Under Construction: Michigan’s Build-To-Suit Market

By Paul Vachon

Several years into Michigan’s economic recovery has provided the business community with a unique perspective: One that has begun to show the fruit of years of rightsizing, innovating and reimagining their mission. The return of a healthy economy has cleared away excess inventories and set the stage for new expansion.

Despite significant industry diversification, however, automotive and manufacturing dominates Southeast Michigan, which makes the status of the industrial real estate market a key indicator of economic health. According to a recent report by Colliers International, the region’s overall vacancy rate stands at 4 percent — a historic low.

Justin Robinson, vice president of business attraction at the Detroit Regional Chamber, attributed this durability to a strong local economy and not just to the routine swing of the market pendulum.

Fraza“Right now, the market looks stable for the next several years. One factor is that during the last downturn many of the older, more inefficient buildings were demolished, thus removing that space from the market,” Robinson said. “These were mostly legacy buildings constructed from the 1950s to the 1970s that had been home to OEMs and tier one suppliers. The market has thus been rightsized, so even if it were to experience a downturn, I don’t think it would have a significant impact.”

Despite the tight supply, new space is being added slowly and cautiously, with build-to-suit as the predominate mode of construction. Industry experts say that this is due to a low appetite for risk on the part of many investors.

This approach has both pros and cons, Moran explained. A big disadvantage is the lead time involved with these types of projects. A company opening a new plant generally wants to be up and running within six to nine months, a realistic timetable if a preexisting building can be found. However, Robinson said the schedule for a build-to-suit project is much more time consuming.

“An average building can take as much as 18 months to deliver by the time you identify the site, address potential brownfield issues, get the infrastructure in the ground and put up the structure,” he said.

“This type of timeline can be difficult for many companies.” Robinson pointed out that in other major metropolitan areas, speculative building is common, but its relative scarcity in Southeast Michigan often forces tenants to be creative.

“They might have to take an older or smaller structure and modify it to meet their needs,” Robinson said. An advantage to the build-to-suit option is the ability for the client to specify features that will meet his or her unique needs and operate at maximum efficiency.

As Moran explained, some examples might include a minimal floor thickness to support heavy equipment, steel framing strong enough to accommodate overhead cranes or other equipment, and a sufficient HVAC system that meets state and federal regulations.

As the overall market matures, developers report that build-to-suit options are becoming more specialized. Ryan Dembs, CEO of Dembs Development in Farmington Hills, said that while his company’s build-to- suit volume is increasing, much of it is for technology-related companies. Dembs said his company does do a limited number of on-spec buildings and anticipates other developers will gradually fall in line as their confidence level increases. One developer that recently resumed embracing speculative development is New York-based Ashley Capital, which builds and manages industrial real estate throughout the eastern United States and has an office in Canton.

“In Michigan, we manage 18 to 20 million square feet, the clear majority of which is space we built on greenfields or brownfields, or existing, often blighted, buildings we renovated. In both cases, we worked without a tenant in hand and subsequently leased the buildings out,” said Susan Harvey, senior vice president at Ashley Capital.

“We’re just finishing our first speculative project since the end of the Great Recession, on the site of the Hazel Park Raceway, a 575,000-square-foot building,” she added. For Ashley Capital and others, the gradual emergence from the recession has been fraught with obstacles.

“Lending practices have changed, and it’s gotten more difficult for developers to put together deals for spec buildings,” Harvey said. She does, however, express cautious optimism for the future both locally and throughout the nation.

Paul Vachon is a metro Detroit freelance writer.

Read more from this issue below: 

Detroit-Area Developers Choose to Reuse

Dan Gilbert Taking Detroit to Overdrive

The Ilitch Touch: Transforming Detroit’s Downtown

 

 

Detroit’s Next Opportunity: A Premier Destination for Health Care Innovation, Investment

With high-quality hospitals, world-renowned programs and nationally recognized research universities and medical schools, the Detroit region is a premier location for innovators, investors and entrepreneurs who want to lead the health care industry. But unfortunately, it remains a hidden jewel.

Promoting that message to industry leaders across the state and country has been a key focus of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s HealthForward initiative this year.

