Employers Take Note: New Michigan Law Bans Employers from Accessing Employee Social Media Sites

Detroit, Mich. —December 28, 2012 — Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Burwell, P.C., is encouraging employers to take note that Governor Rick Snyder signed a social media password protection bill today making it illegal for employers to request or require that employees or applicants provide log-in information for a personal social media account, like Facebook. The “Internet Privacy Protection Act” is effective immediately and applicable to employers and educational institutions.

For most employers, this new legislation will not result in any significant changes in the hiring and employment decision process. “In general, we are finding that employers are not requesting social media log-in and passwords from prospective employees or current employees,” says Patricia Nemeth of Nemeth Burwell, P.C. “Nonetheless, this is another law on the books that employers need to be aware of and comply with when making employment decisions.”

Pursuant to the Act, employers are prohibited from 1) requesting that an employee or an applicant “grant access to, allow observation of, or disclose information that allows access to or observation of the employee’s or applicant’s personal Internet account” and 2) from discharging, disciplining, failing to hire, or otherwise penalizing an employee or applicant for failing to disclose or provide access to a personal Internet account.

Employers who violate the Act are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.00. Individuals can also bring a civil action in district court and may recover up to $1,000.00 in damages, plus reasonable attorney fees and costs. The Act includes some exceptions where an employer is permitted to ask for an employee or job applicant’s social media account information. Under the Act, an employer will continue to be able to:

• Request or require an employee to disclose log-in information for an electronic communication device paid for in whole or in part by the employer;
• Request or require an employee to disclose log-in information for “an account or service provided by the employer, obtained by virtue of the employee’s employment relationship with the employer, or used for the employer’s business purposes”;
• Discipline or discharge an employee for transferring proprietary or confidential employer information to an employee’s personal internet account without authorization;
• Conduct an investigation or require an employee to cooperate in an investigation under certain limited circumstances; and
• Implement or enforce a workplace Internet usage and/or monitoring policy

Employers may at times, be in a position where compliance with another federal or state law requires violating the Internet Privacy Protection Act. In recognition of this possibility, the Act states that employers can use their compliance with the state or federal law as an affirmative defense to claims alleged.

Several states, including California, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, and New Jersey have enacted similar laws. Many other states have social media protection bills pending.

Employers who use social media when researching applicants or when deciding to implement employment decisions need to consider not only the new Internet Privacy Protection Act, but also employment discrimination and privacy laws that may apply.

“The issue of privacy and the Internet continues to develop with not only Michigan addressing this evolving issue, but also the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. legislature and the courts,” said Nemeth. “Employers should continue to monitor the evolving electronic privacy issues and review and implement practices and policies accordingly.”

About Nemeth Burwell, P.C.: Nemeth Burwell (www.nemethburwell.com) specializes in employment litigation, traditional labor law and management consultation for private and public sector employers. It is the largest women-owned law firm in Michigan to exclusively represent management in the prevention, resolution and litigation of labor and employment disputes.

Auburn Hills Hires Coordinator of Community Promotions and Coordinator of Website and Graphic Design

Auburn Hills, MI—December 26, 2012— The City of Auburn Hills, a dynamic community committed to innovation and growth, announces that Mike Espejo has been hired as the City’s Coordinator of Community Promotions and Julie Knight has been hired as Coordinator of Website and Graphic Design. Both positions are part-time.

Julie Knight is a December 2012 graduate of Oakland University and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in writing and rhetoric and a minor in graphic design. She graduated from Clarkston High School in 2008 and, during her junior and senior years, attended Oakland Technical Center’s northwest campus for Visual Imaging Technology. Julie joins the City of Auburn Hills from the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce, where she served as a student intern and assisted in the creation of communication and promotional materials. She is a resident of Clarkston.

