DBusiness Daily Update: Ford Fireworks to Light Up Sky Over Detroit River Tonight, 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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Hart Plaza and Belle Isle are among the best places to view tonight’s Ford Fireworks. // File photo

Ford Fireworks to Light Up Sky Over Detroit River Tonight

The Ford Fireworks is set to illuminate the sky over the Detroit River tonight at 10 p.m.. It’s the 66th edition of the international tradition.

Produced by The Parade Co., the Ford Fireworks will be broadcast live on WDIV-Local 4.

“The Ford Fireworks inspires awe and excitement for families in Detroit with a spectacular fireworks display lighting up a truly iconic American skyline,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co. “We are honored and privileged to work with the amazing team at Ford Motor Company to bring our community this incredible event for the 66th year.”

The Parade Co. selects the musical arrangement and works exclusively with Zambelli Fireworks to create the world-class display made up of more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects that are visible for miles along the Detroit River. This year’s show – themed “Color the Sky with Sunshine” – is free and open to the public.

Hart Plaza is a favorite viewing location with special programming by The Parade Co. with a DJ, food trucks, and more. Additionally, Belle Isle offers exceptional views of the river and the fireworks. For more event information, viewing locations and updates, visit theparade.org.

Clarkston’s Bowman Chevrolet Named a Top Chevrolet Dealer for 2023

For the seventh consecutive year, General Motors Co. has named Bowman Chevrolet a Chevrolet Dealer of the Year award recipient. Awarded dealers have demonstrated long-term commitment to providing elite sales, service, and overall customer experience in their modern, world-class facilities.

Bowman was selected as one of only 60 Chevy dealers from across the country based on exceptional performance in sales, service, and customer satisfaction out of nearly 3,000 dealerships nationwide. Dealer president and owner Katie Bowman Coleman also recently completed the acquisition of Bowman Chevrolet of Clinton (formerly Chevrolet of Clinton), and under her leadership, Bowman Chevrolet is ranked as the No. 1 Chevrolet EV dealership in Michigan.

“Being recognized with a seventh consecutive Dealer of the Year honor is a testament to our entire team’s unwavering commitment to excellence every day,” Coleman says. “The team’s dedication to delivering outstanding customer experiences, whether in sales or services, drives our success year after year.”

Massachusetts Businesses Get Boost with Ford Pro EV Charging Program

Ford Pro, Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn’s commercial division, has introduces the Ford Pro Smart Charging Bundle to assist Massachusetts businesses with adding electric vehicles to their fleet operations. The program aims to reduce upfront and ongoing charging costs.

The Ford Pro Smart Charging Bundle offers a free Ford Pro 48-amp charger for home or worksite charging, or an 80-amp charger for worksite charging, to Ford Pro Charging software subscribers enrolled in the Clean Peak Energy Standard (CPS), a first-in-the-nation program established by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources in 2020.

The CPS is designed to lower emissions and costs associated with seasonal periods of peak electricity demand by encouraging the use of clean energy technologies that can supply or reduce demand during peak periods.

Ford Pro Charging has more than 1,000 commercial worksite depots that power up fleet EVs. Committed to simplifying the electric transition for businesses, Ford Pro offers tailored EV consulting and a portfolio of integrated charging hardware and software solutions. The team can design, implement, and operate solutions for Ford and other brand vehicles to help businesses ensure that fleet vehicles are charged optimally and ready for work when they need them.

Ford Pro Charging software monitors millions of data points per day to continually improve the EV charging experience for commercial customers, empowering businesses to customize and manage their EV and charger performance. Operating costs are estimated to be 48 percent lower or more in terms of fuel and maintenance costs for fleets with electric vehicles.

Additionally, businesses charging Ford electric vehicles could potentially save hundreds of dollars per vehicle, per year, leveraging smart charging software to schedule charging during off-peak hours. By leveraging demand response, which curtails EV charging during peak times, energy loads can be managed, resulting in cost savings for businesses and a cleaner power grid.

