DBusiness Daily Update: Auction Open for DCLEATED Art Sculptures to Benefit Charities, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies.
DCLEATED online auction shoes
The DCLEATED online auction will close at 11:30 p.m. on May 3. // Photo courtesy of Visit Detroit

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.

Auction Open for DCLEATED Art Sculptures to Benefit Charities

The DCLEATED art installation – made up of 20 oversized cleat sculptures painted by local Detroit artists – will be auctioned off online by Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission to benefit area charities.

The DCLEATED project, led by the City of Detroit and City Walls, was launched ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft to showcase the talent of local artists while raising awareness and funds for Detroit-based causes. During the month of April, the sculptures will be displayed in and around the heart of downtown Detroit for residents and visitors to enjoy during the NFL Draft.

The online auction is live and will close at 11:30 p.m. on May 3. Bidding starts at $2,500 per cleat, with the option to purchase a cleat for $10,000.

Bidders also will have the option to donate online, with all funds being split evenly among the 20 charities.

“This project has been a great way to highlight the outstanding talent of our city’s artists,” says Harriet Carter, vice president of customer and partner services at Visit Detroit. “Visit Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission are proud to support this initiative and help raise funds for important causes in our area.”

Nineteen of the 20 cleats displayed throughout downtown will be available for purchase through the online auction. The cleat designed by artist Trae Isaac benefiting The Children’s Center will be on permanent display at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, through the sponsorship of the DCLEATED art installation by the Detroit Medical Center.

To bid on a sculpture, visit here.

SMART’s New Route 492 Could Revolutionize Southeast Michigan Transit

SMART has unveiled its latest addition to the region’s transportation network: Route 492. This fixed bus route will serve the cities of Auburn Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Troy, Clawson, Royal Oak, and Ferndale, enhancing connectivity and accessibility across the area.

“The introduction of Route 492 marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to expand transportation options and foster community connections,” says Dwight Ferrell, general manager of SMART. “Not only will this new route offer convenience and accessibility to riders of all generations, but it will also bring tangible benefits to the communities it serves.”

Scheduled to open operations on April 22, Route 492 promises to “revolutionize” the way residents and visitors navigate between key destinations in the region. From educational hubs like Oakland University to shopping centers such as Oakland Mall and downtown districts like Royal Oak and Ferndale, this route will provide convenient access to community hubs, hotspots, amenities, and attractions.

“As we look forward to the launch of Route 492, we anticipate a positive ripple effect on the local economy,” Ferrell says. “Businesses in Auburn Hills, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, and Ferndale stand to gain from increased foot traffic and new consumers who will now have convenient access to their establishments — with no parking required. This route represents not just a means of transportation but also a catalyst for economic growth and community prosperity.”

For more information about Route 492 and SMART’s comprehensive transit services, visit smartbus.org.

GMC Brand of GM in Detroit Shares Teaser of New 2025 GMC Yukon

The GMC brand of General Motors Co. in Detroit today shared a glimpse of the refreshed 2025 Yukon, the brand’s flagship nameplate. The 2025 Yukon will be the next GMC SUV launch following the all-new Acadia hitting dealerships this spring.

The image features the 2025 GMC Yukon AT4 and shows its refreshed front fascia, updated headlight, and redesigned grille executions. The 2025 GMC Yukon will be revealed later in 2024.

Earlier this year, GMC announced plans to expand its brand presence into more global markets. The 2025 Yukon will spearhead the brand’s rollout for the first time in Australia, New Zealand, and China.

Sparrow Health System Unveils New Name as University of Michigan Health-Sparrow

Local health care as leaders of Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor and University of Michigan Health-Sparrow in Lansing recently began celebrations to mark Sparrow’s new name and rebranding.

UM Health-Sparrow leaders unveiled new signage and a promotional campaign that highlights Sparrow Health System’s transition to University of Michigan Health-Sparrow.

“The inclusion of Sparrow and UM Health-West (in the Grand Rapids area) are keys to our statewide clinical network, and our goal of providing the best local care for our communities that we possibly can,” says Dr. Marschall Runge, CEO of Michigan Medicine and dean of the University of Michigan Medical School.

