Henry Ford Health System Names 4 New Members to Board of Directors

The addition of these accomplished industry leaders reflects Henry Ford’s commitment
to advancing inclusion, equity and diversity.

DETROIT (March 2, 2021) – Henry Ford Health System has named four new members to its Board of Directors whose leadership in business and dedication to removing barriers to opportunity and achieving equity for all reflect Henry Ford’s commitment to advancing the values of inclusion, equity and diversity in our community.

The addition of John F. Harris, J.D., Patricia Maryland, Dr. PH, Frederiek Toney and Andrea Zopp expands the total membership of the Board to 17 members. Of these, seven members are people of color and six are women.

“We believe we best serve our communities with Directors who reflect the diversity of our community, are both accomplished in their fields and have tirelessly worked to advance the values of Henry Ford Health System,” said Wright Lassiter III, President and CEO, Henry Ford Health System.

“I am proud to welcome John, Patricia, Frederiek and Andrea to the Board,” said Henry Ford Health
System Board Chair David Breen. “I am humbled and excited that they have agreed to help us pursue
our mission to improve people’s lives in ways that go beyond how we have historically defined
‘healthcare and healing’, including advocating for racial justice, strengthening the diversity of our
workforce and culture, activating community empowerment and advancing health care equity in clinical outcomes and the patient experience.”

Each of the new board members bring to Henry Ford diverse and accomplished backgrounds in
healthcare, the automotive industry and finance, as well as a life-long commitment to service:
Meet the new board members:

  • John F. Harris, J.D., Partner at Harris Law Partners in Detroit and an Adjunct Professor at Wayne State University’s Law School and Oakland University. He retired after 30 years at Ford Motor Co. where he served in several leadership positions including CEO of Ford Global Technologies Licensing, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Ford of Europe and Middle East and Africa and Assistant General Counsel for Distribution, Purchasing & Corporate Transactions. He was at the forefront of evaluating and implementing a strategy to maximize the value Ford received from outside service providers, resulting in several new and transformative relationships. He served on the Board of Directors of the Detroit Urban League and Southeastern Michigan from 2014- 2018 including as chairman.
  • Patricia A. Maryland, Dr. PH, retired in 2019 as the Executive Vice President for St. Louis-based Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, and President and CEO of Ascension Healthcare. She led the development of strategy for Ascension’s healthcare division, with more than $20 billion in operating revenue. Dr. Maryland was named one of the Top 25 COOs in Healthcare in 2017, one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare in 2017 and 2015 by Modern Healthcare, and in 2014, was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, and as one Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives. Maryland currently serves on the Board of Directors for Encompass Health Corp. and Healthcare Highways, respectively. She has more than 37 years of experience working in the healthcare sector, and is a skilled strategist in business transformation, operational performance and growth strategies. She has been a member of more than 25 boards in the nonprofit, private, joint venture and public sectors and has board committee experience on executive, audit, finance, strategy and quality committees.
  • Frederiek Toney, president of Ford Customer Service Division and Corporate Officer, at Ford Motor Co. Toney joined Ford in 2000 and has experience in managing and building strategy, start-ups, acquisitions, joint ventures, third-party client services, packaging and crating, dealer and customer relations and project management. He has also held leadership roles at Caterpillar and America Honda. Toney is chair of the Board of Directors for the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, the largest provider of college scholarships for underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees at schools of engineering.
  • Andrea Zopp, managing partner of Cleveland Avenue LLC, a venture capital investment company in Chicago. In her previous position as President and CEO of World Business Chicago, she worked closely with the Chicago Consular Corps and multinational companies to attract foreign direct investment, company relocation and expansion. Zopp has held executive leadership positions at several Fortune 500 companies including Sara Lee, Sears Holdings and Exelon. She is a champion of job creation, access to education and corporate responsibility, and as President and CEO of the Chicago Urban League, she led initiatives focused on expanding economic opportunity in underserved communities and advocating for social justice. She served as Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer for the city of Chicago and was the first woman and African American to serve as the First Assistant in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The Board is responsible for the fiduciary and governance oversight of the health system. This includes financial and management performance, strategic planning and community relations advocacy.

