Archive for the ‘West Michigan’ Category.

Four Attorneys from Warner Norcross & Judd Have Been Selected to Participate in Community Leadership Programs

Four attorneys from Warner Norcross & Judd have been selected to participate in leadership programs in the communities served by the firm. They include Charles Ash, Jr., Julie Lam, Anissa Hudy and Kurt Brauer.

AshCharles Ash, a partner with the firm, will be among 35 business professional, nonprofit executives and government leaders to participate in Leadership Grand Rapids, a nine-month community leadership program from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. The 2014 class, which begins in September and wraps up in May 2014, will give current and emerging leaders the opportunity to explore issues connected with community building, including talent development, public safety, philanthropy, community health and others essential to a vibrant Grand Rapids.

Mr. Ash concentrates his practice in litigation and has extensive experience representing businesses in complex contract and tort litigation in state and federal trial courts throughout the country. He serves on the boards of the Student Advancement Foundation and Calvin College Alumni Association. He is a graduate of Leadership West Michigan.

LamJulie Lam, an associate, has been selected for the Inforum Executive Leadership Program. Ms. Lam will be among 32 business professional, non-profit executives and government leaders to participate in the four-month leadership program. The 2013 class, which begins in September and wraps up in December, will give personalized instruction and focused coaching that allows participants to explore their personal leadership style, understand what it takes to be an effective leader and receive personal coaching and feedback.

Ms. Lam concentrates her practice in civil litigation at both the trial and appellate levels.


HudyAnissa  Hudy, Senior Counsel at the firm, has been selected to participate in Leadership Macomb. Ms. Hudy will be among 30+ business professional, community and government leaders to participate in the nine-month community leadership program. The 2014 class, which begins in September and wraps up in June 2014, will give current and emerging leaders the opportunity to explore emerging issues that will impact Macomb County, Southeast Michigan and the bottom line of their own organizations.

Ms. Hudy concentrates her practice on real estate and commercial litigation with an emphasis on creditors’ rights. She is a member of the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation and serves on the Court Reporting and Recording Board of Review Fees Workgroup for the State of Michigan.


BrauerKurt  Brauer, a partner, has been selected to participate in Leadership Detroit. Mr. Brauer will be among 65 business professional, non-profit executives and government leaders to participate in the nine-month community leadership program of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. The 2014 class, which begins in September and wraps up in May 2014, will give current and emerging leaders the opportunity to explore key issues that affect the Detroit region and explore ways to bring about positive change in the community through informed leadership.

Mr. Brauer counsels clients in economic development and environmental compliance and regulatory matters with an emphasis on brownfield redevelopment and business expansion incentive packages. He also assists them in resolving complex real estate matters. He is recognized in Best Lawyers in America and as a dBusiness Top Lawyer.

Warner Leaders Participate in Inclusive Leadership Workshop

Arin ReevesWarner Norcross & Judd’s Managing Partner, Doug Wagner, was among 11 leaders from the firm who participated in the first annual Inclusive Leadership Workshop sponsored by the Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative.  The workshop, which was conducted on June 3 and June 4,   explored the difference between diversity and inclusion and the business case for diversity and inclusion in law firms.  Participants discussed implicit biases and learned how to identify impediments to inclusion in their firms.

The workshop was conducted by Dr. Arin Reeves, of Nextions LLC.  Dr. Reeves is one of the foremost consultants in the area of law firm diversity and inclusion. Her book, The Next IQ: The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders was published in 2012 by the American Bar Association. Dr. Reeves has worked with law firms and legal departments on diversity and inclusion for nearly 20 years. She is an advisor to the Center for Legal Inclusiveness in Colorado and is the co-author of its manual, Beyond Diversity: Inclusiveness in the Legal Workplace.

 The Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative was formed in 2011 by 12 of the largest law offices in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in association with the Grand Rapids Bar Association, to promote diversity and inclusion in our firms and the profession. Conducting the annual workshop is one of 45 action steps in the Collaborative’s Action Plan adopted in 2012.  Over 40 leaders from the 12 member firms participated in the workshop.

