DBusiness Daily Update: Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle Debuts New Sailing Exhibit, 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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“Challenge these Waters: A century of sailing from Detroit to Mackinac Island” is a new exhibit at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. // Photo courtesy of Detroit Historical Society

Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle Debuts New Sailing Exhibit

Visitors to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle have a new way to experience sailing on the Detroit River and Lake Huron with a year-long exhibit that opened this month.

“Challenge these Waters: A century of sailing from Detroit to Mackinac Island,” produced in conjunction with Bayview Yacht Club, celebrates the 100th Bayview Mackinac Race Presented by National Fleet Services this July. Featuring artifacts from the Detroit Historical Society and Bayview Yacht Club archives as well as local families’ personal collections, the exhibit includes sailors’ stories — including one about a sinking and the rescue — changing technology and interactive displays.

“The exhibit traces the Bayview Mackinac Race’s origins on Lake St. Clair to its present-day format as a Michigan summer tradition, competition and outdoor experience,” says Elana Rugh, president and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society. “Getting aboard these sailboats through the exhibit is going to take visitors through history, which is sometimes eye-opening, mostly nostalgic and always educational.”

The annual Mackinac race draws thousands of sailors from around the Great Lakes and beyond for the annual competition that starts just north of Port Huron and ends at a finish line at the iconic Mackinac Island. Over the decades, the race has attracted Olympians and America’s Cup winners as well as families, new sailors and weekend enthusiasts.

In Related News: The Dossin Great Lakes Museum is featuring a traveling exhibit — “A River’s Rejuvenation: The Fish Story of Detroit” — funded by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Heritage Program Grant.

It will be on display at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum through June 16. Then it will travel to the Belle Isle Nature Center and the Belle Isle Aquarium throughout the summer. A new tour of the exhibit is in development for the upcoming school year.

The exhibit is a collaborative project between the Detroit Historical Society, NOAA, The Detroit Zoological Society, the Belle Isle Nature Center, Belle Isle Conservancy, and the Green Door Initiative. Well-known Detroit landscape architect, Detroit River advocate, naturalist, and author Sam Lovall served as project manager.

It celebrates the importance of fish, the Detroit River, and the people who have called this region home. From thousands of years ago to the present day, fish have played a crucial role in providing food for the people of Detroit, and tracing the history of fish reveals how Detroiters have lived, worked, and played through the centuries. As a community, we’re learning from our errors and the return of fish and wildlife to our river shows us that we can all contribute to preserving the beautiful natural environment of Detroit.

Consumers Energy Proposes Ambitious New Upgrades to Improve Reliability

Consumers Energy in Jackson announced its proposal to begin implementing the Reliability Roadmap, the company’s plan for a smarter and stronger electric grid.

The proposal, which the company will file with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) on Friday, includes more buried power lines, infrastructure upgrades, and grid automation efforts to reduce the number and length of customer power outages all while supporting union jobs across our service territory.

Also included is a new wildfire risk mitigation plan, the first such plan by an energy provider in the Midwest, which will protect customers from increased wildfire risk if the National Weather Service issues a “red flag warning.” The plan includes prioritized tree trimming, equipment upgrades in wildfire risk areas, and more effective monitoring.

“Wildfire risk in Michigan has grown in recent years, due to changing weather patterns that result in longer than usual dry periods throughout the state,” says Greg Salisbury, vice president of electric distribution engineering. “Our new plan aims to provide more reliable service to our customers while strengthening and protecting the grid against destructive wildfire risk throughout Consumers Energy’s service territory.”

The proposed plan also includes tactics to expand Consumers Energy’s goal to create a modern, stronger, and more resilient power grid including:

  • Burying 35 miles of additional power lines to provide better protection from common outage causes, including lightning, high winds, tornadoes, heavy snow, ice, and falling tree limbs.
  • Infrastructure upgrades and proactive maintenance planning to find, fix and prevent issues to help the grid’s reliability and lower costs.

“This proposal shows our strong commitment to delivering more reliable, resilient energy for every customer,” says Chris Laird, vice president of electric operations at Consumers Energy. “We will not let up until our grid is stronger and smarter, and we’ll do it in a way that keeps costs down — preventative measures are 40 percent less expensive to fix than responding to problems. We look forward to working with the Michigan Public Service Commission and others to move ahead with our plan.”

