Venture Michigan - Summer 2016

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Getting to know TechTown’s Paul Riser

Secure-24 is serious about security

Discovering Michigan’s newest vineyards



Seeking Cover Michigan cybersecurity experts weigh in on ransomware, connected vehicles, the Internet of Things and more


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FEATURES Doug Moore, the pioneer and founder of Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, has been serving the fine community of Dearborn for over 31 years. Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram now has its third generation working at the dealership and learning the business to take it to the next level. When Mr. Moore started in the business over 45 years ago, Lyndon Johnson returned to power after a landslide victory. It was also the year the Beatles took the world and America by storm and Beatlemania went into overdrive as they released a series of number-one hits, including “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “All My Loving.” Other British groups also found success, including the Rolling Stones and the Animals. Together, with the American talent of the Supremes and Bob Dylan, many say this was one of the greatest years for music in the last century.



Getting to know Paul Riser


24 Cyberworld dangers


Secure-24 is serious about security

Also, one young, loud, talented boxer by the name of Cassius Clay won the boxing world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston. Sony also introduced the first VCR Home Video Recorder.



Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram has stood the test of time and has witnessed many of the great things that have happened in this great country. Not only has the Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram stood the test of time, they are still delivering the best in new and used vehicles and, most important, they still deliver the best service in Michigan. Westborn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram looks forward to serving the great community of Dearborn for another 31 years to come.


A taste of Michigan’s vineyards



Fishing Michigan waters





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From our team


OU INC accelerates ideas to market


Metro Detroit is heating up


VCs get serious about Detroit


Mini pacemakers; smart thread; LUKE arm; eye disease research

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Going mobile


LTU in the spotlight


Lawn mowers on the cutting edge


Capturing tech events


Keep Calm is anything but …


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Venture Michigan


SUMMER 2016 : : Volume 1, Issue 1


elcome to the premiere issue of Venture Michigan Magazine. The team that brought you X-OLOGY Magazine is proud to introduce a new publication that delivers even more about Michigan businesses and lifestyle. With a stronger print and digital presence, Venture Michigan presents the people, companies, technologies and ideas that make our state and region a major player on the world’s business stage. We’re also focusing on the Michigan startups and venture capitalists who are changing the face of business in the state. Plus, Venture Michigan explores education initiatives, recruitment trends and personal profiles of those making news in the business world. This issue takes a close look at cybersecurity, with writer Mike Brennan covering all the bases — from automotive-related cyber risks and those involving the Internet of Things to ransomware and more. Mike’s knowledge of the region’s cyber community ensures an abundance of need-to-know information for the business world as well as for personal security. On that same topic, our business profile features Secure-24, a leading global provider of managed cloud services, IT operations and applications hosting. The company cautions every business to be prepared for some type of data breach by having the right preventive services in place. “Something is going to happen,” warns Secure-24 Chief Security Officer Brian Herr, so preparation is key. On a lighter note, we’re featuring topics that showcase the many attributes that make Michigan an ideal place to live and play. In this issue, for example, our Weekend travel article presents some of the state’s unique wineries that might inspire you to explore this robust wine country. If wine isn’t your thing, but fishing is, our Weekend lifestyle article highlights many of the lakes and streams throughout the region where the fish are sure to be biting now and well into fall. Finally, Michigan writer Mike Brogan, our resident book reviewer, shares his thoughts on Keep Calm, a new suspense thriller by Michigan native Mike Binder. The book, which involves a bomb, a setup and Great Britain’s political system, foretells of the country’s decision to cut ties with the European Union. We look forward to hearing your feedback about Venture Michigan Magazine. Let us know if we’re covering the stories you want to read. Simply email at: – The Venture Michigan Team

Venture Michigan presents the people, companies, technologies and ideas that make our state and region a major player on the world’s business stage.



EDITORIAL Editor Jane Racey Gleeson Copy Editor Judy Solomon Contributing Writers Mike Brennan Mike Brogan Tom Huggler Jeanine Matlow Paul Mersino Leslie Mertz Amy Mindell Susan R. Pollack Matt Totsky

CREATIVE Creative Director Alex Lumelsky Production SKY Creative Contributing Photographers Steve Fecht Vaughn Gurganian Susan R. Pollack

PUBLISHING Published by Venture Michigan LLC Printed by Graphics East

ADVERTISING Managing Director, Sales and Marketing R. David Eick Account Managers Greg “Porky” Campbell Jonathan Jarbo Barbara Somero For Advertising: 248-231-8067 or Venture Michigan is a quarterly magazine. Our mission is to uncover the most important stories about the people, companies, technologies and ideas that are transforming Southeast Michigan. The publication is distributed in 8 counties in Southeast Michigan and the City of Detroit. To subscribe, please email: © 2016 Venture Michigan LLC All content herein is the property of Venture Michigan LLC and cannot be copied, reproduced, distributed or republished without express written permission. Postmaster: Send address changes to Venture Michigan Magazine, 3000 Town Center, Suite 58, Southfield MI 48075

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Accelerating Ideas to Market with OU INC BY MATTHEW TOTSKY


ig things are always happening at Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Mich., which lately includes a huge buzz on campus about OU INC. “OU INC is one of 18 state-designated SmartZone Business Accelerators,” says Amy Butler, executive director of OU INC. “We help companies accelerate innovations to market through coaching, networking and connecting them to people and business to serve their specific needs. We work in collaboration with the City of Rochester Hills, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Oakland County and various industry partners to foster a healthy environment for the growth of new startup companies while providing support for existing entities through our facility and business development resources.” OU INC’s focus is on energy, medical device and information technology, all emerging sectors in the region and industries with high demand for innovation and startup assistance. The incubator provides entrepreneurial resources and strategic business solutions for developing business ventures and accelerating ideas to market. The organization is committed to advancing the economic strength of the nation by transitioning industry and university innovations into commercial success. “We provide customized entrepreneurial and strategic business solutions to both domestic and international technology companies,” Butler says. “Our purpose is to help startup companies es8


tablish and accelerate their path to market by leveraging the assets of Oakland University. The connection with OU is an important part of what we do. We assess companies on their business, finance and technology progress, and then develop a roadmap or pathway to accelerate to market and sustainable growth. We focus mainly on high-tech companies, where our expertise, resources and funding tools align.” OU INC’s facilities provide nearly 30,000 square feet of office space, technology space and centers of development where clients, students and faculty work together. The facility allows for several projects to be carried out at once as well as close collaboration between OU INC clients and the students at the university. The space also has a high-tech integrated resource center that enables the incubator to facilitate projects and collaborate in unique ways by combining technology with human interaction. It’s a resource and service that extends beyond the startups to other companies, communities and organizations that want to take advantage of those facilitation and collaboration services. “Our space is truly innovation at its heart,” Butler says. “The building used to be the historic horse riding arena for the Matilda Dodge Wilson estate. With its location on Oakland University’s campus, it’s become a bridge between the university and the business and technology community.” Joining forces “OU INC fosters the interaction of its clients with academic programs within the university,” says Butler. “This sort of integration allows the companies to become case studies for our courses and, in turn, we help them tee up projects for the senior design program. We work closely to introduce the companies to

our student population and define projects they can work on.” Another unique aspect of OU INC is the presence of several international companies from countries such as Denmark, Canada, Italy, Germany and Greece, a factor that has strongly contributed to the success of the incubator. In 2015, OU INC was recognized by the International Business Innovation Association (INBIA) with a Soft Landings designation for its efforts in assisting foreign companies to break into the U.S.

“As an international soft landing designated incubator, we’ve been recognized for creating an environment and for gathering resources for international companies that want to establish themselves in Michigan and access the American market.” – AMY BUTLER marketplace. This recognition designated OU INC as one of 31 incubators globally and identified its expertise, programs and resources. “As an international soft landing designated incubator, we’ve been recognized for creating an environment and for gathering resources for international companies that want to establish themselves in Michigan and access the American market,” Butler says. “We’ve also partnered with Automation Alley and Oakland County for their expertise in export regulations and work with on them on trade missions to assist our clients seeking international markets. This region in

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particular is attractive to international companies due in part to the large concentration of international companies already located here and the access to a major concentration of customers.” Organic growth “This didn’t happen overnight, but instead it grew organically,” Butler says. “One of the first companies we partnered with had to be close to the OEMs in order to build a strong business relationship. It’s situations like these — as well as referrals, trade missions and relationships with international chambers of commerce — that have helped us attract international companies to our facilities.” Another way Butler represents OU INC is by serving on the Board of Directors of Global Ties-Detroit, an organization that helps foster relationships and facilitates international exchange throughout the region. “We have a number of delegations that come to Michigan and they visit our facility to learn about innovation, technology, energy engineering and so much more. We share information with them and develop long-term relationships that prove beneficial to everyone.” Exciting times “There’s something new going on here every day,” Butler says. “We’re working with startups and get to see a lot of new technology as well as a variety of different cultures and how they develop and flourish in a new environment. This incubator benefits so many people. It helps contribute to the local economy because the companies we work with are open to hiring students and working with local researchers. They also hire local university graduates and they live in our communities. These international companies are bringing a new dimension to the region and we’re proud to be a part of that.”