African American History to Come Alive at Fifth Third Bank

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In celebration of Black History Month, Fifth Third Bank is hosting a live museum in the lobby of its main office in Grand Rapids (111 Lyon Street NW) on Friday, February 22.  All of the actors who will portray historical African Americans are employees of Fifth Third Bank – which makes it very cool.  The actors will reenact key moments of our nation’s past to educate and remind us of the journey our nation has traveled and honor the men and women who lived the story. Fifth Third Bank will come alive with characters impersonating some of the most important and influential figures in African American history. The Live Museum is in partnership with New Hope Baptist Church; characters will be dressed in period costumes and will reveal themselves by sharing details of their lives, struggles, and accomplishments. The historic icons will be played by Fifth Third employees and will include:  

  • Harriet Tubman
  • Dr. George Washington Carver
  • Daniel Hale Williams
  • Madame CJ Walker
  • Lonnie Johnson
  • Osceola McCarty
  • The Negro Mother

The living history museum will also be presented at Woodland Mall the following day.


Join Us at Inforum’s BoardAccess™ Briefing: How Boards Work

On Wednesday, February 27, Diversity Partner Rodney Martin will moderate a discussion with Maureen Noe, President and CEO, Heart of West Michigan United Way, and Mary Tuuk, President of Fifth Third Bank, Western Michigan, who will share their personal stories and insights on corporate board effectiveness. The program is part of Inforum’s BoardAccessTM initiative. For more information, visit Inforum’s website by clicking here.

Here is an interesting infographic from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School on women at work.

Women at Work Infographic Via MBA@UNC
Via MBA@UNC: Top MBA Online & Women 2.0

Announcing the Winners of the 8th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay Contest

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP has announced the results of its Eighth Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest.

The contest, which was open to all Grand Rapids Public Schools’ sixth-graders, asked the students to prepare an essay focused on how Dr. King’s legacy of peace and justice applies to the world in which they live. Over 250 students participated in this year’s competition.

The Winners of the 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay Contest are:

  • Daijon Miller, Riverside Middle School, Grand Prize
  • Tyevon Williams, Riverside Middle School, First Runner Up
  • Rashon Adams, Alger Middle School, Second Runner Up

Each winning student will receive a certificate of deposit and a gift card to a local bookstore. Additionally, 21 students received an honorable mention and will receive a gift card to a local bookstore. All participating students will receive a personalized certificate of completion.

Daijon Miller has been invited to read his essay at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Peace Program on Monday, Jan. 21 at 12:30 p.m. (following the Community Peace March) and again at the Annual Celebration program that evening at 6 p.m. Both events will be held at the Grand Rapids Community College Gerald R. Ford Fieldhouse.

All winners and honorable mentions are invited to attend both events and will be recognized as a group. The winners and honorable mention recipients will be recognized by the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board of Education at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4.

Here are the winning essays.


Riverside Middle School, Ms. Emily Holt, Teacher

My Teacher Role Model

             Dr. King was a hero and a role model to me almost my whole life. I respect that during this life he was insulted and didn’t say anything back. He was beaten, stabbed, and jailed around thirty times and he never thought of suing or hitting anyone. If that would’ve been me, I would do anything I could to get back at them. I guess non-violence is one of the many traits it takes to be a hero. Heroes also need to be helpful, have great ideas, and they need to put others before themselves.

My personal role model is Mr. Cook, my 4th grade teacher before I moved. He was a very nice man and a good teacher, too. He inspired me to do a program to help other students. I had lots of fun doing it, and I learned about myself along the way. During school time he paired me up with some struggling students who needed help with math. I understand math pretty well so I could help them with their homework and class assignments. I also helped them during electives and at LOOP after school.

He taught me more than just school subjects. He taught all of us the way we treat others is just as important as what we learn in books. One of the strategies he taught me on how to control my anger was that when people try to fight me I should close my eyes and count to three. When I opened my eyes I was supposed to be calm enough to say I won’t fight. The first time that I tried that I got punched in the stomach! On the flipside, the kid trying to fight me got suspended and I got to stay in school. It turned out Mr. Cook’s trick did some good since I didn’t get in any trouble at all!

The sad thing is that my hero is no longer here. Mr. Cook passed away last year. When I heard that, it made me want to honor his memory and be a better person. Now I try to remember what Mr. Cook taught me and control my anger even more. I haven’t fought anybody since 4th grade. He’d taught me lots of stuff but that the most important thing was to control my anger.

Heroes are against violence, heroes make great leaders and teachers, and heroes always find themselves in the role of helping others. I guess Dr. King and Mr. Cook have the qualities that make great heroes. There are lots of outstanding role models in the world, and I’m happy to have known Mr. Cook as one of those many great role models.


Riverside Middle School, Ms. Emily Holt, Teacher

Ordinary Heroes

             Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a history maker and a hero to other people and to me. Heroes to me are the ones who take risks for others, and who always think of themselves last. They come from many different walks of life and can be just about anybody. Dr. King lived his whole life unselfishly, and he always seemed to put his life in danger. He got so many death threats that he got pretty used to them. He always responded with non-violence and encouraged others to try to change their world through peaceful protests.

