DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit Bookfest Hosting Inaugural Cornhole Tournament at Fox Hills June 9, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
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Fox Hills Golf Course in Plymouth Township will be the site of the inaugural Detroit Bookfest Cornhole Tournament fundraiser. // Stock photo

Detroit Bookfest Hosting Inaugural Cornhole Tournament at Fox Hills June 9

The Detroit Festival of Books, aka: Detroit Bookfest, is hosting its inaugural Cornhole Tournament fundraiser from noon-4 p.m. on June 9 at Fox Hills Golf Course in Plymouth Township.

“We are delighted to join forces with Fox Hills and Bearded Boards Cornhole for this,” says Ryan M. Place, founder and chairman of Bookfest. “Bookfest is a unique entity and we enjoy doing fun and unexpected things, like having a cornhole tournament fundraiser, instead of the usual wine and cheese type shindig.”

The inaugural Detroit Bookfest Cornhole Tournament (DBCT) will feature Bell’s Brewery and New Belgium Brewery doing on-site beer samplings and merchandise giveaways, former Detroit Red Wings champ Darren McCarty signing autographs, Big Red’s BBQ Pit food truck, and more.

“Lee Sterzik’s organization, Bearded Boards Cornhole, is helping us run the tournament,” says Place. “They have years of experience doing this. And big thank you to Kari Kahanec and Bill Durham at Fox Hills for allowing us to fill their golf course with cornhole players.”

All of the proceeds from this fundraiser go to Detroit Bookfest, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which is all-volunteer based and is also Michigan’s largest book festival.

The cost to enter the tournament is $50 per two-person team. Spectators are free. Cash prizes for the top three winning teams. This event is all ages.

For more information, visit here.

Farmington Hills’ Realcomp II, Miami Realtors SEFMLS Announce Data Sharing Deal

Miami Realtors SEFMLS, the fourth-largest Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in the U.S., and Realcomp II Ltd., the largest MLS in Michigan, have signed a data-share agreement that brings two significant real estate markets closer together.

“We are continuing to expand the geographic reach of our MLS with the recent introduction of the IntraMatrix platform and this cooperative agreement with Miami Realtors SEFMLS is a significant next step,” says Karen Kage, CEO of Realcomp II Ltd. “We are pleased to provide many new opportunities for our real estate professionals to better serve their buyers and sellers with much more to come.”

The Miami Realtors SEFMLS signing follows on the heels of Realcomp’s agreement with Georgia’s First MLS (FMLS), signed in March.

“Miami Realtors SEFMLS members and Realcomp subscribers now have even more listing exposure and new referral opportunities,” says Teresa King Kinney, CEO of MIAMI Raltors. “In a monumental step for our industry, MIAMI Realtors has now partnered with five top MLSs to provide our collective membership of 282,000+ access to each other’s MLS listings.”

Members and MLS subscribers, respectively, can access Miami Realtors SEFMLS and Realcomp’s listings using their native Matrix software and vice versa. That creates a widespread referral network between organizations with no new fees or extra costs to brokers or agents.

This partnership brings more than 74,000 real estate professionals closer together, with the ability to serve hundreds of thousands of consumers in the years to come.

“This progressive alignment is good for the real estate industry and our clients. In a fast-changing market, the need for cooperation and transparency is stronger than ever,” adds Kage.

The data-sharing agreement is effective immediately and launched Tuesday.

Detroit Grand Prix Announces Saturday Night Free Concert Lineup

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear will turbocharge Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit on June 1, Saturday night of race weekend, with an electronic music concert.

After the Saturday racing action concludes on the Grand Prix track, the new Cadillac Square Entertainment Stage presented by Priority will come alive with back-to-back free concerts, including one of today’s top EDM performers. JVNA will get the Saturday night party started when she takes the stage at 6:15 p.m. before electronic music sensation ILLENIUM rocks the crowd beginning at 8 p.m.

Before ILLENIUM’s performance, JVNA will perform. Having studied classical piano from the age of six, she went to college at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where she learned to score films and video games. JVNA started producing electronic music inspired by future bass sound, producing viral hits with game and anime remixes. Blending pop, rock and melodic bass with honest and emotional lyrics, JVNA has earned critical acclaim with such hit songs as “Crazy,” “I’m With You,” At Least It Was Fun” and “Take Your Throne.”

Located adjacent to Campus Martius Park, the Cadillac Square Entertainment Stage is featured in the new Grand Prix fan activation area down Woodward Avenue, just north of the racing circuit along Jefferson Avenue. The area will be open and accessible to fans for free throughout the May 31-June 2 Grand Prix weekend and visitors will be able to watch all of the racing action on track each day on the large video boards in Cadillac Square.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the Grand Prix, visit here.

Spike Lee and Giancarlo Esposito Find ‘Italy in America’ in New Fiat 500e Ad Campaign

Academy Award-winning director Spike Lee and Emmy-nominated actor Giancarlo Esposito are starring in their first national advertising campaign together for the all-new, all-electric 2024 Fiat 500e, the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) in North America from Stellantis.

