DBusiness Daily Update: American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township to Host Demo Days in May, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies.
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American Center for Mobility car
The American Center for Mobility will showcase the latest in safe, sustainable, and secure mobility technologies May 8-9. // Photo courtesy of Michigan Developmental Education Consortium

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township to Host Demo Days in May

The American Center for Mobility (2701 Airport Road) in Ypsilanti Township is planning its Demo Days, May 8-9, to showcase the latest in safe, sustainable, and secure mobility technologies, featuring the latest innovations in cybersecurity, ADAS, CAV, and electrification.

Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with industry leaders, experience interactive demos, and gain insights into potential solutions within the mobility ecosystem. Key demonstrators include ATT, BG Networks, Block Harbor, Drivesec, dSpace, EAVX, IBM, Keysight, S-E-A, Siemens, Terbine, Tracetronic, Michigan Technological University, among others.

ACM will unveil plans for its new EV Charging Basecamp in which attendees can see firsthand how Basecamp partners are improving interoperability between EVs and EV charging stations. Attendees can view the latest advancements and network with industry experts from ABB, Autel, Quench, S44, Weavegrid, Red E Charging, QualityLogic, AMPURE, and others.

Addressing the need for vehicle cybersecurity, experts from Block Harbor, BG Networks, Drivesec, and Keysight will demonstrate new technologies and platforms that are advancing approaches to vehicle cybersecurity.

Another highlight of the event will be the exclusive preview of the STEP robotic platform by S-E-A that offers streamlined pedestrian testing for type-approval and data-free testing.

Attendees will be invited to tour the global development center showcasing where the future of the mobility takes shape.

To see a full agenda of the event, visit here. To register and purchase tickets, visit here.

West Michigan’s Vickers Engineering Merges with Netform in Shelby Township

Vickers Engineering, a provider of highly engineered metal components and assemblies for the automotive and industrial markets in New Troy in west Michigan, has merged with Netform, a Shelby Township manufacturer of advanced flow-formed and cold-formed components and assemblies primarily focused on transmission and propulsion applications.

Vickers produces high-quality precision parts by using its advanced robotics and automation capabilities to supply major Asian, European, and North American headquartered automotive OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and industrial companies. It manages full non-ferrous and aluminum supply chains and serves as a one-stop shop for complex, tight-tolerance components for hybrid powertrains, electric vehicles, and driveline applications.

Netform, which has two additional facilities in Ohio, supplies highly engineered flow-formed and cold-formed products primarily serve transmission and propulsion applications in the automotive and truck markets.

The new partnership will allow Vickers to continue to use its advanced product capabilities and automated manufacturing processes across a larger, more diversified customer base. Vickers provides Netform with a diversified set of steel and aluminum processing capabilities as well as automation synergies, which will continue to support growth in the hybrid and EV markets.

Grand Rapids-based Cancer & Hematology Centers Expand into East Lansing and Flint

The Cancer & Hematology Centers, the Grand Rapids-based physician-owned oncology and hematology practice in Michigan, has finalized agreements with leading mid-Michigan oncologists, who each have treated patients in East Lansing and Flint for more than two decades.

Medical oncologist Dr. Carol Rapson and hematologist Dr. Anthony Brandau from Red Cedar Oncology, and Genesee County-based medical oncologist Dr. Rizwan Danish now are treating patients in their communities as members of the Cancer & Hematology Centers cancer care team.

“Providing patients in Michigan with the highest quality of cancer care and clinical trials in their communities, close to where they live and work, is central to our mission and why physicians choose to practice with us,” says Stuart Genschaw, CEO of the Cancer & Hematology Centers. “With physicians who have cared for patients in mid-Michigan as compassionately as Drs. Rapson, Brandau, and Danish each have, the CHC team continues to grow and enhance patient access to high quality cancer care in community clinics across that state.”

Detroit Grand Prix Announces 2024 Sustainability Initiatives

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear, on Earth Day, announced initiatives intended to make a “significant social and environmental impact” leading up to and during the May 31-June 2 event weekend in downtown Detroit.

In its first year back on the streets of downtown Detroit in more than 30 years, the 2023 Detroit Grand Prix was recognized as the first event in Michigan to achieve Gold level certification through the Council for Responsible Sport. Recognized for its sustainability efforts with its partners at Priority, as well as its programs that engage and enhance the local community, the Detroit Grand Prix became the first-ever motorsports event worldwide to be certified at the Gold level.

