Michael Daevenport '93 newly invested to operate Grandville stamping firm as minority enterprise
GRANDVILLE, MI – Jireh Metal Products has been acquired by a group of local investors who plan to operate the metal stamping company as a Minority Business Enterprise.
The new owners include by Michael Davenport, Andy Otteman and Gregory VandenBosch, the company said in a news release on Tuesday, May 19. Jireh produces metal stampings and assemblies for the office furniture, hardware and automotive industry.
Davenport, a basketball star at Ottawa Hills High School in the 1980s who went on to star at Xavier University, will lead Jireh as president and CEO.
Seller Ron Wierenga, who has led the company since 2000, will retain an ownership share and have an active role in the development of customer relationships, the company said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As part of the new ownership structure, Jireh plans to pursue Minority Business Enterprise certification, the company said.
The certification "will allow Jireh to provide support to many companies, including current customers, that have supplier diversity programs in place and those that recognize that a diverse supply base offers a competitive advantage in today's multicultural business economy," the company said..
With more than 30 years in business, Jireh employs nearly 100 people and operates two manufacturing plants with 120,000 square feet. The company is headquartered at 3635 Nardin Street SW in Grandville and has a production facility at 864 Productions Place in Holland Township.
Davenport most recently served as the director of community development for First Financial Bank in Cincinnati, where he led the bank's community development strategy. Previously, he served as a regulatory attorney for First Financial, Fifth Third Bank and U.S. Bank, where he managed the implementation and review of consumer lending legislation.
"Jireh's current products and customer base provided our team with a solid platform and the potential to grow with existing customers. We have a great opportunity to extend our relationships with these partners," said Davenport in a news release.
"While we retained all of Jireh's employees in the transition, we are also looking forward to adding additional staff to expand our areas of expertise and industry knowledge."
"Our team has done extensive due diligence on Jireh and knows the business inside and out. With Ron's involvement and guidance, Jireh will be able to continue in the direction that has allowed Jireh to grow with its partners," said Davenport. "We're confident that we'll be able to reach the company's growth targets."
Otteman, a former employee of Herman Miller Inc. and tech start-up, Parnunu, will serve as director of new business development.
The deal was financed by Mercantile Bank. Grand Rapids-based StreamSong Advisors played a key role in the deal structure.
"Providing acquisition and growth capital for proven leaders like the new Jireh Metal Products team is a perfect fit for the Mercantile business model and our local focus, said Kevin Paul, senior vice president of commercial lending at Mercantile Bank.
Deborah Brenneman '93 recognized with the 2015 Glass Ceiling Award by the Ohio Diversity Council
Thompson Hine is proud to announce that Cincinnati Labor & Employment Partner, Deborah Brenneman has been recognized with the 2015 Glass Ceiling Award by the Ohio Diversity Council. This award recognizes women in the workplace who demonstrate leadership excellence, maintain a record of accomplishments in areas of expertise, display integrity and portray the highest ethical standards among colleagues and clients. Deborah has over 20 years of experience, focusing her practice on representing management in all areas of employment law. She has successfully tried cases in state and federal courts around the country for global companies, and is a recognized expert in the field of trade secret and noncompete litigation. She has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer since 2009. She currently serves as the Cincinnati co-chair for the Spotlight on Women Initiative, a firm-wide program designed to foster an energetic and supportive atmosphere for women at the firm and within the business community. Debbie is the Vice Chair of the board of the West Chester-Liberty Chamber Alliance, which awarded her its Women of Excellence Award in 2010. She is also a former Athena Award Finalist.
John S. Fronduti '97 Named Assistant Vice President of American Financial Group, Inc.
CINCINNATI, May 04, 2015 -- American Financial Group, Inc. AFG, +0.87% is pleased to welcome John S. Fronduti as Assistant Vice President. In addition, he will serve as Vice President of American Money Management, a wholly owned investment management subsidiary of AFG, where he will provide legal advice in connection with the Company’s investment portfolio. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Fronduti was a partner with the Cincinnati-based law firm Keating, Muething and Klekamp.
John is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
About American Financial Group, Inc.
American Financial Group is an insurance holding company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio with assets in excess of $45 billion. Through the operations of Great American Insurance Group, AFG is engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses, and in the sale of fixed and fixed-indexed annuities in the retail, financial institutions and education markets. Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company.