“As a physician, I am thrilled not only for our patients but our team members on what our relationship with University of Michigan Health means for health care locally and statewide,” says Dr. Chandu Vemuri, chief medical officer of UM Health-Sparrow Lansing. “In just one year, we’ve already seen it, through innovative procedures led by Michigan Medicine physicians, added services and improved access to care for our residents.”

For more information on the newly named University of Michigan Health-Sparrow, visit UofMHealthSparrow.org.

Mustang GT4 Racer Makes Australian Debut This Weekend

The Australian racing debut of the all-new Mustang GT4 is set for the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit this weekend.

The event, marking the third round of the 2024 Shannons SpeedSeries, will see Ford Australia celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Mustang. The event, named the Ford Mustang 60 Years Race Phillip Island, will feature car club displays, owner parade laps, and special ticket offers exclusively for Mustang owners, creating a thrilling atmosphere for racing fans and Mustang enthusiasts.

“The Mustang holds a special place in the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide, and seeing the GT4 version on Australian tracks is truly a momentous occasion,” says Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports. “We are proud to be part of the global expansion of Mustang in motorsport.”

Andrew and George Miedecke, well known in the Australian racing and automotive industries, are owners of the new Mustang racer. They are proprietors of a successful Ford dealership. George Miedecke is a 38-year-old seasoned racer and will be behind the Mustang’s wheel.

“The arrival of our Mustang GT4 marks a new era of Ford Performance in Australia, and we are thrilled that Miedecke Motorsport will showcase its capabilities on the track,” says Andrew Miedecke. “This car embodies the spirit of performance and passion that defines the Mustang legacy. As Ford dealers, we’re also excited about the 60th anniversary celebrations and are looking forward to the seventh-generation Mustang arriving on Australian roads later this year.”

Stellantis’ Commitment to Employee Health and Well-being Recognized

The commitment of Stellantis in Auburn Hills to prioritizing its employees’ health and well-being is being honored with a pair of awards from the Business Group on Health (BGH).

The company is receiving the Best Employers: Excellence in Health and Well-being Award for its outstanding commitment to advancing employee well-being through comprehensive and innovative benefits and initiatives, and the Excellence in Health Equity for working to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to reach their full health potential, incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging into health and well-being strategies.

“Stellantis is honored to receive this recognition as it reflects our long-standing commitment to providing a healthy workplace and quality of life for all of our team members,” says Brad Thompson, vice president of health care, disability, workers compensation, and medical operations for Stellantis North America. “Promoting and supporting the health and well-being of our employees and their families is central to our company’s culture and success.”

The company, in partnership with the UAW, was the first domestic automaker to open near-site family health and wellness centers serving employees and their families working at manufacturing facilities in Detroit; Kokomo, Ind.; and Toledo, Ohio.

The medical centers provide convenient, low- to no-cost options for acute, preventative, and wellness-focused primary care services for all Stellantis employees and their covered family members enrolled in the company’s health care plans.

Additionally, dedicated on-site well-being coordinators are present at the company’s manufacturing facilities to promote wellness initiatives.

Walmart Partners with Consumers Energy to Power 44 Michigan Locations with Clean Energy

Consumers Energy in Jackson and Walmart Inc. have reached an agreement for Consumers Energy to power 44 Walmart locations in Consumers Energy’s service territory in Michigan with clean energy. The agreement is a milestone for the Consumers Energy’s Renewable Energy Program, which now has similar commitments from more than 30 large employers.

“Developing new renewable energy resources for our customers reflects Consumers Energy’s commitment to Michigan’s clean energy future and the collaboration it takes to bring them to fruition,” says Lauren Snyder, vice president of customer experience at Consumers Energy’s. “By diversifying the energy portfolio, we are making a meaningful impact in adding critical new clean energy capacity to the grid while fostering economic growth and job creation in renewable energy.”

Walmart is agreeing to match 90 percent of the energy it uses across 44 Michigan locations with renewable energy from future projects that Consumers Energy will develop in Michigan.

Shinola Hotel in Detroit to Host NFL Draft Throwback in Parker’s Alley

Shinola Hotel is hosting Throwback in Parker’s Alley from noon-10 p.m. on April 25-27, during the NFL Draft.

At the event, locals and visitors are invited to celebrate the classics — from sports to cars.