Detroit Grand Prix Welcomes 94 Sponsor Partners for 2024 Race Weekend

The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear will enjoy unprecedented partner support for this weekend’s event in the heart of the Motor City. A total of 94 local and national corporate partners will participate in the weekend.

This year’s partnership portfolio includes 19 sponsors that are new to the Grand Prix in 2024.

Celebrating its second year back at its original home on the streets of downtown Detroit, the Detroit Grand Prix has become one of the premier events in motorsports and one of the most popular annual events for partnerships across the state of Michigan.

“We are so grateful for the dedication and commitment of our partners as we prepare for what promises to be an amazing weekend in downtown Detroit,” says Michael Montri, president of the Detroit Grand Prix. “Thanks to the support of the 94 organizations that will help us host a world-class event here in the Motor City, we look forward to delivering an unforgettable experience for our fans, as well as our partners.”

Anchored by the support of title sponsor Chevrolet, which helped revive auto racing in Detroit in 2012, Grand Prix officials take pride in its charitable initiatives and the positive influence it has on Southeast Michigan and beyond. Spectators will notice the prominent Chevrolet branding around the circuit, including the Chevrolet pedestrian bridge over the racecourse on Jefferson Avenue that links popular activation areas in Spirit Plaza and Hart Plaza. Additionally, Chevrolet branding can be seen on the bridges between Turns 8 and 9 on St. Antoine and over the unique two-sided Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan pit lane alongside Franklin Street. The interactive Chevrolet display will be featured in Spirit Plaza, giving Grand Prix attendees the chance to explore Chevy’s technology as well as some of the Detroit-based auto manufacturer’s top vehicles.

Lear Corp. – a Grand Prix partner since 2015 – will once again be the presenting sponsor of the event in 2024. The leading global automotive technology company has its headquarters located just outside of Detroit in Southfield. Lear’s presence will be well represented with its branding in Turn 6 near the Center Garage. Lear also is a sponsor of the Detroit Grand Prix Association (DGPA), the event’s official volunteer organization. Established in 1983, the DGPA has earned a reputation as one of the premier volunteer organizations across all sports.

Among the 19 partners new to the Grand Prix in 2024 is an iconic local Michigan brand that is actively promoting and market the event in retail stores across the state of Michigan. Faygo is the Official Pop of the Detroit Grand Prix. With a focus on nostalgia to build its iconic brand, Faygo is highlighting the Grand Prix through its product distribution and promotion this summer. To complement the color scheme of the Detroit Grand Prix logo, Faygo will showcase its Redpop, Moon Mist, Cola, and Firework flavors in displays at area Meijer stores and 10 other independent grocery stores.

A total of 21 current partners have helped support the Grand Prix since 2012 and 20 sponsors have stepped up to increase their level of commitment for this year’s event.

Bolstered by the commitment of its partners, the Detroit Grand Prix will once again offer an inclusive experience for fans as more than half of the event’s footprint will be open and accessible for free throughout the three-day weekend, including the new Cadillac Square Entertainment Stage presented by Priority.

Partner support has also allowed the Grand Prix to establish opportunities for local neighborhoods and businesses to reap the benefits of the event through the Small Business Straightaway. Reimagined in its new home in Campus Martius Park in 2024, the Small Business Straightaway will again feature a display of 13 locally owned and operated businesses from every district in Detroit on Saturday and Sunday, thanks to the support of the Grand Prix’s Community Partners including American Axle & Manufacturing, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Delta Air Lines, Delta Dental, DTE Foundation, Henry Ford Health, Huntington Bank, Lear Corp., and PNC Bank.

For a complete listing of all 94 Grand Prix partners, visit here.

‘Strong Start’ to Shipping Shows Resilience on the St. Lawrence Seaway

Early tonnage figures show a strong start for the 66th navigation season on the St. Lawrence Seaway demonstrating the resilience, predictability, and sustainability of the binational system.

Early fleet positioning due to low winter ice coverage on the Great Lakes jump-started grain and potash traffic. Canadian and U.S. grain totals increased by 39,000 metric tons over the previous year, totaling approximately 1.21 million metric tons to date. Similarly, potash traffic posted an increase of 83,000 tons, bringing the total up to 110,000 metric tons to date. Potash, which includes various mined and manufactured minerals that contain potassium in water-soluable form, is used in fertilizers to support plant growth, increase crop yield and disease resistance, and enhance water preservation.

