DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit Pistons Making Coaching Change Following Subpar Season, 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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The Detroit Pistons star Cade Cunningham will have a new head coach next season. The team announced they are replacing Monty Williams. // Photo courtesy of Detroit Pistons

Detroit Pistons Make Coaching Change Following Subpar Season

The Detroit Pistons today announced Monty Williams will not return next season as the team’s head coach. The decision comes after a thorough review and analysis of the team’s performance during the 2023-24 campaign, in which their record was 14-68. Over the last four years, the team’s collective record is 74-244.

The Pistons recently hired Trajan Langdon as its president of basketball operations, replacing Troy Weaver. The team has the 5th selection in the NBA Draft, which will be held from June 26-27.

“Decisions like these are difficult to make, and I want to thank Monty for his hard work and dedication,” says Pistons owner Tom Gores. “Coaching has many dynamic challenges that emerge during a season and Monty always handled those with grace. However, after reviewing our performance carefully and assessing our current position as an organization, we will chart a new course moving forward.

“I have great respect for Monty as a coach and as a person, and I am certain he will be successful in his future endeavors,” adds Gores. “I sincerely wish him and his family the very best.”

The search process for a new head coach will begin immediately.

“We are unwavering in our commitment to bring a championship-caliber team to Detroit,” says Gores. “We will be diligent and swift in our search for a new head coach to lead our exciting young core of players, and will continue our vision toward building a best-in-class front office that will help us achieve sustainable success.”

J.P. Morgan Private Bank Releases 2024 Mid-Year Outlook

J.P. Morgan Private Bank in New York released its 2024 Mid-Year Outlook, “A Strong Economy in a Fragile World,” which defines the most important considerations for investors amid this complex environment.

“Despite global inflation not falling as quickly as forecasters may have hoped, the global economy looks remarkably strong, defying the pressure of higher interest rates,” says Grace Peters, global head of investment strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

“However, we note that the world is at a delicate juncture. On the one hand, higher growth, higher bond yields, and higher equity valuations. On the other hand, higher inflation, higher geopolitical risks, and potentially higher taxes.

“Despite these challenges, we think positive forces can power markets forward in 2024. The global equity rally can broaden beyond the U.S. and mega market cap stocks.”

To navigate the global economic and investment landscape, J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s 2024 Mid-Year Investments Outlook highlights a few themes.

The economy is stronger than you think. The Federal Reserve continues to hold steady until inflation falls further, but other central banks already have started to cut rates. Additionally, household spending, particularly in the U.S., continues to be strong.

Sources of uncertainty signal a fragile world. Thomas Kennedy, chief investment strategist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, says, “while our market and economic outlook is constructive, we acknowledge two main sources of uncertainty – geopolitical risk and the U.S. election.”

When it comes to the U.S. election, we expect that pockets of the markets could be more sensitive to election results, including small and mid-cap equities, the U.S. dollar, and clean energy companies. However, during each election cycle, we urge clients not to let results derail their long-term, goals-based plans, and instead focus on constructing a well-diversified portfolio.

Writing a new chapter for corporate Europe. With rising dividends and share buybacks, it’s evident that European companies are embracing a structural shift to become more shareholder friendly. This trend is accompanied by improving economic fundamentals in the eurozone, with consumer health looking positive, a strong outlook for corporate profits, and rate cuts underway.

Learn more about J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s 2024 Mid-Year Outlook and download the full report here.

May Sports Betting Handle Drops in Michigan

BetMichigan.com reports that the total sports betting handle (spend) in May was $354.8 million, down 14.1 percent from April and the mobile sports betting handle was down 13.9 percent from the previous month. At the sale time taxable revenue was up 2.1 percent and taxes paid were up 1.5 percent over April. 

“While Michigan’s May sports betting handle dipping 14.1 percent is a noteworthy change, it is not surprising as local bettors had fewer options to wager on,” says Chris Boan, an analyst at BetMichigan.com. “Michigan scores a win while sportsbooks take a hit in May. Strategic bettors may have wagered less money, but the state of Michigan reported a small 2.1 percent increase in revenue in May. This caused a slight uptick in earned sports taxes, providing the state with $1.85 million in funds.”

For more information, visit here.

Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone to Host 10-year Celebration Thursday

The Downtown Detroit Business Improvement Zone (BIZ) will host a celebration from 9-11 a.m. Thursday at Campus Martius Park to commemorate its 10-year anniversary of creating a clean, safe, and welcoming downtown made possible through the contributions of downtown property owners.

The BIZ Ambassador Program is a pillar of the BIZ and employs a team of nearly 100 ambassadors, comprised of more than 90 percent Detroiters. All ambassadors are trained in mental health first aid, CPR, crowd management, de-escalation, and more. These skills are a critical support for both small- and large-scale events in the downtown and ensure everyone enjoys and experiences the vibrancy of the community.

The Downtown Detroit BIZ Ambassador program is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

Michelle and Kier Cook Launch TruBlue Home Service Ally in Michigan

Long-time western Wayne County area residents and community advocates Kier and Michelle Cook recently opened a TruBlue Home Service Ally, the handyman, home maintenance, and senior modification franchise to serve their local community.

The Cooks say they are excited to expand their impact by providing essential home maintenance and handyman services to seniors and busy adults.

Both have a history of entrepreneurship and community involvement. Michelle operated an in-home preschool business, while Kier owned and managed a commercial cleaning business.