More recently, firefighters, police and ambulance drivers picked up the call. On 9/11, 2001, some first responders helped the people in the TwinTowers in New York City. That day they showed me what true heroes are made of. Those first responders showed me that true heroes don’t think of themselves first. They just naturally think of other people that are in need first. When the TwinTowers were about to fall, every human being in America wanted to help. Thank goodness those heroic first responders were there and willingly put their lives on the line to help. Sometimes situations make the hero in people come out. Heroes like these stepped up just like Dr. King would have.

Learning about what these people did impacted me a lot and made me want to be a better person. I don’t know if I would have the guts to go in to a burning tower, but just thinking about it makes me want to be a policemen or a fireman. Before I get old enough for those jobs, I can start small. If someone falls I’ll help them get back up on their feet. In my school I could help people try to open their lockers because I’m good at working combinations! At home I could help my sister, Deija with her Spanish homework. This is kind of heroic because she’s in high school, and I’m only in middle school.

I think Dr. King would want all the heroes who died on 9/11 to be remembered as inspirers. I think Dr. King was so unselfish and forgiving, and he wanted to help people just like those first responders from 9/11, 2011. Dr. King would want to say to me, “You can be who ever you want to be, you can make the world better, you can inspire others!”


Alger Middle School

My Hero

             When I think of a hero I think of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King is my hero because he was a very determined person who fought for equal rights. He wanted everyone to be treated fairly no matter what the color of your skin was, or what race you were. My Uncle Jamel reminds me of Martin Luther King because he was respectful, went to college, and has a nice job, home and family. And he loves basketball just like I do.

My Uncle Jamel is a great role model to me because he did what I’ve always wanted to do when I get older, and that is play basketball. My Uncle Jamel was very determined to play basketball when he was in school. Even though he didn’t make it to the NBA, he is still very successful and still plays basketball during his free time. Jamel also coaches youth basketball for the AAU basketball league. His team went undefeated and won the national championship, and as a result of being a great role model and possessing a great character, he has made me a better person.

My Uncle Jamel has made me a better person because he encourages me to keep my grades up in school and stay in sports, and stay active. He also encourages me to go to college and play a sport that I like and someday I might be a professional at it. My Uncle Jamel went to MichiganStateUniversity. He didn’t play basketball in college a lot, but he was still very good at it. My Uncle Jamel even had a chance to go to the NBA and play for the Detroit Pistons, but he decided to stay home and take care of his mother, who eventually died from a heart attack.

My Uncle Jamel also has great characteristics. He respects all of his teachers and friends who helped him when he was in college, high school, and even elementary. Everyone knew that Jamel was a great person and also possessed great characteristics. He never got frustrated at the refs or his coaches when he was in a game. He was always a leader and a role model to the players on his team and other people around him.

That’s why both my Uncle Jamel and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are both my role models, and they both make me want to be a better person and accomplish some of the things they’ve accomplished. When I think of a role model I think of Martin Luther King Jr. and my Uncle Jamel! They are my role models. Who are yours?

Prominent Advocate for Flex Time Lawyers Blogs About Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

Cynthia Calvert

Cynthia Calvert, co-founder of the Project for Attorney Retention at the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a prolific author and speaker on the retention and advancement of women attorneys, alternative work arrangements, and family responsibilities discrimination, has discussed the Grand Rapids Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative Action Plan for diversity and inclusion in her blog.  Ms. Calvert played an important part in the steps that led up to the forming of the Collaborative.  In March 2010, she was a keynote speaker, along with Robert Grey of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, at the Grand Rapids Bar Association Roundtable on the Retention of Women and Minority Lawyers

Writing in her blog, Ms. Calvert predicted success for the plan based on the commitment and dedication to making a difference she saw at the Roundtable.  She described the Action Plan as employing strategies with a proven record of success and praised the Plan for including provisions that hold the firms accountable for implementing it. See, “Taking Action toward Diversity and Inclusion in Grand Rapids.”

In a subsequent blog, Ms. Calvert suggested 5 steps the members of the Collaborative can take to get their members actively participating the diversity and inclusion initiatives.  You can read that article by clicking here.

 Ms. Calvert is the author of a number of books and articles on the retention and advancement of women.  Her most recent book, written with Joan C. Williams, is “Flex Success: The Lawyer’s Guide to Balanced Hours” (2011)