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Official Newsletter of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce

Awards Eighth Annual


Gov. Snyder lauds the community


Legislative Update Marketing Tips from the Pros

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112290AGTS Chaldean Chamber Newsletter Simply Blue ad.indd 1

4/21/11 10:54 AM

CHALDEAN COMMERCE Official Newsletter of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce SPRING 2011



Upcoming special events



From the Chairman and Executive Director

our chamber


Mission Statement New Membership Drive Chamber Online Chamber Staff and Board of Directors


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Chamber News Happenings Members in the News



Eighth Annual Awards Dinner

legislative update


Business-related news from Lansing



New and Renewed Members



Before you go to market, know what you’re marketing


Three simple tips to improve your customer relations

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Greetings We’re springing out all over with special events:

Coming up: May 12:

Quarterly Networking Meeting at Hurricane Grill, at 6 p.m., 29852 Northwestern Highway, Southfield. RSVP to (248) 996-8340 or May 26:

Second Annual Chaldean Day in Lansing. We’ll receive special tributes from the State House and Senate, tour the State Capitol and host a Chaldean-themed lunch in the Speaker’s Library. To join us, call (248) 996-8340.



June 10-12:

Sixth Annual Chaldean Festival in Southfield. Tens of thousands of Metro Detroiters visit the festival each year for the exciting rides, non-stop live music, interesting cultural displays and more. It’s an excellent venue to get the word out about your products or services. To reserve your booth, call (248) 996-8340.

from the chairman and executive director


ur Annual Awards Dinner is always a splendid evening but this year seemed extra special. While we usually sell out in advance, we’ve never done so several weeks before the event. Everyone was excited to hear from our new governor, Rick Snyder, and he did not disappoint. Gov. Snyder chose to put a positive spin on Michigan’s myriad challenges, ensuring the audience that better times are ahead. That message was well received by the crowd. We can all agree that enough time and negative energy has been spent bemoaning our state’s challenges – it’s time for that “relentless positive action” Gov. Snyder touted so well. The evening’s honorees certainly exemplify that ideal. Sam Kassab of Guardian Angel Home Health Care, the Business Person of the Year, took a family tragedy and used positive action to improve the situation to benefit not just his son, but countless clients with health care issues. Undaunted by the challenges of being an all-volunteer organization, the people of the Chaldean Voice radio program have been putting forth their message of community for decades now, richly deserving the title of Humanitarians of the Year. And Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim continues to shepherd the community and rise to the trials of serving so many new refugee arrivals from Iraq. Relentless positive action indeed! We were so taken with the governor’s remarks that we have unofficially adopted his motto. Here’s a pledge to inject relentless positive action into all our activities and services. There is a lot to look forward to, starting with Chaldean Day in Lansing on May 26 followed in short order by the annual Chaldean Festival June 10-12 and the yearly Golf Outing on June 23. We invite you to join us.

June 23:

Eighth Annual Golf Outing. We’ll hit the links at Shenandoah Country Club for a day of fun and camaraderie followed by dinner and a live auction. Learn about sponsorship opportunities or reserve your spot by calling (248) 996-8340. 4


Frank Jonna, Chairman

Martin Manna, Executive Director

Our Chamber

Our Mission


The Chaldean-American Chamber of Commerce 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 Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syriacs.

CEO, Jonna Companies

Chairman: Frank Jonna Executive Vice-Chairman: Paul Asker

Partner, Asker Perlmuter PLC

2011 Board of Directors

Vice-Chairman: John Loussia

President, Value Wholesale, Inc. Treasurer: Wendy Acho  Executive Board Member: Saad Hajjar

CEO, Abcosat Corp. DIRECTORS

Founding & Lifetime Members Ron Acho

Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho Carl Dallo & Joe Shallal

New Membership Drive

Iyad Alosachie, MD,

Transworld Title

Physician, Hazel Park Medical Center

Jamal Kalabat

Last year’s Membership Drive was such a success we have decided to repeat it. Here’s your chance to win fabulous prizes – and bragging rights – by recruiting the most new members to the chamber. The deadline is October 31, 2011, which gives you lots of time to spread the word about your chamber. The winner will be announced at the Annual Meeting and Board Elections on November 9. Last year’s drive brought in 61 new members – and we know we can do better than that! Leading the pack were Jim Manna with 22 new members and Tony Konja, who signed up 15. Prizes include a suite at Comerica Park for a Tigers game, a gas card from Marathon, a year’s worth of Domino’s Pizza and Country Fresh ice Cream, car washes from Champion Car Wash, and more. Stay tuned as we add more prizes to the overall cache. Visit for details on the drive, or drop by the office to pick up brochures detailing the many benefits of membership. We’re all in this together!

