Rick Albin

Rick Albin, Political Reporter, WOOD TVRick Albin is the political reporter for WOOD TV. He has been associated with WOOD TV since the mid-1990s. Albin is also the host of “To The Point,” a show that examines issues and elections that impact the state and the nation. It airs every Sunday morning on WOOD TV8.

Albin has been in broadcasting since he began working at his hometown radio station while in high school. He has covered politics on the radio and on television in five states and has interviewed every U.S. president since Gerald Ford. Albin has participated in numerous candidate debates, including primary and general election debates during the 2018 gubernatorial race.

Albin and his wife Dee and sons, Grady and Grant, live in Ada, Michigan.

Mark A. Burton

President and CEO, Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Mark A. Burton is charged with implementing and executing MEDC’s core mission of advocating for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus of building a strong and vibrant Michigan economy.

Burton entered this role less than a week before the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic in Michigan. Since that time, he has led a robust and comprehensive effort to provide relief and support to Michigan small businesses, communities, entrepreneurs, and workers facing the negative impacts from the virus. Under his leadership, MEDC has created or repurposed nearly two dozen statewide relief and recovery programs.

Burton was most recently Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s chief strategist. In a nearly 20-year career, he has also held various other positions across state government, started and ran a small business, and worked in the philanthropic community.

Burton received his Bachelor of Science from Northern Michigan University, his Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and is a graduate of Oxford University’s International Human Rights Law program.

Latest workplace issues affecting southeast Michigan employers focus of October 29 (virtual) seminar; Butzel Long hosts 33rd Annual Labor, Employment, Benefits and Immigration Law Forum

DETROIT, Mich. – Employers face new challenges and opportunities during a turbulent year. The coronavirus has been a game changer for many employers who have pivoted to an expanded remote workforce. Further, advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace is a call to action for employers to revisit policies and procedures.

Butzel Long is hosting its 33rd Annual Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits and Immigration Law Forum in a (virtual) format this year and will focus on key legal matters from 8 a.m. to Noon on Thursday, October 29, 2020.

The registration fee is $49 per person. Presentation recordings will be made available to those who have registered for the event, at a later date. For more information or to register online, visit https://www.butzel.com/event. For inquiries, contact Nairi Chopjian at chopjian@butzel.com.

The virtual seminar will have a slightly different format this year. Butzel Long is asking participants to register for each session individually to give more flexibility in scheduling and to better distribute the continuing education credits. Attendees will be eligible for 1-3 HRCI and SHRM CE Credits, pending approval.

“Labor, employment, benefits and immigration issues are constantly evolving,” said Daniel B. Tukel, Chair of Butzel Long’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Department. “We have developed six workshops to address the most pressing workplace issues impacting southeast Michigan employers.”

Participants should register for the “Welcome and Introduction” session and then register for one webinar in each Workshop Session.

Workshop session topics include:

• Back to Work or Planning the Return to Work – What Now?

• WHOOPS! Benefits Mistakes to Avoid During COVID

• Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

• COVID-19 and Immigration: Dealing with Unprecedented Issues in Uncertain Times

• Do You Know Where Your Secret Sauce Is? (The thing that differentiates businesses in the marketplace and creates value for the organization)

• Money Talks: New Developments in Wage and Hour and Pay Issues in Remote Work

About Butzel Long

Butzel Long is one of the leading law firms in Michigan and the United States. It was founded in Detroit in 1854 and has provided trusted client service for more than 160 years. Butzel’s full-service law offices are located in Detroit, Bloomfield Hills, Lansing and Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, NY; and, Washington, D.C., as well as an alliance office in Beijing. It is an active member of Lex Mundi, a global association of 160 independent law firms. Learn more by visiting www.butzel.com or follow Butzel Long on Twitter: https://twitter.com/butzel_long

AaDya Security Names Jason Myers, Chief Product Officer

Detroit, October 19, 2020 — AaDya Security, a Detroit-based startup founded by cybersecurity veteran Raffaele Mautone, today announced that Jason Myers has been named Chief Product Officer. AaDya closed a $2.7M seed round and launched Marzo4, an all-in-one cybersecurity platform designed for small and medium-size businesses last month.

Myers has more than twenty years of experience leading cross-functional teams of engineers across multiple platforms. Most recently, he was the co-founder of Kibosh, a cutting-edge, cloud-based parental controls and cyber-security solution.

“Jason’s unique background in cybersecurity, engineering and entrepreneurship is the perfect combination for AaDya as we continue to grow and scale,” said Raffaele Mautone, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AaDya Security.“ His passion for cybersecurity and desire to drive successful technical outcomes through vision, strategy and execution will propel AaDya into the next phase of product development.”