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Startup Climate Heats Up BY LESLIE MERTZ


he startup scene in Michigan is accelerating, says Paul Riser, managing director of technology-based entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit. Located on the north end of Wayne State University’s Detroit campus, TechTown is one of Detroit’s most established nonprofit business accelerators/incubators. “I see a consistent influx of new energy and people who are willing to commit to building excellent companies in the city of Detroit and the Metro Detroit area,” says Riser. “There is phenomenal opportunity for this region, and many people are starting to recognize that.” Year after year, Riser has seen “great percentage increases” in the number of venture-based startups in Detroit, including more than two dozen that are currently active, up more than 30 percent from last year. “While Southeast Michigan may not be breaking records when compared with like-sized metropolitan areas across the country, you have to remember that we’re fairly nascent with our entrance into the tech-focused, startup space. And we are trending in the right way,” he says. Leveraging resources An advantage of still being early in the tech-startup arena is that the Metro Detroit region can learn from the successes and failures of other regions, such as the East Coast and West Coast, Riser says. “This gives us a chance to adopt best practices and adapt them to be unique to us, so that we’re not duplicating what doesn’t add value, but we are thinking strategically and acting accordingly.” Up-and-coming areas in Metro De10


troit and around the state of Michigan include healthcare, and specifically the digital health space; agricultural and food technology; mobility, including connected and autonomous vehicle solutions; and especially IoT, or Internet of Things, Riser says. “I’m seeing IoT slowly but distinctly emerge with a range of sensor-based ideas, opportunities and solutions, to not only provide solutions within single verticals, but also IoT and sensor-based solutions that spread horizontally across multiple verticals, and that is quite interesting,” he says. Added to that, the state and the city of Detroit are experiencing upticks in the amount of venture capital investment in the entrepreneur community. “It was recently reported that the number of new companies receiving investments over the last decade in the state of Michigan is four times the national rate right now,” Riser says. Entrepreneurial growth To keep moving in a positive direction, especially in regard to tech-focused startups, the state needs to develop its employee pool, he says. “It’s going to require core, deep tech talent, and I think that we’re really starting to turn the corner in recognizing that talent is a necessary element to complement the myriad of programs and support resources here.” That awareness includes the need to draw underrepresented groups into entrepreneurship. “We are moving in the right direction and there are wonderful programs

that are evolving. We have to look more broadly than just diversity among types of startups. I’m also talking about diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity and culture, so we can get them to be engaged and to participate as entrepreneurs, and beyond that, as key decision makers, investors and board members within our growing entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Riser says. Where there’s a will … TechTown Detroit is taking on the challenge of helping diverse entrepreneurs make the leap into the business world with multiple programs, including DTX Launch Detroit, TechTown Business Incubator Center and TechTown BLOCKS program. “We have that range of programs so we can provide a continuum of services to ensure startups don’t fall through the cracks and so they can come to us for help in figuring out where to go and whom to see within the entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Riser says. A positive outlook Things are looking very good in Michigan for startups, and word is starting to get out, says Riser. “I’ve been meeting with international delegations and hearing from people outside the state who are impressed with Detroit and its emergence as a hub for tech startups. Here in Michigan, we need to see that too. We tend to undervalue what we have because we’re in the trenches every day, but it’s important that we also take a step back and recognize the great assets and talent that we have right here in Metro Detroit.”

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VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016 12/18/14 9:53 AM 11


Venture Capitalists Get Serious About Detroit BY PAUL MERSINO


his year marked the first in Detroit are in the IT sector. “Detroit Startup Week” Companies creating prod— a five-day festival, ucts and services supporting seminar, networking mixer next-generation mobility are and spotlight on the Detroit experiencing a high level of instartup scene. While some vestments. Techstars, one of the questioned whether the city most well known startup accelcould support a five-day event, erators in the country, started they quickly learned that the Techstars Mobility in Detroit Detroit startup scene is going PAUL MERSINO less than two years ago to focus strong. The event broke the on “any technology or service attendance record for a first year Startup that enables people and goods to move Week City, drawing more people than any around more freely.” other city across the country. In July, Fontinalis Partners, LLC, a DeWith talk of startups comes talk of troit-based venture capital firm founded venture capital (VC). While Detroit may in part by William Clay Ford, Jr., to focus not yet be competing with Silicon Val- on mobility and telecommunications, ley for VC funding dollars, the Michigan announced that it has finished raising a Venture Capital Association (MVCA) and $100 million fund to focus on the nextForbes magazine recently reported that generation mobility sector. According to Detroit is one of the fastest growing en- Crain’s Detroit Business, Fontinalis has trepreneurial communities in the United made 23 mobility investments so far, inStates. In fact, the number of VC firms, vesting in companies at all stages of deamount of capital under management velopment, from seed to late stage. The and venture investments in Detroit have new fund will reportedly focus on areas all been reported to have tripled in the such as autonomous vehicles, logistics, last five years, even as those numbers supply-chain software, shared mobility have decreased nationally. and connected car technology. Early reports indicate that investEarlier this year, the Detroit-based law ments last quarter may have been down firm Butzel Long held a “Connected Car slightly, however, the MVCA has quoted Symposium,” focusing on the firm’s lead Bobby Franklin, president and CEO of the in issues relevant to connected and auNational Venture Capital Association, tonomous vehicle innovation. Attendees as saying: “By all measures, Michigan included automotive supplier executives, stands out as a prime location for inno- investors and government affairs profesvation to thrive.” sionals. This area will likely be an active field for VC funding for some time to come. IT in the spotlight The most significant venture capital in- More VC opportunities vestment in Detroit has been in informa- These are not the only areas to experience tion technology (IT). According to the MV- growth in capital funding. Angel investors CA’s Annual Research Report, 71 percent have been busy in a wide swath of indusof the active, venture-backed companies tries, including consumer products, busi12


ness services, media, advanced materials and manufacturing, alternative energy and life sciences/healthcare companies. The Detroit area has seen a very diverse company and founder base, with many minority- and women-owned companies receiving venture or angel investments. The increase in Detroit- and Michiganbased venture capital investments has been an important factor in helping raise money from outside the state. VC firms from other states are beginning to take notice of Michigan companies as good investment opportunities. As a testament to the old adage that it “takes money to make money,” the in-state investments are spurring even more out-of-state investments. The MVCA estimates that for every $1 invested in a Michigan startup by a Michigan venture capital firm, $4.31 of investment is made from outside of Michigan. Success begets success, and investments beget investments. As the entrepreneurial and investment communities throughout Michigan continue to grow, more startups will receive funding, and more VC firms will start seeing bigger and better returns for their investors, which will create a cycle of continued investment, continued returns and continued successes.

Paul Mersino is a shareholder and attorney at Detroit-based Butzel Long, P.C. He represents and advises several startup companies, assisting them with legal needs and matching them with potential venture capital funding. He has served as a mentor to startup business incubators and accelerators, sat on a board of directors of a tech startup and served on a board of advisors for a venture capital group.



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Heart patients in the U.S. can now take advantage of a miniature pacemaker that stimulates a regular heart rhythm without the connecting leads or wires of a conventional pacemaker. The new leadless Micra Transcatheter Pacing System was recently implanted at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor by electrophysiologist Ryan Cunnane, M.D. Medtronic’s Micra is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, or roughly the size of a large vitamin. The pacemaker is revolutionary not only for its measurements, but also because it is placed inside the heart via a minimally

invasive procedure. “There’s no incision in the chest, and no leads, which means none of the larger device-related complications that go with that,” says Dr. Cunnane. The one-inch device is implanted directly onto the inside heart wall through a vein in the patient’s groin. Flexible prongs hold it in place and electrical impulses are then generated to regulate heartbeats much like a traditional pacemaker. The leadless device also eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart.


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The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker.

Focused on Eye Disease

The LUKE Arm

Six undergraduate students spent the summer working with faculty in Oakland University’s Eye Research Institute (ERI) on projects that investigated causes and potential cures for eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and retinopathy. The students took part in OU’s Summer Undergraduate Program in Eye Research (SUPER), helping to conduct experiments that could one day lead to breakthroughs in treatments for vision loss. Using state-of-the-art scientific methodologies and equipment, each student worked with ERI faculty mentors on research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, including: • Monitoring the growth of cells found in vessels of the retina. Abnormal growth of these cells is associated with various retinal diseases. • Examining the interaction between alpha crystallin protein and an alpha crys-

The Life Under Kinetic Evolution (LUKE) prosthetic arm, FDA-approved in 2014, is on track for a commercial launch later this year. Funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the arm uses electromyogram (EMG) electrodes to pick up signals from the patient’s muscles and translate them into precise movements. Priced at $100,000, the arm will be marketed by Mobius Bionics. The LUKE arm was invented by Dean Kamen (creator of the Segway) at the DEKA Research and Development Corporation. According to DARPA, the overall goal is to improve the functionality of prosthetic limbs for service members. The arm enables them to complete tasks such as cooking, brushing teeth and inserting a key into a lock, something existing prosthetic devices are not able to do. The LUKE arm system can be configured for amputees with limb loss at the shoulder joint, mid-upper arm or mid-lower arm.



tallin peptide using fluorescence polarization to find out whether the peptide was binding to the protein, increasing the risk of cataracts. • Researching the development of cortical cataracts. • Examining the role of the Rtca enzyme in causing glaucoma in mice. The students worked in the lab approximately 30 hours per week for 12 weeks, learning research fundamentals, including keeping a research notebook, evaluating research literature and following laboratory protocols. Acceptance into the SUPER program is selective, according to ERI Director Frank Giblin. “We look for high-achieving students in science and math, especially organic chemistry and calculus,” says Dr. Giblin. “Most of our students have an interest in medical school or graduate school. About 75 to 80 percent go on to pursue graduate education.”


Going Mobile Innovative wheelchair is an industry first BY JEANINE MATLOW



“We’re collaborating with many thought leaders who create ideas like the GO wheelchair that are not only more functional and patient-specific, but very aesthetically pleasing.” – BRYAN CRUTCHFIELD, MATERIALISE NORTH AMERICA


ll it takes is a look back at “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to remind us how tricky it can be to find the perfect chair. The search is more frustrating when you need a wheelchair to get around. But that could change due to the revolutionary 3D printing technology behind the ingenious GO wheelchair, designed for those living with disabilities. Though still in prototype form, the advanced concept is set to deliver a oneof-a-kind design while demonstrating the relationship between form and function at its finest. Product development A collaboration between Materialise in Belgium and creator Benjamin Hubert of London design agency Layer, the unique product is off to a great start. As Plymouth, Mich.-based Bryan Crutchfield, vice president and general manager of North America for Materialise explains, 3D printing is known as additive manufacturing; the process of layer upon layer upon layer of materials being printed to create a 3D object. For more than 25 years, Materialise has been developing software that serves as the backbone of technology advancements in a number of different industries. “We’re collaborating with many thought leaders who really create ideas like the GO wheelchair that are not only more functional and patient-specific, but very aesthetically pleasing. It’s that ability to think outside the box that leads us to collaborate with people like Benjamin Hubert,” says Crutchfield. With more than 140 commercial printers worldwide, Materialise also produces more than a million parts a year in the medical and manufacturing industries. Pairing with Hubert makes perfect

sense, given the fact that Materialise and Layer have similar visions. While the mission of Materialise is to make the “world a better and healthier place” via technology, Hubert is trying to make the world better for a patient in a wheelchair by thinking creatively, says Crutchfield. “He really spoke to our mission statement. It’s that innovative thought process that really inspires us.” Special delivery Customization is key. As an article on details, the GO made-tomeasure 3D-printed consumer wheelchair was the result of two years of research that yielded a wheelchair designed with a 3D-printed resin seat and TPU suspension, sitting upon an aluminum insert and rolling on unique spoke design wheels. Though its appearance is refreshingly modern and sculptural, there is more to the invention than meets the eye. Layer has incorporated user biometric information to provide an ergonomic experience by individually fitting body shape, weight and disability in order to reduce injury and increase comfort, flexibility and support. One man’s plan Hubert is the creative force behind the GO wheelchair, which was recently launched at Clerkenwell Design Week in London as part of an exhibition of Layer’s most recent work. As an industrial designer with a background in furniture design, he knows all about the significance of the end user. According to Materialise, Hubert is constantly thinking about opportunities to use cutting-edge technology to solve problems. With the GO wheelchair, he sought to create a more human-centered vehicle to improve the everyday lives of users.