“Despite Southeast Michigan’s robust health care ecosystem, it has not achieved recognition as a national destination for health or a hub of health care innovation and jobs,” said Roy Lamphier, the Chamber’s vice president of health care and business solutions.

Changing that narrative, Lamphier said, builds on the Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy to sustain Southeast Michigan as one of the fastest growing regions in the country.

“It’s about getting the message out there among professional health care players — hospitals, suppliers, insurers and providers — as well as entrepreneurs — about why Detroit can be a player in the new health economy,” Lamphier said. “Subsequently, that will help attract more talent, investment and jobs for the region.”

To do that, Lamphier said the Chamber has already begun meeting with health care stakeholders to craft the region’s story. He said plans are also underway to convene regional CEOs and C-suite leaders to define the health care story.

“The Chamber is in a position where we touch a large cross-section of the health care industry. Bringing these key players together to think about the future and craft the message we want to tell the rest of the world is in our collective interest,” Lamphier said.

But it is only one piece of the puzzle.

Detroit also ranks at the bottom 20th percentile nationwide in the overall health and wellbeing of its workforce, impacting the competitiveness of the region.

Building on its longtime effort to educate employers on ways to lower costs on care, the Chamber is going a step further by working with business and health leaders to craft a placemaking strategy focused on projects, programs and policies to support healthy communities.

“We’re not focused on creating capacity and adding cost to the system,” Lamphier said. “We want to determine the business agenda on health and tie that agenda to leadership action,” Lamphier said.

Recently, the Chamber partnered with Crain’s Detroit Business for a Health Care Leaders Dinner (pictured) featuring 40 academic, government, health and civic leaders to identify areas where the business community can make an impact on a recurring basis.

“Our end goal is to help businesses make investments that raise the health and well-being of the region’s workforce,” Lamphier said. “The more money we pour into treating sickness is money that could have gone into wages and investment. We need to start investing upstream to get ahead of the curve.”

By both marketing the region’s health care assets and taking steps toward creating a healthy workforce, Lamphier said  Southeast Michigan can craft a vibrant health ecosystem attractive to investment and talent in the 21st century.

For more information on how to get involved with HealthForward, contact Roy Lamphier at rlamphie@detroitchamber.com, or 313.596.0381. For more information on Forward Detroit, contact Marnita Hamilton at mhamilton@detroitchamber.com, or 313.596.0310. To view a full list of investors and past Investor Exclusive content, visit our Investor Resources page.

Michigan Coalition receives $5.97 million Department of Defense Grant

DETROIT, Mich. – The Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded a $5.97 million grant to support an Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative in Southeast Michigan.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative clears the path to the discovery and growth of emerging markets and industries by providing immediate and sustained assistance to firms and workers in a 13-county region in Southeast Michigan affected by reduced Department of Defense procurement. The coalition coordinates assistance to organizations that promote research, industrial development, and talent development relevant to the defense industry.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) provided a cash match along with in-kind funding from the Michigan Defense Center—an operation of the MEDC—to obtain these funds. Macomb County Economic Development and the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN) for Southeast Michigan also provided matching funds. A special thank you is also extended to Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Gary Peters, and Congressman Sander Levin for providing letters of support for the initiative.

Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Investment Board (M/SCWB) working on behalf of Macomb County Government, will administer the grant with management assistance from the Workforce Intelligence Network.

The grant funding will be used on a variety of projects to identify and diversify Michigan’s defense portfolio, expand educational and workforce training for emerging markets, and provide opportunities for Michigan companies engaged in the defense economy.

The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative will support resiliency and capacity in:

· Autonomous transportation and connected mobility (particularly the electronics, sensors, and componentry sector)

· Lightweight materials manufacturing sector

· Information technology with a focus on increasing security of automated transportation systems and products

“The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative is committed to identifying new opportunities for Michigan businesses and workers that play a critical role in our country’s defense,” said Senator Stabenow. “Thanks to the work of the Macomb/St. Clair Workforce Development Board and Workforce Intelligence Network, this project will help strengthen the connections between defense, advanced manufacturing, and cutting-edge research that is truly unique here in Southeast Michigan.”

