COVID-19 Update: New Digital Platform Helps State Bars and Restaurants Collect Customer Info, Molinari to Lead Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, and More

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
COVID-19 chart
Courtesy of Bridge

Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

New Digital Platform Helps Michigan Bars and Restaurants Meet State-mandated Rules to Collect Customer Info

Entrepreneurs Focused On Growth Inc. in Sylvan Lake, which takes an active role within an organization as C-level directors or board members to implement tactical strategic plans, administrative policies and procedures, education programs, and revenue expansion programs, today announced the launch of a digital platform to help bars and restaurants in Michigan comply with new rules to collect names and phone numbers of patrons.

The new offering, called the Business Access Registration, or BAR, was developed over the weekend to help companies in Michigan meet Emergency Order Under MCL 333.2253 – Gatherings and Face Mask Order. The simple process supports businesses impacted by this Emergency Order. Here’s how BAR works:

  • Businesses are given a custom QR code to put in the front of their building for patrons to scan via phone.
  • After scanning the QR code, a registration form will pop up and patrons will be able to add their contact information.
  • Once patrons click the “submit” button, they will be navigated to the confirmation page. From there, the patron will present the information before entering a building.

The service, which requires a one-time $20 registration, is supported by BAR’s team, which is prepared to support each of the companies impacted.

To access BAR, visit here.

Molinari to Lead Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Claude Molinari, general manager of TCF Center, has been named president and CEO of the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau, effective Jan. 1, 2021, succeeding Larry Alexander who is retiring at year end after 22 years at the helm of the DMCVB.

As the 10th person to assume the role, Molinari will be responsible for developing the strategic direction and overseeing the operations of the DMCVB. He will be responsible for the leadership and direction necessary to enable the DMCVB to bring meetings and conventions, leisure, and business visitors to metropolitan Detroit and accelerate economic growth. He will lead the creation of the annual sales and marketing plan of the DMCVB which outlines the direction the DMCVB will take to attract tourism and meetings business to the region.

Molinari also will oversee the direction of the Detroit Sports Commission (a DMCVB subsidiary), which is responsible for securing amateur sports events for the region.

In his current role at TCF Center, Molinari is responsible for managing the day-to-day operation and also business development of the 17th largest convention center in North America. His responsibilities include developing a budget, forecasting and financing, and implementing safety, security and crisis management programs for the center. He negotiates with local trade unions, develops business contingency, facility safety and emergency plans, and assures that annual budget goals are achieved.

According to the search committee assigned to identify a new CEO, there were 14 strong candidates from across the U.S. that applied for the position.

“Claude is uniquely positioned to accept this new role,” says Christina Lovio-George, chairman of the search committee, a DMCVB board member, and president of the Lovio George public relations agency. “He knows the DMCVB business, he understands the role of tourism, meetings, and conventions as an economic driver in the region, and he intimately understands the challenges the tourism and hospitality industry are facing now as it deals with the impact of COVID-19.”

Molinari’s history at TCF Center began when it was the former Cobo Center. There he served as assistant general manager from 2011-2016 with oversight of operations, security, events and production services, and union labor services. He was named general manager in March 2016 by SMG/ASM Global, and during that time forged a strong partnership between the DMCVB and the TCF Center operation.

“Looking toward the future, Claude’s deep understanding of the vital role the TCF Center plays in the overall economic health of the entire Detroit region will be invaluable as the partnership grows to new levels,” says Larry Alexander, who is retaining his position as chairman of the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority.

Molinari currently serves on the board of directors for the DMCVB and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. He is a member of the International Association of Venue Managers, International Association of Events and Exhibitions.

Ford Set to Unveil All-electric E-Transit Nov. 12

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn is scheduled to unveil its zero-emission, all-electric E-Transit cargo van on Nov. 12.

The new version of the world’s best-selling cargo van is arriving at a time when Americans and others around the globe are ready to embrace the potential of green delivery, according to the automaker.

According to a new Google survey conducted in the U.S., the United Kingdom, and Germany, people are increasingly expressing openness to delivery services operated by electric vehicles. More than 60 percent of Americans and 68 percent of Brits care about the environmental impact of vehicles used by delivery services. That’s a 12 percent increase in the U.S. alone since earlier in the year, when we conducted our initial survey.

