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.
Annual Paul W. Smith Golf Classic Slated for July 11, Adds Corporate Sponsors
The Paul W. Smith Golf Classic presented by Ford Motor Co. will be played earlier than usual this summer, on July 11 at the Detroit Golf Club, and with several new corporate sponsors.
The event, which has raised more than $7.7 million net to date, has seen an increase in sponsors with more than a half dozen new sponsors this year.
“Our nonprofits provide unmatched programming to the families they serve,” says Smith, the longtime morning host on WJR-AM. “The charities have had to expand their services in the last few years to deal with unprecedented and unforeseen challenges. The need for their critical health and behavioral health services, athletic and school enrichment programs and medical and therapeutic services for children with special needs cannot be overstated.”
Corporations across the metro Detroit community have come together for 19 years to support the Paul W. Smith Golf Classic. Returning as title sponsor is News/Talk 760 WJR. The tournament sponsor is Ford Motor Co. Presenting sponsors include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, DTE Energy Foundation, General Motors Co., Lear Corp., and Toyota Motor Sales, USA.
This year Delta Airlines returns as the official airline sponsor. Joining them as new corporate supporters in the event, which benefits 55,000 Detroit youth are Art Ashley, Bill Brown Ford, Enbridge, Marygrove Awning, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Trion Solutions, Victor’s Roofing, and Weingartz Supply Co.
Other sponsors include golf cart sponsor Meijer Inc., turn sponsor Rocket Mortgage, and clubhouse sponsor Stellantis.
Beneficiary nonprofits include The Children’s Foundation, The Children’s Center, Variety the Children’s Charity of Detroit, and Detroit PAL, the event’s original charity.
Demand for the vital services provided by the charities has increased in recent years, while resources and contributions have not kept pace.
“Our participants really look forward to the competition,” Smith says. “The Detroit Golf Club is a magnificent course, and the clubhouse is most welcoming. What’s more, our golfers truly appreciate the opportunity to network and socialize in-person, on the links and off screens at an in-person event.”
The tournament features a double-shotgun tournament. The rounds are followed by live music, fine dining, and an awards ceremony. All safety protocols for COVID-19 will be in place
Sponsors are provided playing opportunities. A limited number of sponsorships are still available. Smith invites members of the public to help support the nearly 55,000 youth served by these charities by becoming a Paul W’s Caring for Kids Club member. Memberships start at less than $10 per month and are available at www.paulwsmithgolf.com under Paul’s Caring for Kids Club.
Diamonds Direct New Showroom in Troy Offers 0% APR for Five Years
Diamonds Direct, which opened a new showroom in Troy last month, is offering zero percent APR for five years – when purchased by June 30.
“June is a time to celebrate,” says Niv Ankawa, regional vice president for Diamonds Direct. “It’s one of the most exciting months for diamond customers as they get engaged or married or are graduating from school.
“Our 0 percent APR is a thrilling offer because it offers incredible savings for customers to purchase the diamonds of their dreams. We are excited to add tremendous value to the Troy area market through our educational process, selection, and legendary service offerings.”
Diamonds Direct says it has a unique advantage over traditional jewelry stores. With a buying office inside the world diamond exchange in Tel Aviv, Diamonds Direct cuts out all middlemen and maintains involvement in the entire lifecycle of a diamond.
The Robot Garage Named SubSummit 2022 Pitch Competition Winner
SUBTA, the Troy-based Subscription Trade Association, announced The Robot Garage in Birmingham and Rochester Hills as the winner of the SubSummit 2022 Pitch Competition, presented by Pitney Bowes and Praella.
The Pitch Competition gives startup brands an opportunity to showcase their subscription’s potential for the chance to win funding and resources to help their businesses grow. This year, The Robot Garage took home the largest grand prize in SubSummit history: $10,000 in cash and $40,000 worth of in-kind services, including a full website rebuild.