Mike Espejo received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Oakland University in 2012. At Oakland, he was a reporter for the Oakland Post, the campus newspaper, and covered local, national and campus news. Espejo also worked for the OU News Bureau, a student-run blog that covers campus and tri-county news and focuses on traditional reporting and multimedia stories for the web. He also spearheaded a successful effort to establish the OU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists during his senior year. At the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Region 4 Conference in East Lansing, he served on a panel discussing how college-level and professional news outlets can use social media and other networking tools to establish relationships with their audiences and distribute their product. Immediately prior to joining the City of Auburn Hills, Espejo interned with Metro Parent Publishing Group in Ferndale, writing event features and local news articles. He is a resident of Clarkston.

“We are pleased to have Mike Espejo and Julie Knight join our team. Their respective talents will serve us well as they advance the City’s efforts to focus on multiple communication channels to reach out to our constituents and promote the numerous events and economic development initiatives offered in Auburn Hills,” said Assistant City Manager Tom Tanghe.

About Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, a dynamic community committed to innovation and growth, is home to 20,000 residents and also serves as Michigan’s global business address, with 40 international corporations from 32 countries housed here, including Chrysler Group LLC and Borg Warner headquarters. Auburn Hills’ residents enjoy the amenities of city and suburban living with parks, a revitalized downtown district and a welcoming city complex with a library and community center. Additionally, the city has five colleges and universities, the award winning Palace of Auburn Hills entertainment complex and Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, one of the state’s largest destination shopping centers, providing a variety of cultural, social and educational opportunities to residents, workers and visitors. Learn more at www.auburnhills.org.

Crestmark Wins Three Awards of Excellence from the American Graphic Design

(TROY, MICHIGAN, December 20, 2012) Striving for excellence continues to pay off for Crestmark – most recently with the win of three 2012 Awards of Excellence from the American Graphic Design Awards. The company was recognized for the Holiday Greeting 2011, created of handmade paper by workers with disabilities or disadvantages; the Get a Leg Up Advertisement, with a focus on transportation financing; and the On the Move Florida Direct Mail, which notified industry contacts about the West Palm Beach office move. Lisa Beattie, Crestmark’s Vice President, Communications/Marketing Director created these pieces; this is the sixth year Lisa’s creative with Crestmark has been recognized.

The American Graphic Design Awards spotlights more than 8,000 entries from the graphics arts community – from advertising agencies and graphic design firms, to corporations, publishers, and more. Of those entries, 15 percent are recognized with an Awards Certificate of Excellence. The awards honor outstanding work across all media, including print and collateral, advertising and sales promotions, Internet and interactive design and other creative. This national design competition is sponsored by Graphic Design USA.

“It is great to have Crestmark’s messaging to the marketplace be recognized by the design industry,” said Marty Blake, Executive Vice President. “We’re proud of the quality work that Lisa and her team do for the Crestmark brand.”

Crestmark is a nationally known and respected FDIC-insured bank that provides innovative financial solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. Financing solutions include asset-based lending, accounts receivable financing, lines of credit and factoring. Crestmark finances most business-to-business companies, and has extensive experience in helping many industries including transportation, manufacturing, staffing, government contractors, apparel and furniture manufacturing. Headquartered in Michigan, with offices in Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, New York, Alabama, California, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas. www.crestmark.com

Ann Arbor Attorney Elected to Shareholder at Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione

ANN ARBOR – December 20, 2012 – John A. Lingl, an attorney in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., has been elected a shareholder in the firm effective January 2013.

Mr. Lingl focuses his practice on patent, copyright and trademark litigation. In addition, he prosecutes both foreign and domestic patent applications in numerous areas including semiconductors, electrical systems, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) systems, packet switching and routing, network traffic optimization, Internet search technologies, advertising and behavioral targeting technologies, optical systems, terahertz radiation systems, x-ray systems, automotive interior systems and automotive powertrain systems.

Earlier this year, Mr. Lingl was named a Rising Star by Michigan Super Lawyers. The Rising Star recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state who are 40 years old or younger or have been practicing for 10 years or less. Mr. Lingl holds a J.D. from The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from Kettering University.