UC Alum Catherine Neal '98 inducted in the 2015 Western Brown Hall of Fame
Western Brown Local School District will hold its annual Academic Hall of Fame induction at Western Brown High School 6 p.m. Thursday, May 7. The event will take place in the High School Auditeria to be followed by the high school academic awards program.
Being inducted into the Western Brown Academic Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor to be bestowed upon a (Hamersville High School/Mount Orab High School) Western Brown graduate. These individuals will have achieved extraordinary accomplishments and/or excellence in their chosen profession.
Criteria for nomination: Nominee must be graduated a minimum of 10 years and has accomplished achievements above and beyond normal standards including military academy graduate, doctor, lawyer, engineer, veterinarian, education, pharmacist, dentist, architect, music, arts, business, politics, etc. Nomination period closes each year on Jan. 15. Additional information available on the website at www.wb.k12.oh.us.
One of the 2015 Western Brown Hall of Fame Inductees is a UC Alum:
CATHERINE S. NEAL, Esq. – Graduated in 1979 from Western Brown High School. She earned degrees from both the University of Cincinnati Clermont and Northern Kentucky University where she graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA in 1992. She earned a Juris Doctorate degree in 1998 from the College of Law, University of Cincinnati.
As a college student she received the National Business Education Association Award of Merit and was inducted into the Alpha Chi National Honor Society. She was named a Corporate Law Fellow by UC’s Corporate Law Center. She was the recipient of the Brendamour Tax Prize for completing the tax curriculum with the highest GPA; the Ernest Karam Book Award in Legal Research, Writing, and Advocacy; the West Publishing Award for Scholastic Achievement in Criminal Law and was included on the Dean’s Honors List.
After law school, Neal entered private practice with the law firm of Wood & Lamping in Cincinnati. Her work included business law, tax and estate planning matters, maritime law and federal litigation. Her input on a case being argued before the Ohio Supreme Court significantly changed international commercial law in the state of Ohio.
Neal left private practice in 2002 to become an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Cincinnati Clermont College and was recognized for “Excellence in Teaching” and “Promoting Good Student/Faculty Relations.” Professor Neal joined the Haile/US Bank College of Business at Northern Kentucky University in 2005 where she received “Dean’s Citation for Outstanding Teaching” in 2010 and was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in 2011.
Her research interests include white-collar crime, corporate governance, executive compensation, and corporate scandals. Her work has been published in a number of academic journals, and she is a frequent speaker on business ethics and business law topics. In 2014, Professor Neal’s first book, “Taking Down the Lion” was published . The book is the consummate account of the Tyco International corporate scandal and is based on over two years of intensive research. During this time, Professor Neal was granted unprecedented access to former Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski, his papers, attorneys, family, friends, and former Tyco colleagues as well as transcripts and evidence from two criminal trials. Since the book was released, Neal has appeared on numerous national, regional, and local media outlets. She is frequently invited to speak about her research, among those most recent include events at Sacred Heart University, the Harvard Business School Club and was invited to give the keynote address at Oxford University (UK).
Professor Neal and her husband, Douglas Havelka, Ph.D., reside in the Anderson Township area. They are the parents of a daughter and a son and the grandparents of a granddaughter. Catherine Neal is the daughter of Creston and Joyce Neal of Mount Orab.
Buckley King’s Jeffrey R. Teeters '93 Again Receives “Top 50” Rating from Super Lawyers
CINCINNATI, OH – Buckley King is pleased to announce that Jeffrey R. Teeters (’93) has again been distinguished among a premier group of attorneys recognized as one of the “Top 50 Lawyers in Cincinnati.” Super Lawyers’ 2015 “Top” list features the “best of the best” – those attorneys who have attained the highest degree of recognition for legal excellence, professional achievements, and ethical standards. Being listed in Super Lawyers demonstrates Teeters’ superior legal acumen, and is a singular honor limited to the top 5% of attorneys across Ohio.
Teeters serves as Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s Cincinnati office and chairs its Commercial Litigation Practice Group. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of the American Bar Association’s publication, Litigation News, and is co-editor of the ABA book, Business Torts: A Practical Guide to Litigation. Teeters provides counsel and representation to businesses and professionals in business disputes, employment matters, with a deep concentration on non-competes, trade secrets, and professional liability.
