NALS of Michigan to hold conference Jan. 16

NALS of Michigan announced this week that its Winter Legal Education and Board of Directors Meeting will be held Jan. 16, 2016. There are three morning one-hour educational seminars being presented entitled “A Spotlight on the Military Justice System and Our Veterans.”

Session Speakers:

Patrick Patterson, executive vice president at Volunteers of America Michigan. Patterson has a Master of Nonprofit Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame where he was an MNA Fellowship award winner. He also has a Master of Science in Environmental Law and Policy from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration, with emphasis in Environmental Toxicology and Adult Education, from Michigan State University. He has 18 years of experience working with and overseeing programs serving homeless people. In 2015, Gov. Snyder appointed Patterson to the new Michigan Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Dr. Nikki Brown, executive director at Canines for Change. Brown has been training dogs for more than 15 years. She owned and operated Premier K-9, a dog training school in Grand Ledge, Michigan from 2003 to 2012. She holds two master’s degrees from Michigan State University in Counseling and School Psychology and has completed her PhD with an emphasis in behavior modification. Her education and years of experience training pet dogs, as well as training and breeding police dogs, make her an expert in the field of dog training and behavior modification. Brown has titled many dogs to high levels in various sports such as agility, UKC obedience, K9 Pro Sports, and Protection Sports Association. She has also competed in conformation, Schutzhund and has also earned several Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International titles.

Col. John Wojcik¸ general counsel for the Michigan National Guard. Wojcik has served as the general counsel for the Michigan National Guard since 2002. In his practice he supervises 24 military attorneys who provide strategic legal coverage for 11,000 employees, three Air Force bases, two Army bases, and more than 50 armories across the State of Michigan. From 2010 to 2011 he was called to service in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom, where he received the Bronze Star among other awards. He helped facilitate the creation of the Ingham County Veteran’s Court in East Lansing and was a proponent in the creation of the Military and Veterans’ Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. A 1996 graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Wojcik has taught there as an adjunct professor since 2004, where he has taught military law and developed the federal contracting law course for the Homeland Security LLM program. He is a certified Army comptroller and has taught federal contracting certification courses for the National Guard Bureau throughout his military career. In 2015, Gov. Snyder appointed him to the State of Michigan Retirement Board.

Seminar Schedule:

9-10 a.m.- Progress on Veteran’s Homelessness and Volunteers of America’s Veteran’s Services. Speaker: Patrick Patterson

10-11 a.m.-Americans with Disabilities Act-When/Where can assistance/service dogs and their trainers go? Speaker: Dr. Nikki Brown

11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.-Civilian v Military Justice: How do they compare and review of 2016 VA benefits. Speaker: Col. John J. Wojcik

Location and Cost:

Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C. 313 S. Washington Square, Lansing, Michigan

(Winter board of directors meeting will follow lunch)

NALS Members: $25 Seminar, Lunch, Board Meeting; Non-Members: $35 Seminar and Lunch; Students: Seminar and Lunch $10, Seminar only, no cost. There is no cost for attending the board of directors meeting; however, lunch is not provided.

Registration form at www.nalsofmichigan.org.  Registration deadline January 6, 2016; Contact Paula Steffey at westernmom40@gmail.com; or for more information regarding NALS of Michigan, membership, education, and/or certification, see www.nalsofmichigan.org.

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