JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, Welcomes Three New Sales Executives

JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, welcomes three new sales executives to the agency’s sales team: Carter Bundy, Bill Brown and Jace Clark.

Carter Bundy is a Flint native turned Detroiter. He joined JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, as a Sales Executive in 2020. With a background in government, technology, start-ups and non-profits, Carter brings a unique skillset and passion to his work with clients.

His creative approach allows for the delivery of comprehensive and cost-effective benefit solutions every time. A proud graduate of the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, Carter holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance. Carter has a true passion for service and enjoys bringing that enthusiasm to various community organizations. He is currently Chair of the Board for the Detroit Young Professionals and serves on the Board for the Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit. Carter can be reached at 248.663.1043 or at carter@jsclarkagency.com.

Bill Brown joined JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, as a Sales Executive in 2020. Bill has previous experience with worksite and voluntary benefits, as well as experience working as a business consultant. His professional background is an asset to his role at JS Clark where he manages a portfolio of health and welfare employee benefit plans.

His experience handling multi-state enrollment processes allows him to identify employee education needs and the planning/direction needed to ensure a smooth open enrollment process. Although he works across industries, Bill has specific insights and knowledge in startups, tech companies, and enterprises within the transportation sector. Bill can be reached at 248.663.1044 or at bill@jsclarkagency.com.

Jace Clark joined JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, as a Sales Executive in 2020. His history with the agency spans several years. Jace worked as an intern at JS Clark Agency every summer from 2007-2012 during his high school career before leaving to attend and graduate from Michigan State University (MSU).

After receiving his degree from MSU, Jace joined Blue Care Network as an underwriter for both small and large groups. After some time away, Jace is excited to be back at the agency helping organizations create successful employee benefit plans. Jace can be reached at 248.996.1830 or at jace@jsclarkagency.com.

JS Clark Agency, An AssuredPartners Company, is a full-service employee benefits firm located in Southfield, Michigan. Since 1987, JS Clark has been providing employee benefit services to more than 300 clients. The agency specializes in the design, communication, administration, compliance and overall management of group benefit programs. Learn more at jsclarkagency.com.

Butzel Long is hosting its 32nd Annual Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits and Immigration Law Forum on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit

DETROIT, Mich. – Human resources professionals, general counsel, business owners and all who deal with employees, must hit the ground running each day to keep up with a maze of labor, employment, employee benefits and immigration law issues. Butzel Long’s 32nd Annual Labor, Employment, Employee Benefits and Immigration Law Forum will focus on key legal matters on Thursday, November 14, 2019 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel, located at 2901 Grand River Avenue in Detroit.

The seminar begins with registration at 7:15 a.m. The conference takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The $190 registration fee includes a continental breakfast, lunch and seminar materials. The program is pending approval for both 4 (HR (General)) recertification credits by the HR Certification Institute as well as 4 PDCs for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.

“Labor, employment, benefits and immigration issues change constantly,” said Daniel B. Tukel, Chair of Butzel Long’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Department. “We have developed 12 workshops to address some of the top workplace issues employers face today.”

Workshop session topics include:

• Recent Changes in Immigration: Impact on Employers and their Foreign National Employees

• Workplace Violence and the Mentally Challenged Employee

• Employee Benefits Issues Worth Losing Sleep Over – A Roundtable Discussion

• Marijuana in the Workplace

• Challenges in Business Immigration: Strategies for Employers of Foreign National Employees

• Leaves and Other Workplace Accommodation Issues

• EMERGENCY! What to do When Your Company’s Valuable Assets are at Risk

• FMLA Issues

• How the NLRB Affects Your Non-Union Employees

• Politics in the Workplace: What You Need to Know

• FLSA Updates

• Labor and Employment Compliance: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

A highlight will be a lunchtime program describing Employment Best Practices featuring a panel of Butzel Long attorneys and prominent business representatives who will discuss their company’s best employment-related practices in areas including diversity and employee retention, to name a few.

For more information or to register online, visit https://www.butzel.com/event. For inquiries, contact Nairi Chopjian at 313-225-7012 or chopjian@butzel.com.

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 alliance offices in Beijing and Shanghai. 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

Marsh & McLennan Agency Welcomes Geoff Brieden as Vice President, Health & Benefits

Troy, Michigan – February 11, 2019 – Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC (MMA) recently appointed Geoff Brieden as a vice president with the health and benefits practice in Troy, Mich. In his new position, Brieden identifies best practices and strategic solutions that optimally fit his clients’ group benefit needs.

