DBusiness Daily Update: Hutchinson, Johnson, Webber, Izzo in Field for Area 313 Celebrity Scramble, 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.
MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo (right) returns to defend his 2023 Celebrity Shootout championship. // Photo courtesy of Rocket Mortgage Classic

Hutchinson, Johnson, Webber, Izzo in Field for Area 313 Celebrity Scramble

Detroit Lions Pro Bowl defensive end Aidan Hutchinson will join Pro Football Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson, former University of Michigan basketball and NBA star Chris Webber, and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo in the Area 313 Celebrity Scramble at 5 p.m. June 25 at the Detroit Golf Club.

The event is one of the Community Days activities leading up to the Rocket Mortgage Classic being played June 27-30 at the club. Among the others are:

The First Tee – Greater Detroit Youth Clinic presented by PGA Tour Superstore will provide elementary- and middle school-age students an opportunity to learn fundamental golf skills and get tips from PGA Tour professionals.

On June 26, fans can get up close to the action and watch PGA Tour professionals playing in a relaxed setting throughout the day during the Delta Dental Pro-Am at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Complimentary parking June 25-26 will be located at University of Detroit Mercy – McNichols Campus (4001 W McNichols Road) in Detroit, and fans will be shuttled to and from Detroit Golf Club.

Tickets for competition rounds June 27-30 can be purchased here.

In Related News: Miles Russell, a 15-year-old amateur who is among the most decorated players in junior golf, will make his PGA Tour debut this month as a sponsor exemption at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, the tournament announced.

“The Rocket Mortgage Classic is known as a tournament where future stars start, and we’re thrilled to have Miles make his PGA Tour debut here and add to that legacy,” says Jason Langwell, executive director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “He has proved with his many accomplishments at such a young age that he belongs, and we are excited to see Miles compete alongside the world’s best golfers here at Detroit Golf Club.”

Other recent additions to the Rocket Mortgage Classic players roster are Chris Kirk, Min Woo Lee, Nicolai Højgaard, Francesco Molinari, Webb Simpson, and Nick Dunlap.

Report: Customer Experience Chasm Grows Between Health Plans

For employees enrolled in commercial health insurance plans, the quality of their overall health care experience is largely dependent on the insurers with whom their employers have contracted, but their satisfaction with their plan is not dependent, according to the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study.

There is a notable gap in customer satisfaction separating the top-performing health plan from the bottom-ranked plan of 79 points (on a 1,000-point scale), with the top-ranked insurers significantly outperforming on cost, access to care and trust, the study indicates.

Following are some key findings of the 2024 study:

  • Overall satisfaction with commercial health plans is 565, up 3 points from 2023. Beneath that improvement, however, a 79-point gap in customer satisfaction has emerged between top- and bottom-ranked health plans. While the highest-performing plans in the study see their overall satisfaction scores rise 20 points this year, those for the lowest-scoring performers have declined 8 points.
  • Cost, access to care and trust drive biggest gaps in customer experience: The overall gaps in customer satisfaction between top- and bottom-performing health plans are largest in the dimensions of helping to save time and money (87 points); ability to get health services how/when I want (84); and trust (84).
  • One universal challenge observed across nearly all health plans evaluated in the study is digital customer experience. The overall satisfaction score with the commercial health plan digital experience is just 565, which is significantly lower than for other service industry digital experiences, such as mortgage origination (730); direct banking (718); telehealth (698); and Medicare Advantage (652).
  • The average wait time to see a specialist is now 22 days, and the average wait time to schedule an annual physical exam is 15 days. These wait times climb to 25 days and 18 days, respectively, among the lowest-performing health plans.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (600) is the highest-scoring plan in Michigan.

For more information about the U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study, visit here.

City of Ecorse Launches Pre-approved Housing Program

To help alleviate the state-wide housing crisis, the city of Ecorse has launched the first pre-approved house program in southeast Michigan. This program is the third of its kind in Michigan, and the first in the metro Detroit area.

Through this program, anyone can download pre-approved house blueprints through the city of Ecorse for free. The plans are tailored to fit the local laws of the city to allow for expedited review and construction. Its goal is to lower the cost and time of building new single-family homes, both for individuals and experienced homebuilders.

The city has launched a new Pre-Approved Housing Plans webpage, which outlines how to use the plans. Today, the program offers four different ranch style home plans, each designed to be slab-built, accessible, and fully electric.

The plans also are designed to meet the needs of people who want to build a starter home, down-size from their current home, and everyone in between. The smallest house plan is an 800-square-foot, one-bedroom layout, while the largest house plan is a 1,000-square-foot three-bedroom layout.

Detroit City Distillery Announces Limited-edition Butcher’s Cut Bourbon

Detroit City Distillery is continuing its 10th anniversary celebration with the release of a signature spirit each month for the rest of 2024, the next three of which are limited-edition versions of its award-winning Butcher’s Cut Bourbon finished in peach, cherry, and apple brandy barrels.

These brandy barrel finishes add refreshing notes of classic Michigan fruits and make for perfect summertime pours.