Myers holds a masters degree in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University.

“I am super excited to join the talented team at Aadya. A good portion of my career has revolved around providing cybersecurity solutions to the home consumer, and I look forward to contributing to AaDya’s continued success in bringing Marzo4 to the small and medium sized business market”

About AaDya Security
Headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, AaDya Security provides smart, simple, effective cybersecurity software solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Marzo4, the all-in-one cybersecurity platform, powered by Judy, an interactive AI virtual assistant, is simple, affordable and provides 24/7 cybersecurity protection and intuitive customer support for companies who lack the time, expertise and capital to successfully implement these solutions on their own.

AaDya was founded by cybersecurity executive Raffaele Mautone in March 2019 with a mission to create comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that are accessible to the small and medium business customer. For more information please visit the company’s website, AaDyasecurity.com
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Forbush joins prestigious national group of trial attorneys

Plunkett Cooney partner Audrey J. Forbush, the managing partner of the firm’s Flint, Michigan office, was recently inducted as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

“I’m really honored to have been selected to join ABOTA,” said Forbush, who serves as a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors and as Co-leader of the firm’s Governmental Law Practice Group. “This organization has so many talented trial attorneys, and I look forward to working with them to keep improving standards and attorneys’ skills in trial practice.”

Forbush was formally inducted into ABOTA when the organization’s national board voted in its new class on Oct. 3. Membership is by invitation only. Members must have at least five years of active experience as trial lawyers, have tried at least 10 civil jury trials to conclusion and possess additional litigation experience. Members must also exhibit the virtues of civility, integrity and professionalism by following both ABOTA’s code of professionalism and principles of civility.

Founded in 1958, ABOTA is a national association of highly experienced trial lawyers and judges, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. ABOTA’s membership consists of more than 7,600 plaintiff and defense lawyers and judges from 96 chapters in all 50 states and in the District of Columbia.

Forbush focuses her trial practice primarily in the area of municipal liability with particular expertise in police liability cases, including search and seizure, use of force, pursuits and correctional law. Her practice includes additional expertise in the areas of civil rights, whistleblower claims; labor and employment, zoning law and personal injury claims. Forbush also advises public and private universities with respect to Title IX claims of alleged sexual assaults on campus, and she maintains a busy professional liability practice defending physicians and hospitals in medical liability cases.

Forbush is a member of the Genesee County Bar Association, and she serves on the Board of the Governmental Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Additionally, she serves as the legal adviser to the Law Enforcement Action Forum, an organization consisting of select law enforcement executives throughout Michigan that addresses trending issues in law enforcement and drafts model police policies.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of transactional and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana. Plunkett Cooney has achieved the highest rating (AV) awarded by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading, international directory of law firms. The firm was also selected by Crain’s Detroit Business as its inaugural Law Firm of the Year.

For more information about the induction of Audrey Forbush as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing & Practice Development John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008 or jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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Carol Cain

Senior Producer and Host, CBS 62 Michigan Matters; Columnist, Detroit Free Press

Carol Cain is the 12-time Emmy Award winning senior producer and host of Michigan Matters on CBS 62. Cain started the show 15 years ago and has featured interviews with the captains of industries from business, politics, and sports all across the globe. She interviewed President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden during the 2020 Election and hosted a national digital debate with President Barack Obama and Republican Gov. Mitt Romney for CBS in the 2012 race. Carol also hosts and produces CBS 62’s Eye on The Future.

She began her career in print journalism as state editor at United Press International and served as business editor for the Toledo Blade. She was also a nationally syndicated columnist at The Detroit News and writes an award-willing Sunday column for the Detroit Free Press. Cain previously served as editor of the national, international, and business desks at the Detroit Free Press. Born in Detroit, she attended Detroit Public Schools, and has degrees from Michigan State University and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

Grow the Talent Pipeline and Increase Per Capita Income

The talent pipeline in the Detroit region directly impacts the workforce needs and per capita income of our region. Students in the city and region are falling off at various points of their education – before graduating high school, before obtaining a college degree or skilled certificate, and before joining the workforce. Since the majority of Detroit students are Black, Latinx, or of other minority races, these populations are being disproportionately impacted by the broken talent pipeline. Recent data starkly illustrate the severity of these disparities and what the region has to gain by eliminating these issues.

  • · 69% of city of Detroit residents ages 18-64 without a high school diploma are either not in the labor force or are unemployed.
  • 47% of Detroit region students and 73% of city of Detroit students who pursue postsecondary education, have not earned a degree or certificate within six years of graduating
  • Per Capita Income increases by $1,250 when bachelor’s degree attainment increases by one percentage point.

