DBusiness Daily Update: Great Lakes Design and Construction Expo Coming to Novi, 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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The Great Lakes Design and Construction EXPO 2023 will take place Feb. 15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. // Courtesy of CAM and HBA
The Great Lakes Design and Construction EXPO 2023 will take place Feb. 15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. // Courtesy of CAM and HBA

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.

Great Lakes Design and Construction Expo Coming to Novi Feb. 15

The Construction Association of Michigan (CAM) and Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan (HBA) have again joined forces to present Michigan’s largest construction industry event, the Great Lakes Design and Construction EXPO 2023.

The expo will take place Feb. 15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace and bring together residential and commercial designers, contractors, suppliers, and service providers.

The event is expected to offer networking opportunities, educational workshops, and special events to support Michigan’s building industry.

“CAM and HBA first partnered to present the EXPO in February 2020,” says Kevin Koehler, president of CAM. “We are pleased to, once again, provide exceptional business resources, networking and educational opportunities to commercial and residential professionals.”

HBA CEO Forrest M. Wall adds, “While there are some differences between those in residential construction and those in commercial construction, there are far more areas where our interests intersect. With the expo, we provide value and opportunity that exceeds the scope of what CAM and HBA could offer separately.”

The EXPO will also host an Economic Forecast Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., before the exhibit floor opens, featuring keynote speaker Daniil Manaenkov, a U.S. forecasting specialist at the University of Michigan. CAM also will conduct its 137th annual meeting during the event.

The Economic Forecast Breakfast and CAM Annual Meeting are the only expo events that require a purchased ticket. Visiting the exhibit floor and all seminars and workshops are offered at no charge to individuals involved in commercial or residential construction.

For more information, visit here.

Blakes Hard Cider in Armada Launches First Non-alcoholic Beverage

Blake’s Hard Cider (BHC) in Armada is launching its Sorta Pop probiotic soda, the first non-alcoholic beverage in the brand’s 10-year history.

The new line of low-calorie, low-sugar carbonated probiotic sodas will hit southeast Michigan independent retailers’ store shelves in mid-January.

Sorta Pop is available in three flavors: Tangerine, Strawberry-Watermelon-Cucumber, and Lemon Lime, all made with real fruit. The “better-for-you” beverage is gluten and caffeine-free with 25 calories or less, and 3 to 6 grams of sugar from the addition of monk fruit. The new beverages have more than 1 million probiotics per can, which may support digestive balance and gut health. Single serve 12-ounce cans will sell for $2.49 MSRP.

“Coming from Blake’s 77 years’ experience growing, picking, and pressing our harvest, exploring a healthy, alternative beverage made with real fruit is a natural extension for us,” says Chelsea Cox, director of marketing and product development at BHC. “As consumers become more selective and educated in their beverage choices, that shift makes way for a better-for-you beverage like Sorta Pop that delivers great flavor, bubbles, plus health benefits.”

Expanded distribution of Sorta Pop is planned for spring to chain store retailers in the region. For more information, visit sortapop.com.

Toshiba Named Technology Provider of Choice for Tigers and Red Wings

Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings have signed a multi-year partnership with California’s Toshiba America Business Solutions making Toshiba the technology provider of choice for both clubs.

The agreement enables the Tigers and Red Wings to deliver signage and notifications to their fans at Comerica Park and Little Caesars Arena. The partnership also will assist the teams to “operate more efficiently, affordably, and sustainably by reducing printing volume” by utilizing Toshiba’s e‑STUDIO multifunction printers.

“We’re appreciative of our partnership with Toshiba, and the efficiencies they are bringing to Tigers and Red Wings fans, our partners, and colleagues,” says Molly Wurdack-Folt, vice president of corporate partnership activation for Ilitch Sports + Entertainment (IS+E).

Toshiba Business Solutions President Steven Sauer says, “We are thrilled to be the technology provider for two of the iconic teams in professional sports while helping Tigers and Red Wings colleagues complete their day-to-day tasks 24/7/365.”

On game days, Toshiba systems are expected to deliver all of the necessary content to help colleagues, players, coaches, and broadcast teams. This includes scouting reports, lineup cards, notes and team statistics for the Tigers and Red Wings and their opponents.

Goldfish Swim School Launches Campaign Celebrating Life’s Golden Moments

Troy-based Goldfish Swim School has launched Golden Years are Here!, a new national brand awareness campaign highlighting the life lessons learned in and out of the water.

Goldfish will support the campaign with television ads, social and digital media, in-school promotion, and calendars for kids, families, and team members to fill in as a way to help encourage them to visualize dreams, set and achieve goals, celebrate accomplishments, and feel inspired all year long.

“While the golden years traditionally refers to the time following retirement, we see the golden years as the time at Goldfish, when people are together making memories and building life skills, both in and out of the water,” says Jenny McCuiston, co-founder of Goldfish Swim School.