All the right gear GO may be Layer’s inaugural project, but the clever concept doesn’t stop there thanks to some additional bells and whistles. According to Layer’s website, “The accompanying GO app allows users to participate in the design process by specifying optional elements, patterns and colorways, and to place orders.” Layer also found a way to improve the connection between the product and its end user, resulting in a smoother ride. GO Gloves were designed to reduce the strain of self-propelling the wheelchair, while improving the level of grip between a rider’s hands and the wheelchair’s push rims. The gloves’ positive triangular pattern fits into the wheel’s negative imprint grip. DIY project Another model based in 3D technology, the HU-GO (no connection to the GO) offers a low-cost, easy-to-assemble wheelchair designed by Australian architect Hugo Riveros. Riveros was inspired by images of people in developing countries being pulled around on carts. According to, Riveros designed the HU-GO chair to be easy to build in places where most people who need a wheelchair wouldn’t be able to buy one, let alone have access to the parts to make one. He replaced much of the hardware and components with easy-to-source materials and designed 3D-printed connectors and supports, so the chair can be assembled virtually anywhere in the world. When you picture a wheelchair, a custom product may be the last thing that comes to mind. But with the help of 3D technology and creative minds such as these, the next generation of wheelchairs are sure to provide the right fit. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016



The new A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture and Life Sciences Complex

LTU in the Spotlight


hen Lawrence Technological University opens for the 2016 fall semester, a new building will grace the Southfield, Mich., campus quadrangle. But LTU’s A. Alfred Taubman Engineering, Architecture and Life Sciences Complex is much more than a building. The $16.9 million, 36,700-square-foot Taubman Complex provides the 4,500- student private university much-needed laboratory, collaboration and workspaces to support emerging multidisciplinary programs. These include biomedical engineering, which combines biology, materials science and mechanical engineering, and robotics, which marries mathematics, computer science and mechanical, electrical and controls engineering. The new building also features groundbreaking use of composite materials in a dramatic, egg-shaped central staircase called the Orb. Forty-four feet tall and 20 feet around at its widest point, the Orb offers an eye-catching element at the midpoint of the building. It was built in segments at a molder in Cape Coral, Fla., transported to Michigan on trailers and assembled on site. Composites World, an industry magazine, called it “a bellwether for the expansion of composites into architectural applications previously considered out of reach” for structural use. 18


According to the magazine, the Orb “not only looks good, but also enabled designers to realize a lighter, thinner structure. It’s a composites showcase that could dramatically change the perception of composites as mere aesthetic add-ons in the architectural engineer’s toolbox.” Renowned expertise The Taubman Complex was designed by architect Thom Mayne of Culver City, Calif., founder of Morphosis, an internationally recognized architecture and design firm. The Harvard-trained architect is known for his emphasis on environmentally friendly buildings. The architect and engineer of record on the project is Albert Kahn Associates of Detroit, a firm known internationally for its passion to explore new materials and construction methods. The Kahn team includes several alumni of LTU’s College of Architecture and Design, which at 700 students is Michigan’s largest architectural college. The general contractor is Detroit-based DeMaria Building Co. A sustainable structure The new building will reflect an ongoing commitment to environmentally sustainable technology at LTU and will be submitted for certification under the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental

Design) program, a set of rigorous building energy efficiency standards created by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building will also connect to Lawrence Tech’s existing Science Building on its third floor, and to the existing Engineering Building on its first and second floors. Future phases of the Taubman Complex project include renovations and improvements to both buildings. The first floor features a 60-footlong, 20-foot-wide lab for the research of LTU’s Eric G. Meyer, associate professor in the university’s biomedical engineering program. It will house Meyer’s research into biomechanics, orthopedic sports medicine, injury mechanisms, joint function, gait analysis, prosthetic limb technology and more. The first floor also features an embedded software laboratory and a robotics lab that is more than twice the size of the current robotics space. On the second floor is a robotics lab for LTU’s C.J. Chung, professor of mathematics and computer science, and founder of Robofest, the global youth robotics competition. The second floor also houses engineering research studios for the design and fabrication of student projects. These are high bay spaces that are open to the top of the third floor. The third floor will also feature a biomedical engineering laboratory, microfabrication clean room, lab for biology-based micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), bioinstrumentation lab, biosensor lab and cell culture and cell biology labs. Also on the third floor are the offices of the Marburger STEM Center, established to organize and support LTU’s many activities to boost Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers at the K-12 level (see sidebar). Sibrina Collins, a chemistry professor and researcher

STEM — the future of the American economy who was most recently director of education at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, is the center’s first executive director. The center is named after Richard Marburger, LTU president 1977-93, who remains active with the university as president emeritus. The center was made possible by a $20 million gift to LTU from an anonymous donor, the largest such gift in the university’s 84-year history. Non-traditional space One thing the building won’t have is a classroom — not in the traditional sense, with rows of desks, all oriented toward a presentation area for an instructor. Instead, all of the spaces in the building are intended to be open and collaborative. LTU campus architect Joe Veryser says he’s genuinely impressed by the building — its appearance and aesthetics. “I didn’t think I was going to be this impressed by the Orb itself,” Veryser says. “I know it’s a landmark visual thing on the outside, but I did not expect it to be this great a feature on the inside. As we cleaned it up and put the glass handrails in, it just became more and more striking. I’m impressed with the building overall, and the things we’ve built into it aesthetically.” Finally, the Taubman Complex is the last indoor connection between all the major academic buildings on the Lawrence Tech Southfield campus. Its opening made it possible to walk from the Buell Management Building on the northwest side, through the Taubman Student Services Center to a second-story bridge connecting to the Science Building, through the Taubman Complex to the Engineering Building, to the University Technology and Learning Center classroom and office building, and finally to the Architecture Building — in a roundabout U, all without having to go outdoors.

Jobs in the STEM fields — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics —have grown 28 percent since 2000, compared to just 6 percent in other fields, according to the 2016 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index. But there’s a problem. The growth of STEM jobs is far outstripping the number of available graduates. Lawrence Technological University (LTU) has responded by creating the Richard E. Marburger STEM Center, which will support the long-existing STEM outreach programs at LTU and introduce new programs. Sibrina Nichelle Collins joined the university as the Marburger STEM Center’s initial executive director. “The Marburger Center will be the intellectual home of all the STEM activities taking place on campus,” says Collins. “The center will be focused on inclusion, excellence, creativity and innovation, and outreach will be a major component.” Collins notes that LTU already has several STEM outreach programs operating at the K-12 level, including Robofest, a low-cost competition for student-built autonomous robots. Robofest was created by LTU computer science professor C.J. Chung and the school’s Blue Devil Scholars program, which is designing a pathway to STEM college courses for students at the Detroit Public Schools’ Sampson Webber Academy. In addition, there are numer– SIBRINA NICHELLE COLLINS ous LTU summer science camps for high school students. LTU also hosts The Engineering Society of Detroit’s Engineering SMArT Michigan program, an energy-efficient home design challenge for high school students. Eventually, Collins says she’d like to see the STEM Center’s activities leading to more students from underrepresented groups attending LTU and earning STEM degrees. She says there will be further outreach to the Detroit schools and Southfield public schools. The STEM Center, as part of LTU’s new Taubman Complex, will also be home to “cool science demonstrations to engage the community,” says Collins. Overall, Collins is looking to give more area students the chance to experience Lawrence Tech — a place where, “the students are very driven and they know what they want. I think that’s what’s really exciting about the student body here.”

The Marburger Center will be the intellectual home of all the STEM activities taking place on campus.




Steady Riser Paul Riser is a key player at TechTown Detroit and a staunch promoter of the city in which he grew up. Venture Michigan had a chance to pose a few questions to Riser, getting a glimpse into the busy life of this family man, businessman and mentor, among other roles. What do you enjoy doing outside of work? I enjoy spending time with my family as I realize how valuable time with my kids and wife really is. I also love to mentor and share my experiences with youth every chance I get. The conversations, life experiences and perspectives on my personal and professional journey I hope can positively impact a few and provide some level of inspiration that makes even a small difference. What are your favorite things about Detroit? My favorite things about Detroit are the rich history, the people and the growing possibilities that the city presents, especially as it relates to innovation, entrepreneurship and real estate/economic development. Who are your hero(s)? First and personally, my parents for their personal contributions and the many, many sacrifices they made for me. My 20


dad is often referred to as “the most prolific arranger of hit songs of all time” due to his 50+ years in the music industry that began during the very early days of Motown here in Detroit. Some of his biggest hits as an arranger are: “My Girl” (The Temptations), “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone” (The Temptations) and both versions of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Marvin Gaye) (Gladys Knight & The Pips), to name just a few. I state this about my father, not as much because of his musical gift and contributions to the world, but because of the spirit in which he has always led in his work. Professionally, I would have to say Dr. Darnell Kaigler, a native Detroiter and world-renowned dentist, oral maxillofacial surgeon, prosthodontist and researcher focused on revolutionizing the way dentistry is practiced. Dr. Kaigler has served as a professional and personal mentor of mine for well over a decade where he has shown a level of commitment to my personal success that I would have only expected from a

biological father. Truly a man of integrity, commitment and hard-work, and one that believes in “doing the right things, for the right reasons.” Describe your typical day as managing director of TechTown Detroit: Within my role as managing director for Tech-Based Entrepreneurship at TechTown Detroit, I lead the business unit titled “LABS.” With a great support team, I lead the development and growth of early-stage, tech-based startup companies as well as a number of programs, activities and events in greater Detroit that ultimately help catalyze economic development for the state of Michigan. The types of companies and innovators the LABS team works with range from alternative energy, advanced manufacturing and mobile and web-based applications to healthcare solutions, edTech, finTech and more. I manage a small but fabulous team and collectively we assist tech entrepreneurs in a myriad of ways, such as helping them to establish goals and milestones

