Alexis Wiley

Wiley, AlexisAlexis Wiley is chief of staff for Mayor Mike Duggan. She joined the Duggan administration in 2014. Wiley oversees the implementation of the mayor’s initiatives, legislative affairs and external communications.

Since joining the city of Detroit, Wiley has led a number of key initiatives, including a program that helped thousands of Detroit citizens obtain assistance to avoid water shutoffs. She also created the Detroit Dashboard, a weekly blog that provides citizens with real-time statistics to evaluate the city’s service delivery.

Prior to joining the administration, Alexis was a reporter and anchor at WJBK Fox 2 Detroit. Her Emmy award-winning work has appeared on local television stations across the country and cable networks such as Fox News and CNN.

William Wild

William WildWilliam Wild is mayor of the city of Westland. Since taking office in 2007, Wild has made a commitment to strengthening economic development, making local government more responsive and efficient and seeking future innovative, cost effective solutions for delivering services. Under his administration, Westland is now recognized as a regional leader in all of these aspects.

Wild is also a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Legislative Governance Committee for the Michigan Municipal League. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA), and is the current chairman of the Central Wayne County Sanitation Authority (CWCSA).

Jennifer White

White, Jennifer updatedJennifer White is host of “All Things Considered” on Michigan Radio. She was previously executive producer and host of the television program, “Out of the Blue: The Michigan Difference,” on the Big 10 Network.

White was also the host of the nationally distributed public radio documentary, “Finding Our Bootstraps: Americans Deal With Recession,” and has served as executive producer and host of the public television programs “Out of the Box” and “Edible Legacies.”

A native of Detroit and graduate of the University of Michigan, she has worked at Michigan Public Media since 1999, most recently as the station’s director of media outreach and community relations.

S. Evan Weiner

Weiner cropS. Evan Weiner serves as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Edw. C. Levy Co. in Detroit. Weiner has been chairman of the board of The Henry Ford since 2009, serving as director since 2004. He is a trustee at Beaumont Hospital Inc. and director of William Beaumont Hospital Inc.

Weiner currently serves as a board member for the Beaumont Hospital Foundation and The Cultural Alliance of Southeast Michigan. He’s also a trustee for The Parade Company. He is a member of the National Council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and co-chairman of the Government Relations Oversight Committee for the Jewish Federation of Detroit.

Tom Walsh

Tom WalshTom Walsh is the business columnist for the Detroit Free Press, where he has worked since 1982. He was a city desk reporter, bureau chief, business editor and projects editor before assuming his current role in December 2001.

Walsh was a member of the board of governors of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) from 1995-98, and a Jefferson fellow in Pacific Rim Studies at the East-West Center in 1990. As a columnist, he has been honored with awards by the Detroit Press Club Foundation and the Michigan Associated Press Editorial Association.

A native of Chicago, he graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial management. In 1998, he completed a master’s degree in information management and communications at Walsh College in Troy.

Tech Race: Can Detroit Be the Next Silicon Valley

Making the Case for Michigan at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show

Bringing the message that Detroit is open for business, MICHauto, an economic development initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, promoted the region’s assets and world-class talent to the global consumer electronics industry at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas.

Glenn Stevens, vice president of MICHauto and strategic development, attended CES and said the show’s sheer size and focus — particularly in automotive innovation — presents an unparalleled opportunity to market Michigan to investors both nationally and internationally.

“A few years ago there was no automotive presence at the CES, now automotive is the driving presence,” Stevens said, adding that virtually every major global OEM company and more than 125 automotive tech companies, the most in recent years, attended the show.

