American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes Four New Board Members

American Society of Employers (ASE) Welcomes Four New Board Members

Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications, ASE, 248.223.8040,

Livonia, Mich. —March 26, 2019 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has added four new members to their Board of Directors for 2019. One member resigned.

New Board Members
• Elliott Forsyth, Vice President, Business Operations, Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center
• Laura A. Jones, HR Director, Global Cadillac, General Motors
• Ron Moran, Vice President, Ghafari Associates, LLC
• Sarah Orwig, Director, HR Business Operations, Product Development, Ford Motor Company

Board Member Resignation
• Neil Marchuk, Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Arconic, Inc.

The changes were announced by ASE President & CEO Mary E. Corrado. “ASE is pleased to welcome these highly regarded new board members. Their breadth of knowledge and experience will help ASE continue to grow as we have for 117 years,” stated Corrado.

In addition to the board changes, Sandy Selewski, Chief Human Resources Officer at Zeal Credit Union joined the American Society of Employers Educational Foundation Board of Trustees.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization
The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at

Ford Selects Restoration Design and Construction Partners for Michigan Central Station

DETROIT, Nov. 8, 2018 – Ford Motor Company is advancing its Corktown campus plans with the selection of its first architectural and construction partners that will work on restoring Michigan Central Station to its original grandeur. Quinn Evans Architects will lead the design work, while Christman and Brinker are teamed up in a joint venture to serve as construction manager for the Corktown transformation project. Construction will get underway before the end of this year, contingent on receiving all necessary government approvals. It is expected to be complete in 2022.

Ford announced it had purchased the iconic train station building in June and plans to transform it into the centerpiece of a new 1.2 million-square-foot campus in Corktown, including several surrounding properties. The campus will be an innovation hub where Ford and its partners can work to define the future of transportation, including building autonomous and electric vehicles, and designing mobility services and solutions for urban environments.

Detroit-based Quinn Evans Architects is one of the nation’s leading architectural practices specializing in historic preservation. The firm has worked on numerous landmark preservation projects, including the Michigan State Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the National Academy of Sciences on the National Mall and Baltimore’s Penn Station.

Corktown Transformation Joint Venture, a Detroit-based certified minority enterprise, is made up of Christman and Brinker. The two companies have worked together for more than 30 years on multiple high-profile projects including the campus expansion of Little Caesars World Headquarters, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, multiple Detroit Public Schools, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan BLUEnite headquarters.

The joint team of professionals assigned to Michigan Central Station has amassed 235 years of combined historic preservation experience on projects totaling more than $2 billion.

“Quinn Evans Architects and Christman Brinker have a strong track record of working together on restoring historic buildings, so we felt they were the right partners to help us begin this transformation project,” said Todd Brooks, program manager at Ford Land, the company’s real estate arm overseeing Ford’s Corktown campus. “They share Ford’s passion for redeveloping Detroit’s landmark train station, ensuring the local community benefits from our presence and building the future of the transportation industry right here in Detroit.”

“Michigan Central Station serves as a symbol of Detroit’s resilience,” said Richard B. Hess, a principal with Quinn Evans Architects. “With Ford’s commitment to a city of tomorrow, long-term sustainability and interconnected mobility, revitalization of the train station will go beyond preservation treatments to explore how the future of mobility can have a positive impact on the way people live and work in historic buildings while preserving the cultural heritage of existing neighborhoods. Our goal is to embrace both Detroit’s past and Detroit’s future. When completed, Michigan Central Station will once again serve as a symbol of Detroit’s ingenuity, innovation and civic pride.”

“Our team’s historic preservation expertise from successfully planning and implementing construction on more than 100 National Register and National Landmark projects will ensure that Ford’s investment in restoring the iconic Michigan Central Station will result in one of Detroit’s most recognized buildings seeing a second century of service,” said Ronald D. Staley, FAPT (Fellow, Association for Preservation Technology), Christman Brinker executive director of historic preservation. “Preserving the existing eight acres of masonry and replicating more than two acres of decorative plaster will be an exciting challenge for the project team.”

Ford and its partners are committed to hiring as many local residents as possible during the construction process. In addition, in its effort to address a shortage of skilled trade workers in the City, Ford has committed $5 million for workforce training, education and development.


