DBusiness Daily Update: EMU to Open $40M Renovated Home of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology, and More

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.
The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University will open its renovated Sill Hall home on April 21. // Courtesy of EMU
The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University will open its renovated Sill Hall home on April 21. // Courtesy of EMU

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.

EMU to Open $40M Renovated Home of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology

The GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti will open its $40-million renovated Sill Hall home at 3 p.m. on April 21 and name two labs in honor of top business leaders.

John Bodary, president of Woods Construction, and Jack Roush, founder and chairman of Roush Enterprises in Livonia will be on hand for the festivities.

The naming of the Woods Construction Management Lab recognizes the longstanding commitment of Woods Construction and its president, EMU alumnus John Bodary. Over the past 30 years, Woods Construction, John and his wife, Michelle Bodary, also an EMU alumna, have provided significant support for EMU’s Construction Management program, establishing the John and Michelle Bodary/Woods Construction Endowed Scholarship to benefit students pursuing Construction Management, as well as for equipment and renovations to the Construction Management Lab.

The Woods Construction Management Lab also honors the late Woods Construction founder, Oswald Pfaffmann, a dedicated supporter of EMU’s Construction Management program.

The Jack E. Roush Automotive Lab is named in honor of American motorsports icon and EMU alumnus Jack E. Roush. As board chairman of Roush Enterprises and co-owner of Roush Fenway Racing, Roush has long been recognized as a leader in automotive innovation and was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2017 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019.

EMU awarded him an honorary doctorate of commercial science in 2019. Roush has provided significant support to EMU, creating endowed funds for math preparation and tutoring programming across the University, and to support the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology.

“The extensive renovations and expansion of Sill Hall make it a premier destination for students entering the engineering and technology fields,” says James Smith, president of EMU. “Thanks to the support of John Bodary, Jack Roush, and other members of our business community, students from around the world receive a world-class education in a modernized facility where they experience dynamic and functional hands-on learning opportunities guided by our outstanding faculty.”

The $40 million renovation and expansion of the 92,625-square-foot Sill Hall give it modernized classrooms and labs, lecture halls, and student commons. Other new features include themed labs dedicated to autonomous vehicles research, cybersecurity, virtual reality, robotics, and maker spaces.

“These are exciting times at the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology for our students and faculty,” says Mohamad Qatu, dean of GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. “With support from our local and international business community, we will continue to raise the profile of the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology and graduate students who are well prepared to pursue their careers in engineering and technology fields.”

For more information, visit here.

Ford to Launch F-150 Lightning Pickup on April 26

April 26 will mark the launch of the all-new, all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup from Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn with an employee and customer event that will be livestreamed to the world.

Ford and UAW leaders will host customers and employees to celebrate the start of F-150 Lightning production at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Dearborn. Ford employees and F-150 Lightning customers will join the Job 1 event for the first-ever full-size all-electric pickup to go on sale, a milestone moment in the country’s shift to electric vehicles.

Ford F-Series pickup has been America’s best-selling truck for 45 years in a row and is second only to the iPhone in revenue among all American consumer products, according to a 2020 study.

The April 26 event begins at 1:30 p.m. eastern and will be livestreamed here.

Detroit is First Michigan City Designated as a Certified Welcoming City

Welcoming America, based in Georgia, has declared the city of Detroit as Certified Welcoming, the first municipality in Michigan to achieve the designation.

“I’m especially proud to congratulate Detroit on its designation as a Certified Welcoming city,” says Rachel Perić, executive director of Welcoming America. “As a city shaped by migration, and as our nation’s largest northern-border city, Detroit and its leaders have long recognized the connections between welcoming values and economic renewal. We applaud the many champions inside and outside of government who have worked so hard to ensure that all Detroiters can thrive, belong, and prosper.”

Certified Welcoming is a formal designation by Welcoming America for cities and counties that have created policies and programs reflecting their values and commitment to immigrant inclusion. Since launching in 2017, Certified Welcoming and its operating framework, the Welcoming Standard, have served as a roadmap for local governments seeking to build truly welcoming communities. Currently, there are 14 Certified Welcoming places, including Detroit.

