DBusiness Daily Update: Annual Sunset at the Zoo Fundraiser Set for June 21, and More

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.
The Detroit Zoological Society’s 2024 Sunset at the Zoo fundraiser is scheduled for June 21. // Photo by Patrick Gloria

Annual Sunset at the Zoo Fundraiser Set for June 21

The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) invites the community to Sunset at the Zoo, presented by KeyBank, from 7-11 p.m. on June 21.

The exclusive 21-and-older fundraising gala offers a strolling dinner featuring the finest restaurants in metro Detroit and more than a dozen food trucks, an open bar, special access to the Detroit Zoo’s habitats until twilight, a silent auction, live entertainment, live speed painting, and more.

Themed Where Life Connects, this year’s Sunset at the Zoo highlights the many ways the DZS creates meaningful connections between people, animals and the natural world so all can thrive. The funds raised at this event will directly support the daily work that drives this mission — providing up-close opportunities to connect with animals, creating programs that foster empathy and understanding, and collaborating with partners across the globe to safeguard wildlife and their habitats.

Advance tickets for Sunset at the Zoo, which start at $250, can be purchased online at sunsetatthezoo.org. VIP tickets, which include exclusive amenities and a VIP reception, are $600 each. Discounted group packages also are available.

Also returning this year is the Great Zoo Giveaway, a raffle hosted in conjunction with Sunset at the Zoo. Sunset ticket holders — as well as the general public — can visit sunsetatthezoo.org and purchase an unlimited number of raffle tickets until June 28 for their chance to win this prize package. Tickets for the Great Zoo Giveaway are $5 each, five for $20 or 20 for $100.

France’s Expleo Establishes 200 Jobs in Troy at its First U.S. Auto R&D Center

France-based Expleo has opened its new U.S. digital engineering center in Troy. The office was inaugurated June 6 in a ceremony attended by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Expleo CEO Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President Automotive Marcus Ganguin, city of Troy and Oakland County officials, and local business leaders from the automotive industry.

Expleo’s new 25,000-square-foot space is designed to provide a comprehensive environment for a wide range of end-to-end services incorporating digital, engineering and quality services to automotive OEMs and Tier 1 companies in the region and beyond.

In addition to an extensive office working area for engineering talent, it incorporates a state-of-the-art R&D workspace, including a large shop floor, from which to deliver engineering and IT services to auto manufacturers, from concept to aftersales services. This enables Expleo to provide a flexible environment for working hands-on with vehicles and complex test benches for future platforms.

“The cars on today’s roads are more sophisticated than ever, requiring both precision engineering and the latest digital capabilities,” Ganguin says. “Our new location in Troy is a strategically important step for Expleo, allowing us to bring our broad expertise across domains such as electrification, quality, functional safety and digital experiences to our customers’ doorsteps, where they need us most.”

From this location, Expleo will provide a comprehensive suite of services for businesses looking to meet customer demand for the latest automotive technologies, including electrical vehicles (EV), Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) and software-defined vehicles (SDV).

Working with partners, Expleo will leverage its experience in the automotive sector in areas such as functional safety and mechanical engineering, as well as the latest capabilities in generative AI and cybersecurity to develop safe, secure and reliable vehicles for consumers.

The Troy R&D center has 45 staff onsite with plans to grow to more than 200 Michiganders employed onsite in the next five years. Customers of Expleo in Michigan also will benefit from Expleo’s worldwide network of 19,000 experts across 30 countries with cross-industry experience delivering transformation projects.

North Carolina Credit Union Selects Troy’s Mahalo Banking Platform

Mahalo Banking in Troy announced its collaboration with MTC Federal Credit Union in Greenville, S.C., which has selected Mahalo’s online and mobile banking solution to roll out member-centric features.

Selecting Mahalo enables the credit union to create an enhanced member journey complete with expanded digital features and benefits to bolster member engagement. Mahalo’s platform will provide various self-service solutions, such as online account opening, Skip-a-Pay and Savings Jar options, allowing members to better manage their financial activity.

Driven by industry veterans, Mahalo’s digital banking platform boasts robust security solutions, including the recently introduced Credential Assurance Technology (CAT), which enables credit unions to prevent credential stuffing and safeguard sensitive member data. Additionally, Mahalo’s technology features neurodiverse functionality, ensuring an inclusive experience for all members, regardless of cognitive distinctions.

