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DTE EnergySmarts Spring 2021

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Spring 2021 issue. (Two PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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Clean Cultivation: CANNABIS PIONEER PLANNING NET-ZERO GROW WITH THE LATEST IN GREEN DESIGN

Article written for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association’s magazine, 2021 second issue. (PDF)

Anyone who’s ever been tempted by a project to go all the way on it, expense be damned, will appreciate what Dori Edwards is doing.

She’s going “all in” on her vision of creating a net-zero grow facility. Her plan is to build a super-clean pharmaceutical-grade grow facility that demonstrates sustainability in every one of its 25,000 square feet, from the heating and cooling system to the materials that make up the building itself.

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Still in charge: Whiskey businesses directly invest in wind and solar through MIGreenPower

Article for DTE Energy’s EnergySmarts publication, winter 2021

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NEW INDUSTRY, NEW TECH: Businesses Use Software to Get Over Regulatory Hurdles

Article written for the Michigan Cannabis Industry Association’s magazine, 2021 first issue. (PDF)

It could be fairly said that without technology, the cannabis industry may never have gotten off the ground.

Inevitably tight regulations make running a cannabis business touchier than selling office supplies or even whiskey. Cannabis businesses must track every gram of the product from “seed to sale.” This includes even when cannabinoid oil is divvied into many products for many customers. Businesses and regulators must be able to identify  where the products of a given plant are at any time.

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DTE EnergySmarts Fall 2020

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Fall 2020 issue. (Four PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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DTE EnergySmarts Summer 2020

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Summer 2020 issue. (Three PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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DTE EnergySmarts Spring 2020

Work done for Michigan utility company DTE Energy’s B2B custom publication EnergySmarts, Spring 2020 issue. (Three PDFs, one for each of three articles written)

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Every Person Counts

Oakland County’s Complete Count Committee working to raise 2020 census participation

A widely used rule of thumb says that each person counted in the U.S. Census represents $1,800 a year in federal funding. Oakland County has an estimated 211,507 people who are at risk of being undercounted, according to the Michigan Department of State. That would come to more than $380 million a year, or more than $3.8 billion over the course of a decade, in potentially lost revenue. For reference, Oakland County’s 2020 budget is $922 million.

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Interview with Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D. (Flint water crisis whistleblower)

Profile for the 100 Influential Women recognition program, Crain’s Detroit Business, 2016

Mona Hanna-Attisha, M.D.

Director of the pediatric residency program, Hurley Medical Center; assistant professor of pediatrics and human development, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

 

Big win: Hanna-Attisha’s campaign brought the Flint lead issue to national and international attention. She has been honored about a dozen times, including Time magazine’s 2016 list of the world’s 100 most influential people.

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100 Most Influential Women

Worked on the editorial team that led this project, including the selection of the 100 honorees and execution of the related coverage.

“These 100 women manage budgets and civic initiatives. They lead in business, academia, nonprofits and public policy. They are CEOs, executive directors and company founders. Crain’s has been honoring influential women in metro Detroit since 1997; this year, we take that recognition statewide. Here’s how we selected them. These 100 women join a roster of past winners in our legacy list; click on the “archive” button to read more about them.”

June 2, 2016 | Crain’s Detroit Business

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Interview with Donna Niester, president of Acheson Ventures

Profile for the 100 Influential Women recognition program, Crain’s Detroit Business, 2016

Donna Niester
President, Acheson Ventures LLC

Big win: Port Huron’s waterfront redevelopment. It began in 1998, when Jim Acheson and his family sold Acheson Industries, a chemical company dating back to 1908. He used his share of the proceeds to invest in Port Huron’s rundown industrial south side, particularly the waterfront. Niester became president of what would eventually be 14 different entities that sprouted up to support the work, from for-profit property investments to charitable donations.

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Crain’s Detroit Business ’40 Under 40′ Awards

2015 40 Under 40 Section CoverI was the lead editor and project manager for the 2015 edition of the newspaper’s flagship awards program. My job was to evaluate hundreds of submissions, narrow them down, vet them, recommend winners, and produce an editorial package of the 40 selected honorees. For the vetting, I either interviewed candidates personally or someone from my team of writers did and reported back. After a painstaking review process involving the newspaper’s top leadership, the honorees were selected, and then my team produced the final editorial package. I edited all profiles and managed the scheduling of all the associated photography. I was also deeply involved in the marketing of the awards program and the event that went with it.