“Southeast Michigan has been an important defense asset for generations, and the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative will help ensure that this crucial sector of our economy can continue to grow,” said Senator Gary Peters. “I’m honored to help announce this funding that will help promote the development of new technologies and create job opportunities in areas from cybersecurity to autonomous vehicles and smart mobility that will ensure our state and our country continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge that Southeast Michigan’s companies offer.”

“This funding will assist the MEDC and our partners in providing tools and training to offset some of the contraction in the federal defense budget that has affected our companies and workers in Michigan,” says Sean Carlson, VP MEDC, Michigan Defense Center. “These projects will help us identify the vast logistics and acquisition network in Michigan that serves the defense industry as well as grow opportunities for our companies to expand into new and emerging markets.”

“This award highlights the unrivaled set of circumstances we have here in Southeastern Michigan,” said Congressman Sandy Levin. “Our skilled workforce, strong manufacturing base, and longtime collaboration with the auto and defense industries at TACOM and TARDEC all make our region especially competitive for private-public partnerships that can lead to cost savings and new jobs.”

Currently, thousands of Michigan companies, supporting over 52,000 Michigan jobs, bring billions of federal defense dollars to Michigan’s economy. Michigan is home to the U.S. Army’s Detroit Arsenal, TACOM Life Cycle Management Command (TACOM), Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Army Acquisition Center (AAC), numerous Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) operations as well as Michigan National Guard bases and installations throughout Michigan with active, reserve and National Guard units.

Advance Michigan Partnership
The Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative is an investment of Advance Michigan, an Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designation extended by the White House in partnership with 16 federal-government departments. The Advance Michigan area includes the urban centers of Detroit, Flint and Lansing and the counties of Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. Designated communities are eligible to compete for federal funding from the participating departments, looking to support the growth of manufacturing jobs and related prosperity.

Projects supported by the OEA grant include:

· Establishment of a “Defense Contractor Transition Center” for displaced defense workers

· Formation of a regional Connected Life Collaborative and a strategy and implementation plan for a Connected Life Lab (internet of things) aimed at entrepreneurship and commercialization around connected products

· Development of 2-3 new cyber range facilities and Merit Secure Sandbox testing centers in the region

· Pilot of a university-based Detroit Regional Cyber Training Center

· Regional connectivity plan including asset map and strengths assessment, along with a strategy and action plan to move an overall connected economic development strategy forward

· Launch of 1-3 related demonstrations of autonomous and connected project technologies, with targeted firms receiving technical assistance and commercialization support for their concepts

· Various initiatives to support capacity of the Advance Michigan Defense Collaborative, including a regional defense supply chain map; participation in a national network of 13,500 members with commercialization interest and expertise, along with a regional technology transfer/innovation plan; enhancement of the state’s bid targeting system (BTS) to better connect suppliers to business opportunities; economic impact analysis of the Michigan defense industry; defense skills-gap analysis; and action plans and staffing support for the Michigan Automated Systems Collaborative and Opportunity Detroit Tech.

Walsh College Board of Trustees Elects Bournias, Kulak to Foundation Board of Directors

The Walsh College Board of Trustees has elected Laurie Bournias, first vice president and wealth management advisor, Merrill Lynch; and Denise Kulak, owner and operator, Other Fun Stuff, LLC; to three-year terms on the Walsh College Foundation Board of Directors.

Established in 2004, the Walsh College Foundation serves as the official fundraising arm of the College. The Foundation encourages private giving and ensures the integrity of the College’s philanthropy program.

It is staffed by employees of the College and led by volunteers who are business, industry, and community leaders. Walsh alumni comprise 72 percent of the 25-member Foundation Board of Directors.

Bournias graduated from Walsh College in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. She joined Merrill Lynch in 1994. As a wealth management advisor, Bournias works with an exclusive group of high net-worth individuals, families, and businesses in developing and implementing strategies to manage their wealth.

She holds the prestigious Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Additionally, Bournias has received the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation.

Kulak earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Walsh College in 2000. At Other Fun Stuff, which is a unique, creative gift boutique she founded in 2012 in Birmingham, Mich., Kulak personally manages customer service, product, pricing, promotion, and financials. She has spent more than 20 years in various retail roles.

