Gil Pezza

Managing Director, Business Development
Michigan Israel Business Bridge

Gil Pezza is the managing director of business development for the Michigan Israel Business Bridge. He is responsible for the Michigan Israel Connect Program, a technology matchmaking program between Michigan and Israeli companies. He previously worked for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), where he was responsible for the MEDC’s water technologies program and where he also managed automotive cybersecurity. Prior to becoming involved in economic development, Pezza served as an attorney in private practice with Butzel Long in Detroit.

John Fikany

Vice President, Strategy and Development
Quicken Loans

john-fikanyJohn Fikany is the vice president of strategy and development for Quicken Loans. He is also responsible for community and employer branding, which includes attracting talent, business and partnerships to the Quicken Loans family of companies and the city of Detroit.

Fikany joins Quicken Loans with over 29 years of technology and industry leadership. Most recently, Fikany served in multiple executive assignments the past 13 years at Microsoft, including vice president of Microsoft’s central region enterprise business consisting of 18 States and $3.5 billion in in revenue.  Prior, he was responsible for the $6.2 billion U.S. commercial industry practice, responsible for driving industry strategy, sales, services, partner and marketing execution for 19 verticals. This organization serviced over 3,600 national commercial customers, in the manufacturing, health care, financial services, retail, distribution and professional services sectors. He served on the North American Enterprise Product Group Leadership Team, the U.S. Enterprise Leadership Team, as well as an acting partner in the company.

Prior to this role, Fikany was the vice president responsible for building out the U.S. manufacturing industry sector for Microsoft, including automotive and industrial equipment, high-tech manufacturing, consumer packaged goods, and oil and gas that supported 1,100 strategic national enterprise customers and over $1.2 billion in revenue.  Prior to this role, he began his career at Microsoft developing the U.S. automotive and industrial equipment vertical.

Additionally, Fikany has spent 10 years in the Unisys marketplace and 8 years at Oracle Corporation where he served as area vice president, responsible for marketing, product and application sales, consulting, education and support services.


Nimlok Michigan and VizCom Media Opening New Location

Nimlok Michigan and VizCom Media are opening a new location at 10325 Capital Street in Oak Park, Michigan. This 14,000 square foot facility will encompass sales offices, a showroom, print production, print finishing, portable modular exhibit production, asset storage and warehouse space.

Nimlok Michigan provides custom, custom modular and portable conference displays and exhibit solutions for any face-to-face event or environment. VizCom Media, a grand format print company based in Grand Rapids, caters to the marketing and advertising industry with custom printing at any size. VizCom Media has acquired 3 meter print machines specifically for the new Oak Park facility, adding to the production they currently offer out of Grand Rapids. These additions will allow the company’s local salesforce to better serve the East Michigan market with high resolution fabric printing and finishing produced locally.

The new location is being prepped with the intention of being fully operational by December of 2016.

Employment in southeast Michigan reaches new high, while unemployment hits historic low

The second quarter of 2016 represented a new high in employment in Southeast Michigan dating back nearly a decade to 2007. With employment expanded by 1.4 percent, or 35,000 jobs added in Q2 2016, the total number of jobs held in the region exceeded 2.62 million—a milestone in employment. These latest findings from the second quarter labor 2016 market report, compiled by the Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN).

Nearly 20,000 previously unemployed individuals gained jobs in the region in Q2 2016, along with more than 15,000 new workers (for a total of 35,000 new jobs), bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.5 percent, a low not experienced in Southeast Michigan since 2001.

“High job demand earlier this year resulted in substantial employment growth in the second quarter,” said Lisa Katz, Executive Director, WIN. “As it stands today, even more workers are needed to meet the increasing needs of area employers.”

Q2 2016 is typically a time when employment begins an annual surge that continues through the end of the year. With substantial job gains seen between Q1 and Q2 in the region, 2016 is expected to follow this typical cyclical trend.

Despite a notable high in employment and a decrease in unemployment, the gap between employment growth and labor force growth continues to produce hiring challenges for employers in the 16-county region including Genesee, Hillsdale, Huron, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. With a smaller labor force, employers have fewer options when hiring, making it more difficult to find the ideal candidate.

