November 2012
Volume 7 


No. 11



Michigan Engineers Stars in the Show

Of How to Rekindle State's Perception

Simply by Telling The Story



Huron Valley Financial Featured in Detroit Free Press: "Firm's Commitment to State Among Ways to Succeed, Stand Out from Competition."


Michigan 2013 Economic Results to be Unveiled in Early January


  Culture Change at Apple 











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About Eiler

Eiler Communications is a public relations and marketing  firm in Ann Arbor, MI.  We specialize in new and traditional media marketing, serving established and emerging companies in the communications
technology, financial services, biotechnology and healthcare industries.

Michigan Engineers Stars in the Show

Of How to Rekindle State's Perception

Simply by Telling The Story


I had the pleasure a few days ago to interview Dr. Marc Kuchner, a scientist at the Goddard Space Center in Maryland and author of Marketing for Scientists, his new book.   The discussion can be found on my "Re:NEW Michigan" radio show (go to and click on Re:NEW Michigan for Tuesday, October 16, 2012.


The discussion revolved around my interest in Marketing for Engineers, a book I am developing based on my work with engineers and technical people and their lack of knowledge of marketing.


We discussed how engineers and scientists in Michigan, the "nerds of the technology development equation" across our state, are good for what Michigan needs to do right now: much as new Governor Rick Snyder did in 2010. Then, he proclaimed himself "one tough nerd," a smart guy with high aptitude for technology, finance and marketing measurement and won the governorship in his first attempt at political office.


I believe Michigan's nerds, our broad band of engineers who have helped revive the automotive field and contributed across software and inventions to re-energize the new and emerging Michigan economy, can be the propellor to a new tomorrow in terms of our economy.


We are a smart state, as evidenced by the 90-100 years of successful auto industry achievements and an emerging high tech base of software, technology and knowledge firms. And a horde of a few hundred thousand smart "nerdy" engineers already contributes to the awareness of the state and its potential.


But we are not telling the world the story of our intellectual contributions as powerfully as we could. So it was with some welcome that Dr. Kuchner introduced the topic on "Re: NEW Michigan," the radio show I have been doing for several years. 


The discussion with Dr. Kuchner reawakened my curiosity and focus on technology, science and space - all which came from my marketing work at Honeywell. It developed the flight control system for the Viking Lander that successfully landed on Mars in 1976 and the flight control system for the Space Shuttle which was flown in numerous space missions up through earlier this year.


"Michigan has long demonstrated enormous prowess in automotive technology; many people don't appreciate what a vast intellectual effort that is," said Kuchner.


And now, the state has research and development operations for all our domestic auto manufacturers and also for the many global R and D facilities based across the state and using Michigan's engineering prowess to advance their own technologies.


These companies are all chronicled in an informative and important book, Directory of Automotive R & D Facilities in Michigan, published by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and now in its third edition produced in 2011.


This encyclopedia of auto industry knowledge lists 330 companies in Michigan devoted to applied and basic vehicle research, testing and product development.


It includes domestic and foreign car manufacturers and how the predominant results from the R & D units come from Michigan engineers, the cornerstone of this emerging "smart state" position.


"With its unique collection of scientists and engineers I think Michigan could have a stronger international reputation as a center for innovation. Michigan fought through years of hard times-it's heroic. And it's a success story the world should hear," Dr. Kuchner said.


Here's the case:  


1.Michigan has thousands of smart engineers creating and building electric cars, Improving gas mileage, making components smaller, faster, and cheaper, and introducing new, sleeker and better performing vehicles in keeping with consumer desires.


2."Nerd" has come to be a badge of honor in Michigan through the leadership of Governor Snyder, who won the Governorship in 2010 by 18 percent partly because he proclaimed himself to be "one tough nerd."


3.What steps do we take to propel the Michigan economy forward?


 * Tell stories of how R & D engineers reinvent the state as they come up with faster, cheaper, smaller and better ways to design and build vehicles.


*  Use our pent up mass of engineering talent to demonstrate a state full on "smart nerds," working together to reinvent Michigan.  


*  Host forums and events that demonstrate our prowess in engineering - and create the perception of Michigan as a state filled with "smart nerds, revitalizing the state together.


*  Stake a leadership position in becoming a state able to recover from our earlier economic morass and lead the way to a new economic environment.


Larry T. Eiler


Huron Valley Financial Featured in Detroit Free Press: "Firm's Commitment to State Among Ways to Succeed, Stand Out from Competition."


Since it was founded in 1997, Eiler client Huron Valley Financial has been committed to the state of Michigan in good times and bad. The Ann Arbor-based independent mortgage banking firm has five southeastern Michigan offices and is proudly locally owned and operated, says President and CEO Eric Bradley. And that meant not abandoning the state when the economy began experiencing troubled times, says Bradley, who co-founded the company with CFO Bill Roberts.


