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.
Centric Consulting Establishes Detroit Presence
Centric Consulting, an international business and technology consulting services firm known for guiding companies through transformation, has announced its arrival to the Detroit market this spring.
The Centric team selected Detroit for this expansion as a result of the company’s strong midwestern presence and southeast Michigan’s heavy concentration of industries on the brink or in the midst of transformation, including automotive, manufacturing, and technology.
The company, which brings 20-plus years of experience operating largely without direct office space to help companies with the transition to hybrid and virtual workplaces, projects hiring 100 professionals locally in the next three to five years.
“Not only are we rooted in the Midwest — making Detroit a natural fit for our organization — but we’re also committed to supporting Detroit businesses through the disruption,” says Ed Heberlein, Centric vice president and Detroit Practice lead. “We hire with intent and choose people who are dedicated to serving our communities. By combining outstanding team members on the ground here in Detroit with our deep well of subject matter experts nationally, we offer business leaders and decision makers the ideal mix of talent and expertise to tackle any challenge head-on.”
Today, Centric employs six consultants at the Detroit practice, and the team is looking to hire two to three more professionals in the short term. The company was established in 1999, and since its inception, has grown to more than 1,000 employees in 13 cities in the U.S. and India.
Centric’s consultants lead large-scale business transformation efforts, develop, and execute digital strategies and help clients prepare for what’s next in technology, while streamlining and improving their today.
“As a Michigan native, contributing to the growth of Detroit and bringing jobs to the local market is a personal goal fulfilled,” says Dave Rosevelt, CEO of Centric. “As in all markets we serve, we adopt our client’s challenges as our own and work together to overcome them. Centric looks forward to serving Detroit enterprise and the evolution of its workplaces.”
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3Fifteen Cannabis Opens Location in Hamtramck
3Fifteen Cannabis has opened a new recreational use-focused store in Hamtramck (11815 Joseph Campau St.), just two months after debuting its recreational cannabis delivery service in metro Detroit.
The new location operates seven days a week 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and includes 3Fifteen’s Metro Detroit Rec Delivery hub, with delivery available between 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Now, Detroiters will have the option to shop for adult-use cannabis in person, pick up curbside, or take advantage of their convenient rec delivery service. Customers can order online at 3Fifteen.com or by calling 833-315-3155.
“We are excited to expand 3Fifteen’s recreational cannabis offerings to the people of Detroit with the opening of our Hamtramck store,” says Tommy Nafso, president of 3Fifteen. “We believe this location, which is only six miles from downtown Detroit, will be a welcomed addition to the emerging cannabis scene in Detroit.”
Jeep Offers Special-edition Freedom Models Across the Entire Lineup
The Jeep brand of Auburn Hills’ Stellantis is expanding the Freedom edition to every vehicle in its 4×4 lineup. The 2021 Freedom editions are a tribute to U.S. military members, with military-themed exterior and interior design cues. The Jeep brand will make a $250 donation to the United Service Organizations (USO) with every Freedom edition sold.
“At the Jeep brand, we are proud of our military heritage, with origins that date back to 1941, and the Freedom special editions are a tribute to all who have served and continue to serve,” says Jim Morrison, vice president, Jeep Brand – North America. “This Memorial Day, we honor those who have made the greatest sacrifice for their country and support those who continue to serve through these special editions.”
The Freedom special-edition vehicles include unique exterior features, such as the large “Oscar Mike” military star decal on the hood, matte black/Satin Carbon wheels and accents and an American flag decal along the side of each vehicle. For Wrangler and Gladiator, this also includes an “Oscar Mike” decal on the rear tailgate.
All active and recently retired service members also qualify for the $500 Military Bonus Cash across the Jeep 4×4 lineup.
Freedom edition Jeep SUVs start at the following U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), excluding destination:
- 2021 Jeep Renegade, $26,285
- 2021 Jeep Compass, $27,090
- 2021 Jeep Cherokee, $27,955
- 2021 Jeep Wrangler, $36,210
- 2021 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, $39,465
- 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee, $37,085
- 2021 Jeep Gladiator, $42,015
Sports Business Summit for People of Color Planned for June 29-30
Registration is open for The John Shippen Sports Business Summit presented by Rocket Mortgage. The summit is for all high school and college students of color and will take place virtually June 29-30.
Designed to create national awareness and opportunities for students of color interested in pursuing careers in the business of sports, registration is free and available here.
The event takes place in conjunction with The John Shippen golf tournament for players of color, which will take place at Detroit Golf Club ahead of the PGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Among the topics to be covered at the summit include:
- So, You Want to Work in Sports?
- Improving Communities Through Sports
- Beyond the Green: Careers in the Golf Industry
- The Power of Sports Marketing and Social Media
- Sports Journalism and Sports Broadcasting
- Esports and Gaming
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impact Within Sports
- How to Land Your First Sports Internship
- How to Become an Athletic Director and Commissioner
- Entrepreneurship in Sports
“We at Intersport, alongside Woods & Watts Effect, designed The John Shippen Sports Business Summit as a platform to create meaningful and tangible information and networking relationships to impact the expansion of career opportunities for people of color in the business of sports,” says Jason Langwell, executive vice president of Intersport, which is producing the event, and executive director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “We are overwhelmed and encouraged by the support from our corporate partners and associates in business and sports industries across the country who are equally passionate and enthusiastic in their desire to participate in and provide support for The John Shippen Sports Business Summit.”
GE Employees Qualify for Davenport University Scholarships
General Electric is the latest recipient of Davenport University’s veteran-friendly businesses scholarship program, a partnership with the Michigan Veteran Affairs Agency. GE has multiple locations in Michigan, including a multi-business digital technology center in Van Buren Township, and an avionics center in Grand Rapids.