PAUL RISER Managing Director, TechTown Detroit Age: 41 Family: Married, 4 children (ages 1, 4 [twins] and 13) Home: Northville, Michigan Education: Bachelor’s degree, computer Information systems/ mathematics minor, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee MBA w/ a concentration in technology management, University of Phoenix



The healthcare industry is on the brink of massive change and TechTown Detroit has been intricate in bringing together healthcare stakeholders from Southeast Michigan and Southwest Canada to help break down barriers in healthcare via deep collaboration and channeled innovation. for their business, ensuring innovators validate their business model and value proposition in the market, identifying and curating appropriate strategic resources (often via regional partners and service providers) to help them launch and grow their business, helping them navigate the process of intellectual property protection, preparing companies to ensure they are “investment-ready” as well connecting them to key sources of funding, such as various grants, angel investors, venture capital firms and much more. What are the most exciting thing(s) you’ve experienced since you began your career with TechTown Detroit? Over the past 18 months, TechTown’s ability to lead and help foster collaborative innovation in healthcare has fast emerged as the “void” I believe we have an opportunity to address in greater Detroit. An unbelievable density of assets, companies, universities, service providers, investors and SMEs (subject matter experts) are in this area, and when you juxtapose these characteristics with the fact that healthcare organizations face unprecedented challenges to improve quality, reduce harm, improve access, increase efficiency, eliminate waste and lower costs ... innovation is becoming a major focus once again. The healthcare industry is on the brink of massive change and TechTown Detroit has been intricate in bringing together healthcare stakeholders from Southeast Michigan and Southwest Canada to help break down barriers in healthcare via deep collaboration and channeled innovation. This has been ultra-exciting because, with the support 22


of my current CEO (Ned Staebler) and our governing board, I’ve been able to be entrepreneurial within an organization chartered to serve entrepreneurs. The flexibility and encouragement that’s offered to our staff to try new programs, activities and ways to continuously differentiate our offerings is one of many aspects that make this role so appealing. Did you have a mentor who helped direct your career? I’ve learned the importance over time of not having a single mentor, but of having mentors for the various “seasons” and aspects of my life, including but not limited to a spiritual mentor, entrepreneurial and business mentors in media, technology, non-profit business, real estate development, as well financial management mentors and pure life coaches. Even peer mentors have been and continue to be instrumental sources of inspiration and “friendly competition” that drive me to seek more and to be accountable in life. The power of mentorship is absolutely key and having someone or multiple individuals who have transitioned and experienced stages of life that you haven’t seen provide vital elements that you can learn from, hopefully reducing the number of costly mistakes that you have made on your own. I’ve absolutely been a benefactor of great mentors throughout my life and as I evolve, I continue to seek out and connect with mentors who can help my journey of life. Just as entrepreneurs and innovators are pressed upon to develop a “roadmap” for their company’s success, I realized long ago that we all

have to figure out where we want to be in life and the pathway to get there. One way is looking at other people who have done things the right way in life and to learn from those practices. What is the one piece of business advice you received that really made a difference in your career? One key piece of advice that I have received that I hold on to is, “You can go fast alone, but you can go far with others and faith.” I took this to mean a couple of key things: one, ensure you have a vertical relationship (your faith) first and foremost that guides and shapes you as a person and also seek to build meaningful horizontal relationships with friends and business partners that must be chosen wisely. Secondly, fairly early in my life I was fortunate enough to learn the power of strong networks and the benefit of building genuine relationships where both parties get to know, like and trust the other person. This takes intentionality and hard work, but the personal and professional benefits far outweigh the requirements, sacrifice and pathway to get there. Many, if not all, of the most important achievements that I have been able to realize have derived from meaningful relationships and my network. — As told to Jane Gleeson

Read our full interview with Paul Riser at, where he elaborates on the topics above and much more, including the area business leader he most admires and thoughts on the future of Detroit/Southeast Michigan.

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Cyberworld Dangers Do you know where your files are tonight? BY MIKE BRENNAN

Is any individual or any business safe from cyberattacks? The answer to this question plays out in the following pages, where Michigan experts at the forefront of cybersecurity weigh in on ransomware, connected vehicles and the Internet of Things. Just how secure are we? It’s a fine line between cybersafety and cybercrime.



Cyberattacks … No One Is Beyond Reach


ake a tip from one of the world’s best known hackers, Kevin Mitnick, who for 20 years was on the FBI’s most wanted list until he was caught in 1995 and jailed for five years. Today Mitnick runs a private consulting company that claims a 100 percent successful track record of penetrating the security of any system he is paid to hack. His advice: Be smart. Be paranoid. And good luck. Good luck indeed. Cybersecurity has become either a pay-me-now or pay-melater line item expense. “You will write a check to someone,” says Grand Ledge, Mich.-based Dan Lohrmann, chief security officer/chief strategist for Security Mentor of Garden Grove, Calif., and former chief security officer for the state of Michigan. That’s also the message delivered to executives around the country by Chris Pogue of Nuix, a software company based in Herndon, Va. Pogue adds that if you take appropriate protective measures for online assets, such as mitigating cyber vulnerabilities, conducting penetration tests, building good cyber defense intelligence and ensuring that the right team is in place, the check will be much smaller overall than the bill you pay when a data breach inevitably happens. The Target fallout The check written for a cyber breach can be huge. Last year, Target agreed to pay $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit related to the discount retailer’s 2013 data breach. Court documents show hacking victims could get as much as $10,000 apiece. The company estimates that about 42 million people had

their credit or debit information stolen, according to court documents. How did hackers get into the Target corporate network? Through a third-party vendor, Fazio Mechanical, a refrigeration contractor. A phishing e-mail duped at least one Fazio employee, allowing malware to be installed on Fazio’s computers. The attackers then waited until the malware served up Fazio’s login credentials to access the Target corporate network. Phishing is a form of social engineering that involves tricking someone into believing an e-mail is coming from a trustworthy source. If the target opens the e-mail, or visits a website in the fake e-mail, a malicious payload gets downloaded and the network is breached. Education is key An educated workforce is critical to keeping computer networks secure, says Lohrmann. He’s seen a lot of cyberattacks in his career, having served nearly two decades at the state of Michigan where he helped protect the state’s computer system. Lohrmann’s advice: • Conduct a rick assessment. Know where your data is and what you are doing to protect it. Use audit findings to help guide priorities and include a penetration test in your process. Make sure you address these findings when they are available. • Mitigate known vulnerabilities and network holes. Make sure you do the basic “blocking and tackling” with firewalls and malware detection and fix backup systems. • Train your people — both end users and technical staff. Have an ongoing

security awareness program to keep up with emerging threats and technology changes. • Build an incident management plan. Know what to do and where to go if you have a cyber incident or data breach. Practice the plan with tabletop exercises (meetings to discuss simulated emergency situations). • Make sure executives support the security program with the right resources and people. Getting the right cyber talent is key, including a good cybersecurity leader who can champion the effort. Staying ahead of hackers Businesses and consumers also have to be wary of several common cybersecurity attack vectors, or ways in which a hacker can gain access to a computer or network server. For instance, Mitnick warned about common mobile threats from USB thumb drives. In a hack, a thumb drive can trick a PC into thinking it’s a keyboard, rather than a storage device. The hacker injects keystrokes and commandeers the device. Mitnick also warns about the dangers of connecting to a public Wi-Fi, typically found at coffee shops. A hacker can tell the Wi-Fi router to boot all the current users off the network. When they reconnect, the hacker substitutes his Wi-Fi network with the same name. Once users connect, a malicious payload is delivered. The key to keeping hackers at bay, in most cases, is education, says Nick Lumsden, vice president of technology and product strategy at Online Tech in Ann Arbor, Mich. “Then practice, test and educate CYBERATTACKS on page 29 VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016



The Rise of Ransomware


n June, NASCAR Team Circle Sport admitted it paid off ransomware runners after one of its main test computers was infected with Truecrypt malware, a form of ransomware. The NASCAR laptop was quickly isolated, but the ransomware left the team’s crucial test data locked up two days before a big race. Despite efforts to recover the priceless data, Circle Sport paid the extortionists hundreds of dollars in Bitcoins — the typical form of payment used by cybercriminals — and the encryption key was sent. Bitcoin is a digital, peer-topeer payment system. Transactions take place directly between users without an intermediary and are virtually anonymous, perfect for online criminals. Circle Sport is simply one of the latest victims of ransomware, an insidious type of malware that encrypts, or locks, valuable digital files and demands a ransom to release them. Hospitals, school districts, state and local government, law enforcement agencies and small and large businesses have all been victims. Home computers are just as vulnerable to ransomware. At stake can be family photos, videos and other data. Cybercriminals, like bank robbers, focus on extorting the most cash possible, making consumers a low-priority ransomware target. An ever-growing threat Ransomware has been around for a few years, but during 2015, law enforcement saw an increase in these types of cyberattacks, particularly against organizations. Worse yet, according to FBI data, if the first three months of this year are any indication, the number will grow even more in 2016 if individu26


als and organizations don’t prepare for these attacks. Ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated. Several years ago, ransomware was delivered through spam e-mails, but because e-mail systems got better at filtering out spam, cybercriminals turned to spear phishing, an e-mail scam that targets a specific individual, organization or business. Some cybercriminals aren’t using emails at all. According to FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor, “These criminals have evolved over time and now bypass the need for an individual to click on a link. They do this by seeding legitimate websites with malicious code, taking advantage of unpatched software (software containing glitches not yet fixed by the developer) on end-user computers.” What to do So what do individuals and businesses do to protect themselves from ransomware? Use layered protection, says Edward Aube, vice president of managed services for Red Level in Novi, Mich. This includes up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware protection installed on all components, he says. A strong firewall is also important, but the best protection is education and making sure the user is aware when infected e-mails come through, Aube says. Even with these measures in place, ransomware can still infect computers, which is why it is important to back up all data regularly. According to the FBI in a bulletin issued earlier this year, in a ransomware attack, victims — upon seeing an e-mail

addressed to them — will open it and may click on an attachment that appears legitimate, such as an invoice or an electronic fax, but actually contains malicious ransomware code. Or the email might contain a legitimate-looking URL, but when a victim clicks on it, they are directed to a website that infects their computer with malicious software. “If anything does get in, you are at the mercy of the writers of this ransomware,” Aube says. “Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee a good outcome. There’s no guarantee you’ll get your data back.” Aube says protecting against ransomware attacks falls into the areas of business continuity and disaster recovery. Creating a good recovery point for data that allows people to restore data to the point where the ransomware got in. Aube’s company, Red Level, offers security and data protection and disaster recovery services. CloudTech1 of Farmington Hills, Mich., also uses a layered security approach, says CEO Rick Beckers. “We have cloud-based products that allow us to take data offsite and within minutes after a ransomware attack we can lock down the device involved and make sure the ransomware encryption doesn’t propagate across the computer network,” says Beckers. Like Aube, Beckers says preventing ransomware from infecting a network is a matter of education and training that should be part of every business human resources manual. “Rule No. 1,” he says, “is make sure your employees are aware of the dangers of clicking on an unsolicited link in an unexpected e-mail.”

