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.
‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Cookbook Released for Film’s 75th Anniversary
“Zuzu Bailey’s It’s A Wonderful Life Cookbook,” a collaboration between actress Karolyn Grimes (who played Zuzu Bailey in the film) and local publicist and author Franklin Dohanyos, has just been released by Citadel Press in New York to commemorate the movie’s 75th anniversary.
The cookbook is filled with family recipes from both authors and some of the actors from the movie, plus interviews with people from the movie, trivia, anecdotes, all-new photos, memories, and more.
There are 250 recipes inspired by life in the fictional town of Bedford Falls, including Zuzu, My Little Ginger Snap Cookies, Violet Bick’s Spicy Chicken, Henry Potter Pot Pie, Fifty Cents On The Dollar Chuck Roast, Harry Bailey’s Hero Sandwich, Buffalo Gals Beef Stew, and more.
“I’ve known Karolyn for over 26 years and every time she is in town for a movie screening and discussion about the movie we have a blast,” says Dohanyos. “Her first visit to Detroit was something I arranged for Decades Nostalgia Store in Royal Oak in November of 1995. People were lined up for four blocks waiting in line in the cold just for a glimpse, to share heartwarming stories, and get a photo or autograph – some people were actually crying. I can’t tell you how many people brought in rose petals for her to sign.”
Dohanyos says the book is a “complete overhaul” of the first version of the book published in 1996 and includes more interviews with people from the movie, plus Frank Capra’s granddaughter, Donna Reed’s daughter, and others. It also has all-new stories and memories, trivia, and behind-the-scenes photos,
Grimes has been to Detroit many times for movie screenings and enjoys the city very much, she says, especially the Fisher Building. “I’ve always enjoyed Detroit and I hope to return someday soon. Folks there have always treated me very well and I now have some friends there from my many visits. People in the Midwest are the kindest people I’ve ever met – they have real heart.
“The new cookbook really captures that spirit, as it has many family favorite recipes and a ton of fun and memorable stories and photos. It’s fun to travel around the country with other actors from the film signing autographs. The movie will certainly live on forever.”
“Zuzu Bailey’s It’s a Wonderful Life Cookbook” is available here and at Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Hudson Booksellers, and other outlets.
Jeep Unveils Brand 2022 Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package
The Jeep brand of Stellantis in Auburn Hills unveiled the 2022 Wrangler Willys with the Xtreme Recon 35-inch tire package Thursday at the 2021 Detroit 4Fest.
Priced at $39,435 (plus $1,495 destination charge), the 2022 Jeep Wrangler Willys with the Xtreme Recon Package includes:
- LT315/70R17C (35-inch) BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tires
- 17-inch by 8-inch beadlock capable wheels
- Swing gate reinforcement
- 56:1 axle ratio
- 5-inch factory suspension lift with uniquely tuned shocks
- Anti-lock four-wheel-disc performance brakes
Fitted with a standard black grille, matte black Jeep badge, black Trail Rated badge, 4-Wheel Drive swing gate decal and Willys hood decal, the heritage-inspired Wrangler Willys brings a unique appearance to the Wrangler lineup, bolstered for 2022 with the available Xtreme Recon 35-inch tire package.
“The new Jeep Wrangler Willys with Xtreme Recon Package gives our passionate customers another great option for straight-from-the-factory 35-inch tires,” says Jim Morrison, vice president of Jeep Brand North America at Stellantis. “Named after the original Jeep utility vehicle, the Willys holds special meaning to the Jeep brand, and we’re excited to enhance the new Wrangler Willys with 35-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires.”
Customers can order the Xtreme Recon Package on the Jeep Wrangler Willys 3.6L eTorque starting in October. Production at the Toledo (Ohio) Assembly Plant will start in December.
