The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Oakland County business workshops offered

WATERFORD
Oakland County business workshops offered

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are invited to attend seminars in June, offered by the Oakland County Business Center at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For pre-registration, visit www.oakgov.com/peds/calendar or call 248-858-0783.
—“Pre-Business Research” is 6-9:30 p.m. Tuesday. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required.
— “Working for Yourself: The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Consultant, a Contractor or other Service Provider” is 9 a.m.-noon Thursday. The fee is $40.
— “Fiscal Fitness for the Growing Business - Fiscal Management Tools for the Non-financial Manager” is 8 a.m.-noon June 9. The fee is $25.
— “Sales I: Effective Networking” is 9 a.m.-noon June 16. The fee is $40, which includes all materials.
— “Fundamentals of Starting a Business” is 6-9 p.m. June 17. The fee is $30.
— “Fundamentals of Writing a Business Plan” is 6-9 p.m. June 24. The fee is $40, which includes all materials.
— “QuickBooks Essentials Session One” is 9-11:30 a.m. and Session Two is 12:30-3 p.m. June 30. Sessions are $40 each per person, and $75 for both sessions per person.

TROY
Automation Alley discusses conversational marketing

“Marketing Success: How Content Drives the New Conversation” is 8:30-11 a.m. Thursday at 2675 Bellingham in Troy. Discussion will center on the shift to conversational marketing. The term “content marketing” includes white papers, online press releases, blog posts, case studies and social network outreach to reach target audiences directly. Pre-registration is $20 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Call 800-427-5100 or visit www.automationalley.com.

TROY
Forum features emerging technology companies

The Entrepreneurial Initiative of Southeast Michigan forum is 8 a.m. June 10 at Automation Alley Headquarters, 2675 Bellingham in Troy. It will feature presentations by emerging technology-driven companies including Family Mint, H&T Medical Solutions and InPore Technologies. The short presentations are critiqued by attendees, including venture capitalists, angel investors and business professionals, who provide constructive criticism and guidance. There is no cost to attend. For more information, call 800-427-5100 or visit www.automationalley.com.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lucky’s Pub & Grille opens

Southfield
Lucky’s Pub & Grille opens
Lucky’s Pub & Grille, Southfield’s newest restaurant, sport bar and comedy club, opens its doors to patrons today. The 24,000-square-foot facility features a full menu for lunch and dinner, including Lucky’s signature pizzas and its famous chicken and waffles, multiple bars, four huge video walls, pool tables and a dance floor.
Located at 25333 W. 12 Mile Road in the Star Southfield complex, this is the third location in Metro Detroit operated by the locally owned and operated chain.
Lucky’s menu incorporates organic ingredients made in Michigan.
Other features include an outdoor patio for dining; a state-of-the-art audio and video system; free Wi-Fi; video games and dartboards; well lit, secure and VIP parking and more than 20 domestic and imported beers on tap.
For more information call 248-223-9725 or visit the Lucky’s Facebook page.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber chooses new president

BIRMINGHAM
Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber chooses new president
The Board of Directors of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce appointed Joe Bauman as president of the 650-member organization effective June 2. Bauman was a journalist for more than 25 years, the last 19 with the Observer & Eccentric newspaper chain as a reporter, editor and managing editor. Prior to his appointment as president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber, he was employed by USIS as a contract investigator for the United States Office of Personnel Management. He also served on the board of directors for the chamber. Bauman serves on the advisory board for The Community House, is a director and past president of the Birmingham Rotary Club, and a board member and treasurer for the Livonia Meteors Soccer Club. For more information, visit www.bbcc.com.

NOVI
ITC Holdings Corp. declares dividend to shareholders
ITC Holdings Corp. announced that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend on ITC common stock of $0.32 per share payable on June 15, to shareholders of record on June 1, 2010.
ITC Holdings Corp. invests in the electricity transmission grid. ITC is the largest independent electricity transmission company in the country.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ren Carlton’s book is an Amazon bestseller

TROY
Local entrepreneur’s book is an Amazon bestseller
Michigan entrepreneur and award-winning journalist Ren Carlton, CPA, CSMC of Troy, released his first book, “Profitpreneurship: Creating a Business that Produces Outstanding Financial Results,” which hit No. 1 on Amazon’s Bestsellers in the Business Plans category. Carlton, founder and CEO of Dynamic Advisory Solutions and host of the Business Reality Network, shares his business philosophy. He recently launched Global CFOs, Inc., a franchising company of Dynamic Advisory Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in CFO and controller services providing comprehensive financial management solutions. The book offers guidance to small business owners and potential entrepreneurs by demonstrating real and tested methods to create a profit-driven business. The book is on sale now on Amazon.com. For more information, call 248-283-8834 or visit
www.rencarlton.com.

