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.
Detroit Cycling Championship Returns to Heart of City Aug. 21
The city that put the world on four wheels will host dozens of competitors on two wheels, Aug. 21, as the Detroit Cycling Championship returns to the streets of downtown for its fourth year.
The USA Cycling-sanctioned event, presented by the Detroit Athletic Club Foundation, promises a day of pro-am racing along with a variety of other activities for all ages and abilities in the backyard of the DAC.
“We are thrilled to welcome back racing to Detroit after the year on pause,” says Kristin Ritter, president of the Detroit Cycling Championship race committee and 2020 DAC president. “DAC members, event sponsors, and volunteers work throughout the year to bring this top-notch USA Cycling competition to Detroit as part of our community outreach efforts. There is something for everyone — racers, spectators, and residents.”
The last edition of the race, in 2019, attracted more than 350 racers from 17 states and six countries. It also draws cycling enthusiasts as well as friends, families, and fans who want to watch racers compete for $28,000 in cash prizes and primes. There is no charge to attend.
This year’s race will start at the epicenter of professional sports in Michigan and features a course circling Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. The criterium course, which starts and finishes near the big Tiger statue outside the ballpark, covers nearly 0.8 miles of paved surface, with six corners that wind through the heart of downtown. Spectators will be able to watch riders zip past the ballpark and Ford Field at speeds topping 30 mph.
“The Detroit Cycling Championship is a USA Cycling top-rated race, and the DAC puts on a first-class race,” says Tom Schuler, Detroit Cycling Championship race director and former Olympic and professional cyclist. “Our technical six-corner course circles iconic Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. Every racer will be challenged by this course.”
The Detroit Cycling Championship consists of 10 races, beginning at 11 a.m. and winding up by 7:20 p.m. Events include Category 1-4 men’s and women’s races and a race for kids ages 3-9 presented by Meijer, along with a Handlebar Detroit pedal push competition. Besides a day of racing, spectators can enjoy a family fun zone and take part in a cornhole tournament, among other activities.
To promote a healthy and safe environment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this event will be organized and operated according to CDC recommendations and state of Michigan guidelines. Masks, temperature checks, and a brief questionnaire may be required along with contact information for each attendee. This outdoor event will have spacious areas for social distancing.
This year’s sponsor partners of the Detroit Cycling Championship are Huntington Bank, DTE Foundation, Ford Motor Co., Meijer, O’Keefe LLP, SG, OneMagnify, Young Supply, Dynatrace, Huron Capital, Baker Tilly, 3Bs, Wolverine and PGA. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
State Awards Centrepolis Accelerator $1.55M to Advance Cleantech
The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has been granted $1.55 million in seed funding from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for Centrepolis’ C3 Accelerator program, which supports the development and scaling of cleantech, climatech, and circular-economy technologies in Michigan.
The C3 Accelerator searches for proven technologies around the world and connects them to Michigan partners that can benefit by deploying innovations and supporting the scaling of businesses in Michigan. The C3 Accelerator funds the commercialization of renewable energy, energy efficiency, emission reduction, clean air and water, and recycling and upcycling technologies.
“EGLE is supporting the C3 Accelerator with a substantial seed fund as it supports our mission on a number of fronts,” says Robert Jackson, assistant division director and energy ombudsman in EGLE’s Materials Management Division. “One, the C3 Accelerator nurtures new cleantech product launches and manufacturing companies here in the Michigan. Second, it drives the demonstration and adoption of cleantech and circular economy products that provide impact to our state’s improved energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives. This is of critical importance to our goals of reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent below 1999 levels by 2025 as well as tripling our recycling rate to 45 percent.”
LTU is hosting a C3 Accelerator Showcase for entrepreneurs and other members of the cleantech business ecosystem from noon-2 p.m. on Aug. 26 on LTU’s campus. For more information, visit here.
Nexteer Releases 2020 Sustainability Report
Nexteer Automotive, an intuitive motion control company in Auburn Hills, released its annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) / Sustainability Report highlighting its achievements in 2020.
“Nexteer’s 2020 Sustainability Report highlights how, through unprecedented times, Nexteer’s global team has adapted quickly by strengthening our focus on employee health and safety and acting with a deeper sense of corporate social responsibility — while also learning new ways to operate and move the business forward,” says Tao Liu, president, global COO, and chair of the Sustainability Steering Committee for Nexteer Automotive. “We continue to identify opportunities to leverage sustainability as a Nexteer differentiator — such as by aligning our innovation and technology with industry megatrends like electrification and by maintaining our commitment to conduct our business ethically and with transparency.”
Highlights from the report include:
- Recognition on Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies for a second consecutive year.
- Silver medal from EcoVadis in recognition of sustainability rating.
- Several best employer awards and Great Place to Work certifications across multiple regions.
