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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Walsh College of Troy offering free accounting course

Walsh College of Troy is offering a free Accounting Fundamentals course which consists of four sessions, and is to be held 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, April 12, April 19, April 26 and May 3. The free course was made possible through a gift from Mrs. Strunk in memory of her late husband, Arthur Strunk, who graduated from the Walsh Institute in 1957. The program is a non-credit introduction to financial accounting and covers topics such as the accounting cycle, journal entries, T-accounts, financial statements, adjusting entries, and error analysis. Those interested may register with Diane Barrantes at and should bring a calculator and pencils to the first session. A coursebook will be provided. The program is to be held at Walsh's Troy campus, located on Livernois between 16 and 17 mile.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Troy Chamber's Nonprofit Management Conference set for April 29

 The Troy Chamber of Commerce and its Non-Profit Network (NPN) will host the 9th Annual Nonprofit Management Conference, presented by Huntington Bank’s Seeds For Success, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 at Walsh College, 3838 Livernois, Troy. The conference is sponsored by Walsh College, MORC and the Troy Chamber of Commerce. The day begins with a continental breakfast and networking hour followed by two breakout sessions, a hot buffet lunch and an extended afternoon session. Attendees may choose from six seminars covering eight core areas geared toward nonprofit organizations. In the afternoon, all attendees will enjoy a networking lunch followed by a panel discussion, “How to Reach Multi-Generational and Ethnically Diverse Audiences.” The cost for the day-long event, meals included, is $50 for Troy chamber members and $95 for non-members. To register, call 248-641-3694 or e-mail: Visit

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Free legal aid clinic is March 27 in Bloomfield Hills

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Oakland County Bar Association (OCBA) invites the public to a free legal aid clinic 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 27 at the Bloomfield Township Public Library, 1099 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills. Legal experts will be available for one-on-one discussions while also holding group sessions.
Attendees may choose two of four sessions:
Sessions offered at 6 p.m.:
Driver’s License Restoration and Expungements
Services to Parties with Minor Children

Sessions offered at 7 p.m.:
Landlord/Tenant Issues
The Impact of a Juvenile Criminal Record

A free ‘Ask-a-Lawyer’ session will also be held for the duration of the program, allowing attendees to speak privately with a volunteer attorney.
Also available to assist attendees will be a representative from Common Ground, to help individuals and families in crisis, victims of crime, persons with mental illness.
The event is free, RSVP is requested by calling the OCBA at 248-334-3400.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

'How to use video to market your business' class offered in Southfield

South East Michigan Entrepreneurs Association March Networking Meeting: How to Use Video to Market Your Business is planned for 6:30 p.m. Thursday March 27 at 4000 Town Center Suite #1300 Southfield. Speaker Daron Powers, outlines marketing strategies and tactics to attract a target audience, shorten new client acquisition cycle, and build connection with prospects. His fast-paced presentation includes tips for producing videos to showcase you and/or your company’s knowledge and expertise. Powers has decades of practical experience consulting and speaking to professionals, small, mid-sized and fortune 500 companies all across America including clients such as Ford, GM, Toyota, International, H&R Block, ADP, BI Worldwide, Pulte Homes, Lennar Homes and the IRS. Refreshments will be provided. The event is free for members and first time guests. The charge is $15 for nonmembers. RSVP at 248-491-3146 or email Visit

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Leading sponsorship expert to speak in Waterford

Noted sponsorship expert and author Sylvia Allen is the featured speaker at the Michigan Festival & Events Association’s (MFEA) “2014 Spring Educational Seminar.”
Allen will kick off the educational seminar at 9 a.m. Thursday, March 27 at the EOB Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Bldg 41 West in Waterford Township. She will also offer a one-hour Q&A session over lunch, starting at 12 noon.
Allen has been providing services to both for-profit and non-profit organizations for nearly 40 years. Some of her clients have included the PNC Bank Arts Center, New York’s San Gennaro Festival, and
Alaska’s Iditarod.
Allen is also an author, having written “A Woman’s Guide to Sales Success” and “How to Be Successful in Sponsorship Sales.”
Allen is also the founder of Sylvia’s Children, a non-profit she founded in 2003 with a mission of improving the lives of children in Uganda, one third of which are orphans. Visit

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Unpaid interns or unpaid employees?

What is the difference between an unpaid internship and an unpaid employee? Employment attorney says “Use six legal criteria as a guideline”

Detroit - The hunt is on for full or part-time employment or summer internships for Michigan college students and soon-to-be graduates. As these young adults update their resumes and seek meaningful employment, how can they determine if an opportunity deemed an unpaid internship isn’t a euphemism for an unpaid job? Employment attorney Patricia Nemeth, founder of Detroit-based employment law firm Nemeth Law, P.C. says there are legal guidelines as to what defines a legitimate internship position.

