Rick Haglund: What’s at Stake for Michigan’s Auto Industry with the next Presidency, Congress

October 25, 2020

Crain’s Business

By: Rick Haglund

Michigan’s automakers and the hundreds of parts suppliers who support them have a lot riding on the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Decisions by the next president and Congress on trade, the environment, energy and public health will have a huge impact on an industry making a historic transformation to electric vehicles.

And while automakers have bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic more quickly than predicted, some say the industry — particularly small suppliers — and consumers will need continued financial aid into 2021 to head off another collapse.

That could be especially critical if what appears to be a second round of COVID-19 ravages the country this winter and shuts down the economy again.


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Comcast Announces First 12 WiFi-Connected “Lift Zones” in Detroit Neighborhoods

October 26, 2020 

Lift Zones provide safe spaces to help students and families access the Internet for school and digital skills building

Comcast announced today plans to establish its first 12 WiFi-connected “Lift Zones” in Detroit by year end.

The COVID-19 crisis has put many low-income students at risk of being left behind and has accelerated the need for comprehensive digital equity and Internet adoption programs to support them. Lift Zones are designed to help those students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to connect to distance learning at home.

Comcast will provide robust WiFi hotspots in safe spaces designed to help students get online, participate in distance learning and do their homework. Many of these sites also serve adults and can connect them to online adult education, job searches, healthcare information and public assistance. This initiative provides free hotspot connectivity inside the community centers and access to hundreds of hours of digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning.

The first 12 Lift Zones include:

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan: Lloyd H. Diehl Club: 4242 Collingwood Street
Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan: Dick & Sandy Dauch Campus: 16500 Tireman Street
Detroit Blight Busters: 17340 Lahser Road
Detroit Boxing Gym: 6445 East Vernor Highway
Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation: 1211 Trumbull Street
Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries – Men’s Shelter: 3606 Third Street
Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries – Women’s Shelter: 12900 West Chicago Street
Franklin Wright Settlements: 7375 Woodward Avenue
Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development, Inc.: 7150 Vernor Highway
City Covenant Church (Mission: City): 20405 Schoolcraft
Matrix Human Services: Social Mobility Center: 13560 East McNichols Road
Say Detroit Play Center:19320 Van Dyke Avenue

“Our vision is to ensure that every Detroiter is fully digitally included, improving the quality of life for all residents,” said Joshua Edmonds, director of digital inclusion, City of Detroit and the Connect 313 digital inclusion strategy. “Connect 313 and Comcast share a passion for bridging the digital divide, and our partnership will ensure these Lift Zone locations will reach as many Detroiters who need them as possible.”

Last month, Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 WiFi-connected Lift Zones in community centers nationwide. This effort is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet and provide resources to help them fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy.

“Solving a problem as vast and complex as the digital divide requires collaboration with schools, elected officials, nonprofit community partners and other private-sector companies,” said Tim Collins, senior vice president of Comcast’s Heartland Region. “Since 2011 when Comcast launched its Internet Essentials program, we’ve been fortunate to partner with other local organizations who share our passion for digital equity, like Connect 313.”

In nearly 10 years, Internet Essentials has become the nation’s largest and most successful low-income Internet adoption program and has connected millions of people to the Internet. It offers households low-cost, broadband Internet service for $9.95/month, the option to purchase a heavily subsidized computer and multiple options for free digital literacy training. Earlier this year, Comcast committed to providing 60 days of free Internet Essentials service for qualifying low-income families through the end of 2020. Additionally, the company increased speeds for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers at no additional cost.

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. It also provides wireless and security and automation services to residential customers under the Xfinity brand. NBCUniversal is global and operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures, and Universal Parks and Resorts. Sky is one of Europe’s leading media and entertainment companies, connecting customers to a broad range of video content through its pay television services. It also provides communications services, including residential high-speed Internet, phone, and wireless services. Sky operates the Sky News broadcast network and sports and entertainment networks, produces original content, and has exclusive content rights. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.

Butzel Long attorney Debra Geroux named a Co-Chair of the firm’s Healthcare Industry Group

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney and shareholder Debra Geroux has been named one of three co-chairs for the firm’s Healthcare Industry Group. She joins Robert H. Schwartz and Mark Lezotte in this leadership role.

Geroux’s healthcare practice focuses on health care regulatory compliance and reporting, including data privacy and breach response, as well as healthcare-related civil, criminal, and administrative litigation.

She holds the Certified in Healthcare Privacy Compliance (CHPC) and Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) designations from the Compliance and Certification Board. Her representative clients include individual practitioners and group practices, community mental health authorities, FQHC’s, home health agencies, pharmacies and pharmaceutical manufactures, ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals, and DMEPOS providers.