Frank Asmar,

Icon Management

President, Tinelle Properties

John & Chris Denha

Kevin Jappaya,

Denha Investment Group

Realtor, Thomas A. Duke Company

Dave Nona

Sonya Kory,

Triangle Development

Assistant V.P., Huntington Bank

Najib Atisha

Bassam Salman,

Lance’s Hometown Market

President, Apollo Building Company

Mazen Samona

Sharona Shapiro,

Ameer & Jason Najor

Gerard van Grinsven,

Wisam Paulus

CEO, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital

Trepco Basim & Mazin Shina

Jay Yasso,

Apollo Market

Partner, Hertz Schram PC

Jalal Garmo

Eric Younan,

Majestic Wine & Deli

Corporate Communications Manager, PulteGroup, Inc.

Frank Jaddou

Ron Acho, Legal Counsel

Waad & Joey Murad

Sabah Hermiz (Summa), Founder

Metro Car Company

Mazen Foods

Najib & Arvin Ayar

Whitmore Lake Hotels, Inc.

Martin Manna

Terry Farida

Lisa Kalou

.com www.ChaldeanChamber

Super Fair Foods

CHAMBER STAFF Executive Director

Click Here

Program Manager, Refugee Mental Health Services

Have you checked out our websites lately?

Paul Alraihani

We update them constantly to keep you informed.

Smokers Outlet

Director of Community Development, DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital


Value Center Markets Jim Hiller

Hiller’s Markets Partner Members Joseph Atto

Sharon Hannawa

Fox Realty, LLC

Program Manager, Refugee Acculturation Sustainability and Training

Rocky H. Husaynu

Valerie Cholagh

Johnny Karmo

Receptionist/Membership Coordinator Galia Thomas

Tri-Lingual Translator/Case Manager Sana Palmer

Case Manager & Outreach Walid Abro

Case Manager

Professional Insurance Planners Market Square Steven Kherkher

Williams Kherkher John Loussia

Value Wholesale Steven Tapper

Tappers Diamonds and Fine Jewelry

Kristin Jirjis Bajoka

Case Manager

Follow Us on Twitter and Facebook!

Sathab Abbo Ousachi

Consultant, Chaldean Community Foundation Joyce Wiswell



Members Only


February’s Member of Member mailing was our biggest and best thus far. Twenty-four companies participated by offering special deals or promotions to their fellow chamber members. This low-cost marketing tool is a perinneal favorite among members. Look out for the next Member to Member mailing in September. Drop a line to info@ for details.

Open for Business The Chaldean Community Foundation’s Eastside office opened for business in February. The steady stream of walk-in clients illustrates how much a facility has been needed by the thousands of refugees who are starting new lives in Michigan. The office is home to the Refugee Acculturation Sustainability and Training (RAST) program, which is funded by a grant from the State of Michigan Department of Community Health. The goal is to help refugees of the Iraq war and the religious persecution that followed to assimilate to their new country. In the spirit of “teaching a man to fish,” RAST helps the newcomers become less dependent on federal and state subsidies and services. Former CACC board member Sharon Hannawa heads the RAST project and is helped by full-time case workers Kristin Jirgis Bajoka and Walid Abro. The office is also home to two staff members from Project Bismutha, a new initiative of the Chaldean American Association of Health Professionals that provides health care to the needy. As of late April, some 200 clients have been positively impacted by RAST. The foundation has also allocated $160,000 to the Chaldean Federation of America. If you’re in the neighborhood, please drop by our new facility!

Thanks to those who participated:

Walid Abro, Kristin Jirgis Bajoka and Sharon Hannawa at the RAST office.

4171 15 Mile Road (at Ryan) Sterling Heights, MI 48310 (586) 722-7253

Spreading the Word The chamber was pleased to educate officials in Sterling Heights on the Chaldean community on March 10 during a Cultural Competency Training. Already home to many Chaldeans, Sterling Heights is seeing a great influx of refugees. Cultural Competency Training offers a comprehensive overview of the Chaldean community, including its history, language, faith, traditions and contributions to Michigan.

Business Guide Coming Watch the mail for the 2011 Chaldean Commerce Business Guide. It includes thousands of listings of Chaldean-owned businesses, information on community churches and organizations, and a primer on Chaldean history and culture. No home or business wants to be without this handy guide. Coming in May!

The Survey Says Ninety-seven percent of members would recommend that friends and family join the Chaldean Chamber. That was among the preliminary findings of our ongoing General Membership Survey. Other highlights: 6


• 62 percent rank networking and communicating with fellow members important • Business referrals (55 percent), being an informational resource (45 percent), initiatives for community development (38 percent) and lobbying/advocacy (31 percent) are important services for prospective members. • Community support (66 percent) is the No. 1 reason people join the chamber. Just over half respondents (52 percent) would like to serve on a committee. We’d like to have you! Call (248) 996-8340 to get involved. If you’re a member who did not receive the survey and would like to take it, please call the office at (248) 996-8340 and we will get one right out to you.

Speaking of Surveys … A survey to gain detailed information on Chaldean-owned businesses will be conducted this year by the chamber in conjunction with Walsh College and Data Driven Detroit. Surveys will be mailed to each Chaldean household in Michigan in May. Please do your part by completing your survey and encouraging others to do so. All information is strictly confidential.

