DBusiness Daily Update: Beyond Basics Welcomes New Board Chair, Board Members, 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.
Patrick A. Rugiero (top left), David Van Elslander, Selam Sanders, and Charles D. Bullock, and have taken on new roles on the Beyond Basics board. // Courtesy of Beyond Basics
Patrick A. Rugiero (top left), David Van Elslander, Selam Sanders, and Charles D. Bullock, and have taken on new roles on the Beyond Basics board. // Courtesy of Beyond Basics

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.

Beyond Basics Welcomes New Board Chairperson, Board Members

Beyond Basics, the literacy nonprofit in Southfield, has named a new board chair and three new members of the board.

Patrick A. Rugiero, executive director of Roman Village Restaurant Group in Dearborn, is the new chair. He succeeds Jack Aronson, founder of Garden Fresh Gourmet, who passed away in 2021. Rugiero has served on the Beyond Basics board since 2018 and is involved in several charitable organizations.

“Jack and I were connected by our shared love of philanthropy,” Rugiero says. “When he asked me to take up the mantle of board chairman for Beyond Basics, I felt I had to follow him in the position. I am compelled by the stories of the students we serve to take on this role for the board.”

New board members include:

  • Charles D. Bullock, founding member of the Stevenson & Bullock law firm.
  • Selam Sanders, co-founder and president of SG Real Estate.
  • David Van Elslander, board member of the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation.

“The combined energy of these accomplished business professionals helps Beyond Basics change the narrative for students who cannot yet read, bringing literacy and better educational outcomes for those who need it most, in Detroit and around the state,” says Pamela Good, co-founder and CEO of the organization. “Our work together ensures students go to school knowing how to read so that they can meaningfully access their education and participate in society.”

Beyond Basics will celebrate its 20th anniversary during National Reading Month at its annual Coming Together for Children event on Friday, March 25, at the Detroit Athletic Club. To purchase tickets or a sponsorship, visit https://www.beyondbasics.org/annualevent2022.

Chevrolet Teaser Video Previews All-electric Blazer SS

The Chevrolet brand of Detroit’s General Motors Co. has released a 20-second video preview of its all-electric Blazer SS, which will be the first Chevy EV to feature a performance SS model.

The all-electric Blazer SS will make its debut later this year and will be available in spring 2023. The video, which can be viewed here, features shots of the charger access, its wheel, and logo.

Matrix Human Services to Host Drive-through Job Fair March 24

Matrix Human Services in Detroit is hiring for a wide variety of positions available throughout its family of programs, including early childhood education, adult and senior social services, health care professionals, accounting, human resources, and more.

To that end, it is hosting a drive-through job fair from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at 1400 Woodbridge in Detroit (the entrance is located behind the building).

All positions come with a full range of benefits including competitive salaries, medical, dental, vision, and a $2,500 signing bonus for select positions.

To check out all available jobs and apply online, visit here.

Gardner White to Fill Dozens of Positions During March 10 Career Fair

Gardner White Furniture in Warren says it is hoping to fill “dozens” of career-oriented positions during a Career Fair from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at its new Warren store on March 10 and another similar event on March 31.

Among the positions being filled are sales consultants, customer service representatives, and stock associates. Gardner White is offering a $2,000 signing bonus for sales consultants and a $500 signing bonus for office positions.

For more information, visit here.

Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park Gets $250K TD Charitable Foundation Grant

Ruth Ellis Center Michigan in Highland Park has received a $250,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation to provide financial security programming.

The grant was part of the TD Bank’s 16th annual Housing for Everyone grant program, which helps housing organizations deliver resident services like eviction prevention assistance, workforce development, and childcare.

The bank’s charitable giving arm gave a total of $5.8 million to selected 33 nonprofit organizations across TD Bank’s national footprint.

“Housing organizations have been on the front lines of both the affordability crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Paige Carlson-Heim, director of the TD Charitable Foundation. “They have been called upon time and time again over the past few years to do everything from helping people find affordable homes to serving as vaccine clinics. Each time, they’ve stepped up and expanded their mandates to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and work towards an equitable COVID-19 recovery.”

Rebel Nell Releases Second Female Founders Book for Women’s History Month

Detroit jewelry social enterprise Rebel Nell has released its second “Female Founders” promotional book for Women’s History Month.

This community-led book brings together women business owners from around Detroit for exclusive deals and discounts that has a portion of proceeds benefiting Rebel Nell’s programs. Participating businesses include Bea’s Detroit, Bon Bon Bon, Citizen Yoga, Marrow, and more than 40 other businesses. The book is valid for one year and will be available to purchase for $35 and comes with more than $600 in savings.

Another portion of the proceeds from the book will go towards a grant to a startup Detroit woman-owned small business.

“Giving back to our community is at the forefront of Rebel Nell’s mission,” says Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Nell. “We are excited to announce a call for applications to give $500 to a women-owned organization in Detroit. It is our hope this grant will inspire those with incredible ideas and visions to bring them to life.”

Applications for the grant must be submitted by April 1. Individuals may nominate themselves or another business for the grant. Businesses must be located in Detroit, women-owned and operated (no franchises), and be in business for no more than three years. Applications are due Applications can be submitted here.

The “Female Founders” promotions book can be purchased online.

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Brings Celebrate the Center Breakfast Event DAC

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF) returns to the Detroit Athletic Club for an in-person Celebrate the Center event at 8 a.m. on April 6.

Each year, SVSF picks a special volunteer to honor during the annual breakfast event. This year’s volunteer is Bernard Schwartz, the vice chair of the Board of Trustees, who has been with the Center for more than 50 years.

“It meant so much to me to hear this,” Schwartz says. “It was an affirmation that all those who committed their lives to these children, that the staff who worked in all the different cottages, and that all the volunteers that played with these kids, did a great job.”

Individual tickets and various sponsorship opportunities for Celebrate the Center are available here.

Friendship Circle Hosts Annual Mental Health Awareness Event

Friendship Circle, a nonprofit that supports individuals with special needs, has opened registration for its fourth annual UMatter One Thing I Wish You Knew event that will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. on March 13 at the Seaholm High School Auditorium in Birmingham.

The event, which also will be livestreamed, will focus on empowering individuals, with a specific focus on teens, to shatter the stigmas surrounding mental health challenges.

“One Thing I Wish You Knew” provides teens and the entire community an opportunity to highlight the vulnerability and honesty of telling the people in their lives what they wish they know about their mental health journey. Participants will also discuss how their attempts to overcome challenges have often felt isolating and alienating.

To register to attend, visit here.