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.
Countdown Begins for July 17 Detroit Festival of Books at Eastern Market
The all-volunteer Detroit Festival of Books has begun the countdown for the fifth-annual celebration at Detroit’s Eastern Market on Sunday, July 17.
This year’s Detroit Festival of Books will combine old and new. John K. King Books and Delray BBQ, two long-time supporters of Bookfest, are returning, along with DBusiness editor and author R.J. King, who will be selling all five of his books.
Other offerings at Bookfest will include Treat Dreams ice cream, which will be serving up cold desserts, Pong Detroit will have ping-pong tables available, and DJ SevenWhales will be spinning. Deon Forrest (aka: Greektown Hotbox), the street drummer, will be performing throughout the day. There will be food and beverage options for attendees, as well.
A new Bookfest development will be the presence of Arts & Scraps, a Detroit-based nonprofit that helps children repurpose discarded materials into works of art.
“We are delighted to have Arts & Scraps join us at Bookfest,” says Ryan M. Place, the event’s founder and chairman. “What better way to instill a love of books than offering kids an opportunity to become not just authors, but publishers?”
The Arts & Scraps booth will provide the first 500 child attendees with the opportunity to use discarded industrial materials (paper, plastics, etc.) to assemble their own book. This is at no cost. Additionally, the Scrapmobile will be parked nearby and will offer parents an opportunity to purchase additional project materials for a nominal fee.
“Bookfest and the enthusiasm surrounding it are growing at an exponential rate,” Place says. “We’re excited to diversify our offerings this year and can’t wait to see our fellow Detroiters again this July.”
Bookfest will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 17, 2022, at Eastern Market’s Shed 5.
Butzel Office Redesigns Reflect Rebranding and Inclusivity
Butzel’s new Troy office space, located in the Columbia Center, along the I-75 corridor, reflects changes in function, flexibility, and culture from a traditional office.
The new office is serving as a model for the law firm’s other offices. Every detail from color schemes and furnishings to office spaces were included in the design. Notably, the firm says, the new office design allows Butzel to grow while not increasing brick-and-mortar costs. Currently, similar renovations are in progress in the firm’s downtown Detroit office.
The new office includes collaborative spaces designed to allow employees enhanced flexibility and functionality to work from different areas. These purposeful spaces include “the commons,” an informal setting featuring natural lighting, a faux fireplace, couches, small table and chair combinations, where staff can meet or bring their laptops to work independently. In addition, Butzel has included a meditation room and a new mothers’ room in the design – features which reinforce the firm’s commitment to inclusion.
Individual offices are a focal point of Butzel’s office updates. Same-size offices are identically equipped and furnished and do not differentiate between associates and shareholders, emphasizing a flat rather than hierarchical organizational structure. Prominent use of glass establishes an environment filled with light and promotes a sense of community. Butzel also has remote options for attorneys and staff.
In addition to significant reduction in paper use, Butzel has implemented many other eco-friendly practices that have qualified the firm as a Partner in the Law Office Climate Challenge program, established by the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Troy office building also has electric vehicle charging stations located in the parking structure.
“We are reimagining Butzel to be a future-ready law firm,” says Justin G. Klimko, president and CEO of Butzel. “Our new office design provides great flexibility in how we use space and how we work. We strive to foster a workplace where our employees can be challenged, derive a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, and enjoy the collegiality of their co-workers. This will further facilitate our single-minded focus on meeting our clients’ needs.”
Other firm changes include:
Rebranding — Established 168 years ago in Detroit, the firm has adopted new branding focusing on the Butzel name and a new logo with a version of the infinity sign, fashioned of two “b’s,” while retaining the tagline “Trust. Always.” The new logo conveys the firm’s commitment to a time-honored tradition of trust, while demonstrating a focus on the future.
Website Redesign — Butzel recently launched a redesigned website with a new look and feel, increased speed and functionality, and expanded content reinforcing its brand.
City of Detroit Will Begin Demolition of Incinerator Within Next Few Weeks
Detroit’s incinerator, a source air pollution and health concerns for 30 years in surrounding neighborhoods, soon will be erased from the city’s skyline as the process of demolishing it begins in the next few weeks.