ROCHESTER HILLS
UNI-SOLAR participates in rooftop photovoltaic test site
Rochester Hills-based UNI-SOLAR, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices and producer of flexible thin-film photovoltaic products, is participating in one of the country’s largest rooftop testing sites for photovoltaic modules. The test site, hosted by ProLogis Renewable Energy, is on a utility-scale rooftop in Denver, Colo. The site totals 11 kWp DC of power generation capacity from 99 modules. Already generating power, the initial configuration provides side-by-side comparisons of several module technologies, including monocrystalline, glass-on-glass thin film and membrane-applied thin film modules.

ROYAL OAK
Author offers motivational class
Amanda Butler, president of Keenawah & Associates and founder of Stellar-Gaia Alliances of Royal Oak, is hosting a free introduction to “The Diamond Co-Creative System,” which she wrote about in her book, “You Will Overcome,” from 7-8:30 p.m. today at Life Learning Center, 3121 Rochester Road in Royal Oak. For information, call 248-761-9568 or go to www.keenawah.com.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Center offers Microsoft courses

WEST BLOOMFIELD TWP.

Center offers Microsoft courses
The David B. Hermelin ORT Resource Center is offering “Mini Microsoft” six-week classes. Three sessions will provide education on technology and computer skills for adults interested in refreshing or improving their computer skills. Session one on Microsoft Word will run for six weeks, from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays, June 1 to July 6. Session two on Microsoft Excel will run for six weeks, from July 1 to Aug. 5 on Thursdays, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Session three on Microsoft PowerPoint will run for three weeks on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 20 to Aug. 3. Courses are offered individually or as a package: session one costs $118, session two is $118 and session three is $60. Sign up for session one and two together, and receive the third session free. For more information, visit www.hermelinort.org.                                                 

BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Lipson Neilson names new partner
Sandra D. Glazier was named partner with Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer and Garin, P.C. Glazier works out of the firm’s main office in Bloomfield Hills as an estate planning, family and probate lawyer working with the Estate Planning Group and Center for Estate Planning for Lipson Neilson. She has served as a mediator for the Oakland County Circuit and probate courts. Before coming to Lipson Neilson, Glazier was the managing partner of her own legal practice in Bloomfield Hills.




CLINTON TWP.

Credit Union hires regional director
Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union has hired Deborah Fahrney to fill the new position of regional director. Prior to her most recent position with Huntington Bank as a branch manager, she was vice president of retail administration and marketing and worked on the transition and merger of Warren and Huntington banks.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Summit Sports launches skateboards.us

BLOOMFIELD HILLS
Summit Sports launches skateboards.us website
    Summit Sports Inc. has announced the company’s newest website, www.skateboards. us just in time for summer boarding season.“We wanted to create a onestop online shop for boarders and the introduction of SkateBoards. us lets us accomplish that goal in a big way,” said company President Steve Kopitz. The e-commerce site joins a family of Summit Sports’ websites. With sporting goods shops in Brighton, Keego Harbor, Lansing, and Rochester, , Summit Sports also operates Don Thomas Sporthaus, a dedicated ski shop, in Birmingham.

TROY
Cantor Colburn LLP opens Houston office
    The law firm of Cantor Colburn LLP has announced the opening of its new office in Houston. Edmund P. Anderson, a partner from Cantor Colburn’s Troy office, will manage the new office. Houston intellectual properly attorney Paul S. Madan and his team from Madan & Sriram, P.C. will merge that practice into Cantor Colburn. The Houston office is the fifth for Cantor Colburn. Its other offices are in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Hartford and Troy.

TROY
LMS North America and the Center for Professional Studies offer certification
    LMS, a provider of engineering solutions and services, and the Center for Professional Studies, a State of Michigan licensed technical training institution, partnered to offer the first Simulation/Test Engineer certification program. Currently there is no certification for this specific group of technical professionals being offered by academia, industry or professional organizations. Through their partnership, LMS and the Center for Professional Studies are able to provide targeted training in software tools and methodologies along with the hands-on application in a real world setting beginning in June 2010.
    The center also offers technical professionals certification in Design Engineering, Program Management and Lean Six Sigma, with all certifications including hands-on experience with partnering companies. For more information, visit www. cpspoly.com.
    The center started its first session for the unemployed in June 2009 and out of 80 graduates, 64 of them are back in the workforce. Training was funded by federal and state programs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Castachio Nuts celebrates a year of success