“Deb is an innovator and thought leader who has evolved and adapted her practice to meet ongoing changes in healthcare,” said Robert H. Schwartz, Butzel Long Healthcare Industry Group co-chair. “She sought out and achieved important healthcare certifications that sets her and our firm apart as an industry leader.”

Geroux also serves on the firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Specialty Team, Government & Internal Investigations Team and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.

She is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law, (J.D., cum laude, 1995), where she was a member and managing editor of the Law Review. She received her Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in 1988.

Geroux is a member of the State Bar of Michigan (including the Health Law Section), the American Bar Association (including the Health Law and Litigation Sections), the Federal Bar Association, the Oakland County Bar Association, and the Health Care Compliance Association. She also assisted with numerous pro bono projects for Community Legal Services (n/k/a Michigan Community Resources), which resulted in the publication of various white papers.

She also is actively involved within her community, both professionally and personally. Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors for Honor Community Health, an FQHC serving Oakland County, Michigan, and as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Historical Society for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Geroux also has served as an Adjunct Professor of Healthcare & Insurance Law in the Paralegal Program at Baker College of Auburn Hills. She also maintains an active role within a number of community organizations, including the CW3 Jaguars FC, where she recently serves as a team manager. She also was active on the Michigan State University College of Law Alumni Association Board, where she served in numerous leadership roles, including serving as its President.

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

Former Michigan Court of Appeals Chief Judge Henry Saad joins Plunkett Cooney

Plunkett Cooney, one of the oldest and largest law firms in the Midwest, has taken its appellate law practice to a new level with the addition of retired Judge and former Chief Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, Henry W. Saad, as an of counsel attorney.

“We are extremely excited that Judge Saad has decided to join our already outstanding, nationally recognized appellate team,” said Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Thomas P. Vincent. “Judge Saad will share with our clients the expertise he has acquired from 40 years in practice, including 23 years as a member of Michigan Court of Appeals.”

Saad works closely with clients and colleagues in Plunkett Cooney’s Appellate Law Practice Group to review and prepare complex and often high-profile appellate matters, including multi-district litigation and class actions. His expertise is particularly valuable with respect to issue spotting during the litigation process, creating trial and post-trial strategy and formulating persuasive appellate arguments.

In high stakes appellate litigation, Saad and the appellate team at Plunkett Cooney know that conducting mock oral argument is the best method for presenting a persuasive case and for anticipating tough questioning by appellate court judges. Plunkett Cooney’s appellate team is prepared to conduct mock oral argument in person and virtually in order to best position complex cases for success.

“I have always loved appellate practice and held Plunkett Cooney and its impressive appellate lawyers in the highest regard,” said Saad, who authored more than 75 published majority appellate decisions. “In my experience, Plunkett Cooney appellate lawyers are the best at their profession. I’m thrilled to be working with them and look forward to helping the firm’s clients achieve successful appellate outcomes.”

Saad, who was appointed to the Michigan Court of appeals by Gov. John Enger in 1994, retired from the bench in 2017, re-entering private practice with Young & Associates. Prior to becoming a judge, he

worked for 20 years at the law firm of Dickson Wright. Saad also has the distinction of having been nominated by President George H.W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

In addition to his public service, Saad has been involved for many years with several charitable and community organizations, including Detroit Public Television, Michigan Heart Association, McLaren Macomb Hospital and Brother Rice High School, where he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Saad graduated with honors from Wayne State University Business School in 1971 and from Wayne State University Law School, magna cum laude, in 1974. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Special Order of the Coif, the Salute to Justice John O’Brien Award and the Civic and Humanitarian Award presented by the Arab-American and Chaldean Council.

Plunkett Cooney is one of only a few Midwest law firms with a dedicated team of appellate attorneys. The members of the Appellate Law Practice Group are responsible for over 1,500 cases decided by state and federal appellate courts, including all Michigan appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Indiana appellate courts, the California Court of Appeals, and numerous federal circuit courts of appeal. Plunkett Cooney appellate attorneys are routinely retained to handle cutting edge appeals involving issues of first impression or to seek reversal of large adverse judgments. They have also prepared numerous amicus curiae briefs on behalf of firm clients for filing in state and federal courts.

Established in 1913, Plunkett Cooney is a leading provider of business and litigation services to clients in the private and public sectors. The firm employs approximately 150 attorneys in seven Michigan cities, Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana and Columbus, Ohio. 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 Judge Henry Saad joining Plunkett Cooney’s Appellate Law Practice Group, contact the firm’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, John Cornwell, at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.