Behind the Wheel


n July 2015, a pair of hackers commandeered a Jeep Cherokee through its Uconnect entertainment system to attack the vehicle’s brakes, engine and navigation system. Fiat Chrysler responded by patching the vulnerability and then issuing a recall for 1.4 million vehicles. Fast forward to July 2016: Fiat Chrysler announced it would pay “bounties” of up to $1,500 to security researchers who alert the company to hackable flaws in its software. In so doing, Fiat Chrysler became the first of Detroit’s Big Three automakers to work directly with security researchers in an attempt to make vehicles safer from cyber intrusion. Tesla actually pioneered the security-flaw bounty program a year ago and pays upwards of $10,000 to hackers who find vulnerabilities. This collaboration with the cybersecurity industry expanded on July 22 when the inaugural Automotive Cybersecurity Summit was held in Detroit. Conference host Thomas K. Billington, chairman and founder of Billington CyberSecurity, said: “With an expected 75 percent of new cars equipped with online capabilities by 2020, this summit comes at a crucial time. We are honored to help advance this important dialogue between senior government and industry automotive leaders.” Building a safety infrastructure For years, a group of eight automakers has been working to develop a system to manage cyber risks. The system is a form of public key infrastructure that encrypts and authenticates data and is used extensively by online shopping sites and banks. The system would allow two vehi-

cles that have no existing relationship to securely exchange data, says Dan Lohrmann, chief security officer and chief strategist for Security Mentor of Garden Grove, Calif. “All new cars are actually just computers on wheels, and the automakers know that the future is all about technology, innovation and cybersecurity,” Lohrmann says. “The potential ramifications of hacks and data breaches are just too important to not take notice.” Rick Beckers, CEO of CloudTech1, a Farmington Hills, Mich., managed services company, agrees. “The telematics of a car that gives it communications capability — whether information, entertainment or autonomous capabilities — are nothing more than a mixture of computer networks,” says Beckers. “As such, the communications between whatever entity it is — OnStar, Sirius or something else — all need to be encrypted. Those vehicles also need an embedded firewall to control what traffic goes in and out.” Beckers also recommends automakers take a cue from the cybersecurity technology used in business and install intrusion detection. “Sniffing the network and finding anomalies before they become issues is what is needed in vehicles,” Beckers says. “You find instances where something is out of the ordinary, then use technology to go in and suppress it.” A long way to go Is the auto industry finally taking cybersecurity more seriously after stuffing cars and trucks full of connected communications, entertainment and navigation equipment for a decade? No ques-

tion about it, Beckers says, particularly with the drive toward autonomous vehicles. But a couple of recent accidents involving semi-autonomous Teslas demonstrate there’s still a long way to go before cars drive us home. “The automobile and the potential for autonomous operations dictate that technology has to be flawless,” Beckers says. “It has to be addressed at such a high level of confidence that consumers will buy and use these products. To trust the artificial intelligence we build into vehicles to perform 100 percent of the time, for now, remains unrealistic.” Nick Lumsden, vice president of technology and product safety for On-

“Automakers know that the future is all about technology, innovation and cybersecurity.” – DAN LOHRMANN line Tech, headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., believes it is unrealistic to expect the auto industry to have connected technology perform perfectly so quickly. Typically it takes two to three generations of evolution to flesh out all the flaws. But awareness is the first step, says Lumsden. Knowing what has been tested and certified secure, and what has not, is critical for automakers. “New threats will always emerge, but the basics need to be covered,” Lumsden says. He recommends using basic principles of security such as changing default usernames and passwords. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016



The Internet of Things


ou’ve probably heard a lot of talk about the Internet of Things, or its shorthand acronym, IoT. Some skeptics have even dubbed the IoT “the Internet of Things that can be hacked.” Good or bad, forecasters predict 50 billion objects will be connected to the IoT by the year 2020. The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across the Internet — from smart refrigerators that take pictures of the food inside and email the images to your smartphone to smart cities where schools, libraries, transportation systems, hospitals, power plants and water supply networks are connected digitally. IoT proponents hope it will create opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into the computer world. As a result, it could improve efficiency and accuracy and generate economic benefit. The IoT is also known as machine-tomachine (M-T-M) communications. For instance, machinery that works on building cars can also let the manufacturer know when production equipment needs maintenance and why. Some experts predict the M-T-M aspect of the IoT will dominate. Opening the door to attacks The “thing” in IoT is a uniquely identifiable appliance of some sort. On the positive side, for example, it enables consumers to connect to Netflix. On the negative side, it opens the door to potential cyberattacks. Popular consumer devices such as TVs, cable boxes, broadband routers, heart monitors and industrial control systems seldom, if ever, are patched, upgraded or hardened against misuse, unlike PCs, tablets, smartphones 28


and computer networks. Cybersecurity was an afterthought for consumer electronic gear. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission sent comments to the Department of Commerce, outlining a list of concerns about the security and privacy of connected and embedded devices. While many IoT devices have tangible benefits for consumers, according to the FTC, “these devices also create new opportunities for unauthorized persons to exploit vulnerabilities.” Smart meters, connected cars and connected healthcare devices were some of the devices cited by the FTC, but all devices pose security risks. The following two events showed the world just how much havoc dedicated hackers can wreak on the IoT: • The 2010 Stuxnet virus attack on Iranian nuclear facilities when malware installed through a thumb drive (developed by the U.S. and Israel) was used to take over control systems, leading to the destruction of critical centrifuge equipment used to develop bomb-grade uranium. The resulting leak disrupted industrial control systems worldwide. • The 2015 Chrysler Jeep hack (see page 27), when two cybersecurity consultants accessed key vehicle systems through an external cellular connection, manipulating engine management, braking and navigation systems. Chrysler patched the hole and recalled 1.4 million Jeeps to shore up the all-terrain-vehicle’s cybersecurity. Playing it safe Despite potential threats, every business, household and consumer will be forced to deal with the IoT, with experts advising prudence and precaution. “In the data center and office, IoT de-

vices need to be treated like any other device on the network,” says Nick Lumsden, vice president of technology and product strategy at Online Tech in Ann Arbor, Mich. “They must be assessed, managed and kept secure. This is not new; the scope is just expanding. Scale will become the issue, but awareness is still the top threat. As much as the technology is growing, social engineering around technical safeguards is still the best path for an attacker.” Dan Lohrmann, chief security officer and chief strategist for Garden Grove, Calif.-based Security Mentor, also offers advice about IoT safety. “Start by doing your homework,” says Lohrmann, who served for nearly two decades at the state of Michigan where he helped protect the state government’s network from cyber intrusion. He also served as an operative for the National Security Agency. “Know what you’re buying, what data is being collected by the device and which security features are available. Just like you do with a car, research the options and cost/benefit of various offerings,” he says. “Second, enable the security protections that are available on IoT products you buy and even products you already have. Third, change default passwords. Fourth, set up separate Wi-Fi networks for your home PC network and your IoT network. “You don’t want your oven to become a back door into your laptop tax software. Finally,” he says, “rinse and repeat. That is, don’t rest on previous research or knowledge or advice. As you get new smartphones at home and work, new apps and new IoT devices, the landscape will change fast. This is

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an ongoing challenge that will not end.” Are there any “things” he would recommend not connecting to the IoT? “It depends on the situation, requirements and IoT devices.” Lohrmann says. “There are certainly many IoT devices that I would not buy (at this time) because I don’t see a compelling business case for using them. That is, the risks outweigh the rewards. Where there is already connectivity, I certainly take precautions. For example, I cover the camera on my PC when it is not in use, and likewise, I train my children about the pros and cons of putting too much information online. The same thought process needs to be considered with IoT. Again, my advice is to do your homework.” No magic pill CloudTech1 CEO Rick Beckers recommends a layered approach to IoT cyber-

security for consumer or commercial applications. He advises protecting networks with firewalls and, at the device level, making sure virus protection is up to date. Finally, he recommends installing breach monitoring to alert the company IT department when a hack is successful. “There is no magic pill. You have to look at all these solutions, and use them all.” Beckers says CloudTech1 advises clients, from small and medium-size businesses to Defense Department contractors, to install a collector that vacuums data from unsolicited sources. This suspect data then is blocked from entering the production network until it can be closely vetted. “Exposing anything to the Internet that isn’t protected in a well thought out manner is just asking for trouble,” Beckers says.