Their volunteer work with Meals on Wheels, the Girl Scouts, and local city clean-up efforts has further cemented their commitment to the Plymouth-Canton community.

TruBlue Home Service Ally of Plymouth-Canton aims to provide comprehensive home maintenance solutions, allowing clients to focus on spending quality time with loved ones instead of worrying about home repairs. The Cooks’ goal is to make their new venture a trusted name in western Wayne County, providing premium handyman services and creating a culture where employees enjoy their work and customers feel valued.

“Our immediate growth plans are to put skilled labor into place and make ourselves known and trusted in the senior community while making TruBlue Home Service Ally the number one option for premium handyman services,” says Michelle Cooks. “We seek to empower small teams that work on the same concepts of trust and dependability while making a great impression on each and every customer they come in contact with.”

Stryker Joins North Carolina Group to Advance Surgical Training and Education

Stryker in Portage, near Kalamazoo, is bringing its products, platforms, and robotic technologies to IRCAD North America (IRCAD NA), a subsidiary of Atrium Health, as part of a multi-year agreement supporting the creation of an experiential education center in Charlotte, N.C.

IRCAD NA is set to become the cornerstone of the first research building at The Pearl, a new innovation district currently under construction in the heart of Charlotte. It is expected to attract thousands of medical professionals from around the world each year for advanced training in the latest surgical techniques and technologies.

Stryker’s involvement underscores its commitment to advancing medical education and patient care through collaboration and aligns with its mission to make health care better. The company will help equip IRCAD NA’s training center with its advanced medical devices, aiming to elevate the skill levels of physicians and technicians. This training center will focus on education in the areas of robotics, medical virtual and augmented reality, surgical artificial intelligence and simulation training.

“Stryker was inspired by IRCAD North America’s vision to elevate education and enhance healthcare for future generations of clinicians,” says Mike Carlin, president of customer solutions for Stryker. “We are thrilled to incorporate Stryker’s products and technologies into this state-of-the-art training center, which we believe will make a significant impact on medicine globally.”

Stryker will assist IRCAD NA in the development of curriculum at the center and have an opportunity to host a variety of its own onsite classes, in addition to those offered by IRCAD NA, to develop and enhance skills on some of its most advanced equipment.

Construction Association of Michigan Celebrates Safety Performance of Member Companies

The Construction Association of Michigan in Bloomfield Hills has announced the winners of its 2023 Safety Achievement Awards, which recognize CAM member companies for their exceptional dedication to promoting safety and health across all levels of their organizations.

The gold award winners, demonstrating the highest standards of safety excellence, are:

  • City Carpet & Flooring (0-50,999 hours worked category)
  • Edgewood Electric, L.S. Brinker, and Universal Glass and Metals (51,000-199,999 hours worked)
  • W.J. O’Neil Co. (200,000-499,999 hours worked)
  • Motor City Electric (500,000+ hours worked)

Silver and bronze award recipients across the various hours worked categories include Detroit Dismantling Corp., Artisan Tile, Brinker Team Construction, Universal Piping Industries, George McIntosh Inc., Braun Construction Group, Roncelli Inc., Goyette Mechanical, and RAM Construction Services.

“Safety is paramount in the construction industry, and these award-winning companies have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to protecting their workers and maintaining exceptional safety records,” says Tracey McLenon, vice president of operations at CAM. “We congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition and for setting the standard for safety excellence in our industry.”

Winners were recognized at an awards ceremony on May 31.

Make-A-Wish Partners with Children’s Hospital to Surprise Wish Kid

Make-A-Wish Michigan and Children’s Hospital of Michigan will grant the wish of 8-year-old heart transplant patient James to visit Legoland and Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. It is Make-A-Wish’s 12,000th Michigan wish.

James was born with a heart condition and has had many surgeries and procedures in his lifetime, including undergoing a heart transplant in September of 2016. James also endured a 201-day hospital stay at Children’s Hospital of Michigan last year due to complications. In his long hospital stay, James captured the hearts of so many staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan who got to know him and his family well.

James and family were introduced to Make-A-Wish Michigan when their staff hosted a wish event at the hospital. Upon meeting, James and his mom shared with Make-A-Wish his love for Legos and the countless hours he had spent in the hospital working on Lego kits.

James was finally discharged to go home on October 24, 2023. He was then referred to Make-A-Wish Michigan and qualified for a wish in February of 2024. When he met with his wish-granting volunteers to discover his heartfelt wish, he even came prepared with a wish vision board that he made.

Tomorrow morning, after thinking he’s coming in for a regular check-up appointment, James will learn his wish has been granted. The details of his wish will be revealed to him by Make-A-Wish, including that he is leaving on his wish this Friday. He will find out that his number one wish, to have a Master Builder Experience at Legoland, is coming true, but also that while in Florida he and his family will receive park hopper passes to Universal Studios to see the Transformers, park hopper passes to Disney World (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios), and tickets to Seaworld, among other opportunities.

They will be staying at Give Kids the World Village, a nonprofit located in the Orlando area that is an all-inclusive “storybook” resort exclusively for children and families on their wish trips.

For more information on Make-A-Wish Michigan and ways to get involved like becoming a monthly donor, volunteering, referring a child, and more, visit Michigan.wish.org.

To join the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, visit GiftofLifeMichigan.org/donor.