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CHALDEAN COMMERCE Official Newsletter of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

Chaldean festival unites community

membership initiative INSIDE

legislative update the myth of the press release

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CHALDEAN COMMERCE Official Newsletter of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

summer 2010



9 calendar


Mark the Dates


4 5

From the Chairman From the Executive Director



Members in the News New and Improved Website Help Us Grow!



8 9

Assisting Iraq’s Christians Politicians Pay Visits Quarterly Networking Meeting Chaldean Festival Golf Outing

marketing matters


The Myth of the Press Release

business spotlights

11 12

Sylvan Lanes: Fun to Spare Manresa: Tasting the Silence

legislative update


Home Made Good To Overdraft or Not to Overdraft? Closing Loopholes Good News for Homebuyers … … And Retailers


15 16 17

New Members Renewing Members Board of Directors Chamber Staff Au Revoir Stephane SUMMER 2010 CHALDEAN COMMERCE


mission statement

The Chaldean-

from the chairman

American Chamber of Commerce


e’re deep into summer and can enjoy the pleasures of kicking back after an especially eventful June. First up was our annual Chaldean Festival on June 11-13. Despite the searing heat, we all had a great time, and the predicted rain that threatened to drown out the festivities never materialized. I can’t thank our sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers enough for making the festival a big success. Thousands of people came to the Southfield Civic Center to partake in the fun and learn more about our culture. It was a wonderful event. Just a few weeks later, we gathered at Shenandoah Country Club for the Seventh Annual Golf Outing. Once again the weather was a topic of conversation — seldom has been seen a more perfect day to enjoy Shenandoah’s beautiful course. As always, both the festival and golf outing benefitted the Chaldean Community Foundation, the chamber’s charitable arm. We’re happy to share pictures from these events and other recent doings in this issue. It’s always a pleasure to note when our members celebrate achievements. You’ll FRANK JONNA recall that Happy Asker was honored as our Business Person of the Year at our Awards Dinner in April. Happy’s Pizza has moved into a brand-new headquarters in Farmington Hills. Its 12,500 square feet leaves room for growth beyond its current 25 corporate employees. In other member news, the new Regency Manor is going gangbusters in Southfield. The banquet center, formerly the site of the Southfield Palace, is attracting all kinds of weddings, communions and other special events, and its brunches on holidays are already quite popular. Many of our professional members received special recognition and/or awards over the past few months. Read all about it in Members in the News on page 6. One of the things I like best about our chamber is how much bang for the buck membership gives. Did you know, for example, that Chaldean Chamber membership automatically enrolls you in the Detroit Regional Chamber as well? That’s a value of at least $80. Our friends at the DRC are a very busy and influential group and I urge you to take advantage of your free membership. Visit And, of course, don’t forget to check in often with your Chaldean Chamber at In fact, it makes an excellent homepage!

is a partnership of Chaldean businesses and professionals working together to strengthen members’ business, increase job opportunities, encourage expansion and promote Chaldean business and culture. The Chamber seeks to service and represent Aramaic-speaking people, including

Best wishes,

Assyrians, Chaldeans Frank Jonna, Chairman

and Syriacs.

mark the dates

August 25

September 15

October 14

November 10

December 2

December 9

Quarterly Networking Meeting

Industry Outlook

Annual Business Luncheon

Annual Meeting & Elections

Industry Outlook

Annual Christmas Party


from the executive director


very now and then it’s good to take stock. Of course, we at the chamber have formal goalsetting sessions and also set aside time to review and measure our progress. I suspect the same is true for any successful business. We don’t, however, have to wait for an appointed time to reflect. I recently came upon the list of goals we formed when launching the chamber seven years ago — and reading it over, was very gratified to see how far we’ve come. Some examples: • Develop significant political relevance. This has been achieved beyond even our highest expectations. Our Business Conference last October featured such heavy hitters as Attorney General Mike Cox, Speaker of the House Andy Dillon, Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, noted businessman Dave Brandon, and Fox 2 News’ Murray Feldman. This summer, four of the six major candidates for governor has taken the time to meet with and speak to the membership (read more about that on page 7). Additionally, we have launched the Chaldean Chamber PAC to support pro-business candidates regardless of their political party. • A membership roster exceeding 1,000. There’s good news/bad news on this one. We actually MARTIN MANNA hit that goal in 2009 — but not surprisingly that total has declined a bit with the bleak economy. We do expect to get back there by year’s end and retain our position as the largest ethnic chamber in the state of Michigan. I’m excited about our new membership initiative and invite you all to take part. See page 6 for details. • Establish financial stability. Our goal is to have a half-million dollars on hand for financial reserves and to support our initiatives. We are very close to achieving that goal in the next year. • Do good works. Through the Chaldean Community Foundation and the support of some very generous anonymous donors, we were able to help needy refugees at Easter time and look forward to doing the same at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Mental Health Initiative has helped more than 1,000 people, mostly refugees of the Iraq War struggling to cope with their new lives in America. We anticipate receiving increased funding from the state in the next fiscal year so we can continue and expand the program. Thus far, the foundation has donated more than $250,000 to programs to enhance our community and the communities in which we live and work. None of this would have been possible without the support of our partners, sponsors and members. We are blessed to have such an active membership and serving them is our top priority. To that end, we are developing a survey to get more feedback on what we’re doing right, and where you’d like to see us improve. We will also survey those who did not renew their membership to find out why — and how we can get them back. I look forward to sharing the results with you soon.