“Being named an award-winning business is a dream come true,” says Sarah Jacobs, co-founder of The Robot Garage. “STEM fields are growing faster than any other sector and with that demand, our goal has always been to provide students with the exposure, accessibility and community needed to practice building, robotics and engineering. It is an honor to be recognized for our success thus far, and we are thankful for the monetary support that Pitch Competition provided us to further expand our capabilities and reach.”
The Robot Garage, founded in 2011 by Sarah and Jonathan Jacobs, was inspired by their daughters’ early interest in robotics and building. Since then, the family-owned business has shifted from its original brick-and-mortar business model to a subscription-based platform, offering a monthly, custom-designed robotics subscription kit. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, the organization had served more than 100,000 students from its two locations with 35 percent of the students coming from underserved communities.
When shutdowns began, the co-founders made the decision to hire a team of digital experts to help create a virtual, subscription business model in order to continue providing children with access to the education and resources they were receiving in-person.
In June 2021, The Robot Garage shipped its first boxes, which featured a 3-in-1 LEGO kit and access to hours of video tutorials walking students step-by-step through building and coding three robots. Each lesson focuses on engineering concepts and encourages a child’s experimentation with more than 100 hours of class videos available for kids aged PK-third grade, and more on the way for older students.
To learn more about how you can apply for the SubSummit 2023 Pitch Competition, visit here.
Coalition to Back Black Businesses Awards $25,000 Grants to 20 Black-owned Small Businesses
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in Washington, D.C. announced that the Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) has awarded 20 Black-owned small businesses from CBBB’s 2021 grant program an additional $25,000 enhancement grant to support their growth and long-term success.
Among the 20 recipients — 45 percent of which started their business during the pandemic — 80 percent are women-owned small businesses and 85 percent have six or fewer employees.
“Employing nearly half of the U.S. workforce, the strength of small businesses is critical to the prosperity of our communities and our economic recovery,” says Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We’re committed to supporting the needs of Black small business owners in America through our Coalition to Back Black Businesses and equipping them with tools to thrive.”
Now in its second year, the CBBB initiative was established to provide immediate financial assistance and mentorship opportunities to help strengthen the Black business community. Since its launch, CBBB has awarded grants to 1,091 Black-owned small businesses in 40 states to help cover essential needs as they navigated the pandemic, from covering rent and payroll expenses to expanding their online presence and marketing efforts.
“The mentorship and coaching support that we have received from the Ureeka platform has been phenomenal,” says Bupe Mulenga, owner of Stephens Southern Delights in Detroit. “It is unmatched. That in and of itself supplied so much encouragement, support, and reassurance that although we dream big, we can definitely achieve what we set out to do.”
According to a survey conducted in January 2022, Black-owned businesses hit record levels of lower sales, with more than half reporting lower sales than in the previous year. Meanwhile, CBBB grantees report being optimistic about the future of their business, with 50 percent of them experiencing increased revenue in the second half of 2021. After more than two years into the pandemic, reduced consumer traffic, access to capital, and employee availability remain top obstacles to business growth.
Additional funding from ADP, AIG, Altice USA (parent company of Optimum and Suddenlink), Dow, and the S&P Global Foundation, along with programmatic support from Stanley Black & Decker, Shopify, and Firefli, will provide $14 million in grants and other critical resources, like mentorship, to support Black small business owners across the country through 2024.
Detroit Manufacturing Systems Staging Two-day Employee Event June 23-24
Detroit Manufacturing Systems (DMS), a contract manufacturing company with locations in Detroit and Toledo, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with two days of festivities for its 1,800 employees June 23-24 in Detroit.
“We are so fortunate to be able to bring together all of our talented team members to celebrate our 10-year anniversary,” says Matt Langton, executive vice president of sales, purchasing, and strategy at DMS. “This is only the beginning. The energy and momentum at every level of the organization is palpable.”