The Detroit Building Authority recently selected Homrich as the company to perform the demolition following a competitive bid process. As part of Homrich’s proposal, the demolition will generate approximately $1.3 million in revenue for the Greater Detroit Resource Recovery Authority (GDRRA) from the salvaging of metals and other marketable materials, in addition to getting rid of a health hazard.
The demolition process is expected to be completed within approximately six months from the time it begins, starting with the demolition of the lower trash processing portion of the complex and culminating dramatically with the implosion of the smokestack later this year.
“The presence of this incinerator has been a real pain point for this community because it was another example of a health hazard being placed in a lower income community of color,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “We worked hard behind the scenes to get the incinerator shut down, and now residents of this neighborhood will finally be able to say goodbye to it forever.”
Since it opened in 1989 at a cost of approximately $500 million until it closed in 2019, the incinerator drew criticism from residents living nearby due to health concerns generated by the odors and emissions coming from the facility. During the last five years of its operation, the incinerator reportedly exceeded pollution emission standards more than 750 times, according to state environmental records.
In 2018, the Duggan administration began pressuring Detroit thermal energy, which operated the incinerator, to make major upgrades to the facility to improve its emissions. Faced with the additional cost of operating, Detroit thermal agreed to cease incinerator operations.
With a demolition contract now in place, the city is arranging for DTE to cut power to the complex by the end of this week. Arrangements are being made to maintain power to the adjacent facility that soon will house the new headquarters and shelter for animal care and control expected to open later next year.
Once the power issue is resolved, Homrich will be able to obtain its demolition permit, which is expected to occur within the following week. Once it has the permit, Homrich will be able to mobilize and begin work almost immediately.
Initial work will consist of removing metal and other marketable materials from the facility before beginning active demolition on the processing facility portion of the complex. Demolition of that portion is expected to be completed this fall and implosion of the smokestack, which will complete the demolition, is expected by the end of the year.
The city is exploring potential future uses of the incinerator property.
Hagerty Drivers Foundation to Award $100K in Driver’s Education Grants
The License to the Future grant program for Hagerty Drivers Foundation in Traverse City is a chance for driving students between 14-18 years old to win up to $500 toward a driver’s training class.
To apply, drivers need to submit a 300-word essay or a one-minute video answering the question: “Why are you excited to drive?”
Applications are accepted from all 50 states and Canada. Submissions are on-going throughout the calendar year. Rooted in the foundation’s charitable purpose of shaping the future of car culture while celebrating our automotive past, the Hagerty Drivers Foundation will provide $100,000 in grants this year to students seeking formal training through an accredited drivers training program.
Grant consideration is open to applicants between the ages of 14 and 18. Entries can be submitted here. Grants are paid directly to driver’s education training facilities.
“A quality driver’s education course is extremely valuable to teens as they experience the freedom of mobility whether they’re entering the workforce, pursuing advanced education opportunities, or simply spending time with their friends,” says Jonathan Klinger, executive director of the Hagerty Drivers Foundation. “Helping the next generation of driving enthusiasts learn the skills necessary to operate cars safely and skillfully is part of our overall mission of making sure car culture is celebrated and accessible to everyone.”
Lighthouse, Midnight Golf Named $100K Grant Recipients by Impact100 Metro Detroit
Impact100 Metro Detroit named nonprofit organizations Lighthouse and Midnight Golf as the recipients of two $100,000 grants during its annual Big Give event May 18. An additional $81,000 will be divided among the remaining finalists, Corktown Health, Living Arts, and Pontiac Community Foundation, making this event the biggest Big Give in the foundation’s seven-year history and bringing the total amount given to more than $1 million.
“This wasn’t an easy decision for our 281 members — we were all so moved by the incredible work these organizations do in the community and beyond impressed with the proposals we received for this year’s Big Give,” says Kelly Walsh, president of Impact100 Metro Detroit, which unites women philanthropists to award high-impact grants to local nonprofits and fuel transformation in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. “We know our grant dollars will have an enormous impact on these nonprofit heroes.”
In its proposal, Lighthouse seeks to transform its Center Street facility in Pontiac into a family shelter, adding 54 emergency shelter beds dedicated to families experiencing homelessness within the community.
Detroit-based Midnight Golf will use the funds for its College, Career, and Beyond initiative that pairs full-time, trained coaches with high school seniors to assist them with the college selection and application process and act as mentors throughout their college education to help improve the graduation rate, and ultimately, ensure the students’ success in their careers and life.
For more information, visit here.