Sharon Newlon to Receive Flex Success Award from the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance

DETROIT, Mich. – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that Sharon Newlon (Member and Environmental, Energy & Sustainability Practice Group Co-Chair, Detroit) will be honored alongside Sara von Bernthal, Senior Counsel, Real Estate, Office of the General Counsel, FCA USA LLC with the 2020 Flex Success® Award from the Diversity and Flexibility Alliance.

The Flex Success® Award recognizes Partners at Diversity & Flexibility Alliance member law firms who have achieved success while working a reduced hours schedule as well as a client who has been integral to making workplace flexibility so successful. The Awards will be presented on November 5, 2020 during the Alliance’s virtual annual conference, Moments of Impact: Transforming Organizational Culture. Registration is available here.

Sharon Newlon has been working a reduced hour schedule since the birth of her son twenty-two years ago and currently works a 75% reduced hour schedule. Recognized as a leader in her field by Best Lawyers in America, Sharon was instrumental in creating an initiative that allowed income members the option to become consulting members, with a negotiable billable hour requirement, in an effort to introduce flexibility into their careers. Sharon’s longtime client, Sara von Bernthal will also be honored for her ongoing support of Sharon and her schedule.

“I’m honored to receive the Flex Success® Award alongside Sara von Bernthal from FCA,” said Sharon Newlon. “Throughout my career, flexibility has been a cornerstone of building a rewarding practice within the legal industry. I’m grateful to Dickinson Wright, my colleagues and clients for being such great partners with me to create relationships that helped us attain our professional and personal goals,” she added.

“I’m honored to receive the Flex Success® Award alongside Sharon,” said Sara von Bernthal. “I’ve worked with Sharon for many years and we both know how important a flexible workplace is to female lawyers, especially working moms. I hope that promoting flexibility within our respective companies will lead to younger generations, especially women, realizing that they can have rewarding, successful careers that achieve their professional and personal goals.”

“Dickinson Wright congratulates Sharon Newlon and Sara von Bernthal on their well-deserved Flex Success® Award,” said Michael C. Hammer, CEO of Dickinson Wright. “Dickinson Wright is committed to working with our lawyers and clients to develop initiatives that promote flexibility within the workplace. We recognize that these important initiatives allow talented lawyers, like Sharon, to do their best work while assisting clients, like Sara, in furthering their diversity objectives while receiving the highest quality legal services. We look forward to working with them to build on their successful partnership.”

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 18 offices, including six in Michigan (Detroit, Troy, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw) and 11 other domestic offices in Austin and El Paso, Texas; 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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Chamber’s Government Relations Vice President Brad Williams Named to Crain’s ’50 Names to Know in Lobbying’

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Vice President of Government Relations Brad Williams on his inclusion as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ 50 Names to Know in Lobbying. Williams was recognized for his work advocating on behalf of regional and statewide businesses.

Brad is the Detroit chamber of commerce’s day-to-day lobbyist at the Capitol, keeping tabs on everything from policy affecting manufacturers and hospitals to economic development and K-12 and higher education, where the chamber has focused much of its lobbying efforts in recent years because of talent deficits in the workforce. Brad is often a key player in getting Detroit-specific public policy through the Legislature. He was involved in the successful passage of the 2014 “grand bargain” legislation to get Detroit out of bankruptcy. He’s been a leading advocate for expanding mass transit options in Southeast Michigan and works on statewide transportation policy and funding issues. Brad also oversees the Detroit Chamber’s political action committee. Brad was a 2016 Crain’s 40 under 40 honoree.

Chamber partners Andrea Cascarilla, senior legislative director, and Sarah Hubbard, principal, both of Acuitas LLC were also awarded this recognition.

Read the full feature in Crain’s Detroit Business.

Neil Bradley

Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. At the Chamber, Bradley is responsible for aligning the organization’s overall policy priorities and advocacy efforts.

Before joining the Chamber, Bradley was president of Chartwell Policy Solutions, LLC, a research, analysis, and advisory firm focused on public policy issues. In addition to his work at Chartwell, he served as chief strategy officer for the nonprofit Conservative Reform Network (CRN).

Prior to founding Chartwell and joining CRN in 2015, Bradley spent nearly 20 years working in the House of Representatives. He served as deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) and was policy director for House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (MO).

Earlier in his career, Bradley served for four-and-a-half years as executive director of the Republican Study Committee. He also held numerous positions in the office of then-Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Bradley graduated from Georgetown University and resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Kiki, and their son, Peter.

