Can Soup Change the World?

Can Soup Change the World?


Detroit - once a manufacturing giant - went bust in 2013. An innovative crowd-funding project called Detroit Soup is helping the city get back on its feet........ Read More Here

Detroit City of Design

Detroit City of Design


Having entered last year freshly unshackled from the largest municipal bankruptcy case in American history, Detroit is starting 2016 on a similarly encouraging note: violent crime is down, unemployment rates…

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British American Business Council of Michigan

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BABC of Michigan Board Member Profiles

Martin French (President)

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Martin French has over 20 years of experience in Automotive OEM and Tier 1 suppliers with various high profile international leadership, product development, operational, program management,  Strategic & business development roles.

In 2012 after holding various senior management positions, he was appointed Global Vice President Customer Group at Webasto where he lead the global business transformation for their US based customers.

Joining Berylls Strategy Advisors in 2019 as Managing Director, Martin leads the Berylls office in Detroit, USA. His consulting focus is Automotive Suppliers & OEMs, Corporate Strategy & Business models, M & A, Restructuring & New Business Development

Born in Oxford, UK,  Martin studied Production & Mechanical Engineering at Oxford Brookes University.  He has lived in Michigan, USA since 2012.


Nick Stasevich (Chairperson)

Nicholas J. Stasevich is a shareholder based in Butzel Long's Detroit office. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1988), and Wayne State University (two B.A. degrees, with honors, 1985.) In 2002, he was appointed H.M. Consul-Honorary of the United Kingdom to the State of Michigan. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (Corporate Law).

Mr. Stasevich practices in the areas of international, corporate, antitrust, technology and e-commerce, and labor and employment law. He represents a broad range of companies with both domestic and multi-national operations in mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, joint ventures, employment matters, sales and distribution contracts, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - global corporate compliance, global export control compliance, and other matters. His clients include publicly traded and closely held companies in automotive, computer software and systems integration and numerous other industries. His experience also includes advising both U.S. and foreign-based companies in the establishment of operations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.


Rob Dutkiewicz (Treasurer)

Rob Dutkiewicz photo

Rob joined Clayton & McKervey in 1988 and became president in 2016. He leads the firm, a team devoted to providing proactive and specialized knowledge on the domestic and international tax and accounting issues impacting foreign-owned companies. He’s made it a priority to understand the needs and priorities of business owners, both in the U.S. and abroad. As such, he works in close collaboration with domestic and European chambers of commerce, business associations, and economic developers dedicated to supporting business growth. These mutually rewarding relationships provide him with an opportunity to help business owners maximize their goals for expansion and profitability.

Paul Hoge (Secretary)

As a founding member and shareholder of Signature Associates, Paul has demonstrated his exceptional skill and ability in industrial real estate. He has earned top salesman for Signature Associates in 1991, 1992, 1994 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and in 2011 he was promoted to Vice President. Also in 2011, Paul received an award from SIOR for the second highest number of cooperative transactions between SIOR members in the nation. In 2012, Paul was inducted into the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. This prestigious honor is given to only 55 inductees throughout 11 states each year.  

He has brokered a myriad of both complex and common transactions, ranging from leasing and sales to obtaining large land tracts for industrial parks. Paul specializes in Oakland and western Macomb Counties.

Professional Affiliations/Education: Secretary of Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Oakland County; Member of Society Industrial & Office Realtors (SIOR), 20+ years; SIOR State Chapter President 1996; Business degree from University of Michigan; Past Trustee of University of Michigan Alumni Association - Greater Detroit; Past member of University of Michigan Business School’s Alumni Board of Governors

Client list: Brose, NA; Kirco - Manix Construction; Dürr; First Industrial REIT; Hi-Lex; Kemp & Company; MSX International; R. A. DeMattia Company; US Farathane


Aurora Battaglia

Ms. Battaglia is Senior Vice President and Head of European Corporates and Financial Institutions for Comerica Bank.  With more than 22 years of corporate banking experience, she advises multinational companies on strategic and financing initiatives in North America, including structuring of debt and cash management solutions, and facilitating strategic alliances for companies seeking to invest in the US.  

In this position and with offices in Michigan, Texas and California, she is responsible for managing a team of multilingual/multicultural corporate loan officers focusing on business development, portfolio and risk management, and credit underwriting in relation to European companies with subsidiaries in North America.

Ms. Battaglia lived in Italy until 1987 and currently resides in Michigan. She holds a bachelor degree in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan.  She has traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States.  Ms. Battaglia is active in several professional and community organizations within the United States.

Christine Ellis (Events Chair)

Christine's career spans four continents and a broad range of experience in cross cultural marketing, exhibits and events.  Previously as a corporate marketing executive for Babcock international of London, she managed international projects throughout Europe, North America and South Africa.  In 1988, she emigrated to the USA and founded Facet international marketing.  Facet's customer base is global with 60% of its business directed to the export of its services.  Facet is an experienced supplier of international pavilions for the British consulate, Australian Trade Commission, Canadian Trade Commision and Government of India.  Facet has a respected client base of OEM and Tier One suppliers  in a wide variety of markets from  energy and the environment to food and manufacturing. 