Prior to joining MMA, Brieden owned Kane Atwood Group Services for over ten years, assisting employers with their benefits strategies. During this time, he developed a particular affinity for and understanding of the unique needs of the health care industry. Before starting his own firm, Brieden garnered thirteen years of experience with a third party administrator.

As a vice president of health & benefits with MMA, Brieden will leverage his extensive background to help employers design strategic benefits plans that meet their business management goals as well as help achieve their talent recruitment and engagement goals.

“We are honored to welcome Geoff to our team: his entrepreneurial spirit and thoughtful approach are a great addition to MMA. Geoff understands the complex and changing needs of mid-size and larger employers and takes a thorough approach to addressing those challenges,” said Rebecca A. McLaughlan, president & ceo of Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC’s Michigan Health & Benefits operations.

“I chose to join MMA because of the energy and intelligence of the people, and the resources that MMA brings to the table. I am excited for what the future holds,” added Brieden.

Brieden received his BA in Business & Economics from Kalamazoo College and an MBA in Business & Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. A competitive sailor, Brieden is also an active supporter of Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries, Wreaths Across America, and the LivLife Foundation.

If you would like more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Ryan Bowers at (248)822-6231 or rbowers@mma-mi.com.

Faced with Record-Low Unemployment, More Employers Are Investing in Employee Benefits Rather than Reducing Costs

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., November 1, 2018 – Attracting and retaining talent remains the number one operational priority of 60 percent of employers according to the forthcoming 2018 Gallagher Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey. That figure has increased two percentage points from 2017, and is in sharp contrast to the 37 percent of employers who ranked controlling benefit costs as the top priority, a figure that declined six percentage points from 2017. And nearly half (45 percent) of employers chose not to increase employee cost sharing of healthcare benefits.

“While keeping a lid on costs is always important, we are seeing a clear shift in the market as employers are having to compete more aggressively for talent in the face of the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years,” said William F. Ziebell, President, Gallagher Employee Benefits Consulting and Brokerage. “Today’s workforce is comprised of five very different generations, meaning it is no longer good enough to simply offer standard medical coverage and a competitive retirement plan. The 2018 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey uncovered best practices that address employees’ total wellbeing, which will positively impact organizational retention and recruitment efforts.”

Employers Taking a Holistic View of Employee Wellbeing

The Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey found forward-thinking employers are taking a more holistic view of employee wellbeing and developing strategies that both engage and appeal to their team. For example, more than half of employers (55 percent) now provide a telemedicine component, allowing employees to virtually connect with clinicians. That is an increase of more than 100 percent from 2016, when just 24 percent of employers utilized telemedicine. In addition to saving employees time, telemedicine has been shown to reduce expenses for both employers and employees.

The report also found employers are looking for ways to reduce medical expenses by encouraging their employees to live healthy lifestyles. The most popular physical wellbeing benefits include flu shots, tobacco cessation programs, health risk assessments and biometric screenings.

Because financial stressors can negatively affect productivity, financial wellbeing proved to be another area of interest for employers. More than six out of ten employers (62 percent) now offer employees access to financial advisors and nearly half (47 percent) provide financial-literacy education to help employees make better saving and spending decisions. The research also showed 43 percent of employers are taking steps to gauge employee retirement readiness, compared to previous years (33 percent in 2016).

Identifying and Changing Benefits Based on Employee Preferences

Because the tightening labor market has made it easier for top employees to leave their jobs voluntarily, more employers are tweaking existing benefits or adding new offerings. The goal is to provide employees with more choices that will better fit their own lifestyles and needs. Examples include:

• Health Benefits Choice: More than one in five employers (22 percent) now offer employees three medical insurance plans, and 13 percent offer four or more options.

• Tuition Assistance: Nearly half (46 percent) of employers provide tuition assistance, which is up from 42 percent in 2017. The most common tuition reimbursement amount totaled $5,250 annually per employee.

• Life Insurance: Nine of ten (89 percent) employers said they now offer employees life insurance, which is a five percent increase from 2017.

• Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): 70 percent of employers provide access to EAPs, which is an 11 percent jump from 2017.

Small Segment of Employers Fully Engage Employees around Workplace Benefits

Given many employee rosters include a multigenerational workforce, it has become increasingly important for employers to offer benefits that appeal to each segment of their workforce. Surprisingly, just 13 percent of employers said they have a comprehensive communication strategy to guide how they collect and share benefits information with employees, and most (74 percent) noted they have a communication strategy for just some of their benefits and wellbeing offerings.