About Super Lawyers
Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Every year the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multiphase selection process that includes a state wide survey of lawyers, independent evaluations of candidates by an attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check. www.superlawyers.com
About the Law Firm of Buckley King
Buckley King is a commercial law firm with offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus and Phoenix. The firm maintains a culture where integrity, transparency, creativity, better solutions, teamwork and passion is non-negotiable. Buckley King is known for giving straight answers, thinking big picture, hearing clients’ needs, providing practical and effective solutions, and completing engagements on time and on budget. Rethink your outside counsel.℠ www.buckleyking.com.
Henry Ford College appoints new director of labor and human resources, William Lodge '78
Henry Ford College announced the appointment of Bill Lodge as the college’s new director of Labor & Human Resources, effective March 30.
Lodge has 37 years in human resources, 26 of them in management roles. He comes to HFC from the Judson Center in Royal Oak, a nonprofit human services agency for children with special needs, where he served as director of human resources. His duties at Judson included workforce planning, talent acquisition and retention, total compensation, performance management and employee safety.
Prior to the Judson Center, Lodge was director of human resources and legal affairs for 12 years at GreenPath Debt Solutions in Farmington Hills, a nonprofit organization that provides credit counseling, debt management services and financial education services.
Additionally, Lodge is no stranger to Dearborn, nor to higher education. From 1995-99, he was director of human resources at the Oakwood Healthcare System in Dearborn. He has spent 18 years in higher education – 14 at the University of Cincinnati and four at the Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills.
“I am looking forward to returning to higher education and, in particular, becoming part of the community college world,” Lodge said. “I strongly believe that community colleges are one of the primary solutions to the problems caused by the unsustainable growth in the cost of a college education in this country.”
Lodge earned an undergraduate degree in history from Ohio State University and a juris doctor degree from the U-C College of Law. He also has completed master's of business administration courses at the U-C Graduate School of Business.
Alum Jason Wasserman '04 are named Partners at Silverman|Thompson|Slutkin|White
Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) April 07, 2015: Silverman|Thompson|Slutkin|White is pleased to announce that attorneys Avery B. Strachan and Jason T. Wasserman have been elected to the Partnership at the firm.
“Avery and Jason have distinguished themselves by their talent, work ethic, and legal acumen. They have already made meaningful contributions to our clients and we are confident they will make all of us and our firm better.” said Managing Partner, Steven D. Silverman.
Avery B. Strachan (Real Estate Law) has extensive experience handling matters related to the ownership, development and operation of real estate including, but not limited to, management, leasing, construction and litigation for all types of residential, retail, office, industrial, hospitality and mixed-used projects. Ms. Strachan has represented some of the most premier commercial and residential property management companies in the State, many of which have a national presence. She also has experience in business entity formation, homeowners’ association formation and governance, and general corporate and contract matters. Ms. Strachan has been recognized as one of Maryland’s “Rising Stars” by Super Lawyers Magazine. She was appointed to the Character Committee for the Sixth Appellate Circuit (Baltimore) of the Court of Appeals of Maryland in January of 2014, has served on the Executive Council for the Bar Association of Baltimore City since 2007 and was elected as a Fellow of the Baltimore Bar Foundation in June of 2009. Ms. Strachan received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2000, where she was a member of the legal honor society, Phi Delta Phi.
Jason T. Wasserman (Civil Litigation) concentrates his practice in the area of complex civil litigation in State and Federal Courts in Maryland, Washington D.C., and on a National level. He has served as lead counsel in numerous high value injury and death cases throughout the country. He also has significant experience in professional and medical malpractice litigation. In addition to Mr. Wasserman’s work representing injury victims, he also represents numerous local and national corporations and insurance companies in the defense of personal injury, mass tort, toxic tort, and product liability claims. Since 2010, Mr. Wasserman has been named annually in Maryland’s Super Lawyers list of “Rising Stars” and in 2015, he was recognized as a “Super Lawyer.” Mr. Wasserman was also recognized by The National Trial Lawyers organization three times as one of Nation’s "Top 40 Under 40" Trial Lawyers and he is a 2015 recipient of the “Top 10 Under 40 Attorney Award for the State of Maryland” by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. He is an active leader in the Bar Association for Baltimore City, presently Chairs its Technology Committee, and was former Chair of its Young Lawyer’s Divisions. Additionally, Mr. Wasserman is heavily involved with the Defense Research Institute (DRI), where he is a current Chair on the Products Liability Committee, Maryland State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Mr. Wasserman received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2004.