Flint’s Kettering University Awarded $40K Grant for Intelligent Transportation Lab

Kettering University in Flint has been awarded a $40,000 grant from the Margaret Dunning Foundation to enhance its Intelligence Transportation Laboratory (ITL). This funding will support the transformation of existing lab, research, and classroom space into a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to advanced transportation research and education.

The ITL is designed to be a hub for hands-on learning and experimentation, particularly focused on vehicle dynamics and performance testing. The lab will provide invaluable physical testing capabilities for validating mathematical models and reinforcing theoretical knowledge through practical application.

Jennifer Bastiaan, associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kettering, played a key role in developing the proposal for the ITL. Her expertise in vehicle dynamics, noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) is critical to the lab’s focus. Bastiaan, alongside Gregory Davis and Arnaldo Mazzei, who specialize in vehicle propulsion systems and chassis design, respectively, crafted a vision for a lab that integrates cutting-edge technology and learning.

“The generous gift of the Margaret Dunning Foundation will support the development of the Intelligent Transportation Laboratory, a collaborative facility dedicated to research and teaching in advanced mobility,” says Bastiaan. “Once fully commissioned, the ITL will be used by about 150 undergraduate and graduate students annually. These students will benefit from acquiring knowledge in modern transportation technology and state-of-the-art measurement systems during their academic programs and future industry careers.”

Stefanini in Southfield Recognized in Peer Insights’ Voice of the Customer Report

Stefanini Group, a global technology company based in Southfield, was one of only eight companies recognized in the Gartner Voice of the Customer for Outsourced Digital Workplace Services Report.

Stefanini received the highest rating in the willingness to recommend category, with 92 percent of their peers saying they would be willing to recommend the technology group to a potential client. The company also was rated highly for its service capabilities (4.4/5), sales experience (4.3/5), transition experience (4.5/5) and execution experience (4.5/5) based on 25 responses as of February 2024.

The Voice of the Customer report synthesizes Gartner Peer Insights’ reviews into insights for IT decision makers. This aggregated peer perspective, along with the individual detailed reviews focuses on direct peer experiences of implementing and operating a solution.

Only vendors with 20 or more eligible published reviews (and 15 or more ratings for “Capabilities” and “Support/Delivery”) during the specified 18-month submission period are included. Reviews from vendor partners or end users of companies with less than $50 million in revenue are excluded from this methodology.

Michigan Sets Record-high Recycling Rate for Third Consecutive Year

The recycling rate in the Great Lakes State is at a record high for the third consecutive year, according to a new analysis of data from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

The EGLE research shows Michigan has steadily increased its recycling rate from what was historically the lowest in the Great Lakes region. Michigan’s recycling rate has risen from 14.25 percent before 2019 to 21 percent last year and more than 23 percent now. EGLE officials forecast that at its current pace of improvement, Michigan is on track to achieve the state’s goal of a 30 percent recycling rate by 2029.

EGLE officials attribute the recycling rate surge to the fact that more Michiganders than ever have access to recycling services.

Michiganders recycled more than 330,000 tons of paper and paper products during fiscal year 2023, over 237,000 tons of metals, more than 67,000 tons of glass, and over 58,000 tons of plastics and plastic products. The total amount of residential recycled materials reported for FY 2023 was 703,369 tons — exceeding the record set the year before by more than 82,000 tons.

This equates to every person in Michigan over a 12-month span recycling 140 pounds of cardboard boxes, milk cartons, soup cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, food waste and other recyclable materials, EGLE researchers found.

Array Behavioral Care Supports Common Ground’s Crisis Stabilization Pilot Site

Array Behavioral Care, a virtual psychiatry and therapy practice based in New Jersey, and Common Ground, a Pontiac-based crisis service organization delivering mental health care across Michigan, are partnering expands access to crisis care in Michigan.