Michigan Central Station has been a source of civic pride in Detroit for more than a century. When the 18-story station opened in 1913, it was the fourth tallest building in the city and the tallest train station in the world, once accommodating as many as 200 trains a day. The 600,000-square-foot space served as the city’s passenger rail station until 1988, when the last train departed and Amtrak shuttered the building. It has been vacant the last 30 years.


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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 200,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit


About Quinn Evans Architects

Established in 1984, Quinn Evans Architects specializes in architecture, planning, urban revitalization, and historic preservation, including sustainable preservation and stewardship. The firm has completed more than 60 preservation and restoration projects at National Historic Landmark sites throughout the U.S. Quinn Evans Architects employs more than 170 professionals in offices in Washington, D.C.; Ann Arbor and Detroit, Mi.; Madison, Wi.; Baltimore, Md; and Richmond, Va. The firm’s portfolio comprises cultural, institutional, commercial, and educational projects, such as museums, historic parks, theaters, mixed-use buildings, schools and campus facilities, libraries, and civic landmarks.

 Current projects include the modernization of the National Air and Space Museum, renovation of the Lincoln Memorial, and rehabilitation of the historic Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C.; renovation of the Old City Hall in Richmond, Va.; upgrades to the Cincinnati Art Museum; modernization of the historic Southeast Library in Minneapolis, Minn.; renovation and adaptive use of the Phillips Packing House in Cambridge, Md.; and several projects in Detroit, including restoration of the historic Wurlitzer Building, renovation of 985 Michigan Avenue for the U.S. General Services Administration, and the adaptive reuse of the historic Brewster Wheeler Recreation Center. Quinn Evans Architects has also recently been selected to serve as associate architect on Beatty Development Group’s team for Amtrak’s redevelopment of Baltimore Penn Station. For more information, visit

 About Christman Brinker
The Christman Company (, a Detroit-Based business who has an office in the Christman-built Fisher Building, was founded in 1894, and has been building in Detroit for 100 years. Christman is listed at #102 on the Engineering News-Record ENR 400 list of top contractors nationally, at #6 on the 2018 Crain’s Detroit Business list of largest contractors, and at #7 on the 2018 Crain’s Detroit Business “Fast 50” list of fastest-growing businesses in Detroit. Christman has completed work on 35 National Historic Landmarks and 77 National Register of Historic Places Properties, and successfully completed historic tax credit projects totaling more than $380 million. L.S. Brinker Company (, a certified Detroit Headquartered Business and certified Minority Business Enterprise, was founded in 1993 and specializes in providing construction and management related services. Projects together have included the Little Caesars World Headquarters Campus Expansion, Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business, multiple Detroit Public Schools, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan BLUnite, and the Detroit Cornice and Slate building renovation. Christman Brinker JV is also nationally certified by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.


Contact:     Christina Twelftree




Jessica Robinson: What Does Mobility Mean to You?

Jessica Robinson speaks at 2018 MICHauto SummitJessica Robinson, director of City Solutions for Ford Smart Mobility, knows firsthand that the importance of moving people and goods efficiently is critical for the city and region’s long-term success. Kicking off her Automobility Forum town hall discussion at the MICHauto Summit, Robinson asked attendees what mobility means to them.

Sticking with the theme of her talk, “Detroit: Live, Work, Play, Move the World,” Robinson shared her professional journey and how a degree in anthropology led to a fulfilling career in automotive. Prior to joining Ford Motor Company, Robinson served as market launch manager for Zipcar, a Massachusetts-based car-sharing company. After traveling the country, Robinson said she was drawn to Detroit and the innovative spirit its residents embody.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mobility is the most interesting industry to be in, it is part of everything.
  • No matter your age, you don’t have to have your life figured out; it is important to continue to learn.
  • Find a company whose vision and mission align with your goals, it will motivate you to work harder.
  • Be engaged in your community and find a way to give back.

Robinson closed her session by emphasizing that to be successful in the automotive and mobility industry, young talent must continue to bring innovative ideas about local problems to the table, learn from others and create solutions. Robinson’s session was sponsored by Phoenix Contact E-Mobility.

