May-June 2011

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Inside Business

The Comeback Kid

A consultant reinvents his practice.

Cast it Forward

A manufacturer in Westland has developed a product to compete with century-old materials.

Baker Tilly Expands Leadership Team

Baker Tilly announced today recent promotions in their Southfield office.

Carl Rashid Joins Dykema in Detroit

Leading real estate attorney to head Dykema’s property tax appeals practice team; addition brings more than three decades of experience to the firm.

Five Keys to Achieving Fiscal Fitness in July

This financial tools workshop in Oakland County on July 26 is designed to help the non-financial manager business owner achieve "Fiscal Fitness".

Law Change Allows Volunteers to Take on Larger Role in Conservation Efforts

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill today that will help to better protect Michigan’s natural resources by allowing volunteers to take on a larger role in conservation efforts.

Carhartt Announces Black Diamond Group As New Footwear Licensee

Carhartt, America’s premium work wear brand since 1889, today announced the selection of the Black Diamond Group, a leading footwear company specializing in performance protective footwear, as the new licensee for Carhartt-branded footwear.

Ford's Alan Mulally Named 2011 CEO of the Year

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has been named "2011 Chief Executive of the Year," an honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of his or her peers.

MWW Automotive Expands Production Capacity

MWW Automotive Group (OTCQB: MWWC), a global design, engineering, and manufacturing firm serving some of the world's leading automotive manufacturers, announced today that it has begun the process of expanding its production and assembly facility in Baroda, to further increase its production capacity.

GM Foundation Grants $2.5 Million to Art and Design College

The General Motors Foundation today announced a $2.5-million donation to the College for Creative Studies (CCS), strengthening a longstanding commitment to the world's leading educator of automotive designers.

Beaver Aerospace & Defense to Supply Electromechanical Flap Actuation System for the Skylander SK-105

Beaver Aerospace & Defense, Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacturing of unique and broad-range actuation technologies, announced today that it will supply the electromechanical flap actuation system for the Skylander SK-105 aircraft.

Chevrolet Camaro Bumblebee: The Buzz is Back

"The Transformers franchise has helped introduce Camaro – and Chevrolet – to a whole new generation of fans," said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing.

Wayne State University names vice dean of Faculty Affairs for School of Medicine

Roberta Sonnino, M.D., has been appointed vice dean of Faculty Affairs for the Wayne State University School of Medicine and associate provost for Medical Affairs for the university.

Sound Device

Patience is the best medicine when a product takes years to develop.

FBI Crashes Stolen Ferrari, Southfield Insurer Seeks Restitution

In new court documents, Motors Insurance Corp. in Southfield seeks payment for a crashed $750,000 car.

Bob Krause Golf Academy Set for Majestic, Fieldstone Golf Clubs

Bob Krause, who ranks among the country’s top golf instructors, announces the creation of a permanent Bob Krause Golf Academy at the Majestic Golf Club in Hartland, Michigan, with a second teaching location at the Fieldstone Golf Club in Auburn Hills.

DSO 2011 Spring Season Shatters Sales and Fundraising Expectations

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today that it reached an audience of 40,456, achieving its spring revenue goal of $456,000, during its abbreviated 2011 Spring Season and raised $3,018,000 in gifts and pledges during the 8-week season that began April 9 and concluded June 5.

Manufacturing Excellence Kicks Off 2011 CAR Management Briefing Seminars

Key executives from Chrysler, General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen will share insight on manufacturing excellence at the kickoff session of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars, August 1-4, 2011.

OnStar Offers Simple, One-Touch Connectivity, No Syncing Required

As in-vehicle infotainment systems become more and more complex, OnStar maintains a powerful suite of services available through the simple push of a button, with no training required.

Chrysler Group Announces Changes to Powertrain Organization

In connection with Paolo Ferrero's new assignment as Head of Fiat Powertrain Brazil, Chrysler Group today announced the following leadership appointments to the Chrysler Group Management Team.

Oakland County Sues Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Oakland County stands to recover as much as $1.5 million and the State of Michigan stands to recover $10.5 million.

Lawmakers Attempt to Give Some Michiganders Lower Auto Insurance Costs

In an attempt to expand Wayne County residents' low cost auto insurance options, a pair of lawmakers have submitted to the state senate a bill that would establish a pilot program through which lower-income, good drivers would have access to reduced rates and limited protection, according to Online Auto Insurance News.

Quality of Recent Vehicle Launches is Considerably Lower Than in 2010

Honda receives seven model-level awards while Lexus receives only four.

