PDA: Q&A Elissa Noujaim Pinto

The E-Interview, Shareholder, Butzel Long, Bloomfield Hills

DB: Where are you?
EP: In Curitiba, the capital of the southern Brazilian state of Parana.

DB: What’s going on there?
EP: Butzel Long became a member of AMCHAM Brazil, or the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce. AMCHAM Brazil offers numerous resources for private and public entities, as well as hosting networking events, webinars, and presentations. I was invited here to speak on a topic of great interest — namely, (I’m talking to) people who are eager to establish a business in the U.S.

DB: How was your talk received?
EP: Very well. Most of the presentations were on business immigration and the basic steps of establishing an entity or a corporation in the U.S. These are steps that are typically taken together, because they’re interrelated. We find a lot of companies get all the paperwork together, and they conduct immigration last. But you need to think of immigration requirements like visas well in advance, so everything goes smoothly.

DB: What types of businesses do you work with?
EP: For metro Detroit, in terms of drawing new companies, we work with a lot of auto suppliers, but also health care, professional service providers, and entertainment businesses. I should add that my presentation was in Portuguese. I’m of Brazilian heritage, my parents are from Brazil, and I always wanted to incorporate my heritage into my career. I also speak French, but not as fluently.

DB: What else are you doing in Brazil?
EP: I’m traveling to Sao Paulo to speak before my cousin’s law firm, and I’m meeting with the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and with Lex Mundi, an international organization of law firms. I’m staying with my husband’s family and my cousin’s family, so I don’t have to stay in any hotels. That makes it very nice.

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