In addition to Mr. Lingl, five other attorneys were elected as shareholders at Brinks effective January 2013; they are Bashir M.S. Ali, David P. Lindner, Stephen C. Smith, Scott A. Timmerman and Mircea A. Tipescu.

“Each of these six attorneys has demonstrated excellence in client service and expertise in important aspects of intellectual property law. We congratulate each of them on their achievements,” said James R. Sobieraj, Brinks’ president. “Collectively, our new shareholders represent our firm’s commitment to building a deep expertise across all areas of IP legal practice in every field of technology and science.”

Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione
Brinks has more than 140 attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents who specialize in intellectual property, making it one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them identify, protect, manage and enforce their intellectual property. Brinks lawyers provide expertise in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law. The Brinks team includes lawyers with advanced degrees in all fields of technology and science. In addition to Ann Arbor, Brinks has offices in Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Research Triangle Park, N.C., Salt Lake City and Washington, D.C. More information is available at www.usebrinks.com.


Detroit Regional Chamber Economic Development Update, December 2012

Detroit Regional Chamber’s Economic Development Year in Review

In this final 2012 newsletter, I am pleased to be able to look back on a list of economic development accomplishments this year of which we are all intensely proud. Our Detroit Regional Chamber team:

  • Launched MICHauto, the first program to focus exclusively on promoting, retaining and growing Michigan’s automotive assets;
  • Launched the Detroit Regional Prosperity Campaign to affirm the Chamber’s principles of regional collaboration and economic development through a multi-year fundraising campaign; as you read last month, the Campaign is more than halfway to its $2 million annual goal;
  • Participated in both of Governor Rick Snyder’s trade and investment missions (Europe and China);
  • And entered into strategic partnerships with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for each of the Chamber’s economic development programs.

The Chamber economic development team will waste no time in the new year, launching MICHauto’s Michigan Is Auto report on January 10, a first-of-its-kind publication that details the depth, economic role and growth potential of Michigan’s automotive assets. Following a full slate of activities at the North American International Auto Show, the Chamber will begin convening key stakeholders and investors to engage on its economic development committees to seek guidance and advice for each of the programs.

A calendar of committee meetings is scheduled to be released during the week of January 7, 2013. As always, input and support are welcome and the Chamber wishes you a holiday filled with joy and meaning.

Benjamin Erulkar
Senior Vice President, Economic Development
Detroit Regional Chamber

MICHauto to Hold Annual Meeting and Reception for Automotive Suppliers

On Thursday, January 10, MICHauto is hosting the East Meets West: An Automotive Supplier Forum, a small, private roundtable for Michigan’s automotive executives. Attendees will participate in a discussion focused on how Michigan can be a more competitive location for the automotive industry, informing future conversations with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Governor’s office. Immediately following this event, the 2nd Annual MICHauto Meeting and Reception will take place, where the Michigan is Auto report will be released. The report is a substantive analysis of the automotive assets and resources that continue to make Michigan the preferred location for automotive investment. Attendees will also hear a brief recap of MICHauto’s first year in operation and be treated to a panel discussion and a special keynote address regarding the contents of the report.

Earlier this month, MICHauto participated in the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association’s (MEMA) Government Affairs Committee quarterly meeting. Brad Williams, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s vice president of government relations, familiarized the committee with the Chamber’s presence in Lansing, recent legislative victories and summarized pending state legislation with automotive implications. MICHauto looks forward to building a partnership with MEMA to increase the automotive industry’s unified presence in Lansing. For more information on MICHauto, please contact Rob Luce.

Chamber’s Business Attraction Team Continues to Advance Regional Economy

The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Business Attraction team has been pleased with the recent activity in attracting new prospects as a result of the increased positive marketing of the region and overall improvement in the economy. The Chamber works diligently to provide the best possible response to inquiries within 24 hours – better than industry standards.