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Jeremy Goddard is a dual citizen of the United States and of the United Kingdom.  Born in Cambridge, he grew up in New Zealand and in England, and came to Williamsburg, Virginia and then Auburn, Alabama for his university education.

Mr. Goddard has since spent more than 35 years employed in a broad range of automotive businesses, and brings this experience to managing the North American operations for IDIADA Automotive Engineering, a global engineering-services company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain.  He has worked in the past for both OE manufacturer (Chrysler) and Tier I suppliers (Visteon, Ricardo, Edscha, Porsche Engineering, IAV) and has sales and marketing experience honed in a broad variety of product technologies and engineering services.   

His engineering involvement has ranged from the kinematics of convertible-roof systems to the impact management of body structures, and from the dynamics of all-wheel-drive systems to the calibration of engine controls managing torque in the hybrid powertrain.  His early career in computerized diagnostic test equipment has proven vital in grasping the elegance and sophistication of modern controls applications.

Living and working in France, Germany and the UK have brought Mr. Goddard direct experience of the different approaches and demands of the business communities around the world.  His travels in South America and the Middle East have helped flesh out further an understanding of the cultural differences which influence both the market demands for a product and the varied ways of working together effectively to meet them.

His three grown children live in strategically interesting places – San Francisco, New York and Marseilles – which helps support a sustained passion for adventure travel.

David Grosan (Founding Director)

Mr. David Grosan is a Sales Account Executive with Delta Air Lines.  He has over 24 years of experience in commercial aviation, and has worked in Philadelphia, New York, Houston and Detroit. David specializes in international corporate travel sales to corporations and large Travel Management Companies, and he has extensive experience in transatlantic consultative selling with Fortune 500 companies.  David is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Business, and is also the architect behind the BABC of Michigan chapter’s eye-catching logo.

Kevin Kerrigan

Kevin Kerrigan is the Senior Vice President, Automotive Office and the Senior Automotive Adviser to the State of Michigan with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

In this position Kevin’s primary focus is international business development for the MEDC’s Automotive Office. Working with the world’s automotive manufacturers he is promoting Michigan’s automotive industry, building and maintaining strong international client relationships, nurturing economic development and assisting foreign based companies who choose Michigan for their future expansion.

Kevin comes to state government with over 35 years of executive experience in the global automotive sector encompassing both technical and executive management in North America, Europe and Asia. Kevin led his own automotive design and engineering company for 20 years and has worked at an executive level for Tier 1 automotive suppliers. As a hands on executive Kevin has a proven track record of developing and growing companies within the automotive industry.

Prior positions Kevin had to joining MEDC include President of Eurotech Design, Inc. a Michigan based full service engineering organization, President of Adaptive Systems a turnkey robotic integration company. Chief Engineer at Tata Technologies and Principal Engineer for International Automotive Components based at their Advanced Development Center, Troy Michigan.

Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Kevin has lived and worked in the U.S. since 1983. He is married with two children and currently resides in Waterford, MI.  

Kevin completed a full indentured British Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship in the UK.

Dave McShane

Dave McShane was born in the United Kingdom qualifying with a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from the Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London.

Dave has a wide range of experience and knowledge in the automotive and renewable energy sectors working with companies such as Wavedriver Ltd, Capstone Turbine Corporation, Wellington Drive Technologies US Inc., & International Battery before joining Ricardo, Inc. in 2012 as Vice President of Business Development.

Key Achievements:

–  - Re-focused start-up lithium battery company on shortest path to commercialization based on smart grid leadership position in community energy storage renewables integration and micro-grid
–  - Developed market leadership and dominance position for a cleantech energy-efficient fractional horse power (fhp)  motor business with disruptive technology
–  -Won the largest orders for energy-efficient fhp motors (recognized by the American Chamber of Commerce)
 - Co- Founded an electrical vehicle systems company (Wavedriver Ltd.) as a joint venture with PowerGen plc 
Charlene Page
 Charlene Page Photo

Charlene Page is an International Business Development Representative for Oakland County. With more than a decade of experience in economic development in Michigan and Ohio, she assists multinational companies by identifying programs and services to support continued growth in the region. In this position she specializes in working with companies in the Automotive, Mobility, Software Development, Advanced Electronics and Aerospace sectors.

Charlene is a first generation German-American who has travelled extensively throughout Europe and America. She holds a BA degree in Management and Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University and certifications as an Economic Development Finance Professional and Certified Global Business Professional. She also serves the Michigan Economic Developers Association as an Advocacy Committee member.

Justin Robinson

SVP, Business Attraction at Detroit Regional Partnership.

Leader of the business development team at the Detroit Regional Partnership with more than 15-years of experience helping domestic and international firms explore and invest in the Detroit region. Justin has great passion as a practitioner of economic development and pursues an aggressive, proactive approach towards domestic business attraction and foreign direct investment. 

Annually his team leads more than 30 domestic and international outreach trips, engages more than 100 site selectors and hosts more than two dozen visiting foreign delegations. These sustained efforts have resulted in deep and fruitful relationships with key markets such as – Germany, Japan, China, France, Canada, Israel, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands to name a few. Over the last 7 years, the Detroit region has seen foreign-held companies commit to 374 projects, investing nearly $12 billion and creating more than 59,500 jobs.