“While our mission will always be water safety and proactive efforts to decrease drowning rates, the Golden Years brand campaign lets us highlight the importance and additional benefit of swim lessons beyond the lessons in the pool, and our dedication to helping our communities make BIG waves and live happy and healthy lives in 2023 and beyond.”

Available at Goldfish Swim School locations, or downloadable online, the Goldfish Golden Years calendars were created to support the campaign and be a visible, trackable resource for kids, Goldfish families, and team members to use to help stay organized, motivated, and inspired each month to have a golden year.

The calendars are designed to be used as a monthly planner to celebrate life’s golden moments throughout the year and will include a section at the top to write a monthly goal, something exciting to look forward to and a ‘finspirational’ quote from Bubbles, the brand’s mascot.

Families, kids, and team members will be invited to share their monthly manifestations on social media — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok — using #GoldfishGoldenYears, for the chance to win prizes.

“With goals being 42 percent more likely to be accomplished if written down, these calendars help both children and adults learn to plan, monitor and stay organized and motivated to experience and celebrate a year of accomplishments,” says Dr. Molly O’Shea of Birmingham Pediatrics + Wellness Center and official pediatrician of Goldfish Swim School. “This written and visible approach to dreaming and achieving supports Goldfish’s commitment to helping communities raise healthy, happy little humans and provide its team members with professional development.”

Throughout the year-long campaign, Goldfish Swim School will celebrate and share monthly manifestations at random, with surprise and delight prizes, as well as will award the following monthly and end-of-the-year prizes:

  • One winner a month will win a golden year of free swim lessons, with the nearest Goldfish Swim School to each winner also receiving an additional year of free swim lessons to give to a deserving child in their community. Total monthly giveaways over the year equals up to more than $35,000 in free swim lessons.
  • Every other month, one Goldfish team member will win $1,000 to put towards their dreams and goals.
  • At the end of the year, two grand prizes will be awarded — one to a child that includes an award package of $2,023 to put toward achieving their dreams, one year of free swim lessons, and a swag box aligning with their dreams, and a similar award package to a team member that includes a cash prize, plus additional golden prize items.

For more information, visit goldfishswimschool.com.

Colorado’s GrowGeneration Acquires The Grow Store in Traverse City

Denver-based GrowGeneration Corp. has acquired the inventory and equipment from The Grow Store in Traverse City. As a part of the transaction, GrowGen also took over the existing store location at 90 N. US-31 S. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Grow Store opened in 1997 as one of the first hydroponics and indoor garden centers in the country.

“We are excited to expand our retail footprint to northern Michigan to more efficiently and effectively service the many growers in that area,” says Darren Lampert, co-founder and CEO of GrowGen. “The Grow Store has had incredible success and we are excited to continue its legacy in the Traverse City market.

“GrowGen remains committed to providing high-quality products and having the largest product selection, best service, and most knowledgeable grow professionals in the industry. This transaction supports those commitments and enhances our overall portfolio of stores to best serve both our commercial and home-grow customers.”

Newly Launched Rehmann Foundation Grants $160K to Charities

The Rehmann Foundation, the nonprofit organization of Troy-based professional advisory firm Rehmann, is providing 17 grants totaling $160,000 to several organizations that better the communities in which Rehmann is a part.

“The Rehmann Foundation is focused on promoting education opportunities, economic development, and strengthening our communities,” says Stacie Kwaiser, CEO of Rehmann. “We are humbled to support likeminded organizations who empower individuals of diverse backgrounds and experiences to make a positive impact in our communities.”

All recipients were submitted by Rehmann associates and eligible for up to $10,000 in grant funds. The recipients include:

  • Bridging Communities Inc.
  • Crossroads of Michigan
  • Downtown Boxing Gym Youth Program
  • Grand Rapids Nehemiah Project
  • Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation
  • Growth Works Inc.
  • Henry Ford Learning Institute
  • Junior Achievement of SE Michigan
  • Life Remodeled
  • Living & Learning Enrichment Center
  • Mental Health Association of Indian River County
  • Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum
  • Miracle League of Delray Beach
  • The Children’s Center
  • The Lawn Academy
  • TutorSmart
  • United Against Poverty

In its first year, the foundation’s reach spanned Michigan, Ohio, and Florida, providing aid to varied groups including children, metropolitan communities, people of different physical abilities, and several others.

“As a firm heavily invested in the financial and professional wellbeing of thousands of businesses and organizations, it is crucial to recognize and solve current and future systemic issues,” says Randy Rupp, president of the Rehmann Foundation. “We look forward to the continued growth of the foundation and creating positive change in the communities that we live and work in.”

The foundation plans to be accepting new applicants in the summer of 2023. For more information, visit here.