Throwback in Parker’s Alley will featuring pop-up bars serving food and drinks, a vintage car installation for photo moments, and three LED screens throughout the Alley to watch the Draft live. Visitors can enjoy downtown Detroit during the Draft without having to battle the crowds and restaurant waits. Pop-up bars will offer Michigan beers, cocktails, and beverages. Guests also will be able to order for pick-up and in store from The Brakeman, Penny Red’s, and Mister Dips.

In addition to bites and beers in the Alley, visitors are invited to stop by the Shinola Hotel for lunch or dinner at San Morello, drinks at Evening Bar, or to enjoy the Living Room.

Building Black Wealth Tour Coming to Detroit April 13

The Greater Detroit Realtist Association (GDRA) is hosting the National Association of Real Estate Brokers’ (NAREB) Building Black Wealth Tour from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ (19190 Schaefer Highway) in Detroit.

This free event, part of a series of events in more than 100 cities nationwide, is aimed at encouraging the more than 2 million African American mortgage-ready renters who are not yet homeowners and other families and individuals in communities across the country to embark on homeownership and investment journeys.

Participants will have access to insights into homeownership, property investment, starting a business, and other generational wealth-building strategies through classes, workshops, and personalized counseling.

“Our mission is to alert families and individuals, and especially those who can qualify for a mortgage, how important it is to buy a home and be put on a path towards generational wealth,” says Courtney Johnson Rose, president of NAREB. “Discriminatory housing policies have kept our families for generations from opportunities to build wealth. We want everyone to know the important steps and information that can lead to wealth-building and homeownership.”

Registration to attend the event is open here (select Greater Detroit Realtist Association, Detroit, Michigan) and at GreaterDetroitRealtist.com.

A live stream will make virtual sessions and online conversations accessible to a national audience. Register here for the live stream.

Detroit Record Club, Modern Supply Announce Record Store Day Offering April 20

Detroit Record Club and its sister store Modern Supply, both in Royal Oak, announced a collaboration in celebration of Record Store Day on April 20.

On that day, music enthusiasts and vinyl collectors will have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive release of Noah Kahan’s “I Was / I Am” vinyl record along with a collaboration candle created in partnership with Ranger Station.

Ranger Station is a maker of premium candles and Stick Season is a custom candle designed with Noah Kahan that combines the scent scape of music with the earthy essence of Vermont pine, campfire whiskey, and flannel.

“Cross-promoting between our stores is a testament to our love for customers,” says Tara de Boer, co-founder of Modern Supply and The Detroit Record Club. “These collaborations bring us the best of both worlds, enriching experiences and value for everyone involved.”

For more information about Detroit Record Club, Modern Supply, and their Record Store Day offerings, visit here and here.

detroitrecordclub.com and modern-supply.co.

PFM Financial Advisors in Ann Arbor Welcomes Brodie Killian as Director

PFM Financial Advisors (PFMFA), an independent municipal advisory, announced that Brodie Killian has joined the Ann Arbor office as a director.

Killian brings more than 18 years of public finance experience working with school districts, community colleges, and municipalities.

“We are excited to have Brodie join PFMFA’s Michigan financial advisory team. He is well-known and respected, has proven experience in business development and client service, and complements our team very nicely,” says Kari Blanchett, managing director and head of the Ann Arbor office.

Prior to joining PFMFA, Killian was managing director at Stifel Nicholas & Co, where he spent six years as an investment banker.

Aetna Better Health of Michigan Recommended for CHCP Contract

Southfield-based Aetna Better Health of Michigan, a CVS Health company, has been recommended by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to continue serving Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries under a new Comprehensive Health Care Program (CHCP) contract.

“We’re committed to helping improve the health and wellbeing of members, their families, and communities in Michigan,” says Mark Santos, president of Aetna Medicaid. “We’re pleased with this win and the opportunity to continue working with the State to provide access to coordinated whole-person health care to Michiganders.”

The Comprehensive Health Care Program covers support of populations eligible for aged, blind, and disabled, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), foster care, and temporary assistance for needy families programs. Aetna Better Health of Michigan has been recommended to continue supporting Michigan members in the Southwest Prosperity Region (region 8), the Southeast Prosperity Region (region 9), and the Detroit Metro Prosperity Region (region 10), while expanding services into South Central Prosperity Region (region 7).