"We watched a number of banks and mortgage companies shifting their focus and re-locating offices outside of Michigan," says Bradley. "In the midst of the financial crisis we made the decision to focus on the real estate market here in Michigan. All of our employees, shareholders and management team live right here in Michigan so we truly understand that our success is directly tied to the health of the communities we serve."


That decision has been well rewarded, according to Bradley, as employment and economic activity have rebounded in the state. Its commitment to Michigan is only one way Huron Valley stands out from the competition. Here, Bradley talks about three other important things the business provides:


A top-notch mortgage experience. Since Huron Valley is a non-depository mortgage lender, it can focus solely on developing expertise that assists clients with their mortgage needs. That means taking a "customer first" approach that includes options for completing the entire transaction online or meeting face-to-face with an experienced loan officer, says Bradley. "We've accomplished giving clients the best experience by providing cutting-edge technology and efficient processes to help ensure our customers' experience with us is quick, enjoyable and transparent," he adds.


Experienced loan officers. Most of the company's loan officers have more than 15 years of lending experience, according to Bradley. "That experience is critical for today's consumer trying to get approved for a mortgage in today's strict lending world," he says. "Another reason we find consumers choosing us over other lenders is that even in the age of smartphones, email and tablets, many consumers still prefer to meet with their lender in person to discuss financing issues." The company can accommodate both the tech-savvy and the person who feels more comfortable meeting in person.


A solid reputation. How do you thrive in an unstable economy? By building a reputation in the communities you serve, says Bradley. "We have a reputation as the lender that does business the right way by making sure our customers understand the mortgage process fully," he says. "After doing the right thing for 15-plus years, word spreads and people seek to do business with you." The business has also invested heavily in technology and been careful when managing growth, Bradley adds.


It started as one small office with seven employees. Today, Huron Valley Financial is a thriving mortgage banking firm with multiple Michigan locations and 65 employees. The firm is continuing to grow and anticipates hiring another 15 to 20 staff members over the next 12 months, including loan officers, mortgage underwriters, processors, and positions in loan servicing, quality control, and accounting.


The business looks for those with a positive attitude and a strong desire to play a positive role in helping clients achieve their goals, says CEO and President Eric Bradley.


"Being successful at Huron Valley Financial takes self-motivation, strong ethics, and a thorough understanding of what loan products are beneficial to which consumers and under what circumstances," says Bradley.


Perks for employees include health care and 401 (K) plans that were recently changed in response to employees' suggestions, internal support and the chance to participate in charitable causes and after-work social events.


"Most important is that we really listen to feedback from our employees," says Bradley. "We care about what they think and want to make Huron Valley Financial a great place to work."   To apply, visit and click on "Careers at HVF."



Huron Valley Financial, Inc., in an independent mortgage banking firm headquartered at 2395 Oak Valley Drive, Suite 200, in Ann Arbor. It also has locations in Clarkston, Birmingham, Brighton and Fenton. To find out more, visit or call 800-650-7441.









New Flagship Measurement Report

Being Compiled by Baker Strategy Group in Late 2012



The Michigan 2013 Economic Outlook Survey is a flagship report that will be issued the first week of January. The report will present perceptions of Michigan as a business-friendly state by business, nonprofit and municipal leaders across all 88 counties. The survey is driven by Ann Arbor's Baker Strategy Group, a seasoned research and consulting firm, along with partnering firms CFI Group, Eiler Communications and MOVE Communications.     


More than 70 associations across the state will be participating in this program, including the Detroit Economic Club, the Detroit Regional Chamber, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber, Michigan Manufacturers Association, Southwest Michigan First, the West Michigan Policy Forum, the Traverse City Area Chamber, and Lake Superior Community Partnership. While the program is similar to the survey Baker Strategy Group has conducted annually since 2009 for the Michigan Manufacturers' Association, this effort has been expanded to include businesses across all industries, as well as nonprofits and municipalities throughout the state.


"This highly collaborative effort will generate a wealth of insight on Michigan's outlook," said David Baker, Managing Partner at Baker Strategy Group. "We will be capturing real-world opinions from more than 5,000 people in businesses, nonprofits and municipal government throughout the state. This is a rare opportunity to capture such a comprehensive statewide measure of Michigan's prospects as viewed by men and women in these three key sectors of our economy."


"The online survey will begin on November 12, after the election," Baker explained. "This post-election start date is important because all federal, state, and local races will be over, and we will know where we stand on the six ballot proposals. Regardless of the outcome of the election, the question for us all will be, 'What can we do going forward to build a better Michigan economy?' The Michigan 2013 Economic Outlook Survey will help turn our attention to the common goal of strengthening the Michigan economy."


Associations throughout Michigan will send survey email invitations to their members on November 12. The survey will remain open through December 7, with a final report distributed publicly on January 7, 2013.



Culture Change at Apple


The passing of Apple founder and leader Steve Jobs has created a significant vacuum that we will continue to learn about over the next year or more. The new CEO is different leader - not an inventor, not a techie that creates, sees what people want and leads development of products to meet those needs.


Lots more to come on Apple for this is a very major cultural shift occurring right before our eyes.



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