DBusiness Daily Update: Bank of America Awards $1M to Motown Museum, 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.
Bank of America has donated $1 million to Detroit’s Motown Museum to further its programming and expansion campaign. // Courtesy Motown Museum
Bank of America has donated $1 million to Detroit’s Motown Museum to further its programming and expansion campaign. // Courtesy Motown Museum

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.

Bank of America Awards $1M to Motown Museum

Motown Museum in Detroit announced Thursday a $1 million grant from Bank of America to further its innovative programming and expansion campaign.

The $1 million grant from Bank of America, which will help strengthen the surrounding neighborhood and deliver programming, is the most recent contribution to Motown Museum’s expansion initiative.

This award brings the museum’s total amount raised for the expansion to $38 million of the $55 million expansion campaign. The first phase, Hitsville Next, comprises three original Motown-era homes that have been transformed to serve as the centerpiece of the museum’s expansive suite of educational and creative programming. As home to the museum’s mix of camps, workshops, master classes, and community events, Hitsville Next is designed to provide artistic development and inspiration for future generations of creatives and entrepreneurs.

“We are incredibly grateful to Bank of America and can’t thank them enough for their partnership, which is impactful as we prepare for our expansion and tell the stories of the incredible Motown legacy on a larger scale,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum. “Their commitment to supporting culture and taking meaningful action to build thriving communities is admirable and reflective in this generous gift.”

Construction on phase two of the expansion already is underway, including work on what will become an immersive outdoor plaza that will serve as a multipurpose community gathering place and welcome destination for museum visitors. The plaza will be regularly activated with memorable performances by local talent and will afford unique visibility opportunities for emerging artists and entrepreneurs. Due to the phase two construction, indoor tours of Hitsville U.S.A. are temporarily paused. Construction is projected to be completed by Summer 2022.

“A vibrant community is fueled by its artistic and cultural centers, and in Detroit, there’s no better example than the Motown Museum,” says Matt Elliott, president of Bank of America Michigan. “Detroiters and visitors from around the world will now enjoy new and inspiring experiences at the museum, made possible in part through financial support from Bank of America. This not only celebrates the Motown legacy, but will also spur new investment and tourism, aligning with our pledge to support initiatives that help create economic mobility.”

Announced in late 2016, the Motown Museum expansion will grow the museum to a 50,000-square-foot entertainment and education tourist destination featuring dynamic, interactive exhibits, a performance theater, recording studios, an expanded retail experience and meeting spaces designed by renowned architects and exhibit designers. When completed, the new museum campus will have a transformative impact on the surrounding Detroit neighborhoods, providing employment, sustainability, and community pride by serving as an important catalyst for new investment and tourism in the historic area.

For more information, visit here.

Michigan Will Receive $110M in Federal Funds to Expand EV Charging Infrastructure

The state of Michigan is expected to receive $110 million over five years in U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration formula funding to support the expansion of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

The funds are part of $5 billion in national EV charger investment in the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Visit here to see the state-by-state allotment.

Michigan will receive $16,290,764 in its first tranche of funding for Fiscal Year 2022. The National Electric Vehicle Charging Formula Program ($5 billion) and Grant Program ($2.5 billion) provides a total of $7.5 billion to states to procure and install electric vehicle chargers, with the goal of building a national network of electric vehicle chargers and to support charging in communities where people live, work, and shop. The Formula Program targets charging along corridors and Interstates whereas the Grant Program will invest in communities to support innovative approaches that ensure charger deployment reaches rural, disadvantaged, and other hard-to-reach communities.

“Here in Michigan, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to advance the state’s automotive and technology landscape in a way that improves the quality of life for all Michiganders,” says Trevor Pawl, chief mobility officer for Michigan. “

These federal dollars will be critical in allowing us to continuing building out our charging infrastructure, attracting new businesses building that infrastructure, and preparing our workforce for an increasingly electrified mobility future. By working together with our public and private partners, Michigan will continue setting course for manufacturing the vehicles of the future while deploying solutions like these that make EV adoption more widely available for all.”

Priority Health Launches New Diabetes Prevention Program for Medicaid Members

Priority Health in Grand Rapids has launched a new pilot diabetes prevention program (DDP) for eligible Medicaid members through a grant with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM).

This free program, run through NKFM, is aimed at helping members with prediabetes develop healthy habits to help prevent the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The year-long virtual DPP will guide eligible Priority Health members through making gradual changes toward leading a healthier lifestyle through healthy eating, exercise, and stress management. The pilot is open to 100 members and is expected to expand.

“37.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes,” says Dr. David Rzeszutko, senior medical director at Priority Health. “The good news is that with proper management and lifestyle choices, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented. Through this grant with NKFM, we are allowing our members to take these steps.”

