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 Filmmaker Debuts Feature Movie ‘Wolf Hound’
Detroit-native filmmaker Michael B. Chait is making his directorial feature debut June 3 with the World War II airplane action film “Wolf Hound,” starring James Maslow (“Big Time Rush”) and Trevor Donovan (“Hallmark”) and distributed by Lionsgate’s Grindstone Entertainment.
Inspired by the real-life German special operations unit KG 200 that shot down, repaired, and flew Allied aircraft as Trojan horses, “Wolf Hound” takes place in 1944 German-occupied France and follows the daring exploits of Jewish-American fighter pilot Capt. David Holden. Ambushed behind enemy lines, Holden must rescue a captured B-17 Flying Fortress crew, evade a ruthless enemy stalking him at every turn, and foil a plot that could completely alter the outcome of World War II.
Most of the movie’s crew was local to Detroit, providing jobs and filmmaking experience to many up-and-coming folks in the area. Some of the cast and many of the extras also were local.
Several of the film’s shooting locations were in the greater Detroit area, including the Yankee Air Museum in Ypsilanti (which also provided the B-17 bomber) and a private forest outside of Ann Arbor.
To see a trailer for the film, visit here.
SBAM Partners with SensCy to Offer Cybersecurity to Small Businesses
To help small business owners protect their companies from cyberattacks, the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) in Lansing has partnered with SensCy to offer cyber security support to members.
“More than ever, small business needs to be protected from cyberattacks,” says Scott Lyon, senior vice president of SBAM. “However, typically cyber solutions are too expensive and complicated for small businesses. This new partnership connects small businesses with cyber security services, at an affordable rate, from a Michigan-based company.”
SensCy’s mission is to improve the cybersecurity health of small and medium-sized businesses and organizations. In today’s digital world, data is a valuable asset and hackers are realizing that SMOs are significantly less protected than large companies with many resources. SensCy ensures that small businesses have the proper education, sound policy, best practices and a clear understanding of their cyberhealth — dramatically reducing the chances of a catastrophic cybersecurity event.
“We are thrilled to partner with SBAM,” says Dave Kelly, cofounder and CTO at SensCy. “Our sole focus at SensCy is improving the cyberhealth of small and medium-sized organizations and ensuring that they are prepared to respond should an incident occur. We are committed to providing SBAM members with an affordable, easily understood solution and the personal attention required to create a proactive cybersecurity culture. Our mission is to help small business owners sleep better at night by being their trusted guide to sensible cybersecurity.”
More information on the partnership and how members can sign up is available here.
Stryker Receives FDA Clearance for Q Guidance System for Spine Applications
Kalamazoo-based medical technology company Stryker today announced that its Q Guidance System received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The system, when used with the Spine Guidance Software, is an advanced planning and intraoperative guidance system designed to enable open or percutaneous computer-assisted surgery. The Spine Guidance Software is the first spine navigation software to receive clearance from the FDA for use with pediatric patients aged 13 and older.
Stryker’s Q Guidance System is designed to deliver surgical spine planning and navigation capability through multiple tracking options, sophisticated software algorithms, and smart instrumentation. It features a high-performance navigation camera built on the company’s 20 years of experience developing guidance technologies. Q Guidance features completely redesigned software applications, semi-automatic and automatic segmentation features, gesture recognition, and broad compatibility with various types of image sets.
When used with Airo TruCT mobile CT scanner, this ecosystem delivers automatic image registration and pairs high performance tracking capabilities with cutting edge intraoperative image quality and scan volume.
“The versatility of the Q Guidance System will help to streamline our technologies across multiple specialties such as cranial, spine, ENT and orthopaedics,” says Robbie Robinson, president of the spine division. “The system is designed for future compatibility with a fully integrated ecosystem, driving more value for our customers. With a robust product pipeline in place, we are positioned to provide a well-rounded, end-to-end platform for our surgeon customers, with the ability to incorporate robotics and intelligent handheld instruments in the future.”
Michigan Science Center Offers Free Admission to Military Personnel and Families this Summer
The Michigan Science Center will join museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer.
The 2022 program ends on Labor Day, Sept. 5. Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums nationwide.
“We are thrilled to partner with the National Endowment for the Arts and Blue Star Families to bring this important program to MiSci,” says Christian Greer, president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center. “We are grateful to those who serve our country and delighted to provide an opportunity to put them at the center of science this summer.”
The free admission program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military — Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, and Space Force, members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.
Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), DD Form 1173-1 ID card or the Next Generation Uniformed Services (Real) ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.