DMS says it prides itself on having a talented, diverse, and inclusive team of employees. Additionally, the company provides a learning environment that offers opportunities for employees to transform their lives through education while developing new skills. DMS creates a culture of service by empowering others to grow, rise, and give back, accelerating positive change in their community and the world.
“Our dream from the beginning was to create a company that was interwoven into the fabric of the community and to make a positive impact,” says Bruce Smith, chairman and. “We will never let go of that dream. Our employees here today are merely the first generation who will grow, rise and give back to the City of Detroit.”
DMS, which currently is hiring for a wide range of positions from hourly production workers through highly skilled engineering positions, also is conducting a Careers Open House, which is open to the public, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. June 24. Those looking for new opportunities can speak to a member of the DMS talent acquisition team.
Barrett-Jackson to Auction First Production 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V for Charity in Las Vegas
Barrett-Jackson will auction the first retail production 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V, the industry’s most powerful full-size SUV and first-ever Cadillac V-Series SUV, during the 2022 Las Vegas Auction, June 30-July 2.
This highly VIN 001 Escalade-V will cross the auction block on July 1 at approximately 4:30 p.m. PT to benefit the Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, Detroit’s new and only Historically Black College or University (HBCU).
“Barrett-Jackson was founded on the principle of supporting those in need, dating back to the first ever event held by my parents and their business partner Tom Barrett, a charity car show in 1967 to raise funds for the Scottsdale library,” says Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “To date, we’ve helped raise nearly $148 million for charitable initiatives around the world, and with the support of companies like General Motors donating highly desirable first production vehicles such as this VIN 001 Escalade-V, we also bring maximum awareness to these important endeavors.”
The recently unveiled 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V (Lot #3000) is powered by a hand-built 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 producing 682 hp and 653 ft.-lbs. of torque. Cadillac expects the Escalade-V to be capable of 0-60 sprints in fewer than 4.4 seconds.
The winning bidder of the VIN 001 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V will select his or her preferred Cadillac dealer, and the order will be delivered by that dealer.
One hundred percent of the hammer price for the Escalade-V will benefit Pensole. Reestablished in 2021 under the leadership of its founder and prominent designer in the footwear industry, D’Wayne Edwards, Pensole is the pipeline HBCU for career education and professional development in the product creation industry.
In addition to the Escalade-V, the winning bidder will also have the opportunity to sit down with Edwards to design a pair of custom sneakers that will be manufactured as a one-of-one run.
“On behalf of everyone at the Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design, we’re thrilled to collaborate with Barrett-Jackson and Cadillac as the beneficiary for the auction of the first-ever V-series Escalade,” Edwards says. “Car enthusiasts know better than most that the art of design goes beyond the eyes and into the soul. From what we wear to what we drive, design is an expression of who we are, and we’re proud that the proceeds of this auction are an investment in the next generation of creative design.”
Those interested in registering to bid on the first 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V, as well as the entire 2022 Las Vegas Auction docket, can do so here.
LIFT Offers Manufacturing Certifications for Kentucky National Guard and Reserve Members
LIFT, the Detroit-based, Department of Defense-supported national manufacturing innovation institute, in partnership with Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) in Kentucky, announced its “Operation Next” advanced manufacturing certification program is being made available to members of Fort Knox and the Kentucky National Guard and Reserve and their spouses.
Operation Next is a self-paced, advanced manufacturing-focused training and credentialing initiative that blends hands-on and virtual learning. Kentucky National Guard and Reserve members now are able to take part in the program, following the states of Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Virginia, and Wisconsin with additional expansion planned across the United States. Operation Next also provides training opportunities for military spouses, all with funding through the Department of Defense Manufacturing Engineering Education Program.
Elizabethtown Community College will recruit members of Fort Knox and the Kentucky Guard and Reserve and their spouses to enroll in the Operation Next program and will guide students through their educational experience to the attainment of nationally portable and industry-recognized credentials through the college’s Advanced Manufacturing Army Career Skills Program (CSP).