The Stories of Us Public Art Exhibition Set to Make its Debut in Detroit

Bedrock’s Decked Out Detroit and nonprofit The Stories of Us have partnered with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to launch a storytelling initiative in downtown Detroit.

Beginning Wednesday, 10 large-scale sculptures created by 11 local artists will be on display for the first time in Capitol Park, encouraging public dialogue on how communities can create a future that works for the benefit of everyone.

“In 2026, the Declaration of Independence turns 250 years old,” says Ashley Shaw Scott Adjaye, co-founder of The Stories of Us. “It’s simple words, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,’ reveal the promise of America: the twin ideals of equity and solidarity. Two ideas that shape our very identity as a country — and yet they weren’t a reality in 1776 and they aren’t our reality now.”

The Stories of Us debut exhibition will be a part of Detroit’s upcoming Juneteenth celebrations, and its location within Capitol Park further amplifies and honors the legacy of Detroiters who have helped define the city’s rich culture.

“With its longstanding reputation as a cultural heartbeat of the United States, Detroit is a powerful place for The Stories of Us to make its debut, and to invite everyone to come together to discover more about our shared past and understand our shared present,” Shaw Scott Adjaye continues.

Detroit will be the first host city for The Stories of Us. The drum sculpture exhibition will showcase designs that speak to 10 themes that center the Black experience as an invitation to everyone. Following its debut in Detroit, The Stories of Us plans to expand its art education programs throughout the United States in the coming months and years.

“The transformative work of building a nation for ALL requires spaces that bring people together, to truly see one another and see a role for themselves in creating a future rooted in love and justice.” says Michael McAfee, president and CEO of PolicyLink, founding partner of The Stories of Us. “I’m delighted that The Stories of Us is launching in Detroit to do exactly that. I hope everyone experiences this powerful exhibition — and contributes their own story to the ongoing work of making that future irresistible.”

For more information on The Stories of Us, visit DeckedOutDetroit.com and thestoriesofus.org.

Downtown Pontiac to Host Juneteenth Freedom Day Festival June 15

The city of Pontiac is collaborating with Trinity Health and United Wholesale Mortgage for the Juneteenth Freedom Day Festival on Saturday from 4-11 p.m., in downtown Pontiac. For a second straight year, the entire community is coming together to enjoy activities, support local vendors and residents, meet with nonprofit groups and observe the “independence” day celebration.

“This is a fun, welcoming, and inclusive celebration of one of the most important events in American history,” says Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel. “We encourage people from Pontiac and beyond to join us on June 15 for music, food, and fireworks.”

Freedom Day Festival activities will take place on Saginaw Street (between Water and Lawrence streets). The event features music, a kids zone of fun youth activities, and food vendors. A 4 p.m. parade will begin the reflection of history and culminate with a fireworks display at 10 p.m.

Among the other activities taking place will be a Father & Son BBQ Cookoff from noon-2 p.m. in Hidden River.

Farmington Hills’ Gale Wins EdTech Breakthrough Award

Gale in Farmington Hills has been selected as winner of the “Overall Career Prep Solution of the Year” award in the sixth annual EdTech Breakthrough Awards.

Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test and Career Prep was recognized for its “breakthrough innovation in career readiness and prep.” The EdTech Breakthrough Awards recognize technologies and companies driving innovation and exemplify the best in educational technology solutions across the globe. This is the second consecutive year that one of Gale’s adult learning resources has been recognized by the EdTech Breakthrough Awards.

Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test and Career Prep is a comprehensive online tool for standardized test preparation, researching undergraduate and graduate programs, finding tuition assistance, and exploring and preparing for careers. From students preparing for AP tests and high school entrance exams, to career professionals looking for resume help, or career guidance, Gale Presents: Peterson’s Test and Career Prep has tools that benefit learners at any stage in their academic or professional journey.

Buddy’s Pizza to Present Capuchin Soup Kitchen with $120K Contribution  

Buddy’s Pizza will present a check for $120,000 to the Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s Earthworks Urban Farm in Detroit at 10 a.m. June 17 at the farm.

The contribution is the result of Buddy’s 2024 Slice or Life fundraising campaign, the most successful in its 480year history.

The springtime campaign was a combination of percentage of sales proceeds across 23 Buddy’s Pizza locations statewide, in-restaurant customer and staff donation collections, and limited-time online contributions.

The funds will be used in large part to support the operations of Earthworks Urban Farm, a program of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, founded in 1998.  At the 1.25-acre certified organic urban farm and garden space, the team seeks to build a just food system through education, inspiration and community development.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Partners with JA to host Free Financial Wellness Resource Fair 

The Rocket Mortgage Classic has joined forces with Junior Achievement to promote financial wellness.