- First report to reference the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and second report to include the company’s contribution to achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
- Contributed 7,000 hours of employee community service
- Established the SSC, chaired by Liu, as an integral part of three‑tiered sustainability governance structure
- Created the Respect, Inclusion, Support, Equity (RISE) program to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion across the company.
- Formalized a global cross-functional Climate Change Task Force (CCTF) to coordinate enterprise-level efforts to assess climate change related impacts and actions.
In 2020, Nexteer also continued to focus on enhancements to its environmental management systems with a 93 percent ISO 14001 certification rate achieved, while continuing to explore opportunities to help manage the company’s environmental footprint by implementing energy-saving, greenhouse gas emission avoidance and water-saving projects.
“Moving along our journey to advance Nexteer’s ESG efforts, we value sustainability as an imperative megatrend and continue to explore alignment opportunities to the company’s comprehensive Strategy for Profitable Growth,” says Robin Milavec, senior vice president, chief technology officer, chief strategy officer, executive board director, and SSC member at Nexteer Automotive.
To view the complete report, visit here.
Lighthouse to Open Affordable Housing Development Wednesday
Pontiac social services organization Lighthouse is conducting a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Wednesday for Coolidge Place, the nonprofit organization’s first new construction multifamily development since merging with South Oakland Shelter.
The new $15-million project, located west of Coolidge Highway just north of 8 Mile in Oak Park, includes 64 high-quality townhome and ranch-style apartments for lower-income working families hit hard by the shortage of affordable housing.
The organization says there is a critical need for affordable housing in Oakland County where 20,000 low-income households are rent burdened, paying more than 30 percent of their pre-tax income on rent, leaving very little to address their other basic needs.
Lighthouse CEO Ryan Hertz, Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan, and Deputy Oakland County Executive Rudy Hobbs are expected to participate.
Students and Patent Attorneys Team Up at Inventors Club
A group of middle school students and teachers from Brewer Academy in Detroit have teamed with patent attorneys and interns from Howard & Howard Attorneys in Royal Oak to form the Inventors Club, a business-education partnership that introduces students to innovation, inventions, product development, and patents.
The initiative enabled teams of sixth, seventh, and eighth graders to brainstorm, develop, and formally present their own unique ideas as if they were inventors seeking a patent — with direction and encouragement from the intellectual property attorneys and teachers working with their teams.
“The whole idea of the Inventors Club was to get the kids inspired to create and invent while using their STEM skills,” says Willie Wood, principal of Brewer Academy, a K-8 school on the city’s east side. “The Howard & Howard attorneys did an amazing job introducing our students to the world of inventions and patents and then working with them to create and present their own inventions,”
The Brewer Academy Inventors Club included 40 middle school students, seven of their teachers, and seven intellectual property attorneys and interns from Howard & Howard.
“Based on the reactions of the students, I think they learned a lot about how inventions, patents, and new products come to be,” said Deborah Carr, a teacher at Brewer Academy. “It was a hands-on experience that had each team of students engaged and working collaboratively to develop some sort of invention. It was clear that everyone was having a great time while learning something new. We are excited about continuing this STEM program next year.”
Dan Chojnowski, an intellectual property attorney with Howard & Howard who led the Inventors Club initiative said the winning invention was a two-story “house party bus” (HPB), which included sliding seats with individual TVs, a retractable ramp to carry a motorcycle on the second floor of the bus and the ability to shoot-off marker fireworks to help DoorDash find the HPB with food deliveries.
Other student inventions included: a solar-powered car; a cell phone case with a robotic arm; a solar-powered water bottle able to communicate with a cell phone, bracelet and earbuds; a personal robot; and an advanced bed.
As part of its sponsorship of the Inventors Club, the Henry Ford Museum will host 80 Brewer Academy students for a free museum field trip. In addition, Howard & Howard attorneys and the school will conduct an expanded version of the Inventors Club next year and are planning for its student-inventors to compete at the 2022 Invention Convention Michigan, sponsored and hosted by Henry Ford Museum. This year 2o5 student-inventors participated in Invention Convention Michigan with 15 of them moving on to the competition’s U.S. Nationals.
Lee Trevino to Host Par 3 Shootout at Treetops Resort
Legendary golfer Lee Trevino will be commemorating his memorable hole in one during the 2001 Par 3 Shootout made-for-TV competition during an event July 29 at Treetops Resort in Gaylord.
Trevino won more than $1 million with that one swing of the club, half of which he donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“I have fond memories of that ace at Treetops and look forward to heading back to Gaylord to celebrate the 20th Anniversary,” says Trevino.
The event is sold out for players, but spectator tickets are still available for the first 150 people to register here. Trevino will hit shots for each group on the No. 7 hole where he fired his ace.