You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Nov 22, 2012 : 5:15 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione and Hobbs + Black

By Staff


From new hires and promotions to industry awards, here's a roundup of achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area:

• Intellectual property law firms Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione will open a new Detroit office in December, in the same building as the new Elijah J. McCoy United States Patent and Trademark Office. Kelly K. Burris, currently a shareholder in Brinks’ Ann Arbor office, will serve as managing partner of the new Detroit office of Brinks, where she will be joined by Brinks shareholder Margaret Dobrowitsky and associate Keith D. Weiss.

Hobbs+Black Associates Inc., an architectural firm headquartered in Ann Arbor, recently received the Healthcare Environment Award from The Center for Healthcare Design for the Tucson Medical Center Pediatric Renovation project. The award is meant to recognize excellence in new or renovated healthcare facility design. The project expands the hospital in order to provide all private Mother Baby patient rooms. The expansion added 13 Mother Baby rooms and 13 converted from semi-private to private rooms for a total of 60 private Mother Baby rooms. The project created a new Identifiable Children’s Hospital with its own entrance, patient and family focused activity center, and the development of all private pediatric rooms. The expansion adds 16 Pediatric rooms and converts 10 from semi-private to private rooms for 44 private pediatric rooms.

• Leaders in the local home building industry were honored Wednesday, Nov. 7 at Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Ann Arbor Annual Pillar Awards. Receiving awards this year were Jay Holland of Jay Holland Construction Co., named Builder of the Year; Keith Fineberg of KSF Architects, named Associate of the Year; David Lutton of Reinhart Company Realtors, receiving the Distinguished Service to the Community award; Michael Klement of Architectural Resource, receiving the Built Green Achievement award; Lucy Ann Lance and Dean Erskine of Lance & Erskine Communications, receiving the Distinguished Service to the Building Industry award; and Chelsea Area Construction Agency, receiving the Outstanding Government Agency award. Additionally, Leadership Recognition plaques were presented to BRAG Ann Arbor Local Life Director Christy Perros of Absolute Title, Inc.; BRAG Ann Arbor Associates Council Chair Steve DiGiuseppe of Tandem Tile and Stone; and BRAG Ann Arbor Land Development Council Chair Tom Covert of Metro Consulting Associates. The Council Chair of the Year award and the Keppler Award for Remodeling Achievement award went to James Trumble of Second Edition, Inc.

James E. Kimble, president and CEO of Boersma Travel Services, has completed the first phase of the AT&T Operation Hand Salute, a yearlong mentoring and business education program for CEOs of service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. Selected from among hundreds of candidates, Kimble is one of 15 business owners nationwide participating in the 2012-13 Operation Hand Salute initiative, which provides executive MBA-caliber class work at John F. Kennedy’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership in Pleasant Hill, Calif. The Boersma Travel Services team is headquartered in Ann Arbor, supported by four Branch Offices located in Shreveport, La., Hartsville, S.C., Abilene and San Angelo, Texas.

• Management of the Holiday Inn near the University of Michigan in mid-November announced the hotel will undergo a more than $4 million complete renovation, from the guest rooms, restaurant and ballroom to the lobby and exterior. The hotel will remain open during the renovation, which is expected to be completed by July 2013.

• Gov. Rick Snyder Nov 19 announced the appointment of Tara Fulton of Dexter to the Library of Michigan board of trustees. The 13-member board makes general policy and budgetary recommendations concerning the Library of Michigan to the Michigan Department of Education. Fulton is dean of Eastern Michigan University’s library, a position she has held since 2010.

• The University of Michigan will invest $17.5 million to further expand research space at its North Campus Research Complex. In mid-November, the U of M Board of Regents approved a project to renovate and open 68,000-square feet of biomedical research space on the site, including space for shared research tools that can be used by many scientists. The newly approved renovation project, in a building called 20E, will create a new home for sophisticated cell analysis machines and microscopes, and other such ‘core’ facilities. The rest of the building will be used for biomedical research labs. A report at details key developments at NCRC.

• The Art Van Furniture Charity Bear is now available at all 34 Art Van Furniture stores throughout Michigan. Art Van introduced the Art Van Charity Bear as a way to help Michigan charities. The bear sells for $29.95 with proceeds of each sale given to one of the 150 Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge charities. Each guest who purchases a bear will determine which nonprofit organization will receive the funds. The bears will be on sale through the holiday season. Art Van Furniture operates 34 stores in 33 communities throughout Michigan, plus six freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores around the state, includine one in Ann Arbor.

• The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Prostate Research Fund recently received a $100,000 grant from ITC Holdings Corp. to support prostate cancer research. The grant will support genetic sequencing of prostate cancer tumors, research being performed by Dr. Arul Chinnaiyan, director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, and Dr. Kenneth Pienta , professor of the departments of internal medicine and urology at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. The ITC grant will be matched by the Prostate Cancer Foundation. ITC Holdings Corp. is an independent electric transmission company based in Novi.

Arbor Networks Inc., an Ann Arbor-based provider of security and network management solutions, was selected as a Top Workplace by the Detroit Free Press for its Ann Arbor office where the majority of the company's engineering, research and development takes place. The Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback in a survey conducted by WorkplaceDynamics LLP.

Leslie Science & Nature Center in Ann Arbor has partnered with Cottage Inn for a fund-raising effort. From Nov. 19-25, 5 percent from Cottage Inn’s location on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor will go to LSNC’s Eagle Veteran Fund, supporting programming and resources to benefit U.S. veterans. More information about the fund is available at or by calling 734-994-1553.

• Ann Arbor Realtor Kathy Toth and her Keller Williams real estate team have launched a video-centric real estate website called, offering virtual "neighborhood tours." To create the videos, Toth enlisted the help of a local video production firm Mixed Media to produce full-motion video tours of popular Ann Arbor and Dexter subdivisions.

Email items for People & Achievements to Sign up for the weekly Business Review email newsletter here.