“Our dedication to investing in infrastructure renewal lays the foundation for the Seaway’s exceptional reliability. This is critical because marine transportation is the most fuel-efficient and cost-effective method to transport goods,” says Terence Bowles, president and CEO of the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. “A recent study showed the marine industry in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region supports almost 360,000 jobs and generates $66.1 billion dollars (CAD) in economic activity.”

Ongoing winter maintenance investments on the part of the Canadian St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. (SLSMC), and the U.S. Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) assure a constant state of readiness, and an exceptional level of reliability. SLSMC invested approximately $379 million (CND) from 2019 to 2024 on infrastructure renewal projects on Canadian-held assets, while GLS made comparable investments on U.S.-held assets totaling $225 million (USD) in such projects since 2009.

In addition to operating a safe, reliable, and efficient binational waterway and lock system, the SLSMC and GLS are also working together, in partnership with industry stakeholders, to develop a Green Shipping Corridor Network Initiative, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, driving collaborative efforts on decarbonization, and shaping a sustainable future for the marine sector.

Report: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Ranked No. 1 in Member Satisfaction  

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan was recognized today by J.D. Power in Troy as No. 1 in member satisfaction among commercial health plans in Michigan.

The J.D. Power Award is given to the health plan that ranks first overall in their region in the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study. Blue Cross achieved the highest ranking in overall satisfaction, making it a recipient of the honor for two of the last three years. This includes its commercial PPO, HMO and POS plan members.

J.D. Power’s annual study is now comprised of eight study categories. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the highest in every category. These categories include:

  • Product/Coverage Offerings
  • Problem Resolution
  • Able to Get Health Services How/When I Want
  • Digital Channels
  • People
  • Helps Save Time or Money
  • Trust
  • Ease of Business

 “Ensuring member satisfaction drives our work daily at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan,” says Daniel J. Loepp, president and CEO. “This recognition from J.D. Power is especially significant to us because it shows that our efforts are truly making a difference in the lives of those we serve.”

Citizen Storage Management in Royal Oak Expands into New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Citizen Storage Management, a third-party self-storage facility management company in Royal Oak, announces the management takeover of two new properties located in Cape May Court House, N.J. and Stevens, Pa.

The New Jersey property was taken over on Jan 25 while the Pennsylvania property joined the Citizen Storage portfolio on May 8.

Citizen Storage Management specializes in transforming the self-storage business by implementing cutting-edge technology and advanced management tools. These innovations streamline daily operations, enhancing efficiency and productivity. By reducing operational expenses and maximizing profits, Citizen Storage boosts ROI for property owners and elevates overall customer satisfaction. This integrated approach creates a win-win situation for owners, employees, and tenants alike.

Restaurant Week Returns to Downtown Royal Oak June 2-9 

Downtown Royal Oak will once again treat residents and visitors to a celebration of Royal Oak restaurants and compelling dining options during this year’s Restaurant Week, returning from June 2-9.

Hosted by the Royal Oak Restaurant Association and Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority, Restaurant Week will feature local restaurants and cafes, with three-course lunch and dinner menus.

“The Royal Oak Restaurant Association has so many members with spectacular offerings, and Restaurant Week allows us to showcase them to residents and visitors alike,” says Stephanie McIntyre, president of the Royal Oak Restaurant Association. “We are excited to again work with the Royal Oak DDA to ensure that — no matter your age — Restaurant Week has something for everyone to enjoy.”

Participating restaurants and cafes currently include 562 Main, Alchemi, Ale Mary’s Beer Hall, Bandit Tavern & Hideaway, D’Amato’s/Goodnight Gracie, Elephant and Co., Fifth Avenue, Iron Horse, Lily’s Seafood Grill & Brewery, Lockhart’s BBQ, Mesa Tacos & Tequila, Oak City Grille, Rock On Third, Royal Oak Brewery, the side bar, Tom’s Oyster Bar, and Trattoria Da Luigi.

Patrons can view the complete list of participating restaurants and their menus on the Restaurant Week website.

For the first time, three restaurants are preparing special Restaurant Week kids menus, so the youngest patrons can take part in the experience: Lily’s Seafood Grill & Brewery, Lockharts BBQ, and first-time participant Elephant and Co.

Additionally, Bandit Tavern & Hideaway is doing a throwback menu, featuring items from previous concepts that have lived in their building including Jolly Pumpkin Truffle Fries, Café Habana Carne Asada, and more.