Fiat 500 Named the 2011 Coolest New Car Under $18,000

Just in time for summer driving fun in the sun, Kelley Blue Book's today named the 2012 Fiat 500 its 2011 Coolest New Car Under $18,000.

Technology Helps Chevrolet Cruze Customers Save Fuel When Slowing Down

Chevrolet Cruze customers can rest easy knowing the engineers who developed their car packed a wide variety of advanced fuel-saving technologies under the hood.

Survey Shows Organizations Put Health Care Decisions in Hands of Employees

Annual survey of 470 mid-sized SE Michigan employers shows only 7% of employers likely to discontinue offering coverage due to health reform in 2014.

Henry Ford Health System Raises $176 Million for Patients

Henry Ford Health System’s Envision Campaign has raised more than $176 million of its $250 million goal.

Detroit International Bridge Company Seeks to Complete Gateway Project

Bridge company will work with MDOT to meet January 2012 construction deadline; urges MDOT to open freeway ramps now.

Chrysler Group Opens Paint Shop at Sterling Heights Assembly Plant

The new, state-of-the-art paint shop in Sterling Heights marks the fulfillment of an $850 million investment.

Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race News Conference

The winds of economic recovery have helped boost the number of sailboats and sailors for the 2011 Bell’s Beer Port Huron to Mackinac Race, to be held July 23 at the southern edge of Lake Huron. Hosted by the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, the 87th regatta will host 220 boats and some 2,500 sailors — the most in five years, say race officials.

Card Shark

A Rochester entrepreneur found early success selling baseball cards for a profit, but when the market dried up, he switched gears.

All Aboard! Bayview Mackinac Race to Set Sail in July

Bayview Yacht Club prepares for its 87th annual race from Port Huron to Mackinac Island.

Pain at the Pump Driving Sales of Smaller Vehicles

As a result of rising gas prices, the demand for compact cars nearly double that for AEVs.

Michigan Business Climate Showing Signs of an Uptick, Competitiveness Still Lags

Business Leaders for Michigan’ 2011 new “Economic Competitiveness Benchmarking Report” compares Michigan against other states.

Fuel Economy Is Key in New Vehicle Purchase Decision

Some 42 percent of consumers surveyed say that fuel economy is extremely important when purchasing a new vehicle.

The Pawn Brokers

Presumably murky characters who fence goods at high interest rates for people in need, pawnshop owners are riding the region's recent wave of misfortune with a measure of respect.

Vistage Michigan Expands Into Northern Michigan, Selects Erik Larson as Chief Executive Group Chair

Vistage Michigan, a membership-based organization that provides business leaders with business perspectives and innovative strategies, has announced it is expanding into northern Michigan.

Top-Performing Organizations Put Health Care Decision-Making in the Hands of Employees

McGraw Wentworth, Michigan's largest employee group benefit brokerage/consulting firm, today released the results of its 2011 Southeast Michigan Mid-Market Group Benefits Survey.

Vino & Barbecue — Wine Brokers, NWS Michigan, Carolina Wines

More than 200 guests attended an authentic barbecue and wine tasting party at the residence of Michael Ogurek on June 12 in celebration of a tour of metro Detroit by Chilean-based Carolina Wine representatives Julio Perez del Rio and Mercedes de la Vega. The event was hosted by Kevin D. Chaney & Co., Wine Brokers, and National Wine & Spirits. Photos by Patrick Gloria

University of Michigan Hospitals & Health Centers Fiscal Results & Forecast

The Hospitals and Health Centers unit (UMHHC) of the University of Michigan Health System will end its fiscal year financially strong despite challenging times, thanks to continued strong demand for its patient care, and an aggressive strategy of building and innovating for the future.

Red Wings and Captain Nicklas Lidstrom Agree to Terms of One-Year Deal

Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom on a one-year contract. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Johnson Controls Receives Approval From Anti-Trust Authorities to Acquire Keiper and Recaro Automotive

Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating, interiors and electronics, completed the previously announced acquisition of Keiper and Recaro Automotive. The European Commission in Brussels, Belgium approved the acquisition on 17 June 2011.

Governor, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jointly Unveil Dramatic Education Reform Plan to Restructure Failing Michigan Schools

Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts today announced a plan to dramatically redesign public education in Michigan’s lowest performing schools by including them into a new system that drives vastly more resources directly into their classrooms and offers greater autonomy to help ensure dramatic student achievement increases.

Demand for Four-Cylinder Engines Drives Plant Investments

Additional need for Ecotec four-cylinder engines used in Chevrolet's fuel-efficient cars and crossovers, including the all-new 2013 Malibu, is driving $65 million in new investment at plants in New York and Tennessee that will create or retain 163 jobs.

