DBusiness Daily Update: Downtown Parktoberfest Returns to Campus Martius Park Sept. 10-11, 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.
The Downtown Parktoberfest at Campus Martius Park will feature live entertainment, food and beer. // Courtesy of Downtown Detroit Partnership
The Downtown Parktoberfest at Campus Martius Park will feature live entertainment, food, and beer. // Courtesy of Downtown Detroit Partnership

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.

Downtown Parktoberfest Returns to Campus Martius Park Sept. 10-11

The Downtown Detroit Partnership is hosting its annual Downtown Parktoberfest presented by Visit Detroit from noon to 10 p.m. Sept. 10-11 at Campus Martius Park.

“After a fun-filled and successful Downtown Detroit summer entertainment season, we are ready to welcome in fall with a fitting celebration – Parktoberfest,” says David Cowan, chief public spaces officer of the DDP. “The annual tradition has come to mark not only a changing of the season for metro Detroiters, but a coming together of our community in appreciation for all the parks have to offer, while having an absolute wonderful time.”

“There is no better time to come and explore Detroit,” says Claude Molinari, president and CEO of Visit Detroit. “The Downtown Detroit Partnership has helped create a vibrant year-round destination, and this year’s Parktoberfest will be a fantastic opportunity for visitors and locals to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of our diverse community.”

Inside an open-air Biergarten pavilion, attendees can sample beer and hard seltzers from selection of craft and Oktoberfest beer, including Griffin Claw, Spaten, Blake’s Hard Cider, traditional beers from Munich, and more. Selections of Michigan-based Atwater Brewery, celebrating its 25th anniversary, also will be available.

Parktoberfest isn’t just for the adults. Kids, too, can have fun inside the free Root Biergarten courtesy of Faygo. There, they can make their very own ice cream floats or enjoy ice cream or sorbet by the scoop. Some options include flavors such as vanilla, baked apple pie, and mixed berry sorbet.

Food trucks will be on site both days. Among the offerings will be chicken wings, cauliflower wings, fries and cornbread from the Wing Snob food truck, or Mexican street food favorites from Los Dos Amigos including tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, and its popular street corn.

Revelers also can partake in a variety of traditional Oktoberfest games, such as stein hoisting, keg hoisting, and keg rolling, and enjoy a full lineup of live musical entertainment on both days. Acts scheduled to perform on stage at Campus Martius Park include:

Saturday, Sept. 18   

12-1 p.m. — DJ Invisible

1-2 p.m. — Route 161 Happy Wanderers (Band Performance)

2:30-3:30 p.m. — Games

3:30-5 p.m. — DJ Invisible

5-6 p.m. — DJ Skeez

6-7 p.m. — Cast Iron Cornbread (Band Performance)

7-8 p.m. — Games

8-9 p.m. — Cast Iron Cornbread (Band Performance)

9-10 p.m. — DJ Skeez

Sunday, Sept. 19

12-1:30 p.m. — DJ Invisible

1:30-2:30 p.m. — Route 161 Happy Wanderers (Band Performance)

2:30-3:30 p.m. — Games

3:30-4 p.m. — DJ Invisible

4-4:30 p.m. — DJ Skeez

4:30-5:30 p.m. — The Detroit Drive (Band Performance)

5:30-6:30 p.m. — Games

6:30-7:30 p.m. — The Detroit Drive (Band Performance)

7:30-8 p.m. — DJ Skeez

Southeast Michigan Partnership Gets $52.2M in Federal Funds to Boost Mobility

The Detroit Regional Partnership (DRP) and a regional coalition of organizations have secured a $52.2 million advanced mobility grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Build Back Better Regional Challenge (BBBRC).

The DRP-led coalition was selected out of 60 finalists nationwide and won one of the largest grants out of 21 funded projects. It will advance the state’s mobility and electrification leadership and build on Michigan’s economic momentum.

“The world is experiencing a once-in-a-century mobility revolution, and the Detroit region is poised to ensure the U.S. leads the way,” says Maureen Donohue Krauss, CEO of the DRP. “The Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM) is designed to support mobility in every sense of the word, from the transition to autonomous and electric vehicles to social and economic mobility.

“Building on 400 plus unique assets, GEM will support workers, startups, and existing companies so they can adapt to the rapidly evolving advanced mobility industry and create the new high-quality jobs of the future.”

