Online Registration Opens For 26th Annual Economic Outlook Luncheon: Online registration is now available for the 26th annual Oakland County Economic Outlook Luncheon at the Marriott Hotel in Troy. The event is set for April 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The hotel is located at 200 W. Big Beaver in Troy. Respected economists George A. Fulton and Donald R. Grimes from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy, are the featured speakers. They will present their report on the economic future of Oakland County during the luncheon. The cost per person is $40. Those interested in attending may register online at Registration must be done in advance and the deadline is April 22. Additional information about the event is available by calling 248-858-8706. Seating is limited. The 2011-2013 Economic Outlook report is a joint venture between the Institute and the Planning & Economic Development Services division of the Oakland County Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs. Hosts for the luncheon are Chase, Oakland Community College and Oakland County.

Nationally Recognized Entrepreneur to Speak at Michigan Celebrates Small Business: Nationally recognized entrepreneur Richard Sheridan, CEO and founder of Menlo Innovations is the keynote at the seventh annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards dinner in Lansing on April 28. Richard Sheridan began his “career” at 13 years old, as a freshman in high school. He was hooked on software in 1971. He had his first paying programming job before he could drive.  Richard eventually got a formal education in computer science from the University of Michigan. It wasn’t too long after that he hit the “trough of disillusionment” and realized his dream career was filled with the frustration of bad results, unproductive relationships and haphazard approaches. He could choose to get out or change the industry. He chose the latter. Since 2001, Richard’s team at Menlo Innovations has broken all the usual rules of software development — and in so doing, produces phenomenal results for its customers. The team at Menlo Innovations has received numerous awards for their culture as well as their financial performance. They have made the Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing privately held firms, four years running. Their cultural awards attract national attention including two invites by the White House to share the stories of joy and accomplishment that most only dream about. “One of the most exciting awards we’ve received was at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event in 2006,” stated Rich Sheridan.  “We still tout that we’re a Michigan 50 Company to Watch.” Those awards and more will be presented Thursday, April 28,2011, at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business event and dinner at the Lansing Center in downtown Lansing.  Tickets for the 2011 program can be purchased online at or by calling (800) 362-5461.  Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a cooperative effort of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Edward Lowe Foundation, Small Business Association of Michigan and the U.S. Small Business Administration – Michigan.

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Red Level Networks Hosts March Madness Event: IT professionals in the Detroit Metro area will gather together for an informational presentation, featuring dinner and networking, to learn how storage virtualization software and related solutions can assist in managing and reducing infrastructure costs. Red Level Networks will host the event on Thursday, March 24 at 4 p.m. in an effort to provide IT-minded professionals with the knowledge needed to keep their networks running smoothly, retaining clients and gaining new ones. Red Level, servicing small and mid-sized businesses, provides managed services and customized full service IT solutions, such as virtualization, disaster recovery, antivirus installation and monitoring as well as VoIP and carrier services. A necessary business practice involves having the technical work managed by IT professionals, allowing companies to focus on what they do best. Red Level has been able to implement virtualization in several industries, ensuring productivity in various business sectors. The event is also sponsored by Datacore Software Corp. and Xiotech and will feature presentations with technical professionals from each company, sharing how their knowledge of virtualization installation and environments has resulted in maximum data retention and storage capacity. The event, which will also feature dinner and prizes, will be held at Gus O’ Connor’s,  42875 Grand River Avenue in Novi. Please register to attend by calling (248) 412-8200.

Economist to discuss automotive recovery: Economist Sean P. McAlinden will discuss Michigan’s recovery from the worst automotive industry downturn in 70 years April 12 at Wayne State University. McAlinden is chief economist and executive vice president of research, Center for Automotive Research. He will discuss the reinvention of Michigan’s transportation infrastructure and its auto industry during Wayne State University’s Samuel M. Levin Economics Award Lecture. The lecture, “Michigan’s Auto Recovery and the Role of Advanced Transportation Infrastructure,” is free and open to the public. The lecture runs from 1 to 3 p.m. at the McGregor Memorial Conference Center, 495 Ferry Mall, Wayne State University, Detroit. To RSVP, contact Special Events and Services at (313) 577-0300 or visit

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Inforum Dinner Event to Feature Host of Bravo’s Top Chef: Padma Lakshmi, actress, model, award-winning cookbook author, and host of Bravo’s Emmy Award-winning series, “Top Chef,” will be the keynote speaker at Inforum West Michigan’s spring dinner event. The dinner, which will be held in partnership with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, is scheduled for 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids. Lakshmi will share the story of how she started her career as an international model, and evolved into the multi-faceted businesswoman she is today. Her presentation “Live Well …Give Back,” will highlight Lakshmi’s her work with the Endometriosis Foundation of America, which she founded. EFA is a nonprofit organization focused on fighting against the devastating effects of a disease that affects millions of women and adolescent girls. Through increased awareness, education, research and legislative advocacy, the EFA is committed to improving affected individuals’ lives by early detection and treatment. Lakshmi’s visit to Grand Rapids includes her participation in the MSU College of Human Medicine’s Women’s Reproductive Research Symposium. The cost is $75 for Inforum members; $100 nonmembers; $1,000 for a table of 8 (includes special seating, recognition and tickets to a VIP reception). Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (616) 588-9400.

3Sixty Interactive Continues Free, Educational Webinar Series with Pay-Per-Click: Fenton-based 3Sixty Interactive continues its Webinar series with Pay-Per-Click advertising as this month’s topic. The webinar is free and will take place on Tuesday, March 22 at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Participants in the webinar will learn about Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, the strategy behind it, the ad itself and the budget as well as the state of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Future webinars in the series will include topics such as email marketing and social media marketing. Register for the Webinar at

Latitude Learning to Demonstrate its Adaptable, Open-Source LMS: Saline-based Latitude Learning, provider of the open-source learning management system, today announced it will exhibit at the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo March 23-25, 2011, in Booth 503 at the Hilton in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Since 2002, the eLearning Guild’s annual gathering has been the preeminent resource for e-learning professionals. Attendees focus on the latest trends in design and management of e-learning products and services and the conference offers the opportunity to meet with industry leaders to share ideas and strategies. Latitude Learning will provide in-booth demonstrations of its world class, open-source LMS, This comprehensive LMS, originally developed for global Fortune 50 companies, is now available to training companies and organizations on an on-demand basis to host their proprietary learning classes and manage student records.  Additionally, Latitude Learning offers its Free Forever program which provides free access to the first 100 users from any organization. This offer presents a risk-free opportunity to experience the benefits of a robust LMS.

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Plex Systems Offers Online Demos for Precision Metalformers, Food and Beverage Processors: Auburn Hills-based Plex Systems Inc., provider of the No. 1 rated manufacturing ERP software, today announced live demonstrations of Plex Online’s comprehensive ERP system for food and beverage processors on Thursday, April 14 from 10 to 11 a.m. Eastern time and for precision metalformers on Thursday, April 28 from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time. These industry-specific events offer an opportunity to explore Plex Online as they would use it in their day-to-day operations. Participants will see how Plex Online effortlessly tracks lot properties while optimizing business processes such as batch production, complete genealogy and traceability and real-time recall management. The demonstrations will showcase how implementing an industry-leading ERP system helps manufacturers run leaner operations while seamlessly linking the complete enterprise including ERP, MES, SCM and more. The result is better quality management, maximized productivity and increased profitability. Registration is free. The event for food and beverage processors is jointly hosted with Plante & Moran, a leading global implementer of Plex Online. More at