News & Insights

TechTown hosts full house for Inforum Detroit luncheon on 3/14 with remarks from TechTown CEO Ned Staebler

March 14, 2018

Inforum Michigan - Detroit affinity group had a full house at TechTown for their monthly luncheon. 

TechTown CEO Ned Staebler offered a comprehensive, lively, and engaging overview of TechTown's history, mission, and long-term goals.

Kerr Russell attendees included members Joanne Geha Swanson (appellate, class action), Max Sneyd (litigation, intellectual property and Director of Marketing Roy Sexton. More photos here.

Thank you to Deb Roy and the affinity group leadership for a fantastic event.

Download Max's brochure "Starting Your Start Up Right: Before you can put your idea into practice, you need to protect yourself and your intellectual property" ...

TechTown was founded in 2000 by Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and General Motors. In 2004, TechTown incorporated as a nonprofit and established its headquarters in a landmark 1927 Albert Kahn building just north of the Wayne State campus.

Originally founded to support tech-based spinoffs from the university, they soon realized that their incubation and acceleration strategies for tech companies could help strengthen neighborhood small businesses and commercial corridors across Detroit. Today, they offer a full suite of entrepreneurial services for tech and neighborhood businesses, with satellite offices across the city.

Their five-story building serves as an entrepreneurial hub, housing the TechTown administrative offices, our J440 coworking community, meeting and event space, and numerous businesses working across sectors to drive progress in Detroit. TechTown works in close partnership with Wayne State’s Office of Economic Development, the university’s hub for catalyzing business activity in Midtown and across the Detroit region.

Would you believe that as late as the 1960s women were not allowed to belong to business organizations? Inforum, founded in 1962 as the Women’s Economic Club, served as a pioneer for the advancement of women in business by giving them a place to learn, network, support each other, and find speaking opportunities.

Today Inforum continues to build on that early legacy and is the only 501(c)(3) educational and charitable nonprofit in Michigan – and one of only a few in the country – designed to help companies boost talent initiatives and incredible women break the glass ceiling.


Michael “Max” Sneyd has 20 years of experience in the areas of intellectual property, commercial litigation and business law and leads the firm's Intellectual Property practice group.  He appears regularly before state, federal and appellate courts on matters related to all aspects of civil business litigation.  In addition, he utilizes alternative dispute resolution methodologies to achieve positive results outside of the courtroom.

Max focuses his practice particularly on intellectual property protection and litigation, business torts, entertainment law and supplier disputes.  He has extensive experience prosecuting trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as litigating trademark disputes before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Outside of the litigation context, Max regularly assists clients in negotiating technology licenses and other intellectual property agreements.

Joanne Geha Swanson has more than 30 years of experience as a litigator and appellate attorney. Her civil litigation practice primarily involves complex commercial disputes, antitrust, class actions, business torts, legal malpractice and other related matters.

Joanne also devotes a significant percentage of her professional time to state and federal appellate practice involving issues across the spectrum of subject areas, including insurance disputes, constitutional challenges, questions of statutory interpretation, business torts, commercial disputes, medical and legal malpractice, real estate disputes, and civil procedural questions.

She has authored numerous published articles related to her areas of practice, and she has lectured on topics related to litigation and the appeals process. She contributed the Michigan chapter to the recently published Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions, 2nd edition from the ABA's Tort Insurance and Trial Practice Section. She also served on the editorial board for the book. Swanson wrote the Michigan chapter and served on the editorial board for the first edition, as well.

Joanne is the Past Chair of the State Bar of Michigan's Antitrust, Franchise & Trade Regulation Section.  She is a current Council Member of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan and a member of the Detroit Bar Association Board of Directors. She chairs the editorial board of the Detroit Bar Association’s Detroit Lawyer magazine. On September 29, Joanne as the chair-elect of the Appellate Practice Section assumed leadership as chair at the Section’s Annual Meeting (State Bar NEXT Conference, Cobo). She moderated the Annual Meeting program that was sponsored by the Appellate Practice Section.

Joanne is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Woodward/White, Inc.; was named a “Best Michigan Attorney”; honored by Corporate Counsel Magazine as a “Super Lawyer”; and selected by dbusiness Magazine as a “Top Lawyer.” She has been ranked as a “Michigan Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters. She also received the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Distinguished Brief Award. She was just named a 2017 Super Lawyer in Civil Litigation Defense (named every year since 2006), and she received the 2018 Best Lawyers Litigation – Antitrust “Lawyer of the Year” for Metro Detroit. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a "Lawyer of the Year" award. She was also named a 2017 dBusiness Magazine Top Lawyer: Appellate, Litigation - Antitrust (5th consecutive year; 6th overall recognition). She is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Joanne is a fellow of the Michigan State Bar Foundation and the Detroit Bar Association Foundation. She was recognized by Crain's Detroit Business as one of their Notable Women Lawyers in Michigan - 2017.

Roy Sexton is responsible for leading Kerr Russell's marketing, business development, communications, and strategic planning efforts.  

He has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, business development, and strategic planning, having worked at Deloitte Consulting, Oakwood Healthcare (now Beaumont), Trott Law (formerly Trott & Trott), and St. Joseph Mercy Health System. He has been heavily involved regionally and nationally in the Legal Marketing Association as a board member, content expert, and presenter. He is treasurer-elect currently for the Legal Marketing Association’s Midwest Regional Board of Directors.

He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Wabash College, and holds two masters degrees: an MA in theatre from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is a graduate of Leadership Detroit and Leadership A2Y, was a governor-appointed member of the Michigan Council of Labor and Economic Growth, and was appointed to the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association Board of Governors in 2012.

He served as an at-large member of LMA's Midwest Regional Board, served on the advisory committee for Strategies Magazine, and was a member of the Social Media SIG steering group. He has been involved on the following nonprofit boards and committees: First Step, Michigan Quality Council, National MS Society, ASPCA, Wabash College Southeast Michigan Alumni Association, Penny Seats Theatre Company and the Spotlight Players. He currently sits on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Ann Arbor, Royal Starr Film Festival (Royal Oak, Michigan), and encoremichigan.com. He is a published author with two books Reel Roy Reviews, Volumes 1 & 2.


About Kerr Russell ...

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Whereas many lawyers merely interpret the law, our attorneys help to make it. We have been involved in some of the most significant legal developments in state business and health care law, and our trial lawyers have been involved in many notable commercial cases in Michigan and other jurisdictions.

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For over 140 years, Detroit has been our home. Detroit will always be our home.

 

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