Karmanos Cancer Institute's Partners Honors Kid Rock & Kid Rock Foundation

Karmanos Partners, a group of young, hands-on volunteers dedicated to raising money for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, is honoring Kid Rock & The Kid Rock Foundation at this year's 18th Annual Partners Golf Classic and Partners Night events.

NAIAS 2012 to Feature Two-Day Press Conference Schedule

The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today announced that it will feature two full days of auto manufacturer press conferences at the 2012 show.

Chevrolet Announces Sonic Price Will Start at $14,495

The suggested retail price of the all-new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic begins at $14,495 including destination but excludes tax, title, license and dealer fees.

RDA Group Recognizes Ford Motor Company's Quality Improvements

RDA Group, a full-service market research and consulting firm, recognized Ford Motor Company for client excellence in quality improvement at a brief ceremony at Ford World Headquarters yesterday.

Cooper Standard Announces Partnership with Brad Keselowski Racing

As the 2011 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) season makes its first Michigan stop of the season June 18 to 19 at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS),Cooper Standard is pleased to announce its partnership with Brad Keselowski Racing.

Peter D. Dugas Joins Clark Hill PLC as Director of Government Affairs

Former U.S. Department of Treasury Official Peter D. Dugas joins the Washington DC office of Clark Hill PLC as Director of Government Affairs in the firm’s Government & Public Affairs group.

China Breaks Ground on Second Ford Engine Plant

Ford Motor Company broke ground today for a new, state-of-the-art engine plant in Chongqing.

Chrysler to Invest $114 Million in Trenton Facility

The Chrysler Group LLC today announced that it would invest $114 million in new equipment and create about 268 new jobs.

ESD Institute Recommends Appointing New Panel

Proposed panel would be a neutral global freight hub panel with 90-day cooling off period.

BorgWarner's R2S® Turbocharging Technology Boosts Engines in Light- and Medium-Duty Diesel Trucks

BorgWarner's award-winning regulated two-stage (R2S) turbocharging technology boosts performance and helps lower emissions for the Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT) 3.0-litre F1C common-rail diesel engine.

Consideration for Alternative Powertrain Vehicles Is Rising, But Still Dogged By Consumer Doubts

As the automotive industry continues to develop alternative powertrain vehicles, consumer consideration for these vehicles is on the rise. However, infrastructure, price, driving range and maintenance concerns continue to dampen enthusiasm about these technologies according to the 2011 AutoTECHCAST™ Study released by Harris Interactive.

Texas de Brazil V.I.P. Grand Opening

Texas de Brazil, a Dallas-based chain, opened a restaurant featuring southern Brazilian cuisine on June 14th inside the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit. The 7,000-square-foot eatery is the 20th location for the Dallas-based chain. Photos by Patrick Gloria

Commerical Alliance Services Over $150 Million In Credit Union Member Business Loans

Commercial Alliance, a leading credit union service organization, announced it has surpassed a major milestone in servicing more than $150 Million in business loans on behalf of its member credit unions. Commercial Alliance delivers comprehensive business lending support to enable their credit unions to offer business loans for companies of all sizes.

AIAG and SAE International Launch Global Sourcing Engineering Certificate Program

AIAG, a not-for-profit, member-supported organization that works with a wide range of manufacturing companies and service providers to help them operate at peak performance, is partnering with the SAE International to launch a joint global sourcing engineering certificate program. The courses will help teach engineers, quality professionals, purchasers and other specialists how to improve efficiencies and cut costs within the global design engineering community.

Leadership Change at Olympia Development in Detroit

Atanas Ilitch, president of Olympia Development, announced today that he will step down from his current position with the organization to focus on private outside business ventures. He will assist in the recruitment of his successor and stay on in his current role until that person is named

Heinz Family Philanthropies CEO Accepts Executive Role at EHIM

Heinz Family Philanthropies President and Chief of Staff to Teresa Heinz, Jeffrey Lewis, has accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer at, EHIM, Inc., a full-service health care solutions company, specializing in Pharmacy Benefits Management, Pharmacy Benefits Administration, Third Party Administration services, and consulting. With his extensive health care related expertise, Mr. Lewis is responsible for the day-to-day operations of EHIM.

Taubman Centers Announces Pricing of Public Offering of 1,750,000 Common Shares

Taubman Centers, Inc. (NYSE: TCO) today announced that the public offering price for the 1,750,000 common shares previously sold to Goldman, Sachs & Co., the sole underwriter of the offering, is $56.50 per share. The underwriter has also been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 262,500 additional common shares. Subject to customary conditions, the offering is expected to close on June 17, 2011.

