Former Executive Director of State of Michigan’s Office of Performance and Transformation named CEO of Michigan Israel Business Accelerator; Scott W. Hiipakka will build on MIBA successes and expand’s footprint

DETROIT, Mich. – Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA), which elevates the scope and scale of the Michigan-Israel economic relationship, has appointed Scott W. Hiipakka as Chief Executive Officer.

For the past three years, Hiipakka has held several key positions with the State of Michigan. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of the State of Michigan’s Office of Performance and Transformation, where he provided leadership and direction to five departments. Previously, he was the Program Management Director for the Executive Office of the Governor. He also was a Senior Strategic Planner and Advisor with the State of Michigan.

Hiipakka will build on MIBA successes and expand the footprint, an innovative free web platform connecting startups, hubs and funders, which officially launches on May 20, 2019.

MIBA, a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) backed organization, supports the growth of bi-lateral Michigan–Israeli economic and business relationships. MIBA serves as the primary catalyst to leverage the highest value from such relationships by functioning as the central repository of economic and business connection between Michigan and Israel.

“MIBA is a conduit for growing Michigan’s ecosystem,” said Hiipakka. “ is an exciting new web platform, managed by MIBA, that has enormous potential moving forward.”

Mark Davidoff, Chairman of MIBA Board said, “Scott is a proven leader. With his vision and passion for moving Michigan forward, MIBA will be positioned for continued and sustainable growth and impact.”

Hiipakka, a resident of Milford, has more than 20 years of operational expertise, business development and program-management experience. Notably, Hiipakka is a Michigan Army National Guard Colonel and currently supervises more than 2,650 people. He has held multiple command and staff positions with service in conventional and special operations forces as well as in the Michigan National Guard.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Advertising, Distinguished Military Graduate from Michigan State University. Hiipakka received a Master’s degree in Professional Studies–Homeland Security from Penn State University. He earned his Master in Strategic Studies degree as an Honors Graduate at the United States Army War College.

Hiipakka is a Commissioner, Michigan Community Service Commission-Gubernatorial Appointment. He also is a director on the board of Leadership Oakland. He is a Founder of Together We Can (Annual Food Drive) Leadership Oakland.

He has received several awards and tributes including the 2018 State of Michigan Governor’s Tribute for Service; the 2016 Leader of Leaders Award, Leadership Oakland; 2014 The Legacy Award, Winning Futures; and, 2013 Rare Everyday Hero Award, Winning Futures.

About Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA)

MIBA elevates the scope and scale of the Michigan Israel economic relationship, targeting the convergence of technology, industry and research in such sectors as advance manufacturing, mobility, cyber, defense, water, health and life science and agriculture. For more information, visit www.michiganisrael.com3.

Butzel Long attorney Beth S. Gotthelf to receive Honorary Doctorate from Oakland University on April 25

DETROIT, Mich. – Butzel Long attorney Beth S. Gotthelf will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from her alma mater, Oakland University, during a commencement ceremony on Thursday, April 25, 2019.

Gotthelf is Butzel Long’s Director of Innovation and External Relations. She also is an Executive-in-Residence at the Macomb-OU INCubator and serves on the Macomb-OU INCubator Advisory Council.

Gotthelf reflects back on her days at Oakland University, “It was transformative, bringing a passion of other cultures, Shakespeare and art history. Oakland University also opened my eyes to nutrition and fitness, which has led me to be a lifelong biker and swimmer. All this and a career, too!”

Gotthelf served as a lay-leader on legislative trade missions to Israel to help Michigan legislators learn what has worked to make Israel an economic leader, and bring those ‘lessons learned’ back to Michigan. She is immediate past president and a current Board member of the Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA). With her connector skills, Gotthelf chaired a highly successful matchmaking initiative to bring Israel and Michigan automotive companies together during a high-tech automotive exchange mission by the Israel Consul for Economic Affairs and the Michigan Israel Business Bridge (now the MIBA). That mission resulted in over 100 matchmaking meetings.

She continued her passion of connecting companies to create business when she became president of MIBA by convincing Israel to have its first ever trade mission of Israeli Defense companies to a state (Michigan) in 2017. This mission was so successful that it led to the first-ever trade mission by a state (Michigan) of defense companies to Israel in December 2018. As a result, Michigan and Israel defense companies are reaping the benefit.

Gotthelf brings a pragmatic and holistic approach to clients’ issues, assisting them in reaching their business goals, often matchmaking clients’ needs and acting as an outside general counsel. Her assistance in diversifying automotive suppliers into the aerospace & defense arena during the economic downturn is just one example of her holistic approach. She now counsels clients in governmental contracting, ITAR, EAR, and Foreign Military Sales. Gotthelf also is a leader in environmental law, bringing creative solutions to remediation, redevelopment, tax incentives, and waste management.

She represents and counsels a diverse mix of clients in numerous matters throughout the country. These matters include compliance and permitting; alternative energy issues; responding to an emergency; siting new facilities; civil and criminal enforcement; compliance audits; brownfields; tax incentives; remediation of contaminated sites; insurance claims; administrative procedures; solid and hazardous waste; landfills; composting; and occupational safety and health.
Gotthelf has served as general counsel to the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Surface Finishers since 1990; Better Business Bureau Board member (2012-present); former general counsel to the Wayne County Brownfield Authority. She has represented the Wayne County Department of Environment on a broad variety of issues, including the Detroit bankruptcy as it related to the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department; wastewater treatment plant expansion, upgrade and compliance; wet weather; landfills; remediation; and ordinance amendments.

She has been very active in the Bar, including past service as: Vice Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Water Quality and Wetlands; former Vice Chair of the Section’s Keystone Committee; Chair of the State Bar of Michigan Environmental Law Section; and Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association. She is a past member of the State Bar Representative Assembly on behalf of Oakland County.