“By partnering with Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, we’re able to honor businesses that honor our veterans and remove barriers to advancement many employees face,” says Richard J. Pappas, president of Davenport University. “GE is a prime example of a company that is working with the veteran population, growing its workforce, and promoting from within. It’s a way to help employers support those with proven potential.”
The program grants employees at nearly 400 veteran-friendly certified businesses and agencies across Michigan unique scholarships at Davenport University in recognition of their employers’ commitment to those who have served our country. You do not need to be a veteran to qualify.
“We believe in investing in our people — providing a space for our employees to thrive personally and professionally,” says Jason Torrez, senior director of software engineering and site leader for GE’s technology center in Van Buren Township. “This includes investing within. At GE, one of the ways we support our associates is through employee resource groups, including our Veterans Network. We work every day to support our veterans. These scholarships give our team members the boost needed to qualify for open positions within our organization and grow their skill set to keep up with changing technology.”
Veteran-friendly employers collectively employ more than 30,000 of Michigan’s 552,000 veterans.
In partnership with the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, these scholarships help people in the workforce complete their bachelor’s or master’s degree or pursue professional training to enhance their skills or gain industry-recognized certifications, regardless of veteran status.
“We’re thrilled to be part of this partnership with Davenport University and Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency,” saya Torrez. “This program empowers our veterans to further their career and learning and it underscores our commitment to honor their service.”
A complete list of Gold, Silver, and Bronze-level employers can be found here.
Superior Industries Advances Sustainability Initiatives
Superior Industries International Inc. in Southfield announced that it will be one of the first North American aluminum wheel manufacturers to supply premium cast aluminum wheels made from low carbon footprint aluminum for the all-electric Ford Mustang Mach-E.
“Climate change, and its far-reaching impacts, is one of the global community’s most pressing problems,” says Majdi Abulaban, CEO of Superior Industries. “We are doing our part for a greener world by advancing our sustainability initiatives across the organization. As more and more companies align with institutional mandates to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, our products will play an important role, which underscores our aspirations to provide sustainable wheels for automotive OEMs.”
The 19-inch premium cast aluminum wheels utilize low carbon footprint aluminum, and also leverage Superior’s light weighting technology. This combined with an aerodynamic design delivers a highly optimized eco-friendly wheel for this premium, electric vehicle. These wheels are manufactured in North America at facilities powered primarily with renewable energy using raw aluminum produced with hydro power, a sustainable energy source.
New WDET-MSU Podcast Focuses on Science of Gen Z Grief
The new Science of Grief Podcast from WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, and MSU’s Science Gallery Detroit is addressing the problem of mental health in young adults through conversations with young people and mental health experts. The first episode will be available June 2 on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
The 10-episode podcast series makes space for young adults to share stories, science, and solutions for those who are exploring their grief and mental health.
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed teens into social isolation, disrupted their social lives, caused missed milestones like graduation, and even taken the lives of loved ones. Anxiety and depression are on the rise. According to a CDC survey from June 2020, 25 percent of young adults reported that they had seriously considered suicide in the last year.
“It’s important that young adults are in a position to tell their own stories,” says Natasha T. Miller, host of the series. “Even more important than that, is that we acknowledge and listen to those stories,” says Miller. “Grief, loss, and mental health should no longer be ignored in the lives of young adults and it’s my goal for this podcast to give them more of a voice and us adults more of an ear.”
Penobscot Building Lights Orb in Rainbow for Pride Month
Triple Properties, owner and manager of the historic Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit, is commemorating Pride Month by lighting the building’s iconic orb in rainbow for the month of June.
The orb, recognizable on the Detroit skyline for more than 90 years, will display the colors of the rainbow throughout the month.
“Our chamber is extremely excited that such a historic and iconic building in Detroit will be standing in solidarity with our LGBTQ community for Pride Month,” says Kevin Heard, founder and board president of the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “Our Chamber began with the idea of creating an LGBTQ business district in the city. We are still moving towards that goal. This show of support for the LGBTQ community in the heart of the Financial District is a great way for people to see and feel what the beginning of this district may look like.”
Originally designed as an aviation beacon, the orb measures 12 feet in diameter, sits on a 100-foot tower and can be seen up to 40 miles away. The orb is fully insulated, keeping it safe from the weather, and a programmable, energy-efficient LED lighting system has been installed.
The Rainbow Connection Conducts Fundraiser to Grant Wishes
More than 250 community and business leaders gathered at M1 Concourse in Pontiac on May 22 to raise funds for The Rainbow Connection, a Michigan-based wish-granting organization.
Emcee Alexis Wiley welcomed the guests to the 6th annual Dream Makers Ball. Both Mayor Dierdre Waterman of Pontiac and Mayor Mike Duggan of Detroit joined the festivities and added to the event, which featured thrill rides on M1’s driving track presented by Joe Cauley of Cauley Ferrari, dinner provided by Kruse and Muer, raffles, and auctions.
Former Detroit Red Wing Darren McCarty attended and auctioned off a chance to golf with him at another upcoming Rainbow Connection event in July, The Dobson Open.
The highlight of the evening was a bidding war over the chance to gift The Rainbow Connection Wish Ambassador, Selah, a toy box full of princess toys. In the end $21,000 was raised on that single item. Selah smiled ear to ear as she received her gift!
More than $400,000 was raised through the event. The Rainbow Connection grants the wishes of Michigan children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. These funds will help to ensure the organization will maintain its promise that no child in need of a wish will ever be turned away or made to wait.
The Rainbow Connection’s fiscal management practices and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it the highest award, the four-star rating from Charity Navigator for the ninth consecutive year, an honor only 4 percent of all charities across the United States achieve.