Each of the requests have different factors, these include information such as utility rates and wage information. Recent manufacturing prospects have been international in nature – Canada, Germany and China representing the largest portion of inquiries in the past months. Since August of 2012, Business Attraction had responded to more than 50 leads for the region.

The Business Attraction team is also partnering with local partners to close deals, including a large port project in Wayne County; a Canadian automotive supplier considering Macomb County; the location of an Italian engineering firm; and the continued work with several Italian automotive suppliers in Oakland County. 2013 is projected to be a year of significant growth in the region, and assets like the skilled workforce, lower state tax structure and supply chain will attract and secure more deals. For more information on the Chamber’s business attraction efforts, please contact Maureen Krauss.

Connection Point Hosts Successful Winter Supplier Summit with Consumers Energy

On December 12, Connection Point hosted the Consumers Energy Winter Supplier Summit at the Kellogg Center in East Lansing in partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Pure Michigan Business Connect program and Consumers Energy. This all-day forum attracted 95 attendees representing 44 companies to explore current and future business opportunities between Consumers Energy and Michigan suppliers. The event began with a morning keynote address from Dan Malone, senior vice president, distribution and customer operation, Consumers Energy; and Mike Finney, president and CEO, MEDC; who highlighted Consumer’s commitment to buy from Michigan suppliers. The event also featured a panel discussion and also highlighted the Connection Point exercise culminating with the identification of an additional 54 needs for suppliers to discuss throughout the Summit.

As a show of its commitment to Michigan-based suppliers, Consumers Energy had 30 employees from a range of departments attend the Summit to ensure all suppliers attending had access to discuss current and future procurement opportunities. This event had the highest turnout from a buying organization at a Connection Point event thus far. Connection Point is continuing the dialogue with new buying entities both in-state and nationally in 2013 and is working to uncover new opportunities in the automotive, energy and technology sectors, among others. For more information on Connection Point, please contact Ryan Michael.

Translinked Participates in Committee to Develop and Launch Regional Supply Chain Sector

Since last March, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development have convened a statewide committee to develop and launch a strategy for the regional supply chain sector (encompassing Michigan, Southwest Ontario and Northwest Ohio). Along with groups such as Business Leaders for Michigan and the Center for Automotive Research, Translinked has participated fully in the committee, which is now nearing completion of its strategy development work. The Logistics and Supply Chain Strategy is expected to be finalized in the next few weeks.

In early 2013, Translinked will a) participate in the launch of the statewide strategy, b) continue to work with the state and other stakeholders to begin to focus on implementing the action strategies, c) provide economic development and other stakeholders an online supply chain promotional toolkit, accessible through the Chamber’s website, and d) convene key supply chain actors to develop the logistics platform of the Chamber’s business attraction strategy. For more information, please contact Benjamin Erulkar.

Dale Carnegie Training Franchise Helps Detroit Students Succeed Through Development Program

The Dale Carnegie Training of Southeastern Michigan and the Detroit Regional Chamber Education Engagement Project are making a point to help students locally through their newest venture, the Dale Carnegie Barfield Entrepreneurial & Leadership Development Program. Thirty high school students at the Detroit Edison Public School Academy are participating in this year-long pilot program, which is the same foundational course taken by business executives all over the world. Once the pilot program is completed, program partners and contributors Mark Will and Brandon Marsh hope to expand to other schools.

This pilot Dale Carnegie training program is just one of 36 business education partnerships operating in Detroit schools as a result of the Education Engagement Project led by Brooke Franklin. For more information about this project or how to get engaged in K-12 education in Detroit, please contact Brooke at 313.596.0365.

Crestmark Closes Seven Transactions Totaling more than $6.5 Million the First Two Weeks of December

TROY, Michigan (December 19, 2012) – During the first two weeks of December a total of $6,550,000 in financial solutions was secured for seven new Crestmark clients.

•A $500,000 Accounts Receivable Purchase facility was funded December 3 for a California trucking company. The company transports produce and meats throughout the United States. Funding will be used for amortization and to reduce borrowing costs.