American Settlement Centers ASTI Environmental The Asset Advisors Group Atlas Oil Company C & J Parking Lot Sweeping Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino  Central Alarm Signal EmbroidMe of Farmington Hills Graphinity, Inc. Health Alliance Plan (HAP) Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP Jarvis Property Restoration Judeh & Associates LaFontaine Automotive Group Levine Clinic of Chiropractic Professional Insurance Planners Prudential Qwik Park Regency Manor & Banquet Center Tamou’s Electrical Services Toner Ink & More U.S. Ice Corp ZamZuu CHALDEAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNUAL REPORT




Annual Report By now you should have received the 2010 Annual Report of the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce. The report details the chamber’s activities and financials and provides a look at our affiliate organizations, the Chaldean Community Foundation, Detroit Independent Grocers, the Chaldean Chamber PAC, and the Chaldean Assyrian Syriac Council of America. To receive a copy, call (248) 996-8340, or view it online at


Leaders of various law enforcement agencies met with chamber and community members on January 18 at Shenandoah Country Club. Current policy and security issues affecting the Chaldean community were discussed. Special guests included: Andrew Arena, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the FBI; Barbara McQuade, Eastern District of Michigan U.S. Attorney; Roderick Blanchard, Port Director for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and Mick Dedvukaj, District Director, USCIS, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Fundraiser On April 19, the Political Action Committee (PAC) held a fundraiser at Shenandoah for Robert Ficano, who is seeking reelection as Wayne County Executive.

Career Night

The lush tropical greenhouse of Planterra was the scenic backdrop for the February 3 quarterly Networking Meeting. The event in West Bloomfield attracted more than 100 members.

Our special guest at the February 1 Meet the CEO was Jim Hiller of Hiller’s Markets. We talked the grocery business over dinner at Shenandoah.

The Central Intelligence Agency sponsored a Career Night on April 27 at Shenandoah. Dozens of job-seekers attended the event.

Our Meet the CEO series continued with the March 22 hosting of Deborah Meyer, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Pulte Group. She met with chamber and community leaders at Shenandoah Country Club to learn more about the Chaldean community and share Pulte’s vision for Michigan.

Student Shenanigans Members of the Chaldean American Student Association (CASA) at the University of Michigan held their annual Live from Babylon night on April 16. Hundreds attended the event in Ann Arbor, which included a date auction. More than $4,000 was raised for the Chaldean Community Foundation, the chamber’s charitable arm.

Members in the News T. Joseph Seward has been named a Leader of the Law 2011 by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He is the managing partner at Livonia-based Cummings, McClorey, Davis & Acho, PLC, which handles the chamber’s legal work. He specializes in civil defense and has won all but one of the 55 excessive force cases he

has personally tried. James Y. Rayis, who practices corporate and business law, has joined the Troy law firm of Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton. St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has been named by HealthGrade a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence. Its Children’s Learning Center has been accredited

by the National Association for the Education of Young Children for the seventh year in a row. Derick Adams has joined the Health Alliance Plan (HAP) as vice president of human resources. The West Bloomfield Public Library received the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums – the 2010 Na-

tional Medal for Museum and Library Service. Library Director Clara N. Bohrer personally accepted the award at the White House from First Lady Michelle Obama. Erhard BMW of Farmington Hills ranked first among 32 dealers nationwide to achieve the 2011 Center for Excellence award from BMW

of North America. Sales leadership and high customer satisfaction helped cement the honor. The law firm of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn was named Law Firm of the Year by Community Legal Resources. The firm has offices in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Kalamazoo and Lansing.




Eighth Annual Awards Dinner






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Photos by David Reed

he Eighth Annual Awards Dinner on March 25 was one of the hottest tickets in town. Nearly 900 people donned their finest attire and gathered at Shenandoah Country Club. We were pleased to hear remarks from Governor Rick Snyder. Before the event, he was the guest of honor at a private reception and during the dinner he addressed the crowd with complimentary remarks about the Chaldean American community. “I have to say thank you to the Chaldean community for your contributions to the state and for being the awesome people you are,” said the governor. “When I think of the Chaldean community, I think of these five words: welcoming, entrepreneurial, charitable, positive and family.” “On the campaign trail as soon as I met two or three Chaldeans in a group, it kept growing – in a positive way,” he said of “welcoming.” He added that Michigan needs to encourage more legal immigration and do a better job helping new arrivals. “Entrepreneurial is an easy word for the Chaldean community,” Gov. Snyder continued. “Michigan’s comeback will be based on entrepreneurship and innovation. We need to empower you to do what you do best.” He went on to call the community “very charitable” and having “that spirit that all things are possible.” Michigan’s culture has been broken and too divisive, he said, and everyone will have to make sacrifices in the short term. Michiganders, said the governor, are “one big family.” “We are not going to be beat down anymore,” Snyder said. “We will stand up and be happy for who we are. We will reinvent Michigan.” The governor said he is committed to avoiding all the noise by special interests and national agendas, and to staying focused on common sense solutions to Michigan’s budgetary and economic problems. His motto, repeated several times, was “relentless positive action.” Also that evening, Sam Kassab of Guardian Angel Home Health Care was named Business Person of the Year; the Chaldean Voice radio program was Humanitarians of the Year; and special tribute was paid to Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim. Radio personality Mojo was once again an engaging master of ceremonies. In the private meeting, Gov. Snyder discussed the specifics of his agenda and listened to attendees’ ideas on improving the economy. All three county executives — L. Brooks Patterson (Oakland), Robert Ficano (Wayne) and Mark Hackel (Macomb) — participated.