“Every year since 1991, Crain’s Detroit Business has honored 40 professionals in Southeast Michigan who have made their marks before age 40. This year’s winners launched successful companies, grew established firms, took on high-pressure projects and gave a hand to those in the community.” — Full coverage at crainsdetroit.com

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Time for Plan B: When businesses have to reverse major decisions

Sept 14, 2015 -- SS Reversing Major DecisionsAnyone who craves predictability probably shouldn’t become an entrepreneur. Besides the inherent risk of failure that any business carries, running a company offers many opportunities to be blindsided by even the seemingly most astute decisions.

These are decisions that seemed perfectly reasonable at the time, and perhaps more than reasonable. They were the mature, responsible thing to do, appropriate for the company’s growth. … Read more at crainsdetroit.com.

Lesson for lawyer: Don’t give up too much control

Acquisition to save money became costly rabbit hole

 

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The Eureka Index: Metro Detroit’s most innovative companies

I was the lead editor and sole writer for this project, a ranking of intellectual property-heavy companies in Southeast Michigan, with a full complement of editorial coverage. I coordinated the project with our vendor, a patent research firm in Chicago.

Automotive suppliers and life sciences companies led the pack in this year’s Eureka Index, Crain’s annual focus on innovative companies.

Many are well known, but some are more under the radar.

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Omni MedSci Inc.: Tech innovator likes to ‘play where the puck is going to be’

Mohammed Islam could be a poster child for a patenting professional.

He’s founded six companies based on his patents. He teaches courses on the subject, showing University of Michigan engineering students the right and wrong ways to win patents. And he has collected more than 150 patents of his own, or so he thinks.

“The last time I checked, in total, it was around 150. I lost count,” he said.

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When should a company give raises? See how these 3 companies handled it

With the recession well in the rearview, many companies are bracing for problems that occur when the economy is healthy, such as the big decision to increase pay.

Duke University‘s Fuqua School of Business and CFO Magazine recently published results of an outlook survey of 547 U.S. companies, and it showed that 70 percent as of March expected to increase wages at least 3 percent in the next 12 months. Tech, services and consulting, manufacturing and health care led the way. … Read more at crainsdetroit.com.

Silence on job postings told Southfield phone service company it was time for raises

For Warren streetlight maker, it paid to plan for raises

Real estate business compensates to fend off auto firms

 8 things to think about before giving employees a raise

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Meet the CFO who shepherded the DIA through the worst financial crisis in its 120-year history

Robert Bowen
CFO Awards 2015
Winner, nonprofit

In the long history of the Detroit Institute of Arts, it would be hard to find a period any shakier than the one it just went through.

The museum found itself at the center of Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy, its storied art collection used as a poker chip during the negotiations of 2013 and 2014.

Just a year before that began, the DIA pulled itself out of budgetary quicksand by pushing through a 10-year tri-county millage that gives it about $23 million annually.

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On a Wing and a Scare: How Buffalo Wild Wings franchise owner avoids indigestion

Michael Ansley’s first taste of the restaurant business wasn’t a pleasant one. At his first Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Ypsilanti, Workers at General Motors Corp.’s Willow Run factory provided business but formed a rowdy crowd, as did people from the bus station across the street. Fights broke out, customers were surly. Ansley once walked in on a crack deal in his bathroom. On other occasions, he got jumped and chased with a pipe wrench.

“We had federal agents dressed in Buffalo Wild Wings uniforms for a while, it got so bad,” Ansley said. “That was three years of hell.”

Read more at crainsdetroit.com.

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Handing off the family biz: Moving from avoidance to smooth sailing

Cover April 13, 2015 -- Second Stage -- Succession PlanningThe No. 1 mistake family-owned businesses make in succession planning is a basic one. They don’t bother with it.

This is surprisingly common. Specialists say it’s more likely that a family business will not have a plan than have one.

The Family Owned Business Institute at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids surveyed family businesses in its database last year and found that 80 percent of them said they plan to pass the business to the next generation. But only 19 percent had a formal, written plan to do so. … Read more at crainsdetroit.com

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Dad, son move past arguments into a business succession plan

Kevin Schnieders says he’s had only four arguments with his dad in his whole life, and they all came while working for him.

“He and I had four arguments in 13 years working together. I formally resigned in two, and he offered me a buyout in two,” Schnieders said. … Read more at crainsdetroit.com