Butzel Long attorney named to Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Paul Fransway has been named to Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers 2013. This honor is bestowed on only the leading franchise practitioners worldwide.

Based in the firm’s Ann Arbor office, Fransway concentrates his practice in franchise, trademark and unfair competition law. He serves as primary franchise counsel for a number of national franchisors, and he helps them comply with disclosure and registration requirements under the Federal Trade Commission and various state laws. He also is an expert in all aspects of franchise contract enforcement, including covenants not to compete, trademark infringement, and post-termination remedies, both in court and in arbitration.

His experience in the areas of business and intellectual property law have included the drafting and negotiation of services, nondisclosure, trademark licensing; mergers and acquisitions; information technology and intellectual property management and compliance policies; and the prosecution of trademark registration applications and management of trademark portfolios including the defense and prosecution of opposition and cancellation proceedings before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Fransway also is actively involved in local government and nonprofit community activities. He has served as Board Trustee for the Charter Township of Lyon in Oakland County, Mich. and as a member of its Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission. He also acts as special counsel and as a director or trustee for a number of community organizations including various primary schools, post secondary educational institutions and national nonprofit educational organizations.

He is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center (J.D. magna cum laude, 1977) where he also received a Master of Law degree in taxation (LL.M. 1987), and of Michigan State University (B.S. 1972). Fransway is a member of the American Bar Association and the State Bars of Texas, Florida, and Michigan.

About Butzel Long

Established in 1854, Butzel Long is a full-service law firm with offices in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. The firm is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Visit the Butzel Long website at www.butzel.com.

Hitachi Business Finance Ends 2013 on Strong Note

Rochester, MI, Dec. 19, 2013 – Hitachi Business Finance, a division of Hitachi Capital America Corp., today announced that they will close 2013 providing more capital to more clients than it has in previous years.

“While the lending industry continues to find its footing, 2013 was a great year for Hitachi Business Finance,” said Mike Semanco, president and COO of the division. “Our continued growth is attributable to our team’s solutions-based expertise in helping growing companies finance new sales growth, increase profitability, and provide consistent cash flow. Even with uncertain economic conditions and a highly-competitive lending environment, Hitachi Business Finance is on track to make 2014 even better.”

Within the latter part of 2013, Hitachi Business Finance financed:

• $8 million asset-based lending facility to a wireless tower services firm in North Carolina.

• $4 million asset-based lending transaction to an LED lighting supplier in Texas

• $2.5 million asset-based lending facility for a Michigan-based plastic injection molding firm

• $1.5 million asset-based lending facility to a manufacturer of specialized ductwork coatings in Michigan

• $1 million factoring facility to an optical inspection equipment manufacturer in Michigan

• $500,000 factoring facility to a Michigan staffing services agency

• $300,000 factoring facility to a candy importer based in Michigan

Semanco also adds: “There is no doubt that 2013 was a great year for us. As we move into 2014, we will continue to capitalize on our mission of offering flexible financing solutions to complex business issues.”

About Hitachi Business Finance
Hitachi Business Finance (formerly Hennessey Capital) is a division of Hitachi Capital America Corp. and provides customized, flexible financing solutions for companies looking for creative options to grow and sustain their businesses. Our solutions include factoring and revolving lines of credit secured by accounts receivable, inventory, and equipment. Based in Rochester, Michigan, we provide financing solutions for small to mid-market companies across the United States. Learn more by calling (248) 658-1100.

About Hitachi Capital America Corp.
Hitachi Capital America Corp. is an independent, diversified leasing and financial services company providing financing to Hitachi group companies and the commercial business sector in the United States and Canada. Hitachi Capital America offers a variety of asset-based financing solutions with a business focus on truck, vendor, trade, and medical equipment finance, as well as lease discounting and software financing.

Learn more at www.hitachicapitalamerica.com

Dykema Earns 100-Point Rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2014 Corporate Equality Index

Dykema, a leading national law firm, announces today that it received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2014 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to workplace equality.

Dykema has been designated as one of the “Best Places to Work,” and joins the ranks of more than 300 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is one of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations focused on achieving equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Over the past 12 years, the CEI has become the top standard for corporate policies and practices related to LGBT employees and their families. The CEI rates companies on 40 policies and practices.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be given a perfect rating by the Human Rights Campaign,” said Peter M. Kellett, Dykema’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As this is a firm-wide honor, I want to congratulate everyone who has helped make Dykema such an inclusive environment for all its employees.”

To arrive at these scores, the HRC uses objective criteria such as equal employment opportunities, employment benefits, organizational competency, public engagement and responsible citizenship. This 100-point score marks the first time Dykema has achieved a perfect CEI rating.

“To receive a perfect 100-point score from the Human Rights Campaign is a major accomplishment and a demonstration of the hard work of the firm, and in particular, those who work tirelessly on the Diversity & Inclusion Committee,” said Sherrie Farrell, Chair of Dykema’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

A total of 934 businesses have been rated in the 2014 CEI, including the entire Fortune 500. This year, a record 303 of the Fortune 500-ranked businesses have official CEI ratings, with the other 197 unofficially rated based upon publicly-available data.

