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.
Detroiter Jack White to Perform National Anthem at Tigers’ Opening Day
For the first time since 2019, the Detroit Tigers will welcome a capacity crowd to Comerica Park for Opening Day tomorrow against the Chicago White Sox.
The club announced the new special features and ways fans can participate in the start of the baseball season in Detroit.
Detroit native Jack White and his band will perform an instrumental version of the National Anthem as four A-10 Thunderbolt “Warthog” aircraft fly over Comerica Park from the 107th Fighter Squadron, part of the 127th Wing located at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township.
Prior to the National Anthem and flyover, the Tigers will remember Kimera Bartee, a former Tigers player and coach who passed away on Dec. 20, 2021. He was 49 years old. The team will introduce Bartee’s family and pause for a moment of silence. Amari Bartee, Kimera’s son, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Tigers and White Sox taking the field.
Cam Thorning, a standout slugger on the Little League World Series Champion Taylor North team, will deliver the game ball to the pitcher’s mound before both teams take the field. Taylor North is the first Michigan team to win the Little League World Series championship since Hamtramck accomplished the feat in 1959.
Other special Opening Day highlights include:
- A 2022 Season Magnet Schedule, presented by Rocket Mortgage, to the first 10,000 fans in attendance.
- Live music, photo opportunities, the Detroit Tigers Foundation 50/50 Raffle, and more will greet Tigers fans as they enter the concourse area.
- The Miller Lite Home Run Happy Hour – located on the Pepsi Porch – from 10:30 a.m. until noon. Select concession items will cost just $5, including 16 oz. domestic beers, Pepsi products, hot dogs, and more.
- From 10:30 a.m. until noon, fans can also purchase $5 16 oz. domestic beer, in addition to a signature cocktail at the Chevrolet Pavilion.
- The inaugural Miller Lite Opening Day Tailgate from 9 a.m. until first pitch in the McLaren Garage Plaza and along Witherell Street outside Comerica Park. The event will feature a band, DJ, interactive games, $5 16 oz. domestic beer, photo stations and additional corporate partnership initiatives.
- Player introductions begin at 12:40 p.m.
Novi’s Lineage Logistics Building Next-gen Cold Storage Facility in Colorado
Lineage Logistics in Novi reports it is constructing a next-generation automated cold-storage facility in Windsor, Colo., on behalf of JBS USA, a global food company.
Lineage designed the automated facility spanning more than 200,000 square feet that will provide JBS with expanded blast freezing and storage capacity, as well as rail access to support the shipment of export products to ports located on the West Coast. The facility will join Lineage’s growing network of fully automated facilities worldwide.
“We are thrilled to partner with our long-term customer, JBS, along with the Town of Windsor and Upstate Colorado Economic Development on this project that builds on JBS’s long history of supporting local Colorado communities,” says Greg Lehmkuhl, president and CEO of Lineage. “Through this tremendous partnership, we will construct a new, world-class automated cold storage facility that leverages our industry-leading technology and expertise and builds a more efficient supply chain for JBS.”
Tim Schellpeper, CEO of JBS USA, says, “This is an exciting project for our company that supports not just our efforts to provide high-quality food for families around the world but also our longstanding commitment to the state of Colorado. The new state-of-the-art facility strengthens our long-term, successful partnership with Lineage, streamlines our supply chain to benefit customers, and improves efficiencies, all while benefitting this region through job creation and local investment.”
The new facility will be built on land purchased by Lineage within the 3,000-acre Great Western Industrial Park. Owned and operated by rail and real estate developer The Broe Group, the strategic GWIP site will be rail served by The Broe Group’s transportation affiliate, OmniTRAX, which owns and operates a network of 24 regional and shortline railroads across North America. OmniTRAX will design, build, and operate a custom intermodal rail solution for the new facility that unlocks bulk shipment efficiency and enables worldwide reach.
The construction of the facility is expected to be complete in 2023.
Traverse City’s Hagerty Introduces Motorlux to Kick Off Monterey Car Week
Hagerty, the Traverse City-based specialty vehicle insurance company and lifestyle brand, is introducing Motorlux, a fresh take on Monterey Car Week’s kick-off party that builds on the foundation of McCall’s Motorworks Revival.
