DBusiness Daily Update: Automation Alley’s Global Economic Outlook Returns, and More

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.
Automation Alley is hosting its Global Economic Outlook for 2022 and Beyond conference on Jan. 19 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. // Courtesy of Automation Alley
Automation Alley is hosting its Global Economic Outlook for 2022 and Beyond conference on Jan. 19 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. // Courtesy of Automation Alley

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.

Automation Alley’s Global Economic Outlook Returns Jan. 19

Automation Alley will be conducting its Global Economic Outlook for 2022 and Beyond conference from 8-11 a.m. on Jan. 19 at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. The event also will be streamed for participants who wish to take part virtually.

“With the impact of the pandemic still being widely felt through global supply chain slowdowns, labor shortages and the rise of permanently remote workplaces, the 2022 Global Economic Outlook promises to be a dynamic forum for in-depth conversations on managing the challenges ahead while maximizing new opportunities,” says Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley. “I’m looking forward to a lively discussion on how digital transformation will be the catalyst driving companies to success as we advance further into this decade.”

The morning’s topics will include the pandemic’s continued impact on the economic, political, and social outlook worldwide, the U.S.-China trade conflict, how nationalism, populism, and the decoupling of trade and investment may lead to even frostier relations between the world’s leading economies, and the mid-term elections and how they may weigh on Wall Street and influence public policies.

Speakers for the event include:

  • Quentin L. Messer Jr., CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corp. and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund.
  • Noel Nevshehir, director of international business services and global strategic partnerships for Automation Alley.
  • James E. Glassman, managing director of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and head economist at Chase Commercial Banking.
  • Chris Holman, founder and CEO of Michigan Business Network.

The speakers will offer their insights on projected trends in manufacturing and two-way trade and investment flows and identify industries and countries that will either benefit or be challenged by globalization.

Tickets for the event, both in-person and virtual, are $79 for Automation Alley members and $89 for non-members. Additional event details and registration can be found here.

‘Coney King’ Chuck Keros Dies at 88

Chuck Keros, the second-generation proprietor of American Coney Island restaurant in downtown Detroit, died last week at the age of 88.

A private funeral was conducted by his family and Keros was laid to rest at Grand Lawn Cemetery in Detroit, near his father Gust who created the iconic chili dog and restaurant in 1917.

Born March 11, 1933 in Detroit, Keros attended high school at University of Detroit Jesuit. In 1952, he dropped out of the University of Michigan to join his father in the restaurant business. It was Keros who kept the restaurant open 24-hour/365 days a year, never closing it despite times of unrest and uprisings in the city. And it was Keros who introduced coney fries and the loose burger.

Keros is survived by his three daughters, Grace and Connie Keros and Angela Badra, stepson Chris Sotiropoulos, and five grandchildren. American Coney Island is owned and operated by Keros’ children Grace and Chris.

California Firm Acquires BorgWarner’s North American Controls Business

Atar Capital, a Los Angeles-based private investment firm, has completed the acquisition of BorgWarner’s North American Controls business, headquartered in Auburn Hills with manufacturing located in Mississippi.

The business is a supplier of transmission solenoids, engine solenoids, stop-start accumulators, and hydraulic control modules throughout North America.

“Atar is excited to complete this carve-out with BorgWarner and acquire such an impressive world-class operation,” says Cyrus Nikou, founder and managing partner of Atar Capital. “As a standalone company, BWNAC will focus on a growth and diversification strategy, leveraging its market-leading position serving blue-chip automotive and commercial vehicle OEMs, such as Cummins Engine, Ford Motor Co., General Motors, and Stellantis.”

MGM Resorts Reimagines Loyalty Rewards Program

MGM Resorts is rolling out its reimagined loyalty rewards program, MGM Rewards, on Feb. 1, unlocking access for both gaming and non-gaming guests to the company’s more than 20 destinations across the country, offering more ways to earn and a host of new benefits.

For the first time, non-gaming customers will join their gaming counterparts and have the benefit of earning a currency — MGM Rewards Points — redeemable for complimentary food and beverage, entertainment, hotel stays, and more.

All members can now earn points on nearly all expenditures at MGM Resorts destinations, integrating both non-gaming and gaming activity. In addition to MGM Rewards Points, customers playing slots also will earn Slot Dollars. MGM Resorts’ five member tier levels — Sapphire, Pearl, Gold, Platinum, and NOIR — remain in place.

MGM Rewards offers members new and exclusive marquee benefits, including waived resort fees (Gold+), Tier Achievement Travel Credit to Las Vegas (Platinum+), complimentary tickets to MGM Rewards concerts (Pearl+), advanced suite upgrades for up to three nights (Platinum+), access to exclusive tier appreciation events and experiences (Gold+) and 4 p.m. late check-out (based on availability; Platinum+). As an added benefit, MGM Rewards Points and Slot Dollars will not expire for Pearl+ members due to account inactivity.

“MGM Resorts boasts an unrivaled collection of resorts and amenities for our guests from around the world,” says Anil Mansukhani, vice president of loyalty marketing at MGM Resorts. “As every guest experiences our properties in unique ways, MGM Rewards is designed to recognize and reward every member with experiences uniquely suited to their preferences.”

For more information, visit here.

GreenPath in Farmington Hills Receives a $1M Grant from USAA to Help Military Families

GreenPath Financial Wellness, a Farmington Hills-based national nonprofit that provides financial counseling and education, was awarded a $1 million grant from the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) to help communities of color and low-income military families experiencing financial hardships reduce debt and improve credit scores and financial confidence through proven financial counseling and debt management programs.