CYBERATTACKS from page 25 again,” Lumsden says. “There are many tools you can buy to protect your systems, but the biggest threat is your people. Even the best tools won’t protect you from the Kevin Mitnicks of the world.” The same is true for consumers on home networks. Lumsden urges them to employ the same basics as business to mitigate cyber risks. “Buy secure products and employ basic network security in the home,” Lumsden says. “Change default user names and passwords, require secure communications and secure your home Wi-Fi.” Mike Brennan is editor and publisher of MITechNews.Com, a news portal site that covers the people and technologies driving Michigan. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016



In the Cloud, on Devices, with a Service Provider Company data is everywhere. Secure-24 protects it. BY LESLIE MERTZ




hen the film studio Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked in late 2014, releasing a mass of confidential personal and corporate information, business people all over the world took note. If a major company like Sony was vulnerable, any company was vulnerable. And that was scary. “Until then, businesses typically viewed security as an afterthought or just as a checkbox for compliance,” says Brian Herr, chief security officer at Secure-24, a Michigan company that is a leading global provider of managed cloud services, IT operations and applications hosting. “What’s happened since Sony got hacked is that the industry has changed, and people have realized the impact a lack of security can have on personal lives and on businesses. Today, security has grown into a boardroom discussion because it is an enterprise risk.” With a name like Secure-24, it’s no surprise that this company takes security very seriously. That includes security for itself and a wide range of clients, including those in healthcare, financial services, energy, communications, retail and the public sector. In 2015 alone, the company added nearly three dozen multinational clients with combined annual revenues exceeding $1 trillion. One reason for that expansion is the heightened emphasis on protecting data, Herr says. “It used to be that our customers came to us because they wanted to talk about our critical business application hosting or full IT outsourcing for cost efficiencies or because they wanted to focus on their core business and leave the IT to other professionals. Now, however, we’re seeing that security has become a huge driver in cloud or IT outsourcing engagements.” IT outsourcing gives companies an opportunity to move their enterprise

applications to platforms that have the right processes and controls with the proper layers of security technologies and initiatives, he says. To meet that need, Secure-24 delivers the highest standards and compliance to meet increasing security and data privacy requirements. Customized security solutions At the center of Secure-24’s approach is a close relationship with clients, Herr says. “We understand that no two organizations are the same, so we spend a lot of time interfacing with our customers. We want to see what they’re seeing, and as security professionals, we have to look at risk across an entire company. We customize our services and security solutions to match what that customer needs so that we can ultimately protect the data.” Most companies simply don’t have the internal resources to address their security compliance and regulatory needs, often because the pool of IT professionals is so limited, so they are relying more and more on IT outsourcing, Herr says. “One of our primary goals is to help the company find safe, secure solutions, and to help the company understand risk, because that’s really what it comes down to. Everything we do has risk. Our job is to identify and mitigate risk, and also to help the organization understand where they accept risk. That’s a big change in approach.” Another shift is that companies have become essentially borderless, Herr adds. “It’s become more of a data ecosystem, because some of that data is sitting with service providers like Secure-24, some of that data is sitting in the cloud and some of it is sitting on mobile devices.” Security professionals, therefore, have to understand where the data goes, including from the company to any of

About Secure-24 Successive double-digit growth for 14 years. 98 percent customer satisfaction ratings. More than 200 global customers representing more than 20 global industries. Named in 2016 as one of IDG Computerworld’s Best Places to Work in IT (fourth consecutive year). Named to The Channel Company’s (CRN) 2016 Solution Provider 500 list for the third consecutive year. Named by the National Association for Business Resources in 2015 as a Best and Brightest in Wellness winner. Named by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2015 as a Top 50 Emerging Company. CEO Mike Jennings named as a finalist in 2016 for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for the Northwestern Ohio and Michigan Region; and as Entrepreneur of the Year finalist by Ernst & Young in 2015 and 2016. Shawn Peralta named as CFO of the Year by Crain’s Detroit Business in 2015.



“If a company has an issue or a question, they can call anyone in our organization, including the CEO if needed, because we are an extension of their organization.” – BRIAN HERR, CHIEF SECURITY OFFICER, SECURE-24

its partners, and how best to protect the data and report that it is protected. “That’s why we embed ourselves in their processes, so that we can understand where they’re going, what their security and business initiatives are and how we can support them. And on the flip side of that, we extend a lot of transparency when it comes to our services and our systems, especially around our security,” Herr says. “There are no walls here. The key to security is cooperation and transparency. In fact, if a company has an issue or a question, they can call anyone in our organization, including the CEO if needed, because we are an extension of their organization.” Staying ahead of the game Because security measures are always advancing to stay ahead of potential breaches, Secure-24 also collaborates with trusted third-party partners, so it can offer the very latest and best protection, Herr says. Again, the company keeps the client in the loop by introducing all partners, including what the partners do and how they do it, and why Secure-24 recommends their services. Security will continue to be a vital and integral part of diverse industries, Herr says. “Since you’re not just defending one point or perimeter anymore, defense isn’t just a firewall. It is layers of security, services, technologies, policies and procedures that blanket the data wherever it lies,” he says. In addition, security is no longer only about defense. It’s also about breach detection and mitigation, says Herr. Detection has become more challeng32


ing because hackers are better at camouflaging their actions, “so companies have to be better at distinguishing normal from abnormal.” Companies don’t like to think about remediation, but it’s a must, he says. “Something is going to happen eventually. Companies must plan for it. They must have the right partners, the right third parties and the right services in place; and must have their teams ready and practiced so that when something gets through the defenses, their organization knows what to do. The ability to respond correctly has a huge impact on how the public perceives a company.”

The future of security According to Herr, the overall trend is for companies to continue outsourcing the increasingly complex and rapidly evolving security aspects of their businesses. “A lot of companies — and this is regardless of size — are leaning more and more on their service providers and their trusted partners to help provide educated guidance when it comes to security, because there are just not enough security personnel to go around. That collaboration is becoming the key to the future of security.”

Homegrown engineers To stay at the top of its game, Secure-24 takes a unique approach, offering an academy for employee recruitment and growth. “Professional development is key for Secure–24 recruiting and retaining employees,” says CEO Mike Jennings. Straight-out-of-college engineering recruits receive 18–24 months of on-the-job education focused on customer support. “New engineers start in customer service, providing Level 1 support and answering calls from customers,” says Jennings. The new hires progress from Level 1 through Level 3, allowing Secure-24 to identify and build talent, supplementing training by hiring exceptional senior engineers. Currently, the company has more than 520 employees (a number that has doubled since 2012), with more than 115 in different stages of the academy program. “Our academy model is one of the best in the industry. We consistently develop outstanding engineers and provide exceptional opportunities for our associates to grow their careers at Secure-24,” Jennings says. “Our engineers are able to research the latest trends and work with the newest technology. In addition to the hands-on training, Secure-24 strongly supports external and industry-specific training and certification programs, encouraging employees to improve the breadth and depth of their technical expertise, while gaining invaluable industry experience.”



Michigan Wineries Experience the state’s latest and greatest vineyards BY SUSAN R. POLLACK



ineries are popping up in Mich- yards on the Narrows in Lake Leelanau, the shadow of his vintage 1956 Cessna igan almost as fast as cham- can be reached by boat, bicycle or car. 172, he explains how he ages, bottles and pagne corks on New Year’s labels 14 varieties of wines, including Eve. Together, they welcome more than Wine flights Aviatrix Crimson and Aviatrix Passion. 2 million visitors annually and boost the In southern Michigan, in an airpark comThe winery is so popular that state’s economy by some $300 million. munity near Jackson, a pilot for a ma- Lizarralde recently expanded the tastAt last count there were 123 winer- jor airline is turning out award-winning ing room to 1,700 square feet. The new ies rooted in every corner of the Mitten French-style wines in an airplane han- space, called The Gallery, sits atop a and even a handful farther north in the gar-turned winery he named Chateau wine cellar that’s accessible via a spiral Upper Peninsula. The best-known win- Aeronautique. Texas native Lorenzo staircase from Italy. eries are clustered near Traverse City Lizarralde created his dream winery sevAnd Lizarralde is planning a second on the Old Mission and Leelanau pen- en years ago, featuring a gazebo tasting tasting room at a new location in Michiinsulas that jut into Lake Michigan and room overlooking a grassy airstrip and a gan’s Irish Hills. adjoining bays. VIP tasting room in his basement. “It’s neat how he incorporates his Located on or near the passion for planes and the wingrape-friendly 45th parallel ery,” says Sylvia Ney, a visiting (think Italy’s Piedmont, France’s Texan, at the tasting bar. After Bordeaux and Cotes du Rhone sampling sweet and dry flights regions and Oregon’s Willaof red and white wines in Chamette Valley), they boast easily teau Aeronautique’s signature navigable wine trails and host oversize glasses, she and her special festivals and events husband, Brant, purchased a year-round, from the cleverly half-dozen bottles to take home named “Harvest Stompede,” to to Keller, Texas. “The Hunt for the Reds of October” and “Sips & Soups.” Star-power Statewide, Michigan’s awardNow celebrating a successwinning wines — Riesling, Wine tasting time at Bonobo Winery, celebrating its ful first year, Bonobo Winery first anniversary on Old Mission Peninsula. Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, opened to much fanfare last Pinot Grigio and Pinot Noir — summer on the Old Mission are served in tasting rooms that range A self-taught winemaker who fre- Peninsula. It’s the longtime dream of TV from restored barns, one-room school- quently travels to France on winery re- home improvement guru Carter Oosterhouses and even a former chicken coop, search expeditions, Lizarralde enjoys house (“Trading Spaces,” “Carter Can,” to historic buildings and Old World-style hosting personal tours of his barrel-filled “Million Dollar Rooms”). chateaus. One winery, Boathouse Vine- hangar when he’s in town. Standing in The winery, on a former 50-acre 34


cherry orchard near their childhood home, is a joint venture with his brother, Todd Oosterhouse, sister-in-law, Caroline, and actress wife, Amy Smart, whose credits include “Just Friends,” “The Butterfly Effect,” “Crank” and “The Single Moms Club.” Contributing to the Bonobo buzz is a small plates/pairing menu curated by celebrity chef Mario Batali, who owns a summer home in Northport on the nearby Leelanau Peninsula. Oosterhouse put his carpentry skills to work in the winery, building a long, oversize tasting bar from old barn wood. Chandeliers from his wedding hang overhead. The industrial-modern building features multiple spaces — a library, art gallery, patio, sitting area with fireplace and various nooks — designed to encourage lingering over a glass or bottle of Bonobo wine, including Rieslings, Chardonnays and Pinot Noir. “We wanted to create an environment where people could relax and hang out, enjoy the space, instead of bouncing to the next winery and the next one,” Oosterhouse says. To those unfamiliar with 21st-century Michigan wines, he promises: “Come up and try them for yourself. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

Airline pilot-turned winemaker Lorenzo Lizarralde pours samples at Chateau Aeronautique.