A “Perfect Storm” of Pre-Election Uncertainty Along the U.S.-Canada Border

National Observer

By: Emma McIntosh

October 22, 2020

This is the fourth of a series of stories Emma McIntosh is writing as part of National Observer’s special coverage of the U.S. election. Read the first, second and third stories here.

In normal times, residents of Windsor, Ont., and Detroit, Mich., cross the U.S.-Canada border as easily as many of us might wade through a cool stream on a summer day.

Windsor residents would drive across the Detroit River to catch a concert or a sports game. Folks from Detroit would pass over to visit seasonal cottages on the Canadian side or to shop. Cross-border friends, families and business associates could zip back and forth on the Ambassador Bridge or the Detroit-Windsor tunnel largely as they pleased.

All of that changed in the chaotic early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump shut the border to non-essential traffic. Since then, Canadian officials have said Canada’s busiest border crossing will stay shuttered as long as the public health risks involved in reopening outweigh the economic damage done by keeping the border shut.

See the Full Article Here. 

Former BDO Audit Partner Vin Nguyen Joins UHY LLP

UHY LLP, certified public accountants welcomes Vin Nguyen as its newest partner residing in the Great Lakes region.

Nguyen has over 25 years of experience working with family-owned, venture capital, private equity and public companies across a broad spectrum of industries. His experience includes working with clients in manufacturing, real estate, health care, and life sciences.

Spending the majority of his career with BDO, he comes with extensive experience planning, executing and managing audit engagements for both public and private companies in accordance with US GAAP, PCAOB standards, and SEC rules and regulations.

“It was a team effort to get Vin on board,” said Tom Callan, regional managing partner of UHY’s Great Lakes region. “We have known Vin for a long time, always knew he was the right fit for UHY. His years of experience working with public companies will allow us to reach deeper and offer our services at a scale that we normally would not be able to.”

Nguyen will work as part of the audit and assurance practice assisting with SEC reporting matters, business consulting and strategic planning.

Nguyen has a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting as well as an MBA from Wayne State University, and is a licensed CPA in the state of Michigan. He is a board member and treasurer for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan and a past member of the Asian Pacific American Chamber of Commerce.

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UHY LLP, a licensed CPA firm, provides audit and other attest services to publicly traded, privately owned and nonprofit organizations in a number of industry sectors. UHY Advisors provides tax and advisory services to entrepreneurial and other organizations, principally those enterprises in the dynamic middle market.

UHY LLP, operating in an alternative practice structure with UHY Advisors, forms one of the largest professional services firms in the US. While that scale might provide confidence for some clients, others tell us our greatest value is the way we bring these resources to bear to help address today’s evolving business challenges. It’s a philosophy we call “The Next Level of Service”. To learn more visit www.uhy-us.com.

All of the above entities are members of UHY International (“UHYI”), a worldwide network of independent professional services firms that provide audit, tax and advisory services around the globe. UHYI is ranked among the top international accountancy networks and a proud member in good standing of the Forum of Firms. Collectively, our US operating entities (UHY LLP and UHY Advisors) are the largest independent members of UHYI with significant participation, bringing the power of our international network to serve the individualized needs of our clients.

Walsh Hosts Virtual IT Program Info Sessions

TROY, Mich., Oct. 22, 2020 — Walsh will host virtual information sessions about bachelor’s and master’s information technology programs and the new master of science in data analytics on Nov. 5 at 6 p.m., Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. and Dec.1 at 6 p.m. All sessions will include live Q&A with staff and faculty.

Walsh’s IT programs include concentrations in automotive cybersecurity (the first of its kind in the nation), cybersecurity, data science, programming, project management and more. Walsh was one of the first schools in Michigan to be recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense (CAE/CD) and its IT degrees align with Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security NICE Framework Standards.

Earlier this year, Walsh transitioned all exams, courses and student services to 100% remote delivery in less than a week in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing students to continue their education without interruption to class or exam schedules. Remote delivery will continue through the winter 2021 semester, which ends Mar. 22, 2021.

“The technology we use allows us to modify our hands-on learning exercises for a remote format,” said Dave Schippers, D.Sc., Assistant Professor and Chair, IT/Decision Sciences. “Students collaborate via voice and screen shares to practice skills they will use in the workplace, and our faculty logs in to interact and offer guidance, just as we would in our on ground Cyber Lab.”

For more information about Walsh’s virtual admissions events, visit www.walshcollege.edu/admissions-events
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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 nationally-ranked programs integrate theory and application to prepare graduates for successful careers. Walsh degree programs include accounting, 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).