6 5




8 1. Volunteers from the Chaldean Voice 2. Mike Bouchard, Ruth Johnson and Ziad Kassab

5. Mark Hackel 6. Ron & Rita Acho and Dr. Ahmad Ezzeddinie

3. Bishop Ibrahim Ibrahim

7. Frank Jonna and Gov. Rick Snyder

4. Wendy & Robert Kamma

8. Bishop Ibrahim and Gov. Snyder

9. Shoki Konja, Fr. Manuel Boji and Jinan Sinawi from the Chaldean Voice 10. Frank Jonna, Anmar Sarafa, Gov. Rick Snyder, Martin Manna and Mojo 11. Frank Jonna, Faye & Sam Kassab and Mojo




Legislative Update

Item Pricing Soon to Be Gone

Teen Driving Rights Curbed

For the first time in 35 years, Michigan will be on par with most states come September 2011, when the Shopping Reform and Modernization Act take effect. Retailers will no longer be required to have price tags on individual items. However, the new law requires retailers to place the price of the item for sale where it is located. Many businesses commend the governor for taking action on this because it will help keep labor costs down. Critics feel that such a law will cause job losses and give businesses the ability to overcharge their customers. 

With a high incidence of auto accidents involving teens, Michigan has a new law on the books. Drivers with an intermediate license are prohibited from having more than one unrelated passenger under 21 years old unless they are accompanied by a parent/guardian or driving to and from school and events. Moreover, the teen driver will not be allowed to drive between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless it is for work. Under the old law, teens were allowed to drive until midnight.

Doctor Immunity Legislation Passes in House

Food & Drug Administration to Regulate E-Cigs

Legislation has been introduced that would protect physicians who offer free non-emergency medical services, either in an urgent care setting or via a non-profit, from medical malpractice suits. HB 4350, which is sponsored by Rep. Gail Haines, a Republican from Lake Angelus, would add these protected measures to the free clinic legislation that was implemented back in 2001. Supporters of the legislation argue that the need for free health care is in high demand because many residents of the state are uninsured, and that doctors who are providing free medical services should be immune in their course of work while tending to patients. The bill has yet to clear the Senate. 

The Food and Drug Administration plans to regulate ecigarettes as tobacco products but not as drug-delivery devices. The proposed regulatory changes will become law soon and the FDA is going to view these devices the same way it does traditional cigarettes and other tobacco products. Just recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled that the FDA can only regulate e-cigarettes as a tobacco product if they aren’t marketed for therapeutic purposes. However, the ruling does allow for the FDA to oversee the sale of the products. 

Business Feel Relief in Repeal of Tax Law

Rep. Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, has introduced H.B. 1628, also known as the Trash Reduction Act of 2011. And the representative couldn’t have been greener as he made his announcement on April 15, which happened to be Earth Day. His proposed legislation would impose a 5-cent-per-bag tax on retailers throughout the country. Similar measures at the state level have failed. Moran argues that Americans consume more than 12 million barrels of oil and copious amounts of natural gas annually to make plastic bags that are used once or twice and then tossed into the garbage. The U.S. International Trade Commission reported that more than 102 billion plastic bags were used in the United States in 2009 and most of the oil used to produce the bags was non-renewable oils from foreign countries.

by Johnny Oram

Retailers will no longer be required to have price tags on individual items.

The United States Senate recently repealed a law that was originally passed under the Health Care Reform Bill of 2010. The law would have required every business owner in America to send a 1099 Miscellaneous Income Statement to every vendor that was paid more than $600 per year for products and services. Small business owners and other critics were victorious in the repeal, as such legislation would have imposed heavy burdens such as extensive recordkeeping and paperwork and could have hindered business growth. This law was intended to generate more revenue for the federal government by allowing the Internal Revenue Service to have a business tracking mechanism in place to keep tabs on income and to pursue unpaid taxes. 

mark your calendar!

Tax on Plastic Bags?

Johnny Oram is a former board member.