Secret garden Lavender lemonade and blueberry iced tea, the essence of summer, and just a few of the sweet treats on the menu when the Secret Garden opened in July at Brys Estate Vineyard & Winery. Also located on Old Mission Peninsula, Brys began producing its award-winning wines, including some of the region’s best fruit-forward Rieslings and red wines aged in traditional French barrels, in 2004. Winemaker Coenraad Stassen is recognized for his work with Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016



Hidden from roadside view, the new 12-acre Secret Garden shimmers with more than 5,000 lavender plants. There’s also a pretty perennial garden, plus U-pick strawberry and blueberry patches. The winery worked to develop custom-flavored ice cream featuring its garden bounty with Traverse City’s nationally recognized Moomers Homemade Ice Cream. The new Secret Garden ice cream flavors are served at the winery in single-serve cups and include strawberry, vanilla with strawberry pinot noir jam swirl, lavender lemon with white chocolate chips, and chocolate with strawberries and fudge pieces. In a white farmhouse-style garden shop with wraparound porch, visitors can browse an array of handcrafted lavender- and fruit-infused goodies, including soaps and other bath and beauty products and fresh and dried bunches of lavender. Brys Estate’s brick and mahogany tasting room radiates an elegant, Old World feel. Last summer saw the creation of another innovative outdoor experience with its long, white “Bridge Above the Vines,” built over five rows of Chardonnay vines. Within view of the winery’s new, elevated Upper Deck patio, the observation area at the end of the boardwalk quickly became a popular spot for selfies and wedding proposals, offering a sweeping view of grapevines stretching down toward East Grand Traverse Bay. Star- and sun-power TV fans and history buffs know Michigan energy mogul Marty Lagina from his relentless quest for pirate gold and artifacts on a remote island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. His exploits, along with his brother Rick and son Alex, are chronicled in the popular History Channel series, “The Curse of Oak Island,” which 36


recently finished filming its fifth season. These days, Lagina is devoting his efforts to another kind of treasure: Mari Vineyards, which opened in mid-June. Old Mission Peninsula’s newest winery specializes in bold red wines created from blending exotic European/northern Italian grapes new to northern Michigan, including Nebbiolo, Teroldego and Refosco, with more familiar varietals such as Malbec, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Nearly three years in development, the striking, Tuscan-inspired winery sits on a hilltop, complete with a tower and patio overlooking East Grand Traverse Bay. There’s a massive stone fireplace in the large tasting room, huge ceiling beams reclaimed from century-old barns and furniture custom-crafted from huge slabs of local maple and ash. But visitors are surprised to find that three-quarters of the building is buried deep below in a vast underground cave structure. There, up to 300 barrels of wine will be stored for years of slow aging at a carefully controlled 55-degree temperature. The caves are oriented

WINERY INFORMATION: MICHIGAN WINE TRAILS: Pioneer Wine Trail: Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula: Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail: Bayview Wine Trail: Lake Michigan Shore Wine Trail:

so that the rising sun shines down the east-facing tunnel through a domed oculus (circular opening) structure on the morning of the summer solstice. The winery plans annual solstice celebrations and will use the unique space for special events year-round. Lagina, a successful natural gas prospector who now works with wind energy, introduced another innovation in northern Michigan wine-making circles: seven of Mari Vineyards’ 50 acres use the Nellaserra technique, which means that temporary, plastic-covered greenhouse structures, or “hoop houses,” were installed to create warmer daytime temperatures and enhance the ripening of the grapes, effectively extending the growing season. “These higher-end, obscure red varieties really thrive with this method,” says Cristin Hosmer, the winery’s operations manager. “We get four to five extra weeks of ripening.” And, she adds, thanks to northern Michigan’s cool nights, the ripened grapes are able to preserve their acidity. The winery is named for Lagina’s grandmother, whose maiden name was Mari (rhymes with “sorry”) and whose family roots were in Istria, a sub-alpine wine region in what is now Croatia, Hosmer says. Before emigrating to Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula to work in the iron and copper mines, Lagina’s grandparents lived in the same northeastern Italian region as the Mondavi family, who went on to become pioneering American winemakers. “The Mondavis used to ship them grapes,” Hosmer says. “Marty (Lagina) remembers as a kid being in his grandmother’s basement in Iron Mountain watching her make wine.” Like their Oak Island TV and treasure-hunting projects, the winery is a family affair. Lagina’s son Alex manages

By the numbers A few facts about Michigan’s vibrant and growing wine industry: Nearly 3,000 acres are devoted to wine grapes, making Michigan the nation’s fifth largest state for wine grape production. Vineyard area has doubled over the last 10 years.

Visitors enjoy the view at Chateau Chantal.

Mari Vineyards, which planted its first vines in 1999 and celebrated its first official harvest in 2005. Sean O’Keefe, who was a partner at the pioneering Chateau Grand Traverse winery nearby, signed on as Mari Vineyards’ winemaker in 2009 and is now working to develop white Riesling wines in addition to fulfilling Lagina’s quest for big reds made from his family’s ancestral grapes. Sensory tours These days, even long-established Michigan wineries such as Chateau Chantal, Bonobo’s Old Mission Peninsula neighbor, are creating fresh experiences, such as seven-course wine dinners and blindtastings, to attract travelers’ attention in the increasingly crowded field. They’re also keeping old favorites such as free Thursday night “Jazz at Sunset” sessions, a long-running summer tradition so popular that the crowd typically spills outside to the patio. Vacationing in Traverse City, Gretchen Kuhns and Jayson Miller, of Irvin, Pa., participated in a 90-minute “Sensory Tour” that they credited with giving them a new appreciation for wine. The session started with wine served

in black glasses to conceal its color. Even the experienced wine buffs in the group couldn’t always tell the difference between reds and whites simply by taste. Another experiment about the musical influence on tasting was equally intriguing. Guests then had a guided tour of Chateau Chantal’s vineyard, cellar and winemaking process followed by a small plates tasting and pairing. “Wine seemed like a simple thing to start, but so much goes into it,” says Kuhns, a self-described wine novice. All I knew coming in was that I preferred beer over wine. This was an eye-opener.” Among Chateau Chantal’s offerings are “Naughty” and “Nice” reds and whites and a sparkling wine called “Celebrate!” The winery was founded in 1993 by Robert and Nadine Begin, a former Catholic priest and Felician nun who switched paths and married in 1974. Today, their daughter, Marie-Chantal Dalese, is the winery’s president and CEO. Reservations for Chateau Chantal’s year-round bed & breakfast are advised far in advance during peak season, midMay through November 1. Sensory tours run through Labor Day and tasting dinners run through October.

Michigan’s 123 commercial wineries bottle more than 2.5 million gallons of wine annually, making it 10th among the states in wine production. The vast majority of production is from Michigan-grown grapes. Most of Michigan’s quality wine grapes grow within 25 miles of Lake Michigan. The so-called “lake effect” not only protects the vines with snow in winter but retards bud break in spring. That helps avoid frost damage and extends the growing season by up to four weeks. SOURCE: MICHIGAN GRAPE AND WINE INDUSTRY COUNCIL




Fishing in Michigan BY TOM HUGGLER


ore than 300 years ago, the founder of Detroit, a French explorer named Cadillac, noted the abundance and diversity of fish. Were Cadillac to visit the region today, he would file the same report. With so much water in and around the state of Michigan, it’s no surprise that the fishing is tremendous. Southeast Michigan alone is home to more than 400,000 licensed anglers, and thousands more live in Ontario and Ohio.



People come from all over the country — even the world — to fish this region. The Detroit River and Lake Erie serve up some of the hottest smallmouth bass and walleye fishing in North America. Lake St. Clair is home to the world’s best muskellunge fishing — toothy, pike-like fish that average 20 pounds and can tip the scales at 50 pounds or more. Steelhead (lake-run rainbow trout) migrate into the Clinton and Huron rivers, along with occasional salmon. Many of the

inland lakes are teeming with panfish, largemouth bass and northern pike. If it has fins and lives in fresh water, you can likely catch it (and probably eat it safely) in Southeast Michigan. The area is well served by marinas, bait and tackle shops, licensed fishing guides, public boat launches and even public areas (including docks that are handicap-accessible) for fishing from shore. With such a plethora of fish-rich angling opportunities, here are some tips on where to begin.

Lure of the Great Lakes Years ago, I interviewed a Japanese auto executive who packed his favorite fishing rod whenever he visited the Motor City. His favorite species was yellow perch because they were so plentiful and so good to eat, and his quest took him to Luna Pier on Lake Erie, Lakeport on Lake Huron and throughout Lake St. Clair in both American and Canadian waters. He always hired a fishing guide, good advice for first-timers on the Great

Lakes because of their sheer size (Lake St. Clair, for example, is 450 square miles big) and the skills and experience required for safe boating in rough water. The state licenses the professional guides and the U.S. Coast Guard certifies them and regularly inspects their boats. The big lakes and their connecting rivers are dynamic fish zones for more than 60 kinds of fish, many of which migrate for food or to spawn. For this reason, most guides specialize in one species or

another. For example, fishing for muskellunge (aka, “muskie�) demands specialized tackle and fishing methods. The better captains are those that fish every day during the summer and fall because they monitor fish movements and the precise tactics for catching them. Besides perch and muskie, the specialty guides target walleye (St. Clair and Detroit rivers and Lake Erie), northern pike (Lake St. Clair), largemouth bass (Lake St. Clair), smallmouth bass




CONTACTS AND INFORMATION Michigan Charter Boat Association 800-622-2971 Michigan Dept. Natural Resources/Environment Lansing Fisheries Division: 517-373-1280, Southfield Office: 248-359-9040 Weekly Fishing Report: 517-373-0908 Michigan Family Fish Consumption Guide 800-648-6942 Lakeside Fishing Shop in St. Clair Shores 586-777-7003 Jeff’s Bait & Tackle in Monroe on Lake Erie 734-289-4901 40


Many area lakes yield fish large enough to qualify for the state Department of Natural Resources Master Angler Award Program. (Detroit River and Lake Erie), white bass (Detroit River) and steelhead (Clinton and Huron rivers). If you own a safe boat (minimum 20 feet long with at least a 40 hp engine), you can venture on your own. More than 75 launch facilities, for example, await anglers along both sides of the Detroit River. Shore fishing is available from boardwalks at city parks. Three’s a charm Three key rivers with three different personalities offer great inland fishing opportunities. The 130-mile-long Huron River meanders through several

metroparks in Oakland, Livingston and Washtenaw counties before emptying into Lake Erie at Flat Rock. In many places you can wade, canoe or fish from shore. The state of Michigan stocks the river with brown and rainbow trout in the Proud Lake State Recreation Area, off Wixom Road east of Milford. Good walleye fishing shapes up below Kent Lake, and the Delhi Rapids area upstream from Ann Arbor is famous for smallmouth and rock bass. Flat Rock Dam is popular with panfish anglers in summer and steelheaders in fall. The Clinton River comprises three main tributaries (Main Stream, Middle

The best fishing spots LIVINGSTON COUNTY CHEMUNG LAKE (310 acres): Bluegill, largemouth and crappie. Access on the east end off Hughes Road.