A full list of participating museums is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
TV Reporter Tutman Creates Bra-Less Bra to Help Others
After decades of dealing with her own body image struggles, longtime Detroit TV news reporter Paula Tutman developed Bra-Less Bra, Instant Cleavage Sculpting Solution. It’s a specially designed breast-lifting tape that lifts and supports breasts all the way to an N-cup, to assist any woman who is fighting gravity no matter her size, shape, age, or weight.
“I developed early, was teased often, and hated the way I looked because I had breasts at age 12 and other girls didn’t,” she recalls. “In college while preparing for a dance, I grabbed a roll of Scotch tape and lifted my breasts to fit into a dress. I graduated to plastic postage tape and then duct tape and masking tape and finally — many years later after landing in Detroit, I discovered surgical tape, which became my magic bullet.
“My entire adult life has been lived out-loud and in plain view of a very judgmental public and I struggled with what I call rollercoastering self-esteem,” Tutman adds. “That surgical tape helped me accept how I saw myself in the mirror.”
But Tutman says the surgical tape would rip her skin and eventually, during a routine physical, her doctor asked her if she was being abused. That’s when the idea for Bra-less Bra was born.
“I knew other women were experiencing similar struggles,” she says. “I made a decision to decriminalize my own self-image based on someone else’s standards and create a solution for myself and all women who have been forced to allow bras to dictate their fashion choices.”
For more information, visit here.
DogHouse Farms Cannabis Awarded Detroit’s First Adult-use License
DogHouse Farms, a Cannabis brand with operations in Detroit, Oregon, and Washington, has been awarded the city of Detroit’s first adult-use cannabis license.
“The new license will immediately help DogHouse Farms and other Detroit-based cultivators to compete with the brands located outside of the city and already in possession of an adult-use license,” says Eric Slutzky, CEO of emphasized that “allowing for cannabis business growth means more jobs, more tax revenue and more products created right here in our community. This is a win for all of Detroit.”
Slutzky says he anticipates that the adult-use license will spur opportunity and interest to build new cannabis businesses in Detroit.
“We proudly selected Detroit as Michigan’s home for DogHouse Farms with the goal of giving back to the city that has provided us with so much,” he says. “Our hope is that this change will spur new business growth, whether from the city’s Second Chance Program or by extending the same easy path to municipal approval for adult-use licenses to Detroit’s retail dispensaries.
“These are sea-change events that will redefine the city’s cannabis industry and provide business owners the freedom to flourish and the city with major tax revenues. Hopefully, once retailers are free to apply, customers will finally have simple access to quality Detroit and Michigan-made products without having to leave their neighborhood.”
Winning Futures Awards $50,000 in Scholarships to 24 Metro Detroit Students
Winning Futures awarded $50,000 to 24 students from its Workforce Prep program and recognized 17 local business professionals who completed their fifth year as career mentors at the 28th Annual Awards Celebration May 17 at The Gazebo Banquet Center in Warren.
Scholarships were awarded to high school students:
- Miyah Hepburn, Nazifa Kadir, Adib Mahdiath, and Jayla Sanders of Cass Technical High School in Detroit.
- Lima Akter, Alyssa Jajou, Leah Pintoski, Gabriella Pruitt, and Claire Szurkiewicz of Community High School, Sterling Heights.
- Shaina Dean-Motley, Alizsa Johnson, Carmella Kern, Jessica Murphy, and Michael-Allen Washington of
- Harper Woods High School.
- Jacob Milanov of Warren Mott High School.
Alumni scholarships were awarded to:
- Steven Bernard, Cuyahoga Community College, and Aidan Watkins, Wayne County Community College (Harper Woods High School).
- Iyana Cobbs and Kayla Lewis, both at Michigan State University (Cass Technical High School).
- Faheem Mumin, Macomb Community College, (Butcher Community High School).
- Sally Pham, University of Michigan, and Mohammad Zaman, Michigan State University (Warren Mott High School).
- Jessica Taylor, Oakland Community College (Lamphere High School).
- Angelica Tibbitts, Saginaw Valley State University (Pontiac Academy for Excellence).
Career mentors who were recognized for completing five years of mentoring are:
- Gerard Baltrusaitis, internship/employment specialist at Jewish Vocational Services.
- Josh Berg, managing director at Magna Technology and Investments
- Jeffrey Bradley, credit administration officer at Comerica Bank in Berkley.
- Shuanti Brown, vehicle electrical systems manager at GM.
- Mae Daniels, public relations and events coordinator at Extra Credit Union.
- Brian Donohoe, financial advisor at Morgan Stanley.
- Brianna Ellison, director of community engagement at Verizon.
- Kinikia Essix, court administrator for U.S. District Court.
- Jason Henige, business strategist at Quicken Loans.
- Robert Lenz, president of Peak Management.
- Andrew Makar, senior manager-consulting services at Salesforce.