Members of the 2021 Board of Directors:

David J. Breen
Chair, Board of Directors
Retired Partner, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, L.L.P.

Lynn Ford Alandt
Civic Leader

Stephanie W. Bergeron
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Retired President, Walsh College

Shari L. Burgess
Chair, Health Alliance Plan of Michigan
Vice President and Treasurer, Lear Corporation

John F. Harris
Harris Law Partners

David M. Hempstead
Attorney, Bodman PLC

Wright L. Lassiter III
President and Chief Executive Officer
Henry Ford Health System

Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH
Retired Health Care Executive

Charles G. McClure, Jr.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Managing Partner, Michigan Capital Advisors

Barry G. Porter
Operating Partner
Arsenal Capital Partners

Michael S. Rafferty
President and Chief Executive Officer
New Detroit, Inc.

Joseph J. Richardson, Jr.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer, The Auto Club Group

Lawrence H. Schultz
Chairman, Great Lakes Industry

Frederiek Toney
President, Ford Customer Service Division
Ford Motor Company

Edgar L. Vann II
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Bishop, Second Ebenezer Church

Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D.
Chair, Board of Governors
Henry Ford Medical Group

Andrea L. Zopp
Managing Partner
Cleveland Avenue


About Henry Ford Health System

Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health
system committed to improving people’s lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System includes Henry Ford Medical Group, with more than 1,900 physicians and researchers practicing in more than 50 specialties at locations throughout Southeast and Central Michigan. Acute care hospitals include Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI and Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson, MI – both Magnet® hospitals; Henry Ford Macomb Hospital; Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital; and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital.

The largest of these is Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, a quaternary care research and teaching hospital and Level 1 Trauma Center recognized for clinical excellence in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, and multi-organ transplants. The health system also provides comprehensive, best-in-class care for cancer at the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, and orthopedics and sports medicine at the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine – both in Detroit.

As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System annually trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows in more than 50 accredited programs, and has trained nearly 40% of the state’s physicians. Our dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.

Henry Ford’s not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people.

Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians,
more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals

Walsh retains status as Military-Friendly® School


TROY, Mich., March 1, 2021 — Walsh has retained its status as a Military-Friendly® school for the 2021-2022 year by VIQTORY, a Pittsburgh-based, veteran-owned organization dedicated to connecting the military community to civilian opportunity. Schools were assessed based on their ability to meet threshold for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence and loan default rates for all students and specifically veteran students.

Walsh supports veteran students from application to graduation by waiving the application fee for veterans, offering veteran-specific scholarships, extending payment due dates for GI Bill® users, assisting with use of education benefits and providing lifetime career services. Walsh’s Troy location also has a dedicated space for veterans.

“Walsh’s Veteran Services walked me through every step of the application and registration process and ensured all VA paperwork was turned in promptly. To use an old military expression – Walsh Veteran Services is squared away!” said Dan Heaton, Master of Science in Marketing, 2021 Air Force & Navy veteran and current member of the Michigan Air National Guard.

For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu

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Walsh is an all-business, private, independent, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral business and technology degrees, as well as certificate programs. Founded in 1922, Walsh is one of Southeast Michigan’s largest graduate business schools, offering classes in several locations and online. Our internationally and nationally-ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, data analytics, finance, information technology, human resources, management, marketing, taxation and other fields. For more information, please visit www.walshcollege.edu.

Walsh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (www.acbsp.org).

Dickinson Wright Part of Team to Receive MiBiz Banking/Finance M&A Deal of the Year

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The 8th Annual MiBiz M&A Deals & Dealmakers recently announced that ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. has been named Banking/Finance Deal of the Year for its acquisition of Community Shores Bank Corp. Dickinson Wright served as legal adviser to Community Shores Bank Corp. in the deal.

In July 2020, ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. acquired Muskegon-based Community Shores Bank Corp. in a $21.5 million cash-and-stock transaction that added four more offices to ChoiceOne’s branch network and more than $244 million in assets, extending the bank’s presence in the lakeshore market. Dickinson Wright facilitated the deal on behalf of Community Shores Bank, working with all parties involved to complete the transaction virtually in a compressed timeframe during the pandemic.