Working in conjunction with its partners, the 2024 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear will work toward again achieving Gold Certification through the following eco-friendly and community engagement efforts:

  • Penske Truck Rental will expand its partnership with the Grand Prix to not only offset carbon travel emissions for fans, but also for operational and mobile fuel combustion during the event through its unprecedented investment in carbon sequestration programs across the Midwest.
  • Building on its relationship with its partners at Priority, the Grand Prix will broaden its recycling and waste diversion programs during this summer’s event.
  • Every NTT IndyCar Series car competing the Grand Prix will once again run on 100 percent Shell Renewable Race Fuel made from sugarcane waste blended with renewable components sourced from non-food waste.
  • All NTT IndyCar Series trucks and team transporters will continue to operate on renewable diesel fuel.
  • All NTT IndyCar Series cars at the Grand Prix will race with the green-banded Firestone Firehawk alternate race tires that feature sustainable natural rubber derived from the guayule desert shrub.
  • The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, competing for the first time on the 1.7-mile downtown Detroit street circuit, will bring hybrid engine technology to the Grand Prix with cars competing in the series’ GTP class in the Motor City.

Race fans can purchase tickets here and through the event’s ticket hotline at 866-464-7749.

Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest by TechTown Reveals Top Four Finalists

The Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest by TechTown has announced the four businesses advancing to the final stage of the competition.

The four businesses will have the opportunity to compete at the Hatch Off on May 9, pitching their businesses for the chance to win $100,000 in startup funds from Comerica Bank, as well as technical assistance from TechTown Detroit and its partners, to kickstart and open a brick-and-mortar business in Detroit, Hamtramck, or Highland Park.

The four businesses are:

Amarra Beauty Products/G.L.A.M. Body Scrubs: a certified woman- and minority-owned business based in Detroit, specializing in natural, organic body scrubs. It provides jobs, training, and mentorship to underserved individuals, especially women who have been victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as returning citizens.

Harry Rich Clothier: creates custom garments for individuals, using fashion as a tool to inspire, liberate and educate people to think beyond the status quo.

Khana: a Pakistani-inspired food pop-up based in Detroit. Their dishes are derived from the owner’s family’s traditional Pakistani recipes and influenced by both their American and South Asian upbringing in the city.

Roller Skate Detroit: will provide the metro Detroit area with an entertainment facility focused on healthy fun. Their vision is to become a complete lifestyle brand that combines enjoyment, wellness, enrichment, sophistication, technology, and community engagement.

The finalists now enter the final round of public voting which begins at noon on May 1 and will run through the completion of the Hatch Off on May 9. The winner of the 2024 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest will be chosen through a combination of the public’s votes and judges’ deliberations.

The community can cast its votes for their favorite business once every 24 hours at hatchdetroit.com/vote.

Tickets are available to witness the top four business pitches and see the winner of the Hatch Off competition crowned. The Hatch Off takes place at 6 p.m. May 9 at the Wayne State University Industry Innovation Center at 461 Burroughs St. in Detroit. To purchase tickets, visit HatchDetroit.com.

Farbman’s Campusville Hires Seven Technicians to Support Student Housing Portfolio

Campusville, a subsidiary of Farbman Group in Southfield, announced the addition of seven new maintenance employees to support the company’s growing student housing portfolio.

“Adding these talented individuals to our team marks a significant step in our efforts to enhance the residential experience at our Campusville properties,” says Andy Farbman, CEO of Farbman Group. “Their expertise will be instrumental in maintaining the quality and comfort of our student accommodations, aligning with our vision of creating optimal living environments that support academic success and personal growth.”

The newly appointed team members are equipped to handle the demands of a student community and uphold Farbman Group’s standards of service and efficiency. The group will be focused on the firm’s concentration of student housing assets located in East Lansing. The maintenance team will be led by Dustin Sible as a maintenance supervisor, and includes James Ashley, Paul Baumgras, Matt Edwards, Brendan Hook, Charlie Weiss, and Jeremy Whiting as technicians.

