your choices, check out three key events for businesses the Chamber is hosting over the next two months:

  1. State of the State: Now and in the Future. During a conversation over lunch on Tuesday, March 27, Gov. Rick Snyder will discuss how the state has grown over the past eight years while also looking at the long-term impact of those accomplishments. Following his remarks, the Governor will participate in a moderated discussion with business leaders from three key industries to forecast how Michigan will continue to grow in the coming years. This Chamber members-only event is $65. Please note that prices will increase on March 20. Register here.
  2. Inside the CEO Mind: Patti Poppe. Hear from Consumers Energy President and CEO Patti Poppe on Thursday, April 19 as she shares her journey in the energy and automotive industries that have led to her current position and how her commitment to customer-first management allows her to be a successful leader. Following her presentation, audience members are invited to participate in a question-and-answer session. This event is $30 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members. Please note that prices will increase on April 12. Register here.
  3. Networking Reception: Meet the Candidates. Attendees will meet the candidates who are running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Michigan’s 9th, 11th and 13th districts while mingling with fellow Chamber members in attendance. This event offers early access and the first opportunity to meet the declared candidates. This Chamber members-only event is $15 and takes place on Tuesday, April 24. Please note, pricing will increase to $25 on April 10. Register here.

For a full list of upcoming Chamber events, visit the events page.


Five Tips to Strengthen Your Leadership Detroit Application

Leadership Detroit is entering its 40th year and is currently seeking high-potential leaders in the Detroit region to join the upcoming class. Please consider nominating a leader from your organization, or if you have been nominated and want to learn more about the program, consider attending an informational breakfast.

Leadership Detroit is a transformational program, led by the Detroit Regional Chamber, for existing and emerging leaders in the Detroit region. For the past 40 years, this program has provided the foundation for a lifelong commitment to leadership by creating awareness of key issues that affect the Detroit region. Approximately 70 individuals are selected for the class every year, representing a cross section of the community, including business, organized labor, government, education, health services and community organizations. The program takes place over a 10-month period, with a graduation ceremony in June.

If you are considering applying to Leadership Detroit, or have a colleague in mind you would like to nominate, read the five tips below to strengthen your application:

  1. Work with your employer, not against him or her. To give yourself the best chance of success, it is smart to work with your employer on the nomination and application process, rather than informing him or her after the process is complete. There are many reasons for this: you and your employer can decide how your participation in Leadership Detroit best serves the organization; your employer can write a recommendation letter to strengthen your application; and your employer can approve the dates you will need to miss work for sessions ahead of time.
  2. Accept the time commitment. Before filling out the application, it is crucial that you look at the schedule of classes. Leadership Detroit class members are required to attend a certain number of the classes. Failure to fulfill this requirement could prevent members from graduating. Once you have been nominated, be sure to review the class schedule and approve these dates with your employer.
  3. When filling out your application, be authentic. The Leadership Detroit application is all about authenticity. Be transparent about who you are and exactly why you want to be in the class. What do you hope to gain from the experience?
  4. Attend an informational breakfast. If you have been nominated for Leadership Detroit, it is highly recommended that you attend an informational breakfast to learn more about the program and the application process. There are three informational breakfasts in 2018: March 13 at Plante Moran PLLC in Southfield, March 21 at the PNC Building in Troy, and April 17 at Detroit PAL in Detroit.
  5. Do not be discouraged if you do not get in on the first try. Many Leadership Detroit applicants do not get accepted to the program on their first try, and many apply to the program multiple times. Do not be discouraged if you are not selected, and try again next year.

To learn more, visit the Leadership Detroit page on the Detroit Regional Chamber website.

ArcelorMittal Sees its Future in an Old Detroit Plant

By: Paul Eisenstein

Driving through the old neighborhood on Detroit’s east side there’s a good chance you’d barely  notice the 92-year-old brick building, just one of many ancient factories left over from another era when Detroit was the indisputable center of the automotive universe. Slow down a bit and you might realize something dramatic is happening there – and at several other old plant sites nearby.

Originally opened in 1926 by the R.C. Mahon Co., a specialty steel producer, the 313,000 square-foot factory has come back to life to serve much the same purpose, albeit today producing state-of-the-art tailored blanks and other products for ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel manufacturer.

