DBusiness Daily Update: Ford Fund Launches Multicultural Vaccine PSA and Donates 120M Masks, Rocket Mortgage Classic’s AREA 313 Targets $1M Fundraising Goal, 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.
map of Michigan coronavirus cases by county
Courtesy of Bridge, as of April 6

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.

Ford Fund Launches Multicultural Vaccine PSA and Donates 120M Masks
The Ford Motor Co. Fund in Dearborn is marking the delivery of 120 million masks to at-risk communities by launching a public service announcement to help combat the spread of misinformation about the COVID vaccine among multicultural populations.

“At Ford Fund, we have been supporting critical community needs during this pandemic, including donating masks to people and nonprofits with limited access to personal protective equipment,” says Mary Culler, president of the Ford Fund. “We’re so grateful for all of our philanthropic partners and the hundreds of Ford dealers nationwide who helped us in this incredible effort, but we’re not stopping there. We are proud to be partnering with leading organizations on a PSA to help raise awareness about the facts regarding the COVID vaccine.”

To increase awareness and help change perceptions, Ford Fund is bringing together some of the nation’s leading organizations that support and advocate for multicultural communities with the PSA. #VaxWithFacts aims to provide trusted information about the COVID-19 vaccine and how taking it can help in fighting the global pandemic.

Available in both English and Spanish, the PSA showcases the presidents, CEOs, and leaders of 11 nonprofits sharing a message of unity in an effort to help combat the spread of misinformation about the vaccine among multicultural populations. Participating organizations include:

  • Arab American and Chaldean Council
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • First Book
  • Hispanic Federation
  • Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development
  • League of United Latin American Citizens
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
  • National Urban League
  • Para Los Niños Gratts Primary Center
  • Rainbow PUSH
  • Service, Employment, and Redevelopment National

“The organizations in the PSA have been Ford Fund partners for years, or in some cases decades, and we could not be more thrilled with the excitement and energy they have each brought to this project,” says Pamela Alexander, director of community development at the Ford Fund. “Together, we’re bringing trusted information to multicultural communities in an effort to help #FinishStrong in the fight against COVID-19.”

To view the PSA, visit here.

In late March, the last of the 120 million masks arrived at their destinations, which include the city of Los Angeles, Detroit Public Schools Community District, and By the Hand Club for Kids, a nonprofit in Chicago that helps children who live in under-resourced neighborhoods have an abundant life.

Over the past eight months, Ford Fund has been working with its nationwide network of nonprofit partners to provide adult and child-sized masks to community organizations, Ford dealers, state and local officials, schools, and first responders in all 50 states.

For more information about Ford Fund’s COVID relief efforts, visit here.

Rocket Mortgage Classic’s AREA 313 Targets $1M Fundraising Goal
The Rocket Mortgage Classic today announced that it expects to raise more than $1 million through fan engagements and returning initiatives at its three-hole stretch known as AREA 313, July 1-4 at Detroit Golf Club.

Part of a larger fundraising effort to support the tournament’s multi-year Changing the Course initiative to end the digital divide in Detroit, AREA 313 could become “The Most Charitable Three Holes in Golf.”

“All proceeds raised through AREA 313 will be directed to the Changing the Course initiative, and these contributions will be invested into organizations and infrastructure that seek to end the digital divide and offer digital connectivity for all Detroit residents,” says Jason Langwell, executive director of the tournament. “We are unconditionally committed to Changing the Course, as it is vital for us to support our local community and provide necessary technology, digital access, digital literacy and educational training for Detroiters now and in the future.”

AREA 313, named in honor of Detroit’s area code, is comprised of the 555-yard par-5 14th hole, the 160-yard par-3 15th hole, and the 446-yard par-4 16th hole, and serves as the epicenter of fan activity during the tournament.

