DBusiness Daily Update: Buddy’s Pizza to Open New Carryout Location in Clarkston, 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.
Sales from opening day at the new Buddy’s Pizza carryout location in Clarkston will benefit the Lighthouse MI nonprofit. // Courtesy of Buddy’s Pizza
Sales from opening day at the new Buddy’s Pizza carryout location in Clarkston will benefit the Lighthouse MI nonprofit. // Courtesy of Buddy’s Pizza

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.

Buddy’s Pizza to Open New Carryout Location in Clarkston

Buddy’s Pizza will open its new carryout restaurant in Clarkston (5530 Sashabaw Road, Suite B) with an 11 a.m. ribbon cutting on April 18. Opening-day sales will benefit the Lighthouse MI nonprofit.

The restaurant will be the 21st Buddy’s Pizza location to open. The updated design concept features a layout specifically engineered for the carryout experience, including a grab-and-go station for online orders and a redesigned kitchen optimized for carryout. The new model aims to increase service speeds and enhance the overall guest experience, while still including classic features such as decor elements that incorporate the local community of Clarkston.

The Clarkston restaurant offers a carryout-only menu, with fan favorites including the authentic original Detroit-style pizza, antipasto salad, Buddy Bread, pasta, meatballs, and more. It will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“For more than 75 years, Michiganders have made lasting memories while enjoying the original Detroit-style pizza, and we love sharing our authentic Detroit roots with the communities we join,” says Wes Pikula, chief brand officer at Buddy’s. “We’re thrilled to become part of the Clarkston community and to partner with an organization like Lighthouse who is making such an incredible impact in Oakland County.”

Bestselling Author Returns to Grosse Pointe War Memorial with New Book

Bestselling author A.J. Baime returns to the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms April 20 to speak about his new book, “White Lies: The Double Life of Walter F. White and America’s Darkest Secret.”

Baime is coming to The War Memorial under the auspices of the American Democracy Initiative, an ongoing War Memorial effort to produce better informed, more effective, and more responsible citizens. He will appear at a ticketed VIP Reception beginning at 6 p.m. with his author talk to follow at 7 p.m. His author talk also will be available as a free online program.

Released in February, “White Lies” is a true story of undercover investigations, political organizing, and racial identity. The book explores the complexities of Walter White’s life and illustrates his lasting impact on American life.

“Walter White was a minor character in the last four books I’ve written and every time in my research I came back to him, I found his story got more and more incredible,” Baime says. “I’m always excited to come to Detroit and even more so for this book.”

The VIP Reception with Baime will take in the historic Alger House on The War Memorial campus in Grosse Pointe Farms. That event includes food, beverages, a signed copy of the book, and a seat at Baime’s 7 p.m. talk. The cost is $75.

To purchase tickets for the VIP Reception or register for the free online talk, visit here.

MSU Federal CU Partners to Launch New Digital Brand Targeting University Alumni

Michigan State University Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) in East Lansing has selected Florida-based Nymbus to launch and grow its new standalone digital brand, AlumniFi.

As the 42nd biggest credit union in the United States and the largest university-based credit union in the world, MSUFCU has more than $6.7 billion in assets. With the goal of continued growth by engaging new segments of members, MSUFCU chose Nymbus to open this market by helping deliver products and services tailored to meet the banking needs of MSU and other Michigan-based college and university alumni.

“MSUFCU established our own ‘Lab’ two years ago to drive innovation forward internally and explore new opportunities for growth,” says April Clobes, president and CEO of MSUFCU. “One of our long-time goals with this has been to stand up a subsidiary digital brand targeting MSU alumni, whose financial needs and habits match our digital offerings.

“We have spoken and collaborated with hundreds of innovative fintechs and startups through our CUSO, the Reseda Group. The Nymbus approach was unlike any other we have seen. We’re thrilled to have them bring our concept to life with the combined skilled services and transformational technology only Nymbus provides for launching a new digital brand quickly and effectively.”

Nymbus integrates everything needed to build out and operate a full-scale digital bank positioned for success on day one. Its Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) model means skipping a core conversion and the need to hire additional resources. The Nymbus Labs award-winning support team further leads marketing efforts through intentional branding and comprehensive data. This partnership empowers client institutions to offer robust solutions founded on speed, flexibility, and meaningful growth.