These rare bourbons will be available for sale online at $70 per bottle via detroitcitydistillery.com on June 14, in time for Father’s Day on June 16. Customers who purchased bottles online can pick up their purchases by visiting DCD’s Tasting Room at 2462 Riopelle St. in Eastern Market during open business hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 4-10 p.m.; Friday, 4-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

Butcher’s Cut Bourbon is a high rye bourbon made from organic corn and rye from Washtenaw County and a blend of barley malts. The mash bill is 68 percent corn, 27 percent rye, with 5 percent specialty roasted barley malts. Butcher’s Cut Bourbon has a smokey, sweet nose of oak, campfire and vanilla that leads to a rich body with notes of toasted pecan and caramel. A spicy high rye finish ends with notes of toasted orange peel and white pepper. It’s aged for at least two years in new white American oak barrels and bottled at 100 proof. Butcher’s Cut won two Double Gold Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits competition, the highest prize awarded at the event.

Comerica Bank’s 15th Annual Shred Day Moves to Farmington Hills on June 15

Comerica Bank encourages the public to bring paper documents and computer electronic devices for recycling, free of charge, to Comerica’s Great Lakes Campus (36455 Corporate Drive) in Farmington Hills on Saturday, June 15, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., during the 15th annual Shred Day.

This marks the first year that Comerica will host Shred Day in Farmington Hills at its new corporate operations campus that opened in March.

Comerica is partnering with Iron Mountain Inc. and Information System Resources (ISR) to offer residents, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations an opportunity to securely dispose of sensitive documents, computers, keyboards, monitors, and cellular devices. Along with securely disposing of sensitive documents and electronics, Comerica is helping fight hunger by collecting non-perishable food donations to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank, which supports Southeastern Michigan.

In its 14-year history, Comerica Shred Day in metro Detroit has collected more than 1.1 million pounds of shredded documents that has turned into recycled pulp. The process of recycling paper into new paper products generates 74 percent less air pollution and uses 50 percent less water than producing paper from traditional forest products.

Participants should arrive by using West 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills, turn onto Investment Drive, and into Comerica’s office campus at 36455 Corporate Drive. For safety precautions, participants of this drive-thru event should always remain in vehicles as volunteers direct traffic through recycling areas. Vehicles will be directed to exit onto westbound Corporate Drive toward Halsted Road.

In addition to securely shredding sensitive documents, Information Systems Resources will securely dispose and recycle computer equipment.

Acceptable small computer electronic devices and accessories include: CPUs, laptops, CRT monitors, LCD displays, all-in-ones, servers, switches, hubs, keyboards, mice, speakers, wireless internet cards, hard drives, optical drives, circuit boards, wires, and cables.

Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan will be on site during Shred Day to accept monetary and non-perishable food donations.

For more information and a complete list of accepted and prohibited items, visit Comerica.com/ShredDay.

Village of Rochester Hills Hosts Free Events, Concerts All Summer 

The Village of Rochester Hills is celebrating summer with a variety of events and musical performances all summer long.

Each week, The Village will host a variety of free events that are open to the public. These family-friendly events cater to everyone.

Early June events include:

  • Live Music from True Blue Band, June 6, 6-9 p.m.
  • Live Music from Zenagain, June 7, 5-9 p.m.
  • Dueling Pianos, June 8, 5-9 p.m.
  • Live Music by Sean Mischley, June 9, 2-5 p.m.

Most activities take place in Festival Park. For a complete up-to-date list of events, visit thevorh.com.

Detroit Zoo Hosts Offers Discounts Saturday to Help Corewell Health Children’s

Corewell Health Children’s Walk for Miracles presented by Velara is a special discounted day for families to enjoy a day at the zoo, all while helping local children and families.

Superheroes of all ages are invited to participate in the fundraising event at the Detroit Zoo on Saturday. The walk begins at 8 a.m., and walkers may stay and enjoy the zoo all day. All proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals programming at Corewell Health Children’s and stay in southeast Michigan to fund programs and services, vital pediatric equipment, and scholarships for families struggling to afford care.

Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite superhero or fantasy character. Children will meet many other popular fairytale and comic book heroes along the way. In addition to enjoying the Zoo exhibits, families will enjoy snacks and refreshments and each child will receive a superhero cape and medal. Also, parking is complimentary for registered participants.

Walkers must register online for the event and make a minimum donation of $12 per person for participants 13 years and older, $8 per person ages 2-12 and children under the age of two are free. Guests also are provided online personalized/team fundraising pages to raise additional funds. Fundraising for additional funds is not required but is encouraged to further help provide much needed support for pediatric programs and services.

To register for Walk for Miracles, please visit here.

Local High School Students Will Receive $30K in Scholarships June 10.

Winning Futures in Warren will host its 2024 Awards Celebration on June 10 at Club Venetian in Madison Heights. The event begins with a buffet dinner at 6 p.m. The program will begin at 7 p.m. Attendance is by invitation only.

Winning Futures is a nonprofit organization that helps metro Detroit high school students figure out what they’ll do after high school and teaches them life and job readiness skills they will need to be successful. The program, named Workforce Prep, features local business professionals who serve as volunteer career mentors, coaching and providing students with encouragement as they progress through the program.