“We are proud to make AREA 313 the most charitable three holes in golf, though the real gratification comes from the lives we will be able to impact together,” says Jay Farner, CEO of Rocket Mortgage. “The digital divide is a glaring, systemic issue in Rocket Companies’ hometown of Detroit, and we hope that our efforts will eventually make Detroit a model for digital inclusion that can be replicated nationwide. Everyone deserves the ability to learn virtually, visit online job boards, access telemedicine and take advantage of the opportunities equitable access to technology provides.”

This year, AREA 313 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic offers three ways for anyone to pledge their support and donate toward Changing the Course.

New to the Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2021 is the “Faces of AREA 313 Presented by Priority Health” program. It will enable companies and community members to pledge $313 or more for their face, that of a fellow fan, first responder, frontline worker, or loved one lost from the COVID-19 pandemic to be prominently displayed on an electronic videoboard or along the hospitality structures within AREA 313. Each donation will be matched dollar for dollar by Priority Health, which has pledged $50,000 to the initiative. Faces are available to purchase by visiting here, and each purchase is accompanied by a ticket that allows fans access to the event Monday, June 28 and Tuesday, June 29.

The Rocket Mortgage Classic also will bring back its popular AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble, which was recognized by the PGA Tour as the “Best Special Event” across all its tournaments during its 2018-19 season. On Tuesday, June 29, the three-hole charitable exhibition will pair select professional golfers playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic with celebrity athletes and entertainers. This year, the event allows for corporate partners of the tournament to donate to sponsor the teams participating in the AREA 313 Celebrity Scramble. Each team sponsor can also arrange VIP access for an executive or client to play the event and walk inside the ropes alongside the pros and celebrities from holes 14-16.

Finally, the Rocket Mortgage Classic continues its tradition of pledging donations to the community through the AREA 313 Challenge during the tournament’s 156-player professional competition over 72 holes from Thursday, July 1-Sunday, July 4. Anyone can make a flat donation toward the AREA 313 Challenge by visiting the AREA 313 Challenge webpage.

The PGA Tour professionals participating in the Rocket Mortgage Classic also will be playing for a chance to score for Changing the Course, thanks to the contribution of the host organization, Rocket Mortgage. The first player to score a 3 on Hole 14 (an eagle), a hole-in-one on Hole 15, and a 3 on Hole 16 (a birdie) – scoring a 3-1-3 along that stretch – cumulatively over the four days of tournament play will trigger a $313,000 donation made in his name and split between a charity of the golfer’s choice and the Connect 313 Fund, in support of Changing the Course.

Additionally, for each 3 made on hole 14, Rocket Mortgage will supply $5,000 to Changing the Course, while any 1 made on hole 15 will trigger a $10,000 donation and any 3 made on hole 16 will result in a $5,000 contribution. Last year, thanks to 15 eagles made on the 14th hole and 63 birdies made on the 16th, the company’s donation totaled $385,000.

The 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic, in partnership with title sponsor Rocket Mortgage, generated more than $2.7 million in proceeds for nonprofits through the Rocket Giving Fund, the 501(c)(3) host organization of the tournament, with more than $2.4 million invested into Changing the Course. The goal of raising $1 million through AREA 313 programming this year is part of a larger effort that hopes to match or exceed last year’s giving total.

Southfield’s Clayton & McKervey Named Partner for Centuro Global Network
Clayton & McKervey, a certified public accounting and business advisory firm in Southfield, has been appointed a partner with the Centuro Global Network representing the U.S.

Centuro Global is an international organization aiming to ease the global expansion process for all businesses, with the goal of broadening access to local expertise in overseas jurisdictions and innovating the delivery of professional services. With this new appointment, Clayton & McKervey joins a network of global expansion experts and encourage further growth into the U.S.

“We look forward to helping global businesses grow in the U.S. and abroad through our involvement in the Centuro Global Network,” says Teresa Gordon, international practice lead at Clayton & McKervey. “Our firm provides solutions tailored to each phase of business operation and expansion.”

Centuro Global says it is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development and promoting innovative solutions for start-ups, SMEs, and corporates around the world. The inclusion of Clayton & McKervey provides a wide range of opportunities for the U.S. and opens doors for economic development and greater involvement on the global business stage.