Martin Manna, Executive Director

PUBLISHERS Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce Interlink Media Editor Joyce Wiswell

Art Director Alex Lumelsky Graphic Design SKY Creative, Inc.

Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce 29850 Northwestern Hwy. Suite 250 Southfield, MI 48034 Phone: (248) 996-8340 Fax: (248) 996-8342

Chaldean Commerce LLC is published quarterly by the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce


Members in the News

David M. Scott

Mary Ann Tournoux

Anthony Mona

Steve N. Garmo

Ron J. Boji 

Toma & Associates, certified public accountants and consultants, has moved. The new address is 28552 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 110, Farmington Hills, MI 48334. Telephone: (248) 254-3500; fax: (248) 254-3501. The Chaldean Federation of America honored U.S. Congressman Sander Levin and University of Detroit Mercy Law Professor David Koelsch at its Annual Awards Gala on August 5. The event at Shenandoah Country Club included a traditional Chaldean dinner. Health Alliance Plan has named two new executives. David M. Scott is HAP’s new Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer. He leads the provider network development and service, information technology, client services, claims and human resources. Mary Ann Tournoux is Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer. She handles sales and product responsibility for commercial, individual, Medicare and public sector business, market research, advertising, communications and public relations. Anthony Mona of UBS Financial Services has been named a Five Star Wealth Manager for 2010 in an independent survey conducted by Crescendo Business Services. Less than 7 percent of wealth managers in Detroit made the cut in the survey, which included more than 100,000 high-net-worth consumers and financial service professionals. Immigration attorney Steve N. Garmo has been named by Michigan Super Lawyers Magazine as one of the top attorneys in the state in its July/August 2010 Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel edition. Garmo is a partner in Garmo & Associates, P.C. in Farmington Hills and Sterling Heights. Ron J. Boji of Orchard Lake has been named to the State Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board by Governor Jennifer Granholm. He is the president of Boji Group, LLC, and is appointed to represent the business community for a term expiring December 19, 2012. St. Christopher Medical Transportation has moved. The new address is 32000 Northwestern Highway, Suite 279, Farmington Hills, MI 48334; (248) 566-1123. The non-emergency medical transportation company is currently providing 20 percent off round-trip transfers for a new clients and special discounts for recurring clients. Nawar Miri is the company’s vice president.



Help Us Grow! You know the value of your membership — now is the time to help spread the word about the many benefits of belonging to the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. In return, you could win a fantastic prize package valued in the thousands of dollars. We’ve launched our first-ever Membership Referral Initiative to get everyone into the recruiting spirit. Whoever recruits the most new members, and the most membership dollars, wins an incredible prize package. (If the same person achieves both feats, only one prize package will be awarded.) The Initiative runs through October 31, 2010 and the winners will be announced at our Annual Meeting & Elections on November 10. Check out these prizes: • Detroit Tigers Suite • Dinner for six at Shenandoah Country Club • One year's supply of Domino's Pizza • One year's supply of Country Fresh milk or ice cream • One month of public relations from Your People LLC • $150 Marathon Gas Gift Card • $100 Tapper's Jewelry Gift Card • $100 Hiller's Market Gift Card • A year’s worth of car washes from Champion Car Wash and Detailing • Six hours of limousine service from Luxury Limousine For more information on the Membership Referral Initiative contact Valerie Cholagh at (248) 996-8340 or

New and Improved Website Have you visited the chamber’s website lately? We’ve given it a complete revamp to better serve our members’ needs. The easily navigatable site provides members with a comprehensive overview of the chamber, information on upcoming events, up-to-date news of the community, photo albums, sponsorship opportunities, our member directory, contact information, past newsletters and annual reports, and much more. Visit us today at www. We’ve also redesigned our monthly e-newsletter to make it more user-friendly. Not on the mailing list? Drop an email to VCholagh@


Assisting Iraq’s Christians


The plight of Iraq’s Christians is still largely unknown to the U.S. government, so it’s up to the Chaldean community to “push aggressively” to get the word out. That was the message from U.S. Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) on July 6. Wolf met with community leaders at the Chaldean Chamber office before attending a fundraiser for gubernatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra at Shenandoah Country Club. “You have to push and push and push, and eventually it will resonate,” Wolf said. “You need the U.S. government advocating for you.”