May 26 Annual Chaldean Day in Lansing




new & renewed members New Corporate Members Flagstar Bank Michael Tierney, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Retail Banking Dounia Senawi Lievan, Senior Vice President 5151 Corporate Drive Troy, MI 48098 T (248) 312-2000 F (248) 312-6834 Community bank with 162 banking centers in Michigan, Indiana and Georgia William J. Vasileff, M.D. Cassie, Practice Manager 525 Southfield Road Birmingham, MI 48009 T (248) 644-0670 F (248) 644-2619 Double board-certified plastic surgeon, face and nose specialist

New Courtesy Member Orchid Day MedSpa William J. Vasileff, M.D. 525 Southfield Road Birmingham, MI 48009 T (248) 644-3635 Full-service day and medical spa

New Partner Members Karla Atchoo & Associates, Inc. Karla Atchoo, Owner 6775 Daly Road, Suite 101 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 T (248) 618-9400 F (248) 618-9500 Accounting and software consulting services

New Business Members American Settlement Centers Nina S. Korkis, General Counsel 32255 Northwestern Highway, Suite 214 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 T (248) 865-3904 F (248) 865-3905

Mediation and alternative dispute resolution services Arts, Beats & Eats Jonathan Witz, President 17 Walter Street Pontiac, MI 48342 T (248) 334-4600 F (248) 334-2474 Taste, music and arts festival attracting more than 400,000 people Asset Advisors LLC Cherie Happy, Marketing Director 3310 Big Beaver Road, Suite 127 Troy, MI 48084 T (248) 649-4759 T (248) 649-5717 Financial advising, retirement planning, portfolio management, estate and legacy planning BMG Media Co. Blake George, Owner 30777 Northwestern Highway, Suite 300 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 T (248) 406-2050 Website design, e-marketing, print materials for individuals and businesses of all sizes Complete Spine & Joint Center Dr. David Sinawi, Owner/Chiropractic Physician 916 E. 11 Mile Road Royal Oak, MI 48067 T (248) 291-6113 F (248) 291-6114 Chiropractic office offering pain management, nutrition, spinal rehab and massage therapy CSES International Michael Relph, President 18380 Autumnwood Drive Clinton Township, MI 48035 T (810) 814-0263 Master integrator of new/required technology, innovation, quality, process, organization, invention and business relationships Daniel D. Mashni D.D.S Theresa Mashni, Marketing Director 751 Chestnut Drive, Suite 103 Birmingham, MI 48009 T (248) 647-1144

February 1, 2011 – April 25, 2011

F (248) 647-0380 General dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening, dental implants and more Derderian, Kann, Seyferth & Salucci, P.C. Kathryn Nofar, CPA 3000 W. Big Beaver Road, Suite 700 Troy, MI 48084 T (248) 649-3400 F (248) 649-2187 Certified public accounting firm Madison Heights Urgent Care Eman Toma, Manager 28037 Dequindre Road Madison Heights, MI 48071 T (248) 546-7300 F (248) 546-7303 Urgent care center and dedicated member of CAAHP’s Project Bismutha Mans Lumber & Millwork Matthew Giuliani, Account Manager 3300 W. Jefferson Avenue Trenton, MI 48183 T (734) 676-3000 F (734) 676-7319 Lumber, windows and interior products; sales and management

6689 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 345 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 T (248) 737-2008 Graphic design, branding, packaging, interactive and advertising services for companies of all sizes Northwestern Mutual Financial Network Christopher Abbo, Financial Representative 901 Wilshire Drive, Suite 300 Troy, MI 48084 T (248) 244-6187 F (248) 362-4889 Financial solutions for individuals and businesses Pure 1 Consulting Janine N. Haisha 1898 Wingate Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302 T (248) 670-4579 Managerial and strategic business consulting Rod Pieron Building Co. Rod Pieron, President/Owner 17380 Peppermint Lane Holly, MI 48442 T (810) 602-8884 Home builder, construction, carpentry, roof work and remodels

Marblecast Kitchens & Baths Bud Olejniczak, Owner 14831 W. Eleven Mile Road Oak Park, MI 48237 T (248) 398-0600 F (248) 398-5822 Complete kitchen & bath remodeling, cabinets, countertops, granite, shower doors, walk-in and whirlpool tubs

Sawsan Kizy T (248) 399-8222 Well-known Chaldean singer/entertainer

My Choice Energy Terry Junga, General Sales Manager 6034 King Road Marine City, MI 48039 T (586) 248-7181 F (586) 765-5600 Alternative energy supplier for natural gas serving both commercial and residential customers

Zack & Chandler CPA, P.C. H. James Zack, President 29100 Northwestern Highway, Suite 399 Southfield, MI 48034 T (248) 353-4650 F (248) 353-0585 Certified public accounting firm

Stop & Go Deli 2 Ramzi Yatooma, Owner 3205 W. McNichols Road Detroit, MI 48221 T (313) 342-0707 Full-service convenience store and deli

New & Renewed Members Continued on page 13

New Century Creative Jonn Shamoun, Creative Director SPRING 2011 CHALDEAN COMMERCE



Before you go to market, know what you’re marketing

by Don tanner

A brand is how you answer your phones; how you treat your customers; and the quality products or services that you provide