“More than half of employers (59 percent) expect to increase their headcount over the next two years. That will be a challenge considering there are currently more job openings than individuals to fill those positions,” Ziebell said. “As a result, employers must get smarter about working within their budgets to offer benefits and compensation packages that engage their teams. At the same time, it will be imperative for organizations to clearly communicate the offerings and measure their effectiveness. The days of ‘set it and forget it’ in regards to compensation and benefits are over.”

For more information about the 2018 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey, visit: www.ajg.com/NBS-2018.


Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), a global insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting services firm, is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. The company has operations in 34 countries and offers client service capabilities in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants.

Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., the employee benefits consulting and brokerage operation of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., developed the Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey to provide employers with insights into how their peers are addressing benefit and human capital challenges. The 2018 survey, conducted from January to April of this year, aggregates responses from 4,241 organizations across the U.S. Additional survey results can be found at www.ajg.com/NBS-2018.

Dickinson Wright to Host Sunrise Seminar on “The Top 10 Insider Tips for Operating a Gold Standard 401(k) and 403(b) Retirement Plan”

DETROIT, Mich., October 16, 2018 – Dickinson Wright PLLC is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a Sunrise Seminar entitled “The Top 10 Insider Tips for Operating a Gold Standard 401(k) and 403(b) Retirement Plan” on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Automation Alley in Troy, Mich.

Join attorneys from the firm’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group as they share their insight on best retirement plan administrative practices from years of advising employers on 401(k) and 403(b) plan issues.

This program will guide participants through the top ten tips designed to help employers achieve the gold standard in effective retirement plan operation. Topics include:

• Setting up a plan investment committee: best practices for plans of all sizes
• Charging plan operational fees to participants: what to do and what definitely not to do
• Avoiding plan operational errors that irritate employees and cost you money
• Getting the most out of your record keeper, investment consultant and other plan advisers
• Avoiding “but this is what we’ve always done” syndrome

Below are the event details for Dickinson Wright’s Sunrise Seminar:

Dickinson Wright Sunrise Seminar “The Top 10 Insider Tips for Operating a Gold Standard 401(k) and 403(b) Retirement Plan”

Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Location: Automation Alley
2675 Bellingham Dr.
Troy, MI 48083

To register for this free event, please visit www.dickinsonwright.com.

Jordan Schreier represents clients in all areas of employee benefits and compensation matters. He advises employers on qualified/nonqualified retirement and welfare plans and provides counsel on fiduciary duty best practices, IRS and DOL compliance and service provider relationships. He serves as legal counsel to numerous pension and 401(k) investment committees.

Eric Gregory assists clients in all areas of employee benefits law, including qualified retirement plans, welfare plans, and non-qualified compensation programs. He routinely participates in fiduciary committee meetings and conducts training for fiduciary committees, including training regarding fiduciary duties under ERISA, prohibited transactions, and current developments.

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. Headquartered in Detroit and founded in 1878, 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; Columbus, Ohio; Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville and Music Row, 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, 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.

Key Strategies for Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent in a Tightening Labor Market

A new survey by Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. shows that a growing number of employers are revamping their benefits strategies to outmaneuver competitors and become destination employers.

As the U.S. unemployment rate drops, the battle to recruit and retain top talent has only intensified. Becoming a destination employer is not only crucial for the competitiveness of individual organizations, it also impacts the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are currently 5.7 million job openings. If all of those positions were filled, the nation’s GDP growth rate could significantly increase.

The heightened need for strong benefits and compensation packages is a resonating theme throughout the 2017 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (Gallagher) Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey, which collected data from 4,226 organizations across the U.S. In its fifth year, the survey examined how employers were using benefits and compensation to differentiate their organization in the war for talent. Notable findings from this year’s research show a growing emphasis on addressing the needs of the whole employee, integrating emotional, financial, social and career wellbeing with physical health.

Shift in Employer Thinking from Wellness to Wellbeing

Historically, wellness programs have focused on improving physical health as an extension of medical benefits. While reducing healthcare costs remains the main driver for offering a wellness program (60 percent), employers also cite investing in the organization’s culture (43 percent) and improving employees’ work experience and satisfaction (37 percent) as other top motivators. This broader, more holistic approach is also demonstrated by the increase in programs now covering financial wellbeing (34 percent), volunteer opportunities (28 percent) and community engagement (27 percent).