Ford VP Ken Washington Issues ‘Call to Arms’ for Auto Industry Talent

Ken Washington speaks at 2018 MICHauto SummitSmart, connected, electrified and autonomous vehicles have the transformational potential to change the world by solving key problems like congestion in urban cores and decreasing fatalities. Automakers in Michigan and around the world can’t achieve that dream, however, without tomorrow’s talent.

“We need bright minds to address serious challenges to our society,” said Ken Washington, vice president of research and advanced engineering and chief technology officer for Ford Motor Company, to kick off the 2018 MICHauto Summit.

“The future is about connecting people in new ways. Autonomous vehicles, ride-sharing, and harnessing the power of cell phones all present opportunities and challenges. This is a call to arms to people who want to engage in our industry,” Washington added.

Addressing more than 180 students, Washington shared Ford’s vision of “smart vehicles for a smart world.”

“Our industry – and the world around us – continues to evolve faster than ever. Our entire team remains fully committed to keeping sustainability at the heart of our strategy. To achieve our sustainability goals, we will continue to drive innovation in every part of our business,” Washington said.

As part of that sustainability effort, Ford has set a goal of 40 electric vehicles and 16 fully electric vehicles by 2022.

Washington said Detroit is where new mobility solutions, fueled by vehicles, will come to life.

“The future of transportation is about not just cars, but also systems of infrastructure, urban planning, engaging cities and our government leaders,” he said.

Key Takeaways:

  • Software engineers, mechatronics and electrification are three key areas where Ford is looking to hire immediate talent.
  • Ford is developing an open platform upon which cities can build out infrastructure communications, including connected traffic lights and parking spots, called the “Transportation Mobility Cloud.” The platform is designed to help connect smart transportation services, uniting them with one common language.
  • Ford is investing in Detroit and Corktown to attract the best and brightest minds to Michigan. “Michigan is the epicenter of automobility. It is our right to create the future of mobility here,” Washington said.

One of Automotive’s Leading Mobility Experts to Kick Off the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference

Don Butler, executive director of Connected Vehicle Platform and Product for Ford Mobility, a division of Ford Motor Company, will kick off the 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference on Wednesday, May 30 with a keynote address on Michigan’s mobility industry.

Butler has served on the front lines of the automotive industry’s transformation at Ford and General Motors (GM). He will discuss how the state can remain competitive in the era of connected and automated vehicle testing and development. Butler’s keynote session is sponsored by Ford Motor Company.

In his current position, Butler is responsible for Ford’s global integrated connectivity vision and strategy. He leads long-term planning and development to implement Ford’s vision of “smart vehicles for a smart world.” Butler previously held leadership roles at GM, where he is credited with reinventing the Cadillac brand among African-Americans, and the creation of GM’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation and Onstar Vehicle Diagnostics System.

Michigan Automakers Pave Way for City of Tomorrow

Connectivity, ride-sharing and electrification address challenges in dense urban areas

By James Amend

The city of tomorrow, where public, private and shared mobility services are interconnected to more efficiently and sustainably move people and goods, lies years down the road, but Detroit automakers already are paving the way.

“It is a time of tremendous change,” said Jessica Robinson, director of City Solutions at Ford Motor Company.

Advancements in autonomous and electric vehicles are occurring every day as the industry transforms from traditional automaker to personal mobility provider. Meanwhile, ride-hailing and car-sharing services are rapidly expanding and very shortly cars will communicate with each other and a city’s infrastructure. At the same time, however, the global population is skyrocketing, especially in urban areas  already suffocating under transportation congestion.

Robinson’s group is a one-of-a-kind unit within the industry tasked with addressing urban-environment issues and developing mobility solutions for congested cities. The group has delivered numerous innovations, although a key element of its early work has been reaching out to city leaders around the world to get a firsthand look at the mobility challenges facing urban centers.

“We can’t build more streets,” Robinson said. “So how do we move more people and more goods? The way to do that is greater orchestration.”

In New York, for example, traffic speed in Manhattan’s midtown area has fallen 20 percent in the last 10 years to 4.7 mph. And despite the litany of public transit options, vehicle ownership in outer boroughs such as Brooklyn remain a relatively robust 40 percent.