- Michael Matthews, travel and corporate card administrator for Shinola Detroit.
- Kenneth Rogers, business resource manager at Stellantis.
- Kelly Savela, connections supervisor, social media at VMLY&R.
- Sharon vanSpronsen, marketing coordinator at Phillips Service Industries.
- Valencia White, technology compliance program manager at Rock Central.
- George Wooley, vice president of business development at Flex.
Entrepreneurs Return to WCC to Pitch Business Plans
Local entrepreneurs pitched their business plans for cash prizes in a hybrid return to Pitch @ WCC, hosted by the Entrepreneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor.
Pitches at the 2022 event ranged from providing care companion services and dual language children’s books to refilling plastic containers.
Entrepreneurs competed in two categories. The “Start” category includes prospective business owners who need help launching or further developing their plans. Business owners in the “Build” category have already opened and are looking to further define and increase their customer base.
Emily Holiday at Michigan Refillery, which reduces single-use plastics by buying household products in bulk and offering refills for customers’ reusable containers, won the $1,000 grand prize in the Start category.
Runner-up was Lisa Blake of Care Champion, which arranges attendants who, acting as an agent for the client/family, provide personal care, patient sitting or case management during hospital and nursing home stays.
Second Runner-up was Oyun-Erdene Damitio of Oyu Global, which will offer bilingual children’s books designed to build upon one another to teach two languages. This company has potential to grow into other children’s products, such as animations and toys.
Grand Prize in the Build category went to Satara Holliday of First Love Tours, which is a motor coach company specializing in state-to-state and local travel for large groups, such as family reunions, corporate outings and community events. She won a $2,000 award.
Runners-up were Cathryn Coleman of Bouncing Around the Motor City, a one-stop-shop for party and large event rental needs, decor rental, stuffed balloons, balloon design and decor, inflatables, linen and customized trinkets, and other gifts; and Cymone Croft of She’s Virtual, an online administrative agency that helps entrepreneurs establish, organize. and grow their businesses through affordable administrative services.
For more information, visit here.
Highland Park Receives Historic Preservation Certification
The Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., announced that the city of Highland Park has been accepted to the Certified Local Government (CLG) program, following confirmation from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
“Highland Park has a rich history intertwined with the evolution of modern Michigan at the turn of the twentieth century,” says Mark A. Rodman, State Historic Preservation Officer. “This has been recognized, in part, by the designation of the Highland Park Ford Plant as a local historic district as the site of innovations critical to Ford’s success. We are excited to welcome the City of Highland Park to the CLG program and look forward to working alongside the city to build on its historic preservation activities.”
The Certified Local Government program is a partnership among local, state, and national governments focused on promoting historic preservation at the local level. The National Park Service administers the program in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office. Certification makes the city of Highland Park eligible for specialized technical assistance and programming from the SHPO.
Participation in the CLG program also makes the community eligible for federal grants provided by the U.S. Department of the Interior and administered by the SHPO. These grants may be used for a variety of preservation activities, such as historic resource surveys, National Register of Historic Places nominations, educational and heritage tourism initiatives, pre-development plans and studies, and rehabilitation of certain historic properties.
There is no cost to participate in the program, but communities must meet certain requirements. Participating communities must have a local historic district ordinance and appoint a historic district commission to review proposed work in locally designated historic districts. CLGs must also encourage public participation in the local historic preservation program and seek ways to identify, protect, and celebrate important historic resources in their community.
Chroma in Detroit Announces Summer Programming, Welcomes New Tenants
Chroma, the newly renovated 107-year-old building in Detroit’s iconic North End and Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, is emerging as a hub for creativity, design, and community. The development by Detroit-based The Platform offers private offices, coworking options, and event space.
For summer, Chroma is announcing new public programming, including:
- June 5 — Family Fun Day with ArtLabJ | Student Exhibition & Creative Thinkers + Movers Workshop
- June 8-22 — Cinema Lamont Movie Night
- June 9-23 — Dance Party with Detroit Dance Loft (focus of genre to change per event)
- June 11 — Maker’s Market on the Boulevard
- June 18 — YOU Belong: An Exhibit on Belonging curated by DMJ Studio
- June 20 — Weekly DJ Night Kickoff with Vince Patricola and guests (with record fair once a month) plus a Chroma Open House Tour with Chroma Coworking and City Institute
Beginning July 12, Chroma will host a weekly yoga series led by instructor Giustina Easton, with steel tongue drummer Demetrius Thomas, supported by lululemon Downtown Detroit.
Programming will take place in the recently completed first floor of Chroma and on the huge outdoor patio and grounds. For more information about events and to register, visit here.
For more information about Chroma, including leasing information, visit here.