“We are thrilled Detroit has achieved the status of becoming a ‘Certified Welcoming’ city,” says Mayor Mike Duggan. “This designation is recognition that our city is intentional in its efforts to make sure our valued immigrant neighbors can access every opportunity our city offers.  Detroiters are welcoming by their nature, and now know their city government supports them with policies and practices that ensure equitable access for all its residents, in all aspects of our society.”

The process to become Certified Welcoming takes several years and requires a multi-sector effort involving not only the mayor’s office, but also local organizations, law enforcement agencies, the education sector, and more. In Detroit’s case, the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs worked with former councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López of district 6, the Immigration Task Force, International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit, and Global Detroit/Welcoming Michigan to ensure local policies and programs met the Welcoming Standard.

Breadless Sandwich Shop Opens on Campau Greenway Connector

Breadless, a restaurant that serves on-the-go breadless sandwiches, celebrated its grand opening on the new Joseph Campau Greenway Connector (2761 E. Jefferson Ave.) near the Detroit Riverfront on April 14.

Breadless is an awardee of both the Motor City Match Develop Track in Round 17 and Cash Track in Round 18. The company worked with MCM on site selection, project development, and construction. It used MCM technical assistance funding for help with the planning and design of the space and used a $50,000 MCM cash grant to complete its build out. The restaurant is one of five Black woman owned businesses that were awarded grants from MCM in Round 18.

“I started Breadless because I struggled for 10 years to find healthy, on-the-go food options that fit into my clean eating regimen,” says Marc Howland, co-founder and CEO of Breadless. “What’s more, iceberg lettuce, which has (minimal) nutritional value, is the go-to because it’s cheap and easy to work with. There is simply no existing concept with exclusive focus on wrapping sandwiches in nutritious, leafy super greens, until now.”

Breadless features online order and pickup, grab and go, a walk- and bike-up window, delivery, catering, and a stationary drive-thru where customers can order in a designated parking spot and have food delivered directly to their vehicle.

Learn more about Breadless at eatbreadless.com.

Study: Macomb County Ranks Last in Nonprofits

Despite ranking third in population, Macomb County lags behind every peer group both in metro Detroit and Michigan for the number of charitable nonprofits per GDP, according to new research commissioned by Advancing Macomb, a 501(c)(3) that convenes resources to solve community challenges and enrich the lives of Macomb County residents.

The Advancing Macomb Philanthropic Investment Study, completed by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University in Allendale on the state’s west side, found “significant disparities in philanthropic investment for Macomb County-based nonprofits.” While Macomb County has 16 percent of metro Detroit’s population, it receives only 2 percent of grants awarded by Michigan’s private foundations and only 1 percent of grants awarded by the nation’s largest foundations.

The study defines metro Detroit as a 10-county region including Genesee, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties. The state of Michigan is defined as the top 36 counties, according to population.

Additional findings from the study show that despite being the 3rd largest county in the state:

  • Macomb County ranks eighth in metro Detroit for nonprofit assets.
  • Macomb County ranks seventh in metro Detroit for nonprofit income.
  • Macomb County ranks 26th in Michigan for nonprofit assets.
  • Macomb County ranks 24th in Michigan for nonprofit income.

The largest disparity falls in nonprofits with focus on education and public/societal benefit.

The study also finds that to reach the Michigan urban area median, Macomb County needs a 60 percent increase in nonprofit organizations and a 200 percent increase in nonprofit assets.

“These findings serve as a resounding call to action,” says Diane Banks, executive director of Advancing Macomb. “The state of philanthropic investment in Macomb County is not on par with other regions, and these disparities can have a significant impact on the quality of life for our residents. The Advancing Macomb Board of Directors sees a real opportunity here to mobilize philanthropic investment in our county and to drive transformative change.”

Ally Signs on as Third Partner of Pine Knob Music Theatre

313 Presents in Detroit announced that Ally Financial has agreed to a multi-year sponsorship of Pine Knob Music Theatre in Clarkston.