  
Castachio Nuts celebrates first year
Castachio Nuts of Lake Orion is cracking into the market with their snack treats, being placed in about 250 stores in Southeast Michigan, including many Hollywood, Busch’s and Hiller’s locations.
Established in May 2009, owners Scott Powers (left) and Richard Galbraith have done well in sales in their first year and continue to gain steam. They recently signed a deal with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations. “Also, we are working with establishing distribution on both the East and West Coast,” Galbraith said. Cracker Barrel is going to use the new Castachio Nut snack as part of their annual national promotion called Road Trip 2010, offering the snack in 650 stores nationwide.
Castachio Nuts products are also available in the following retailers: Kmart’s Michigan locations; Bed Bath and Beyond, 50 locations nationwide, including Great Lakes Crossing and Rochester and about 300 convenience stores, retailers and gas stations in Southeast Michigan.
“We will be introducing two new flavors, Zesty Salt-n-Pepper and Cajun Chili, which will officially be introduced at the upcoming All Snack and Candy expo in Chicago May 25-27,” Galbraith said.
For more information, call 248-933-0790 or visit www.castachionuts.com. 

FastTrac to the Future
General: The FastTrac to the Future conference will host about 1,000 attendees over the two-day event, bringing together displaced workers, the unemployed and people looking for alternative employment options. FastTrac to the Future, which was funded in 2009 by the New Economy Initiative in partnership with the Kansas City-based Marion Ewing Kauffman Foundation, aims to create 1,200 new startups over three years.

Dates: May 25 and May 26

Times: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Location: McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State University campus, 495 Reuther Mall, Detroit, MI 48202

Cost: Free

Registration: Online advanced registration is required. Register at http://wayne.edu/fasttrac/.

Who should attend: Individuals seriously exploring entrepreneurship and undaunted by the risks are welcome to attend.

Featured speaker: Pulitzer Prize nominee, vocal community advocate and successful entrepreneur Clifton Taulbert will kick off the conferences with a unique message of empowerment and hope for Detroit entrepreneurs. Taulbert, hailed by Time magazine as “one of the nation’s outstanding entrepreneurs,” received inspiration and encouragement from the elders he knew in the Mississippi Delta where he grew up.
  Agenda: The program’s breakout sessions will give guidance and resources to people seriously exploring the promise of entrepreneurship and who are ready to learn strategies around some of the pitfalls. This includes displaced workers, the unemployed and people looking for alternative employment options.

Local and national experts will discuss the challenges of starting a new business in seven different session topics on entrepreneurship.
Attendees will have the opportunity to talk individually with advisors about their business goals and explore suitable entrepreneurial training programs like the award-winning FastTracÒ, a premiere business development program that has been operating for 15 years. FastTrac is comprised of quick, intensive 3-to-10-week training initiatives for unemployed or underemployed individuals seriously considering entrepreneurship instead of finding another job.
FastTrac to the Future events are managed by TechTown and are supported by Ann Arbor SPARK, Automation Alley, Biotechnology Business Consultants, Bizdom U, Detroit Micro-Enterprise Fund, Entrepreneurial Initiative of Southeast Michigan, Great Lakes Angels, Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest, MichBio, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center, Microsoft BizSpark, Mid-States Capital, MIT Forum, the New Enterprise Forum, NextEnergy, Oakland County, Operation ABLE of Michigan, SCORE, ShoreBank Enterprise, TiE-Detroit, TechBA Michigan, TechOne Printing and Wayne State University.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Oxford DDA hosts business workshop

OXFORD
Oxford DDA hosts business workshop
    
Oxford DDA is hosting a “Visualize ... and They Will Come” business workshop, 7:30-10 a.m. Wednesday, May 26, at the Oxford Public Library, 530 Pontiac Road. The workshop, presented by Ron Campbell of Oakland County Planning & Development, will feature tips to entice customers into a business using window displays and walls, inside and outside. For information, visit www.downtownoxford.org.


DETROIT 

Conference for emerging entrepreneurs returns to the Motor City
   
Conference for emerging entrepreneurs in Southeast Michigan is Tuesday and Wednesday, May 25-26. The FastTrac to the Future conference anticipates hosting about 1,000 attendees, bringing together displaced workers, the unemployed and people looking for alternative employment options. The conference is from 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. in Wayne State University’s McGregor Memorial Conference Center.
Pulitzer Prize nominee, vocal community advocate and successful entrepreneur Clifton Taulbert will kick off the conferences with a message of empowerment and hope for Detroit entrepreneurs. To register, visit http://wayne. edu/fasttrac/.


NORTHVILLE
Women tee up for business
    
Members of the Executive Women’s Golf Association and Inforum, a professional organization for women, invite women professionals to network, discuss the business advantages of learning to golf, and learn the skills necessary to effectively use golf for business.
    The event, called “Tee It Up for Business — A Women’s Guide,” will be held 5:30-8 p.m. Monday, May 24, at the Northville Hills Golf Club, 15565 Bay Hill Dr., Northville.
    The cost is $20 for members and $25 for guests. Register at www.EWGAMD.com or call 248-932-5450.