Ellen Eardley, '03 named MU Title IX administrator, assistant vice provost
Ellen Eardley, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has been named the new Title IX administrator at MU.
COLUMBIA — Ellen Eardley, a lawyer in Washington, D.C., has been appointed Title IX administrator and assistant vice provost at MU. She will start the position on April 20 with a salary of $150,000, according to Christian Basi, associate director of the the MU News Bureau.
Eardley is a partner at the Mehri & Skalet firm in Washington, D.C., and an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law. She has been with the law firm for more than seven years.She was one of four finalists selected by a search team late last year. The committee convened in October to fill the Title IX administrator position — the first of its kind at MU. She visited the campus in December for interviews. The move followed investigations into Missouri athletics' failure to report the alleged sexual assault of one of its athletes, Sasha Menu Courey, and similar incidents.
Eardley, 37 and a native of southern Illinois, has a substantial legal history working with Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination at educational institutions, and other cases involving discrimination. "I've been working on cases of discrimination, and particularly gender discrimination, since I graduated from law school in 2003," she said. "I've always wanted to work on issues of gender and the law. It's the reason that I went to law school." Eardley holds a degree in English and women's studies from Eastern Illinois University. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Eardley joined the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C., a leading women's legal organization. The center offers education and policy work, she said, as well as litigation on issues of anti-discrimination. It was founded more than 40 years ago "to expand, protect, and promote opportunity and advancement for women and girls at every stage of their lives." It was there Eardley said she did much of her work on Title IX issues.
Now a partner at her private practice, her focus has been predominantly employment and housing discrimination. At American University, she teaches a course to law students about discrimination issues, including Title IX. Eardley said she is aware of the work that has gone into Title IX initiatives at MU, and she acknowledged the work already put in by interim coordinator Linda Bennett. "My first step is to build on the work that's already been done by Dr. Bennett, the chancellor, the provost, and I also want to spend to time listening to various constituencies on campus," Eardley said. This includes learning about the needs on campus and how Title IX information is disseminated so that the new UM System collected rules and regulations are easily understood.
Eardley, however, did say it will take some time to get the lay of the land and develop strategic priorities. She said she is already familiar with Columbia. She grew up outside St. Louis and has visited campus several times. Her mother worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "A number of folks that I know personally have attended Mizzou, and I've always had a lot of respect for the school overall," Eardley said. Given her heritage, Eardley said she is excited to make the move from the East Coast back to the Midwest. "When I got off the airplane (in December) in the tiny airport outside Columbia, I felt at home," she said. "I like to see the horizon, and I really enjoy living in a college town, so I'm excited about the move."
This story was written by Thomas Carter
Paula Boggs Muething Talks About the Importance of Civic Service
For Paula Boggs Muething ‘03, a career in litigation has also been a career of civic service. Originally from Elizabethtown, Kentucky, Boggs Muething studied political science and journalism at the University of Kentucky and then worked for several years on the West Coast before returning to the Midwest to study law.
At the University of Cincinnati College of Law, she was a fellow with the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights. In fact, the Institute was a major factor in her decision to attend UC Law. “The program was really the focus of my law school experience,” she shared. “Working on the Human Rights Quarterly journal and engaging with the programs and speakers the Institute brought in were truly enjoyable experiences.” She further became involved in Law Review her second year, and continued her third year, even when she became editor of the Human Rights Quarterly journal.
Out of law school, Boggs Muething spent one year clerking for Justice James E. Keller at the Supreme Court of Kentucky. “It was a wonderful experience,” she reflected, noting that the clerkship helped to prepare her for the rest of her career. “I agree with the sentiment that a clerkship is a tremendous experience out of law school. It works as an excellent bridge between the classroom and becoming a practicing attorney.” Following her clerkship, she spent two years at Keating, Muething & Klekamp PLL, working in litigation before spending the next five years working as an attorney for the city of Cincinnati.