Returning to the Monterey Jet Center on Aug. 17, Motorlux remains faithful to its elegant entertaining roots while creating “elevated and artfully curated experiences that celebrate automotive, aviation, and culinary culture.”
“We are grateful to Gordon and Molly McCall for entrusting us as stewards of this prestigious gathering that they founded and grew into a world-class event,” says Soon Hagerty, senior vice president of brand at Hagerty. “Monterey Car Week is the most anticipated annual automotive event and we’re dedicated to ensuring that Motorlux remains the benchmark celebration of cars, craft and community that sets the stage for the days to come.”
Motorlux will feature a themed approach to food and beverage with menus and signature cocktails created by local culinary experts. Immersive displays, showcasing automotive, aviation, fashion, and design innovators will set the stage for networking and community, encouraged by a new seating concept throughout the hangar.
New this year, Motorlux and the Monterey Jet Center will serve as a live automotive auction platform. The boutique auction, offering approximately 80 exceptional motor cars, will be presented by Broad Arrow Auctions and its team of industry veterans. The auction preview is set to take place on Aug. 17, with the sale scheduled for Aug. 18. Additional information on the auction can be found here.
Motorlux continues to support the CHP 11-99 Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to helping families of California Highway Patrol officers in times of need.
Ticket packages for Motorlux are on sale now here.
Friday Marks Opening of Cookies Ann Arbor Provisioning Center
Gage Cannabis Co. will open Cookies Ann Arbor (2460 W. Stadium Blvd.), a new flagship cannabis provisioning center in the heart of Ann Arbor on Friday, April 8.
The Cookies store will carry the entire family of Cookies products including, but not limited to the Cookies, Lemonnade, Runtz, PowerzzzUp, Minntz, and Grandiflora lines. The store will be operated by Gage in an exclusive partnership with Cookies.
“Gage is excited for this next step in our flourishing partnership with Berner and his Cookies brand,” says Mike Finos, president of Gage. “Launching a Cookies store right next to the University of Michigan campus is sure to be another big hit. Ann Arbor is a sophisticated cannabis town, and they deserve the best brands.”
The 3,939-square-foot Cookies store will employ 25 Ann Arbor residents. Gage also has a social equity program through which it will share quarterly grants with social equity participants in cities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition. The company plans to give up to $50,000 to a prospective cannabis business owner in any of the 19 social equity cities initially designated by the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
For more information, visit here.
Happi Launches New Cannabis-infused Sparkling Water Flavor
Birmingham-based Happi has launched its newest flavor of cannabis-infused sparkling water— Pomegranate Hibiscus.
It will be available in select provisioning centers this month. It is made with organic pomegranate, lemon, agave nectar, and hibiscus. The manufacturer was it is “light, fruity, and the perfect way to savor the season.”
Pomegranate Hibiscus joins Happi’s current lineup of flavors — Lemon Elderflower and Raspberry Honeysuckle. The products are made with simple ingredients and organic fruit and with 25 calories or less per can.
“We are proud to give Michiganders something to celebrate this spring with the launch of our latest flavor, Pomegranate Hibiscus,” says Lisa Hurwitz, president of Happi. “Enjoying the big and small occasions of spring — warmer days outside with family, exploring farmers markets — after the long Michigan winter are best honored with a Happi in hand.”
For more information, visit here.
Loyola High School, U-D Mercy Partner on Public Relations Course
Loyola High School in Detroit and the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) have formed a “real world” partnership that offers UDM students practical communications experience while providing the all-male Catholic high school in northwest Detroit with tangible marketing products and solutions.
The partnership involves a real-life client/agency relationship that comes with deadlines, pressures, challenges, and revisions. It takes the students beyond a textbook simulation and puts them into the world of creating actual ads, social media posts, press releases, and more for a real city high school.
The recent class included coursework that tasked the students with developing a theme and related materials for Loyola’s annual appeal, and it was credited with delivering a 5-percent increase in total funding. Eighty-five percent of Loyola’s annual budget comes from private and corporate giving.