•Also on December 3, a South Carolina trucking company received a $150,000 Accounts Receivable Purchase facility to help facilitate start-up. This trucking company hauls general freight, and was referred to Crestmark by an existing client.

•A North Carolina plastic injection molding company was provided a $1,500,000 Accounts Receivable and Inventory Ledgered Line of Credit facility on December 4. Funding will be used for working capital.

•Crestmark provided a $1,500,000 Traditional Factoring facility arrangement on December 6 for a New Jersey-based company that sells designer accessories to retailers across the county.

•An Ohio printing company was funded a $1,750,000 Asset-Based Lending facility with advances on accounts receivable and inventory on December 7.

•On December 13 a New York computer assemblies and manufacturer was funded a $400,000 Term Loan facility with advances on machinery and equipment. The company has been in business for over 37 years.

•Also on December 13, and Illinois hospitality staffing company received a $750,000 Ledgered Line of Credit facility with advances on Accounts Receivable. The client was sourced from an existing customer and funding will be used for working capital.

Crestmark is a nationally known and respected FDIC-insured bank that provides innovative financial solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses. Financing solutions include asset-based lending, accounts receivable financing, lines of credit and factoring. Crestmark finances most business-to-business companies, and has extensive experience in helping many industries including transportation, manufacturing, staffing, government contractors, apparel and furniture manufacturing. Headquartered in Michigan, with offices in Florida, Louisiana, Tennessee, New York, Alabama, California, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, and Texas. www.crestmark.com

PwC US Announces New Managing Partner as Firm Opens Doors at One Detroit Center

Ray Telang is Appointed Managing Partner for PwC’s Michigan and Northwest Ohio Practice as 700 employees moving into new space

DETROIT, December 18, 2012 – PwC US, one of Metro Detroit’s largest professional services firms, announced today that it has appointed Detroit-based Ray Telang as market managing partner for its Greater Michigan Market, which includes Michigan and Northwest Ohio. This news comes as the firm relocated its more than 700 people to a new home in Downtown Detroit’s One Detroit Center.

“Ray brings more than 20 years of accounting and business consulting knowledge to our clients in the region, including a proven track record serving Michigan’s largest public and private companies,” said Dave Breen, PwC’s outgoing market managing partner who will retire this summer after 38 years with the firm.  “Ray’s wide range of client and leadership experiences will serve him well in taking on this important role for our market and the firm.”

A native Detroiter and proud to call this community his home, Telang joined PwC’s Detroit office in 1988 and previously served as the Greater Michigan market assurance leader where he led more than 350 partners and staff. He is a Certified Public Accountant, licensed in Michigan and New York and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants.

Telang received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and currently serves on the Paton Accounting Advisory Board of its Ross Business School, as well as the Audit Committee of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

A promising future in downtown Detroit

With veteran partner Telang leading the practice, PwC, which provides auditing and assurance, tax and consulting services, has recommitted to a future in downtown Detroit. The firm signed a multi-year lease to occupy approximately 70,000 square feet of the building located at 500 Woodward in the heart of the city. The firm will occupy three floors of the landmark building.

In addition to signaling its faith in an exciting and thriving part of the central business district, PwC chose the building to accommodate its new flexible workspace needs and growing workforce.

Commenting on his strategic vision for the practice, Telang stated, “Greater Michigan is home to some of the nation’s most notable companies, and PwC is committed to delivering high quality services to assist our clients in managing their growth. We see a bright future here and intend to continue our commitment to the city of Detroit and to the community in our new space.”

In talking about the new workspace, Telang noted that PwC’s business and culture are based on building relationships, providing quality services and delivering value for our clients.

“We’re building our space based on feedback from our people, which will include the traditional enclosed offices and a more modern and progressive open floor plan, to enhance team collaboration and client service delivery,” Telang said.  “This will be aided by advanced media sharing technologies throughout the office.  We’re building the workplace of the future with a focus on efficiency, personal flexibility and a concern for the environment.”