“We want to congratulate ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc. on this well-deserved honor and we are thrilled to be a part of the team that saw this deal come to fruition during an unprecedented year in the M&A market,” says Bradley Wyatt, Dickinson Wright Member and Division Director, Transactions.

Bradley Wyatt, Will Dorton, and Rasika Kulkarni from Dickinson Wright served as advisers to Community Shores Bank Corp. Donnelly Penman & Partners Inc. (financial) and Warner Norcross + Judd (legal) served as advisers to ChoiceOne Financial Services Inc.

With offices strategically located across the U.S. and in Canada, Dickinson Wright has a leading Mergers and Acquisitions practice representing both buyers and sellers across many industries. From the early stages of initiating a transaction to negotiating and closing the deal, our lawyers work closely with senior management and in-house counsel to develop innovative solutions that protect our clients’ interests and help them meet their objectives. To learn more about our Mergers and Acquisitions practice, please click here.

About Dickinson Wright PLLC
Dickinson Wright PLLC is a general practice business law firm with more than 475 attorneys among more than 40 practice areas and 16 industry groups. The firm has 19 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 12 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Silicon Valley, Calif.; and Washington, D.C. The firm’s Canadian office is located in Toronto.

Dickinson Wright offers our clients a distinctive combination of superb client service, exceptional quality, value for fees, industry expertise, and business acumen. As one of the few law firms with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certification and one of the only firms with ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certification, Dickinson Wright has built state-of-the-art, independently-verified risk management procedures, security controls and privacy 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.

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Governor Whitmer Extends Michigan’s Liquor License Renewals from April 30 to July 30

LANSING — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a three-month extension for liquor licensees to renew their 2021 licenses. The annual license renewal expiration date will be extended from April 30 to July 30 this year to assist licensees who have been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, by providing additional time to renew their licenses.  The governor’s action will be implemented by administrative order issued by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). The license renewal extension will benefit approximately 19,000 licensees.

“Our bar and restaurant owners have made incredible sacrifices during this pandemic and they should not have the additional stress about renewing their liquor license by April 30 this year,” said Whitmer. “We want to ease the burden by extending the customary deadline so they can focus on getting back to business. My administration has also secured crucial support for these businesses through a bipartisan supplemental budget that I signed to provide greater financial relief for small business owners in our hospitality industry.”

Licensees are strongly encouraged to renew their license online to ensure timely processing of their renewal application and avoid any potential delays with mailing their renewed license. Licensees do not have to wait to renew their license.  Licensees may renew their license(s) when it originally expires or at any time before the extended due date of July 30.

“This extension will allow staff from the MLCC Licensing Division to work with those licensees who need the extra time to renew,” said Orlene Hawks, director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) where the MLCC is housed. “Those who still wish to renew immediately will have the opportunity to do so, but this new deadline will also give our licensees the flexibility to wait a few months to renew their license.”   

Licensees are encouraged to visit the MLCC website often for updated information at www.michigan.gov/lcc.  The MLCC Licensing Division appreciates licensees’ timely renewal and is working to ensure that this year’s renewal goes smoothly.

“The Commission is pleased to implement Governor Whitmer’s action. This extension is a big step toward getting our bar and restaurant owners back to a new normal as quickly as possible,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “Licensees in the hospitality industry across the state won’t have to worry about losing their license over the summer months, which typically is a busy time for them.”

Licensees are reminded that failure to renew and receive an updated license may result in violations and/or automatic termination of the license.

For more information on the coronavirus / COVID-19 state of emergency, please visit the State of Michigan’s coronavirus website at: www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Detroit Regional Chamber Reports on COVID-19 Economic Effects


February 25, 2021

By Grace Turner

The Detroit Regional Chamber, based in Detroit, examined the impact of COVID-19 on metro Detroit’s economy and found in a new report that some sectors are still struggling to overcome the pandemic.

“COVID-19 continues to leave deep scars on the Detroit region’s businesses and communities,” says Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the chamber. “The pandemic has exacerbated long-term inequalities with many parts of the economy and society. This has led to a deeply uneven recovery where some industries have shown quick improvements and gains, while millions of Americans, Michiganders, and the businesses that once employed them are still struggling.”