“We’re passionate about our work supporting Michigan Medicaid and CHIP members to help them achieve better health,” said Teressa Smith, CEO, Aetna Better Health of Michigan. “We look forward to advancing the State’s new MIHealthyLife pillars, driving innovation to improve health outcomes, promoting health equity and advocating for our members’ social care needs.”

Meridian in Michigan Awarded Michigan Medicaid Comprehensive Contracts

Meridian in Michigan has been selected by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to continue to serve as a Medicaid health plan for the Comprehensive Health Care Program, which serves nearly 2 million Michiganders statewide.

The proposed Medicaid contracts are expected to begin on Oct. 1, and run through Sept. 30, 2029, with three, one-year optional extensions.

Founded in 1997, Meridian has 27 years of experience developing and maintaining a Medicaid network in Michigan. Centene, which owns Meridian, manages Medicaid contracts across 31 states. Meridian was selected to serve 44 counties in the Lower Peninsula and will be one of nine Medicaid managed care organizations providing physical, dental, pharmacy, prescription, and transportation services.

Citizens Announces $135K in Financial Empowerment Grants to Nonprofits in Michigan

In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, Citizens announced $135,000 in financial empowerment grants to support nine Michigan nonprofit organizations as part of the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money program.

Through funding and volunteerism, Citizens will support local financial literacy partners that provide training to empower communities to achieve financial wellness and build brighter futures.

This years’ funding recipients in Michigan, include:

  • Great Lakes Women’s Business Council
  • Accounting Aid Society
  • Detroit Land Bank Community Development Corporation
  • Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
  • Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan
  • Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan
  • National Faith HomeBuyers
  • Southwest Economic Solutions

Meijer to Open Two New Ohio Stores on May 14

Grand Rapids-based Meijer announced it will open two new 159,000-square-foot supercenters in Alliance and North Canton, Ohio, on May 14, increasing the retailer’s store count to 55 in the state.

The supercenters will feature all the products Meijer customers have come to expect, including grocery staples, fresh produce, bakery, meat, and deli, as well as a floral area, garden center, and home goods. The store also will include a pharmacy, health and beauty care, a pet department, electronics, toys, sports, and apparel.

A Meijer Express gas station will open on April 18 adjacent to the North Canton location.

Team Schostak Family Restaurants Again Named One of America’s Top Workplaces

Team Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR) in Livonia has been named a 2024 Top Workplaces USA national award winner. It’s the third consecutive year the company has been so honored.

TSFR, which employs more than 6,500 employees throughout Michigan, ranked 30th out of the 100 companies recognized in the large business category, which compares organizations with more than 2,500 employees. Over 40,000 organizations of varying sizes were considered for the Top Workplaces rankings.

“The unmatched care and dedication of our people has earned us both national and local recognition for our culture for the past three years,” says Mark Schostak, executive chairman of TSFR. “Every day, they lead the way by delighting our guests, serving our community, acting with integrity and achieving impactful results.”

The restaurant group provides its employees with competitive benefits, including a care fund for unexpected expenses due to catastrophic life events, a 50 percent discount at all TSFR restaurants, instant pay, paid time off, 401K, health insurance, and flexible scheduling.

Learn more here.

University of Michigan Debate Team Wins First National Title

After finishing runner-up seven times, the University of Michigan debate team has finally clinched its first national championship.

U-M Debate, which began in 1903 as one of the oldest debate programs in the United States, secured the championship trophy at the 2024 National Debate Tournament in Atlanta thanks to debaters Kelly Phil and Bennett Dombcik. They won on a 5-0 decision against the University of Kansas April 8.

Phil is a senior from Taiwan majoring in political science. Dombcik is a senior philosophy major from North Carolina.

The 78th annual tournament, conducted at Emory University, featured 78 teams representing 47 universities and colleges. Two-person teams debate each other on a year-long topic concerning U.S. nuclear weapons policy.

U-M’s team finished the preliminary rounds with a 7-1 record. In the elimination rounds, Michigan defeated Michigan State University, 4-1; Georgetown University, 4-1; California State University Long Beach, 4-1; and Emory University, 3-2, before beating Kansas in the championship round.