This grant is a continuation of the Financial Health Equity Initiative, in which GreenPath utilized a USAA grant to address educational and economic disparities among similar constituents in Bexar County, Texas.

The 2022 grant expands GreenPath’s ability to provide free one-on-one financial counseling to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) households, and military families in nine regions including the: Phoenix; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Tampa, Fla.; Annapolis, Md.; New York City; Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas; and Chesapeake, Va. metropolitan areas.

With this funding, GreenPath certified counselors will assist vulnerable households with budgeting, debt management, student loan counseling, credit report reviews, and housing counseling. The grant also helps GreenPath provide multi-touch financial coaching to help families with goal setting, making financial decisions, and building good financial habits.

Maryland Company Acquires Last-mile Warehouse in Wixom

Realterm Logistics, based in Annapolis, Md., has acquired four last-mile warehouses in three states including 48282 Frank St. in Wixom.

The Wixom facility covers 134,369 square feet, covers 15.4 acres, and has 28 loading positions. The acquisition also included two warehouses in Kentucky and one in Illinois.

“These four strategic investments are well-located in markets that continue to post low industrial vacancy rates and deliver superior proximity to major distribution corridors, densely populated communities and other industrial users,” says Rob Moriarty, associate vice president for Central Region acquisitions at Realterm.

Selfie Museum at Somerset Collection Offers Donation-based Admission Jan. 8

Room To Grow Experience, the selfie museum at the Somerset Collection in Troy, will conclude its interactive holiday pop-up installation this weekend with a “Keep Growing Detroit Donation Day” tomorrow.

Room to Grow Experience will accept donations of any size in place of regular ticketed admission costs to the selfie museum experience from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. All donations from the day will directly benefit local agricultural organization, Keep Growing Detroit.

“Keep Growing Detroit is tackling food sovereignty head on throughout Detroit and the work they do on a daily basis is an inspiration,” says Aaron Dawson, a curator of the museum. “The KGD team leads programs that are directly benefiting gardeners, youth, and residents of the city, while laying the foundation for our community to consume and grow their own foods.

“After volunteering with Keep Grow Detroit last Spring and witnessing the entire team’s dedication to their mission, I could not think of a better organization to grow with during our first pop-up installment.”

To reserve tickets for the final days of Room To Grow Experience’s holiday pop-up installment, visit here.

Dearborn, Dearborn Heights Mayors to Address Area Leaders Jan. 25

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud and Dearborn Heights Mayor Bill Bazzi will address local business leaders and the public at the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual “A Tale of Our Cities” Business Builder Series luncheon from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 at Dearborn Hills Golf Course in Dearborn.

The event, presented by Comcast, is open to the public and will include a plated lunch sponsored by Beaumont Health. Both mayors will give a brief forecast for 2022, followed by a question and answer session.

“We are delighted to host our newly seated mayors and look forward to our continued work shaping and making our corner of southeast Michigan a great place to live, work, and thrive,” says Jackie Lovejoy, president of the Dearborn Area Chamber. “The infrastructure, programs and the strength of our businesses and residents is essential to bringing us into the future with their leadership and teams.”

Space is limited and registration is required for this event. Member pricing is $40, and $50 for potential members and the general public.

For more information and to register, visit here.

VanderVeen Retires After 55 Years as Director for Oakland County International Airport

J. David VanderVeen, who oversees Oakland County International Airport, will retire from the county this week after nearly 55 years.

Not only does VanderVeen hold the record for years of employment at the county, having served under three county executives, but he is among the longest serving accredited airport executives in the United States.

“In this day and age, when job jumping is standard operating procedure and the Great Resignation is shifting our workforce, 55 years in one place is astounding, astonishing, and remarkable,” says Dave Coulter, county executive. “But most of all, it’s admirable that someone would devote their life to public service like Dave has.”

VanderVeen, a 2017 inductee of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, will continue to represent Coulter on the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Airport Committee. The county, aviation community, friends, and family will honor VanderVeen with a reception at the airport terminal on Jan. 12.

Deadline is Jan. 10 for Michigan Private Nonprofits to Apply for Disaster Loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding eligible private nonprofit organizations in Michigan of the Jan. 10 deadline to submit disaster loan applications for physical damages caused by the severe storms, flooding, and tornadoes on June 25-26, 2021.

PNPs located in Ionia and Wayne counties in Michigan are eligible to apply. Examples of eligible non-critical PNP organizations include, but are not limited to, food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools, and colleges.

PNP organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. The interest rate is 2 percent with terms up to 30 years. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes.

Applicants may apply online using the electronic loan application here and should apply under SBA declaration # 17268 and not for the COVID-19 incident.

Lung Association Urges Detroit to Take the Stairs Jan. 12

The American Lung Association in Michigan is challenging residents to adopt healthy habits in the new year by taking the stairs on Jan. 12, National Take the Stairs Day, then support lung health by registering for the Detroit Fight For Air Climb.

The Fight For Air Climb takes place annually in more than 40 cities nationwide to raise funds to help eliminate lung diseases, including COVID-19, asthma, and lung cancer.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is shining an even brighter light on the importance of lung health,” says Maureen Rovas, executive director of the Lung Association. “National Take the Stairs Day is a great way to improve your own lung health, and then the community’s health by supporting the Detroit Climb.”

Climbers will be able to take thousands of steps in Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, on May 1. The Lung Association also is offering a “Climb Your Way” option for those who can’t attend the event.

Registration for the Detroit Climb launches on Jan. 12. For more information, visit here.