 
NOVI
Matrix Awards takes place Monday
    
The Association for Women in Communications Detroit Chapter annual Matrix Awards is 6 p.m. Monday at Diamond Jim Brady’s Bistro, 26503 Town Center Drive, in Novi.
    The public is welcome to the event, which features a reception and silent auction. Dinner will be served at 6:45 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony and keynote address.
    Tickets are $45 for members, $55 for nonmembers and $40 for students.
    For reservations, visit www.womcomdetroit.org/matrix.htm or call 866-685-1784.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Oakland University holds marketing forum

ROCHESTER
Oakland University holds marketing forum
With a focus on how businesses can succeed and grow, Oakland University's Fourth Annual Marketing Forum will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, May 21, in the banquet rooms of the university's Oakland Center. The forum is sponsored by the School of Business Administration's Center for Integrated Business Research and Education. Gerard Grinsven, president and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital of West Bloomfield is a featured speaker. The cost to pre-register is $15 and standard registration is $25 at the door. The public is welcome. Oakland University faculty and students can attend the forum for free, but must register. A continental breakfast and luncheon are included. For more information, visit www.oakland.edu/marketingforum.

TROY
Governmental Accounting and Auditing conference held
A Governmental Accounting & Auditing conference presented by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants is 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Thursday, May 20 at MSU Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Rd., Troy. The conference is for those who work with or within the governmental arena to learn about new rules and changes to standards and compliance requirements. Cost is $209 for Michigan Association of CPA members and $309 for nonmembers. For more information, call  888-877-4273 or viist cpe@michcpa.org.

TROY
Taxation seminar held for accountants and financial planners
The Butzel Long Taxation and Succession Planning Institute is planning a half-day seminar from 7:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 20 at the Troy Marriott at 200 West Big Beaver in Troy. The seminar is designed for certified public accountants and financial planners. The attendance fee is $95 per person and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and seminar materials. Michigan Certified Public Accountants are eligible to receive five continuing education credits for participating in the seminar. Financial planners are eligible for five Certified Financial Planner credits. The luncheon keynote speaker is Cami M. Pendell, manager of state government affairs. Register online at www.butzel.com or call 313-983-7415.

CLARKSTON
Community awards breakfast
The Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 25th annual Community Awards Breakfast is 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, May 20 at Clarkston Community Church, 6300 Clarkston Rd. in Clarkston. Tickets are $8 and include breakfast. Call 248-625-8055 or visit www.clarkston.org.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Heartland Health awards employees’ volunteer groups

TROY
Heartland Health awards employees’ volunteer groups

Heartland Health Care Center-Oakland of Troy is awarding Julie Crego and Amy Tung with the HCR Manorcare Foundation Volunteer Grant, based on their commitment to organizations within their communities. Crego is the human resources director of Heartland Health Care Centers-Oakland/Georgian Bloomfield. She has devoted her time to Evangelical Covenant/Messiah Church. Tung is a housekeeper at Heartland Health Care Center-Oakland. She is an active member of the Michigan Chinese Women’s Association. Each of the organizations will be presented with a check for $500 May 26. The HCR ManorCare Foundation’s Volunteer Grant Program was designed to give back to the communities where our employees live and work.



BIRMINGHAM
Networking seminar focuses on building relationships

 Business and Personal Coach Barry Demp presents “Take Charge: The Journey to Personal Excellence” 6:30 to 8 p.m. today at The Community House, 380 S. Bates St. in Birmingham. In this interactive session, participants will be advised on techniques to build and expand professional and personal relationships, ways to generate common ground and help design and align on new futures. The session will conclude with an hour of networking. There is a $5 fee per person. For reservations, call 248-644-5832 or visit www.communityhouse.com.

TROY

Defense group to host  speed networking event

A speed networking event for local professionals interested in the defense industry will be hosted by the Women In Defense (WID) Michigan Chapter 5 to 8 p.m. today at the Somerset Inn, 2601 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy. The evening will begin with a networking reception and followed by a facilitated speed networking session, featuring specific topic areas. Both men and women are welcome to attend the Lapeer Industries-sponsored event includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. On-site registration is $45 for WID members and $55 for non-members. To register in advance, visit www.wid-mi.org. Exhibit space is also available at a cost of $250 per table. In addition, WID supports Jackets for Jobs and encourages attendees to bring men and women’s gently used professional clothing on hangers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Upcoming business networking events

BIRMINGHAM
Networking seminar focuses on building relationships
 Business and Personal Coach Barry Demp presents “Take Charge: The Journey to Personal Excellence” 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 18 at The Community House, 380 South Bates St. in Birmingham. In this interactive session, participants will be advised on techniques to build and expand professional and personal relationships, ways to generate common ground and help design and align on new futures. The session will conclude with an hour of networking. There is a $5 fee per person. For reservations, call 248-644-5832 or visit www.communityhouse.com.

