NAIAS Charity Preview brings priceless face time with clients

The buzz of the 2017 auto show seems to be autonomous vehicles, connected cars, and the like. But the real value of the North American International Auto Show to many attendees, year after year, is the power networking. This networking is done at industry days, the NAIAS Charity Preview, and various VIP receptions all week.
Why? Face time with clients — and not the kind involving an iPhone –- is priceless when it comes to renewing and building relationships.
For intellectual property and commercial litigation attorney A. Michael Palizzi, a principal at Miller Canfield, the charity preview in particular marks an annual opportunity to spend quality time with longtime clients like AGS Automotive Systems, a Toronto-based manufacturer of bumper systems and vehicle body structure components.
“We’re able to develop a closer relationship when we meet face to face,” he said. “We learn more about our clients, their business, and the products they manufacture,” Palizzi added, “which helps us provide better counsel and advice.” Another perk? To aid in the conversation, AGS’ products are on display at the show.
This adds the capability to see the bumper systems, structural elements and other parts. And it makes a tour of the OEM exhibits during the charity preview extra meaningful.
Palizzi’s wife, litigation attorney Elisa Angeli Palizzi, is a principal at Miller Canfield as well.
In between the product show-and-tell tours, elegant rounds of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and heated shuttle service rides makes for an evening that has become an annual highlight for party-goers.
Lisa Tucker Boulton, General Counsel and Director of Business Development at AGS, said the satisfaction of exhibits that are tangible, and a chance to catch up with business colleagues on a personal level make the preview a big annual draw. Besides Palizzi, another key contact for her is Miller Canfield intellectual property principal attorney Robin Asher.
“We can actually go over and show our parts and products to the lawyers we work with,” she said. “It’s a chance to enjoy the fruits of your labor.”
Boulton said she especially enjoys getting to meet with people face-to-face that she often interacts with on the phone since she is based in Toronto. The company has a significant presence in Michigan with four facilities including two Sterling Heights plants where AGS produces front and rear bumpers and other products that are all part of impact assemblies.
Boulton’s been around the industry long enough to recall the lean years during the recession, and a different level of energy. But she never considered skipping the show at any time since Michigan is an epicenter of clients and the company’s lifeblood.
“It’s been a joy to walk in and feel the different level of energy. It’s wonderful to be riding the upside,” she said, adding that the company will have new products featured at this year’s show.
Palizzi said the cachet and quality of the charity preview is as polished and well-represented as ever, and an opportunity that the business community makes the most of year in and year out.
Some of the other highlights of the charity preview this Friday for all attendees include a scheduled atrium appearance by The Beach Boys and the Studio 25 preview after party. The preview is hosted by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and proceeds benefit children’s charities through a charitable fund.
“It’s a national and international platform,” Palizzi said.
See Jennette Smith’s tweets from NAIAS Charity Preview by following her at @jennette_smith and @fullvolumemsg. Follow the Miller Canfield charity preview party buzz and photos at #MCPreviewParty. And catch the latest NAIAS news by following @NAIASDetroit and searching for posts containing the hashtag #NAIAS


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