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation Awards $66,732 in Financial Assistance to Hockey Families Affected by Breast Cancer

The Detroit Red Wings Foundation announced today that it awarded grants totaling $66,732 to 20 families affected by breast cancer.

Ford's 12th Annual Sustainability Report

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is offering the public a comprehensive look at the company's progress on environmental and social issues with the release of its 12th annual Sustainability Report.

Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce Hosts its Inaugural State of Black Business Conference

MBCC advocates for the economic empowerment and sustainability of African American businesses in Michigan.

NI Industries and Solidica Enter Into Development Effort for Enhanced Military Vehicle Performance

New collaboration to establish pilot manufacturing line for DuraTi™ Lightweight Armor.

New Survey on Households of Electric Vehicle Customers

Survey finds that most homes are conducive to home charging, but lack 240V outlet.

Electric Vehicle Charging Ecosystem Presents Opportunities

New report finds value even though significant risks still remain; five emerging business strategies are analyzed.

Baby Boomers Face Issues of Rising Medicare Costs

Health Alliance Plan and Livonia Family YMCA offers a free "Live Life Healthy After 60" event.

New Study on Fuel Economy and Safety Mandates

Center for Automotive Research releases new study on fuel economy and safety mandates.

The Beer Also Rises

How a small brewer in Royal Oak is gaining market share in a saturated industry

How Kwame Kilpatrick's Arrogance Spawned a Reign of Corruption in Detroit

Cash Cab

‘Where to, Bud?’ was heard in Detroit when motor taxicabs took to the streets around 1909. Thinking it had a better idea, the largest cab operator turned to electric propulsion.

New Study Shows Benefits of Regional Transmission Cost Sharing

East Lansing, Mich.-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG) today released the study "Michigan Unplugged?" that examines the case for shared investment in regional transmission projects.

Plymouth Auto Supplier Freudenberg Announces Senior Management Changes

The Freudenberg Group, a global corporation based in Weinheim, Germany, has announced that Dr. Mohsen Sohi will assume responsibility as Speaker of the Management Board of the organization in a transition effective July 1, 2012. Sohi is the first American to hold this role for the privately-held corporation.

Home Sales Slightly Rebound in City of Detroit and in Macomb and Livingston Counties

Miller Canfield Forms Sustainable Government Initiative For A New Era Of Municipalities And School Districts

The law firm of Miller Canfield announces the launch of its Sustainable Government Initiative, which will focus on helping municipalities and school districts address fiscal challenges and fundamental change while capitalizing on opportunities for increased efficiencies and innovation.

India Expected to Become the World's Third-Largest Light-Vehicle Market by 2020

ndia surpassed France, the United Kingdom and Italy to become the sixth-largest automotive market in the world in 2010, and it is expected to become one of the three largest automotive markets in the world by 2020, according to a special report titled "India Automotive 2020: The Next Giant from Asia," released by J.D. Power and Associates today.

New Ford Focus Electric Keeps Its Cool When the Temperature Heats Up

When the mercury starts to rise, people have all sorts of ways for cooling themselves down: sprinklers, lemonade and ice cream all come to mind.

Detroit Tax Bills Signed into Law

Gov. Rick Snyder says bipartisan legislation shows support for city.

A Brave, New Detroit

As someone who has invested heavily in Midtown, discussions of right sizing the city are encouraging.

Bottoms Up, Detroit: How Grassroots Programs are Making a Real Difference

I ascended the white marble steps of the Detroit Public Library in late May, invited to attend a symposium on “urban centers” in Detroit. I was expecting to find a group of seasoned professionals who shared strong opinions about a city they had only seen from an airplane or through the window of a taxi.

Beaumont Health System Names Vitale New Chief Financial Officer

Gene Michalski, president and chief executive officer, Beaumont Health System, has announced the appointment of Nick Vitale, of Troy, as executive vice president and chief financial office.

Ford to Triple Production Capacity of Electrified Vehicles in North America by 2013, Led by C-MAX Hybrid, C-MAX Energi

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today it is tripling production capacity of its electrified vehicle lineup through 2013, further boosting volumes of its all-new C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which begin production next year.

Cadillac Unveils New Luxury Design for Dealerships

Cadillac is rolling out a new, modern design for its dealerships as part of the brand's "Defining Moments" customer service initiative.

Chevrolet Begins Taking Orders Nationwide for 2012 Volt

Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states will begin taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car today.

Ford and World Safety Leaders Work to Launch Intelligent Vehicles Quicker, More Affordably

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is hosting Europe's most influential safety leader to discuss how to bring intelligent vehicle technology to global customers quicker and more affordably.