Marketing. It’s an oft-used word that has many meanings for many people. For most, it is a term that refers to a methodology by which one entity may sell a particular product or service to another. Seems simple enough, right? However, to truly be effective, it is most prudent to embark on a strategic approach. There’s the old saying, “Before you love someone else, you must first love yourself.” Marketing is a lot like that in that before you can sell to someone else, you first need to know yourself. Who are you? What makes your product or service better or different? What is your value proposition? Is it price? Experience? Something else? By the same token, who is the audience you hope to reach? What are they looking for in your particular industry sector? What messages about your product or service are poised to resonate most effectively? Addressing, contemplating and answering these messages will help you to, first and foremost, develop your “brand.” “Brand?” you say. “I’m not Starbucks or Coke or McDonalds.” Remember that a brand is not just a logo or a name or particular color scheme; a brand is all of that and more. A brand is how you answer your phones; how you treat your customers; and the quality products or services that you provide. In time, it is your reputation. A key component of brand development is “messaging” – your company’s elevator speech and all of your key differentiators. These key messages should be clear, concise and compelling as well as communicated consistently in all of your marketing materials and initiatives. Again, it’s figuring out who you are and what you do better than anyone else. Let’s examine some marketing platforms to utilize to put forth these marketing messages. Public Relations When asked to describe what exactly our company does, we often reply by saying: “We help our clients tell their stories.” In a nutshell, that is what PR is all about. The backbone of public relations, traditionally, is media relations. More precisely, it is working with clients to determine what makes them different (sound familiar?) and newsworthy. Many think of PR as writing and issuing press releases and, for particular news, the press release has its place. A good PR firm, however, can help you navigate through an ever-changing media landscape where a grand opening or ribbon cutting are no longer guarantees of generating news coverage. To be sure, a challenging economy continues to challenge the media in terms of resources (reporters, camera crews, etc.). Because of such realities, more and more a company or business must tell their own stories through a



range of marketing avenues. These include: websites, video content, e-newsletters, e-updates and direct mail, which is making a comeback. Social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are powerful media by which one can repeatedly put forth key messages. Blogging fits right into this arena – providing an opportunity to give your clients and customers a glimpse into how you think and operate. Using these platforms in interesting but non-blatantly-promotional ways can help build and maintain a following. Repeatedly providing new content also results in greater online searchability for your company or business. Advertising Advertising can also be an effective communications tool. Again, being strategic about who you want to reach and how best to reach them will ensure you move into this area wisely. For example, if your target audience is located in a specific geographic area, cable TV or billboards can be ideal means by which to hone in. Looking to influence a particular demographic (age, gender, economic)? Radio may be just the ticket. And don’t forget online, including web banners and video. Strategic Networking Finally, there is no substitute for good old fashioned one-on-one, face-to-face interaction. This entails getting involved in business associations, trade shows and nonprofit organizations. The key here is getting involved. Joining a local Chamber of Commerce or industry group has to be more than paying dues, reading the newsletter and adding a line to your resume. It should be about committee and board involvement. It should be about event planning. It should be about truly getting to know others and letting them get to know you; because today, more than ever, people do business with people they know and trust. Such organizations will also typically ask key members to serve as featured speakers and event roundtable panelists at special meetings and conferences ­­– high-profile opportunities to further build awareness and credibility for who you are and what you do. So you see, marketing can entail many, many tools and approaches. And before you embark on any of them, make sure your own house is in order with a powerful brand and compelling messages ready to be put forth effectively through a range of media that make sense. Don Tanner is a founding partner of Tanner Friedman, a strategic communications firm specializing in traditional and emerging media relations, marketing and public relations counsel. Visit


new & renewed members New Individual Members Mike Bacall State Representative Lisa Brown Derek J. Dickow Lava Francis Lou Peters

New Student Member John Dishow

Renewed Corporate Members Bank of Michigan Michael Sarafa, President 30095 Northwestern Highway Farmington Hills, MI 48334 T (248) 865-1300 F (248) 865-0535 Financial institution for personal and commercial banking Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Equilla Wainwright, Vice President, Diversity & Community Affairs 600 Lafayette Boulevard Detroit, MI 48226 T (313) 983-0750 F (313) 225-9310 Health and dental insurance carrier providing information and online forms for card holders, physicians, dentists, hospitals and group customers Fred Lavery Company Ali Haji-Sheikh, Executive Vice President 34602 Woodward Avenue Birmingham, MI 48009 T (248) 645-5930 F (248) 645-2397 Full-service Porsche, Audi and Land Rover dealer

William Beaumont Hospitals Lauren A. Hill, Diversity Director 3711 W. 13 Mile Road Royal Oak, MI 48073 T (248) 423-2640 F (248) 423-3742 Regional and national leader in providing health care services, medical education and medical research

Renewed Business Members ABSOCAT Corporation Saad Hajjar, President 6775 Daly Road, Suite 110 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 T (248) 538-7300 F (248) 538-1662 American-based company serving the Internet needs of soldiers, contractors, the military and companies in the Middle East Antone, Casagrande & Adwers, P.C. N. Peter Antone, Attorney 31555 W. 14 Mile Road, Suite 100 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 T (248) 406-4100 F (248) 406-4101 Full-service immigration law firm Artistic Outdoor Services Tony Konja, President 31800 Northwestern Highway, Suite 140 Farmington Hills, MI 48334 T (248) 855-8575 F (248) 855-6985 Professional grounds maintenance and landscaping services ASTI Environmental Doug Brown, Director of Development 10448 Citation Drive, Suite 100 Brighton, MI 48116 T (800) 395-ASTI D (810) 225-2800 F (810) 225-3800 Environmental consulting firm