MACEDAY LAKE (419 acres): Rainbow trout, lake trout, pike, bluegill and largemouth. Access at the south end off Williams Lake Road.

Bishop Lake (119 acres): Pike, sunfish, bluegill and largemouth. Access off Rolison Road at the south end of the lake’s east basin.

PONTIAC LAKE (585 acres): Largemouth and channel catfish. A fishing pier with handicap access is available. Access on the southeast side north of M-59 and west of Williams Lake Road.

MACOMB COUNTY STONEY CREEK LAKE (489 acres): Walleye, crappie, catfish, largemouth, pike and bluegill. Access within the Huron-Clinton Metropark on the southeast side. OAKLAND COUNTY CASS LAKE (1,280 acres): Largemouth, smallmouth, walleye, pike and bluegill. Public launch on the north side at Dodge No. 4 State Park. KENT LAKE (1,000 acres): Walleye, northern pike and largemouth bass. Access within Kensington Metropark. T-shaped piers on the west side are handicap-accessible, and boat rentals are available. OAKLAND LAKE (735 acres): Largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and pike. Access on the southwest end off Sashabaw Road. LAKEVILLE LAKE (460 acres): Largemouth, bluegill, crappie, perch and pike. Access on the southeast side off Lakeville Road.

Branch and North Branch) that originate respectively in Macomb, Lapeer and Oakland counties before joining just west of Mt. Clemens to flow about five miles before ending at Lake St. Clair. Upper stretches of the Main Stream and North Branch offer good fishing for rock bass, smallmouth bass, northern pike and walleye. The Yates Dam area at Dequindre Road, between Rochester and Utica, is a good spot for steelhead. There is much public land in this stretch, which is also popular with canoeing fishermen. The Paint Creek tributary between Lake Orion and Rochester is the best trout stream

UNION LAKE (465 acres): Pike, bluegill, crappie and largemouth. Access on the northwest side off Union Lake Road. WHITE LAKE (540 acres): Largemouth and bluegill. Access on the southwest side off Duck Lake Road. WASHTENAW COUNTY BIG PORTAGE LAKE (644 acres): Walleye, largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and crappie. South-end access on the outflowing Huron River. FORD LAKE (975 acres): Bluegill, crappie, largemouth, catfish and walleye. Access on the south side off Huron River Drive. SILVER LAKE (204 acres): Bluegill, largemouth, pike and sunfish. Access the fishing pier on the southeast side off Dexter Townhall Road. WAYNE COUNTY BELLEVILLE LAKE (1,270 acres): Crappie, largemouth, bluegill and walleye. Access on the south side off Huron River Drive.

in Southeast Michigan, thanks to work by Trout Unlimited and state releases of hatchery-reared brown trout. The River Raisin rises from a network of lakes in Lenawee County. Upstream from Tecumseh, the North Branch yields smallmouths, northern pike and panfish to wading anglers and those with canoes. The South Branch, which flows through Adrian before collecting the North Branch, and the middle section between Tecumseh and Dundee, provides some decent fishing. In particular, though, the lower river, from Dundee to Monroe (where it enters Lake Erie) supports a fine smallmouth fishery and also offers walleye.

A lunker in every lake Although many of the area lakes are either small and/or privately owned, opportunities abound on larger lakes with public access for yellow perch, bluegill, pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass and — in some cases — channel catfish, walleye and even trout. Many yield fish large enough to qualify for the state Department of Natural Resources Master Angler Award Program.





Through the years: Lawn mowers on the cutting edge BY AMY MINDELL


oday’s high-tech lawn-cutting techniques are a far cry from the days when grass was sheared by roaming livestock or servants armed with scythes. Though purists may still prefer the old-school push reel mower, newer models like hands-free solar-powered mowing robots are cropping up. Lawns flourished in Europe for centuries; but the patch of green with a picket fence didn’t represent the American dream until the late 19th century, which coincided with the first mass-produced lawn mower. British engineer Edwin Budding invented the earliest mower in 1830. Budding’s reel mower used a series of blades arranged around a cylinder with a push handle patterned after a machine used in a cloth factory for shearing the nap on velvet. The first American reel mower debuted in 1870, when Indiana inventor Elwood McGuire developed a lightweight machine. It caught on quickly and by 1885, American manufacturers were building 50,000 lawn mowers a year. After the relatively brief appearance of steam-powered machines, the gasrun mower hit the market in the early 20th century. Gas mowers remain most effective for dense or tall grass or very large lawns, but increasing awareness of air and noise pollution forced industry innovation. Stringent EPA smog rules led to a new era in lawn mowers, including the addition of plug-in mowers and battery-powered versions. 42


Above: The Husqvarna Automower Solar Hybrid. Below: A cylinder (reel) mower from 1888 showing a fixed cutting blade in front of the rear roller and wheeldriven rotary blades.

Consumer Reports magazine named the Cub Cadet RZT S42, the “Tesla of mowers.” Powered by four 12-volt batteries (which recharge via a standard electrical outlet) this mower provides up to an hour of run time and uses the latest brushless motors. Like an electric car, this American-built mower is much quieter than a gas model. Similarly the 56-Volt EGO Power Plus

makes mowing easier than ever. Simply charge the battery, pop it into the mower, push a button and go. For those who would rather watch from the sidelines, robot mowers are catching on. Robomow, for example — a rechargeable, battery-powered robot that looks like the rugged older brother of the Roomba vacuum cleaner — is sold around the world by Friendly Robotics. Robomow runs on its own once you set up a virtual fence with a wire around the perimeter, flower beds and trees. Leading Swedish mower producer Husqvarna offers a solar hybrid robotic version. The Automower Solar Hybrid is a fully robotic lawn mower partly powered by the sun that uses no fuel or oil. Designed to handle lawns of up to a halfacre, it requires considerably less energy than any conventional mower and is emissions-free.







he Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition (IGVC) was held July 3-6 at the Oakland University campus in Rochester Hills, Mich. Robotics teams from universities around the world competed in the 24th annual event, which featured robots designed and constructed by engineering students. The robots performed tasks in three key events: Auto-Nav Challenge, Design Competition and Inter-Operability Profile Challenge.

More than $37,500 in prize money was awarded during the four-day competition, along with the Rookie of the Year Award (University of Calgary) and the Lescoe Cup (Lawrence Technological University), the IGVC’s top overall prize. IGVC host partners include Oakland University, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).

Robotics teams from universities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India and Turkey came to Oakland University to compete in the 24th annual IGVC event. The fourday competition is open to the public and is held annually on Oakland University’s campus.







Michigan Council of Women in Technology PHOTOS BY STEVE FECHT


he Michigan Council of Women in Technology (MCWT) Foundation’s Executive Connection Summit was held May 12 at Cobo Center in Detroit. Nearly 1,000 technology professionals and students from Michigan heard GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra and other business leaders discuss how to thrive on disruptive technology. The event, sponsored by General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and FCA US LLC, featured female role

models sharing their perspectives on innovative thinking and trends transforming workplaces. MCWT’s network brings together a diverse group of stakeholders committed to seeing Michigan’s IT community thrive. The organization supports Michigan’s female IT workforce, students, corporate partners, schools and the overall community with programming, scholarships, networking, learning, mentoring and technology experiences.

5 1. Paula Tolliver of Dow Chemical, Manjula Talreja of Salesforce, Sheila Jordan of Symantec and Linda Dillman of QVC. 2. Randy Mott of General Motors, Marcy Klevorn of Ford Motor Co. and Ryan Talbott of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles-North America and Asia Pacific. 3. Mary Barra of General Motors and Mary Kramer of Crain’s Detroit Business. 4. Cindy Warner, MCWT President. 5. Carey Lohrenz, keynote speaker and first female F14 fighter pilot in the US Navy. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016




Intriguing thriller foretells Brexit BY MIKE BROGAN


eep Calm, a new suspense thriller, is anything but calm. Filled with international intrigue, it involves a scheme that can be traced to the top of Great Britain’s political system, and includes cutting ties with the European Union. This fast-paced crime novel is written by Mike Binder, a Michigan native who has gained success as a comedian, Hollywood director and filmmaker and now, gifted novelist. In the story, Adam Tatum, a Michiganborn detective turned financial manager, is given the opportunity to move to London to work for a powerful Britishowned investment firm. Adam gladly accepts, taking his wife and two children with him. He is invited to attend a high stakes meeting with British government leaders, including the Prime Minister, and wonders, “Why me?” The answer is simple. He’s being set up. A large business binder his boss asked him to bring explodes during the meeting, critically injuring the Prime Minister. Suddenly, Adam is a hunted man with no way to prove his innocence. If caught and tried, he could spend his life in prison. Who set him up? He suspects it might be someone in the upper echelons of his own company. Or even someone in the British government. Davina Steele, a smart, young police inspector assigned to the case, initially focuses on Adam, but soon doubts his involvement and begins to question whether the culprit could be someone in Adam’s corporation, possibly the bil46


lionaire chairman. Or the acting Prime Minister, Georgia Turnbull. Meanwhile every cop in the country is looking for Adam who flees from a luxurious London hotel with his family, taking shelter first in a rustic cabin, then in a shabby motel. When his attempts to get his family back to America are unsuccessful, Adam decides he has to find the person behind the attempted assassination of the Prime Minister. The author skillfully blends stressed family relationships with the more im-

mediate concern of staying alive. Keep Calm will keep readers guessing, wondering and flipping pages until the shocking ending. I see a movie on the horizon!

Mike Brogan is an award-winning novelist of five mystery suspense thrillers: Business to Kill For, Dead Air, Madison’s Avenue, G8, and his latest, Kentucky Woman. Writer’s Digest called his writing “the equal of any suspense thrillers in recent years.” Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and

Imagery that nourishes the brain and touches the soul… The Eliel Saarinen-designed Cranbrook Art Museum is at the heart of the Cranbrook Educational Community, an internationally– renowned center of learning, culture and beauty. It lives in Oakland County but it’s shared with the world. Discover more of our local treasures in Sign up to learn the Oakland County story. VENTURE MICHIGAN : : SUMMER 2016




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