Strive Health, Evolent Care Partner to Help Deliver Kidney Care to Medicare Patients

Strive Health in Denver and Evolent Care Partners in Arlington, Va. have partnered to help primary care providers in Michigan and North Carolina manage care for Medicare beneficiaries with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage kidney disease (ESKD).

The partnership will support 211 primary care providers who participate in Evolent Care Partners’ Accountable Care Organization (ACO), which has assumed accountability for improving the quality and cost of care for a defined population of Medicare beneficiaries.

The providers served through the new partnership manage care for up to 1,200 beneficiaries living with advanced CKD and ESKD. Kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. Treating Medicare beneficiaries with chronic kidney disease cost $87.2 billion in 2019, according to the CDC. Primary care providers play a critical role in identifying signs of disease early and controlling its progression.

“We are equipping primary care providers with the resources they need to identify patients at high risk for kidney disease early in the process, so they can take preventative steps to improve outcomes and lower the cost of care,” says Dr. Farhad Modarai, a senior vice president at Strive Health.

Strive, the national leader in value-based kidney care, will provide Evolent Care Partners’ provider network with access to data and technology tools, administrative support, management expertise, and an interdisciplinary clinical care team that includes care coordinators, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, and licensed clinical social workers. These care management resources can help determine the risk of hospitalization or progression of disease, allowing for the possibility of tailored interventions.

“Providers are interested in intervening sooner to help patients with chronic kidney disease access the appropriate education and decision-making tools necessary to improve their daily lives,” says Dr. Michael Margolis, medical director of Evolent Care Partners. “By partnering with Strive, we’re enhancing our ability to transform the experience for patients with advanced kidney disease.”

Through its partnerships with medical groups, nephrologists, health systems, and payors, Strive manages more than 44,000 complex CKD and ESKD patients.

Humanetics in Farmington Hills Forms New Digital Group

Humanetics Innovative Solutions, the Farmington Hills-based automotive safety company, has formed a digital group — Humanetics Digital — that combines its digital, CAE, data modeling, and ergonomic software platforms into a combined family of products.

This alignment supports the company’s strategic evolution as a digital player and is designed to give it more focus to accelerate the growth of these solutions.

As part of the new organization, Humanetics also is establishing a new Software Center of Excellence to guide the development of passive and active safety software, as well as software used in its sensor and photonics businesses OpTek, Fibercore, and HITEC. As its customers’ businesses becomes more digitally driven, the company says, its digital group will help envision and drive new solutions to support their growth and innovation.

In addition, Karsten Newbury has joined joins Humanetics as president of Humanetics Digital, responsible for leading the company’s software and digital solutions portfolio and working across the Humanetics group to innovate with advanced data, software development, and AIOT-based Industry 4.0 systems.

“This is an exciting moment for Humanetics,” says Chris O’Connor, president and CEO of Humanetics Group. “Humanetics has pioneered the safety and sensor industry for 70 years. In the last decade we have expanded our business and the range of solutions we offer to become a diversified industrial technology group, working in every region of the world.

“We are now elevating the position of digital in our business and investing in our capabilities. We envision a more connected future for Humanetics’ services and solutions. Since our inception we have been a data company connecting the physical and digital worlds and turning it into an actionable insight. That is still the vision for our future: connect the physical and digital worlds to support our customers’ decision making, product development and ensure that when we innovate, humans thrive.”

ProsperUs Detroit Implements Leadership Model that Prioritizes Needs of Under-resourced Borrowers

ProsperUs Detroit announced that it is implementing a dual leadership role to support the organizations’ high demand for capital through its lending program.

The organization has consistent interest from entrepreneurs in loan capital and is restructuring its leadership to be intentional about supporting borrowers at all phases of the lending pipeline.

“We value this dual leadership model because it places equal emphasis on every important stage of the lending process,” says Chanell Scott Contreras, executive director of ProsperUs Detroit. “Deploying more capital is very important to us, but, what makes ProsperUs unique, is the investment and care we give our borrowers and those in our portfolio. We do this throughout the life of their loan and beyond.”