The grant will support six projects submitted under the Global Epicenter of Mobility (GEM) initiative, designed to accelerate economic growth by building on the region’s mobility assets. GEM will create a smart, secure, sustainable, and inclusive advanced-mobility industry, starting with the transition to next-generation electric, autonomous, and fully connected vehicles.

The five co-recipients of the grant funding the six projects are:

Detroit Regional Partnership —For GEM Central overall grant administration and to increase site readiness to attract major mobility projects.

State of Michigan’s Office of Future Mobility and Electrification — To increase equitable access to the state’s world-class testing and proving assets.

Southeast Michigan Community Alliance (SEMCA), in coordination with MichiganWorks — To help existing companies meet evolving high-tech talent needs, offset retirement losses, and support career pathway advancement for historically excluded communities.

TechTown — To accelerate the growth of mobility startups that drive innovation to fill gaps in the mobility value chain.

University of Michigan Economic Growth Institute — To help existing small- to medium-size manufacturers transition to the electric vehicle market through a new Advanced Mobility Supply Chain Transformation Center.

Huntington Woods Woman Launches First Women’s Tie Brand at New York Fashion Week

Designer Nancy Daniele Berman of Huntington Woods has worked to flip the narrative of a traditional, male-dominated fashion accessory by creating a line of neckties specifically for women and gender-fluid individuals.

She came up with the idea earlier this year after her 17-year-old son cleaned out his closet and found a bunch of ties that were too short on him.

“Occasionally, there is something in his closet that I will keep for myself and wear, and when I saw his ties, I thought about the ties I owned in the ‘90s. I put one on and it fit me perfectly; I loved the look,” Berman says.

“Right away, it made me wonder why aren’t there ties for women? We wear suits, blazers, scarves, but why not ties? I started to do research, and I couldn’t find any ties that were made specifically for women. So, I created a design for ties that were pre-knotted; easy to put right over your head, like a necklace; and are made with luxury fabrics.”

And that’s how the brand Nandanie was born. Nandanie ties come in various colors, patterns, textures, and silhouettes, and are smaller and thinner than traditional ties. Berman says, through these ties, she wants to help women feel confident and know they are equal in intelligence, experience, and now in dress.

The brand was launched online Sept. 1 and her designs will be featured on the runway during New York Fashion Week. The Nandaine brand also was selected from hundreds of applicants around the world to be included in the Flying Solo Fashion Show Sept. 10. Flying Solo, a fashion retail space in SoHo, only selects up-and-coming independent designers who they deem “the Ones to Watch” for New York Fashion Week.

On Sept. 13, Berman is partnering with Maya Seyferth, founder and designer of the Swiss womenswear brand, to be part of the Nocha Fashion Show. This event for independent fashion brands, which will take place on the 69th floor of 3 World Trade Center, partners with Wear the Future to showcase all sustainable spring/summer 2023 collections.

For more information, visit nandanie.com.

Rally House to Host Grand Opening Weekend Event in Metro Detroit

Rally House will celebrate the recent openings of three metro Detroit stores with a grand opening weekend celebration at three Detroit stores Sept. 9-10. During this event, customers will have the chance to win various prizes while shopping for gear of their favorite pro and college teams.

The three stores participating in the Rally House Grand Opening Weekend are Rally House Woodhaven, Rally House Canton, and Rally House Allen Park.

The first 100 guests on Friday and the first 100 guests on Saturday will receive a scratch-off ticket that looks like an official game ticket. All tickets contain prizes ranging from a $5 gift card to a grand prize $500 gift card.

Participants also can register to win a decked-out tailgate package, ideal for trips to the stadium this season. The package includes two chairs, one tent, one table, a cornhole set, and a $200 gift card. There is only one winner of the tailgate package, but all non-winning entries will receive a consolation prize.

For more information, visit rallyhouse.com.

Detroit Wing Co. Opens New Location in White Lake Charter Township

Detroit Wing Co., based in Eastpointe, has opened of its newest location in White Lake Charter Township. It’s the franchise’s fifth store in Oakland County.

Located at 9278 Highland Road, the outlet is operated by franchisee owners Matt Milliken and Miles Gatland, who also operate a Detroit Wing Co. store in Waterford Township.

The new restaurant will host a grand opening event Sept. 10 by offering 40 off off boneless wings all day for orders placed via the DWC website or by phone.