TROY
Defense group to host speed networking event
A speed networking event for local professionals interested in the defense industry will be hosted by the Women In Defense (WID) Michigan Chapter 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 18 at the Somerset Inn, 2601 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy. The evening will begin with a networking reception and followed by a facilitated speed networking session, featuring specific topic areas.
Both men and women are welcome to attend the Lapeer Industries-sponsored event includes hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. On-site registration is $45 for WID members and $55 for non-members. To register in advance, visit www.wid-mi.org. Exhibit space is also available at a cost of $250 per table. In addition, WID supports Jackets for Jobs and encourages attendees to bring men and women’s gently used professional clothing on hangers.

ROCHESTER
Rochester Road Business Owners hold appreciation luncheon
The Troy Rotary Club is hosting a Rochester Road Business Owners appreciation luncheon at noon Wednesday, May 19 at the Bank of America Headquarters located at 2500 W. Big Beaver Road in Troy. To ease the impact of the construction project underway, each business owner will be introduced with an opportunity to provide a 60 second commercial about their business. They will also be provided information on the Troy Community Rochester Road Alliance that is organizing to assist with marketing programs for the businesses affected by the construction. The guest speaker is Tara Kachaturoff, producer and host of Michigan Entrepreneur TV. Admission is $11 and all Troy stakeholders are welcome. RSVP to 248-828-0666.

AUBURN HILLS
“Retiree’s Road to Recovery” hosted by Legacy of America, Inc., a retirement planning and asset preservation firm based in Auburn Hills is 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 18, and Wednesday, May 19, at Lelli’s in Auburn Hills. The program is complimentary and lunch will be provided, but seating is limited.  Reservations are required and can be made by calling 1-800-581-6855. Lelli’s is located at 885 North Opdyke in Auburn Hills. For more information, visit www.legacyofamerica.com.

CLARKSTON
Chamber hosts community awards breakfast
The Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 25th Annual Community Awards Breakfast is 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, May 20 at Clarkston Community Church, 6300 Clarkston Road in Clarkston. Tickets are $8 and include a full catered breakfast. For more information, call 248-625-8055 or visit www.clarkston.org.

TROY
Governmental Accounting and Auditing conference held
Governmental Accounting and Auditing conference is being presented by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Thursday, May 20 at MSU Management Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road in Troy. The conference is for those who work with or within the governmental arena to learn about new rules and changes to standards and compliance requirements. The cost is $209 for Michigan Association of CPA members and $309 for nonmembers. For more information, call  888-877-4273 or viist cpe@michcpa.org.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Southfield's Simplified Benefits aids in businesses’ bottom lines

Southfield's Simplified Benefits aids in businesses’ bottom lines

Sat. May 15, 2010, 12:21pm
Employee benefits are often the largest expenses to business owners. And in the current economic climate, area businesses are always looking at ways to cut their overall operating costs. Benefits are one of the first line items under review for trimming. Employee benefits are often the largest expenses to business owners. And in the current economic climate, area businesses are always looking at ways to cut their overall operating costs. Benefits are one of the first line items under review for trimming.

According to Ari Fischman, president of Simplified Benefits, a Southfield-based insurance and benefits consultancy firm, businesses must look at getting the most for their money in benefits and insurance plans for their employees and not just automatically making the decision based on cost.

“Before a company makes drastic cuts or changes to benefits, I would strongly encourage a simple policy review, which can usually identify options that will save money without reducing benefits,” said Fischman. “Our ultimate objective at Simplified Benefits is to offer out-of-the-box solutions that cut costs without cutting benefits,” said Fischman.

And that’s exactly what happened for one of Fischman’s clients, Howell-based auto supplier Spiral Industries. The company approached Fischman for a quote last year to help them potentially reduce their benefits cost. Having recently laid-off workers, they needed an effective benefits and insurance plan for their remaining employees that saved them the most money, yet kept as many benefits as possible.

After analyzing their existing plan, Fischman was able to save Spiral Industries about 51 percent on their benefits, a $200,000 savings, with very minimal reductions on the products. This allowed the company to continue to subsidize a generous portion of the benefit and insurance plans for their employees and families, while saving a substantial amount of fees.

Fischman founded Simplified Benefits in 2002 to help companies and individuals shop for insurance and other benefits.