In addition, ProsperUs has hired Shakir Bralock as the organization’s lending director. Before joining ProsperUs, Bralock was a banking center manager for 16 years, most recently at Flagstar Bank.

For more information, visit here.

Lawrence Tech Research Day to Showcase Nearly 100 Projects

Nearly 100 research projects from students and faculty at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield will be showcased at the university’s ninth annual Research Day, Friday, April 22.

Research will be presented from many of the university’s 100-plus academic programs in its four Colleges — Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, and Engineering.

“We’re so happy to be back in person with Research Day after a long pandemic hiatus,” says Matthew Cole, associate professor in the College of Business and Information Technology and Research Day director. “We’ll hear from some of the most accomplished young scholars at LTU on their significant, groundbreaking research.”

Adds LTU President Tarek Sobh: “Contributing new knowledge of serious intellectual merit is one of the primary missions of a high-quality university. LTU’s faculty and students are excited about conducting research that advances knowledge in the disciplines we teach, doing our part to contribute to a better society.”

The day begins at 9 a.m. with the Presidential Colloquium presentation by Scott Shall, associate professor and associate dean of the College of Architecture and Design, on “Building Collaboration.”

The Research Day keynote will be delivered at 10:30 a.m. by Kimon P. Valavanis, professor in the Daniel Felix Richie School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Denver, where he is founding director of the university’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute.

Afternoon sessions in the atrium of LTU’s Buell Building (Building) include the 12:30 p.m. poster exhibits and 2:30 p.m. paper presentations.

For more information, visit here.

Kirk Gibson Foundation Launches ‘Down the Line’ During Parkinson’s Awareness Month

The Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s is launching a new audio project — Down the Line — in recognition of April as Parkinson’s Awareness Month.

The project encourages Parkinson’s patients and their loved ones to call 313-395-8523 and leave a brief voicemail about the day they were diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. The message can be simple, “What would you tell yourself on that day that you know now? What have you learned, or what would you change?”

This message is inspired by the 2022 Parkinson’s Awareness Month message from the organization’s namesake, former Detroit Tigers outfielder Kirk Gibson, which can be viewed here. Videos that are posted also will be close captioned.

The plan is to create a database of positive, motivational messages for future Parkinson’s patients to be able to tap into and hopefully learn from other’s experiences. Or even if someone just needs a motivational pick-me-up as they continue to battle Parkinson’s. Some will be posted to the Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s social media pages, and all will be posted on its website.  These messages will either be posted anonymously or by first name only. The number is available for messages 24 hours a day.

Cannabis Companies Team Up to Help Michigan Residents with High Gas Prices

JARS Cannabis is teaming up with HYMAN, a luxury lifestyle cannabis brand, to give away $70,000 in gas cards for customers who are looking to save some green at the pump.

Beginning today, JARS is offering $25 Speedway gas cards to any customer who purchases a limited edition JARS x HYMAN BONZEEN eighth while supplies last at one of the 12 JARS Cannabis retail locations across Michigan.

“Supporting the communities we inhabit and serve is at the core of our brand’s DNA,” says Stefanie Michels, marketing director at JARS Cannabis. “We’re always striving to find creative ways to give back to our communities and loyal customers, so we want to thank HYMAN for teaming up with us during this time of need.”

Broadly translating to “gasoline,” in various languages, the BONZEEN cannabis strain was originally launched in Michigan retailers last year under HYMAN’s Series II collection as a nod to the melting pot of cultures and communities that exist throughout the state. Following the recent national gas price hike, JARS enlisted HYMAN to relaunch the indica-hybrid strain for its new “Gas Up with Us” campaign under a special-edition product drop that is expected to hit shelves in Michigan early next week.

Illustrating the campaign’s joint effort, the limited edition BONZEEN cannabis flower will be available for purchase in environmentally friendly 3.5g collectable glass jar containers that feature new and exclusively labeled JARS and HYMAN branding. Adopting inspiration from the strain’s original red and yellow package design, the collaborative packaging was designed by Custom Marijuana Packaging.

“HYMAN seeks to launch and support campaigns that individuals can relate to and resonate with,” says David Shaba, national sales director at MEDfarms. “We feel that this campaign is the perfect way to lighten the impact that inflation is imposing on our patrons’ pockets, and we look forward to helping those in need obtain access to high quality gas — in more ways than one.”