Tee Up Your Finances: Fore-ward Thinking For Financial Success — a free resource fair to promote personal finance education for people of all ages — will be open to all fans visiting the event at Detroit Golf Club during Detroit Community Days presented by Jeep.

Returning for the third straight year, Detroit Community Days will offer all fans complimentary admission and parking for the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s special events on Sunday June 23, Tuesday June 25, and Wednesday June 26.

Tee Up Your Finances: Fore-ward Thinking For Financial Success will provide guidance and awareness on the importance of personal finance education for people of all ages. Financial industry leaders will be on-site to help inform, educate and advise visitors on all things personal finance and provide resources to help build a more financially sound future.

The resource fair is timely for students and their parents, given a new Michigan-wide graduation requirement for financial literacy education affecting students entering high school in the fall. As the countdown to college begins for many of these students, a greater understanding of personal finance will be invaluable.

Tee Up Your Finances: Fore-ward Thinking For Financial Success is one of a number of special events at the Rocket Mortgage Classic that are part of Detroit Community Days. Sunday, June 23 features the final round of The John Shippen Men’s Invitational. On Tuesday, June 25 the First Tee – Greater Detroit Youth Clinic presented by PGA Tour Superstore will provide elementary- and middle school-age students an opportunity to learn fundamental golf skills and get tips from PGA Tour professionals.

The clinic will be followed by the AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble presented by Priority Health Total Health Foundation, which pits six four-player teams of PGA Tour stars, celebrity athletes, and entertainers and players from The John Shippen against each other in a three-hole golf exhibition match over holes 14 through 16 at Detroit Golf Club (AREA 313). On Wednesday, June 26, fans can get up close to the action and watch PGA Tour professionals playing in a relaxed setting throughout the day during the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The sixth-annual Rocket Mortgage Classic will be played June 23-30, at the Detroit Golf Club.

M1 Concourse to Host Cars Under the Stars June 30

M1 Concourse in Pontiac is providing a clear view of its 7th annual Cars Under the Stars Fireworks Spectacular show from the arena, trackside, or Senna Skydeck on June 30.

Starting at 5 p.m., on-site activities include a stage with live musical entertainment, a variety of family games and displays, food trucks, and craft beer. The night is presented by Coca-Cola.

Ticket options include Club M1, with views from the Senna Skydeck on the second floor of the Events Center and a full dinner and beverages; or preferred parking spots in the arena or trackside or on-site options — all of which include access to food trucks, the entertainment stage, and activities for up to four people per ticketed vehicle. General admission for walk-ins and discounts for Pontiac residents, active or retired military and seniors aged 62 and up are also available.

Space is limited and preferred parking will sell out. See ticket options and get them here.

For a full list of summer event at M1 Concourse, visit here.

Solero Technologies in Rochester Hills Earns 2024 Great Place To Work Certification

Solero Technologies in Rochester Hills has been certified by Great Place To Work for the first time in company history. The award is based entirely on feedback and insights from current employees about working at Solero.

“Building an outstanding workplace culture is important for me in setting the tone for our organization as a leader,” says Donald R. James, CEO of Solero Technologies. “We are honored to be recognized as a positive, impactful workplace by Great Place to Work.

“The excellent employee experience at Solero is built on having an ALL IN approach, and this achievement is a direct result of fostering an open, collaborative spirit with our incredible team members. We sincerely thank them for helping us to build the right culture for continued success.”

For more information on Solero Technologies, visit here.

Gesher Human Services Offers Webinars for Aspiring Homeowners

Gesher Human Services in Southfield will offer Michiganders free programs during the week of June 24-28 aimed at making home purchase a reality for more people.

Webinars will take place daily from noon-1:30 p.m. during that week, to highlight June’s National Homeownership Month. Topics will include credit scores required to purchase a home, shopping for a home that meets your needs, generational wealth, and ongoing costs for homeowners.

Housing professionals will be available and there will be daily question-and-answer sessions giving participants time to talk about housing needs, review credit, and create budgets.

Participants who attend three or more sessions will be provided with giveaways such gift cards to Amazon, Uber Eats, and Target. In addition, the nonprofit organization will run a social media campaign weekly through June called Financial Fridays, providing tips and resources for potential homeowners.

For more information and to register for the week-long workshop webinars, visit geshermi.org/events.