Recently, Fischman was named to the exclusive “Court of the Table” of the Million Dollar Round Table, a premier association of financial professionals. This achievement places Fischman among the top professionals in the global life insurance and financial services industry.

For more information,

call 248-357-8903 or visit www.simplifymybenefits.com.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Michigan builder Bob Jones elected association chairman

Michigan builder Bob Jones elected association chairman
Bob Jones, a home builder and developer from Bloomfield Hills, was elected as the 2010 chairman of the board of the National Association of Home Builders.
As president of Robert R. Jones Homes, he specializes in land development and the design and construction of single-family luxury homes throughout Metropolitan Detroit. During Jones’ 35-year career, he has earned a reputation for excellence and established a continuing commitment to the home building industry at the local, state and national levels.
“This has been an extraordinarily difficult time for builders across the country,” Jones said. “I believe it is my responsibility to serve members as we work to get the housing industry back on its feet. I want to see residential construction regain its place as the nation’s engine of job growth.”
Key issues on the association’s agenda include the availability of financing for acquisition, development and construction, as well as concerns about housing appraisals that often compare new homes to foreclosed or distressed properties. The association also is working with federal policy makers as they consider an overhaul of the nation’s home mortgage finance system. Jones has been a member of the National Association of Home Builders board of directors since 1979.


Bloom Ink expands services

Bloom Ink marked its first anniversary recently and is expanding beyond “Writing for Business” to include more editorial and publication services. The company also noted its affiliation with Group [eX], a Royal Oak-based marketing and advertising consortium.
Bloom Ink founder and principal Barbara Bloom said the addition of editing, editorial consultation, copywriting, ghost writing, book proposals, book layout and design, self-publishing and agenting, was a logical extension of its customized writing program.
“ ‘Writing for Business’ continues to be our main offering, but we have been providing these editorial and publication services all along. We wanted our clients and prospective clients to know they don’t have to look elsewhere,” said Bloom. Bloom Ink has collaborated with Group [eX] since 2008. For more information, visit www.bloomwriting.com.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

TriMas executives will preside over NASDAQ closing bell

TriMas executives will preside over NASDAQ closing bell
The TriMas Corporation executive team will be in Times Square and will preside over the NASDAQ closing bell at 3:45 p.m. today. David M. Wathen, president and chief executive officer; A. Mark Zeffiro, chief financial officer; Lynn Brooks, president of Rieke Packaging Systems; Len Turner, president of Arrow Engine; Kurt Allen, president of Lamons Gasket; Tom Benson, president of Cequent Performance Products; John Aleva, president of Cequent Consumer Products; Jerry VanAuken, president of Norris Cylinder; Eli Crotzer, president of Precision Tool Company & Hi-Vol; and Tom Aepelbacher, vice president of global sourcing will attend. The event will be available via a live webcast at http://ir.trimascorp.com/events.cfm. To listen to the live event, visit the website at least 15 minutes early to register, download, and install any necessary audio software. TriMas, headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, produces engineered and applied products and has 3,900 employees at 60 facilities in 11 countries. For more information, visit www.trimascorp.com.

Indianwood holds wine and beer tasting benefit
Orion Keg & Wine and Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan are holding their third annual Wine & Beer Tasting 6 to 8:30 p.m. today at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, Great Hall Facility, 1081 Indianwood Road, Lake Orion. The tasting will feature 150 wines and beers of the world, light appetizers and live entertainment. Advance tickets are $40 a person or two for $70. Tickets will be $45 at thedoor. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. For more information, call 1-800-825-2536 or visit www.leukemiamichigan.org.

Economist to give free lecture on indicators that move markets
“Seven Indicators That Move Markets,” will be presented by Paul Kasriel, chief economist of economic research for Northern Trust of Chicago at 7 p.m. today  at The Community House, 380 South Bates St. in Birmingham. Kasriel identified early on the formation of the housing bubble and foresaw the economic and financial market havoc that would ensue after the bubble burst. The accuracy of his previous forecasts has been highly regarded by The Wall Street Journal and Forbes. To register for the free event, call 248-644-5832 or visit www.communityhouse.com.

America’s IRA holds Roth conversion workshop
An IRA Roth conversion workshop is 6-7:30 p.m. today at America’s IRA Center, 525 N. Main, Milford. This free workshop answers questions that could save money in tax-free income through special tax breaks available this year. For more information call 248-438-1010.