Politicians Pay Visits



Despite Michigan’s many problems, there is no dearth of people interested in running the state. The August 3 primary election has a slew of contenders to take over for the term-limited Jennifer Granholm. Many made a point of meeting with members of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. The chamber hosted Peter Hoekstra on April 20 and July 6, Andy Dillon on May 18 and Rick Snyder on July 8. Mike Cox also joined us.

Networking Meeting 4


1. Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia with Chamber members. 2-5. Gubernatorial candidates Peter Hoekstra, Mike Cox, Andy Dillon and Rick Snyder all visited the Chamber recently. 6. Networking meeting at Creative Brick Paving, Landscaping and Construction.

Members gathered at Creative Brick Paving, Landscaping & Construction in Bloomfield Hills on May 12 for our Quarterly Networking Meeting. Members enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in the outdoor living showroom filled with Creative Brick’s custom designs and patio furniture. SUMMER 2010 CHALDEAN COMMERCE



Chaldean Festival The heat was on during the Chaldean Festival, June 11-13 at the Southfield Civic Center. Once again, tens of thousands of people came out to hear live music, munch tasty food, visit merchant booths, enjoy the carnival rides and try their luck at winning a stuffed animal. The festival was presented by the Chaldean Community Foundation and the City of Southfield. Congratulations to the lucky winner of the 50/50 raffle: Chamber member Jerry Shaba, who won $3,680! Many thanks to our sponsors: CIA, Country Fresh, Ford Motor Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Comerica Bank, DTE, Channel 955, 106.7, St. John Health, Walsh College and the U.S. Intelligence Agency. We were lucky enough to have the help of dozens of volunteers, including the Festival Committee: John Antone, Ed Babbie, Nessma Bashi, Samira Cholagh, Tiffany Haio, Dalen Hanna, Sharon Hannawa, Shoki Konja, Salah Kulato, Janice Shamoun, Jason Najor, Stephane Ramo and Saher Yaldo. 


Thanks to the many merchants who bought booths at the festival. Among the more noteworthy: Royce Furniture with its giant chair; The funny Chaldean sayings at Sports & Custom Tees, Inc.; The free ID kits for children at New York Life:

Golf Outing It’s hard to believe, but our Golf Outing on June 24 was the seventh annual. As always, it was a wonderful day, and the weather could not have been more perfect. Congrats to this year’s champs, Papa’s Pizza. The event would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors: CIA, Sherwood Food Distributors, Bank of Michigan, Citizens Bank, Bar 7, Detroit Pistons, Fred Lavery Company, DTE Energy, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, National Wine & Spirits, Frankenmuth Brewery, Papa’s Pizza, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Heaven Hill Distilleries, Hertz Schram PC, Huntington Bank and Steward Capital Management. Many thanks to the Golf Committee: Evan Bahoura, Sharon Hannawa, Tony Konja, Sonya Kory and Jay Yasso. And a tip of the hat to our volunteers, who helped the day run so smoothly: Laura Abouzeid, Ray Confer, May Denha, Silvana Gorial, Brittany Haio, Tiffany Haio, Sandra Hanna, Stephane Remo and Catherine Shaughnessy.