Motown Museum’s Motown Mic: The Spoken Word 2022 Grand Finale Airs April 15

The Motown Museum in Detroit announced that the grand finale streaming date for its ninth annual Motown MIC: The Spoken Word competition in April 15.

Ten poets will perform original Motown-inspired poems during the 2022 grand finale, which will stream on Motown Museum’s YouTube channel at 7 p.m. Contestants are competing for the opportunity to be named the Motown MIC 2022 Artist of the Year, be published in a literary broadside through Broadside Lotus Press, and receive a $3,000 cash prize.

Motown MIC: The Spoken Word was created to pay homage to Motown Records’ Black Forum Label — a Motown spoken word label created by Berry Gordy and the Motown Corp. in the ‘70s as a venue for Black expression and education.

The 10 finalists include:

  • Arrie Lane
  • Ben Will
  • Cheyenne “CHii” Johnson
  • Dezha Peterson
  • Galaxy
  • Ife Martin
  • Koffee Dark ‘n Sweet
  • Peniel Abrams
  • Soul Candy
  • T Elice

Beyond Basics Literacy Nonprofit Conducting Job Fair April 13

Detroit area job seekers are encouraged to attend the April 13 job fair at Beyond Basics, the literacy nonprofit in Southfield, which is looking for reading tutors who can help make the difference in the life of child by giving them the gift of reading.

Beyond Basics is hiring 50 tutors to get more students reading in our community. The organization is conducting on-the-spot interviews that will take about an hour. Candidates must be available to work Monday-Friday.

Applicants are trained to work one-on-one with students using the Beyond Basics Tutoring Program curriculum. Tutors make a difference as they work with 4-6 students per day in one-hour sessions, giving students the opportunity to unlock the power of reading and complete the program successfully.

Beyond Basics is open for interviews at its Southfield office (18000 W. 9 Mile Road) from 1-5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13.

Visit here for more information.

Northwood University Esports Team Wins North American Championship

The esports team at Northwood University in Midland has won the Collegiate Rocket League North American championship and will contend for the world title in June.

The team finished its regular season with a 13-2 record. In the playoffs, Northwood defeated Valleyfield College, St. Clair College, and Stockton University. After winning the Eastern Conference, Northwood played for the North American championship, defeating the University of Texas Arlington and Stockton University, in addition to Columbia College 4-3 in the grand finals.

“Winning the North American Championship means Northwood is the first university to qualify for the inaugural Collegiate Rocket League World Championship, which will be held in June of 2022,” says Coach Cody Elsen. “Northwood will face the best colleges across Europe and Asia.”

The Northwood Esports Team consists of 84 students. Elsen most players put in a minimum of 25 hours per week on the game.

Crystal Mountain Hosting Multiple Job Fairs to Fill 50+ Positions

Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville (southwest of Traverse City) is getting ready for the summer season with three job fairs in April and May to fill more than 50 positions at the resort.

Typically, there are around 500 employees on the payroll during the summer months. Some 50 of those positions need to be filled. Several departments including golf, outdoor recreation, food and beverages, and the Crystal Spa are looking to hire full-time, part-time, on-call, seasonal, and year-round employees.

“We encourage anyone who is looking for a job to contact us or attend one of the job fairs,” says Jennifer King, vice president of human resources at Crystal Mountain. “There is a wide range of openings, some of which high schoolers can apply for and others that require some career experience. Regardless of what your job title is, everyone here is valued and plays a part in a successful — and fun — summer at Crystal Mountain.”

In addition to competitive wages, Crystal Mountain offers employee benefits including: free golf, free activity passes, access to the Peak Indoor Pool and Fitness Center, as well as discounts on meals, retail, lodging, and Crystal Spa services. Health care benefits, 401(k) plans, tuition assistance, and paid time off also are included for full-time, year-round employees.

The job fairs will take place at the resort’s Crystal Center on:

  • April 21 from 3-7 p.m.
  • April 30 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • May 13 from 3-7 p.m.

See the current openings and to learn more about each position by visiting here. Applicants are encouraged to apply online prior to the job fair and will have the opportunity to interview with hiring managers during the event. All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win a $50 Crystal Mountain gift card at each job fair.

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