This year’s Awards Celebration will include awarding $30,000 in scholarships to 16 students who are in the Workforce Prep program, recognizing seven students who have graduated from college, and honoring 16 local businesspeople for their five or 10-year commitment as volunteer career mentors.

US Signal in Grand Rapids to Acquire Wisconsin’s OneNeck IT Solutions

US Signal Co., a digital infrastructure provider in Grand Rapids, has agreed to acquire OneNeck IT Solutions and OneNeck Data Center Holdings in Arizona from Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., a provider of wireless, broadband, video, voice, hosted, and managed services to U.S. businesses.

The firms expect the transaction to close in the third quarter of 2024 subject to customary closing conditions. No terms were disclosed.

Headquartered in Madison, Wisc., OneNeck provides secure hybrid IT and multi-cloud solutions through data centers in six Western and Midwestern states. Serving more than 1,000 customers across 45 states, OneNeck caters to sectors including banking, education, engineering, food and beverage, government, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.

Meijer Creates Access to Healthy Foods with Donation to Henry Ford Academy

Grand Rapids-based Meijer has donated $500,000 to The Henry Ford’s public charter high school, Henry Ford Academy, to support its Farm to School initiative. The program provides free, accessible, locally sourced, and cooked-from-scratch school lunches for every high school student.

“At Meijer, we’re known for providing the freshest produce. In fact, we partner with several family farms spanning multiple generations – relationships my grandfather and father began nearly 90 years ago,” says Hank Meijer, executive chairman at Meijer. “As a family-owned company, with the purpose of enriching lives in the communities we serve, we support the incredible work The Henry Ford is doing for its Academy students and look forward to this program’s continued success.”

Celebrating its 27th year, Henry Ford Academy is a free, public charter, college preparatory high school located within the walls of The Henry Ford in Dearborn. The academy partners with a dozen local farms and organizations to offer its students in-season locally grown food every day.

EY Adds Signal Restoration in Troy as New Ecosystem Participant

Signal Restoration, a property restoration company in Troy, has announced its agreement with Ernst & Young to be included in the EY Claims Recovery service offerings. Under terms of the agreement, Signal’s property recovery services will be an integrated component of the offerings and is expected to provide customers with broad disaster recovery assistance and is anticipated to help drive innovation in the claims and restoration marketplace.

Leveraging EY Claims Recovery offerings and incorporating Signal’s customer service, clients who have experienced a property loss can expect a seamless process, incorporating assistance in property recovery as well as support through insurance review and reimbursement.

“The EY Claims Recovery services, comprised of CPA’s, forensics accountants and former insurance adjusters, with more than 150 years of experience, brings the next level of expertise, depth, and rigor to our industry,” says Mark Davis, CEO of Signal USA. “Furthermore, EY’s culture of transparency and integrity aligns well with ours. We are excited about the opportunity to add value connecting into the EY ecosystem.”

Michigan Joins New National Initiative to Address America’s Youth Mental Health Crisis

In response to America’s youth mental health crisis, Michigan is joining forces with 10 other states, the Schultz Family Foundation, Pinterest, and AmeriCorps to recruit, train, and deploy the nation’s first Youth Mental Health Corps to help young people access critical mental health resources.

The new Youth Mental Health Corps is a public-private collaboration, with a set of partners that include America’s Service Commissions, America Forward, and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. The corps will address the growing needs of young people while creating career pathways to address the national shortage of mental-health professionals. Corps members will be trained as navigators serving middle and high school students in schools and community-based organizations.

Corps members will gain on-the-job experience, receive a stipend, and earn credentials to advance their career. They also will be eligible for education awards to pursue higher education or pay back qualifying student loans.

Michigan has a high rate of mental illness amongst youth, ranking 35th among states, according to Mental Health America. In Michigan, there are nearly 40,000 children diagnosed with mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety who are not receiving the necessary treatment, either because they cannot find, access or afford care or due to the prevailing stigma around mental health diagnosis.

Michigan’s Youth Mental Health Corps will engage 125 AmeriCorps members as Youth Mental Health Corps Fellows over the course of two years. These individuals will come from AmeriCorps programs across the state and will earn credentials and participate in robust training and professional development related to one of three career pathways:

School-/CBO-Based Pathway: Members interested in serving in schools, out-of-school programs, and community-based youth organizations (CBOs) will complete service terms with existing school- and CBO-based AmeriCorps programs while earning stackable certifications and/or higher education credits.

Peer Recovery Coach/Peer Support Specialist Pathway: Members with lived experience may earn a Peer Recovery Coach Certificate or a Peer Support Specialist Certificate through MDHHS or their contractors, indicating that members have met specific State of Michigan training and competency requirements to provide Medicaid reimbursable peer support or recovery services. Members in this pathway will earn additional stackable certifications and professional training.

Community Health Worker Pathway: Members who complete over 1,000 hours and meet the credentialing requirements (which MCSC and our partners will support) may earn a Community Health Worker State Certifications through MDHHS or their contractors, indicating that they have completed the necessary training and qualifications to provide Medicaid-reimbursable services as a Community Health Worker (CHW).

Anyone ages 18-24 with a high school diploma can apply here.