DBusiness Daily Update: Cadillac V-Series Blackwings Feature Hidden Details, 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.
Cadillac V-Series Blackwing designers paid homage to Milford Proving Ground and the GM Technical Center in Warren with laser-etched maps of each located on the paddle shifter covers on manual-transmission models. // Courtesy of GM
Cadillac V-Series Blackwing designers paid homage to Milford Proving Ground and the GM Technical Center in Warren with laser-etched maps of each located on the paddle shifter covers on manual-transmission models. // Courtesy of GM

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.

V-Series Blackwings Feature Hidden Details Representing Cadillac Engineering and Design

Designers of the new CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing from the Cadillac brand of Detroit’s General Motors Co. paid tribute to the automaker’s Proving Ground in Milford and Technical Center in Warren on the vehicles’ steering wheels.

Laser-etched maps of each are located on the paddle shifter covers on manual-transmission models of Cadillac’s most track-capable models ever.

The maps are among myriad hidden elements to be found on the luxury sports sedans.

The Milford Proving Ground map represents the engineering development that led to two of the fastest and most powerful Cadillacs ever. The Tech Center map represents the on-campus design team’s focal point on craftsmanship and functional elegance.

“The CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are the quintessential examples of form and function coming together,” says Brandon Vivian, executive chief engineer at Cadillac. “This was made possible by engineering and design working together from the very beginning to get the most out of these cars. The paddle shifter covers symbolize that union, with the customer at the center of it all.”

The customer representation comes on the steering wheel with each customer receiving a unique serialized V-Series plaque that identifies their specific vehicle.

The covers take the place of the shift paddles behind the steering wheel on cars not equipped with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission. The vehicles with the automatic transmission still include their functional magnesium paddle shifters, allowing drivers to select their preferred gear.

Other features include the V-Series logo and its Mondrian pattern that’s incorporated on the manual shift knob, or the Blackwing winged emblem that’s found in a pocket of each available 19-inch Tech Bronze wheel.

There’s also the Mondrian pattern on the underwing of the vehicle or V-Series logo on the air strakes that come with the optional Carbon Fiber 1 package.

Additionally, the first 250 production builds of each model are Collector Series vehicles, and they’re commemorated by the people who built them with two special collector plates on the sills and B-pillars. Each sill plate features the signature from a member of the Cadillac V-Series team while the Collector Series plate found on the B-pillar corresponds to the serialized Performance Steering Wheel in each car.

Also, the CT5-V Blackwing’s hand-built supercharged V-8 engine features a signed plaque from the master builder.

“The driving experience of these special models never fails to impress,” says Vivian. “And the more you look inside, outside and even below the surface, the more they reward.”

The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are on sale now with limited availability. The CT4-V Blackwing starts at an MSRP of $59,990 and fully configured MSRP at $87,775. The CT5-V Blackwing has a starting MSRP of $84,990 and a fully configured MSRP of $125,980. Customers can build their own V-Series Blackwing online at Cadillac.com.

Well Done Goods by Cyberoptix Tie Lab Moves into Eastern Market

Well Done Goods by Cyberoptix Tie Lab has opened a Detroit-focused physical storefront at 1515 Division, Suite A, in Eastern Market.

Cyberoptix owner Bethany Shorb has been running her business in its former space in the district on Gratiot Avenue for 18 years. The upgraded space of approximately 4,000 square feet will provide the business both retail and workspaces and room to grow. Growth includes adding a new product division of one-of-a-kind jewelry and mineral specimens.

“We celebrate the city with products about Detroit music and architecture,” says Shorb. “We just launched a whole new department that really rocks. Whether it’s tees, jewelry, home accessories, or our new line of crystals and minerals, we’ve been proudly handmade in Detroit proper for close to two decades. We’re here for one-of-a-kind gifts for men, women and kids, all artfully sourced and crafted.”

Well Done Goods provides a large selection of ethically sourced crystals, minerals, fossils, and handmade jewelry crafted from authentic specimens. Cyberoptix specializes in both well-known minerals, such as amethyst and rose quartz, and rare minerals such as zeolites from India, and Fordite, also known as Detroit agate, from former Michigan automotive factories.

