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Posted on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 : 5:13 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including Benz Insurance Agency and Toyota Technical Center

By Staff


Cheryl O'Brien

From new hires and promotions to industry awards, read on to learn about achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area:

Cheryl O’Brien has joined Benz Insurance Agency in Ann Arbor as a business insurance agent. She was previously with the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber. Benz Insurance is a subsidiary of the employee-owned Kemner-Iott group of independent insurance agencies, with locations in Ann Arbor, Cassopolis and Adrian.

• Ann Arbor-based nonprofit writing and tutoring center 826michigan was the recipient of a $100,000 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation in 2010. Now, to celebrate their partnership, Toyota will be placing large photographs of life at 826michigan on display in Toyota Technical Center in Saline. Photos from 826michigan’s after-school tutoring program are on display at Toyota Technical Center’s Michigan facility in Saline. These photographs feature 826michigan students and volunteers working together, one-on-one, to tackle homework assignments in a wide variety of subjects.

• Real estate agents Patrick Butters, Stacy Scott, Marcia White and J.R. Augustaitis recently all made the move to Ann Arbor real estate company Keller Williams from other real estate companies in the area. In related news, Allison Hall has been promoted to director of agent services for Keller Williams Realty Ann Arbor Market Center.

• The Huron River Watershed Council recently received support from two foundations to continue and enhance its efforts to assess and protect the remaining natural areas in the Huron River watershed. The Carls Foundation contributed $60,000, and the Consumers Energy Foundation contributed $5,000. HRWC’s Bioreserve Project collects critical information on the number and kind of natural areas that exist in the Huron River watershed, helping to determine which provide the most benefit to fresh water resources. The Carls and Consumers Energy foundations’ funding will allow HRWC to provide technical support, assist with land owner contacts, and facilitate deal development.

Jason Robinson recently joined the mortgage lending team at Ann Arbor State Bank.

• In early November, Governor Rick Snyder made several appointments to various boards and commissions. Among those appointments, Snyder on Nov. 3 announced the appointment of Michael Chrissos of Ann Arbor to the Michigan Health Information Technology Commission.

FAAC Inc. recently announced an expansion of their facility in Pittsfield Township. As part of the expansion, FAAC Incorporated, part of Arotech Corp.'s (Training and Simulation Division, has acquired a 40,000-square-foot facility and is expected to add 10 jobs.

• Eastern Michigan University has named Kim Schatzel as its new provost and vice president, pending approval by the board of regents. The appointment will be effective Jan. 3, 2012. Schatzel currently serves as dean of the College of Business at University of Michigan-Dearborn, a position she has held since 2008.

• Ann Arbor-based pharmaceutical company Adeona Pharmaceuticals Inc. has appointed Jeff Riley to serve as its independent, non-executive chairman of the board. Riley has served on the company's board of directors since March of 2010 and will continue to serve on two committees. Riley is managing director of 526 Ventures, a life science-focused consulting firm with a commercial and transactional focus.

• On Oct. 31 Kerrytown Concert House was informed that their grant application in the category of Access to Artistic Excellence in Music was reviewed by an NEA advisory panel and has been recommended by the National Council on the Arts for funding in the amount of $12,500. KCH officials said they plan to use the grant to fund a festival of new and cutting edge music, called Edgefest 2012.

• Arboretum Ventures, an Ann Arbor-based healthcare venture capital firm specializing in early-stage private company investments, recently announced the promotion of Paul McCreadie to managing director. McCreadie began his career at Arboretum in 2006 as an associate and was promoted to the position of principal in 2010. McCreadie will continue to lead investments but will also join the investment committee and participate in the management of the firm.

• Four new Realtors have joined the Real Estate One Ann Arbor office: Shari Hands, Jon Klapatch, Trevor Shutes and Jörg Waltje.

Steven L. Oberholtzer and Eric J. Sosenko, shareholders in the Ann Arbor office of intellectual property law firm Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, have been recognized by their peers as leading lawyers in their field by The Best Lawyers in America for 2012. The 2012 edition of Best Lawyers was based on more than 3.9 million confidential evaluations from the top attorneys across the country; inclusion in Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Additionally, Brinks received a national first-tier ranking in patent law, while the Ann Arbor office received a metropolitan first-tier ranking in patent law. The firm’s ranking appears in the current online issue of U.S. News and World Report .

Dickinson Wright’s Ann Arbor Office received four first-tier rankings in the 2011-2012 release of the U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" report. The survey ranked Dickinson Wright in 49 different practice areas overall. The firm received first-tier recognition in 38 practice areas in Michigan where there were 290 firms ranked. Tier 1 rankings for the Ann Arbor office were in the areas of banking and finance law; bankruptcy and creditor debtor rights and insolvency and reorganization law; health care law; and mergers and acquisitions law.

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