Those who enroll will receive a wireless smart scale, access to a trained lifestyle coach, workshop materials, interactive lessons, and an online community.

“The NKFM is excited about the continued partnership with Priority Health and their support of the National Diabetes Prevention Program,” says Adam Russell, senior program manager at NKFM. “Our collective and innovative thinking continue to expand this program to those who need it most.”

Enrolled members in the program have the ability to earn rewards, which they can redeem for items such as a kitchen food scale, grocery store gift cards, and other items throughout the year.

To learn more, visit here.

Motor City Cruise to Debut Locally Designed Custom Uniforms

The Motor City Cruise, G League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, will debut a new custom uniform in its game against G League Ignite Feb. 15 as part of the team’s Black History Month initiatives.

Teaming up with Detroit Phoenix Center, United Dairy Industries of Michigan, and local fashion designer, Ken Walker, the Motor City Cruise will wear the custom uniforms for one game and donate select jerseys to the Detroit Phoenix Center. Both Detroit Phoenix Center and United Dairy Industries of Michigan will have their logos displayed on the front and back of the jersey, respectively.

Walker, born and raised on the Westside of Detroit, is a fashion designer, marketing strategist, and mental wealth activist. He attended Detroit School of Arts and Michigan State University before starting a career in advertising then launching his own clothing and apparel company, K Walker Collective.

EcoWorks and Michigan Saves Partner to Improve Detroit’s Environment

Detroit-based EcoWorks partnered with Michigan Saves, the nation’s first nonprofit green bank, to drive energy efficiency improvements that benefit the climate and local community.

EcoWorks received financing from Michigan Saves to install a state-of-the-art HVAC system and a 40-kilowatt solar energy array on its headquarters as the final step in the organization’s goal to electrify and decarbonize its operations.

Michigan Saves recently added its $350 million portfolio of projects to the Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform, which was launched by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers (GSGP) to encourage environmentally sustainable economic development in our region. The Platform showcases projects that deliver environmental impacts and financial returns and includes more than 40 projects representing nearly $4.5 billion in economic activity.

The Platform aims to position the Great Lakes region as a global destination for investments that boost climate resilience, reduce emissions, and create other environmental and social benefits. Michigan Saves’ work across the state is a microcosm of the larger regional and global trend: combining environmental stewardship and financial innovation to produce real results.

EcoWorks is in a Minoru Yamaski-designed building in the heart of Detroit. (Yamsaki designed the first World Trade Center in New York City, among other notable buildings in Detroit and across the country.) The nonprofit creates just, equitable, and inclusive solutions to climate change and other community sustainability challenges. EcoWorks practices what it preaches by giving free customer kits for Detroit homeowners to help them improve their home’s sustainability. In addition, it provides sustainable and educational resources to help businesses respond to the environmental and facility challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Detroit St. Patrick’s Parade Returns to Corktown March 13

For the first time since 2019, the Irish of metro Detroit will take to the streets of the city’s Corktown neighborhood on the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day, March 13, for the 62nd St. Patrick’s Parade.

Hosted by the United Irish Societies and sponsored by Ford Motor Co. and Kitch Attorneys and Counselors, the event is expected to draw 80,000 to 100,000 people to the one-time Detroit Irish stronghold.

The parade, which includes marching and pipe and drum bands, color guard units, floats, clowns, novelty groups, and marching units, begins at 1 p.m. near Sixth Street and Michigan Avenue, continues west to 14th Street, moves west on Michigan Avenue, passes the grandstands, and disperses at 14th Street. It lasts approximately two hours.

“On behalf of the United Irish Societies, parade sponsors, and participants, we’re thrilled to be back and know this year’s event will be better than ever with all of the positive momentum in Corktown for everyone who lives, works and spends time there,” says Mike Kelly, president of the UIS.

Peggy Gray, a longtime parade worker, will serve as the grand marshal. “For 61 years, the St. Patrick’s Parade has brought together people of all cultures and nationalities in metro Detroit to celebrate Irish culture and make lasting memories,” says Gray. “I look forward to continuing that tradition this year. This parade is a great time to celebrate Corktown, Detroit, and the positive momentum in the Corktown area.”

In addition to the parade, the event will feature a Family Fun Zone — a reserved, family-friendly area located at the northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and Sixth Street. The Family Fun Zone, which will be open from 12:30-3:30 p.m., includes live Irish entertainment, inflatable amusements, food service, and private restrooms. Tickets are $12 per person or $60 for six tickets.