Kulak has received several awards and recognitions of her business and commitment to others, including the 2014 Best of MichBusiness “One Person Wonder” award and as a finalist in the Entrepreneur-YOU business plan competition. Kulak is also a member of Blackstone LaunchPad at Walsh College, which provides Walsh students and alumni with the support they need to develop and launch their own business ideas or concepts. It is free of charge to Walsh students and alumni and helps transform untested ideas into vital businesses.

“Both of these extraordinary women are accomplished leaders in their industries and are passionate about serving their alma mater and their communities,” said Audrey Olmstead, vice president and chief development officer, Walsh College.

”Laurie offers financial expertise earned through a large financial organization, while Denise brings entrepreneurial spirit and savvy to promoting quality of life through creativity,” she added. “These two Walsh alumnae will bring important experience from diverse viewpoints to the Walsh Foundation in the years ahead.”

For more information, visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh College Welcomes Returning Fulbright Scholar Gilkey

Susan J. Gilkey, Ph.D., associate professor and clinical faculty member, Management, Walsh College, has returned to campus after service late last year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Ecole de Gouvernance et d’Economie in Rabat, Morocco.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. It is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries.

Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided the opportunity for students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists to study, teach, and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Dr. Gilkey’s primary lecture focus during her month-long tenure in Morocco in 2014 was cross-cultural leadership behaviors. At Walsh, she has taught classes at the master and undergraduate levels in subject areas such as ethics, leadership, strategic management, foundations of international business, and production and operations management.

“The student population in Morocco is very diverse, with French, Spanish, and Arabic influences,” said Dr. Gilkey, Walsh’s fourth Fulbright Scholar. “The students enjoyed our engagement in the topic of leadership. It was also rewarding to meet with doctoral students to discuss their research topics and tools.”

She added that there was particular interest in the relationships between manufacturing, agriculture, and the service sectors.

Dr. Gilkey sought the position in Morocco as a capstone to a lifetime of global travels. “All of those experiences have been helpful in providing a relevant, contemporary context to global business practices here at Walsh,” she said.

Dr. Gilkey holds three degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in Management and organizational development from Spring Arbor University; an Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University; and a doctorate in organizational psychology from Capella University.

Prior to joining the Walsh faculty, Dr. Gilkey spent more than 27 years in the automotive industry at General Motors (GM), as well as organizational consulting experiences in executive assessments and career transition consulting.

In product development at GM, she served as an interior appearance engineer, executive business manager, strategic business planner, prototype studio manager, and vehicle architecture coordinator.

Dr. Gilkey also instructed on organizational training topics such as change management, benchmarking, process evaluation and improvement, problem resolution, and team building.

For more information, go to www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh College Opens Registration for Spring 2015 Semester Classes

Registration for spring 2015 semester classes at Walsh College, a leading, all-business college and one of Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, is now open through Thursday, April 9. Classes begin Friday, April 3.

On “Walk in Wednesdays,” students can meet with an advisor directly, have transcripts evaluated, apply, and register for classes. Appointments are suggested at all other times. Call 1-800-WALSH-01 or email admissions@walshcollege.edu.

Walsh offers fully accredited degrees at the bachelor and master levels, as well as graduate-level certificates.

Undergraduate programs offered at Walsh include Bachelor of Accountancy; Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in Accounting Processes, Finance, General Business, Management, or Marketing; and Bachelor of Science in Information Technology.

Graduate programs include Master of Business Administration (MBA); Master of Science in Accountancy (MAC); Master of Science in Finance (MSF); Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT); Master of Science in Information Technology Leadership (MSITL); Master of Science in Management (MSM); Master of Science in Marketing (MSMKT); and Master of Science in Taxation (MST).

Dual-degree options are available as MBA/MSF; MBA/MSITL; MBA/MSM; and MBA/MSMKT. The MS programs share essential courses with the MBA program. MS programs may also be taken separately.

Business certificate programs for credit vary in length from three to five courses, some of which can be completed on campus or online, including Finance, Human Resources Management, Project Management, and Taxation.