The advertising campaign, “Italy in America,” directed by Spike Lee and filmed by Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Matthew Libatique (“Maestro”), launched across social media and digital channels May 1.

“As the all-new, all-electric 2024 Fiat 500e returns to America’s shores as the first BEV from Stellantis, it marks the beginning for the brand’s sustainability mission in the U.S. by delivering what an electric car should be: lightweight, stylish, efficient and with enough range for weekly city commutes,” says Olivier Francois, global chief marketing officer at Stellantis.

“The all-electric Fiat 500e captures the essence of the Italian lifestyle. This new campaign brings together an iconic duo of diverse heritage, legendary Brooklyn director Spike Lee and actor Giancarlo Esposito, who shares the virtues of his Italian ancestry with Spike to show him that La Dolce Vita can be found even far beyond Italy’s borders.”

The campaign brings together Lee and Esposito and is largely unscripted, allowing the two to act off their innate chemistry and enduring friendship. In the campaign, Esposito shares with Lee his Italian heritage and, together with the Fiat 500e, Esposito helps Lee discover his “inner Italian.”

ACG Detroit to Host ‘The Anatomy of a Deal’ June 12 in Bloomfield Hills

ACG Detroit will host “The Anatomy of a Deal: Insights into the Year’s Top Deals” from 4:30-6:30 p.m. June 12 at the Bloomfield Hills Country Club (350 West Long Lake Road) in Bloomfield Hills.

Panelists will cover crucial deal considerations such as acquisition strategy, deal sourcing, exit rationale, deal timing, partner selection, and the often-forgotten key’s that lead to a successful transaction.

To purchase tickets, visit here.

Lawrence Tech in Southfield Creating New Division for Research, Economic Development

President Tarek M. Sobh of Lawrence Technological University in Southfield announced Tuesday the university will consolidate its research and economic development activities into a new Division of Research and Economic Development.

The move will combine the efforts of LTU’s rapidly growing sponsored research and its many economic development efforts aimed at fostering increased prosperity in the city of Southfield and around the world.

“This consolidation marks a strategic alignment aimed at fostering synergy, maximizing impact, bolstering external funding, and streamlining our operations to better serve our university community and beyond,” Sobh said in a statement to the LTU community.

Nabil Grace, longtime dean of LTU’s College of Engineering, will take the newly created role of senior vice president of research and economic development. Grace’s research into advanced materials has attracted more than $30 million in research funding and led to the 2008 opening of LTU’s Grace Center for Innovative Materials Research, a structural materials testing center named after Grace in 2021. He has been awarded four U.S. patents in bridge design and for advanced composite materials and has published more than 150 papers in national and international journals and for conferences.

Graduates of LaunchDETROIT Share Benefits of Rotary-powered Program

In 2012, Rotarians from Rotary clubs in Rotary District 6400, that includes southeast Michigan and southwest Ontario, raised funds to start LaunchDETROIT. The program was designed to help entrepreneurs in under-resourced areas of Detroit with business education training, mentoring, and networking along with micro-loans up to $2,500 for those who qualified.

“To date, we’ve helped nearly 100 entrepreneurs, and we have more currently enrolled and ready to begin their business education training,” says Margaret Williamson, a Detroit Rotarian and chair of LaunchDETROIT.

To help Rotarians and others throughout the region understand the impact this program has made, three LaunchDETROIT graduates were invited to share their experiences at the annual Rotary District 6400 conference on May 3.

Stephen Ahles, a Southgate Rotarian and member of the LaunchDETROIT committee, led a panel discussion of entrepreneurs, including Linda Kay Pruitt, founder and owner of Mrs. Pruitt’s Gourmet CHA CHA; Phillip Caldwell, founder and executive director of Ponchartrain Development, CDC; and Tara McFarland, founder of PPR Elite Training.

Pruitt shared how the business education training in finance, accounting, marketing, social media and branding helped kick-start her business to a new level. She says, “It was only a year or so more after I completed the program that I was contacted by Meijer’s.”

“Now my product (Mrs. Pruitts Gourmet CHA CHA) is on the shelves of all Meijer’s stores in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky,” adds Pruitt, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Detroit and currently serves on the LaunchDETROIT committee.

Panelist Caldwell, a native Detroiter whose family has long been involved in real estate and received a master’s degree in community development from the University of Detroit Mercy, shared how LaunchDETROIT resources helped him with his community building efforts.

Caldwell says, “Sometimes, you just want to change the world, while my mentors and networking helped me to drill down to more specifics.”

He adds, “What I found separates LaunchDETROIT from other programs is that there is follow up from our mentors and the committee. They want to make sure we succeed.”

The third panelist McFarland, a certified athletic trainer and strength and conditioning specialist in Riverview, gave credit to her mentor, Jason, who helped with marketing, enabling her to create the first PPR Elite brochure.