Job postings expanded in several occupation groups including Construction (3.5%), IT (3.8%), and Transportation Distribution and Logistics (TDL) (16%), primarily. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers once again top the demand lists with historic posting levels in TDL occupations.

The top in-demand jobs in Q2 2016 overall included:
• Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers: 7,473 job postings
• Registered nurses: 6,324 job postings
• Software developers, applications: 5,899 job postings
• Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing (except technical and scientific products): 5,020 job postings
• Retail salespersons: 3,951 job postings
• Managers, all other: 3,382 job postings

The average wage advertised in postings during Q2 2016 were as follows:
• Agriculture: $46,622
• Business and finance: $62,970
• Construction: $48,552
• Customer Service: $56,641 (although most postings listed wages below $35,000)
• Education: $31,660
• Energy: $65,873
• Health care: $60,094
• IT: $86,462
• Skilled trades and technicians: $36,593 (although most postings listed wages below $35,000
• TDL: $65,239

The full Q2 2016 labor market report can be viewed at:


About Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan

The Workforce Intelligence Network for Southeast Michigan (WIN) is a collaborative effort between six Michigan Works! Agencies (MWAs), ten community colleges, and numerous other organizations. The WIN partnership aims to create a comprehensive and cohesive workforce development system in southeast Michigan that provides employers with the talent they need for success.

Win Board Organizations:
Henry Ford College
Jackson College
Macomb Community College
Monroe County Community College
Mott Community College
Oakland Community College
Schoolcraft College
St. Clair County Community College
Washtenaw Community College
Wayne County Community College District

Michigan Works! Agencies:
Detroit Employment Solutions Corp.
GST Michigan Works!
Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works!
Oakland County Michigan Works!
Southeast Michigan Community Alliance
Southeast Michigan Works! Consortium

Attorney James Spica Elected a Trustee of the American Trust for the British Library

Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Attorney James Spica has been elected a Trustee of the American Trust for the British Library.

The American Trust for the British Library is a not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and support the work of one of the world’s greatest research libraries. Formally separated from the British Museum in 1973, the British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest library in the world by number of items catalogued. The American Trust for the British Library was founded in 1979 and is supported through the generosity of its wide membership in the United States and the United Kingdom. Mr. Spica was elected to the Trust’s Board at its 2016 Annual Meeting held on October 17, 2016 at the Century Association in New York City.

Spica is a Member in Dickinson Wright’s Detroit office. He specializes in trust law and trust banking. He is the principal author of the Michigan Personal Property Trust Perpetuities Act of 2008 and of the multi-statute Michigan “trust decanting” regime enacted in 2012. He is an American Bar Association (ABA) Advisor to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a member of the ACTEC State Laws Committee, a past member of the Council (governing body) of the Probate and Estate Planning Section of the State Bar of Michigan (2006-2015), and a current member of the Probate and Estate Planning Advisory Board of the Michigan Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He clerked for the Honorable Richard C. Wilbur on the United States Tax Court (1985) and taught jurisprudence, taxation, trusts, and decedents’ estates as an Assistant/Associate Professor of Law at the University of Detroit Mercy (1989-2000, tenured 1996).

Apart from the American Trust for the British Library, Mr. Spica’s bibliophilic associations include the Associates Board of Governors of the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan, the Board of Directors of the Grosse Pointe Library Foundation, the Grolier Club of New York, the Classical Association of New England, the Johnson Society of London, the Selden Society, and the Virgil Society. His service on non-profit boards and board advisory committees also includes the Board of the Interlochen Center for the Arts (which he has represented in the Harvard Business School’s Governing Nonprofits for Excellence program), the Tannahill Council of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Planned Giving Council, and the Legal-Financial Network Committee of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.

About the American Trust for the British Library

The American Trust for the British Library raises funds to support acquisitions, conservation, and other important projects at the British Library. Recent grants have supported the British Library’s Conservation Center, an art history internship for a Ph.D. candidate from Harvard University, and the Eccles Center for American Studies. To learn more about American Trust for the British Library, please click here.