“This shift in thinking is one of the reasons we expect 70 percent of organizations will offer wellness programs by 2019,” said William F. Ziebell, President, Gallagher Employee Benefits Consulting and Brokerage. “When employers rebalance their priorities to include benefits like professional development and a workplace culture that promotes employee engagement and total wellbeing, they differentiate themselves in the talent marketplace.”

Leave Policies Play a Role in Employee Attraction and Retention

The need to appeal to younger workers with parental leave policies has prompted a discussion about supporting the total wellbeing of employees as they try to solve the work-life equation. Despite headlines showcasing generous maternity and paternity leave policies, a vast majority (64 percent) of organizations do not offer paid parental leave apart from short-term disability. In fact, only 22 percent offer this benefit to both mothers and fathers.

Retirement Readiness is Key to Higher Productivity and Engagement

Retirement benefits better equip employees for their financial future and give them peace of mind in the present. While it is encouraging that nearly half (48 percent) of employers use auto-enrollment in retirement plans to help employees improve savings, only 37 percent are measuring retirement readiness.
“During every life stage, employees encounter financial obstacles like paying student loans, buying a home, or paying for daycare,” Ziebell said. “These impact retirement savings and can result in employees needing to stay on the job longer than they’d like. An aging population often has higher healthcare costs and limits opportunities for younger employees to advance. So when organizations help their employees identify and manage these financial stressors, it often results in higher productivity and engagement.”

Survey Shows Importance of Taking a 360-Degree View

The 2017 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey underscores the importance of taking a 360-degree view of an organization’s benefits and compensation strategy, specifically through the lens of employee attraction and retention. Micro and macro-economic factors, such as the tightening labor market and shrinking candidate pool, make it even more imperative. As employers gain a deeper understanding of how these different elements work together, they can see more clearly how to align human resource and organizational strategies to drive better business results.


Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., the employee benefits consulting and brokerage operation of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., developed the Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey to provide employers with insights into how their peers are addressing benefit and human capital challenges. The 2017 survey, conducted from January to March of this year, aggregates responses from 4,226 organizations across the U.S. Additional survey results can be found at www.ajg.com/NBS2017.


Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), an international insurance brokerage and risk management services firm, is headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, has operations in 33 countries and offers client-service capabilities in more than 150 countries around the world through a network of correspondent brokers and consultants.


Plante Moran Launches Healthcare Reform Website Featuring Tools to Navigate New System

Southfield, Michigan, June 27, 2013 – Plante Moran, PLLC has launched a website to guide employers and healthcare providers through the intricacies of U.S. healthcare reform.

One of the largest certified public accounting and business consulting firms in the nation, Plante Moran has introduced an information-packed website that gives employers and healthcare providers access to webinars, videos and articles focused on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or PPACA. The site, http://healthcarereform.plantemoran.com, also offers a downloadable “decision tree” that can help companies determine if they are considered a large employer who must comply with the regulations outlined in PPACA.

“Navigating the complexities of healthcare reform requires a tremendous amount of expertise,” said Ed Murphy, president of Plante Moran Group Benefit Advisors. “Our new website and the tools it offers can help employers analyze the options available to them and optimize decisions, from tax compliance to benefit plan design and pricing, and from reimbursement to capital planning strategy.

“Our hope is that the information on our new website is on point, easy to understand and will be a guide to assist in compliance with PPACA.”

The new website features

  •  A series of spring 2013 archived webinars, including employee benefits purchasing strategies and public/private exchanges. A new Plante Moran webinar series, including healthcare topics, will be launched in the fall.
  •  A free mobile app available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices containing everything available on the new website.
  •  Seven video vignettes that focus on various aspects of healthcare reform for employers, including an overview of the law and its history, public health exchanges and implementation and strategy
  •  A decision tree guide to help employers determine the applicability of the Shared Responsibility rules
  •  A 2013-14 Healthcare Outlook, along with other informative articles authored by Plante Moran accountants and advisers
  •  A “cost of care” benchmarking tool focused on seven key metrics that allows healthcare providers to see how they rank against their peers
  •  A hospital board member “best practices” checklist that provides new board members and healthcare executives with easy-to-digest documents focused on helping them achieve their organization’s mission

“As the research and implementation planning for healthcare reform continues, uncertainty about the appropriate steps can paralyze employers and providers into inaction,” Murphy said. “At Plante Moran, our goal is to provide the tools, understanding and the team needed to help organizations make the best decisions in a timely fashion.”

About Plante Moran, PLLCPlante Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting, and wealth management services. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 2,000 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois, with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work. For more information, visit plantemoran.com.

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