Ann Arbor SPARK Announces 2023 Schedule of CEO Podcast

Ann Arbor SPARK has announced the relaunch of the Conversations on Economic Opportunity (CEO) podcast. The podcast series is hosted by Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO, and features conversations with key leaders of ​​business, government, and academic institutions.

“The CEO Podcast is an opportunity to share insights and expertise with a global audience,” says Paul Krutko. “We believe that by sharing what we’ve learned, we can help others learn and grow as well. We’re excited to bring on thought leaders from a variety of fields to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the modern business landscape.”

The 2023 schedule kicks off with Drew Vielbig, development manager at Ranger Power, a solar energy development company committed to working closely with landowners to bring new investment and clean energy to their communities. February’s episode will feature Sue Shink, Washtenaw County Commissioner and newly elected state senator. Skip Simms, managing member of the Michigan Angel Fund and recently retired vice president of Ann Arbor SPARK, will join the podcast this spring.

Topics covered in past episodes include the evolution of office spaces post-pandemic, the significance of shared-use testing facilities, the value of partnerships in pursuing progress, and educating the public on autonomous vehicle safety.

Conversations on Economic Opportunity are a way to spotlight those who are helping this region thrive. The episodes are published on the third Monday of each month.

Episodes are available via Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, and here.

Dearborn, Dearborn Heights Mayors to Address State of the Community Feb. 7

Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud and Dearborn Heights Mayor Bill Bazzi will address local business leaders and the public at the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual “A Tale of Our Cities” Business Builder Series breakfast from 8-10 a.m. Feb. 7 at the Ford Community and Performance Arts Center in Dearborn.

The event is presented by Corewell Health and will include a breakfast sponsored by Comcast. Networking and breakfast will be followed by presentations by the mayors, who both will give a brief forecast for 2023, followed by a question-and-answer session.

“We are delighted to host our mayors and look forward to our continued work together,” says Jackie Lovejoy, president of the chamber. “Our corner of southeast Michigan is growing and changing, with more than 5,000 new homeowners annually supporting our local economies and over 65 new businesses in 2022.

“Everyone working together helps shape our region as a great place to live, work and thrive! The infrastructure, programs and the strength of our business community and residents are essential to bring us into the future.”

Space is limited and registration is required for this event. Tickets ($40 for members; $45 for future members and general public) can be purchased at the Chamber website.

Premiere of ‘2 Hearts 2 Secrets’ from Madonna University Students Coming to Penn Theater

Madonna University Broadcast and Cinema Arts (BCA) students will host a premiere of the film “2 Hearts 2 Secrets” at 6 p.m. Jan. 19 at the historic Penn Theater in Plymouth.

The film, fully written and crewed by Madonna’s Capstone class, chronicles when college baseball player Jax meets Daisy, an infectiously energetic radio host at his university. Starstruck, the two fall in love, but each harbors a secret. Will their secrets keep them together or pull them apart?

The 50-minute film will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m. A question-and-answer session with students and staff will begin immediately following the film.

“This film has been a year in the making, and the amount of care and hard work that our students have put into ‘2 Hearts 2 Secrets’ is nothing short of incredible,” says Suzanne Boyd, interim director of Madonna’s BCA program. “We developed a truly hands-on program because we want to give our students every opportunity to learn about all aspects of broadcast and cinema arts – the fun stuff, the hard stuff, and everything in between. I am very proud of what they have put together this year and the incredible strides that this program continues to make.”

A total of 11 films have been created by students thus far, with one recent film (“Married on a Monday”) available on Amazon Prime Video here.

Delta Sigma Theta – Detroit Chapter Observes 110th Annual Founders Day

After a two-year hiatus, the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. returned to its in-person, 110th annual Founders Day Luncheon with a sold-out event of nearly 800 people.

The annual luncheon and program took place Jan 14 at The Henry in Dearborn and was attended by public-service-minded sorority members along with city, state, and federal officials, as well as notables in business and the community.

This keynote speaker, Collette V. Smith, is NFL’s first Black female coach; founder, president, and CEO of Believe N You Inc., and an honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta. Smith became the first African American female coach in the NFL and is the first female coach for the New York Jets. She is a former women’s pro football player with the New York Sharks.

“Our organization proudly embodies public service through our many community programs that help solve varieties of societal needs that make touchpoints locally, nationally, and internationally,” says Katrenia L. Camp, president of the sorority’s Detroit alumnae chapter. “Many of our programs serve community needs such as our Expungement Fair, our youth mentorship programs such as E.M.B.O.D.I. and Delta GEMS, voter registration, meal distribution and arts enrichment programs and more.”

Lisa Williams, chair of the Founders Day Committee, says: “It was thrilling to gather in person once again for our annual Founders Day observance with my fellow Delta sisters who will travel from across metro Detroit and beyond, along with hundreds of guests for this occasion.”