Collaboration Stimulates Economic Opportunity in Michigan

MICHauto’s attendance at CES was coordinated to accomplish four objectives: gathering competitive intelligence for Michigan’s mobility initiative; assessing the competitive landscape of economic development organizations in other states and countries; building on existing relationships with automotive companies; and networking with technology companies involved in mobility innovation to attract investment to Michigan. In addition to meeting with numerous tech and automotive executives, Stevens said CES offered several key takeaways for future business attraction efforts, chief among them:

  • CES presents an opportunity to create an economic development presence at future shows via collaborative partnerships and through economic development organizations across Michigan.
  • The convergence of automotive and technology companies provides Michigan with a strategic opportunity to attract firms to the world’s leading automotive and smart mobility cluster.

Cultivating Talent Vital to Tech Race with Silicon Valley

Among the companies attending CES that do not currently have a presence in Michigan, Stevens said several cited the attractiveness of Silicon Valley as a hub for technology. However, he said many companies also have their eyes on the Detroit region, especially as the city emerges from bankruptcy.

With the largest concentration of OEM headquarters, R&D and product development facilities, engineering firms and universities, Stevens said companies know that they have to have a presence in Michigan, too.

“If you have the coders and software engineers for connected technology and mobility and the ability for companies to come in and hire those people en masse, then you have the advantage,” he said, adding that is the perception of Silicon Valley.

To combat that perception, Stevens said Michigan must rapidly accelerate the number of software coding and engineers it can train and retain.

“Those careers are in the highest demand right now,” he said. “When it comes to whether Silicon Valley or Shanghai or Detroit can grow faster, it will come down to who has the resources to feed these technology companies hungry for talent.”

Darren Walker

walker-darren-cropDarren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, where he oversees more than $12 billion in assets, $500 million annually in global social justice grants and 10 international offices. He previously served as the foundation’s vice president for education, creativity and free expression, where he shaped more than $140 million in annual grant-making around the world, covering areas as diverse as media and journalism, arts and culture, sexuality and reproductive health and rights, educational access and opportunity, and religion.

Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, Walker served as vice president for foundation initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation, where he led both domestic and global programs. Walker helped guide the foundation’s programs in education, civil rights, workforce development and program-related investments.

Brinks Gilson & Lione names six Michigan shareholders as firm-wide practice group chairs for 2015

ANN ARBOR/DETROIT – Jan. 21, 2015 – Six shareholders from the Michigan offices of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the nation’s largest intellectual property law firms, have been named or reappointed firm-wide chairpersons of the firm’s legal and industry practice groups and geographic task forces for 2015.

In the area of specialty legal practice groups, Michael Spink (Ann Arbor) will serve as new chair of the Licensing Group and Jon Beaupre (Ann Arbor) will serve as new co-chair of the Post-Grant Patent Group.

In the area of industry practice groups, Bill Boudreaux (Ann Arbor) continues as co-chair of the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals Industry Practice Group; Kelly Burris (Detroit) continues as chair of the firm’s Green Technology Industry Practice Group, Eric Sosenko (Ann Arbor) continues as chair of the Mechanical Group and Michael Spink continues as chair of the Intellectual Asset Management Group. Lawrence G. (L.G.) Almeda (Ann Arbor) will continue as both chair of the Nanotechnology Group and chair of the firm’s Brazil task force.

Separately, Bill Boudreaux was newly elected to a one-year term as a member of Brinks’ board of directors.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
Brinks Gilson & Lione has 160 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. Based in Chicago, Brinks has offices in Washington, D.C.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Detroit; Research Triangle Park, N.C.; Indianapolis and Salt Lake City. More information is at




Detroit – January 7, 2015 – Dykema, a leading national law firm, today announced the addition of Gina M. Torielli to its Taxation Group as senior counsel in the firm’s Ann Arbor office. Torielli, who was an associate with Dykema from 1991-96, rejoins the firm after serving as a consultant on municipal finance and state tax issues arising in the court-ordered mediation of the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy.

After her time as an associate with Dykema, Torielli went on to become the first woman to serve as president of a major Michigan law firm when she became President and CEO of Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC, a position she held for more than five years. After Howard and Howard, she served more than 10 years as a professor and Director of the Graduate Tax program at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where she taught courses about tax practice and procedure, standards and ethics of tax practice, and tax-exempt organizations.