Law firm offers business property tax appeals
Churchill Legal Group, PLC, a Bloomfield Hills-based team of real estate attorneys, certified appraisers and valuation experts specializes in challenging high property tax assessments on behalf of commercial property owners.
Commercial property owners have until May 31 to file an appeal of their tax assessment with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Churchill encourages owners of any type of income-generating property to contact them if they think their property is over-assessed. Therefore, nearly every commercial property owner can benefit from an appeal, said Paul DePorre, a Churchill principal.
Appeals are filed against the city or township where the property is located, and a hearing is conducted before an administrative law judge in Lansing, to determine whether tax relief is warranted.  This process usually takes about two years. Churchill works on a contingency basis and offers a complementary, preliminary analysis to determine whether a property is over-assessed. For more information, call 248-341-3774 or visit www.churchilllegalgroup.com.

Wine tasting benefits HAVEN Garden Project
Market Square Wine Tasting is 6-9 p.m. Friday at Goldner Walsh Garden & Home, 559 Orchard Lake Road, Pontiac.
Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at Goldner Walsh or any Market Square store.
The event includes a tasting of more than 40 wines and gourmet appetizers in a botanic setting. All net ticket proceeds will be donated to the HAVEN Garden Project. The event is presented by the Michigan Young Farmers Coalition. Those who attend must be at least 21 years old. For more information call
248-332-6430 or visit www.goldnerwalsh.com.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber hosts forecast luncheon

Chamber of commerce hosts forecast luncheon
The Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber will host its Regional Forecast Luncheon at The Townsend Hotel from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13 with lunch included.
Registration is required: $50 for chamber members and $60 for nonmembers.
For more information, call 248-644-1700 or visit www.bbcc.com.
Speakers include Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and Wayne County Executive Bob Ficano.

Business Women's Networking Organization sponsors career fairs
The Business Womens Networking Organization is sponsoring two career fairs. The first is “Nursing Week and Professional Career Fair,” 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, May 13 at the University of Phoenix, 17740 N. Laurel Park Dr. in Livonia. The organization also is hosting “Healthcare & Professional Career Fair,” 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 3 at Troy Conference Center, 3170 Livernois in Troy. Admission is free for job seekers to both career fairs. For more information, visit www.american-hr.com.

Kelly named senior associate
Maddin, Hauser, Wartell, Roth & Heller, P.C., a Southfield-based law firm, has named Brian C. Kelly of Troy as a senior associate.
He practices in the firm’s Defense Practice and Insurance Coverage Group, specializing in professional liability defense and insurance coverage.
Prior to joining Maddin Hauser, Kelly was a partner at Bush Seyferth & Paige PLLC in Troy. Kelly earned his bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College in 1993 and his juris doctor from DePaul University College of Law, magna cum laude, in 1998.

Grieco joins Neuman Anderson
Jennifer M. Grieco of Pleasant Ridge has joined Southfield-based Neuman Anderson, P.C. as partner.
Grieco focuses her practice in complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining Neuman Anderson, Ms. Grieco served as a shareholder with Maddin Hauser Wartell Roth & Heller, P.C. and Sommers Schwartz, P.C. A frequent speaker and published author, Grieco currently serves as the president-elect and trustee of the Oakland County Bar Association.
For more information, visit www.neumananderson.com.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Emagine Entertainment makes Michigan’s Top 50

Emagine Entertainment makes Michigan’s Top 50
Emagine Entertainment, Inc. has been recognized as one of the 2010 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation and presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business at an event in Lansing. Companies making it to the “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” list are defined as having 6 to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital. Emagine Entertainment has been recognized as a leader in theatrical exhibition since 1997. It opened the first theatre in Michigan to incorporate stadium seating in all of its auditoriums. Emagine operates facilities in four Michigan locations including Novi, Canton, Woodhaven and Birch Run. Groundbreaking for a fifth location in Royal Oak is planned for this summer. For more information, visit emagine-entertainment.com.

Blinds To Go set to hire
Blinds to Go announced it is looking to add 400 full-time employees to its network of 100 stores in 2010. The projected increase comes on the heels of hiring nearly 400 employees company-wide last year. Both phases of the staff expansion are intended to build market share in the major metropolitan centers of northeastern Canada and the U.S., as well as Michigan and Florida.  Blinds To Go has seven stores in Michigan, located in Troy, Ann Arbor, Clinton Township, Westland, Pontiac, Utica and Novi. For more information, visit www.blindstogo.com.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Trevarrow ACE Hardware holds "Free Ink Week"

Trevarrow ACE Hardware holds "Free Ink Week"
Trevarrow ACE Hardware and Ink-O-Dem are launching "Free Ink Week” Saturday, May 8 with a remote WJR-AM broadcast at the store from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The radio remote will feature local home improvement guru and syndicated radio show host, Glenn Haege and  master gardener and TV spokesperson, Ashton Ritchie. "Cooking with Roscoe" also begins at 10 a.m. featuring free grilled food served outside. The store is located at 97 West Long Lake Road in Troy and will be offering free inkjet cartridge refills through May 15. For more information, call 248-689-8030.