“In five years, you won’t know the area.It’s changing, and changing for the better,” says Mike Clark, the director of purchasing for the ArcelorMittal subsidiary, as he points to all the redevelopment efforts going on nearby, even the old party store across the street undergoing a renovation.

ArcelorMittal operates a similar factory in Ohio, but having experienced 30 percent growth for its specialty unit in the past two years, it recognized the need to add another plant. It looked at an assortment of sites in the Great Lakes region before settling on the Mt. Elliott factory.

Some of the advantages were obvious, including Detroit’s available and well-trained workforce, and “this is where our customers are,” ArcelorMittal supplying specialty metal products to all of the Detroit Big Three, as well as a Who’s-Who of imports.  Meanwhile, the Luxembourg-based steelmaker also had to deal with a compressed timetable, just 13 months to get a new factory into production.

Clark is quick to give much of the credit for making that possible to the Detroit Regional Chamber. “They aligned us with the right people to make it more favorable than any other location, among other things helping line up city and state incentives, including funding to improve the stretch of road between the plant and I-94.”

“They gave us the green-light,” he says, adding that the steelmaker was happy with what the Chamber pulled together.

In an era when many manufacturers prefer to move to the suburbs and build from the ground up, Clark said that it made much more sense for ArcelorMittal to move into the old factory. True, it took extensive renovation effort, but even after pumping in $40 million – the owner of the property kicking in another $10 million – the numbers made sense, especially with the short deadline for meeting new production contracts.

“Investments like ArcelorMittal’s in the Detroit region are what our organization strives for every day,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “We are actively out recruiting companies with the best technology that can help drive our core industries forward. The Chamber’s business attraction efforts seek to communicate to companies the advantages of locating to our region and then we connect them with the real estate, incentives, services and partners they will need to bring their project to fruition in our community, ultimately putting more of our residents to work.”

Economic development is a team sport and this project relied on tremendous additional support from DTE Energy, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the City of Detroit to get it across the finish line.

ArcelorMittal is still ramping up operations at the Detroit plant – which includes not only the manufacturing shop, a metrology and metal research lab, and a variety of sales and executive management offices. The first-year target is to create 84 jobs – but that could be exceeded, Clark notes. Sales for the specialty unit hit $158 million in 2017 and the forecast is that they will reach $258 million by 2019.

The company is already looking to the future, its three-to-five-year North American plan calling for additional expansion. Though it did sign a 15-year lease, the company hasn’t locked down longer-term plans. That said, Clark said he is upbeat that, by working with the Chamber, the stars may again fall into alignment favoring further expansion in the city of Detroit.

UHY International Meeting Heads to Detroit

UHY Advisors and UHY LLP are proud to welcome members from UHY International, one of the largest global accounting and consultancy networks in the world, to the Motor City for the 2018 International Members Meeting to be held in downtown Detroit. The 2018 meeting will be the largest gathering of UHY International partners ever with representatives from over 90 countries coming together to conduct business, gain education and experience the great comeback in Detroit.

“Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac discovered Detroit in 1701”, said Rick David, treasurer of UHY International and COO of the host firm, UHY Advisors at the most recent members meeting in Paris, France. “Now we invite our UHY International members to discover Detroit for themselves” as the meeting moves from Paris to Detroit in 2018.

Previous International Meetings have been hosted in: Brussels, London, Munich, Paris, and Singapore to name a few. Additionally, UHY Advisors will be hosting their National Leadership Conference concurrently also in Detroit.

“Combining our National Leadership Conference with the UHY International meeting in Detroit is a great opportunity for both our national and international partners” said Tony Frabotta, CEO of UHY Advisors. “Hosting these meetings together will allow everyone to experience the comeback of the Motor City first hand and build collaboration amongst with our international colleagues”.

“We were very interested in coming to Detroit to experience their renaissance first hand. Our members from around the world asked that we consider Detroit as the site of our annual meeting and we are grateful that our member firm in the US, UHY Advisors, accepted the role as host for our upcoming event” said Bernard Fay, chairman of UHY International. “With all of the buzz surrounding Detroit, this is the perfect time”.

UHY International is the 16th largest international audit, accounting, tax and consultancy networks by fee income with offices in over 325 business centers across the world.

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 provides tax and advisory services to entrepreneurial and other organizations, principally those enterprises in the dynamic middle market.

UHY LLP, operating in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, 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

All of the above entities are members of UHY International (“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, our US operating entities (UHY LLP and UHY Advisors) are the largest independent members of UHYI with significant participation, bringing the power of our international network to serve the individualized needs of our clients.