Marketing Matters

The Myth of the Press Release Q

uite often when I am asked wire service. It goes something like still recall, as recently as a year or so ago, cliwhat I do for a living, my this: Write a press release, put it out ents that considered an online-only story less answer of “Public Relaon the wire to a huge media list and desirable than a story in physical print. As all tions” is met with a blank stare. then sit back to see what sticks and of us get our up-to-the-minute information “Publicity,” I often add, what coverage you generate. more and more from the Internet, we know “People come to us because they Rather, we are proponents of such a digital story is much more than a want to be covered in the news.” one-on-one follow-up calls to targeted consolation prize. Enter: social media. “Oh,” often comes the reply, writers and reporters (see 2) to further LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and “You write press releases.” pitch a story, determine interest and your website are all ideal means by which to It is understandable. Before coordinate coverage. In these times of communicate your company or businesses’ Don Tanner I entered the world of PR nearly spam filters and, again, time-pressed and news and information. Traditional media 20 years ago, I thought the same resource-stretched media decision makwon’t run your press release? Post it to the thing. And, while the traditional ers, nothing should be left to chance. news section of your website. Also post it to press release still has its place, it is far from By now your head may well be spinning your social media pages with links back to the “end all, be all” for generating coverage and it may be becoming more evident why that online news section. TV won’t cover your for yourself or your company. many people, rather than doing it themevent? Take your own video and get it onto To begin with, the current media landselves, opt instead to bring in a strategic YouTube. Blogging can also be a fantastic way scape is dramatically different than it was communications firm to handle their media to post new information online to drive web just one or two years ago. Traditional “news relations efforts. To be sure, it has never traffic and searchability while allowing current holes” are shrinking in the wake of industry been trickier or more challenging to generand potential clients/customers and referral consolidation. Newspapers are thinner than ate traditional media coverage. Sure, anyone sources an opportunity to get to know you they’ve ever been; TV and radio news crews are often skeletal. It is In these times of spam filters and, again, time-pressed and resourcenot unlike many industries in our challenging economy — virtually stretched media decision makers, nothing should be left to chance. everyone is forced to try to do more with less. And, less reporters and less air time or news space means can paint their own house yet, sometimes, it’s better — how you work and think. Simifewer stories are making their way into the better left to a professional. larly, e-newsletters prepared and distributed mainstream media. That said, the press release does still have quarterly or semi-annually allow you an ideal All that said, the three keys to generating its place. It is most effective, in fact, in proopportunity to package and put forth a series news coverage remain the same: moting specific news — for example a chariof stories and news to targeted audiences. It’s 1. Packaging: All news items need to be table event. In this instance, all pertinent all part of an integrated, multi-platform appresented in as newsworthy a way as possible. information pertaining to who, what, when proach. Whether offered via a press release, email or and where, can be provided to media for In the end, the key to success in the call to a reporter, there needs to be true news quick and easy dissemination. Again, though, world of old and new media is a willingvalue in the pitch. If your company is having a it comes down to news value. A press release ness to adapt, evolve and try new avenues. sale, in other words, take out an ad. announcing a “sale” or “open house” may Remember, it’s not about what you read, 2. Distribution: Forethought should be news in your eyes and to your organizalisten to or watch. News Flash: You want to be given to who the news is being presented tion but will not be looked at similarly by an be where your customers go for news and to for consideration. If your business is in editor or producer. In fact, sending in such information — today and tomorrow. the technology or retail realms, make sure information will only hurt the credibility you are contacting the writers or reporters of those sending it in the eyes of the media Don Tanner is a founding partner with Tanthat cover those sectors. Also keep in mind decision maker. ner Friedman — a Farmington Hills-based that media outlets are competitive; some At Tanner Friedman, we like to say: we strategic communications firm specializing in won’t consider your news if it has also been help our clients tell their stories. Considertraditional and emerging media, marketing and presented to their rivals. ing the media landscape we have described, adversity management. Tanner Friedman is a 3. Follow-Up: Along with the press retoday, we also help our clients tell their own member of the Chaldean American Chamber of lease, another cliché of the PR industry is the stories. You should be doing the same. I can Commerce. For more: 10


Business Spotlights

Sylvan Lanes: Fun to Spare

Striking Out The Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce launched a league this past winter and plans to do so again this year. Join the fun by calling Lisa Kalou at (248) 996-8340 or drop a line to lkalou@


espite having success in the medical staffing business, Jonathan Toma realized the nine-to-five life just wasn’t for him. So last year “on the spur of the moment” he decided to make a radical change by buying Sylvan Lanes Bar & Grill. The bowling alley on Orchard Lake Road had been closed for 16 months and required a total renovation, Toma a few drinks, pizza or says. He purchased it in burgers.” June 2009 and reopened The full-menu it in September. restaurant also offers “People were surchicken wings, salads prised,” says Toma, 42, and sandwiches for “but I wanted to get into reasonable prices. something different.” “We use all top-qualThe redo included ity ingredients and the addition of 16 highmake our own dressJonathan Toma definition flat-screen TVs ings,” says Toma. “It’s (always tuned to sports), a new bar, new more than bar food.” flooring, pool tables and other games, The Red Rock Poker Room runs and leather sofas to make the atmocharity games that benefit schools, sphere cozy for bowlers. Four bowling sports teams, bands, churches and other lanes were sacrificed for the addition of organizations. It’s open virtually every a charity poker room, leaving a total of night from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. 12 lanes. “We have the supplier license and The new business is going well. supply the tables and dealers, and the Leagues, which begin in the fall and charity gets its own license,” Toma extypically run for 32 weeks, make up 90 plains. Each table seats 10 players, with percent of the fall and winter business, 30 to 50 people in total. Toma says. “It’s a lot of camaraderie “Every day is different. It starts out — people hanging out and having fun,” at a $1 or $2 minimum, and cash games he says. “It’s a good night out, bowling, can go up to $100 minimum, $500

max,” says Toma. “The biggest tournament we ran was a $100 buy-in and a grand prize of $4,000.” Poker attracts a lot of regular players, Toma says. “That’s what makes it successful — people come in and play four days a week,” he says. “It’s comfortable and local; you play with people from the same area you live in.” These days, Toma notices that serious bowlers are far and few between, but he’s not complaining. “Bowling is popular if you market it correctly. Make it a fun place to hang out and the right people will come.” Despite hours that can get “A little rough,” Toma is enjoying his new career. “You have to take chances sometimes,” he says. Sylvan Lanes Bar & Grill 2355 Orchard Lake Road Sylvan Lake, MI 48320 (248) 682-0700 SUMMER 2010 CHALDEAN COMMERCE