This work is done through a collaborative partnership of the 11-county governments, including the city of Detroit. The Detroit Regional Partnership works to coordinate and enhance the collective efforts of these regional stakeholders.  The Partnership offers no-cost site location assistance and other services to domestic and foreign companies planning new or expanded facilities. Whether a company is looking to establish a single person sales office, headquarters, manufacturing operation or tech center – our team stands ready to act as your single point of contact to the network of assets and partners that support a company’s facility location decision.

David Rush

Mr. David Rush is a visionary thought leader with over forty years’ experience in the Transportation, Energy and Information Technology Industries.  He has numerous Vehicle Engineering Awards, Patents and inventions and is most proud of those related to pillar-less closure systems, first implemented on the 1996 Ford F-Series Cab. His broad global perspective is derived from living and working in the Automotive Industry in Europe, Turkey, Asia, South Africa, Australia and the United States, where he has focused on energy and vehicle architectures, product development process and the related computing technology.Mr. Rush has taught Vehicle Engineering, CAE Integration, Robustness, Systems Engineering and Early Supplier Involvement at the Ford Fairlane Training Institute. He is an Expert in Systems Engineering, Lean Product Development, BusinessTransformation Methods and Technology Integration.  At Panasonic Automotive Systems the world’s leading hybrid and electric vehicle battery manufacturer, he served in the role of Chief Process Architect and Director of Lean where he was responsible for transformation and lean. David was an Advisor and Researcher for the Department of Energy's Office of Advanced Automotive Transportation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory where he worked on the governments advanced technology and research plan. He was a contributor and a reviewer on the on PNGV, FreedomCar  and the ADVISOR programs.  Previously he was Group Vice President Product Development for Transportation Design and Manufacturing a qualified vehicle modifier for alternative fueled vehicle development and manufacturing, where he also initiated and led the development of the Ford Think Neighbor Electric Vehicle. He has also been an advisor and board member for Elektrosign a web technology company startup focused on messaging technology and display rendering while also serving on the Adapt2Innovate and Multi-mobility think tanks.  These think tanks advise companies, research and education institutions and governments on transportation, energy, and ICT systems and technology.David is currently a senior principle for Accenture LLP. and the Chief Methodologist for it’s Industry X.O Connected Products and Lifecycle Services Practice. In this role he provides thought leadership on modern Business Models, Operating Models and Product Development operating processes, practices and methods.

Bruce Thelen

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Bruce Thelen is a member of the law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC, where he chairs the firm’s international practice team composed of lawyers from all of its substantive practice groups. 

He provides advice to clients on customs and international trade issues addressing regulatory compliance, fines, penalties, seizures and investigations, advance rulings and challenge of US Customs and Border Protection decisions, preferential trade agreements, antidumping and countervailing duties, and product sourcing and supply chain planning to reduce duties. He was recognized by Best Lawyers in America, as Detroit’s 2017 "Lawyer of the Year" for International Trade and Finance Law. 

Bruce often acts as "international general counsel" for domestic and foreign clients throughout the world in cross border acquisitions and direct investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances, establishment of subsidiaries, branch offices and other facilities, distribution, marketing and licensing arrangements, cross border debt financing and trade finance, supply chain compliance and risk management, export controls and international regulatory compliance.

Although his practice covers many industries, he has extensive background in the automotive sector, including representation of global vehicle and parts manufacturers in all regions of the world, as well as specialty automotive projects involving amphibious vehicles, Formula 1 racing programs, start-up electric vehicle manufacturers and the manufacturer of the classic London black taxi. For two years, while remaining a member of Dickinson Wright, he served as in-house international counsel for Chrysler Corporation.

Bruce is a member of the Governing Council of the London-based International Bar Association with 80,000 members throughout the world. He began his career as a corporate finance lawyer with Dewey Ballantine Bushby Palmer and Wood in New York and is admitted to practice in New York, Michigan and the U.S. Court of International Trade. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Law School, where he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Law School’s International Transaction Clinic. 


Ron Whitney

Ronald E. Whitney is the founding member of The Whitney Law Boutique. Prior to founding The Whitney Law Boutique, he was a corporate partner inHonigman'sDetroit office from 2007 to 2020, and a lawyerin the Office of General Counsel at Ford Motor Company from 1996-2007.  Mr. Whitney serves on the Advisory Board (Commercial Law) for Practical Law Company and on the Board of Directors for the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

Mr. Whitney focuses his practice on general business law and corporate transactional matters, with emphasis on domestic and international acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures, company restructuring, raising capital, commercial contracts, various regulatory and compliance matters, and other business operation and planning concerns.  He advises clients covering a range of industries, including technology ventures, automotive and manufacturing, and financial institutions, and he counsels entrepreneurs, officers and directors of start-ups, and established private and public companies on a range of day-to-day issues, including contracts, entity governance, and compensation planning for key executives. 

Mr. Whitney is a graduate of New York University School of Law (LLM), Columbia University School of Law (JD), George Washington University (MBA) and University of Nebraska (B.Sc.).