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Posted on Thu, Jan 26, 2012 : 5:12 a.m.

People & achievements in the greater Ann Arbor area, including Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione and the Cancer Support Community

By Staff


Michael Spink

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

Michael Spink, a shareholder in the Ann Arbor office of intellectual property law firm Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, has been named a member of the Intellectual Property Owners Association Corporate IP Management Committee for 2012-2013. IPO is a trade association for owners of patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.

Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor is the recipient of a new funding grant of $23,450 from the James A. and Faith Knight Foundation. The grant will be used to augment and stabilize infrastructure for The Brides Project. The Brides Project is a volunteer-operated bridal boutique, open by appointment, which sells donated wedding gowns, either gently used by brides or new from boutiques across the country. TBP provides brides with a socially-conscious, budget and eco-friendly option for purchasing a bridal gown, while helping cancer survivors and their families; all proceeds from gown sales benefit Cancer Support Community's free programs. Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor is part of an international nonprofit organization serving people affected by cancer. CSC is the only organization in Washtenaw County devoted solely to providing support and education to cancer patients, their friends, family and children.

Ann Arbor SPARK, a regional economic development nonprofit in the greater Ann Arbor region, recently announced the launch of Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Podcasts: Conversations on Economic Opportunity, featuring Paul Krutko, its president and CEO, interviewing regional business leaders. The podcasts will feature successful local businesses, business owners and business leaders. The CEOs interviewed during the podcast will share best practices, lessons learned and an "in the trenches" view of business ownership. Ann Arbor SPARK will release new CEO podcasts every two weeks through 2012 at

• The Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors recently awarded their 2012 Environmental Awareness Awards to a two individuals and to a church. The individuals who received awards were Matt and Kelly Grocoff of Ann Arbor for their green remodeling efforts and their website The other award went to First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor for their use of a wind turbine to produce power as well as other environmentally-friendly practices such as installing energy efficient lighting, using native prairie plants in landscaping and recycling throughout the facility. The Environmental Awareness Award is presented by the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors to Washtenaw County individuals, organizations or businesses who are proactive on environmental issues.

Roger Williams of Ann Arbor has joined Farm Bureau Insurance as a new agent serving the area from an office at 1661 S. Huron, Ypsilanti.

Joseph W. Iskra, a registered patent attorney, has joined Butzel Long as an associate based in the firm’s Bloomfield Hills office. Iskra, who lives in the Ann Arbor area, concentrates his practice in the area of intellectual property law.

• Schiff Hardin has added four partners who will work from a new Schiff Hardin office in Ann Arbor. Gregory L. Curtner is leading Schiff Hardin’s Antitrust and Trade Regulation practice firm-wide and will work from both the Ann Arbor and New York offices. Frederick R. Juckniess, Kimberly K. Kefalas and Robert J. Wierenga also joined Schiff Hardin as partners in the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Group and will work in the Ann Arbor office.

• On Feb. 11, Ryde On Cycling Studio in Saline will host a four-hour “Ryde”-a-thon to support Programs to Educate All Cyclists, a Washtenaw county organization that helps people with disabilities enjoy the benefits of cycling. Performance Bike Shop in Ann Arbor, Bearclaw Coffee and Afternoon Delight have signed on to sponsor the event. Programs to Educate All Cyclists was founded in 2004 by John Waterman, and the program provides cycling classes to people with disabilities and to those who wish to act as trained cycling companions to people with disabilities.

Susan Martin, the first female president at Eastern Michigan University, and Dr. Ora H. Pescovitz, CEO of the University of Michigan Health System, will each receive a Distinguished Leadership Award at the 16th annual Women and Leadership in the Workplace Conference. Martin, who is a winner in the education category, and Pescovitz, the winner in the professional category, will be among 11 honorees at the event, held this morning, Jan. 26, at The Henry Hotel in Dearborn. The conference honors women who have demonstrated successful leadership in workplaces and communities of Michigan.

• Cognitive psychologist Frederick Conrad has been appointed director of the University of Michigan Program in Survey Methodology, based at the Institute for Social Research. The program is one of only three in the United States to provide graduate-level training in how to conduct scientifically sound polls and surveys. Conrad succeeds the program's founding director, James Lepkowski, a professor of biostatistics and public health who will now serve as associate director of the program. Conrad also will serve as director of the Joint Program in Survey Methodology, a long-standing collaboration between U-M, Westat and the University of Maryland. His appointment as director of both programs marks a step in their eventual consolidation.

Plante Moran PLLC, a national certified public accounting and business advisory firm with an office in Ann Arbor, has been named to FORTUNE Magazine’s list of “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the 14th consecutive year. The full list, which ranks Plante Moran #37, will appear in the February 6 issue of FORTUNE magazine. To learn more about the "Best Companies to Work For" list, visit

Pure Visibility, an Internet marketing company based in Ann Arbor, recently reached a partnership agreement with Deque Systems, a Reston, Va.-based firm that automates web accessibility compliance. Together, the two companies will work with clients to improve the accessibility and visibility of websites through search engine optimization (SEO) and increased accessibility for web users with disabilities.

• The board of The Arts Alliance, an arts and culture advocacy nonprofit based in Ann Arbor, recently announced that the organization's president, Susan Froelich, has decided to leave her position, effective Jan. 31. Froelich served as president for a period of about one year. The Arts Alliance board has convened a transition team which is meeting to determine next steps and the process of looking for a new president.

• Bank of Ann Arbor recently hired Sandra Taggie as Vice President and Trust Officer where she will serve clients in both the Plymouth and Ann Arbor offices. Taggie resides in the Plymouth-Canton area.

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