Business Spotlights

Manresa: Tasting the Silence


willingness to listen to the silence — and perhaps a toothbrush and a change of clothes — are just about the only things one needs to bring for a weekend at Manresa, the Jesuit Retreat House in Bloomfield Hills. Set on 37.18 acres at Woodward Avenue and Quarton Road, Manresa is an oasis of nature and spirituality in busy Metro Detroit. It’s the headquarters of a variety of Ignatian ministries, named after St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The 8 a.m. weekday mass attracts dozens; programs in everything from Christian yoga to marriage enrichment are popular; laypeople engage in two-year internships in Ignatian Spirituality; and some 2,600 people pass though each year on weekend retreats, most parish-based. That includes an annual group of men from Mother of God Chaldean Catholic Church. There are also retreats geared specifically for youth, women, recovering alcoholics, caregivers, separated and divorced people, lawyers and physicians. Each has about 70 participants. “We provide a place where God can introduce himself to you,” says Associate Director Hugh Buchanan. “All you have to do is be open.” 12


“People enter in at their own pace,” adds Fr. Gregory Hyde, SJ, Manresa’s director for the past two years. “If you want to hear your own heart, you have to create a silence to start. With too much noise and distractions, you’ll never hear it. And once you taste the silence, you realize it’s healing.” The retreats generally run from Friday evening to Sunday noon and include spiritual exercises, mass and private time for prayer and reflection. Manresa’s lovely facilities, including Spartan yet comfortable private rooms, a well-appointed library, and a handsome dining room, facilitate the feel of peace and relaxation. Though the Jesuits are, of course, Catholic, all are welcome. “Two out of three retreats probably have non-Catholics sprinkled throughout,” notes Buchanan. Buchanan took an interesting path to Manresa, joining full-time after 34 years with the Ford Motor Company. Working his way up from Pinto assembly at the Utica plant, Buchanan lived all over the U.S., as well as Mexico and England, in various management positions with Ford. After retiring in 2007 and enjoying a year off, he made a five-year commitment to help Manresa stabilize its financial and business affairs.

“People find God here and I want to make sure it will be here for my sons and grandsons,” says Buchanan, who has been participating in Manresa retreats since 1965. Retreats are on a donation basis — there is no set fee — and no one should stay away for lack of money, Buchanan stresses. “It costs us about $200 per person per retreat. We see more people who can’t pay anything at all, but we are also seeing more people who are donating more so their brothers can come,” he says. Manresa is also supported by special events, including a new concert series starting this fall and the annual Dinner and Auction Gala, set this year for September 25 at the Westin of Southfield. “Manresa is a place to come and feel grounded, a place to reconnect with what’s important,” says Fr. Hyde, who spent about 20 years in the Far East before returning to his native Michigan to head Manresa. “Faith is the hidden treasure in the field Jesus talks about — but it’s often hidden under the busy-ness.” Manresa Jesuit Retreat House 1390 Quarton Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 (248) 644-4933

Manresa’s lovely grounds include historic buildings, the Rouge River and a grotto.

Legislative Roundup

Home Made Good On July 12, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed legislation that deregulates current laws and allows vendors at various Farmers Markets and roadside stands to produce goods in their own homes. The products must be labeled “Made in Home Kitchen and has not been inspected by the Michigan Dept of Agriculture.” This new law caps the sales of goods at $15,000 per year. Previously, the impact on growers in the state was costing upwards of $30,000 to meet regulation standards to legally sell pies and other goods at Farmers Markets. Many view this as a boost to help local growers throughout the state in these tough economic times.

To Overdraft or Not to Overdraft? The Federal Reserve is now requiring financial institutions to get a customer’s permission to enroll them in a program that will cover overdrawn debit and ATM transactions for a fee. On July 1, new customers were impacted, while existing checking account holders will not see the change until August 15. You are either going to be asked to enroll for overdraft protection or not enroll for overdraft protection. The new opt-in requirements being implemented by the Feds do not apply to checks and online bill pay, only to debit cards and ATM transactions. If you opt in, you will be saved the embarrassment of having your card declined at checkout by covering the charge you have made. For this convenience, the banks will tack on an overdraft fee in the $30-40 range. If you opt out, your debit card will be denied if the transaction takes you below a zero balance — but you’ll save yourself the overdraft fee.

Closing Loopholes An amendment to limit certain powers to the Secretary of Homeland Security was introduced in Congress on June 9. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) offered an amendment to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, also referred to as H.R. 4213. This amendment would prohibit the Secretary of Homeland Security from approving an employer petition for any type of visa authorizing employment in the U.S. — unless such employer has

made certification to the Secretary of Labor that the employer: 1) has not provided a notice of a mass layoff, as defined by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, during the 12-month period immediately preceding the alien’s scheduled hiring date; and 2) does not intend to provide a notice of mass layoff. 