Detroit Zoo Welcomes Cool New Resident

Now chilling at the Detroit Zoo is a 19-year-old male polar bear named Aquila (pronounced ah-KEE-la).

GM Defiance Targeted for $47 Million Investment

General Motors intends to invest $47 million in its Defiance powertrain plant to purchase tooling and equipment to increase volume of components for the fuel-efficient Ecotec 1.4L engine and the next generation of small block car and truck engines.

Cornerstone Benefit at Andiamo

Cornerstone Schools celebrated its 20th anniversary at Andiamo Banquet Center in Warren on May 19. More than 500 members of the Cornerstone community were in attendance.

EcoCAR Finals Begin at GM's Milford Proving Ground

Vehicles undergo last series of tests before winner announcement.

Majority of Consumers Perceive Their Homes as Minimally Green

Survey from Whirlpool Corporation and Habitat for Humanity International shows that consumers commonly define "green" as saving energy and water.

Jacobs Media Tech Study Shows iPhone Owners Most Loyal to Their Smartphones

Study shows that there are significant differences in loyalty and satisfaction based on the brand of smartphone.

Detroit Yacht Club Fundraiser

The Detroit Yacht Club hosted a fundraiser on May 6 for the APBA Detroit Gold Cup Races. More than 500 people were in attendance.

Oakland County’s BFC/EDC Celebrate 30 Years as Total Investment Tops $1.2 Billion

Oakland County’s Business Finance Corporation (BFC) and Economic Development Corporation (EDC) amassed some pretty impressive numbers in their first 30 years in business: total investment of more than $1.2 billion and more than 26,000 jobs created or retained.

Walsh College Announces Resignation of Chief Academic Officer; Names Business Administration Chair as Interim

Walsh College today announced that Robert Minter, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, will retire from the College effective July 8.

Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Breakfast

The Detroit Athletic Club hosted the MHCC's Public Policy Breakfast on May 19. Along with Gov. Rick Snyder, more than 200 people attended the event.

The Taste of Bad Luck

Every time I hear a business owner tell me how they have had the worst luck lately or can’t seem to catch a break in this economy, it reminds me of a famous story of an entrepreneur who had what could have been the worst luck.

St. John's Taste Fest at the American Polish Century Club

St. John Macomb-Oakland Hospital held its 10th annual Taste Fest on May 25 at the American Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights. More than 200 people attended the event, which included cuisine from Big Fish Seafood Bistro, Beef O'Brady's, Antonio's Italian Cuisine, Just Baked, Mac & Ray's, and Sanders.

Governor announces $1 million in legal services contribution in public-private partnership

Gov. Rick Snyder today announced that Varnum LLP, a Michigan-based law firm, will donate $1 million in legal services to targeted state-based startups, early stage and growing businesses in a coordinated effort to help spark Michigan’s economy.
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Business Features

The Comeback Kid

A consultant reinvents his practice.

Cast it Forward

A manufacturer in Westland has developed a product to compete with century-old materials.

Sound Device

Patience is the best medicine when a product takes years to develop.

Card Shark

A Rochester entrepreneur found early success selling baseball cards for a profit, but when the market dried up, he switched gears.

The Beer Also Rises

How a small brewer in Royal Oak is gaining market share in a saturated industry

How Kwame Kilpatrick's Arrogance Spawned a Reign of Corruption in Detroit

Lean and Green

From his perch in Traverse City, Tom Doak has designed some of the most famous golf courses in the world. But his latest project is, in Detroit and , could serve as a model for renewing interest in a game that’s struggling to attract younger players.

The Piano Man

Despite the economic slowdown, a piano dealer in Commerce Township says diversification is key to making ends meet.

Graduate Business Schools in Metro Detroit *

Engineering a Turnaround

$2 Billion in R&D for Universities Make Believers of Region’s Researchers.

Engineering Schools in Michigan

Michigan boasts some of the highest ranked engineering programs in the nation. Three of Michigan’s engineering schools ranked in the top 100 of the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s “2011 Best Engineering” school rankings – and one (University of Michigan) ranked 8th overall.

Undergraduate Business Schools in Metro Detroit*

Champions of the New Economy 2011

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From the Magazine

Cash Cab

‘Where to, Bud?’ was heard in Detroit when motor taxicabs took to the streets around 1909. Thinking it had a better idea, the largest cab operator turned to electric propulsion.

A Time for Truth

Taking the painful -- but needed -- steps to help Michigan.

Detroit's Future: Fair to Midland

Midland doesn’t possess the allure of Charlevoix or Bay Harbor, yet it’s arguably the most prosperous small city in Michigan.
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