“There are six criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that help clarify and determine whether an intern is truly a trainee or an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA),” says Nemeth. “College students, recent college grads and employers should consider these criteria to determine if a position should be categorized as a paid position or does not require payment.”

1. The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;

2. The training is for the benefit of the trainees;

3. The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;

4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;

5. The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period;

6. The employee and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training

Nemeth says the critical determinant implicit in the criteria is the emphasis on training and not task completion.

“Short-term positions where an individual is performing the same routine tasks and producing the same outcomes as paid employees likely do not meet the criteria for an unpaid internship,” said Nemeth. “Examples include tedious and lengthy assignments spent inputting data or compiling address lists where no valuable training is taking place. Of equally important consideration in these scenarios is the employer benefits from the completion of these assigned tasks because it is work that would typically be assigned to a regular employee.”

Another distinguishing factor is unpaid internships may often qualify for college credit.

“When an internship is offered for college credit, that internship opportunity has been vetted by the college or university and determined to have educational value and a training benefit for the student and may be appropriately categorized as unpaid,” said Nemeth.

There are several professions that rarely provide unpaid internships due to the competitive nature of the fields and to avoid issues regarding job classification or wages.

“The engineering and accounting professions generally require strong academic skills and offer only formal, paid internships, even though training is the focus. These fields compete within their industries for the top students, who tend to have multiple paid employment opportunities regardless of the economy,” said Nemeth.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Waterford chamber hosting Live- Work- Play Expo, April 3

The Waterford Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting Live- Work- Play Expo 2014, 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at Waterford Mott High School, 1151 Scott Lake Road, Waterford Township. The Expo is a One Stop Shop under one roof. Those who own or represent a business or organization may exhibit, from leisure to finance, recreation to business, trades to culture.

The Expo has always been our “One Stop Shop” under one roof to create a downtown atmosphere of local businesses and organizations. Vendors will have additional space this year because the second gym will be utilized and the hallway will connect both spaces. The event features raffles, special offers, hands-on exhibits. There will be over 100 booths representing local business, products, services and organizations. For more information, call 248-666-8600 or visit

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Walsh College hosting Women's Entrepreneur-YOU Conference

Walsh College is hosting the Women’s Entrepreneur Conference, Entrepreneur-YOU, at its Troy Campus. Entrepreneur-YOU is a day-long conference that offers a variety of workshops taught by business professionals. The event offers four tracks with work sessions and panels to assist participants particularly in the start-up, and first stage and mostly in “lifestyle” businesses. Presenters include Molly McDonald, Elizabeth Garlow, Emily Hay, Sharon McRill, Dawn Drozd, Catherine Juon, Carlotta Tutt Holloway, Kathryn Baker, Lynne Golodner, Kim Ingram and Rebecca Davies. The keynote speaker is Alyssa R. Martina, founder and publisher of Metro Parent Magazine. Martina has launched numerous ventures in the media space. Her newest venture, which is receiving a large amount of attention from the tech world, is a social-networking site and app called memloom. To learn more about the 2014 Entrepreneur-YOU event and to register, visit: Tickets are $45 each and can be purchased online.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Auburn Hills chamber hosting workshop on search marketing

The Auburn Hills Chamber is offering Sharpen the Saw: Tips & Tools for Marketers. This event starts Wednesday, March 19, at 8 to 10 a.m. at the City of Auburn Hills Public Safety Building Meeting Room. It will focus on search marketing; specifically SEO and SEM. Nick Boylan, Digital Marketing Manager from Allegra Network will discuss how customers use search engines to research companies, products and services. There is networking before the presentation, and time for questions afterwards. Sharpen the Saw is a three-part series; free for chamber members and just $10 for non-members. Annual Program Sponsors include Faurecia, Oakland University, DBusiness and Cornerstone Community Financial. The event is at 1899 North Squirrel Road in Auburn Hills, located on the City of Auburn Hills campus. For information, call 248-853-7862 or visit