Array’s telepsychiatrists will integrate with Common Ground’s Oakland Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service (OACIS) to expedite care and improve patient outcomes. With Michigan lawmakers mandating crisis stabilization services, OACIS is one of 15 crisis stabilization pilot sites assisting the state in developing its guidelines.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) included Common Ground in its mental health crisis stabilization pilot cohort to help inform guidelines for a statewide crisis services system. With the OACIS pilot program, Common Ground aims to obtain Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) certification in the fall of 2024. The program will treat mental health patients in the most suitable environment based on their individual needs. CSUs are short-term alternatives to EDs and psychiatric inpatient admissions, designed for people who can be stabilized through treatment and recovery coaching within 72 hours.

Offering short-term and recovery-oriented psychiatric care as an alternative to inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, the OACIS pilot site includes medication management and monitoring, peer support, group therapy, nursing, coordination with family and other providers, and discharge planning. Array will support Common Ground with Michigan-licensed telepsychiatrists selected and trained for crisis services in behavioral health, providing thorough evaluations and reliable treatment for people experiencing a mental health emergency.

The OACIS pilot site will combine Array’s OnDemand telepsychiatry services, which provide as-needed assessments, care, and consultations to rapidly determine the appropriate treatment for those in psychiatric crisis, with Common Ground’s specialization in crisis care, giving patients the best support possible based on their risk and disposition. The partnership also prevents patients from entering higher levels of care than necessary and keeps patients safe after they leave with detailed discharge plans.

Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s Launches Summer Store

The Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s in Birmingham has launched its Summer Store, which will be available through July 7.

The store includes a variety of items from pet bandanas, hats, golf accessories, can coolers, short sleeve t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, and windbreakers, all fitting for Michigan summers.  The store merchandise also features the official Detroit Tigers Parkinson’s Awareness t-shirt recognizing the Kirk Gibson Foundation and Kirk Gibson Foundation branded merchandise that commemorate the Tigers 40th anniversary of the ’84 championship team.

All of the proceeds from the Summer Store will benefit the Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s, to help improve the quality of life of those living with Parkinson’s disease and their loved ones.

Visit the store at KirkGibsonFoundation.org.

Addison Oaks County Park Near Rochester Opens ‘Out of This World’ Themed Feature

Addison Oaks Campground and County Park near Rochester has opened a new Solar System Trail along the Buhl Lake Loop that can be enjoyed by both campers and day-use guests year-round.

The trail features two scale model displays of the solar system:

  • A model based on planet size compared to the sun.
  • A distance scale model of the solar system with the size of the sun and planets and their location scaled to the Buhl Trail.

 “The trail has been generating a lot of excitement,” says Tom Hughes, chief of park operations and maintenance for the country’s North District. “After all, it’s pretty hard to miss an 8-foot diameter sun and planets scaled to size near the Adams Lake Playground. We believe that the Solar System Trail is the perfect addition at Addison Oaks. Campers already enjoy the starry nighttime sky since our rural location offers reduced light pollution and the park is a popular gathering spot for those with an interest in astronomy.”

While the day-use park closes before nightfall, there is programming, such as the Saturn Star Party and Meteors and More events, that offer nighttime viewing opportunities. In addition, the Oakland Astronomy Club meets regularly at Addison Oaks, bringing the club’s 12.5-inch Dobsonian and 14-inch SCT telescopes out for scheduled public observing nights and offering educational programs for schools, parks and other organizations.

The Solar System Trail provides a self-guided learning experience. Guests walk along the 2.5-mile trail at their own pace, pausing at the 10 individual planet stops. Each stop features an interpretive sign and a three-dimensional planet scaled to size. There are QR codes that link to NASA for additional information. The trail proceeds in a counter-clockwise direction, the same as the planets orbit the sun.

It takes approximately 45-60 minutes to walk the entire trail at a leisurely pace. Modern restrooms and rustic facilities are available along the trail.

The park is located at 1480 West Romeo Road near Rochester. For more information or to make a camping reservation, call 248-693-2432 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.