“It’s an incredibly successful example of a mutually beneficial program that we hope will continue for years to come,” says Roger Jankowski, director of marketing and communications for Loyola. “By working on the annual appeal project, Detroit Mercy students supported Loyola’s important mission of helping to educate and build ‘Men for Others, Men for Detroit.’ In turn, the students gained invaluable experience and even developed portfolio pieces that could give them a leg up as they move into internships and even their first professional jobs.”
The course first launched in 2021 and included student “ad agencies” that pitched social media stories to “client” Loyola High School each week. The collaboration proved so successful that it was elevated to take on the branding of Loyola’s annual appeal.
Detroit Parks Coalition Launches with $985K for Staff, Programming, Capital Improvements
With nearly $1 million in funding secured, the Detroit Parks Coalition (DPC) is launching an 18-month organizational pilot to support healthy, equitable, and vibrant parks and public spaces in Detroit.
The pilot includes staffing for the coalition, new citywide park programming, and $500,000 in capital improvements for Detroit parks. DPC is supported by grants from The Kresge Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and the Knight Foundation, as well as key partnerships with the state of Michigan and the Detroit Pistons.
“Our parks organizations have been working together for years,” says Alex Allen, CEO of Chandler Park Conservancy, who has been chairing the coalition since its inception in 2018. “Taking this next step will allow us to advocate together for park programming and improvements that will create better parks experiences throughout the city.”
The coalition’s startup grants include:
- $500,000 as an allocation in the state of Michigan FY2022 Budget to install capital improvements in Detroit parks. This funding will support basic park needs such as benches, trash cans, signage, playscapes, and bathrooms.
- $180,000 from The Kresge Foundation and $175,000 from Hudson-Webber Foundation to support DPC’s staffing and infrastructure. DPC has hired Sigal Hemy, formerly the group’s interim leader, as its executive director and plans to hire another FTE to support park operations and programming.
- $90,000 from the Knight Foundation to host an arts festival across seven Detroit parks in August-September 2022. A Knight Arts Challenge winner, the Freedom Arts Festival will connect or reconnect Detroiters to their neighborhood parks through cultural experiences.
- $65,000 from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for shared programming and communications supporting all Coalition members.
During the pilot period, DPC also will continue partnering with the Detroit Pistons Foundation, which provides recreational and cultural experiences in parks across the city.
Michigan’s Gamer Advantage and Genusee Announce Collaboration
Gamer Advantage, the Walled Lake developer of blue light glasses, is collaborating with Genusee, the sustainable eyewear collection originating from the Flint water crisis, on the Genusee x Gamer Advantage.
These online eyewear brands focus on different messages, but come together through their locality, and drive for their businesses. Genusee eyewear focuses on environmental sustainability and upcycling. It uses 15 plastic water bottles per frame to create its eyeglasses. Gamer Advantage focuses on helping gamers sleep better, so they can perform better.
“I had heard about Genusee and the awesome things they were doing for the environment,” says Bryan Reedy, CEO of Gamer Advantage. “I knew they were based in Flint, so I thought hey, why not send the CEO a message. Honestly, I was floored at how it took 15 reusable water bottles to make one pair of glasses. I had no idea what would come of this collaboration, but after connecting with Ali (Rose Van Overbeke), I knew this was meant to be. I don’t think there has ever been two eyewear brands that collaborate.”
Van Overbeke, founder of Genusee, says, “When Bryan reached out, my first thought was, what are gamer glasses? But then I realized that it was no different than a football helmet, or a seatbelt in a car. What Bryan was creating was a fashionable piece of safety equipment to help promote better sleep and reduce fatigue when sitting on screens for a long time. I figured if it’s good enough for a gamer, it will probably work for me and after trying it for a few weeks, I was right. Bryan has something different here.”
The glasses are now available online.
Study: Kroger Health’s Food as Medicine Platform Leads to Healthy Lifestyle
Kroger Health, the health care division of The Kroger Co., funded the University of Cincinnati to execute an independent clinical research study to learn how retailers, like Kroger, serve as an important health care destination by leveraging food and nutrition education to support the health and wellbeing of shoppers.
The results were announced at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session and Expo conducted April 3 in Washington, D.C.
The study, Supermarket and Web-based Intervention targeting Nutrition (SuperWIN), was a randomized, controlled trial aimed at increasing diet quality and decreasing cardiovascular risk by promoting a heart-healthy diet through nutrition counseling provided by a registered dietitian.