Walsh College offers a range of scholarships to newly admitted, degree-seeking undergraduate students. A limited number of scholarships are also available to newly admitted, degree-seeking graduate students. Walsh College has 27,000 alumni worldwide. More than 85 percent of its alumni live and work in Michigan.

For more information, visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh College Hosts IMA President and CEO Thomson at Student Success Series Forum

Jeffrey C. Thomson, president and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), will be the featured speaker at the Walsh College Student Success Series at 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, March 25, in room 199, Barry Center, Walsh College Troy campus, 3838 Livernois Road.

The event is free and is open to Walsh alumni and the general public. Registration is requested at www.walshcollege.edu/events/jeffthomson.

The Walsh Student Success Speaker Series provides opportunities to network with outstanding business leaders who offer business experiences, stories, and life lessons.

Thomson will update Walsh students on current and future trends in the accounting profession, career paths, and professional certification. IMA is the leading worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals working in business. It represents more than 70,000 members who work in public and private corporations, academia, and not-for-profit institutions.

Accounting Today honored Thomson with his inclusion in the publication’s annual “Top 100 Most Influential People List” in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The Accountant/International Accounting Bulletin recognized Thomson in its “Global Accountancy Power 50” list of leading influencers. He is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a Certified Association Executive (CAE).

Prior to joining IMA, Thomson worked at AT&T for more than two decades where he served in various financial, strategic, and operational roles. In his last position at AT&T, he served as the chief financial officer for business sales, an $18 billion revenue operation.

“The IMA encourages high standards for the accounting profession and offers superior support for its practitioners,” said Stephanie Bergeron, president and CEO, Walsh College. “We are honored that Jeffrey will discuss important trends, principles, and values in the profession directly with Walsh students on our campus.”

Thomson was also named by Trust as one of the “Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior” for the past four years in a row. The award celebrates professionals, including CEOs, educators, researchers and other experts, who are elevating societal trust and transforming how organizations conduct business.

Shortly after assuming his role as president and CEO of IMA in 2008, Thomson introduced IMA’s Global Core Values, solidifying the association’s reputation as a trustworthy and valuable business partner. Strengthened by Thomson’s commitment to ethical behavior, IMA has grown in size, influence and respect while pursuing partnerships that serve the public interest.

Thomson holds a master’s degree in statistics from Montclair State University, received a certificate in finance and accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and completed the Columbia University Senior Executive Leadership Program. In 2008, he participated in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management Certificate Program in Innovation.

His Walsh appearance is supported by the College’s Accounting and Tax Student Organization.

Fourth Annual Southeast Michigan Women’s Entrepreneur-YOU Conference, #EYOU4, to be held at Walsh College on March 20th

The energy at Entrepreneur-YOU is almost audible, as hundreds of eager women come together, some already in business, some aspiring to be, and some as women business leaders who serve as role models and mentors for beginning entrepreneurs.

Event collaborators include Inforum, Michigan Women’s Foundation, and Walsh College, with sponsorship support from Fifth Third Bank.

This year, as Southeast Michigan’s women’s entrepreneur conference (#EYOU4) approaches its fourth year at Walsh College on March 20th, the vision of providing resources, tools and support for women entrepreneurs, shared by its founders, Stephanie Bergeron, Carolyn Cassin and Terry Barclay, is truly being put into action.

Bergeron (Walsh College president and CEO), Barclay (president and CEO of Inforum and Inforum Center for Leadership) and Cassin (president of Michigan Women’s Foundation) all blaze a path for women seeking success in the business world. They are accomplished, they have experienced the challenges and the opportunities women face in highly competitive markets, and they are optimistic about the impact of women on Michigan’s economy.

When these three female leaders first conceived of Entrepreneur-YOU, they simply wanted a place for women to find inspiration and the practical next-steps needed to launch and grow a business. Now, they are reaping the rewards of their vision, seeing women who attended each year return to compete in the business plan competitions and present their success stories at the annual conference.

“Success as an entrepreneur results from execution of a strategic plan, diligent market research, and the passion to run a business,” said Bergeron. “Entrepreneur-YOU helps women achieve that success by providing a forum for sharing best practices, personal experiences, and new ideas that build the confidence and enthusiasm of all attendees.”