Cyberoptix employs about 10 team members, many of whom live in Detroit, and may add some for the holidays.

“Eastern Market is my home,” Bethany continued. “I love the bustling energy. I’m so happy FIRM Real Estate made this move to the heart of the district possible.”

A grand re-opening event will be held on Friday, November 19 from 6 to 11 p.m. and will feature DJs Vincent Patricola and TYLR.

Regular business hours are Tuesday through Friday 12 to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In addition to their storefront, Well Done Goods and Cyberoptix ships products worldwide, which can be shopped 24/7 at Cyberoptix.com or WellDoneGoods.com.

Bethany officially started the Cyberoptix necktie division in 2006 when she noticed a void in creative, yet sophisticated neckwear. Beyond bespoke neckties, this division includes bow ties, pocket squares, and scarves. She launched the physical shop in 2016 and expanded into printing shirts and hoodies. Lines of printed garments morphed into also offering masks and matching tie and mask sets in 2020 and 2021. Many pieces of her neckwear line have even been worn by astronauts.

“White Boy Rick” Wershe Launches New Cannabis Brand The 8th

Rick Wershe Jr., also known as “White Boy Rick” has announced the launch of his cannabis brand, The 8th, in partnership with Pleasantrees Cannabis Co., beginning Nov. 19.

The brand references the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the “cruel and unusual” punishment of criminal defendants. Initial brand offerings will be exclusively available for in-store purchase at Pleasantrees’ retail locations with select third-party retail locations to follow.

At launch, the brand will feature pure and premium flower and branded clothing. Wershe and Pleasantrees will dedicate a portion of sales proceeds toward the release of wrongfully or excessively imprisoned drug offenders. In that regard, he will work closely with Pleasantrees’ Director of Social Equity Jerome Crawford, an active commentator on such matters.

The brand’s slogan. “Time is Money,” acknowledges the damages owed to such persons, including Wershe who recently sued the city of Detroit for $100 million for its alleged involvement with his conviction and excessive incarceration as a minor.

Wershe will make appearances at the following Pleasantrees locations:

  • 19, East Lansing, 4-7 p.m.
  • 20, Hamtramck, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Nora in Detroit Opens Pop-up Store in Indianapolis

Nora, a Detroit-based modern gift and housewares store, today announced a seasonal pop-up shop debuting at Good Neighbor clothing store in Indianapolis (850 Massachusetts Ave Suite 115, Indianapolis, Ind. 46204).

The pop-up will feature distinctive tableware, modern home accessories, apothecary, jewelry, books and more now through the holidays. This is Nora’s second expansion outside of Detroit this year.

“We are thrilled to bring a taste of Nora to Indianapolis,” said Liz Boone, co-owner of Nora. “Our summer pop-up store in Northport (Mich.) was a huge success and enabled us to share our deep appreciation for Detroit’s design legacy with a completely new audience. Our partnership with Good Neighbor will continue our mission to share Detroit designers with the rest of the world, and world design with our customers.”

Good Neighbor and Nora are, quite literally, neighbors in their hometown Detroit. Husband and wife team, Toby Barlow and Liz Boone, founded Nora on Cass Avenue in 2012. Carli Goltowski opened Good Neighbor’s flagship store on Farmer Street in 2018 and her second location in the newly revitalized Bottleworks District of Indianapolis earlier this year.

The like-minded entrepreneurs decided to collaborate in Indy to provide a more robust shopping experience to its bustling community, including clothing, apparel, and modern housewares with a hometown spin.

To commemorate their 10th anniversary, Nora commissioned Detroit-based designer Blige Nur Saltik to create the Ripple Mugin black and blush, which will be available exclusively at Nora Detroit and Indianapolis. The mugs will be sold as a boxed set of two ($45) and represent the first of many designer collaborations Nora has planned heading into its milestone year.