Source: Detroit Regional Chamber’s State of Education Report

Related articles:

Increasing Education Attainment for Greater Economic Prosperity and Social Mobility

Helping Detroiters Obtain a College Education

NeighborHUB Grant Program Lifts Up Grassroots Efforts to Improve Local Neighborhoods

Grassroots organizations working directly in Detroit’s neighborhoods are receiving a boost from corporate grant programs like NeighborHUB. Through grants and in-kind business support, the program supports nonprofits focused on innovative and collaborative solutions to the issues facing neighborhoods in the City of Detroit, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

Each year, with a goal of empowering neighborhood communities, the program awards five or more grants to provide access to physical space to house programming that solves issues in specific neighborhoods.

  • 33.4% of Detroit’s population is in poverty, the highest among peer regions.
  • 56% of Detroit households cannot afford basic necessities.
  • $390K in grants given to Detroit neighborhood nonprofits since 2018. Additional $300K to be awarded in fall 2020.

Women of color are at the helm of projects creating stronger neighborhood communities, with most of the recipient organizations being led by women of color.

Through COVID-19 these awardees have stepped up to help their community in other ways:

  • George Adams of 360 Detroit has been distributing PPE kits along with First Aid supplies and toys for kids to local residents in the Virginia Park neighborhood, from their NeighborHUB project location.
  • Tacara Woods of the M.I.C.H.A.E.L organization launched the group’s first-ever “Virtual Summer Camp,” amid the pandemic that is focused on helping children cope with the loss of a parent or relative due to violent crime.

Increasing Education Attainment for Greater Economic Prosperity and Social Mobility

It’s no secret that economic prosperity and social mobility are linked to education. There are nearly 700,000 adults in the region with some college but no degree. In order to eventually reach economic equity our region has to engage adults in a significant way. Very often we see adults that dropped out before completing their degree. Twenty-one percent of adults who dropped out before completing their degree are Black, and 45% of adults who have remaining institutional (owed to the school attended) are Black as well. If these adults were to complete a degree or skilled certificate program, the education attainment in the region would increase to the Detroit Regional Chamber- and State of Michigan-backed goals of 60% and reduction of the racial equity gap by half by 2030.

Through research by the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees, if our region doubles adult enrollmentand increase adult completion by 35% there would be significant economic impact. If the Detroit region reaches the 60% by 2030 goal, there will be an estimated ROI of $42 billion. Our region can get there by establishing regional scholarships for adults, expanding debt forgiveness programs, expanding accelerated adult friendly degree programs, and increasing employers providing upskilling incentives.

Programs like Detroit Reconnect, Futures for Frontliners and the like are already supporting such efforts. Providing equity can help problems like the fact that Black students account for 21% of regional “stop-outs” – students who drop out before finishing a degree – but they account for 45% of stop-outs with financial holds. A region-wide debt-forgiveness agreement would remove financial burdens that disproportionately affect Black students, allowing them to return to college with reduced or eliminated debt. To bridge this gap education attainment is important and can result in economic prosperity.

Related Articles

Helping Detroiters Obtain a College Education

Grow the Talent Pipeline and Increase Per Capita Income

Helping Detroiters Obtain a College Education

Education has been key in closing the racial equity gap and has proven to drive economic equity. The talent pipeline in the Detroit region directly impacts the workforce needs and per capita income of our region. Students in the city and region are falling off at various points of their education – before graduating high school, before obtaining a college degree or skilled certificate, and before joining the workforce. Since majority of Detroit students are Black, Latinx, or of other minority races, these populations are being disproportionately impacted by the broken talent pipeline.

Programs like the Detroit Promise that help high school students have the opportunity to attend college are very important to help close the economic gap. Highschool programs that promote the number of Black, Latinx, and minority students taking dual-enrollment courses, which is positively correlated with increased college enrollment, help increase the chances of obtaining a college education. Having campaigns that encourage moderate-income students to complete the Federal Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA), qualifying them for Pell grants will encourage more students to attend college with scholarships. Further, encouraging community colleges and universities across the region to adopt national best practices with respect to remedial course work will help increase the percentage of students who successfully complete and earn college level credits. With 98% of students being low-income or Black, Latinx, or another minority race, extra resources are needed to help achieve education equality which translates to economic equity.

Related Articles

Grow the Talent Pipeline and Increase Per Capita Income

Increasing Education Attainment for Greater Economic Prosperity and Social Mobility