Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
Ann Arbor Art Fair ‘Paints the Town’ July 21-23
Downtown Ann Arbor will transform into a 30-block outdoor art gallery once again, July 21-23, that is expected to draw nearly a half million attendees.
The Ann Arbor Art Fair is comprised of three independently juried, nonprofit art fairs that run consecutively, the original Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair, and the Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair.
Nearly 1,000 individual artists of different media from across the country are expected to participate. In addition, there will be three stages with local performing musicians, international exhibits for guests to appreciate, and interactive activities. Ann Arbor’s small businesses will be participating in the event this year as well, with retailers promoting sidewalk sales and restaurants extending patio service into the streets.
“We work year-round to make this fair the best it can be for the artists, attendees and the city of Ann Arbor, and this year is already shaping up to be incredible all around,” says Karen Delhey, executive director of the Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. “We have artists representing every medium under the sun, international art exhibits and talented musicians coming to our wonderful city for a weekend dedicated to embracing and celebrating creativity.”
For a complete schedule of activities, artists, and entertainers,, visit here.
Varnum Law Firm Moves, Doubles Size of Birmingham Office
Strong client demand and robust hiring activity has led the Varnum law firm to relocate its Birmingham office to 480 Pierce St.
The firm’s new quarters spans more than 18,000 square feet — occupying the entire third floor — initially with 28 individual offices, six conference rooms, an outdoor patio, and a dedicated client reception space.
“Since opening our doors in Birmingham three years ago, we have been thrilled with the reception from clients, legal talent and the community alike,” says Ron DeWaard, chair of the firm. “Our newly expanded office will allow us to continue our growth trajectory with first-class space for clients and talent.”
Consistent with Varnum’s full-service offering, the Birmingham office features strong practices in banking and finance, corporate law, intellectual property, commercial litigation, M&A, real estate, tax, trust and estate services and restructuring, insolvency, and creditors’ rights.
“The past three years have been exciting, and it’s gratifying to be part of a great group of attorneys who all share an unwavering commitment to client service,” says Michael Romaya, leader of the Birmingham office and banking and finance partner. “With six attorneys added in the past year alone, we’ve seen significant growth and remain optimistic about this market and our role in the community.”
For more information, visit varnumlaw.com.
Oakland County Announces First Virtual Tax Foreclosed Property Auction
Oakland County Treasurer Robert Wittenberg announces the first Virtual Foreclosed Property Auction with 374 properties available for purchase on Aug. 12.
The virtual sales auction provides greater public access, increased transparency, and operational efficiencies.
The Oakland County Treasurer’s Office has engaged Title Check — at no cost to taxpayers as bidders pay a buyer’s premium on their purchase — to manage the virtual tax foreclosure auction. Properties are available at tax-sale.info. Interested bidders may view the properties, create an account, and set their preferred bid amounts before the auction closes on Aug. 12.
For interested bidders without internet access, a phone bidding system is available by calling 800-259-7470. The Oakland County Treasurer’s Office also is providing in-person public access to computers during business hours on Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Residency proof or an appointment is not required.
“We’re excited to introduce the Virtual Tax Foreclosed Property Auction in Oakland County and provide greater public access, increased transparency and operational efficiencies at no cost to taxpayers,” says Wittenberg. “When foreclosed properties are reimagined or developed into housing, public spaces, and community gardens, they strengthen and revitalize our communities.”
To participate in the virtual tax foreclosure property auction, new bidders must register for a free user account and must submit a credit card pre-authorization before bidding on https://tax-sale.info. The credit card pre-authorization is valid for 30 days.
Advance bidding begins 30 days before the posted auction start time and ends at 10 a.m. on the posted auction date. Active bidding begins at 10 a.m. on the posted auction date and continues until 7 p.m. that evening. During active bidding, new bids and increased bids may be placed but bids may not be deleted or decreased. Winning bidders will receive an email notification after bidding closes along with payment and document requirements.