Bergeron, Barclay and Cassin envisioned the result of this conference as positively impacting the region’s economy while helping women start and grow successful businesses. That vision is becoming a reality.

This year, the day-long conference features keynote speaker Alison Vaughn of Jackets for Jobs. There will be 10 breakout sessions, opportunities for networking, continental breakfast and lunch.

Breakout sessions focus on marketing, finance, operations, HR, funding, community resources, professional services and more. The event MC will be JoAnne Purtan, Channel 7 news anchor. Presenters include the following:

Ellyn Davidson, managing partner, Brogan & Partners, PR firm
Esther Marshall, assistant vice president in community and economic development, Fifth Third Bank
Lara Galloway, author of Moms Mean Business: A Guide to Creating a Successful Company and a Happy Life as a Mom Entrepreneur
Tifani Sadek, founding partner of Sadek Bonahoom law firm
Kimberly Cross, chief operating officer, Michigan Women’s Foundation
Lynne Golodner, chief creative officer, Your People LLC PR firm
Juliana Perry, vice president, Business Banking, Fifth Third Bank
Nancy Philippart, general partner, Belle Michigan, an early stage venture fund focused on women-led/owned/managed startups
Ursula Scroggs, managing director, DKSS CPAs + Advisors
Kim Eberhardt, senior account manager, Tanner Friedman PR firm
To learn more about the 2015 Southeast Michigan Entrepreneur-YOU event and to register, visit: http://www.walshcollege.edu/eyouconference. Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased online. Seating is limited and this event has sold out in previous years. Those interested in exhibiting their products and services to business and professional women are invited to participate. Exhibitor tables are $200. Contact jhubbard@walshcollege.edu.

About Entrepreneur-YOU

Entrepreneur-YOU is a collaborative initiative between Inforum, Michigan Women’s Foundation and Walsh College, with support from Fifth Third Bank, to help women become successful business owners. Among its varied business-building activities, Entrepreneur-YOU conducts all-day workshops– taught by leading business professionals– to teach women entrepreneurs about the resources necessary and available to open, run and grow a business.

Walsh College

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs.

One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.

Michigan Women’s Foundation

With a 28-year history of high impact work, Michigan Women’s Foundation is devoted to fostering economic empowerment for Michigan’s women and girls through philanthropy and investment. In response to a compelling need that exists still today for women to further advance their social, economic and professional well-being to an equitable level in society, MWF and its partners and supporters have committed financially and intellectually to leaving this world a better place for women and girls. Learn more at www.miwf.org.

Inforum

Founded in 1962, Inforum is the only professional organization in Michigan – and one of a few in the country – that combines strategic connections, proven professional development programs, a respected forum for new ideas, and original research to accelerate careers for women and boost talent initiatives for companies. Inforum Center for Leadership (ICL) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research arm of Inforum. ICL programs serve a broad range of women in different stages and types of careers – from nonprofit professionals, to emerging and rising corporate leaders, tech entrepreneurs, Veterans and corporate board leaders. Inforum Center for Leadership also conducts and publishes original research on women’s leadership influence, including the Michigan Women’s Leadership Index. Inforum has offices in Detroit and Grand Rapids with operations in Saginaw, Lansing and Kalamazoo. Visit inforummichigan.org

Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bank, Eastern Michigan, is based in Southfield, Michigan and led by President David F. Girodat. Fifth Third Bank is metropolitan Detroit’s fourth largest bank and has $4.2 billion in assets.

Fifth Third Bank serves customers in eight southeastern Michigan counties: Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, St. Clair, Shiawassee, Livingston, Genesee and Washtenaw. Fifth Third Bank currently operates 91 banking centers, and more than 150 ATMs throughout eastern Michigan.

Fifth Third Bank is proud to be named as one of the “101 Best & Brightest Place to Work” by the Michigan Business and Professional Association and a “Top Place to Work” by the Detroit Free Press.

Walsh College Website Earns Marcom Award

The redesigned Walsh College website, launched in July 2014, has received a 2014 Platinum Marcom Award for website design.

The Marcom Awards are an international competition that receive nearly 6,000 entries each year. It is one of the largest creative competitions of its kind. Marcom rewards the best entrants in terms of concept, writing, and design of print, visual, audio, and web materials and programs.