“It’s undeniable that Kroger Health is one of America’s leading organizations connecting food and health, and the SuperWIN study helps us make real world connections to provide better health outcomes to our customers,” says Ban George, division health leader at The Kroger Co. of Michigan. “This study proves that our Food as Medicine platform is successful and will continue to lead our vision to help people live healthier lives.”
Key findings include:
- In-aisle teaching with a Kroger Health registered dietitian significantly increased adherence to a heart-healthy dietary pattern compared to traditional nutrition counseling alone.
- Adherence was further improved when in-aisle teaching was paired with education on how to use online shopping technologies, including grocery delivery service, the Kroger app and website, and OptUP, Kroger Health’s industry-leading nutrition rating system to simplify and track healthier shopping.
- Retailers like Kroger serve as an important health care destination, aligning with recently surveyed consumers who identified their primary food stores (48 percent) as institutions helping them stay healthy.
“SuperWIN is probably the most scientifically rigorous study of a comprehensive health care intervention ever conducted with the retail industry,” says Dr. Dylan Steen of the Division of Cardiovascular Health and Disease at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “In terms of purchasing data, retailers have been collecting these data for decades. These data are now progressively being linked to nutrition information and thus could be used by dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians to provide the best, individualized guidance to patients.”
To download the full report, visit here.
Audacy Detroit to Host ‘Step Up to the Plate’ Radiothon to Benefit Detroit PAL
On Monday, April 25, from 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Audacy’s local radio stations — ALT 98.7, 99.5 WYCD, 104.3 WOMC, 97.1 The Ticket and WWJ-AM 950 — will ask their listeners to “Step Up to the Plate” and donate to help the Detroit Police Athletic League.
In addition to the radiothon, listeners and baseball fans alike will get an opportunity to “Swing for the Fences” from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. from the home plate of the historic Tiger Stadium. Fans will get 10 swings for $20 to support PAL youth. Any participant who knocks it out of the park, will receive a commemorative “Ground from the Mound” collectible from the historic Tiger Stadium.
“Detroit PAL serves about 10,000 area youth a year, allowing them to grow through sports and other types of enrichment activities and we couldn’t do this without support from the community,” says Monica DeJesus, chief development officer for Detroit PAL. “Like many other nonprofits in our area, we need additional funding to help bridge the gap and we are so thankful that Audacy and their family of stations have stepped up again this year to give us the platform we need to spread that message.”
Broadcasting live from Detroit PAL headquarters, Audacy stations also will play brief interviews from Detroit PAL supporters, including police officers, community leaders, current and former athletes, parents, and others to help listeners understand the immediate impact their donations will have on the organization.
“Audacy Detroit has always been focused on giving back to the communities we serve,” says Debbie Kenyon, senior vice president and market manager for Audacy Detroit. “We were thrilled we were able to bring back this year’s ‘Step Up to the Plate’ Radiothon to support Detroit PAL’s important mission to enhance the lives of Detroit’s youth and supporting their initiatives.”
Donations can be made online or by calling 313-880-4725.
Cuban Pianist Chucho Valdés to serve as Artist-in-Residence at the Detroit Jazz Festival
Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, one of the most influential figures in modern Afro-Cuban jazz will be the artis-in-residence for the 2022 Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage, which will once again take place live in downtown Detroit.
As the 2022 artist-in-residence, Valdés will support Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation educational initiatives for students and community engagement activities across the region throughout the year in addition to leading multiple diverse performances during Labor Day weekend. He also will perform during the April 30 Preview Event to take place at the future home of the Gretchen C. Valade Jazz Center on Wayne State University’s campus in Detroit.
“Chucho Valdés’ selection as the 2022 artist-in-residence is an immediate reflection of our ongoing international outreach initiatives, profoundly grown global audience during the pandemic, and our ongoing commitment to present jazz artists and performances that showcase the diverse tapestry of jazz including legendary artists and the next generation of jazz leaders,” says Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “His artistry at the festival, coupled with his monumental career and status as a worldwide leader in Afro-Cuban jazz will make the perfect statement as we transition back into an in-person format with a new perspective.”
The Detroit Jazz Festival will take place in downtown Detroit Sept. 2 – 5.