OU takes the next step in furthering higher education availability

The Oakland Post 

Laurel Kraus

November 28, 2017

As of 2015, around 60 percent of Americans had not obtained an associate’s degree or higher, according to Forbes. Oakland University has entered a full partnership with the Detroit Promise Program beginning fall of 2018 to provide Detroit students with the opportunity to combat that statistic.

“We’re trying to create a culture and an understanding in Detroit that if you graduate high school, there is a pathway for you to go on to higher education,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education on the Detroit Regional Chamber.

The Detroit Promise Program, established in 2013, is a scholarship program in which Detroit students are offered the ability to attend either two or four years of college tuition-free.

“Most of our students come from Oakland and Macomb County,” said Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at Oakland, James Lentini. “We’d like to actually expand our opportunities for Wayne County students, and Detroit students in particular with the Detroit Promise, to be able to attend Oakland.”

For the previous two years, Oakland has participated through accepting up to five students in the program each year, but with the full partnership it will now be accepting an unlimited number.

“We are trying to increase our presence in the Detroit area,” Director of Financial Aid Cindy Hermsen said. “I think this is another step toward Oakland University expressing our interest in providing access to students throughout the entire state.”

Students who have lived in the city all four years of high school and have graduated from a Detroit school, achieved a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and earned a minimum score of either 21 on the ACT or 1060 on the SAT, are automatically eligible for the scholarship but must register with the Detroit Chamber of Commerce.

Since Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the idea for such a program in 2011, the Detroit Regional Chamber has been responsible for managing it, with funding from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation.

The Detroit Promise Program is considered a last dollar scholarship, which means that Oakland will first accept and apply all other scholarships and/or grants that a student is eligible for before utilizing the program’s scholarship to pay any remaining tuition balance.

“We build on existing sources of support so that we’re really leveraging our resources in a way that allow us to be sustainable,” Handel said.

While the Detroit Promise Program fully covers tuition costs, it does not aid in books or housing.

“We understand that there are still barriers to students being able to continue, but we’ve removed a major one,” Handel said.

Under the program, five classes have graduated from high school and moved into the community college program and two classes have moved into the four-year university program, according to Handel.

As similar scholarship offered at OU is The Wade H. McCree Scholarship Program, which holds the same academic requirements as the Detroit Promise Program, but awards full tuition to students in Detroit, Pontiac and Royal Oak who are nominated by their school districts.


View the original article here.

Wayne State University Innovation Hub launch on Nov. 15 to Cover the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Spectrum

As one of the nation’s preeminent urban research universities, Wayne State consistently generates important innovations and ground-breaking research. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15, in the Student Center Ballroom, the university will launch the Wayne Innovation Hub to coordinate and enhance its programs for entrepreneurship education, technology commercialization and community partnerships, and to enhance the university’s overall culture of innovation.

The centerpiece of the launch celebration is a series of brief, compelling IDO (Innovation, Disruption and Opportunity) Talks by innovators and entrepreneurs from the Wayne State community. Each IDO talk, similar in format to TED Talks, will focus on a different aspect of innovation and entrepreneurship drawn from the speaker’s experience and will last five minutes or less – just enough time to convey the speaker’s core message and ignite the imagination of the audience. The IDO speakers are:

 Dr. Mary Anderson – Associate Professor and Associate Chair, WSU Maggie Allesee Department of Theater and Dance. Dr. Anderson will share images and ideas about what she has learned observing durational child-directed play in the Detroit Free Forest School, located at Belle Isle.

 Kavya Davuluri – a Wayne State student and co-founder of Optimize Wayne. Ms. Davuluri will share what she has learned about Wayne State and her fellow students through her involvement with Optimize, a student-led organization that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve social impact.

 Dr. Lauren Hamell – Assistant Professor, Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Institute. Dr. Hamell will describe how she identified a significant problem – a lack of patient-physician treatment discussions – and how developing a solution to the problem led her to a new role as an entrepreneur.

 Fares Ksebati – graduate of the WSU Mike Illitch School of Business and CEO of MySwimPro. Mr. Ksebati will describe how he turned a passion for swimming and an idea into Apple’s Best App of 2016, with impact in 150 countries.