The idea for Walsh’s new website was developed early last year. The decision stemmed from the desire to create a more modern feel and design while improving the experience for all users—including prospective and current students, alumni, staff, and faculty.

Walsh College’s ongoing partnership with Element5, a cutting-edge web design and digital marketing agency in metropolitan Detroit, opened the opportunity to begin a website redesign. Throughout the project, the goal was to identify areas of improvement to the site’s problems and solutions to fix them.

“Developing a responsive website wasn’t even on our radar. Element5 identified this as an area where the College’s web presence was lacking and helped us understand why it was crucial to fix it,” said Brenda Meller, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at Walsh College.

“They managed the entire project from planning to launch, and their prompt organization throughout helped us meet our target date of completion. I was extremely pleased with the entire process and outcome of the new Walsh College website, and the improved site performance metrics reinforce that success.”

In the research and testing phase, Element5 interviewed Walsh’s staff and faculty to identify problem areas, designed new wireframes based on the findings and feedback, and created interactive wireframes to allow for on-site testing with current and potential students.

Element5 determined key findings with thorough research that made a tremendous impact on the redesigned site’s success. Following the new site’s launch, site errors declined, usability reached an all-time high and overall traffic increased substantially. A few key metrics showing the vast improvement included a 44 percent increase in new users to the site, 21.65 percent increase in sessions, and 24.49 percent increase in overall goal conversions.

View the award-winning, redesigned Walsh College website at http://www.walshcollege.edu/.

Looking to enhance your company’s web presence? Contact Paul Chambers at Element5 Digital online or by phone at (248) 530-1000 ext. 107.

About Walsh College
Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online.

Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.

Walsh College Will Award Doctor of Management Degrees to Three Students at 104th Commencement on January 24

Walsh College will award Doctor of Management (DM) in Executive Leadership degrees to Shanda Renee Carr, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Virginia A. Krolczyk, Washington Twp., Mich., and Gary Joseph Labbe, Leonard, Mich., at the College’s 104th Commencement on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at Zion Christian Church, Troy, Mich.

“These three doctoral students have added substantially to the knowledge base of contemporary business management and leadership,” said Linda Hagan, Ph.D., director, DM Program, and chair and professor, Business Communication department.

“They reflect the high quality of business scholarship and academics that are a hallmark of Walsh College and its students,” Dr. Hagan added. “We are proud of their outstanding achievements.”

Dr. Carr’s dissertation explored the effect of leadership style on the advancement of middle management women in the healthcare industry. It also investigated the roles of education, age, and ethnicity in the determination of leadership styles – transactional, transformational, or ‘laissez-faire.’

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Business with a BBA in accounting, Dr. Carr also earned a master’s degree from Eastern Michigan University with a concentration in interdisciplinary technology. She is employed at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, corporate finance division, as director, cash operations and customer accounting.

Dr. Krolczyk examined superintendent leadership style and student success. Her study examined the relationship among the superintendents’ leadership styles, the state of Michigan K-12 public school district rankings, and district size. The findings revealed a positive relationship between the district’s size and the superintendent’s leadership style.

She received a bachelor’s degree in education from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in school guidance and counseling from University of Detroit Mercy. She also obtained an educational specialist certificate in administration from Wayne State University. Dr. Krolczyk is an adjunct professor, Graduate College of Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Siena Heights University. She is also a high school guidance counselor with Utica Community Schools.

Dr. Labbe explored the effectiveness of selected elements of structural capital that facilitate nursing team clinical performance in a hospital setting. Leadership, collaboration, functional diversity, trust, empowerment, and goals were the selected elements of structural capital that were examined in this quantitative study using secondary data. The study determined there was a correlation between the individual elements of empowerment and team clinical performance.

Dr. Labbe holds a BS in speech and dramatic arts from Eastern Michigan University and a Master of Science in Management from Walsh College. He retired after a career in the field of information technology, spending 27 years with RGIS LLC, an inventory service company.

For more information on Walsh College, visit www.walshcollege.edu.

WALSH COLLEGE

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online. Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (www.ncahlc.org; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, www.acbsp.org) accredits specific degree programs.