The East Lansing maintenance team operates within the larger framework of Campusville, Farbman Group’s student housing management platform. Campusville is designed to meet the needs of today’s students, offering modern, amenity-filled living spaces in prime locations close to campus resources.

Consumers Energy Gives $500K to Muskegon Parks, Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy

The Consumers Energy Foundation in Jackson has awarded $500,000 in grant funding to two organizations — Muskegon County Parks Department and the Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy in Macomb Township — for its 2024 Planet Awards.

The two grants, each totaling $250,000, will fund projects in both organizations to restore area habitats to their natural state and improve air and water quality in their respective regions.

The Muskegon County Parks Department’s grant supports the ecological restoration of Dune Harbor Park, a 377-acre property that was previously a sand mine. Restoration activities will include invasive species removal, planting of native foliage, and the establishment of pollinator habitat. Trail access enhancement, installation of interpretive signage, and other improvements will foster environmental stewardship and encourage the public to enjoy recreational opportunities at the park.

The Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy grant supports the Monarch Meadows project, which will protect 64 acres of land near Selfridge Air National Guard Base and restore more than half of it to native meadow. Restoration activities will include a tree planting program, invasive species removal, and installation of native wildflower habitat to create a beautiful natural area for residents and visitors to enjoy.

Detroit Sports Commission Expands $1M Living Legacy Program

Ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Detroit Sports Commission (DSC) unveiled additional details and grant recipients as part of its $1 million Living Legacy Initiative. In addition, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, Amazon, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the NFL, and other entities awarded grants to local community organizations.

Announced in November 2023, the Detroit Sports Commission’s $1 million Living Legacy Initiative is designed to promote youth literacy and sports, with a special emphasis on empowering girls in sports across Detroit and neighboring communities. This initiative was a pivotal component of the DSC’s bid for the 2024 NFL Draft. The DSC has committed to integrating the Living Legacy Initiative into all future sporting events from the 2024 NFL Draft through the 2027 NCAA Men’s Final Four at Ford Field, and beyond.

As a continuation of the Living Legacy Initiative, additional grants made possible by a host of donor partners were awarded to more than 30 local community organizations in a festive, draft-style format to announce the chosen “Draft Picks” or grant recipients. All recipients were presented with a specially branded Detroit Sports Commission 2024 jersey and hat, serving as a memento of their selection. All grant recipient organizations were afforded the opportunity to host a table in the event to showcase their mission and cause-related activities in the local community.

“The Detroit Sports Commission — with support from Visit Detroit, Detroit City Council, and generous donors from the local civic, corporate and philanthropic community — is pleased to offer grants to organizations throughout Detroit’s seven districts and the region,” says Dave Beachnau, executive director of the Detroit Sports Commission.

“Our Living Legacy Initiative was developed as a significant element of the successful bid for the NFL Draft, and today’s announcements are the tangible delivery on the commitment made to the NFL and the Detroit community as we continue our efforts to infuse community support into locally hosted sporting events beyond the NFL Draft.”

Jerome Bettis, Boys & Girls Clubs Announce Speaker Lineup for 3C Sports Conference

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) and Jerome Bettis’ Bus Stops Here Foundation announced the roster of speakers to take the stage during the 3C Sports Conference April 24-26 at the Garden Theater in Detroit and the BGCSM’s Diehl and Dauch clubs.

The inaugural three-day conference, which is expected to bring in more than 1,000 attendees, will address important topics like Name Image Likeness (NIL), mental and behavioral health, the over-monetization of sports, and more.

Speakers will include:

  • Jerome Bettis, NFL Hall of Famer, founder of Bus Stops Here Foundation
  • Barry Sanders, NFL Hall of Fame Running Back, Detroit Lions
  • Brian Kelly, Head Coach LSU Football
  • Jemele Hill, Emmy Award Winning Journalist
  • Adam Schefter, ESPN Sportswriter and Reporter
  • Cynthia Frelund, NFL Media Analytics Expert
  • Kevin Colbert, Former General Manager, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Eddie George, Former NFL Player, Head Coach, Tennessee State University
  • Pep Hamilton, NFL Network
  • Hiram Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media
  • Joe Tate, Speaker of the House, Michigan State Representative
  • Donovan Dooley, Owner and President QB University
  • Kari Pardoe, Program Officer, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation
  • Shawn H. Wilson, BGCSM President and CEO
  • Tiffany Abrego, BGCSM Executive Director of Behavioral Health
  • Alim McNeill, Defensive tackle, Detroit Lions
  • Bryce Underwood, LSU Commit
  • Jeanae Terry, Purdue Women’s Basketball
  • Darrell Johnson, Grand Valley State, Wide Receiver
  • Semaj J. Morgan​, U-M Wide Receiver
  • Jyaire Hill​, U-M Defensive Back
  • Jeremiah Beasley​, U-M Linebacker

For more information, visit BGCSM.org.