Clayton & McKervey is a full-service public accounting firm specializing in tax, accounting, advisory and assurance, and consulting services. Clients include international businesses, industrial automation companies, manufacturers and distributors, architecture and engineering professional services firms, and private clients. The firm works in close collaboration with domestic and foreign chambers of commerce, business associations, and economic developers dedicated to supporting business growth.

For more information, visit here.

New Cannabis Provisioning Center to Open in Hazel Park April 16
Shango Hazel Park Provisioning Center on S. Chrysler Drive in Hazel Park will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 16, starting a grand opening celebration leading to Tuesday, April 20, the day of the worldwide cannabis celebration known as 420.

The first 50 recreational customers and first 50 medical card holders will get a free Shango swag bag. There also will be a 20 percent discount on all full-price items throughout the five grand opening days.

On Saturday and Sunday, food trucks and a live DJ will be in the parking area from noon to 6 p.m. The Satellite food truck will be there on Saturday, the Detroit Barbecue Company truck on Sunday, and the Treat Dreams Dessert Emporium truck on both days.

A tent village will feature cannabis products from Select, Choice Labs, Curaleaf, Platinum Vapes, Redemption, and True North Collective. These vendors will provide first-come, first-served giveaways on both days.

On Tuesday, April 20, Shango Hazel Park will be an official pick-up location for Sensi Magazine’s swag bag promotion. Each bag will contain cannabis products and other merchandise valued at $350, and will be on sale for only $20. Only 1,000 bags will be available first-come, first-served throughout the day.

“This is the largest grand opening that Shango has ever put together and our Hazel Park location is sure to make a huge impact on the local economy,” says Brandon Rexroad, owner and CEO of Shango Worldwide.

Ownership of the Hazel Park provisioning center also includes Curtis Goure, whose family has owned and operated the BDT Smoke Shop in Hazel Park for 47 years.

The Shango Provisioning Center is located at 22821 S. Chrysler Drive in Hazel Park just off I-75. Hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, visit here.

Oakland County, Oakland Schools to Host Virtual Apprenticeship Showcase April 19
Students looking for career opportunities, as well as working adults seeking a career change, are invited to participate in the Oakland County Apprenticeship Showcase, taking place virtually from 4-6 p.m. on Monday, April 19.

Participation is free, but advance registration is required to receive login information. To sign up, visit here.

The Apprenticeship Showcase is being hosted by Oakland County Michigan Works! and Oakland Schools, in partnership with Oakland Community College, Oakland County Economic Development, and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

“An apprenticeship can be a rewarding career move, combining on-the-job training with classroom instruction that ultimately leads to outstanding full-time job opportunities,” says David Coulter, Oakland County Executive. “This showcase gives participants the chance to meet one-on-one with organizations that offer registered apprenticeship programs and their representatives are ready to answer questions about how to get started.”

Employers participating in the Apprenticeship Showcase represent industries including the building trades, manufacturing, health care, pharmacy, information technology, and the culinary arts.

A registered apprenticeship is a primary postsecondary pathway promoted by Oakland Schools through its career readiness team. Upon completion of a registered apprenticeship, a person typically earns one or more professional certifications or certificates.

“Apprenticeships continue to be an important means of providing relevant and rigorous preparation for students interested in careers in multiple industries such as construction, skilled trades, information technology, and more,” says Jarrad Grandy, executive director of student services at Oakland Schools. “We support Oakland County’s employers in this initiative to expand opportunities to prepare talent in our county.”

Midwest Venture Showcase to Feature 57 Companies Actively Seeking Funding
Organizers of the 2021 Midwest Venture Showcase, a partnership between the Midwest Growth Capital Symposium (MGCS) and InvestMidwest, today announced that 57 companies actively seeking funding will be showcased to an audience of top-tier investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and business executives at the virtual event April 27-28.

The companies in the showcase span the life sciences, medical device, agriculture/food, and tech industries. Of the 57 companies, 37 are seeking seed stage funding and 20 are seeking Series A/B funding. The companies hail from 15 states, including Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Alabama, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania.