Restaurant Week also will coincide with the return of the recurring Social District Saturdays on June 8. Social District Saturdays are a monthly series where downtown comes alive with yard games, music and other activations to enhance the use of the downtown social district.

Texas Credit Union Selects Mahalo Banking in Troy to Redesign its Digital Banking Experience

Mahalo Banking in Troy announced a new partnership with Houston-based Memorial Credit Union. During its comprehensive vendor overhaul process, the credit union selected Mahalo’s online and mobile banking solution to maximize its digital transformation, modernize its banking capabilities, and achieve a deep integration with its new core provider, Corelation Keystone.

In preparation for its conversion to Corelation, Memorial CU sought to identify vendors that already had strong integrations with its core provider to ensure a robust feature set. Mahalo’s digital solution aligns with the credit union’s objectives, offering a strong integration and a modern platform featuring a simplified interface, intuitive navigation and user-friendly functionalities for members. Additionally, the Mahalo platform enables Memorial CU to introduce integrated account opening and loan options while enhancing account visibility so members can better track and understand their financial transactions.

Karmanos Researcher Recruiting LGBTQ+ Cancer Survivors, Caregivers for Focus Groups

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit is partnering with Wayne State University (WSU) School of Medicine, the University of Rochester, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to bring attention to the unique needs of cancer survivors and their caregivers in the LGBTQ+ community.

The idea for this work came from LGBTQ+ stakeholder partners, who identified improving the well-being of cancer caregivers as a top priority for research and interventions. Now, the investigators are soliciting input from LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers from across the country. Investigators hope to recruit at least 48 people to participate in focus groups.

“Previous research has shown that LGBTQ+ individuals with cancer and their loved ones who act as informal caregivers experience higher levels of psychological distress and less access to appropriate psychosocial care compared with their heterosexual and cis-gendered counterparts,” says Theresa Hastert, Population Studies and Disparities Research Program member at Karmanos, and associate professor in the WSU School of Medicine Department of Oncology. “As we focus on the importance of what has come from previous research and with the priorities of our LGBTQ+ stakeholder partners, we have identified an area of research we need to explore further.”

Hastert’s co-investigator is Charles Kamen, associate professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center Departments of Surgery and Psychiatry in New York. The two received funding from the National Cancer Institute to adapt an existing intervention (the FOCUS Program) to improve the quality of life among people with cancer and their caregivers to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ individuals.

The LGBTQ+ stakeholder partners were part of the LGBTQ Cancer Action Council (CAC), facilitated by the Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement (OCHECE) at Karmanos. The LGBTQ CAC is a group of cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates. The CAC members were crucial in previous during the preliminary phase of the study, leading to a published paper, Community-Driven Identification and Adaptions of a Cancer Caregiving Intervention for LGBTQIA Population, in Frontiers of Oncology in June 2022.

“In the first phase of this study, we are recruiting LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers to participate in focus groups to provide feedback on the existing FOCUS intervention and ways it could be adapted to better serve the LGBTQ+ community,” Hastert says.

The information obtained through the focus groups will assist in adapting the FOCUS program to better address the needs of LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers. Investigators are working with a group of topic experts in LGBTQ health and cancer survivorship and interventions to develop an adapted version of the intervention — updating the content of the interventionist guide and the additional information and resources provided during the program.

The adapted version will be pilot-tested among LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers using funding in the current grant to determine if the program is feasible and acceptable in the LGBTQ+ population. Future research will extend the study to measure the improvement of outcomes (e.g., quality of life) among LGBTQ+ cancer survivors and caregivers.

To participate, cancer survivors must be at least 18 years of age and have a friend or family caregiver who is willing to complete the focus group with them. There are no restrictions on when the cancer diagnosis was given and how long the survivor has had the disease or has been in remission. The cancer survivor or their caregiver must identify as LGBTQ+, and both must be able to participate in the focus group in English. These focus groups will be conducted in person at the Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit or online via Zoom, depending on the preferences of the participant group. The focus group sessions will last approximately 90 minutes. Each participant will receive a $50 gift card in appreciation for their time.

Potential participants may learn more by contacting the research team at 313-578-4237 or at FOCUS_study@wayne.edu.

