The Future is Now: The AI Landscape in Middle Market Business

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Event Details


October 24, 2023 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM EDT

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Join ACG Detroit for an insightful dive into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and a broad discussion of its implications and impact on business in the middle market. This event, crafted for Detroit's professionals, entrepreneurs, and advisors, will simplify AI, highlighting its practical uses and addressing its ethical implications in today's business world. 
This panel of industry experts will discuss how businesses are adopting AI and a glimpse into how it might shape the future practices and strategies for entrepreneurs and advisors alike. Our conversation will explore AI’s functions, its potential transformative power, and the moral implications that business owners and advisors need to consider. 

Through interactive AI demonstrations and discussions on practical applications, attendees will navigate the AI landscape, exploring its present influence and future trajectories in the business world, all while connecting with industry peers. Together, we will delve into the integration and empowerment of AI in our middle market community. 

Members $70  •  Non-members $95


Ashok Sivanand Headshot, man w/dark beard & dark curly hair

Ashok Sivanand


Ashok is the CEO of Integral. Integral helps ambitious companies transform into technology-led organizations. Integral has assisted brands such as Ford, Bosch, Airstream, Rocket Companies, and Honda in developing strong product teams and delivering delightful products.  

Before Integral, Ashok was a leader at Pivotal Labs and worked in technology and product roles in manufacturing technology.  

Integral facilitates integrate Detroit to bridge the race and gender gap in Michigan's tech talent. 

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Danielle Bass


Danielle Bass is a partner at Honigman in the Technology Transactions and Data, Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice Groups who focuses her practice on transactional matters involving information technology, intellectual property, data, media, and entertainment, with an emphasis on commercial transactions. 

Danielle frequently drafts and negotiates various agreements regarding the development, licensing, and/or transfer of trademarks, copyrights, software, or other technology, including software and cloud services licensing, technology outsourcing, and other matters involving the licensing, sale, procurement, and commercialization of intellectual property and technology products and services. In addition, Danielle advises clients on information technology and intellectual property components of mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions as well as matters involving data privacy and security, including cybersecurity, across a number of industries. 

Danielle is deeply integrated into some of her clients’ internal legal processes and business and has acted as commercial counsel during hiring lapses and leaves of absence. Danielle consistently works side-by-side with in-house legal teams to assist in developing contract review processes and negotiates agreements on behalf of internal business units. Danielle actively advises the financial arm of a global automotive company, as well as clients in the automotive, logistics, financial, real estate, electronics, information technology, and healthcare sectors. She also regularly advises clients in the media and entertainment industry, including representation of a digital media and marketing company. 

In addition, Danielle is committed to shaping the next generation of transactional attorneys. Along with teaching Transactional Drafting at the University of Michigan Law School, she developed a one-of-its-kind practical course on Technology Transactions at the University of Michigan Law School and University of Chicago Law School, where she also currently teaches. 

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Dan Vasquez

Rocket Mortgage
AI Strategy Lead

Dan Vasquez stands at the forefront of AI integration and strategy at Rocket. As a Detroit native with an inherent drive for innovation, Dan has consistently demonstrated not just his proficiency in engineering, but also his prowess in leadership. He is a lifelong engineer, with a deep-seated passion for technology and its ability to shape the future.

In his current role, Dan's vision goes beyond the mere implementation of AI. He is committed to ensuring that every member of the Rocket team is equipped with the necessary resources and knowledge to remain at the cutting edge of AI advancements. His approach is not just about staying updated but thinking ahead – always pushing the boundaries of what's possible. By fostering a culture of imaginative and critical thinking, Dan ensures that AI doesn't just support Rocket's business strategies, but actively shapes them.

Dan's journey at Rocket over a decade has taken him from his initial role as a software engineer to VP of Engineering, and through leadership as a dev-ops team leader through to Vice President of Architecture. He continues to lead with distinction, cementing Rocket's place at the vanguard of the AI revolution.



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Chris Letts (Moderator)

Morgan Stanley - The Pine Harbor Group
Senior Vice President

As a Family Wealth Director- a designation held by less than 4% of Morgan Stanley advisors- Chris focuses his work on serving the most affluent clients of the firm.  He specializes in advising families considering substantial liquidity events due to the sale or recapitalization of a closely held business. In 2013, he cofounded The Pine Harbor Group, which currently advises on nearly $1.3B in assets under management and is among Morgan Stanley’s fastest-growing wealth management teams.  Pine Harbor was ranked by Forbes as one of the top-teams in the State of Michigan in 2023.  Chris is also an Alternative Investments Director, where he does firm-leading work for high-net-worth clients with non-public investments. 

In 2022 Chris was honored by Forbes Magazine as Morgan Stanley’s top “Next-Gen Wealth Advisor” in the State of Michigan.  In 2021 he was ranked by Middle Market Growth Magazine as one of the top next-gen middle-market professionals in North America for his work advising entrepreneurs. Chris was highlighted in Crain’s Detroit Business list of “40 under 40” in 2020 and DBusiness Magazine “30 in their Thirties” in 2019. He has been honored a Five-Star Wealth Advisor by Hour Detroit every year since 2013.
Chris is a national advocate for Middle Market entrepreneurs. He was elected the President of the Association of Corporate Growth’s Detroit chapter where he worked with investment bankers and private equity executives to advance the interests of middle market businesses. Chris serves on the advisory board at MSU’s Eli Broad College of Business and helped his alma mater create an innovative Masters in Wealth Management Program- the first in the Big Ten and among the first Universities in the country.

Chris is a native of Toronto but is extremely proud of his adopted hometown city of Detroit and cares deeply about giving back to his community.  He is currently an advisor to Winning Futures, an award-winning non-profit committed to mentoring and empowering underserved youth.

Hosted by: ACG