Ford’s Chariot startup was an early answer for New York. The on-demand ride-sharing service employs Ford Transit vans and shuttles up to 14 passengers along commuter routes. Vans take up the footprint of oneand-a-half vehicles and complement existing public transit routes as a first- and lastmile option for commuters. The company crowdsources rider data, too, so Chariot can service the right places at the right time.

“Microtransit fits into an industry middle ground between high-quality public transit and driving yourself, or walking,” Robinson said. “It enhances peoples’ ability to get around, brings efficiency with the shared piece and is responsive to demand.”

Chariot has expanded into eight other cities, including San Francisco, Austin and Seattle. Ford also recently began a public bicycle sharing service in collaboration with San Francisco’s transit authority. Ford GoBike launched in 2013 with 700 bikes available across 70 stations. Later this year, the automaker expects to provide 7,000 bikes.

Ford GoDrive is another experiment. It is a one-way car-sharing service in London, England. Parking is guaranteed and riders pay as they go, reserving and accessing cars with a smartphone app.


General Motors is working on several initiatives, including its Maven car-sharing unit. Maven offers GM cars and trucks for hourly, daily and weekly use targeting everyday people, residential communities, commercial entities, and the gig economy, an exploding network of drivers providing mobility services in urban areas under short-term contracts.

Launched in New York and Ann Arbor just over 18 months ago, Maven has expanded into nearly every major U.S. metropolitan market with 10,000 vehicles having logged 170 million miles.

Peter Kosak, executive director of Urban Mobility at GM, said Maven Gig is an example of how new forms of mobility satisfy changing consumer demands, generate jobs, and provide transportation to underserved populations. And with thousands of units of the Chevrolet Bolt, Maven Gig is slashing emissions and giving civic leaders critical insight to building future electric vehicle charging stations.
“The next step would be autonomous vehicles and a link to mass transit,” Kosak said.

Kosak said autonomous electric vehicles working in concert with local transit authorities could make a city more sustainable by reducing public transport costs, as well as providing rides and delivery services to urban areas outside of bus and rail routes.

“Now we can get our elderly to the doctor. We can deliver food. We can get our kids to school,” he said. “It is a powerful concept.”


Fiat Chrysler (FCA US LLC) also is driving the industry toward an autonomous future. The automaker’s Chrysler Pacifica minivan is being used by Google’s driverless car unit, Waymo. Testing of 600 cars is underway in California and Waymo was expected to expand its validation work into Southeast Michigan in late 2017.

The automaker also is collaborating with Germany’s BMW, chipmaker Intel, and Mobileye, an Israeli automotive vision expert, on self-driving technology. FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne called the collaboration vital to advancing driverless cars by sharing technologies and creating greater scale to drive down cost for users.

FCA also adopted Google’s powerful Android operating system to heighten the connectivity potential of its latestgeneration UConnect infotainment system. The system would potentially string together the growing universe of Android-powered devices and systems.

“(The) collaboration with Google has been an extremely beneficial opportunity for both companies to explore how in-vehicle infotainment and connectivity technology continues to evolve, and what it takes to meet consumers’ increasing desire for innovation of information with minimal distraction,” said Chris Barman, head of electrical engineering at FCA.


Among the projects at Toyota Motor North America in Ann Arbor is a broad research initiative into how drivers interact with advanced vehicle technologies to ensure future cars safely interact within their environments.

Five separate projects with national universities including the University of Michigan focus on societal acceptance and will generate data-driven insights into the use of future vehicle technologies, such as automated systems.

While much work lies ahead to fully integrate the emerging modes of transportation with traditional ones and public transit, industry leaders agree an environment where they have historically operated independently is no longer sustainable.

“The period we are in promises to unlock as much value and impact lifestyles and landscapes as the automobile did in the very beginning,” GM’s Kosak said. “It is going to be transformative.” James Amend is a senior editor at WardsAuto in Southfield.


January 6: January Detroiter Features Ford’s Mark Fields, Celebrates Automotive Innovation

January Detroiter Features Ford’s Mark Fields, Celebrates Automotive Innovation

Just in time for the North American International Auto Show, the January edition of the Detroiter magazine hit newsstands recently. The magazine features Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields on the cover and explores Ford’s latest innovations, including the all-aluminum bodied F-150 pickup truck.