Much of her work as a city attorney involved land use as well as First Amendment issues. “Blight, nuisance abatement issues – I really became involved in working and engaging with various communities and neighborhoods around the city,” she explained. This work led to her involvement in an effort to pass land bank legislation, which ultimately resulted in the creation of the Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corporation. Upon the land bank’s creation, she was hired to manage it in its effort to return vacant properties to productive use by providing diverse commercial and residential opportunities through investment in neighborhoods. She served as the general counsel and vice president, working to employ the land bank in the best possible ways to revitalize communities.
At the end of last year, Boggs Muething was appointed Cincinnati City Solicitor. “The job is a potpourri of legislation, litigation, economic development, community redevelopment – just about anything you can conceive a city being involved in,” she said. She further noted that the position involves constitutional issues, which can be rare in private practice. “I think it’s the best job any lawyer could ever have. It is always interesting, I work with very intelligent and motivated attorneys, and working with our elected officials is a wonderful way of engaging with ideas and turning them into programs and laws to better our city.”
The Importance of Civic Service
“I will tell you that this is one of the easiest towns to get involved in if you want to be involved in civic organizations and community work at a leadership level,” she said, reflecting on her career. “If you really are interested in it, you can get involved in this work, even if it isn’t going to be your day job.”
Boggs Muething is a good example of this, as she joined the board of Talbert House while an attorney at KMK. “You meet wonderful people on boards such as this who are civic minded and become a great network for continuing community development work throughout your career. If you want to become involved in civic service, my advice is to just get involved. Civic service does not have to be your day job in order for it to be part of what you do, and it can be just as rewarding.”
Karen Hester Reflects on the Rewards of a Career in Diversity and Inclusiveness
With four degrees behind her, Karen Hester ’01 has a wealth of education, knowledge, and experience that she has turned into a career working in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness. While she was born in Chicago, her father was in the Army, so she moved from place to place growing up. She considers Kansas home, and now she works in Colorado.
Her first two degrees are from Kansas State University: a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in student personnel and counseling. She later earned her juris doctor from the College of Law before returning to Kansas. There, she earned a LL.M. in taxation from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law.
“I enjoyed law school… as you can tell, I really enjoy learning,” said Hester, lightheartedly referencing her degrees. “I worked between each of my degrees, and when I was in law school I think that I was really able to enjoy the moment.” At UC Law, she was involved in numerous programs and student groups: Black Law Students Association, Tenant Information Project, Student Court, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, Student Legal Education Committee, and the Immigration and Nationality Law Review.
Currently, Hester serves as the executive director for The Center for Legal Inclusiveness in Denver, CO. The Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing diversity in the legal profession by actively educating and supporting private and public sector legal organizations in their own individual campaigns to help legal employers retain and advance diverse and female attorneys. And she feels strongly that her previous work has prepared her for this position.
Her professional career was in the field of career services at the University of Kansas School of Law. “I noticed that a lot of the work I was doing was related to diversity and inclusiveness at the time,” she shared. With some reflection and encouragement, she submitted a proposal to make diversity and inclusiveness officially part of her job duties, and it was ultimately accepted. “It was around this time that it really hit home for me. I remember having the feeling that ‘this is what I am supposed to be doing.’”
As the chair of the diversity committee for the Kansas Bar Association in 2011, Hester discovered the Center for Legal Inclusiveness while surveying what other organizations were doing. When the position of executive director opened up, she jumped on the opportunity and now has been in the role for about two years.
The Center held its 2015 Legal Inclusiveness & Diversity Summit on May 4, 2015 – a day-long conference with workshops, speakers, and panel discussions with over 200 attorneys from across the nation in attendance. The Center further produces an inclusiveness manual laying out step-by-step processes through which organizations can make themselves more diverse and inclusive.
In reflection on her work and her career path, Hester advises young attorneys and law students to “enjoy the moment.”
“I look at students today and see that things are different,” she said. “It’s more expensive, its harder to get a job -- I know some students out there wonder, is it worth it. I say it is. You may not take the path that others take, and that’s okay. Find your own way, you’ll find that the work you do is rewarding.”