February 1, 2011 – April 25, 2011

ATM of America, Inc. Sabah Ammouri, President 24911 John R Road Hazel Park, MI 48030 T (866) 5ATM-INC D (248) 932-5400 F (248) 932-5404 Complete, cost-effective ATM solutions for businesses CafĂŠ Kabob Mediterranean Grille & Catering Ouse Gulli, Executive Chef & Vice President 25148 Evergreen Road Southfield, MI 48075 T (248) 355-2222 F (248) 545-4103 Authentic Mediterranean cuisine with multiple locations Centimark Roofing Corp Jeff Mollard, Senior Project Manager 38750 Ford Road Westland, MI 48185 T (734) 641-7035 F (734) 722-7051 Commercial roofing contractor The Chaldean News Paul Alraihani, Director of Operations 29850 Northwestern Highway, Suite 250 Southfield, MI 48034 T (248) 996-8360 F (248) 996-8342 Chaldean community monthly news magazine Champion Car Wash & Detailing Anthony Mona, Owner 28829 Orchard Lake Road Farmington Hills, MI 48334 T (248) 957-8510 Full-service car wash and detailing Farmers Insurance Michael Marougy, Insurance & Financial Services Agent 23995 Novi Road, Suite C104 Novi, MI 48375 T (248) 449-6950 F (248) 449-9651 Property and casualty insurance provider

Grand Price Food Center Ammar Ayar, Owner 12955 Grand River Avenue Detroit, MI 48227 T (313) 934-1000 F (313) 934-3680 Supermarket featuring quality meat, dairy and produce Law Offices of Walter Z. Graves Walter Z. Graves, Esq. 39533 Woodward Avenue, Suite 170 Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 T (248) 433-9641 F (248) 433-1310 Commercial real estate and business planning services Hazel Park Medical Center Iyad J. Alosachie, MD Musib Gappy, MD 23411 John R Road Hazel Park, MI 48030 T (248) 399-8331 F (248) 399-3912 Internal medicine & GI specialists Kensington Inn George Jappaya, President 124 Holiday Lane Howell, MI 48843 T (517) 548-3510 F (517) 548-1022 Hotel and lodging Midwest Commercial Realty, LLC John J. Konja, Agent 25441 Witherspoon Street Farmington Hills, MI 48335 T (248) 478-4991 F (248) 478-4992 Commercial real estate group Namou, Eadeh & Associates, P.C. Akram Namou, CPA 24775 Greenfield Road Southfield, MI 48075 T (248) 557-9030 F (248) 557-0513 Certified public accounting firm New & Renewed Members Continued on page 15




Three simple tips to improve your customer relations


by eric younan

You want your customers to feel like you care about them, not just about their money.

ustomer Relationship Management (CRM) is the core of a successful marketing campaign. While immensely important to a business’ success, it is often the most overlooked aspect of marketing, causing businesses to lose customers and let new sales leads slip through the cracks. Ironically, many businesses are already engaged in CRM and don’t even realize it. For those who don’t know, CRM is a strategy businesses use to monitor all of their interactions with customers, clients and prospects. Each time a business sends out marketing materials, sales flyers, newsletters or a mass e-mail, or posts a Tweet or Facebook status update, it is conducting CRM. When done correctly, CRM streamlines the communications process with customers and prospects. It also ensures that all leads are properly managed, all current clients are marketed to, and all prospects have top-ofmind awareness about your business. CRM is especially important to strengthen relationships with existing clients. It is widely known that it is far less expansive to retain a current customer than find a new one. When a business loses a customer, it’s often challenging to regain them. Current customers are often the best sources for new business in the form of referrals so it’s crucial for all companies to keep all their customers happy. Now that you have a better understanding of the importance of CRM, here are three tips to help you do it successfully: Get organized: Making the commitment to regularly communicate with your customers and prospects is a huge undertaking that should not be taken lightly. A good CRM database such as ACT, Goldmine, SalesLogix or even

did you

? w o n k

Microsoft Access is a good way to manage your communications. Messages should be tailored to specific audiences and a database will help you keep track of your customers’ communications preferences and the last time you communicated with them. Most programs will also let you set up reminders to help keep you on track. Regular, relevant and timely communication: Whether a business is a small retail operation or a professional services provider, the significance of regular, relevant and timely communication is equal. The fine line all businesses must tread is providing useful information without being annoying and unnecessary. A good rule of thumb is to not always be selling something through your communications. You want your customers to feel like you care about them, not just about their money. Two-way communication: Social media has revolutionized the CRM process. While this medium is a terrific way for businesses to increase awareness and brand recognition, it is best used to establish a two-way dialogue with consumers and engage them in conversations about your brand rather them just peppering them with self-serving messages. By soliciting consumer feedback, you’ll better understand their wants and needs and can improve your service by using the information you gather to adjust your business processes. Using these simple tips can get you headed in the right direction to create better relationships with your customers and prospects. Each one can easily be implemented to improve your profitability. Board member Eric Younan is an experienced public relations and marketing professional.