“This has been an extremely difficult time for retailers, but we’ve managed to find success and grow our business by partnering with, quite literally, our neighbors,” said Boone. “Because we work with local designers and small batch manufacturers, Nora is fully stocked and ready for the holiday gift-giving season.”

A celebration is planned at Nora in Detroit, 4240 N. Cass Avenue, from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20.

For more information, email info@noramodern.com or visit www.noramodern.com. Find new products, events and more on the store’s Instagram page, @noradetroit. For more information on Good Neighbor, visit www.shopgoodneighbor.com or @shopgoodneighbor on Instagram.

Grand Rapids Auto Suppliers Form Joint Venture in Texas to Support Toyota

Lacks Enterprises Inc., a producer of high-quality finish solutions for the automotive and home appliance industries, today announced it has formed GL Automotive, a joint venture (JV) with Gruppo Guerra, to supply exterior components to Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). Both companies are in Grand Rapids.

GL Automotive initially will supply exterior components for the 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup and for the 2023 Toyota Sequoia sport utility vehicle.

Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, GL Automotive currently has approximately 25 employees and is led by Christian Guerra. The company recently conducted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new 80,000-square-foot facility located within one mile of the Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. (TMMTX) assembly plant.

“We’re excited to launch the joint venture to support Toyota, which has been a key strategic customer for both Lacks Enterprises and Guerra,” says Kurt V. “KV” Lacks, director of business development at Lacks Enterprises. “Lacks and Guerra are both family-owned companies with similar cultures, dedicated team members and an innovative spirit. The JV strengthens our technical expertise and our ability to provide best-in-class components and systems to our customers.”

Lacks says San Antonio was selected as the home of the new JV due to its proximity to the Toyota assembly plant. He notes that while its initial business is with Toyota, GL Automotive does not have an exclusive contract with the automaker.

“We expect to grow GL Automotive in terms of the number of employees, the amount of business we do with Toyota, and other automakers,” Guerra says.

Head of Ford of Europe Passenger Vehicles to Retire Dec. 31

Roelant de Waard, general manager of passenger vehicles for Ford of Europe, will retire Dec. 31 after more than 30 years of service to the company.

“Roelant has been an outstanding leader at Ford and that was never truer than over the past years, being responsible for defining the Passenger Vehicle strategy in a time when electrification represents the most transformative change of our industry in over 100 years,” says Stuart Rowley, president of Ford of Europe. “At Ford of Europe, we are leading the way in our ambition to create a sustainably profitable all-electric future.”

de Waard joined Ford in 1990 and during his career has held assignments in the Netherlands, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.  In January 2011, he was elected an officer of the company and appointed to the position of vice president of marketing, sales, and service at Ford of Europe.

Birmingham to Host Cannabis Industry Networking Event Nov. 18

Power Connections: Building Powerful Connections in the Cannabis Industry, presented by LeafLink Financial, will take place from 3-9 p.m. at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham on Thursday, Nov. 18.

“I’ve produced many commercial real estate, political, business, and cannabis networking events before, and this one will be our biggest and best,” says Derek Dickow, organizer of the event. “I’m excited to introduce our ‘Power Hour’ — an hour of speed networking — and to welcome a wide variety of influential leaders in the industry who are ready to share their expertise and create new connections.”

Keynote speakers include Dickow; Doug Gordon, head of payments of LeafLink Inc.; and Andrew Brisbo, executive director of the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit here.

Grace Centers of Hope to Host Virtual Fundraising Gala Nov. 18

Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac will host its annual Night of Hope Gala virtual fundraiser from 7 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18.

This year’s event, which is presented by ClickBid, is free of charge and will offer guests a night of stories and entertainment. All proceeds will support the Grace Centers of Hope Children’s Program that offers a safe and nurturing environment for children whose families are enrolled in One Year Life-Skills and After-Care programs.

“This year’s Night of Hope Gala will be especially meaningful for our staff, residents and their families as we take time to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Hands of Hope Childcare Center,” says Pastor Kent W. Clark, CEO of Grace Centers of Hope. “The center has served as a source of stability for thousands of families that have been faced with turbulent circumstances. It is estimated that families with children make up 30 percent of the American homeless population, which means there has never been a time in our country when children’s programs like ours have been needed most.”