In all three countries, more than half of respondents say they’d choose an electric-powered delivery service over a gas-powered one if price and arrival times were the same, with 54 percent in the U.S. and nearly 58 percent in the U.K. saying so. And even if they have to wait longer for a delivery via zero-emissions vans, 43 percent of Americans and almost 50 percent Brits say they would do so.

“The world – and the way we power our vehicles – is changing,” Ford said in a statement. “It’s why the time is right for a new type of Transit, something that remains the backbone of commercial business while serving both our community and the environment. Never has there been a better time to realize that doing the right thing is good for business – ours and yours.”

Domino’s Names WorkInProgress its Ad Agency of Record

Domino’s Pizza Inc. in Ann Arbor, the world’s largest pizza company based on global retail sales, will be starting the new year with a new advertising agency of record, WorkInProgress, an independent agency based in Boulder, Colorado. The agency will handle creative execution, brand strategy, and digital design.

“WorkInProgress is filled with strong talent, creative minds, and extensive experience in creating meaningful brand actions,” says Art D’Elia, chief marketing officer at Domino’s. “The fact that they are an independent agency means they have the flexibility and nimbleness we need during these quickly changing times. This is the right agency model and team for Domino’s moving forward.”

Matt Talbot, chief creative officer at WorkInProgress, says, “We are grateful and humbled by the opportunity to partner with Domino’s. WorkInProgress is a small business, like the hundreds of Domino’s franchises across the country. And ultimately, the work we do is in service of them. We take that responsibility very seriously and can’t wait to tackle the future supporting a brand that believes in taking bold action.”

This change marks the end of a successful 13-year run between Domino’s and Crispin Porter Bogusky. Both companies say they are proud of their many years of teamwork, which resulted in Domino’s rising to become the number one pizza company in the world.

US LBM Acquires Zeeland Lumber and Supply

US LBM, an Illinois-based distributor of specialty building materials, has acquired Zeeland Lumber and Supply, a building products dealer and manufacturer with six locations in Michigan and northern Indiana.

Zeeland Lumber and Supply operates three truss and wall panel component manufacturing plants along with three full-service building material yards that distribute lumber and an expansive range of specialty products, such as windows, doors, roofing, cabinets, decking and interior and exterior trim. The entire Zeeland leadership team will remain with the company, including Mark Miller, who will serve as president, and Mike Dykstra and Rob Groothuis in key leadership roles.

“We’re proud to be joining US LBM, an industry leader that shares our commitment to delivering innovation and building trust,” says Miller. “Joining US LBM, with its national platform, expert team, and relationships with the industry’s top suppliers, creates new and exciting opportunities for both our employees and customers.”

Dykstra says, “We are excited to join the US LBM team and be a part of their growth platform. This is a win-win for all stakeholders.”

With the acquisition of Zeeland Lumber and Supply, US LBM now operates 16 locations in Michigan, including five component manufacturing plants, along with four locations in Indiana.

“Adding Zeeland Lumber and Supply grows US LBM’s building product distribution and manufacturing network in the Midwest, strengthens our position as a market leader in Michigan and expands our reach into Northern Indiana,” says L.T. Gibson, president and CE
O of US LBM. “Zeeland is a premier manufacturer and distributor with a terrific team, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to US LBM.”

Forgotten Harvest’s 2020 Holiday Card Collection Fights Food Insecurity

Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park has released its 2020 festive holiday card collection, sponsored by Tom and Carol Cracchiolo, to fight food insecurity, which the organization has seen a 50 percent increase in this year.

Through this initiative, the holiday cards work to fight hunger in metro Detroit by providing $200 worth of groceries per card pack. In 2019, more than 100,000 families were fed with $120,000 worth of groceries to people facing hunger in our community through the holiday card program.

This year there are nine designs from which to choose. Options include “Michigan Mitten,” designed by Matt LaBarre Illustration, the “Happy, Healthy Christmas” card, a new “Star of David” card, and several others. There also is an option to write a personalized message of up to 150 characters. Corporate partners have the option to add brand logos to the cards as well.

Holiday cards with envelopes are available in packs of 25 for a suggested donation of $30 per pack, which includes shipping and handling. Special tribute cards also are available for a donation of $5 each, which can be inserted into a holiday card as a gift.

Cards and tributes are available online here. Allow five to seven days for shipping.


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