The Chaldean Festival is attended by 30,000 people

Your booth will be seen by people who live all over Metro Detroit Families spend hours mixing and mingling Now’s the time to reserve your spot at the Sixth Annual Chaldean Festival

June 10-12 Southfield Civic Center



Call (248) 996-8340 or e-mail


new & renewed members PES Group, P.C. Salah Zoma, President 615 Griswold Street, Suite 805 Detroit, MI 48226 T (313) 964-1700 F (313) 964-1895 Consulting and engineering firm

Tamou’s Electrical Services, Inc. Tom K. Tamou, CEO 3102 Farmdale Drive Sterling Heights, MI 48314 T (810) 560-9665 F (586) 803-9700 Electrical contracting services

Palace Supermarket Amer Sandiha, Owner 1942 S. Venoy Road Westland, MI 48186 T (734) 721-3030 F (734) 721-7830 Supermarket featuring quality meat, dairy and produce

Tinelle Properties Frank Asmar, President 29850 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200 Southfield, MI 48034 T (248) 557-5454 F (248) 557-5959 Real estate development and investments

Pi Banquet Hall / The Pub Bar & Grill Tony Gioutsos, Owner 28875 Franklin Road Southfield, MI 48034 T (248) 358-3355 F (248) 355-5087 Restaurant and banquet hall

Toner Ink & More Marsha Shamoun Venet, Owner 37665 Five Mile Road Livonia, MI 48154 T (734) 953-8647 T (734) 953-8649 Exceptional savings on printer, copier, and fax supplies

Real Estate One Niran Bahoora, Sales Associate 6960 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 150 West Bloomfield, MI 48322 T (248) 419-3140 D (248) 225-7711 F (248) 851-9965 Real estate services

Walter’s Shopping Place Frank Ayar, Owner 12197 Conant Street Hamtramck, MI 48212 T (313) 891-7411 F (313) 891-1281 Liquor, lotto, food and general merchandise

SKY Creative Alex Lumelsky, President 3420 Evailine Street, Third Floor Hamtramck, MI 48212 T (248) 595-0703 T (313) 399-7586 Creative services for custom-publishing projects, corporate branding, traditional and interactive marketing campaigns Starlite Food Enterprises, Inc. John Kassid, President 30150 Telegraph Road, Suite 152 Bingham Farms, MI 48025 T (248) 644-5726 Cafeteria services, sundry shops and catering services

Witbeck Home Appliance Mart Bud & Mark Bishar, Owners 33086 Northwestern Highway West Bloomfield, MI 48322 T (248) 932-0870 F (248) 932-3384 Fourth-generation family-owned and -operated appliance store specializing in luxury high-end appliances World of Erhard Leslie Rhodes, Marketing and Community Relations Manager 38700 Grand River Avenue Farmington Hills, MI 48335 T (248) 306-6800 F (248) 699-3000 Full-service new & used BMW dealer

February 1, 2011 – April 25, 2011

Renewed Government Member

Renewed Individual Members

City of Southfield Rochelle Freeman-Katz, Business Development Manager 26000 Evergreen Road Southfield, MI 48034 T (248) 796-4161 F (248) 796-4105 Residential and business community in Oakland County

Steve Anton

Renewed Non-Profit Members American Cancer Society Sabrina Kumar, Community Program Representative 20450 Civic Center Drive Southfield, MI 48076 T (248) 663-3489 F (248) 663-0228 Nationwide health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer Chaldean Federation of America Dave Nona, Chairman 29850 Northwestern Highway, Suite 250 Southfield, MI 48034 T (248) 996-8384 F (248) 996-8342 Community-based charitable, educational, and humanitarian relief organization

George Asker Alex Ayar Ed Babbie Tony Dallo Derrick George Walid Habboo Sarmad Khemmoro Zuher Qonja Catherine Shaughnessy Brian Yaldoo

Manresa Jesuit Retreat House Hugh Buchanan, Associate Director 1390 Quarton Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304 T (248) 644-4933 F (248) 644-8291 Workshops and retreats based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola




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

May 12

Quarterly Networking Meeting

May 26

Annual Chaldean Day in Lansing

June 10-12

Sixth Annual Chaldean Festival

June 23

Eighth Annual Golf Outing

July 27

Quarterly Networking Meeting

Calendar of Events September 14

Industry Outlook

October 20

Annual Business Luncheon

November 9

Annual Meeting & Board Elections

December 8

Annual Holiday Party

Chaldean Commerce Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2011  

Chaldean Commerce Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2011

Chaldean Commerce Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2011  

Chaldean Commerce Quarterly Newsletter - Spring 2011