COVID-19 Update: Northern Michigan University Enhances Cybersecurity Offerings, Rocket Mortgage Classic Generates $2.7M for Nonprofits, 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.
graph of Michigan coronavirus cases
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.

NMU’s Cybersecurity Institute Partners with Northcross Group
Northern Michigan University in Marquette is partnering with the Northcross Group (NCG), a leading cybersecurity and business management firm with offices in Maine and metro Washington, D.C., to help develop cybersecurity skills in the next generation of cyber professionals.

“Cybersecurity is essential for every business, but one size does not fit all,” says Chris Bender, president of NCG. “We are very excited to work with NMU to demonstrate ways to scale and apply cybersecurity practices for companies of all types and sizes. We are also looking forward to exercising NCG’s virtual platforms and tooling to connect cyber talent with clients regardless of location — from across the Upper Peninsula to around the globe.”

NCG will provide NMU students with opportunities to work with cyber experts across the country and gain hands-on client experience. Students will develop skills in NCG’s cybersecurity approach based on total business value, scaling, and prioritizing efforts for each business given its industry, complexity and size.

“We look forward to building on this academic partnership to leverage NCG’s extensive experience along with Northern’s academic programs, the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute, and the U.P. Cybersecurity Talent Consortium to achieve mutual objectives in solving business challenges and advancing digital opportunity,” says David Nyberg, director of corporate engagement at NMU..”

Northcross Group soon will open an office in Marquette. For more information on the U.P. Cybersecurity Institute, visit here and here.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Generates $2.7M for Nonprofits
The Rocket Mortgage Classic, in partnership with title sponsor Rocket Mortgage, today announced it generated more than $2.7 million for nonprofits from proceeds raised by Detroit’s second-annual PGA Tour event. More than $2.4 million will be invested through the event’s Changing the Course initiative, which aims to bridge the digital divide in Detroit.

Funds are disbursed by the Rocket Giving Fund, the 501(c)(3) organization that manages the tournament.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic launched Changing the Course earlier this year with a mission to bridge the digital divide for all Detroit residents through equitable, data-driven investments in access to technology, internet, and digital literacy. Detroit is the least connected major city in the country, and in light of COVID-19, access to online learning, employment, health, and connectivity is a critical component of a community.

Changing the Course is a multi-year initiative that is committed to holistic, sustainable access to internet, technology and digital resources for every Detroiter within a ten-minute walk of their home.

Charitable proceeds raised from the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic totaled $2,716,770. Last year, the event donated $1.2 million to its primary beneficiaries, with more than $1.1 million directed to nonprofits based in the city of Detroit.

Disbursements relating to Changing the Course as a result of the 2020 tournament include:

  • $2.1 million to the Connect 313 Fund, which is a coordinating mechanism for all digital inclusion stakeholders driving collectively toward the singular vision of bridging the digital divide.
  • $344,450 to Children’s Foundation, which supports pediatric research, education, community benefit programs, and other initiatives that improve the health of children in Michigan.
  • $165,000 to Midnight Golf, which helps under-served young people transition from high school to college and into a professional career.
  • $100,000 to Detroit Police Athletic League (Detroit PAL), a Rocket Mortgage partner that builds character in young people through athletic, academic, and leadership development programs.

The Rocket Giving Fund also made the following disbursements:

  • $150,000 to the Greater Palmer Park Community, a collection of seven neighborhoods around Palmer Park and the Detroit Golf Club dedicated to the holistic improvement and advancement of the entire area.
  • $122,320 to the Birdies for Charity program, which supported 74 verified nonprofit organizations and allowed them to use the Rocket Mortgage Classic as a free vehicle to raise awareness of their organizations and funds to support their missions.

ACC Launches Oakland County COVID-19 Relief Program
Troy-based nonprofit ACC has launched a new Oakland County COVID-19 relief program funded by United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

The grant provides Oakland County residents, workers, and ACC clients with new and enhanced services, from behavioral health trauma recovery for frontline workers and families of COVID-19 patients to home delivery of food to seniors and individuals with disabilities, and much more. The program runs through Dec. 31.

“We are very thankful to the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and Oakland County for providing such incredible financial support enabling ACC to address the tremendous need in our community caused by the pandemic,” says Haifa Fakhouri, president and CEO of ACC. “Together with the United Way and Oakland County, we are able to increase support for our local frontline workers, residents, and families of COVID-19 patients whose physical and mental health have been severely impacted.”

In recent weeks, ACC hosted a backpack giveaway in partnership with the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, providing school supplies and personal protection equipment to 500 local students. Just before Labor Day, ACC staff went door-to-door, personally and safely delivering food boxes and PPE to 300 seniors residing at Bethany Villa in Troy. ACC plans to distribute an additional 250 food boxes and PPE to seniors at Solberg Tower in October.

ACC is offering a wide array of services to Oakland County essential workers and residents, including:

  • Virtual workshops to assist with the stress of COVID-19. Participants will review and practice mental health resources to assist with tackling the effects of stress on the body. Participants will learn coping skills to improve their overall wellness.
  • A free mental health consultation with a licensed health professional for essential staff and residents facing more severe mental health needs. Following the consultation, referrals to treatment providers will be given to address the unique needs of each individual.
  • Zoom trainings for Oakland County essential staff and residents dealing with the stress of COVID 19. These classes will focus on teaching wellness and coping skills to participants, such as yoga and meditation.

“Many of our clients have experienced challenges navigating the unemployment application process due to language barriers and access issues,” adds Fakhouri. “Our bi-lingual and multilingual staff will personally assist clients with unemployment applications over the phone, via Zoom or safely in-person at our Troy office.”

For more information about ACC’s Oakland County COVID-19 relief program or to request services, email

Intalytics and Pizza Hut Partner to Optimize Real Estate Location Strategy
Ann Arbor’s Intalytics has been selected by Pizza Hut as its real estate analytics solutions partner.

Intalytics says it is building a customized sales forecasting model and supportable unit analysis to drive growth across customer dining options, including delivery, carry-out, and dine-in. Pizza Hut also will continue to utilize the company’s proprietary tool, SiteIntel, to visualize and evaluate their real estate opportunities in-house.

Intalytics provides predictive analytics tools, technologies, and consulting to restaurants, retailers, financial institutions, health care providers, service organizations, and private equity firms seeking location-centric insights.

Toyota USA Foundation to Addresses Digital Divide
Toyota USA Foundation approved grants totaling $3,357,000 to support students in need of internet access and computers in 13 states, including Michigan, where the company has operations.

In Michigan, Washtenaw County School Districts and public libraries in Flint, Detroit, and Saline the grants will fund WiFi access points, mobile WiFi devices, laptop computers, and software licenses to help students access virtual learning.

“All students deserve equal access to education,” says Mike Goss, president of the Toyota USA Foundation. “The foundation typically supports STEM, but the pandemic has exposed deeper issues that are a barrier to good education.”

The grants build on Toyota’s ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts that include grants focused on e-learning programs and hunger, and the recent launch of an education hub that includes virtual field trips of the company’s operations.