The virtual event also will feature 20-25 tech transfer spinouts from top research universities seeking pre-seed and seed funding. Participating universities include University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Chicago, University of Louisville, University of Minnesota, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University.

The Showcase kicks off April 27 with a morning keynote conversation with Darren Cohen, co-head of Growth Equity in the Merchant Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. Following the keynote will be an exciting lineup of panels on the benefits of investing in the Midwest, the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in investing, and a special profile featuring Midwest unicorns.

Company pitches in life science, medical devices, tech, and food/ag tracks will take place in the afternoon.

The morning of April 28 includes talks from several sponsors, ranging from Julie Harris, Bank of America’s head of global banking digital strategy to panels from CBIZ, Husch Blackwell, and Canada. The tech transfer pitches will be done in the afternoon.

“We’re excited to bring together this mix of speakers and companies,” says Phyllis Ellison, executive director of InvestMidwest. “This is an interesting lineup of topics and speakers, as we start to consider what the venture capital markets look like post-pandemic and after a record year of investing in 2020.”

For more information and to register, visit here.

Detroit Diesel is Part of Downtown Boxing Gym Bus Donation
The Downtown Boxing Gym, a free, academic and athletic program serving students aged 8-18, will take delivery of a 76-passenger bus on Friday, April 9 at 11:30 a.m., its first full-size bus in the organization’s 14-year history.

The specially customized bus is a donation from North Carolina-based Thomas Built Buses and Detroit Diesel. Funds are being raised to cover ongoing costs including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and a bus driver.

The bus will complement DBG’s existing fleet of eight vans and will increase the program’s ability to transport the students it serves. Having this new resource will help DBG move forward with plans to expand and serve 250 students.

“The need for transportation became even more critical during COVID-19 because we have to limit the number of students on our vans for health and safety reasons,” says Khali Sweeney, founder and CEO of DBG. “This bus is huge for us. It will help fulfill a great need for us, our students and families. We are truly grateful.”

Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw Reopens to the Public
The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw will reopen to the public on Saturday, April 10 with a new exhibition, “Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy,” on view till June 26.

The “Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy” exhibition features nearly 50 photographs by James Haefner that celebrate Michigan’s modern architectural design history from 1928 through 2012.

“We are excited to reopen to the public April 10 after being closed for over a year,” says Megan McAdow, director of the museum. “And with such an important exhibition that shows Michigan’s rich contribution to modern architectural design.”

The photographs were produced for and featured in the book “Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy by Brian D. Conway.” The book was part of the Michigan Modern Project initiated by Conway at the State Historic Preservation Office that revealed and documented the role Michigan played in the development of modern design.

The exhibition includes images of Michigan masterworks by modern architects such as Eliel Saarinen, Eero Saarinen, Minoru Yamasaki, Alexander Girard, George Nelson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alden B. Dow, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Marcel Breuer. The tradition of architectural innovation and excellence continued into the 21st century represented by photographs of buildings designed by Anderson and Anderson, Steven Sivak, and Zaha Hadid.

A virtual exhibition also will launch April 10 and include a 360-degree virtual tour of the exhibition and a section where viewers can learn about Marshall Fredericks’ many connections and contributions to the modern architecture movement. The virtual exhibition also features additional photographs not included in the physical exhibition as well as images captured behind the scenes while on location during one of the photo shoots. To access the virtual exhibition, visit here.

A Virtual Artist Talk will take place on Thursday, April 29 at 7 p.m. with photographer James Haefner and author Brian D. Conway who will give a brief overview of the “Michigan Modern” book, how the text came to be, and stories behind the photographs in the exhibition.

To register for the talk, and for up-to-date listings of programs and events, visit here.

The museum’s open hours will be Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. with Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:30-11 a.m. reserved for guests who are in the increased risk category. Visitors will be required to wear face masks, social distance, and provide contact information for contact tracing. Guests also are welcome to tour the Sculpture Garden at any time or schedule a private guided tour. A complete Museum Reopening Guide can be found here.