“The ability to add welding and machine tool operating, two popular and lucrative career options, to our already impressive CSP lineup will greatly benefit transitioning soldiers as they begin the next phase of their career,” says Mike Hazzard, dean of workforce solutions at ECTC. “Our goal with this program is to provide as many opportunities as we can to these soldiers to ensure they have skills and training for a lucrative occupation once they leave the military.”
Members of Fort Knox and the Kentucky Guard and Reserve can enroll at www.opnextjobs.com.
National Guard Wants to Double the Size of Camp Grayling to Improve Training
The National Guard has submitted a proposal to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to nearly double the size of Camp Grayling, adding approximately 162,000 acres to its current footprint.
Founded in 1913 on land donated for military purposes by a local lumber baron, the camp, used mostly for training, covers about 148,000 acres in Crawford, Kalkaska, and Otsego counties. The camp’s main post is in Grayling Township. It already is the largest National Guard training facility in the country.
The Michigan DNR is conducting a public meeting at 6 p.m. tonight at Kirtland Community College in Grayling. Attendees will learn about the proposal and have an opportunity to submit comments.
To ensure people have ample time for review and feedback, the DNR has extended the original July 8 deadline and will accept comments throughout the review process.
If the proposal review is approved to move forward, the next step in the process would be an environmental and parcel review. In any case, the DNR would maintain ownership and management authority of leased lands. Public access to state-managed lands including forest roads for ORV use would remain, and Au Sable River and Manistee River access would remain open, with 1,500 feet between military activities and the water.
Other steps in the process include:
- Staff review of proposed parcels to remove those purchased with restricted funds, campgrounds and parcels that do not allow leasing.
- Review Kirtland’s warbler habitat with Kirtland’s warbler management team, with representation including the DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.
- Use Conservation Viewer tool to remove parcels where training could have negative impacts on fish, wildlife and the natural landscape.
- DNR and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs review revised expansion footprint.
- Military conducts federal environmental analysis on new expansion footprint.
- DNR and DMVA determine lease limits and language for each expansion area.
- Public input opportunity on refined plan.
- DNR executive management review of revised draft.
- Final draft presented to DNR director and National Guard adjutant general for approval.
‘Motortown Revue’ Art Installation Honors Motown Records Roadshow
The famed Motortown Revue is back in Detroit this summer as Motown Museum announces an outdoor, walkable art installation in honor of the 60th anniversary of the iconic Motown Records roadshow.
In partnership with the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and placed along the Detroit Riverwalk, the installation opens to the public today.
This year’s Motown Mile exhibition guides visitors through the creation and evolution of Motown Records’ annual packaged tour, the Motortown Revue. For the first time in October 1962, Motown’s roster of young singers, musicians, and staff members boarded a crowded bus that would carry them for the next three months as they performed more than 50 one-nighters in towns across the United States.
In an era of racial strife, the artists faced discrimination as they performed to both integrated and segregated crowds in the North and South. The Motortown Revue introduced new audiences to the Motown Sound and boosted the careers of up-and-coming artists including Little Stevie Wonder, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, The Marvelettes, Martha and The Vandellas, Four Tops, The Contours, and The Supremes before they became household names.
The exhibit’s eight installations will provide a backstage pass to the Motortown Revue, offering access to behind-the-scenes preparation in Detroit, the realities of life on the road, the onstage magic that created hit records, up to the final curtain call back home at the Fox Theatre.
As visitors along the Detroit Riverwalk engage with the installation, they can follow along with the story and scan QR codes to listen to the Motown sound that was part of the Motortown Revue.
“This year we’re celebrating the Motortown Revue’ which was one of the most culturally impactful ways that Motown bridged the racial divide through music,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum. “This is reflective of Motown Museum’s commitment to bring cultural experiences to our community in new and inspiring ways. Thank you to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy for serving as the perfect space to welcome Detroiters and our visitors.”
The free installation, made possible by Sony Music Publishing, will be open to the public until Oct. 31.