About the PwC Network

PwC firms help organizations and individuals create the value they’re looking for. We’re a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

Learn more about PwC by following us online: @PwC_LLP, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google +.

© 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership. All rights reserved. PwC refers to the US member firm, and may sometimes refer to the PwC network. Each member firm is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

This content is for general information purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

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Specs Howard School and Rochester College Renew Articulation Agreement

Specs Howard School of Media Arts and Rochester College are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their educational partnership and the matriculation of more than 400 students by signing a renewed articulation agreement between the two schools.

The new agreement will allow for the transfer of more credits between the educational institutions. The announcement was made by Lisa Zahodne, president, Specs Howard School of Media Arts, and Dr. John Barton, provost, Rochester College.

Under terms of the new agreement, Rochester College will accept up to 33 hours of transfer credit hours from Specs Howard, up from 24 credit hours, marking one of the highest credit transfers options in Michigan higher education. The arrangement applies to students seeking Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication degrees.

“Our longstanding relationship with Rochester College has been precedent-setting and significant,” said Zahodne. “More importantly, we are ensuring our students are well-prepared for rewarding careers by expanding their educational options.”

Added Barton: “In today’s competitive environment, securing a well-rounded education is paramount. Our partnership with Specs Howard School has proven uniquely beneficial to hundreds of individuals over the years; providing both a rich educational experience and a solid, practical foundation for work and life.”

The schools offer two unique ways to benefit from the synergies of their agreement:
* Students can begin their education in Broadcast Media Arts, Graphic Design or Digital Media Arts with Specs Howard and apply their diploma toward completion of a four-year degree at Rochester College.

* Mass Communication students at Rochester College matriculate into Specs Howard to complete their coursework there during their Junior Year.

“By having two different methods of credits transfer, students are presented with a wider range of options in how they would like to engage their academic careers,” said Zahodne.

Students can achieve their diploma through Specs Howard programs and work in the industry while finishing their two- or four-year degree at Rochester College. Or, if a degree is their primary focus, students have the opportunity to benefit from the educational resources of both schools, ensuring both time and financial efficiencies.

About Specs Howard School
The Specs Howard School of Media Arts, based in Southfield, Mich., has been one of the nation’s leading private communications schools since 1970. Offering undergraduate programs of study in Broadcast Media Arts, Graphic Design, and Digital Media Arts, the school is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools & Colleges (ACCSC). For more information about the school, visit www.specshoward.edu.

About Rochester College
Founded in 1959, Rochester College is an accredited, independent liberal arts college that pursues academic excellence in a Christian setting. With more than 1,200 students, both in traditional, adult learning and early college programs, RC offers bachelor degree programs at four locations and a master’s degree in religious education. For more information about Rochester College, visit www.rc.edu.

December 18, 2012: Chamber Offices Closed Dec. 25 – Jan. 1; Michigan Visit to ‘Morning Joe’ Postponed

Happy Holidays from the Detroit Regional Chamber

The Detroit Regional Chamber offices will be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 25 through Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2012. From all of the staff at the Chamber, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday. We will see you in the New Year.

Michigan Visit to ‘Morning Joe’ Postponed

Due to the need for continued news coverage of the tragedy that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday, Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah’s scheduled appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” news program yesterday was postponed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time.

Don’t Miss 2013 North American International Auto Show, Jan. 14-27The 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicks off with the Press Preview on January 14, a two-day media event packed with new vehicle and industry announcements that are grabbing attention around the world. The Press Preview, which hosts more than 5,000 credentialed journalists from around the globe, precedes the Industry Preview on January 16-17 and Charity Preview on January 18.

The show opens to the public on Saturday, January 19, when visitors can see more than 500 vehicles representing the most innovative designs in the world on display, and experience North America’s largest and most prestigious automotive showcase. Purchase tickets today to be a part of all the exciting NAIAS events here or visit official the 2013 NAIAS website for more information.