In addition, Gotthelf is on the board of the Better Business Bureau. She is an active member of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Environmental Committee, past member of the Chambers Leadership Committee for Transportation, and is past Chair of the Chamber’s Task Force on Water and Sewer Issues. She is Chair of the City of Birmingham (Michigan) Brownfield Authority (2005-present). On behalf of industry, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee charged with recommending stormwater rules and served as a Director of the Detroit Area Commercial Board of Realtors, which covers the State of Michigan. Gotthelf served as an arbitrator for the National Arbitration Forum.

Gotthelf was recently named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly’s 2019 Class of Leaders in the Law. She also was selected as one of 20 influential leaders by Michigan Lawyers Weekly – Women in Law (2010). She was listed as one of the “Top 100 Michigan Super Lawyers” by Michigan Super Lawyers (2006, 2007, 2008) and as one of the “Top 50 Female Michigan Super Lawyers” (2006, 2008, 2014 and 2015). She also is listed in Michigan Super Lawyers, Environmental (2006-2018). She has received a number of awards and special recognitions, including as an emerging leader by the Detroit Regional Chamber (2003); the National Association of Surface Finishers (2002); Corp! Magazine as one of “Michigan’s 95 Most Powerful Women” (2002); Corp! Magazine’s “Top 10 Business Attorneys for Southeast Michigan” (1999); and Crain’s Detroit Business’ 40 emerging leaders under age 40 (40 Under 40) (1994).

She has authored articles of national interest for the ABA on Proposed Wastewater Regulations and Underground Storage Tanks, and authored a public policy update on the Detroit wastewater ordinance amendments for Detroiter. National lectures include National Brownfields Conference (2008); Walsh College “FIN or Else: FIN 47” Seminar; Urban Land Use Planning (2007); COATING 2005 on “Doing Business in China”; the ABA Annual Meetings, Section of Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law concerning general practice (2007) and water issues (2004 and 2002); “A Civil Reaction: Confronting Environment Problems in the New Millennium” (1997); “Annual Fundamentals of Real Estate Taxation” (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2002); and at the National Association of Metal Finishers, “Federal Wastewater Pretreatment Issues.”
Gotthelf’s charitable activities include serving as Co-Chair of the Gleaners Food Bank Women’s Power Breakfast fundraiser (2015); Board member and eventually President of the Board of Trustees for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Michigan Chapter (1996-2008); Board member and eventually Chair of the Board of Trustees of Oakland Plus Foundation (2005-11); Trustee of the Jewish Vocational Services (2000-15); member of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, State Government Relations Oversight Committee (2004-present); member of the Board of Directors for the University and Cancer Foundation (2000-07), to name a few.

Gotthelf earned a J.D. the University of Detroit Mercy in 1985. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and Public Policy from Oakland University in 1980.

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 or follow Butzel Long on Twitter @butzel_long or :

Michigan Israel Business Accelerator names Sandy Selinger as CEO; Not-for-profit organization leading mobility delegation to Israel in May

Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA) has appointed Sandy Selinger as its first-ever CEO.

The Governor Snyder and Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) backed organization is leveraging the convergence of the strategic direction of Michigan and Israel and emergence of new technologies to build on successes and expand opportunities for greater outcomes.

With 20 years of experience serving in leadership roles with international businesses, Selinger will direct MIBA and lead a team that will help boost the Michigan economy by expanding collaboration with Israeli companies, leveraging innovation processes on both sides and providing a compelling landing pad for Israeli companies in Michigan.

“Michigan businesses have unlimited potential to work and collaborate with Israel-based businesses and vice-versa,” said Selinger. “Israel and Michigan have a lot of similarities and overlap in industrial concentrations and will work well in tandem. We’re excited about the possibility of coming together around many areas like mobility, cyber, defense and even water.”

“MIBA is a catalyst focused on the economic betterment of the State of Michigan,” added Selinger. “We have exciting plans moving forward. Already, we’re leading a delegation to Israel in early May focused on mobility with the American Center for Mobility along with other Michigan companies.”

“MIBA is the single portal for business-to-business connections between Michigan and Israel,” said Mark Davidoff, Michigan Managing Partner, Deloitte, and Chairman of MIBA Board. “This is a win-win for Michigan, our economy and Israel.”

Selinger has extensive experience working with Israeli startups building and expanding their U.S. operations. Prior to relocating to Detroit, Selinger was responsible for managing’s (NASDAQ: WIX), New York City office where he built and managed a bi-costal and nationally reaching marketing team to establish and expand WIX’s presence in the U.S. In that capacity he forged partnerships and co-branding opportunities with companies like Google, Facebook, Constant Contact, Yelp and Mashable.

Prior to that, Selinger spearheaded operations and finance at Psyop Inc., where he oversaw growth from four founding members to an international design and production powerhouse winning Clio awards, Design Effectiveness Awards (DBAs) and an Emmy. Concurrently, he was responsible for running the company’s New York, Los Angeles and London offices employing 120 people.

Notably, Selinger served as an operations officer and squad leader, rescue and evacuation unit, Israel Defense Force (IDF).

Selinger earned a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1998 and a Bachelor of Arts degree (double major in Economics and International Affairs) from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1997. Selinger lives with his wife and children in Grosse Pointe Park.

About Michigan Israel Business Accelerator (MIBA)

Through the assistance of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and private support, MIBA will elevate the scope and scale of the Michigan Israel relationship, targeting the convergence of technology, industry and research in such sectors as advance manufacturing, mobility, cyber, defense, water, health and life science and agriculture. For more information, visit