The Whitney Restaurant Welcomes NFL Draft to Detroit

Staff at The Whitney, one of Detroit’s oldest and largest restaurants, say they are ready for the influx of diners expected for this week’s NFL Draft.

The 1890s mansion, located just up Woodward Avenue from the draft stage, will be open for lunch and dinner (buffet brunch on Sunday) throughout the draft, and its third floor Ghostbar will welcome guests with a variety of special cocktails, led by the Witching Hour, until midnight.

Famous for its beef Wellington (center cut filet wrapped in puff pastry), The Whitney’s menu also features filets, Osso Bucco, surf and turf, Chilean sea bass and more. Plus homemade desserts like triple chocolate cake, the creampuff and flaming bananas foster from its in-house bakery.

“With the Lions finally roaring, Detroit is on a roll and the Draft is a great opportunity to show the world what we can do,” says Bud Liebler, owner of The Whitney. “The Draft is just a warm-up act for our next chance to host the Super Bowl, hopefully with the Lions on the field. We’ll be ready then, just as we are today.”

The Whitney is located at 2715 Woodward Ave. in Detroit and is serviced by the Canfield exit on the Q-Line. For more information and reservations, visit thewhitney.com or call 313-832-5700.

UnitedHealthcare Selected to Serve Medicaid Members in Michigan

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has selected UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan as one of the nine managed care organizations to administer the Comprehensive Health Care Program (CHCP).

The CHCP serves more than 2.1 million Michigan residents, providing health insurance and benefits to low-income Michigan residents, children, pregnant women, seniors, and individuals living with disabilities. Through these statewide programs, Medicaid beneficiaries have access to comprehensive services to support their physical and behavioral health, including regular doctor visits, preventive care, screenings, vaccinations, dental check-ups, and other critical services.

The contract, effective Oct. 1, will allow UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan to continue serve individuals who qualify for Medicaid through CHCP in regions 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Eastern Michigan Ranked No. 1 in State for Military, Veterans

For the seventh consecutive year, Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti is among the best of the best military and veteran-friendly universities in the country, ranked No. 1 in Michigan and No. 9 in the U.S. for 2024-25.

In its 14th year, the Military Friendly Schools list provides a comprehensive guide for veterans and their families, using data from federal agencies, veteran students, and survey information from participating organizations.

“We make it clear to our student veterans from day one that they’ve chosen the right place,” says Lt. Col. Mike Wise, U.S. Army (Ret.), assistant director of military and veteran services at EMU. “Just as the military instills a sense of camaraderie and care for one another, we extend that same level of support to our student veterans, military students, and beneficiaries. We hold a high commitment to their success, and we prioritize their needs with the utmost dedication and respect.”

In 2014, inaugurated its military and veteran support center, subsequently dedicating it to the memory of the late U.S. Army Lt. Col. Charles S. Kettles, a Medal of Honor recipient, EMU alum, and resident of Ypsilanti. Building upon this commitment, in 2015, the center broadened its scope of services for veterans following Eastern’s receipt of the TRIO-Veteran Student Support Services grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Detroit Cristo Rey High School to Stage Rey of Light Gala May 3

Celebrating its 15th year of fostering college preparatory education for economically limited students, Detroit Cristo Rey High School is encouraging the community to purchase tickets to attend the Rey of Light Gala from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, at The Godfrey Hotel in Detroit.

Gala attendees can anticipate an evening highlighted by a raffle boasting an array of prizes, a wine raffle, and a paddles up auction for scholarships, all emceed by Josh Landon of Fox 2 Detroit.

Tickets and sponsorships for the gala can be purchased here. The school also welcomes donations for the raffle and wine pull. Learn more at detroitcristorey.org/giving.