About Dickinson Wright PLLC

Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 425 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, the firm has seventeen offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and ten other domestic offices in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville and Music Row, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canada office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise and business acumen. As one of the few law firm with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management controls and security processes for our commercial transactions. Dickinson Wright lawyers are known for delivering commercially-oriented advice on sophisticated transactions and have a remarkable record of wins in high-stakes litigation. Dickinson Wright lawyers are regularly cited for their expertise and experience by Chambers, Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and other leading independent law firm evaluating organizations.

Walsh College Novi Campus Will Host Prospective Students at Open House Nov. 3

Walsh College will hold an open house for students interested in pursuing a highly valued bachelor’s or master’s business degree from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Novi campus.

At the open house students can:

> Discuss academic programs and admission requirements

> Review and evaluate your academic transcripts

> Learn how transfer up to 82 credits to Walsh College

> Learn about financial aid and scholarships

> Meet with advisors, faculty, and student life representatives

Those in attendance can also choose to attend one of three special sessions: the undergraduate impact session (5:30 p.m.), the graduate impact session (6 p.m.), or the MBA Experience session (6:30 p.m.). These sessions will help students understand programs and the student experience at Walsh.

“As both an administrator and a student at Walsh, I have experienced our programs firsthand,” said Jason Sweet, director, Novi campus. “Walsh has the degree options and scheduling flexibility to accommodate busy working professionals, and it’s also one of the area’s top 3 graduate business schools and a top destination for undergraduate transfer students.

“Taking that first step is hard, but we’re here to guide you through it. We encourage you to take advantage of this open house and see what we have to offer.”

The normal undergraduate and graduate admissions application fee is waived during the event. Registration for the winter 2017 semester begins Nov. 21.

Register to attend at

Brinks Gilson & Lione attorney to attend Licensing Executives Society (LES) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC

Brinks Gilson & Lione attorney to attend Licensing Executives Society (LES) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC

Michael N. Spink, an intellectual property attorney and shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of Brinks Gilson & Lione, one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S., will attend the Licensing Executives Society (LES) annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia from Oct. 23 to 26. The Licensing Executives Society is a professional society comprised of nearly 3,000 members engaged in the transfer, use, development, manufacture and marketing of intellectual property. Spink is co-chair of the Michigan Chapter of LES.

About LES USA and Canada
Established in 1956, LES (USA and Canada) is a professional society of nearly 3,000 members engaged in the creation, commercial development and orderly transfer of intellectual property. LES is a member society of the Licensing Executives Society International, Inc. (LESI), which has more than 10,000 members world-wide.

To learn about LES and the annual meeting, visit the LES website.

Brinks Gilson & Lione
The attorneys, scientific advisors and patent agents at Brinks Gilson & Lione focus their practice in the field of intellectual property. Brinks is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in the U.S. Clients around the world use Brinks to help them protect and enforce their intellectual property rights. Brinks lawyers provide counseling in all aspects of patent, trademark, unfair competition, trade secret and copyright law.

More information is at

Join us Nov. 4 for Mixed Media Collage Art Party

The DCAC and the Padzieski Art Gallery are putting a new spin on the traditional Paint Party with the announcement of a Mixed Media Collage “Art Party” with instructor Kate Blair on Friday, November 4th at 6:30 p.m. To register, call (313) 943-3095 or e-mail For more information go to

Mike Perry

NexCare Health Systems Inc.

Mike Perry is CEO of NexCare Health Systems Inc. Prior to this role Perry was one of five partners who founded and started The WellBridge Group in 2012.  Since that time he has been instrumental in creating the operating company and as its chief operating officer has been responsible for its day-to-day operations.

Perry previously served as administrator at Bortz Health Care of Ypsilanti and Heartland Health Care in Plymouth. He also served as regional director of business development for HCR ManorCare with responsibility for sales and marketing efforts for HCR ManorCare in Michigan and Indiana. He is the former area vice president of operations for Extendicare Health Services working in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia.

James Scopis

Senior Vice President and Information Security Executive 
Bank of America

james-scopisJames Scopis is the senior vice president and information security executive for Bank of America. He is responsible for delivering global information security architectural and business enablement solutions as well as information security-related customer and client protection across Bank of America, Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust.

He has held leadership roles at Bank of America across multiple lines of business, corporate compliance, business continuity and global technology and operations. Scopis attended the University of Delaware, where he studied business administration, and is a certified information systems security professional (CISSP).