 Maurice Recanati, M.D. – Assistant Professor-Clinical, Wayne State University School of Medicine. Dr. Recanati will relate how his childhood desire to make the journey to Mars led him to a career that includes undergraduate degrees in physics and engineering, a medical degree, a series of inventions, and success as an entrepreneur and venture investor.

 Jordette Singleton – graduate of the WSU Mike Illitch School of Business and owner of the UnitedFront retail shop. Ms. Singleton will describe how she overcame fear and took the leap into entrepreneurship, and how being the ultimate failure as an entrepreneur can lead to great success.

In addition to the IDO Talks™ presenters, WSU President M. Roy Wilson, Provost Keith Whitfield and Vice-President of Economic Development/TechTown Detroit CEO Ned Staebler, will offer brief remarks. Tech entrepreneur W. David Tarver, recently appointed Senior Counselor to the Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, will serve as event host and master of ceremonies.

The Innovation Hub launch celebration will reinforce Wayne State’s strong track record of innovation and entrepreneurship and showcase how it is taking this commitment to an even higher level. In addition to the IDO TalksTM, the high energy event will include music, the kickoff of a student-led community engagement project where participants produce one-minute video profiles to highlight the innovations produced by everyday Detroiters, and a prototype “Innovation Studio” where attendees will have the opportunity to interact with innovations and innovators from the Wayne State community and the region. Attendees will be encouraged to connect with the many resources that exist in the region, and representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

The event is open to the public. Light food and beverages will be served. Please register at Space is limited.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering nearly 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 27,000 students.


PlanetM Landing Zone Launches in Detroit, Will Draw Mobility and High-Tech Startups to the Region

In an effort to attract and connect more mobility-focused startups and other emerging high-tech, automotive-focused companies to the region, the Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) and WeWork launched the PlanetM Landing Zone in Detroit last week.

This first-of-its-kind space will serve as an environment where startups with autonomous, connected, electric and shared transportation technologies can connect with Detroit’s automotive and economic development network. This initiative will be housed at WeWork’s Merchant’s Row shared workspace location in Detroit. The PlanetM Landing Zone will occupy 40 to 50 workspaces with room for about 20 companies in the first year of operation.

Selected companies will have access to WeWork locations globally and a direct connection to the MEDC through its PlanetM and Pure Michigan Business Connect program, which helps connect local and global purchasers to suppliers of Michigan goods and services. Additionally, the Chamber will house staff members on-site who will provide services to these firms, that can help connect them to and grow more quickly in the market.

The PlanetM Landing Zone is the region’s latest tool to foster innovative technology development and talent growth, key focus areas of Forward Detroit. Creating a welcoming environment and platform for mobility entrepreneurs to establish a presence in the Detroit region is also a 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference To-Do item.

“Our region must be overly competitive in next-generation mobility. To complete this ecosystem, we need to attract more tech pioneers and entrepreneurs to our region,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO for the Chamber.

Ford Motor Co. is the first automaker to join the partnership, while :DriveSmart, Spatial, SPLT and Sherpa Capital are currently tenants. Read coverage of the PlanetM Landing Zone opening in Crain’s Detroit Business, DBusiness and The Detroit News.

110 Lawyers from Dykema Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that 110 of the its attorneys, in multiple practice areas and markets, have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 guide. Additionally, 10 of the firm’s practitioners have been named Best Lawyers 2018 “Lawyer of the Year,” a special distinction conferred upon a single lawyer within a practice area and metropolitan market.

The Best Lawyers in America® is the pre-eminent national listing of outstanding attorneys. This annual guide is derived from exhaustive peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.

The Dykema attorneys named Best Lawyers 2018 “Lawyers of the Year,” the practice area(s) for which they are being recognized and office location are:

• Kerry T. Benedict – Banking and Finance Law
• Marie R. Deveney – Trusts and Estates
• James P. Feeney – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Dennis M. Haffey – Litigation – Banking and Finance
• J. Daniel Harkins – Litigation – Intellectual Property
• Kathryn J. Humphrey – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Howard B. Iwrey – Litigation – Antitrust
• D. Richard McDonald – Securities / Capital Markets Law
• William J. Perrone – Government Relations Practice
• James M. Truss – Oil and Gas Law
The Dykema attorneys listed in the 2018 Best Lawyers in America guide, identified by office location and the practice areas for which they have been recognized, are:

Ann Arbor, Michigan

• Maria B. Abrahamsen – Health Care Law
• Phyllis G. Adams – Health Care Law
• Marie R. Deveney – Trusts and Estates
• Kathrin E. Kudner – Health Care Law
• Melvin J. Muskovitz – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Roselyn (Roz) Parmenter – Health Care Law
• Ronald J. Santo – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management
• Robert P. Tiplady – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Trusts and Estates
• Jill M. Wheaton – Appellate Practice; Commercial Litigation

Austin, Texas

• Keith A. Shuley – Environmental Law; Water Law
• Phillip M. Slinkard – Corporate Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

• Bowden V. Brown – Public Finance Law
• Brendan J. Cahill – Mergers and Acquisitions Law
• Amy M. Christen – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
• Michael G. Cumming – Trusts and Estates
• Stephen R. Estey – Land Use and Zoning Law
• James P. Feeney – Arbitration; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Corporate Law; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Adam M. Fishkind – Real Estate Law
• Fred J. Fresard – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Alan M. Greene – Land Use and Zoning Law; Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Real Estate
• Dennis M. Haffey – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions; Litigation – Securities; Litigation – Trusts and Estates
• Kyle R. Hauberg – Project Finance Law; Real Estate Law
• Margaret Adams Hunter – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
• Howard B. Iwrey – Antitrust Law; Litigation – Antitrust
• Joanne R. Lax – Health Care Law
• Gerald T. Lievois – Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law
• D. Richard McDonald – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law; Securities Regulation
• Mark A. Metz – Corporate Governance Law; Corporate Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law; Securities Regulation
• Brian M. Moore – Commercial Litigation
• James D. Obermanns – Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law
• Sheryl L. Toby – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy
• Stephen L. Tupper – Information Technology Law

Chicago, Illinois

• Ross J. Altman – Construction Law; Real Estate Law
• Michael C. Borders – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Terrence M. Burns – Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants
• Derek L. Cottier – Real Estate Law
• C. Elizabeth Darke – Real Estate Law
• Michael S. Kurtzon – Real Estate Law
• Robert C. Linton – Real Estate Law
• Andrew P. Scott – Land Use and Zoning Law
• Michael F. Sexton – Real Estate Law
• Ian M. Sherman – Insurance Law

Dallas, Texas

• Thomas B. Alleman – Insurance Law; Litigation – Environmental
• Mark E. Andrews – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
• M. David Bryant, Jr. – Commercial Litigation
• William Frank Carroll – Arbitration; Banking and Finance Law; Commercial Litigation; Mediation
• Bob H. Feroze – Real Estate Law
• William B. Finkelstein – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
• Brian R. Forbes – Real Estate Law
• R. Chris Harvey – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Christopher D. Kratovil – Appellate Practice
• Arlene Switzer Steinfield – Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Edwin J. Tomko – Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Detroit, Michigan

• J. Michael Bernard – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law
• Robert A. Boonin – Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Michael P. Cooney – Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Samuel C. Damren – Commercial Litigation; Mediation
• Sherrie L. Farrell – Commercial Litigation
• Grant P. Gilezan – Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental
• Steven E. Grob – Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Tax Law
• James F. Hermon – Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Kathryn J. Humphrey – Aviation Law; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Mark D. Jacobs – Environmental Law
• Peter M. Kellett – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Antitrust; Litigation – Securities; Mediation; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• Joel D. Kellman – Litigation – Real Estate; Real Estate Law
• Jin-Kyu Koh – Corporate Law; Mergers and Acquisitions Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law
• Cameron H. Piggott – Litigation – Real Estate; Real Estate Law
• Carl Rashid, Jr. – Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law; Litigation – Real Estate; Litigation and Controversy – Tax; Real Estate Law; Tax Law
• Thomas M. Schehr – Commercial Litigation
• Thomas S. Vaughn – Corporate Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law

Grand Rapids, Michigan

• James S. Brady – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Criminal Defense: General Practice; Criminal Defense: White-Collar; DUI/DWI Defense; Family Law; Litigation – First Amendment; Litigation – Regulatory Enforcement (SEC, Telecom, Energy); Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
• John A. Ferroli – Environmental Law; Litigation – Environmental
• Stephen S. Muhich – Employment Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• Brian J. Page – Corporate Law; Litigation – Real Estate; Real Estate Law