Study Results:

  • More than 2.2 million initial unemployment claims were filed in Michigan from March-December 2020. The number of claims from those continuing on unemployment have decreased yet remained at nearly 200,000 per week through the end of 2020.
  • As of the end of December, the number of small businesses open in the region decreased by 32.6 percent, with nearly a 40 percent drop in revenues since January 2020.
  • Consumer spending in the region decreased by 18.4 percent by the end of December compared to January 2020.
  • The region’s transportation and arts, entertainment, and recreation industries experienced the most extensive consumer spending declines, by 61.2 percent and 66.7 percent, respectively.
  • In a December 2020 Detroit Regional Chamber poll of Michigan voters, one in four respondents said they continued to deal with catastrophic or major effects on their household finances.
  • Housing insecurity was amplified over the course of the pandemic, with more than one-third of households surveyed nationally and in the region in December 2020 expressing they are not current on rent or mortgage payments, to the point that eviction or foreclosure in the next two months is likely.
  • Detroit Metro Airport, paralleling national trends, saw a decrease of 61.6 percent in airline passengers in 2020 to 14 million, compared to 36.2 million in 2019.
  • Nationally, the hotel industry experienced the worst year on record. The Detroit region’s hotel occupancy rates recorded a 35.5 percent decrease in December 2020 compared to the same month in 2019, exceeding the national decline of 32.3 percent.

Reasons for Optimism and Concern:

  • Quarterly changes to Michigan’s gross domestic product fluctuated dramatically throughout 2020 as the pandemic drove economic contraction, particularly because of manufacturing-related shutdowns that occurred in the second quarter. Michigan’s GDP fell 37.6 percent from the first to second quarter but rose by 44.2 percent from the second quarter to the third.
  • U.S. light vehicle sales seasonally adjusted annual rate dropped to as low as 8.7 million in April 2020. Resilience in the retail market resulted in much better performance than expected, with the total U.S. light vehicle sales reaching 14.6 million in 2020 compared to 17.1 million in 2019, a drop of 14.4 percent annually.
  • Private sector jobs in the Detroit region reached a low of 1.5 million in April, a loss of 556,000 jobs over two months, before ending the year at 1.9 million jobs, a 10 percent decrease compared to the beginning of 2020.
  • The Detroit region’s monthly unemployment rate peaked at more than 24 percent in April, 10 percentage points above the same month’s national rate. The rate decreased through 2020, ending at 10.1 percent in December, compared to the national rate of 6.7 percent.

Reasons for Optimism:

  • The number of new business applications in Michigan saw a 42.2 percent increase in 2020 compared to 2019. New business application growth after a recession is a leading indicator of recovery.
  • As an indicator of the manufacturing sector’s economic health, the U.S. Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) reported eight consecutive months of growth, rising to 60.5 percent in December, after the low in April 2020 of 41.7 percent. All six of the biggest manufacturing industries demonstrated moderate to strong growth in December 2020.
  • In the Detroit region housing market, single-family homes’ median sale price increased 23.3 percent from the first quarter of 2020 to the third quarter, rising to $236,300. New construction remained resilient through 2020 also, with construction permits for 2020 matching that of 2019.

“There is often a strong correlation between national economic downturns and deep recessionary periods for Michigan,” Baruah says. “However, critical sectors for our economy like automotive, manufacturing, and housing have all shown remarkable resiliency. Full recovery for all sectors of our economy will require the effective administration of vaccines and targeted governmental support for the unemployed and business that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted.”

View original article here.

2021 State of the Region: Reasons for Optimism but K-Shaped Recovery Exacerbates Challenges Ahead

There are some positive economic trends that should give Michigan optimism in recovering from the pandemic. However, the disproportionate K-shaped recovery exacerbates the challenges to robust and equitable economic growth, according to Detroit Regional Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Sandy K. Baruah.

“There are important differences between the recessionary trends of 2020 that are notably different from what we witnessed during the Great Recession – and give us some hope that this downcycle will be different from the usual ‘when America gets a cold, Michigan gets the flu’ story,” said Baruah as he presented the seventh annual State of the Region report.