Torielli’s practice focuses on taxation and public finance, advising nonprofit organizations and governmental entities on issues relating to tax exemption, tax-exempt financing, and state and federal tax issues.

“We are very fortunate to add an attorney of Gina’s caliber to our taxation practice and our group” said Michael G. Cumming, Leader of Dykema’s Tax Practice Group. “Her reputation and substantial background precede her. The firm and its clients will benefit greatly from her knowledge of public finance and tax-exempt financing.”

Torielli is a past chairperson of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Michigan. She was designated one of the Top 10 Business Women of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners in the spring of 2003, and was also named one of Corp! Magazine’s 95 most powerful women in 2002.

Torielli received a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, and her B.S., with high honors, from Michigan State University.

About Dykema

Dykema serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema lawyers and other professionals in 12 U.S. offices work in close partnership with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – to deliver outstanding results, unparalleled service and exceptional value in every engagement. To learn more, visit and follow Dykema on Twitter at



Detroit – January 13, 2015 – Dykema, a leading national law firm, announced today that its Executive Board has elected four new members to the firm effective January 1, 2015. Dykema’s new members, and descriptions of their practices, are listed below.

Danielle M. Graceffa is a Detroit-based attorney in Dykema’s Real Estate Practice Group. She regularly works for a variety of real estate clients including banks, lenders, national retailers, developers, telecommunication companies and corporate users, focusing primarily on commercial leasing for telecommunication companies, national retailers, and industrial and office owners, the acquisition and disposition of various real estate assets, specifically industrial plants, and financing transactions involving New Markets Tax Credits and Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Credits.

Graceffa earned a J.D., magna cum laude, from Wayne State University, and a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Detroit Mercy. She was recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star for Real Estate in 2013.

Robert M. Horwitz is a Detroit-based attorney in Dykema’s Financial Services Litigation Practice Group. His practice focuses on consumer finance law, particularly in the areas of compliance, regulatory and class actions. Horwitz has extensive experience representing and counseling companies on issues involving the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). He is frequently requested to speak at trade association conference on existing and emerging compliance and litigation issues under those federal statutes.

Horwitz earned a J.D. from Wayne State University, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.

Steven C. Liedel is a Lansing-based attorney in Dykema’s Government Policy & Practice Group. He focuses his practice on governmental restructuring, public finance, and tax policy. He also provides counsel on campaign finance and election law, government contracts and procurement; ethics, and represents both regulated entities and government entities. He has been extensively involved in drafting state constitutional amendments, legislation, regulations, ballot proposals, executive orders, and intergovernmental agreements. Liedel previously served as chief legal counsel to the governor of Michigan.

Liedel earned a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a B.A. from James Madison College at Michigan State University. He was named a Michigan Leading Lawyer in the area of Governmental, Municipal, Lobbying & Administrative Law by the Leading Lawyers Network in 2014.

Todd C. Schebor is a Detroit-based attorney in Dykema’s Environmental Practice Group. He handles a wide range of matters before both state and federal courts as well as administrative and municipal tribunals involving both environmental and real estate related disputes. He regularly advises and represents businesses and property owners concerning environmental permitting, compliance, and enforcement, as well as negotiating, allocating, and resolving environmental risk in commercial and real estate transactions. Furthermore, he has significant experience advising clients on property rights and redevelopment issues, including easements, restrictive covenants, groundwater ordinances, zoning, condemnation/eminent domain, and utility projects.

Schebor earned a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, an LL.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College, and a B.S. with a concentration in Environmental Policy from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He was recognized in Michigan Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star for Environmental and Environmental Litigation in 2010, 2013-2014.

About Dykema

Dykema serves business entities worldwide on a wide range of complex legal issues. Dykema lawyers and other professionals in 12 U.S. offices work in close partnership with clients – from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies – to deliver outstanding results, unparalleled service and exceptional value in every engagement. To learn more, visit and follow Dykema on Twitter at