The charities that will benefit from this year’s parade include:

  • Most Holy Trinity Church’s Cabrini Clinic
  • Jim Dewan UIS Scholarship Fund
  • Detroit Irish Radio Show
  • Irish Pallottine Fathers
  • Downtown Boxing Gym

Hometown heroes who will be honored at the parade include:

  • Officer Adam Sheehan, Huron Township Police Department
  • Jeffrey Hess, Detroit firefighter
  • Bryan McCann Riffle, R.N., healthcare provider
  • Patricia (Tricia) Kennedy-Coughlin, educator

For more information, visit here.

Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital Receives Multi-million-dollar Investment

Mary Ann Van Elslander has made a multi-million-dollar investment in Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital in Detroit

The gift from Van Elslander will support the Your Child, We Care campaign at Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital, bringing the campaign to its minimum goal of $18 million to enhance privacy, improve comfort, and elevate the care experience for families in our community. Her gift is part of a multi-million-dollar renovation that will expand the inpatient pediatric unit and create a dedicated entrance for women and children arriving at the hospital.

“My passion has always favored the well-being of babies and children,” Van Elslander says. “Having been blessed with a large family, I am delighted to support Ascension St. John Children’s Hospital, which has done a wonderful job serving our community’s families and will do so for generations to come.”

The Van Elslander Women’s and Children’s Entrance to the hospital will provide comfort and convenience for expectant mothers and children needing emergency services, so they will no longer have to enter through the main emergency center. Additionally, the Mary Ann Van Elslander Pediatric Unit will be established with a focus on added privacy for children and their parents with amenities that match the high quality of care provided.

“The gift from Mary Ann Van Elslander hallmarks her compassion and dedication to our smallest, most vulnerable patients,” says Dr. Kevin Grady, regional president and CEO at Ascension St. John Hospital. “We truly are grateful for her commitment and for the impact it will have on the lives and health of those in our community.”

Michigan Legacy Credit Union Donates $50K to Turning Point

Wyandotte-based Michigan Legacy Credit Union (MLCU) has made a $50,000 donation to Mt. Clemens-based Turning Point, an agency in Mount Clemens whose mission is to empower domestic and sexual violence survivors through comprehensive services and resources.

The donation, which was given to Turning Point by Michigan Legacy President and CEO Carma Peters on Feb. 9, is the largest ever made by Michigan Legacy.

“For more than 40 years, Turning Point has been providing services in Macomb County that are critical to the health and well-being of its most vulnerable residents,” Peters says. “We are pleased to make this donation in support of their efforts to reach even more individuals and families in need, while also using their community education and outreach to raise awareness and prevent domestic violence and sexual abuse from happening in the first place.”

Turning Point is Macomb County’s only comprehensive domestic violence and sexual assault services provider. Programs include a shelter that provides emergency housing for more than 300 survivors and their children each year, medical forensic and advocacy services for sexual assault survivors, a 24-hour hotline, trauma advocacy/counseling for survivors and their loved ones, outreach to middle and high schools on domestic/sexual violence prevention, Personal Protection Order assistance, legal advocacy, and two newer housing programs.

Warner Norcross + Judd Introduces $20K Law Scholarship to Promote Diversity

The Warner Norcross + Judd law firm, which has offices throughout Michigan, has introduced a new $20,000 Law Scholarship – Embracing Diversity in Our Communities as part of its commitment to promoting diversity in the legal profession in Michigan.

Offered annually, the scholarship will be awarded to a rising second-year law student in good standing from a historically marginalized community. Students are asked to share a written personal statement, short video introduction, undergraduate and law school transcripts, and a current resume for consideration.

Applications, which are available here, are being accepted through June 30, with the winner being notified by July 11. Eligible applicants will be offered a summer associate position in one of Warner’s nine offices throughout Michigan in 2023.

“We recognize the importance of going beyond mere words to promote diversity in our profession,” says Mark Wassink, managing partner of Warner. “This new scholarship will provide significant financial support to law students from communities who have historically had inadequate representation in the legal profession. It will also allow them an opportunity to put their legal studies into action during a clerkship with Warner.

“We are pleased to introduce this new scholarship program and encourage interested law students to apply.”

To be eligible for consideration, applicants may identify by race, as LGBTQIA+, or with a disability. Applications will be reviewed by members of the firm’s Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Action Committee and Summer Associate Committee. The $20,000 scholarship will be divided into four payments of $5,000 over four consecutive semesters.

The $20,000 Law Scholarship – Embracing Diversity in our Communities is the newest in a series of scholarships and programs designed to promote diversity in the legal profession. To date, Warner has contributed more than $250,000 to a number of initiatives, including scholarships for law students, paralegals and legal secretaries, as well as study courses to prepare for law school entrance exams.

For more information, visit here.