Law firm offers business property tax appeals
Churchill Legal Group, PLC, a Bloomfield Hills-based team of real estate attorneys, certified appraisers and valuation experts specializes in challenging high property tax assessments on behalf of commercial property owners. Commercial property owners have until May 31 to file an appeal of their tax assessment with the Michigan Tax Tribunal. Churchill encourages owners of any type of income-generating property to contact them if they feel their property is over-assessed. Therefore, nearly every commercial property owner can benefit from an appeal,” explains Paul DePorre, a Churchill principal.
Appeals are filed against the city or township where the property is located, and a hearing is conducted before an administrative law judge in Lansing, to determine whether tax relief is warranted.  This process usually takes about two years. Churchill works on a contingency basis and offers a complimentary, preliminary analysis to determine whether a property is over-assessed. For more information, call 248-341-3774 or visit www.churchilllegalgroup.com.

Indianwood holds wine and beer tasting benefit
Orion Keg & Wine and Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan are holding their 3rd Annual Wine & Beer Tasting 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday May 13 at Indianwood Golf & Country Club, Great Hall Facility, 1081 Indianwood Road, Lake Orion. The tasting will feature 150 wines and beers of the world, light appetizers and live entertainment. Advance tickets are $40 a person or two for $70. Tickets will be $45 at door. Proceeds benefit the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan. For more information, call 1-800-825-2536 or visit www.leukemiamichigan.org.

Michigan Auto Law moves to Farmington Hills

Michigan Auto Law moves
After 35 years in Southfield, Michigan Auto Law, the auto accident law firm, moved to a fully renovated office building in Farmington Hills. Michigan Auto Law, also known as Gursten, Koltonow, Gursten, Christensen & Raitt PC, has moved from Evergreen Road in Southfield to a 22,500-square-foot office building at 30101 Northwestern Hwy. in Farmington Hills.
“We are moving because after more than 50 years and three generations, we remain a growing and thriving law firm,” said Steven M. Gursten, partner of Michigan Auto Law, a law firm specializing in automobile accident and No-Fault insurance litigation. “For example, during the past 15 years when Michigan has seen some of the harshest tort reform law in the nation, Michigan Auto Law has tripled in size, expanding from six to 19 lawyers.”
The new office has been completely renovated. A specialist from the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program helped redesign the building using “green-friendly” environmental principles.
Gursten says the firm’s success has led to its astonishing growth. Michigan Auto Law has received the top-reported car accident or truck accident jury verdict or settlement in Michigan in seven of the last 10 years, according to published year-end verdicts and settlements reports. For more information, visit www.michiganautolaw.com or call 800-968-1001.

The Palace listed as nation’s second-highest selling arena

The Palace was listed as the second highest selling arena in the U.S., and number four in the world, according to the First Quarter Ticket Sales Chart for Arena Venues compiled by Pollstar, a leading entertainment trade publication. The rankings were determined by tickets sold as reported to Pollstar for shows between January 1 and March 31. The top-ranking U.S. arena was Madison Square Garden of New York.
Palace Sports & Entertainment ownership includes The Palace and DTE Energy Music Theatre. The organization also manages the Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University. Combined Michigan venues average 300 events and 3.5 million guests annually.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Career Expo features aviation, energy, transportation employers

Career Expo features aviation, energy, transportation employers
The Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology will hold its annual Career Expo, noon to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 6. The event is free for job seekers and open to the public at the Willow Run Airport Campus, 47884 D St. in Belleville. Employers from aviation, energy and transportation industries will be recruiting for all positions. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network with veterans’ service agencies, colleges and other community organizations. Visit www.miat.edu or call 734-753-9101.


Event assists nonprofits find committee and board members
Spring Into Service, A Speed Recruiting Event is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, at Kensington Court Hotel, 610 Hilton Blvd., Ann Arbor. BoardConnect, a program of Nonprofit Enterprise at Work, assists nonprofit organizations in need of talented and dedicated individuals to serve on their boards and committees. Participants meet face-to-face with organizations in lightning rounds, learn about their missions and their needs for qualified board members. Individuals may register at www.new.org/springintoservice.


Rotary Club presents leadership seminar
The Troy Rotary Club is presenting a leadership seminar led by Michael Angelo Caruso, founder and president of Edison House, an international consulting firm specializing in corporate and personal improvement. “Effective Leadership - Getting People to Do Stuff” is Thursday, May 6, at Walsh College at 3838 Livernois Road in Troy. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program runs from 9 a.m. to noon. The seminar costs $45 per person. Register at www.troyrotaryevents.org/leadership.htm.