“We are eager to grow our relationship with Oakland County residents by opening our fifth location in this area in only four years,” says Gus Malliaras, founder and president of Detroit Wing Co. “Matt and Miles’ passion and dedication makes them ideal franchisee owners for our brand, and the perfect fit to open our newest Detroit Wing Co. location.”

The White Lake Charter Township store is DWC’s 24th since 2015 and is part of the company’s expansion plans across Michigan, with an additional more than 20 stores in development in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida.

“After seeing the growth and response to our Waterford location, we knew we wanted to double down on the momentum we’ve built,” says Milliken. “Oakland County has been tremendous to us, and we plan to return the favor by offering the best wings, sauces and sides anywhere right here in White Lake.”

For more information, visit www.detroitwingco.com.

Montana Credit Union Launches Mahalo of Troy’s Digital Banking Platform

Mahalo Banking, a credit union service organization in Troy, has completed its digital banking implementation with Helena, Mont.-based Rocky Mountain Credit Union (RMCU) to provide an improved and seamless digital banking experience for the credit union’s members.

RMCU, which worked with another provider for a number of years, saw the need to select a new provider to offer its members with an easy-to-use banking platform that fosters a unified omni-experience regardless of the channel and that seamlessly integrated with the credit unions’ core. RMCU selected Mahalo, which offered these services and the support needed to not only serve the needs of the credit union, but also demonstrate an understanding of the credit union industry and challenges the credit union itself faces.

“Mahalo has proven to be an excellent digital banking partner,” says Erin Johnston, vice president of Project Change at Rocky Mountain Credit Union. “In the past, we have worked with vendors who have over committed to providing services for us and our members, and then under-performed in the delivery. It is refreshing to work with a team that is credit-union first and was able to meet each of our expectations, on time and without issue. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with Mahalo.”

Designed by credit union industry veterans, Mahalo’s solutions-oriented platform leverages superior core-based design and top-tier functionality to provide mobile and online banking experiences. Having been employees of credit unions, the Mahalo team empathizes with the common challenges faced by credit unions and their members and understands the importance of collaboration between the two organizations to ensure all member needs are being met, according to the company.

“Rocky Mountain continues to be a great partner for us,” says Denny Howell, COO at Mahalo. “We’ve worked hard to support the RMCU team in implementing a positive conversion experience that keep challenges to a minimum, while being sure we did not cause unintended disruptions for the members. Rocky Mountain is a perfect example of what a credit union should expect when they sign with Mahalo Banking. Seamless conversions, happy members, and all commitments being met.”

VELA Education Fund Launches $400K Grant to Support Education Entrepreneurship

The VELA Education Fund has launched a $400,000 grant program to provide support for education entrepreneurs in Michigan.

The opportunity is focused on reaching everyday education entrepreneurs — students, parents, teachers, and community leaders — who are envisioning new approaches and meeting the unique needs of learners and families.

Micro grant applications for up to $10,000 in funding are now available for programs based in Michigan. The awards are intended to support nontraditional educational opportunities, such as homeschool co-ops, micro schools, and more.

“We’ve seen strong interest in Michigan in permissionless innovation, and we’re excited to be able to launch this initiative to support even more families and educators who are reimagining education,” says Meredith Olson, president of VELA.

In Michigan, VELA has awarded 44 grants to date, totaling $403,500, which means this infusion of funding has the potential to double the grants made in the state. So far, Michigan-based recipients include Engaged Detroit, a homeschool support program, and the Blue Bridge School, a self-directed learning community in Grand Rapids.

Overall, VELA has awarded more than 1,600 grants nationwide since launching publicly in August 2020. The grants total more than $16.5 million and support entrepreneurs in all 50 states and 3 U.S. territories.

This state-specific opportunity hopes to tap into exceptional interest in homeschooling, hybrid learning models, micro schools, support for students with disabilities, and more as these communities seek to address COVID-19 learning loss and define high-quality, post-pandemic education.

The grant application is available now here through late October. Interested applicants can take the eligibility quiz if they are unsure if they qualify to apply for a micro grant.

Azra Chamber of Horrors in Madison Heights Opens Sept. 23

The Azra Chamber of Horrors at the Zap-Zone in Madison Heights (31401 John R. Road) is preparing to open for its fifth season. Metro Detroit’s newest haunted house will be open Sept. 23-Nov. 4.