Rochester Hills’ FANUC Opens New Mexican Headquarters
Rochester Hills-based FANUC, a global leader in CNCs, robotics, and RoboMachines, are hosting a grand opening and technology open house at its new robotics and automation headquarters in Aguascalientes, Mexico today.
The new 109,000-square-foot facility will provide sales, demonstrations, training, engineering and customer service.
“We’re expanding to better serve our customer base of automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and other manufacturers in Mexico and Latin America looking for automation solutions,” says Mike Cicco, president and CEO, FANUC America. “We’ve seen a significant increase in demand for our products in this market, so having a larger facility underscores our commitment to helping companies improve their production processes and compete on a global scale.”
FANUC Mexico will demonstrate a variety of automation technologies designed to help customers increase their production capabilities, overcome labor issues, and remain competitive, including:
- FANUC’s Visual Twin demonstration offering a new way to see part production while highlighting FANUC’s end-to-end digitalization solutions for the machine shop.
- CNC Simulator designed for classroom or shop training, providing students and trainees with exposure to FANUC CNC controls without the need for a full machine.
- FANUC’s new ROBODRILL ADV Plus vertical machining center featuring FANUC’s new tapping spindle combined with the latest FANUC Intelligent Human Machine Interface (iHMI).
- The Quick and Simple Startup of Robotization (QSSR) package that simplifies the connection of a FANUC robot to a ROBODRILL, including setup, programming, and operation. QSSR makes it easy to automate a machine tending process by implementing a variety of standard components and options.
- Robotic Demonstrations
- Collaborative tote picking — a FANUC CR-15iA collaborative robot using an overhead mount iRVision 3DV/600 Vision Sensor picks random consumer products from a tote and places them into an outfeed tote. The system highlights the speed and accuracy of the 3DV/600 Vision Sensor and its ability to detect and pick a variety of products, similar to applications found in warehousing and distribution.
- Collaborative hands-on — A FANUC CRX-10iA collaborative robot will allow attendees to use its hand guidance feature. FANUC recently expanded its popular series of CRX collaborative robots with several new models. Now, the company offers 11 CRX and CR cobot model variations able to handle products from 4 to 35kg.
- Cosmetic packing — a FANUC SR-3iA SCARA robot demonstrates high-speed cosmetic packaging. The robot uses iRVision to pick products from a magazine tray and place them into a package at very high speeds.
- Flexible coordinated welding — featuring FANUC’s M-900iB heavy payload material handling robot and two FANUC ARC Mate welding robots.
- Visual Circular tracking — a FANUC LR Mate 200iD/4S robot uses 2D iRvision to locate random products on a circular conveyor. The cell is equipped with FANUC’s Dual Check Safety (DCS) software, designed to keep operators, robots and tooling completely safe.
Amazon Celebrates Prime Day with Donations to Metro Youth Sporting Organizations
In celebration of Prime Day on Wednesday, Amazon announced more than $300,000 in donations to metro Detroit youth sporting organizations, in addition to sports gear products including hockey helmets, activewear, and boxing equipment.
Amazon is supporting 14 youth sports nonprofits that help local children in a variety of ways, such as giving children access to new equipment, providing youth a safe space, supporting disabled children in sports, and offering tutoring and learning plans that go beyond sports.
Organizations receiving donations as a part of the Prime Day celebration include:
- Arab American and Chaldean Council Youth Center
- Athletes Without Limits
- Downtown Boxing Gym
- Derrick Coleman Foundation
- Future Star Guards Basketball
- Jim Dandy Ski Club
- Michigan Lady Playmakers
- Midnight Golf Program
- Pervis Jackson Jr. Autism Foundation
- Quinn Road Tarheels
- Razor Aquatics
- The Arc Detroit
- Wendell Brown Youth Empowerment
- Westside Cubs Youth Football
“In all of the communities we operate in, we’re not only committed to being a good employer, but also a good neighbor,” says Ian Conyers, head of community engagement for Detroit at Amazon. “We’ve seen the power of youth sports to build character and make a positive impact on our children and our communities. That’s why this Prime Day we’re thrilled to be able to invest in the health and well-being of young people in Detroit and beyond.”