Good News for Homebuyers … by Johnny Oram

Thanks to the recently passed Wall Street & Consumer Protection Act, retailers can provide discounts or “in-kind” incentive for payments by cash, checks, debit or credit cards…Small business owners will be able to direct customers to cheaper forms of payment.

The Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act, also known as H.R. 5623, has been extended for eligible transactions that have valid contracts in place since April 30, 2010. The new closing deadline for such transactions is September 30, 2010. This legislation, which initially passed in November 2009, gives first-time home buyers a tax credit of up to $8,000 and expanded the credit to grant up to $6,500 to current homeowners purchasing a new or existing home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010. This plan is part of a series to help stimulate the U.S. housing market. The price of the new home and income will determine how much the tax credit will be for the buyer.

… And Retailers Congress recently passed the Wall Street & Consumer Protection Act as a response to the collapse in the U.S. financial markets in 2008. Senator Richard Durbin (DIllinois) included an amendment that would reform excessive debit card interchange fees and restrictive practices implemented by the credit card networks, as well as the largest banks within those networks. Supporters say the industry has abused this far too long and that it will provide relief to many retailers throughout the nation. The Federal Reserve has been given the authority to regulate these companies by making sure that they reduce these fees and stopping them from skirting rules that are deemed anti-competitive. After the enactment of the legislation, retailers can provide discounts or “inkind” incentive for payments by cash, checks, debit or credit cards as long as they do not differ on the basis of the issuer or the payment card networks. By doing this, small business owners will be able to direct customers to cheaper forms of payment. The law also says that the options have to be offered to all potential customers and must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously. SUMMER 2010 CHALDEAN COMMERCE


Get to know your fellow chamber members (and see the former Southfield Manor!) At our next Quarterly Networking Meeting

6-8 p.m. Wednesday, August 25 Comcast On the Hill 25626 Telegraph Road, Southfield

Coming Soon! September 15 Industry Outlook October 14 Business conference Details to come!

Enjoy games including Family Feud Comcast-style, Prizes and Give-Aways! RSVP by August 23 to (248) 996-8340 or to, or visit Sponsored by Comcast Business Class




New Corporate Members

NEW members

CBeyond, Inc. Hayley Bakst 6256 Greenwich Drive, Suite 400 San Diego, CA 92122 (303) 261-1920 IT and communications services provider offering more than 30 productivity-enhancing applications. Local Office CBeyond 27555 Farmington Road, Suite 300 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 919-4400 Papa’s Pizza Corporation Robert Bashi 31455 Northwestern Highway, Suite B Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 487-7700 Family-owned and -operated pizzeria of the highest quality, offering franchising opportunities with eight locations Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Allen Park/Taylor 19347 Ecorse Road Allen Park, MI 48081 (313) 386-8888 Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Redford/Detroit 25029 Grand River Avenue Redford, MI 48240 (313) 387-9999 Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Walled Lake/Commerce Township 46670 West Pontiac Trail Walled Lake, MI 48390 (248) 960-9600 Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Inkster/Garden City 1025 Middlebelt Road Inkster, MI 48141 (734) 727-1777 Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Oak Park/Southfield 25234 Greenfield Road Oak Park, MI 48237 (248) 677-7777 Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Detroit/Harper Woods 17137 Harper Avenue Detroit, MI 48224 (313) 886-4444

Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Detroit (East) 19500 Van Dyke Avenue Detroit, MI 48234 (313) 893-4444 Papa’s Pizza & BBQ — Detroit (West) 16501 Grand River Avenue Detroit, MI 48227 (313) 273-8888

New Business Members Aphrodite Aesthetics         Suheir Hares 6473 Farmington Road West Bloomfield, MI 48322 (248) 855-1833 European day spa Art Wood Decoration, Inc. Muwafaq Rassam 22765 Dequindre Road Hazel Park, MI 48030 (248) 547-6030 General carpentry services Best Choice Printing and Marketing Solutions Bob Ansama 26975 Northline Taylor, MI 48180 (734) 942-5947 Full-service printing company with typesetting, layout and design services DJK Group John D. Dalaly 31355 W. 13 Mile Road, Suite 200 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 737-8680 Diversified international organization providing worldwide project development services Easy ATM Solutions, Inc. Linda Jaberaeel 5063 Park Side West Bloomfield, MI 48323 (248) 683-1143 ATM placement and service company with more than 300 machines throughout Michigan F M Dish Zeke Jarbo 26802 W. Seven Mile Rd Redford, MI 48240 (313) 794-5633 Authorized Dish Network retailer