Jaffe Law Firm to Host Legal Insights for Employers Webinar June 14
The Jaffe, Raitt, Heuer & Weiss law firm, with offices in Detroit and Southfield, is hosting a webinar starting at 2 p.m. on June 14 called Legal Insights for Employers.
The webinar will feature a panel discussion with the firm’s employment, immigration, and benefits legal leaders about questions on the minds of employers. Topics are likely to include considerations in a hybrid workforce to immigration options to address the ongoing labor shortage including the introduction of the newly revised EB-5 Investor’s Green Card program.
The program also will extend beyond the current landscape with a look at what’s on the horizon in the employment field. A live Q&A session will follow.
To register for the webinar, visit here.
Detroit’s Hannan Center Issues Call for 70 Over Seventy Award Nominees
The Hannan Center in Detroit is accepting nominations for its 70 Over Seventy The Next Chapter Awards. The annual program returns after a two-year hiatus induced by the pandemic.
“Simply because we get older doesn’t mean we aren’t accomplishing great things,” says Vincent Tilford, president and CEO of Hannan Center. “The 70 Over Seventy awards are the perfect opportunity to celebrate a lifetime of achievements of many well-respected citizens of Michigan. We value the life experiences of older people and want their accomplishments recognized, which we look forward to doing across a wide variety of categories, once again.”
Presented by the Hannan Center, the recognition represents the human potential that continues and, in many cases, increases with age. Awardees reflect the diverse interests, accomplishments, and lifestyles of older people across the state of Michigan. Honoring exceptional older adults who prove impact is ageless.
The seven categories of nominations are:
- Lifetime Achievement
- Civic/Community Leadership
- Lifelong Learning
- Unsung Hero
All nominations will be reviewed by a judging panel made up of Hannan Center trustees, past honorees, and community members. There will be 10 awardees per category. Awardees will be recognized on Oct. 1 at 10:30 a.m., during a program and brunch at the Dearborn Inn in Dearborn. All awardees also will be featured in a commemorative program book and on the 70 Over Seventy Awards website.
Any individual is free to nominate someone who is 70 years or older from now until June 30. For more information or to submit a nominee, visit 70overseventy.com.
Intersport Finalizes Women’s Field for The John Shippen National Golf Invitational
DETROIT (May 24, 2022) – Intersport, promoter of The John Shippen National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage, says it has finalized the field for the women’s part of the event, which will be played May 31-June 2 at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, north of Grand Rapids.
The 36-hole stroke play competition event is for Black female professional and amateur golfers. The winner of the event will earn an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 16-19), as well as an exemption into the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, the LPGA tournament scheduled for July 13-16 in Midland. The Shippen winner will choose an alumna of event to compete alongside in the Dow GLBI, which is a two-player team event.
The John Shippen, designed to showcase Black amateur and professional golfers, is named after John Shippen Jr., who was the first American-born golf professional and also the country’s first Black golf professional. Shippen was bestowed PGA of America membership posthumously in 2009.
To ensure that any financial barriers are removed, the tournament will cover all travel costs (airfare and hotel) for participating players.
SHARE Detroit Kicks Off Summer SHARE Volunteer Initiative on June 11
SHARE Detroit, metro Detroit’s community engagement conduit with nearly 300 nonprofits on its platform, is kicking off its Summer SHARE volunteer initiative with an event at 6 p.m. June 11 at Jimmy John’s Field.
“As the summer approaches, many people are looking forward to rest and relaxation,” says Janette Phillips, executive director of SHARE Detroit. “But unfortunately, need doesn’t get a vacation. Our nonprofits need volunteers more than ever right now. We hope the community will come together with our nonprofits to create a stronger metro Detroit.”
SHARE Detroit’s nonprofit partners, community members, and sponsors are invited to gather on the ballpark’s patio, with buffet, beverages, networking, family fun, and the USPBL game. $10 from every $40 ticket goes to the nonprofit of the ticket holder’s choice.
The ticket includes premium hot dogs, slow roasted BBQ pulled chicken, fresh pasta salad, baked beans, potato chips, and a fruit salad. Food is served starting when the gates open for 90 minutes. Plus, each guest will receive two beverage tickets for soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea, water, Bud, Bud Light, and wine.
Activities include a meet and greet with JJ the bat dog and team mascots, and kids run the bases after the game.