View the full report at www.hrc.org/cei.

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 www.dykema.com and follow Dykema on Twitter http://twitter.com/Dykema.

About The Human Rights Campaign

The Human Rights Campaign is one of America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Thomas Sugrue

David Boies Professor of History and Sociology, University of Pennsylvania

Tom_Sugrue_colorThomas Sugrue, a David Boies professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, is also the director of the Penn Social Science and Policy Forum. The Detroit native is an award-winning teacher and renowned author, having published on a wide range of topics, including the history of American cities, civil rights, liberal and conservative politics, labor, ethnicity, race and public policy. Most notably, his book, “The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit,” won four awards, and was tabbed by the Detroit Free Press as “the most interesting, informative and provocative book on modern Detroit.”

Sugrue has served as the president of the Urban History Association and the Social Science History Association, and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of American Historians. His reviews and essays have been published in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Washington Post, London Review of Books, Washington Monthly, The Nation and The Atlantic Online.

Sugrue was educated at Columbia University; King’s College, Cambridge; and Harvard University, where he earned his PhD.

Butzel Long attorney appointed by the U.S. District Court as a Member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder David F. DuMouchel has been appointed by the United States District Court Eastern District of Michigan as a Member of the Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel. He is one of 13 metro Detroit lawyers and community leaders to receive this appointment.

Based in Butzel Long’s Detroit office, Mr. DuMouchel chairs the firm’s Corporate Compliance, Internal Investigations and Criminal Defense practice.

DuMouchel’s practice is limited to white collar criminal defense, professional licensure and criminal health care, criminal IRS investigations of both taxpayers and professionals, SEC enforcement of corporate executives, public corruption, as well as grand jury investigations, internal corporate investigations and compliance.

Earlier this year, DuMouchel was appointed to serve as a voting member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission Practitioners Advisory Group. One person from each of the 11 federal circuits is appointed to this group.

He is a recipient of the prestigious Leonard Gilman Award from the Federal Bar Association as the outstanding criminal law practitioner in the Eastern District of Michigan. He has been named by Best Lawyers as the “2010 Detroit Criminal Defense: White-Collar Lawyer of the Year.” Only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”

DuMouchel has been listed in each Best Lawyers edition for the last 30 years, up to and including the most recent. He also is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and in Michigan Super Lawyers.

He is a frequent speaker on internal corporate investigations and federal criminal procedure matters.

DuMouchel is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an organization limited to one percent of the trial lawyers in a state by invitation; serves as a member of the Criminal Procedure Committee; and, is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers. DuMouchel served as the first Chairman of the State of Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission.

About Butzel Long

Established in 1854, Butzel Long is a full-service law firm with offices in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as alliance offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Mexico City and Monterrey. The firm is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Visit the Butzel Long website at www.butzel.com.

Grant Thornton expands Gaglio’s role within Midwest Valuation Services practice

Grant Thornton expands Gaglio’s role within Midwest Valuation Services practice

DETROIT, December 13, 2013—Grant Thornton LLP has expanded the role of Detroit-based Philip Gaglio within its Midwest Valuation Services practice.

In addition to his current responsibilities as the Valuation Services practice leader in Detroit, Gaglio will play a larger role in further growing the firm’s Midwest valuation practices in Chicago, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Milwaukee. He will also assist by expanding the group’s valuation-related service offerings while helping to address any risk issues.

“With more companies being bought and sold as a result of the strengthening economy, demand for our services has increased,” said Mark Sullivan, leader of Grant Thornton’s Midwest Forensic and Valuation Services practice. “As our Valuation practices continue to grow, Phil’s expertise in mergers and acquisitions, tax matters, financial reporting, Employee Stock Ownership Plans and litigation support will be invaluable. I appreciate his taking on this expanded role.”

Gaglio has more than 25 years of valuation, financial analysis and litigation support experience. He has been a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) since 1993 and has valued numerous public and private companies as well as intangible assets across a wide variety of industry sectors such as manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, retail and technology. In addition to his considerable valuation experience, Gaglio has done work in connection with quantifying economic damages in litigated matters such as breach of contract cases, shareholder disputes, labor matters and marital dissolutions. He has qualified and testified as an expert witness on numerous occasions in U.S. district court and various state circuit courts.

Gaglio is a past president and former board member of the CFA Society of Detroit. He is also a member of the Institute of Business Appraisers and the American Society of Appraisers (Candidate Member). Gaglio serves on the Healthcare Committee of the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and is part of the Michigan ESOP Association’s Executive Committee. He is past president of the Grosse Pointe, Mich., Sunrise Rotary.

Gaglio received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in business administration from The George Washington University.

About Grant Thornton LLP
Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity. In the United States, visit Grant Thornton LLP at www.GrantThornton.com.