“You have a full experience from beginning to end,” says Kim Ellison, executive manager of Zap-Zone. “Go through chamber to chamber of our chamber of horrors. There is something different at every turn, so no matter what you’re afraid of, you’re going to find it here.”

This is a multi-level experience that each year the staff and actors of the Azra Chamber of Horrors add new themes and ways to scare.

“This year we really focused on environmental changes to challenge and surprise the five senses including unique sounds, smells, illusions, and even more 3-D fun,” Ellison says.

Tickets are $35 for general admission, $50 for a fast pass, and $80 for instant access. For more information, visit azrahaunt.com.

ACC to Present Humanitarian Awards at Sept. 24 Gala at Detroit Marriott Red Cen

ACC, the Troy-based nonprofit human service organization serving southeast Michigan, will honor Poppy Sias-Hernandez, Dr. Adnan Munkarah, Eric Dietz, and Robert Hemrick at its 43rd annual Civic and Humanitarian Awards Gala at 6 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will be the guest of honor and offer opening remarks.

The theme of this year’s event is Supporting and Empowering Local Communities, highlighting ACC’s commitment to provide core human needs to all people. The program will be presided over by FOX 2 TV anchor/reporter Roop Raj. At the Gala, ACC President and CEO Haifa Fakhouri and ACC Chairwoman Nancy Hanoosh and will present awards to the 2022 honorees:

  • State Leadership Award – Poppy Sias-Hernandez, executive director, Office of Global Michigan.
  • Excellence in Health Care Award – Dr. Adnan Munkarah, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Henry Ford Health.
  • Corporate Leadership Award – Eric Dietz, regional president-southeast Michigan for Huntington National Bank.
  • Board of Directors Award – Robert Hemrick, director of governance, quality management and the CI Strategy Group for DTE Energy.

“It is wonderful to once again host our gala, to honor the leaders who have displayed exceptional commitment to our community and the state, especially through the pandemic and as we move forward,” says Fakhouri. “We are grateful to our sponsors whose generosity will assist ACC in our commitment to making a difference in the lives of those we serve. We also sincerely thank Governor Whitmer for attending and her support throughout the years. We look forward to a meaningful evening with our friends and supporters.”

Signature Sponsor for the gala is Huntington National Bank. Platinum sponsors include Amazon, Ford Motor Co., and Savills.

A sit-down dinner will follow the presentation and live entertainment will be provided throughout the evening. To purchase tickets to the gala, call 248-559-1990.

Arbor Hospice to Host Heroes for Arbor Hospice Golf Fundraiser Sept. 13

Arbor Hospice in Ann Arbor will host its annual Heroes for Arbor Hospice golf outing to benefit The Residence of Arbor Hospice on Sept. 13 at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti.

Heroes for Arbor Hospice will begin with registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The golf outing will feature closest-to-the-pin and longest drive contests for men and women, along with a beat-the-pro hole, a golf cannon hole, and a 50/50 raffle.

Tickets are $250 per golfer and include a round of golf with cart, along with breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages.

All proceeds will support essential services at The Residence of Arbor Hospice.

“We need community members to step up as heroes for Arbor Hospice,” says Peggy Cole, director of philanthropy at Arbor Hospice. “The cost of end-of-life care often exceeds insurance and patient contributions, leaving The Residence of Arbor Hospice to operate at a significant loss each year. Because of these financial pressures, we rely on the generosity of donors to support this vital and valued resource for all who seek dignity, peace and comfort at the end of life.”

Last year, Arbor Hospice served 1,645 patients and families, 255 of whom were served at The Residence of Arbor Hospice.

For sponsorship information, contact Kim Streich at 734-794-5120 or kstreich@arborhospice.org. For tickets, visit arborhospice.org/golf.

JDRF One Walk Celebrates Community, Raises Awareness for Type 1 Diabetes Research

JDRF Michigan and Northern Ohio Chapter, in conjunction with JDRF International, is staging the 2022 JDRF One Walk at 8 a.m. Sept. 18 at Milliken State Park and the Detroit riverfront in Detroit.

This community‐based fundraiser event brings together members of the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) community to celebrate, educate, and fundraise for T1D research.

For more information and to register, visit walk.jdrf.org.