Meijer to Open First Grocery Format Store in Indiana on July 11

Grand Rapids-based Meijer announced it will open its new 90,000-square-foot grocery format store on July 11 at the Promenade of Noblesville. This is the first grocery format store by Meijer in Indiana, complementing its other 42 well-known supercenters throughout the state with the same quality customers have come to expect from the Midwest retailer.

“Meijer has been providing an exceptional shopping experience to customers across Indiana for 30 years, and the Meijer Grocery in Noblesville will further solidify our commitment to the Hoosier State,” says Travis Bernath, store director at Noblesville Meijer Grocery Store. “We prioritize our customers’ time, and ultimately developed this new streamlined grocery store format with convenience at the forefront. We’re eager to deliver that experience and great value to area customers later this summer.”

EPA Awards Grants to 27 Michigan School Districts to Acquire Clean Buses 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2023 Clean School Bus Program selected approximately 530 school districts spanning nearly every state, Washington, D.C., and several Tribes and U.S. territories to receive nearly $900 million in funds to replace older, diesel fueled school buses that have been linked to asthma and other conditions that harm the health of students and surrounding communities.

Twenty-seven of those districts are in Michigan. They are set to receive approximately $24 million to buy 100 buses.

Cannabis and Canines Come Together in Berkley for Adoption and Fundraiser Event

Flint-based cannabis company butter announces Cannabis and Canines, a dog adoption and fundraiser event in partnership with Rebel Dogs Detroit from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 1 in Berkley.

Rebel Dogs Detroit is a no-kill rescue collective focused on housing abandoned and abused dogs across metro Detroit. The organization offers support and resources for prospective and current pet owners, as well as rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming for animals in need.

Consumers who meet their forever furry friend can submit an adoption application on-site and take home a curated adoption basket. The basket includes butter apparel, pet accessories, gifts from local businesses, and exclusive offers for pet- and human-friendly cannabis products from Vlasic Labs and Wyld.

For those who aren’t quite ready to adopt, sign up for volunteer opportunities with Rebel Dogs Detroit and receive exclusive offers from butter and partner brands. Visitors also can take part in a raffle fundraiser with the chance to win prizes from local businesses. All proceeds from the raffle ticket sales will benefit Rebel Dogs Detroit.

butter will accept donations of new or gently-used items from Rebel Dogs’ wishlist—from puppy and adult dog food to toys, treats, and more.

For more information, visit: butterworld.com.

Amway Expands Products with Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation

Amway, in the Grand Rapids suburb of Ada, says it has strengthened its commitment to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Amway aligned with the global organization in September 2022 when it joined the Skin Cancer Foundation Corporate Council, a group of more than 100 U.S. and international companies supporting the foundation’s work to empower people to take a proactive approach to daily sun protection and the early detection and treatment of skin cancer. Since then, the Skin Cancer Foundation has granted its Seal of Recommendation to several Artistry products with SPF sunscreen.

In April 2024, Amway added its g&h Protect Body SPF 50 lotion to the list of products that have earned the foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.

With the Artistry brand, Amway brings more than 85 combined years of leadership in nutrition and wellness — including more than six decades of expertise in beauty and skin science. In May 2023, four Artistry products became the first Amway products to earn the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation for Daily Use. The Daily Use seal is granted to broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher that help protect skin from incidental sun exposure over short periods of time.

Now, two additional Artistry SPF products have earned the prestigious Seal of Recommendation for Active Use: Artistry Multi-Defense UV Protect SPF50+, available in eastern markets like South Korea, Japan, and Thailand; and Artistry Skin Nutrition Multi-Defense UV Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen, available in western markets like the Americas. The Active Use seal is for broad spectrum sunscreens that protect for extended periods of sun exposure and maintain a minimum of SPF 30 after water-resistance testing. Both Artistry lightweight formulas are water-resistant (up to 80 minutes) and help protect skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays known to cause visible signs of aging and sunburn.

Gesher Human Services Helps Retirees Get Back in the Game

Gesher Human Services in Southfield is conducting a series of three free retirement reemployment workshops on June 11, July 16, and Aug. 13 from 2-3:30 p.m.

The programs will take place at Gesher’s headquarters (29699 Southfield Road) and discuss the financial, social, and emotional considerations of working as a mature adult; the pros and cons of returning to work; and provide attendees with a career decision action plan. Registration is at geshermi.org/events.

For more information, contact Gerard Baltrusaitis gbaltrusaitis@geshermi.org or call 248-233-4288.