Level One Bank partners with Toys for Tots for a season of giving Downriver

This holiday season, Toys for Tots once again embarked on its mission of providing holiday cheer to those who would otherwise go without. These efforts have been made possible with the help of Level One Bank, a local bank that has donated a 4,080 square foot commercial facility at 7700 Telegraph Road in Taylor, to serve as a distribution center for Allen Park, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, Southgate and Taylor throughout the holiday season.

Last Friday, December 13, trucks arrived at the distribution center bearing donated gifts for local children and families. The gifts are being sorted and packaged from wish lists and made available for pickup. In the five communities above, more than 1,700 families have submitted application to Toys for Tots to help their children have a Merry Christmas.

“The sheer number of toys donated each year is often overwhelming, even in a challenging economy,” said United States Marine Corps Sergeant Chad R. Gump. “Our volunteers work tirelessly to ensure every child has a present to open on Christmas morning.”

More than 30 volunteers work within the donated building to package and distribute toys.

“As a local bank, we play an important role in giving back to the communities we serve, especially during this time of year,” said Patrick J. Fehring, President & CEO of Level One Bank. “There is nothing more fulfilling than bringing joy to a child at Christmastime and the Level One team is grateful for the opportunity to support such a great cause.”
Toys for Tots will continue to occupy the Level One Bank-owned facility through January, as additional donations are collected, helping to provide the organization with a head start for Christmas 2014.

About Level One Bank

Level One Bank is a full-service, 5-Star BauerFinancial rated commercial and consumer bank committed to connecting with unparalleled service and delivering outstanding financial solutions. Owned and managed locally, Level One Bank is headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan with assets of approximately $600 million. It currently operates seven full-service banking centers, located throughout Oakland County and the surrounding communities. Level One’s Commercial Division provides a complete menu of products including lines of credit, term loans, leases, commercial mortgages, SBA loans, Export-Import Financing and a full suite of Treasury Management services. The Consumer Division offers personal savings and checking accounts, including free checking and competitive interest-bearing accounts such as Money Markets, IRAs, and CDs. The bank also provides a complete array of consumer loan products including residential mortgages, home equity, auto, and credit card services. Level One offers the sophistication of a big bank, the heart of a community bank, and the spirit of an entrepreneur. For more information, please visit www.levelonebank.com.

About Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve dedicated to distributing Christmas gifts to less fortunate children. The primary goal is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. To learn more about the Toys for Tots Foundation, please visit www.toysfortots.org.

Paul Tait

Executive Director, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

Paul Tait-editPaul Tait is the executive director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), where he oversees a staff of 64 employees and a budget of $9.5 million. Through Tait’s leadership, SEMCOG is responsible for planning and intergovernmental problem solving on a variety of multi-community and regional issues, including transportation, water quality, air quality, solid waste, land use, community and economic development, and data analysis.

Tait joined SEMCOG in 1972, serving in a variety of planning and administrative capacities before being named executive director in 1998. He also serves as the president of the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, a coalition of business, labor, government and education that is a catalyst for addressing some of Southeast Michigan’s most pressing issues.

A graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit program and a Certified Association Executive, awarded by the American Society of Association Executives, Tait has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in health planning, both from the University of Michigan.

Tammy Tedesco

President and CEO, Edibles Rex

Tammy Tedesco-editedThomasina Tedesco is the president and CEO of Edibles Rex, a catering business that provides fresh, creative food for corporate and social events. Since starting the business in 1992, Tedesco has built a reputation for superior customer service, presentation, nutrition and education for customers. She has catered to significant individuals and events including former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and Super bowl XL in Detroit.

Tedesco is dedicated to mentoring and training women to be successful in the food service industry, employing a staff of 80 percent women and providing mothers with flexible employment opportunities. She and Edibles Rex have earned numerous awards, some of which include the 2012 Athena International Leadership Award, being named one of 2013 ICIC Inner City Top 100 fastest growing urban businesses, and making the list as one of Inc.’s 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in 2012.

After applying for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses course, Tedesco was selected to be a participant in Detroit’s inaugural class in spring 2014.

Espy Thomas

Owner, Sweet Potato Sensations

Espy Thomas-editEspy Thomas is the “Queen of Awesomeness” and 2nd generation business owner. Sweet Potato Sensations is the Sweet Potato Lovers Heaven on earth and has been in business for 26 years revolutionizing how people think of sweet potatoes. Espy and her family are successfully carrying on the contributions of Dr. George Washington Carver. This Detroit landmark has created a menu with everything (from pies to ice cream) made with sweet potatoes.

Espy is a graduate of The Savannah College of Art and Design and has lived, worked and traveled overseas. She is a walking example of  posiitivity and creativity. She takes pride in being her true authentic self. Espy is taking her knowledge from as the president of her community business district,  Co-Founder of Naturally FLYY Detroit (A Natural Hair Women’s Empowerment Group), a “Dhive BUILD” graduate and a participant in TechTown’s SWOT City Program coupled with her passion, family values and convictions to be a strong force in taking Detroit and her family business to the next level. Recently Espy appeared on MSNBC alongside Warren Buffett and the CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfien, as the “face” of Detroit’s 1st Class for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.