Among this issue’s stories are several profiles of key automotive players, including James Verrier, president and CEO of BorgWarner Inc. Other highlights include interviews with suppliers and original equipment manufacturers, and their presence in Michigan. In addition to showcasing MICHauto’s latest efforts to promote, grow and retain the automotive industry, the magazine also explores the infrastructure and resources beyond the automotive industry that assist companies as they navigate the global market.

The Detroiter includes a letter from Gov. Rick Snyder celebrating the industry’s comeback, and takes a closer look at Kevin Kerrigan, the new vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Automotive Office, and his leadership of the state’s automotive strategy. Watch your mailbox for the newest edition or click here to read select stories online.

North American International Auto Show Kicks Off Jan. 12

The spectacular 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) kicks off next week at the newly renovated Cobo Center. One of the largest events of its kind, NAIAS brings together thousands of global auto enthusiasts and the industry’s top leaders to the Motor City.

The NAIAS begins with the Press Preview on Jan. 12-13, a two-day media event packed with new vehicle and industry announcements. Following that is the Industry Preview on Jan. 14-15 and the Charity Preview on Jan. 16 featuring the Steve Miller Band and Your Generation in Concert featuring Fifty Amp Fuse.

The nine-day Public Show runs from Jan. 17-25 and features more than 500 vehicles, including at least 40 never-before-seen cars and trucks. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit

Startgrid Detroit Launches ‘Ask Me Anything’ Campaign to Help Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a business in the Detroit region have a new tool in their arsenal. Startgrid Detroit, an initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber, is offering entrepreneurs a chance to ask advice and have their questions answered from industry experts in a new interactive campaign launched this month titled “Ask Me Anything.”

Throughout January, users can submit their questions on the Startgrid website. A panel of experts will provide feedback via a question and answer format. Upon logging into the website and creating a free profile, users can select an expert, submit their question and will be notified when they receive a response. Experts include Rachele Downs, vice president of entrepreneurial strategies for Inforum Michigan; Mike Evans, founder and developer of Loveland Technologies; Angel Gambino, founder of Alchemists Collective; David Kirby, owner of Parker Street Market; Amy Peterson, co-founder of Rebel Nell; and Rick Williams, co-owner of Burn Rubber/The Social Club. All answers will remain on the Startgrid website at the conclusion of the campaign.

“Ask Me Anything” is the latest addition to Startgrid Detroit, which serves as an open forum for entrepreneurs to exchange ideas, gather feedback and make connections on a free online community. New features include “the markets,” which allows users to explore vertical markets and connect to people, places and ideas in their region and across the country. The new “follow” option also allows users to stay updated with industry experts and fellow entrepreneurs.

Explore all the new features on Startgrid Detroit at For more information or to request a demo, please contact Devon O’Reilly at 313.596.0335.

Harvard Names Chamber Board Members Gordon Krater, Sandra Pierce Business Leaders of the Year

The Detroit Regional Chamber congratulates Gordon Krater, managing partner of Plante Moran, and Sandra Pierce, vice chairwoman of FirstMerit Corporation and chairwoman and CEO of FirstMerit Michigan, for being named Business Leaders of the Year by the Harvard Business School Club of Michigan.

Krater and Pierce both serve on the Chamber board, with Pierce serving as former board chairwoman. They are being honored for their strong leadership and ability to “create and sustain a culture of corporate citizenship that fosters community engagement for the betterment of the region.” A dinner held in their honor will take place on March 26 at Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy.

The Chamber looks forward to continuing its work with such impactful board members to grow the economy of Southeast Michigan.

Chamber Staff Volunteer at FOCUS: Hope to Provide Food Assistance

In December, nearly 20 Chamber staff members spent the day volunteering at Detroit’s Focus: HOPE, helping to pack boxes of food for low income and struggling families throughout Southeast Michigan.

The Chamber participated in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program that assists mothers, children up to age 6, and low income seniors. In its over 40 years, Focus: HOPE has provided critical canned and packaged food for 21 million people. In addition to food assistance, Focus: HOPE also runs career training and neighborhood quality of life programs.

To learn more about the nonprofit’s efforts to combat poverty in the Detroit region, visit