Ally joins United Wholesale Mortgage and Trinity Health as the official Proud Partners of Pine Knob Music Theatre. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are elated to welcome Ally and have them join United Wholesale Mortgage and Trinity Health as Proud Partners of Pine Knob Music Theatre,” says Howard Handler, president of 313 Presents. “Like UWM and Trinity Health, Ally shares our passion for amazing entertainment, alive moments, and providing unparalleled customer service. 313 Presents and our family of Proud Partners are excited to help bring the Pine Knob brand back to life in a new and exciting way as we look to our 50th anniversary and beyond.”

Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally, says: “Our mission to Do It Right extends to our work in our communities and helping to restore the Pine Knob brand is very worthy of Ally’s support. We’ve been a part of this community for more than 100 years and are happy to help continue the tradition of some of the nation’s best concerts and activations at this local institution.”

Ally becomes the exclusive financial partner of Pine Knob Music Theatre. The digital financial services company will have exclusive naming rights to Pine Knob Music Theatre’s Ally East Entrance/Exit, Ally East Village, Ally East Parking Lot, and Ally East Box Office.

Lingenfelter Collection Open House to Benefit American Cancer Society

Exotic car collector Ken Lingenfelter is hosting an open house so the public can view his Lingenfelter Collection from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on April 23 to benefit the American Cancer Society in Michigan.

Located at 7819 Lochlin in Brighton, the Lingenfelter Collection features nearly 200 vehicles. No tickets are necessary, and children are welcome. At-will donations will be collected at the door to support the American Cancer Society.

This is the first time in two years the collection will be open to the public.

New Civility Day Conference Aims to Bring People with Opposing Viewpoints Together

Henry Ford College in Dearborn is initiating what it calls the Great Lakes Civility Project starting with its first day-long Civility Day conference May 20 at the college.

The day-long event will feature a series of panel discussions, led by founders and journalists Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson, as well as experts and politicians, to give individuals a chance to immerse in civility-building and try out tips and tactics. Participants will meet others in one-on-one sessions where they can practice having difficult conversations in civil ways.

College students can enroll in it as a course through Henry Ford College, professionals can obtain continuing education credits, and anyone else can attend for a nominal fee, which includes lunch. Registration is now open and available here.

Sessions include:

  • The History of Dehumanization Panel featuring Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld from the Zekelman Holocaust Center and Henry Ford College sociologist Kalvin Harvell.
  • Why Does Politics Make Us So Mad? Putting Politics in Perspective with David Dulio, from Oakland University’s Center for Civic Engagement, Barbara L. Jones from Wayne State University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies; Tim Kiska, associate professor of communication from University of Michigan-Dearborn; and lawyer Abed Hammoud, moderated by Anthony Perry
  • The Art of Listening with Nolan Finley, Stephen Henderson, and Margaret Trimer of Delta Dental
  • Having Difficult Political Conversations with Rep. Fred Upton, Rep. Debbie Dingell, and Michigan Supreme Court Justices Megan Cavanagh and Beth Clement

“Confrontation happens when civility breaks down, and we’ve seen things turn increasingly uncivil and violent in the past decade,” Henderson says. “We’re fighting for our soul as a country, and we need to act now before it’s too late.”

Finley agrees with him. While they differ on most things political, they are united in their belief that civility is possible if there’s a will to do so.

“A huge part of civility requires seeing the other person as human and trying to understand where they are coming from,” Finley says. “You don’t have to agree but listening to understand is key.”

Wacom to Host InkVision Partner Conference in Detroit May 3-5

Digital device provider Wacom will be hosting its third annual partner conference at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in downtown Detroit May 3-5.

Wacom will bring together business and thought leaders in the handwriting, digital inking, and higher education spaces, including its current and prospective partner organizations and industry innovators. Together, a diverse cast of thought leadership will discuss the future of digital ink and the “Renaissance of the Pen.”

Speakers will include Anne Trubek, publisher of The Belt, and Nobu Ide, CEO of Wacom Technology. Panels and breakout sessions will allow attendees to exchange ideas about the future of inking, hear thought leadership about the power of the pen from product subject matter experts, tech innovators, and academic leaders, and learn more about Wacom’s roadmap for the future of digital inking.

For more information and to register, visit here.