Icing on the Cake Marketing & Promotions Claudine George 5800 Lakeview Drive Orchard Lake, MI 48323 (248) 415-5000 Full-service marketing company specializing in event marketing, promotional merchandise, social media and web design LaFontaine Automotive Group Carol Peters 4000 W. Highland Road Highland, MI 48357 (248) 887-4747 Full-service new and used car dealership Modern Collision Robert Barash 510 E. Ten Mile Road Hazel Park, MI 48030 (248) 556-5423 Automotive body and mechanical repair shop P.I.C. Maintenance, Inc. Dan Kuchersky 27734 Franklin Road Southfield, MI 48034 (248) 799-7720 Full-service commercial janitorial cleaning company Process Systems, Inc. Tony Ross 23633 Pinewood Street Warren, MI 48091-4760 (586) 757-5711 Industrial pump company and manufacturer of the Deming Vertical Turbine Pump

New Non-Profit Member NID Housing Counseling Agency Scott Elia 30630 W. 12 Mile Road, Suite A Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 489-8008 HUD-approved housing counseling agency providing financial literacy and economic empowerment to local communities

New Individual Members Nicolette Acho Dora Hermiz Sokolowski Michael Shallal SUMMER 2010 CHALDEAN COMMERCE


RENEWING members

Renewing Corporate Members

Renewing Business Members

Charter One Bank Jacqueline Wiggins 27777 Franklin Road Southfield, MI 48034 (248) 226-7750 Full-service banking

Advanced Technology Systems Saad Hajjar 6775 Daly Road, Suite 101 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 (248) 538-7301 Middle Eastern internet service provider

Exceptional Home Health Care, Inc. 15565 Northland Drive, Suite 306 West Southfield, MI 48075 (248) 557-0700 Multi-disciplined home health agency providing a wide array of services

Antone, Casagrande & Adwers, P.C. N. Peter Antone 31555 W. 14 Mile Rd, Suite 100 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 406-4100 Full-service immigration law firm

Fred Lavery Company Ali Haji-Sheikh 34602 Woodward Avenue Birmingham, MI 48009 (248) 645-5930 Full-service new and used Audi, Land Rover and Porsche dealer Group 10 Management Mike Koza 31492 Glendale Street Livonia, MI 48150 (734) 458-4100 Hospitality and real estate company specializing in asset management Pro Care Plus, Inc. Robin Cole 3968 Mount Elliott Detroit, MI 48207 (313) 925-4607 or (877) 255-3055 Health maintenance organization and health care provider Steward Capital Management Anmar Sarafa 21 East Long Lake Road, Suite 200 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 (248) 547-5990 Professional money management firm for institutional and high networth investors



Apollo Building Company, Inc. Bassam Salman 6775 Daly Road, Suite 101 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 (248) 538-1661 Residential and commercial construction management firm Asker Perlmuter, PLC Paul Asker 32000 Northwestern Highway, Suite 275 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 419-5400 Dynamic law firm for corporate, professional and international clients Atisha Construction Inc. Basim Atisha 29429 Somerset Drive Southfield, MI 48076 (248) 552-9322 Residential construction management and development firm Boji Group, LLC Ron J. Boji 124 W. Allegan, Suite 2000 Lansing, MI 48933 (517) 377-3000 Family-owned and -operated company with interests in real estate development/property management, distribution/ wholesale services, convenience stores, retail and hospitality

Communications Warehouse, Inc. Hadeer Babbie 21700 Greenfield Road, Suite 115B Oak Park, MI 48237 (248) 968-2222 Communications wholesaler specializing in cellular repair and accessories Community Choice Credit Union Elizabeth Spadafore 31155 Northwestern Highway Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (877) 243-2528 Member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperative Cusmano Kandler & Reed, Inc. Ronald Khoury 124 W. Allegan, Suite 1700 Lansing, MI 48933 (517) 485-4044 Government consulting agency FoodMax Supermarket Nick Sandiha 27333 Cherry Hill Inkster, MI 48141 (313) 562-7900 Supermarket featuring quality meat, dairy and produce Futurewave Images Ivan George 30201 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 100 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 932-8900 Award-winning photography and videography George Enterprises, LLC Michael George 30777 Northwestern Highway, Suite 300 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 851-6990 Multinational holdings company Guardian Angel Home Care, Inc. Sam Kassab 1715 Northfield Drive Rochester Hills, MI 48309 (248) 293-2400 Full-service home health care provider