Lansing, Michigan

• Richard J. Aaron – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Energy Law
• R. Lance Boldrey – Gaming Law; Native American Law
• Sandra M. Cotter – Administrative / Regulatory Law
• Ann D. Fillingham – Corporate Law; Public Finance Law
• Gary P. Gordon – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Government Relations Practice
• James P. Kiefer – Corporate Law; Public Finance Law
• Lori McAllister – Arbitration; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Insurance Law; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Insurance
• William J. Perrone – Banking and Finance Law; Government Relations Practice
• W. Alan Wilk – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Corporate Compliance Law; Corporate Governance Law
• Leonard C. Wolfe – Administrative / Regulatory Law; Gaming Law; Government Relations Practice

McAllen, Texas

• Diann M. Bartek – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy

Minneapolis, Minnesota

• Reed R. Heimbecher – Patent Law
• Timothy D. Kelly – Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions; Litigation – Real Estate
• Brian Melendez – Commercial Litigation

San Antonio, Texas

• Kerry T. Benedict – Banking and Finance Law; Real Estate Law
• Ramon D. Bissmeyer – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• J. Daniel Harkins – Copyright Law; Litigation – Intellectual Property; Litigation – Patent; Patent Law; Trademark Law
• C. David Kinder – Commercial Litigation
• Wilhelm E. Liebmann – Corporate Law; Securities / Capital Markets Law
• Donna K. McElroy – Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management
• Robert W. Nelson – Tax Law
• J. Patrick Ryan – Corporate Law
• Thomas E. Sanders – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – ERISA
• Brett W. Schouest – Commercial Litigation
• James B. Smith, Jr. – Corporate Law
• Phylis J. Speedlin – Arbitration; Mediation
• Daniel R. Stern – Employment Law – Individuals; Employment Law – Management; Labor Law – Management; Labor Law – Union; Litigation – Labor and Employment
• John B. Stewart – Real Estate Law
• James M. Truss – Commercial Litigation; Energy Law; Litigation – Environmental; Litigation – Real Estate; Oil and Gas Law
• Dan G. Webster III – Corporate Law
• David B. West – Commercial Litigation; Litigation – Banking and Finance; Litigation – Trusts and Estates
• Deborah D. Williamson – Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law
• W. Roger Wilson – Energy Law
• Harry W. Wolff, Jr. – Trusts and Estates

In addition to all of the lawyers listed above, we are proud to note that a few of our recently retired attorneys have earned recognition from Best Lawyers as well.

• Eric Thomas Carver – Litigation – Trusts and Estates; Tax Law; Trusts and Estates
• Jaime Ramon – Litigation – Labor and Employment; Labor Law – Management

About Best Lawyers
Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer review evaluation. More than 83,000 leading attorneys globally are eligible to vote, and we have received more than 13 million votes to date on the legal abilities of other lawyers based on their specific practice areas around the world. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

About Dykema
Dykema serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema lawyers and other professionals in 13 U.S. offices work in close partnership with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – to deliver outstanding results, unparalleled service and exceptional value in every engagement. To learn more, visit and follow Dykema on Twitter at

Clayton & McKervey shareholder helps establish new ‘Great Lakes Chapter’ of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce

Clayton & McKervey, an international certified public accounting and business advisory firm located in metro Detroit, announces that Timothy Finerty CPA, a shareholder at the firm, is a founding board member of the newest chapter of the United States – Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC), the Great Lakes Chapter, based in Detroit.

The official launch announcement was made by the Honorable Juan Manuel Solana, Consul General of Mexico in Detroit, and Al Zapanta, CEO and President of the U.S.-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, on May 9 at Automation Alley in Troy, Mich. In addition to Finerty being a founding board member, Clayton & McKervey is among the first 20 corporate members of the new chamber.

Finerty is the practice leader for Mexico and Latin America at Clayton & McKervey and specializes in Mexican and Latin American tax and accounting issues including entity structure, transfer pricing and exchange rates. He also advises small and midsized growth-driven businesses in the manufacturing, system integrators, distribution and service-related industries to help them achieve their global expansion plans. Finerty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Michigan State University,

About the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce
A group of distinguished Mexican and U.S. businessmen established the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce (USMCOC) in 1973 as a 501 (c) (6) non-profit business association chartered in Washington, D.C., to promote trade, investment and joint ventures on both sides of the border. All chapters and offices, with strong local membership and international contacts, help businesses bridge differences in legal, regulatory and economic systems, as well as language and culture.

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