Chamber Launches New Small Business Select Program Featuring Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

The Detroit Regional Chamber has been working closely with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) to address the changing environment brought about by health care reform. As such, the Chamber is happy to announce that the current Chamber-sponsored insurance program is being replaced with a new package called Small Business Select, featuring BCBSM. The Small Business Select program provides Chamber members with health insurance options, guidance and education.

Members currently enrolled in the Chamber program will not see any changes to their current benefit plans and will be able to access a broader array of amenities. The Small Business Select program includes decision-making tools, discounts and services, and additional educational resources that help businesses understand health care. Small Business Select is part of the My Chamber Advantage (MYCA) suite of products and services and is available to all registered members of the My Chamber Advantage.

Register Today for Connections & Cocktails, January 10Join the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Small Business: Unlocked programming for Connections & Cocktails on Thursday, January 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Red Velvet Room at Beans & Cornbread in Southfield. Take this opportunity to interact with potential clients and business professionals in a casual, after work environment.  To register, click here.

Jocelyn Benson Joins Michigan Campaign to Fix the Debt

From Fix the Debt Michigan
December 18, 2012

Prominent Democrat joins Business Owners, Local Elected Officials, Community Leaders Calling on Federal Lawmakers to Find Practical Solutions

December 18, 2012 (Lansing, Michigan): The Campaign to Fix the Debt – a national nonpartisan coalition of business leaders, elected officials, community leaders, academics and individual citizens is pleased to announce that Jocelyn Benson, Interim Dean, Wayne State University Law School and Director of the Michigan Center for Election Law, will co-chair the effort in Michigan.

Jocelyn Benson joins Campaign to Fix the Debt Michigan co-chairs Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. Benson, Sikkema and Baruah are calling on policy makers in Washington to put aside political differences to forge a credible plan to stabilize and bring down our national debt.

“Jocelyn’s experience and background is a strong addition to non-partisan effort to come together and tackle a challenging problem,” said Campaign to Fix the Debt state co-chair Sandy K. Baruah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “Resolving this issue will take a smart combination of spending restraint, revenue enhancements and a robustly growing economy. We must continue to urge President Obama and our leaders in Congress to work together to find resolution.”

“No other issue is as urgent or important to our country as addressing both the immediate and long-term debt problems the U.S. currently faces,” Jocelyn Benson, Campaign to Fix the Debt state co-chair, who is the President of the Military Spouses of Michigan and former Michigan Democratic Party Candidate for Secretary of State said. “In recent years the national debt has grown to unsustainable levels relative to the size of our economy, placing an untenable burden on many small businesses, veterans and military families.”

To date, the Campaign to Fix the Debt has attracted more than 300,000 grassroots supporters from across the county, including the active support from small businesses, volunteers and local officials in Michigan. The Campaign to Fix the Debt is committed to advocating for our elected leaders to avert the cliff while gradually putting our debt on a sustainable course by generating more tax revenues and making smart spending cuts to programs that aren’t working or aren’t necessary.

Through grassroots organizing, earned media activities and high-profile outreach, the Campaign to Fix the Debt is urging lawmakers to set aside political differences to formulate practical solutions to our nation’s debt problems.

Jocelyn Benson is the Interim Dean at Wayne State University Law School where she serves as the Associate Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. She is the founder and Director of the Michigan Center for Election Law, and is a member of the national board of directors for iCivics, Inc., a non-profit created by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to improve civics education throughout the country. She was asked to serve on the national board of directors of iCivics, Inc., a non-profit created by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to improve civics education throughout the country. Benson, a military spouse, is also the current President of the Military Spouses of Michigan. In 2010 she was the Michigan Democratic Party’s candidate for Secretary of State. For more information, please visit www.jocelynbenson.com

For more information, and to sign the campaign’s Citizen’s Petition, please visit www.fixthedebt.org.