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August 04, 2011 - Image 35

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-08-04

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usiness entrepreneurs

Get-together allows business people

to learn about global opportunities.

Don Cohen! Contributing Writer

The Business & Economic

Development Workgroup

of the Building Community

Initiative did just that, bring-

ing together 60 Chaldean and

Jewish business leaders June 7

at Walsh College in Troy. The

group had plenty of time to

socialize and network before

hearing a distinguished panel

address "Myths & Realities of

Going Global."
Co-chaired by Saad Hajjar, president
of West Bloomfield-based Abcosat
Corp. and past chair of the Chaldean
American Chamber of Commerce;
Howard Rosenberg, attorney, investor
and hedge fund creator, and Ron Asmar,
investor and owner of Vineyard's Cafe
& Catering in Farmington Hills, the
workgroup aims to build connections
so meaningful collaborations can take
root locally and overseas with an eye
toward growing businesses and jobs
in Southeastern Michigan. Building
Community Initiative co-chairs are

Florine Mark, president and CEO of
The WW Group in Farmington Hills,
and Judge Diane D'Agostini of the 48th
District Court in Bloomfield Hills.
Following a welcome by Detroit
Jewish News Publisher Arthur Horwitz
and Chaldean News Co-Publisher
Martin Manna, Judge D'Agostini intro-
duced the five-member panel. Manna
also is Chaldean American Chamber of
Commerce executive director.
The panel consisted of Saad Hajjar,
whose satellite communication corn-
pany does business in the Middle East
as well as in Georgia and Azerbaijan in
the former Soviet Union; Donald Lifton,
vice chairman of Revstone Industries, a
Southfield-based multinational indus-
trial holding company with activities
in North America, Europe and Asia
and chairman of Veritas Global LLC,
an international business intelligence
and security consulting firm that
recently opened an office in Beijing,
China; Kevin McKervey, a CPA and
business adviser and shareholder of
Southfield-based Clayton & McKervey,
P.C. in charge of international services;
Thomas G. Appleman, a deputy leader
of the Miller Canfield Corporate and
Securities Group and leader of the
Detroit-based firm's China business
team who heads its Shanghai office; and
Dr. Glenn Hodges, a former Chrysler/
DaimlerChrysler executive who has
done business in more than a dozen
countries and teaches MBA and doc-

Right: Michael Banks
of Farmington Hills,
Bassam Salman of
Bloomfield Hills and
Kevin Jappaya of West

Photos by Je rry Zolynsky

Mixing It Up

Above: Panelists
Keven McKervey, Tom
Appleman, Donald Lifton,
Glenn Hodges and Saad
Najjar with moderator
Judge D'Agostini

Walsh College Vice President
John Lichtenberg

toral courses in management and inter-
national business at Walsh College.
The panelists shared their thoughts
on the opportunities and challenges of
"going global" with strong agreement
about the need to understand the soci-
ety and culture of the country in which
you are considering doing business, the
need for patience, and the importance
of building personal relationships and
finding a reliable partner in the foreign
"Establishing relationships is more
important than the details of the trans-
action," said Lifton of his work in China.
"It's a huge step to invest in a foreign
country',' cautioned McKervey, stressing
the importance of financing and devel-
oping a working budget.

Harland Cohen of Bloomfield Hills and
Ron Asmar of West Bloomfield

Appelman suggested taking part
in overseas trade missions offered by
Michigan groups such as Automation
Alley in Oakland County as well as
using online tools provided by the U.S.
government such as buyusa.gov and
Session moderator Judge D'Agostini
was enthusiastic about the program and
Building Community, a 17-month-old
initiative of the Chaldean News and
Detroit Jewish News.
"The goal of bringing our com-
munities together is rewarding for all
of us:' she said. "It's an opportunity to
bring my [Chaldean] culture and your
[Jewish] culture to people who might
not be familiar with it. It builds aware-
ness, respect and cooperation." 13C

August 2011


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