Night of Hope participants will hear stories about families who have been positively impacted by Grace Centers of Hope. The evening also includes remarks, a silent auction, and three virtual raffles, offering participants a chance to win a $2,000 shopping spree, $1,000 in gift cards or a Phillips LatteGo 5400 Espresso Machine. Night of Hope also will be broadcast as a Facebook LIVE event via Grace Centers of Hope Facebook page.

To register for the free virtual Night of Hope event, visit www.gracecentersofhope.org.

Area Chevy Dealers Embark on 7th Annual Season of Giving Toy Drive

The Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers Association (MDCD) this week is beginning its seventh annual Season of Giving Toy Drive to benefit the Troy-based nonprofit The Bottomless Toy Chest, which collects and delivers toys to local children battling cancer.

From now until Dec. 15, 38 local dealerships are collecting brand new toys and on Dec. 17 will deliver them to The Bottomless Toy Chest via a Chevy Silverado caravan.

Toys will also be collected at Canterbury Village in Lake Orion during their Holiday Stroll in which the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are the presenting sponsor. A wish list of items can be viewed here.

“It’s inspiring to know our Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers have played a meaningful role in helping brighten critically-ill children’s days as they continue their treatment for cancer,” says John Fox, president of the MDCD. “The Bottomless Toy Chest relies on dependability when it comes to their operations, and there’s nothing that conveys that dependability more than a caravan of Chevy trucks and SUVs transporting this important delivery to help make the holidays more joyful for families.”

For more information about The Bottomless Toy Chest, visit here.

Full Plates, Full Hearts Offer Free Hot Meals to People in Need, Nov. 22

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA), Detroit Restaurant and Lodging Association (DRLA), and the Detroit Shipping Co. will host its fourth annual free community meal – Full Plates, Full Hearts – on Monday, Nov. 22, to support individuals and families in need.

The two-part culinary event, which includes a walk-up opportunity and special delivery to select area nonprofits, will provide a total of 450 meals to some of Detroit’s most at-risk populations.

“The hospitality industry has a wonderful history of giving back to local communities,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO or MRLA. “We are proud to host our annual Full Plates, Full Hearts event to kick off the season of giving and share the spirit of hospitality with those who have the greatest need.”

The first part of Full Plates, Full Hearts is a walk-up event that begins at 11 a.m. at the entrance of Detroit Shipping Co. (474 Peterboro St. in Detroit). Thanksgiving meals, boxed in individual portions, will be distributed one per person on a first-come, first-served basis, while supplies last. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. The boxed meals will include grilled turkey legs and roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes with gravy, broccoli, cranberry chutney with yams, dinner rolls, and pumpkin pie. There also will be donated cold weather items distributed on a first come-first serve basis.

“Our neighbors continue to need support and we are humbled to be able to step up and support the community,” says Jon Hartzell, owner of Detroit Shipping Co. “We are grateful to everyone who is coming together to prepare this meal with love.”

The second part of the event is a special delivery of individually boxed meals to four local nonprofit organizations, including Alternatives for Girls, Cass Community Social Services, Coalition on Temporary Shelter (COTS), and Neighborhood Service Organization.

The boxed meals will be prepared by Chef Petro Drakopoulos of Republica in Berkley and the Atheneum Suite Hotel in Detroit; Chef Maxcel Hardy of COOP Caribbean Chicken and Jed’s Detroit; Chef Anjani Lama of Momo Cha; Jay Souilliere, owner/operator of Motor Burger; and Chef Genevive Vang of Bangkok 96. Founders Brewing Co. will make a donation to support the meals. Cold weather items are being donated by David Vintage.

“Full Plates Full Hearts is one of my favorite events of the year,” says Drakopoulos. “It is a time when I join fellow chefs and operators from Detroit businesses to provide nourishment to the hearts and stomachs of our neighbors.”