Upon completing LaunchDETROIT, McFarland shared her reasons for becoming a Rotarian and joining the Southgate Rotary Club. She says, “Rotary shares the same passion I do — to wake up every day to make a meaningful change in the lives of many.”

In closing the panel discussion, Ahles invited conference attendees to meet with the panelists and learn more about their businesses.

For more information, visit LaunchDETROIT.org.

Roland Unveils Electronic Music Education Program at Detroit School of Arts

Los Angeles-based Roland announced the Detroit School of Arts (DSA) Electronic Music Education Program will be renewed for a second year courtesy of Paxahau, in partnership with the Detroit Techno Foundation.

DSA’s electronic music education program, which serves high school-level students in the greater Detroit area, has thrived in its first year as a pilot thanks to dedicated support from the school, Detroit’s music community, and guidance from Roland on the program’s strategic proposal, curriculum, equipment, and organization.

Roland supplies tools that have spawned new musical frontiers in the hands of the city’s creative community, with the brand’s synthesizer and drum machines playing a role in shaping the vast and historic musical landscape. While filming and producing the critically acclaimed mini documentary “Somewhere in Detroit,” which showcases more than 30 years of the city’s creative impact, Roland launched the Detroit School of Arts Electronic Music Education Pilot Program in September of 2023.

Recognizing a gap in contemporary electronic music education engagement within schools, the curricular model for the program offers a diverse array of skill-building courses, encompassing DJing, beat making, music production, sound design, and industry studies. These courses provide students with the foundational knowledge to pursue further music studies or embark on their own careers. Place-based lessons also provide students with a profound understanding of the legacy and cultural impact of local producers and DJs on the global music landscape.

Paxahau, the renowned Detroit-based production company, is funding the program’s continuation, welcoming a new intake of students for the 2024-25 school year. Specializing in event management, booking, and promotion since the early days of Detroit’s underground party scene, Paxahau is known as the driving force behind Detroit’s iconic Movement Music Festival, one of the longest-running dance music events in the world.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Teams with Jeep for Tournament’s Community Days

The Rocket Mortgage Classic has teamed up with Jeep for Detroit Community Days presented by Jeep.

Returning for the third straight year, Detroit Community Days presented by Jeep will offer all fans complimentary admission and parking for the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s special events on Tuesday, June 25, and Wednesday, June 26. The brand will showcase its Grand Wagoneer, Wagoneer, and Grand Cherokee models on site.

On June 25 the First Tee – Greater Detroit Youth Clinic will provide elementary- and middle school-age students an opportunity to learn fundamental golf skills and tips from PGA Tour professionals. The clinic will be followed by the AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble presented by Priority Health Total Health Foundation, a three-hole exhibition match that features six four-player teams made up of PGA Tour stars, celebrity athletes and entertainers, players from The John Shippen National Invitational, and corporate partners.

On June 26, fans can get up close to the action and watch PGA Tour professionals playing in a relaxed setting throughout the day during the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The sixth-annual Rocket Mortgage Classic will be played June 25-30 at the historic Detroit Golf Club. Tickets for Thursday-Sunday are available at RocketMortgageClassic.com.

In addition to its support of Detroit Community Days, Jeep will become a Premier Partner and the Official Vehicle of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and will support The John Shippen National Invitational as Official Vehicle and National Partner. Jeep will provide courtesy vehicles for all PGA Tour players, The John Shippen National Invitational players, and other VIPs.

University of Michigan Health-Sparrow to Open New Rehabilitation Center in Ionia

University of Michigan Health-Sparrow continues to expand its reach in mid-Michigan with the opening of a new rehabilitation center (205 S. Dexter) in Ionia, east of Grand Rapids.

The facility combines with a pain management clinic that opened at the site several weeks ago and responds to a community need for rehab services close to home. On top of the announcement of a new clinic in Grand Ledge, the project reflects U-M Health-Sparrow’s commitment to the region and mission to expand care.

A ribbon cutting took place this morning.

Afro Nation Detroit 2024 Set for Aug. 17-18

Afro Nation Detroit, which will celebrate global black culture Aug. 17-18 at Bedrock’s Douglass Site in Detroit, has added Lil Wayne and Shenseea to its entertainment lineup.

Lil Wayne and Shenseea join a lineup of international stars performing at the second Afro Nation Detroit. The festival will be welcoming artists from Africa, including Kizz Daniel, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, and Ayra Starr, and rapid risers including Amaarae, Ruger, and many others.

PartyNextDoor will be bringing his “smooth situationships” to the stage, while Detroit rapper Kash Doll represents for the bustling hometown rap scene. The Piano People stage returns once more, bringing the ascendant South African genre of Amapiano, including Uncle Waffles, Scorpion Kings, DBN Gogo, Musa Keys, and more.

Tickets for Afro Nation Detroit 2024 are available at detroit.afronation.com.