Those positive trends include:

  • Unemployment levels have stabilized as has Michigan’s automotive industry after severe declines early in the state’s pandemic mitigation efforts last year.
  • Consumer confidence and the housing market have also remained more resilient than anticipated.
  • New business applications grew dramatically over the past year.
  • The vaccine rollout is gaining momentum.

However, Baruah said that long-standing challenges to economic prosperity such as education attainment are greater because of the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on certain segments of society. Minorities, minority-owned businesses, small businesses, and industries such as travel and hospitality have been hit particularly hard.

“This “K-shaped” economy refers to the divergence in economic outcomes based on sector or demographics. While many thrive, some only see increased challenges,” said Baruah.

The correlation of wages and likelihood of unemployment to educational level clearly tells the K-shape economy disparity story.

“Persons of color are disproportionately represented in service industry jobs, such as travel and leisure, and workers in this sector make among the lowest wages of any industry – about $18 per hour – making them both more vulnerable to the unemployment line and less able to be financially resilient if unemployed,” he added.

As the region looks to accelerate its recovery, the report provides a critical first step by identifying where the region stands economically.

“This dynamic of those with less formal education faring worse during an economic downturn is certainly not new – we see it every recession. To build a more resilient regional economy and more resilient citizens and families, we need to increase our level of education attainment,” Baruah said.

Quicken Loans’ Chief Executive Officer: Economic Excitement is Building, Detroit Well Positioned

Quicken Loans’ Jay Farner sees excitement about the economy increasing and thinks the city of Detroit and surrounding region are positioned well in the post-COVID-19 era.

“The vaccine and the excitement around the vaccine and what it will do for the economy is starting to kick in. Overall, we are pretty excited for what 2021 will hold for us if we keep on that path,” said Farner, who noted it’s a great time to double down on talent and business attraction and place-making efforts.

Farner, who is also the chief executive officer of Rocket Mortgage, joined ABC News’ Rebecca Jarvis, chief business, economics, and technology correspondent, for a moderated discussion following the release of the State of the Region report.

Here are three other key takeaways from the discussion:

Home prices likely to remain high with low inventory, making it a great time to be a builder.

While mortgage rates have ticked up some, they remain low and more people are borrowing. At the same time, housing inventory remains extraordinarily low with the pandemic creating an increased emphasis on homeownership while slowing new construction.

“We are going to see housing prices continue to rise,” Farner said. “There is a lot of available cash. A lot of people want to buy a home. COVID has put a real emphasis on homeownership and yet inventory will remain low.”

“If you’re a builder, you’re going to have access to capital and great demand. It’s a great time to put shovels in the ground and launch developments,” said Farner. “People are recognizing they can do so much from home and that’s a healthy thing for the housing market for years to come.”

Employee expectations of flexible schedules are here to stay.

Farner predicted that companies that fail to maintain some of the flexibility created by working from home over the past 12 months will struggle and said that reality is driving decisions at the Rock family of companies.

“We’ve made some massive investments in our buildings in Detroit…to go from work places to collaboration spaces,” Farner said. “We see the value of the office more as the catalyst for great ideas and innovative thinking versus the day-to-day work that can be done better at home.”

“That flexibility isn’t going away, I think it benefits our teammates, it benefits our business, it benefits our clients,” said Farner, noting those realities have resulted in his companies investing heavily in technology over the long-term to maintain flexibility and productivity moving forward.

Detroit’s talent attraction efforts benefitting from remote work trends.

Detroit’s competition against other cities for top tier talent is benefitting from the life flexibility created by the pandemic. Farner noted talent is migrating to the city because the cost of living and the quality of life is far better in Detroit than many other locations.

The pandemic is also allowing employers like Quicken Loans or Rock Mortgage to take a different approach to recruiting prospective talent by allowing new hires to test out employment before moving to the area.

“It’s become an even easier way for us to attract talent that isn’t familiar with Detroit, but they become increasingly excited (about it after taking the job),” said Farner.

He also touted similar advantages for homegrown talent.

“Students don’t have to run to the coasts for a job. That allows them to stay here and plant roots, while still working wherever they want to because of the flexibility. That’s a good thing for a city like Detroit, especially considering all the investments we have been making over the last 10 years.”