2010 Board of Directors Chairman Frank Jonna CEO, Jonna Companies

Heartland Marketplace Mark Kassa 33250 W. 12 Mile Road Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 994-0700 Supermarket featuring quality meat, dairy and produce King Cole Foods Salam Manni 40 W. Clairmount Street Detroit, MI 48202 (313) 872-0220 Supermarket with an extensive range of quality meat, dairy and produce Manhattan Village, LLC Masoud Yono P.O. Box 252451 West Bloomfield, MI 48325 (248) 420-0729 Property management and development Michigan First Credit Union Zephry Brown 27000 Evergreen Road Lathrup Village, MI 48076 (248) 443-4600 Financial institution owned and governed by its members Orchard Lake Automotive Center, Inc. Peter Mona 28799 Orchard Lake Road Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 553-3302 Full-service automotive repair shop Palace Supermarket Amer Sandiha 1942 Venoy Road Westland, MI 48186 (734) 721-3030 Supermarket featuring quality meat, dairy and produce Target Telecom Sales & Service, Inc. Ron Janulis 23175 Berg Road Southfield, MI 48034 (248) 752-3611 Telecommunications services

Worldwide Merchant Services Sheren Yakoob 640 N. Old Woodward Avenue, Suite 102 Birmingham, MI 48009 (248) 594-2333 Full-service electronic payment processor

Renewing Individual Members

Executive Vice Chairman Jacob Bacall Partner, Bacall Development Vice Chairman Paul Asker Partner, Asker Perlmuter, PLC Treasurer Evan Bahoura CPA, Bahoura & Barringer, PLC Secretary Sandra Hanna Chemist, NSF International Executive Board Member Sharon Hannawa

Steve Anton Faisal Arabo Angela Arcori Harry Barash Layth Barash Clara Bohrer Renee Denha Judith Jonna Carmen Husaynu-Maffezzoli Anthony Mona

Legal counsel Ron Acho Partner, Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, PLC

Directors Frank Asmar President, Tinelle Properties

Bassam Salman Owner, Apollo Building Company

Kevin Jappaya Sales Associate, Thomas A. Duke Company

Gerard van Grinsven CEO, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

Mark Kassa Owner, Heartland Marketplace

Jay (Jabran) Yasso Partner, Hertz Schram Eric Younan Corporate Communications Manager, Pulte Homes

Sonya Kory Assistant V.P., Huntington Bank Johnny Oram President, Altor, Inc.

Allan Sefton

Chamber Staff and Support

Robert W. Swanson, CPA

Martin Manna Executive Director

Galia Thomas Translator

Lisa Kalou Director, Operations & Events

Najat Hamama Outreach Specialist

Au Revoir Stephane We enjoyed learning more about France’s Chaldean community this summer thanks to an internship by Stephane Ramo. The 19-year-old Lyon resident spent a few months with us helping out around the office and at events, improving his English and plotting his future as the top Chaldean businessman of Europe.

Sana Palmer Case Worker

Paul Alraihani Controller Valerie Cholagh Receptionist/ Membership Manager

Stephane Ramo

Joyce Wiswell Publications

Chamber Partners



Membership makes sense. (and lots of dollars, too)



March 10: Intelligence Career Night


April 16: Annual Awards Dinner at Shenandoah

Members get first notice to buy tickets to this sell-out event

MAY 11: Chaldean Day in Lansing May 12: Quarterly Networking Meeting

$45 FREE $45 FREE

June 11-13: Annual Chaldean Festival in Southfield

Members save $100-$200 on booth rentals

June 24: Annual Golf Outing at Shenandoah

Members get first notice to buy tickets to this sell-out event

August 25: Quarterly Networking Meeting

DECEMBER 9: Annual Member Holiday Party

$45 FREE $45 FREE $60 $50 $45 FREE $45 FREE $45 FREE



Membership in the Detroit Regional Chamber January 28: Quarterly Networking Meeting February 25: Industry Outlook: Franchising at Regency Manor

September 15: Industry Outlook October 21: Annual Business Conference Luncheon at Shenandoah November 10: Annual Elections and Quarterly Networking Meeting DECEMBER 2: Industry Outlook

The Chaldean Chamber: You Can’t Afford NOT to Join! 18







Members Also Receive: Exclusive Business Business * Exclusive * Quarterly Member-to-Member * invitations * listing in the * listing in printed discounts on everything from insurance to office supplies

to other area chamber networking events

Chamber on-line directory

Chaldean Commerce


* Monthly e-newsletters

Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce 29850 Northwestern Highway, Suite 250 Southfield, MI 48034

C a l e n d a r

January 28

Quarterly Networking Meeting

February 25 Industry Outlook: Franchising

o f

E v e n t s

March 10

Intelligence Career Recruitment Night

April 16

May 11

June 11-13

Annual Dinner at Shenandoah Country Club

Chaldean Day in Lansing

Annual Chaldean Festival



Quarterly Networking Meeting

Annual Golf Outing


August 25

September 15

Quarterly Networking Meeting

Industry Outlook

October 21

November 10

December 2

Annual Business Luncheon

Annual Board Elections and Quarterly Networking Meeting

Industry Outlook

9 Annual Member Holiday Party

Summer 2010 Chaldean Commerce Newsletter  

The official newsletter of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce.

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