Friday, March 7, 2014

Sometimes you gotta boss yourself

Hundreds of thousands of new businesses open in the United States each year. More than 22 million of small businesses are one-man (or woman) shops, and the number of those ringing up more than $1 million in sales is growing – it was nearly 27,000 in 2011, the most recent U.S. Census statistics available.
Lynda Chervil, a longtime businesswoman and thought leader is the author of the new book, “Fool’s Return,”
“Imagine what would happen if we applied our CEO mindset and skills to our own lives? Sometimes, it takes a boss to tell you to do something in order for it to get done. Now’s the time to become that boss,” Chervil said.
Chervil shares tips for doing that:
• Embrace change, renewal and rebirth. There is no shortage of opportunity to notice change in life. Don’t be afraid to use milestones to provide yourself with an “employer’s review” on how you’re doing in your own life. What are you doing well, what needs work and how are you going to improve? Create a detailed plan on how you expect to accomplish your goals. Give yourself a timeline, such as losing 20 pounds by summer or increasing your net worth by next year.
• You’re your own best entrepreneur. Part of being a good boss means trying out enterprising ideas; it’s the mediocre bosses who are content with the status quo. You don’t have to start with something wild. Instead, follow through on ideas that are good for you, such as buying healthy food that you haven’t yet tried. Look up recipes for how to prepare a healthy item like quinoa – make a project out of it. Have fun with the new you. Just because you have a new job with plenty of responsibility – being your own boss – doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
• Manage what you can control; accept what you cannot; and look outside the box. This is not as easy as it may sound because we often think we can control things that, in fact, we cannot, including how people respond to us or how quickly our bodies respond to diet and exercise. Progress does not happen all at once. While it makes sense to focus on what we can control, you may also consider alternative methods of living. That may include riding a bike to work rather than driving, or exploring alternative forms of spiritual healing.
• Don’t be a victim! To a greater or lesser extent, we’re all taught to be obedient conform to the standards set by parents, teachers and bosses. Unfortunately, for many, this passive role can shape one’s identity and influence other relationships. It all starts with one’s own relationship to one’s self, Chervil says. As most parents and teachers will say, the best students are those who need the least help and are willing to be proactive in their own improvement. Understand that it’s not others who determine what you can do; it’s you.
About Lynda Chervil
Lynda Chervil is the author of “Fool’s Return,”, a new novel that incorporates life lessons in a tale that touches on technology, the green movement, and other aspects of contemporary society.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SE Michigan Purchasing Managers Index shows dip in economic growth

The Southeast Michigan Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for February dipped to 47.3, down from 52.3 in January. A PMI index value below 50 generally suggests economic growth is slowing. "Though the southeastern Michigan economy has slowed a bit, there's no reason to believe that this is a long-term slowdown, at most it could be described as a temporary cooling of the economy," said Timothy Butler, associate professor of supply chain management at Wayne State's School of Business Administration, who interpreted this month's results. "The southeast Michigan economy has been consistently strong since coming out of the recession. We should not be too concerned about two or three months of poorer results during this time of year," Butler said.
February prices for plastic, gasoline, propane, diesel fuel, petro chemicals, acrylic, polycarbonate, brass, rubber, plate steel and aluminum are all up. Items down in price include nylon and resin. The Southeast Michigan (PMI) is a research partnership between Wayne State University's School of Business Administration and the Institute for Supply Management – Southeast Michigan.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Home Builders Association of Michigan forecasts continued strong growth for 2014

OKEMOS – The Home Builders Association of Michigan announces that despite the cold weather drag on the industry at the start of the year, the forecast for 2014 single-family home construction shows continued strong growth in permits. HBA of Michigan attributes the strong forecast to an increase in job growth, a continued strong rebound in North American vehicleproduction and a rise in home sales in 2013.
"Over 91,000 more people were employed last year compared to 2012, said Bob Filka, CEO of the HBA of Michigan. "Without question, the biggest contributor to the burgeoning housing recovery was the rise in home sales, particularly the 12 percent increase in average home sale values when comparing Michigan Association of Realtors data from 2013 to 2012. Combined with continually decreasing inventories, the result was an acceleration of new home construction."
During 2013, Michigan saw 13,359 single-family home permits recorded year-to-date (U.S. Census Bureau data). This number was up by 28 percent compared to the 10,459 permits issued in 2012.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Auburn Hills Business NetWORK to start March 4

The spring semester of the Auburn Hills Business NetWORK, a program of the Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce, is now open for registration. This group meets from 8:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on first and third Tuesdays of every month, March 4 through Aug. 19 at the Auburn Hills Quality Inn at 1461 N. Opdyke Road. It is open to include both members and non-members in industry-exclusive categories. Participants have the opportunity to present their businesses to the group and generate referrals and new network connections on a one-on-one basis. As an added benefit, attendees will also earn $50 in Chamber advertising through group participation of 75 percent or more. There are 25 spots total and are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. Meetings include a continental breakfast courtesy of Quality Inn. For more information or to register, contact Joe Byers at 734-462-8667.