DIA Presenting ‘Conscious Response: Photographers Changing the Way We See’
The Detroit Institute of Arts is presenting a new photography exhibition “Conscious Response: Photographers Changing the Way We See” from July 28 through Jan. 8, 2023.
The exhibition explores the history of visual storytelling and image making through the eyes of more than 25 artists who have used photography to record and reflect on human experiences that impact the work they make and our perceptions of the world.
The exhibition features more than 75 black-and-white and color photographs and photobooks from the 1950s to the present day with works by Diane Arbus, Dawood Bey, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Kenro Izu, Gordon Parks, Doug and Mike Starn, and Hiroshi Sugimoto in addition to emerging and mid-career artists including Farah Al Qasimi, Genesis Báez, Brian Day, Merik Goma, Jarod Lew, Jova Lynne, Millee Tibbs, and Corine Vermeulen.
“Photography is a way to see through the eyes of others and this exhibition brings together work, much of which has never been on view before, that explores the intentions and perceptions of artists and photographers so we, as viewers, can witness their response to the world,” says Nancy Barr, curator of the exhibit and head of DIA’s Photography Department.
Metro Detroiters with Developmental Disabilities Step into the Fashion World
Gesher Human Services in Southfield is collaborating with Detroit’s College for Creative Studies (CCS) to offer metro Detroiters with intellectual and developmental disabilities a chance to explore their artistic and fashion skills by designing clothing and accessories.
Fashion Fridays and Wearable Art is the name for the new weekly program that began July 8 and is being conducted at CCS, led by certified teaching artists. Classes will focus on self-expression, and the joy of making and wearing something that expresses participants’ fashion flare.
At the end of the nine-week course, participants will take part in a fashion show to demonstrate the clothing they have created. Attendees are all participants in Choices, a program offered by Gesher Human Services where individuals with disabilities engage in enriching activities to keep them active and engaged in the community.
“We wanted to encourage creativity with a focus on fashion for our Choices members and teaming up with the professional artists at CCS gave us a wonderful opportunity to do just that,” says Craig Nowak, program director of creative expressions at Gesher. “Designing clothes and accessories is a unique way to express your style and we know it will give our members confidence and pride, while learning new skills for self-expression.”
For more information, visit here.
American Cancer Society Offers Multiple Ways to Fight Cancer via Golf
This summer, people can support the American Cancer Society’s mission to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer by taking part in any of three events scheduled this summer.
Rocket Mortgage Classic — The American Cancer Society will have one of the few charity activations at Detroit’s PGA Tour event, July 26-31. Visit the ACS tent in the Area 313 Grove near the 13th tee for cancer and screening education, learn about upcoming ACS events in the metro Detroit Area, and for a chance to win a twosome at the 2023 Detroit Select Golf Classic.
Detroit Select Golf Classic — The 19th annual Detroit Select Golf Classic, presented by Toyota, returns to Oakland Hills Country Club Aug. 1. In addition to a round of 18 on either the North or South courses, participants can expect on-site lessons with Rick Smith, massages provided by Tri-Covery, player gifts, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, player contests, and the opportunity to support the ACS mission. Limited sponsorship and foursome opportunities are still available.
The Sunday Night Reception will prelude the outing from 5-8 p.m. on July 31 at Oakland Hills. Golfers and non-golfers are welcome to attend, to support the American Cancer Society and see the new terrace at Oakland Hills. The evening will include dinner, cocktails, live music, an auction, a live stream of Rocket Mortgage Classic, and a short program with a chance to support ACS.
Detroit ABOA Golf Outing — The Detroit Associate Board of Ambassadors is introducing the first Young Professional Golf Outing presented by Brand 25 Media, Sept. 26 at Wabeek Country Club. The Detroit Associate Board of Ambassadors is a group of young professionals passionate about furthering the fight against cancer with ACS. This outing is welcome to all young professionals, and will include a round of 18, breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, a silent auction, and the opportunity to support ACS.
For additional information, sponsorship opportunities, or to register for an outing, please contact Anna Montayne at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-770-7980.