GM Joint Venture Selects Honeywell Quality Control System for Battery Plant
Ultium Cells, a joint venture between General Motors Co. in Detroit LG Energy Solution, has selected Honeywell’s Quality Control System (QCS) to ensure the quality and integrity of the lithium-ion batteries produced at its new manufacturing plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
Due to be completed in 2022, the 2.8-million-square-foot factory will produce lithium-ion battery cells for GM electric vehicles ranging from Cadillac sedans to Hummers and will be one of the largest electric vehicle battery plants in the United States.
Honeywell’s QCS will deploy compact, high-precision scanners and basis weight sensors to serve as the quality control platform for four of the Lordstown plant’s production lines. Honeywell’s system will help Ultium Cells meet key quality requirements by measuring electrode coat weight, a key parameter in the production of battery cells. In addition, Honeywell’s modular platform and proven industry expertise will help Ultium Cells ensure long-term success by adapting new measurement and control technology as battery cell production requirements evolve.
“We chose Honeywell because of the company’s deep understanding of the lithium-ion battery sector and the fact its measurement and control technology is already being used in critical areas of manufacturing,” says Germanus Woo, planning director at Ultium Cells. “Given the depth of their knowledge, Honeywell is well positioned to offer us insights, helping us to increase productivity and profitability as we grow.”
For more information, visit here.
Eaton Introduces Zero-Leak Compact Combo Valve to Manage Harmful Fuel Vapors
The Vehicle Group of Eaton, the power management company based in Galesburg (east of Kalamazoo), has introduced a new zero-leak Compact Combo Valve that safely vents harmful evaporative fuel vapors in the tank by stacking a Fill Limit Vent Valve (FLVV) and a new Zero-Leak Grade Vent Valve (GVV).
A key benefit of the Compact Combo is reduced fuel vapor permeation. The smaller footprint of the stacked valves allows for a tighter seal when welded to the tank, in turn reducing permeation.
This configuration reduces the product’s footprint by 20 mm, which decreases potential leak paths and provides fuel tank manufacturers more design flexibility. The Zero-Leak GVV fulfills all government-mandated requirements for zero-leak vapor valves.
“Eaton’s world-class engineering teams are leading the way in developing innovative and highly efficient fuel vapor management products,” says Brian Contat, business unit director of fuel emissions for Eaton’s Vehicle Group. “As evaporative emissions reduction and vehicle standards become more stringent, Eaton’s fuel emissions products deliver a competitive advantage worldwide that helps our customers achieve or exceed upcoming emissions regulations.”
For more information, visit here.
Keystone Expands in Michigan, Signing Walled Lake’s Conner Insurance Group
Pennsylvania’s Keystone Insurers Group continued its expansion in the Great Lakes Region by signing on new Michigan agency, Conner Insurance Group of Walled Lake.
“Conner Insurance Group exemplifies Keystone’s core values,” says Aaron Vorce, Michigan state vice president for Keystone. “It is critical as we grow our footprint that we bring aboard like-minded agencies who believe in and support the independent agency system.
“Conner Insurance Group aligns perfectly with Keystone from that perspective. This agency is well respected in the Michigan insurance industry and couldn’t be a better fit for our strong lineup of Keystone agencies in the state. We look forward to a strong, mutually beneficial relationship.”
Jerry Conner, CEO of Conner Insurance Group, says, “In our efforts to write a new chapter, our agency got together to figure out what the next move would be. One could easily sell and just ride off into the sunset, but our mission and goal was to perpetuate to family from the beginning.
“Our question was how to advance the agency’s growth and compete with some of the larger agencies. After meeting with Aaron Vorce, we were convinced that with the support current Michigan agencies and Keystone bring to the table, it’s a win-win for both sides. So begins our new chapter.”
Detroit Community Wealth Fund Announces $2M Loan Fund for Ownership Transitions
The Detroit Community Wealth Fund has launched the Worker-Owned Detroit program and a $2 million loan fund in partnership with the Seed Commons, a national financial cooperative and with support from J.P. Morgan, to help Detroit area businesses transition to worker-ownership.
The Worker-Owned Detroit program addresses the dire state of small business retention in Detroit and Southeast Michigan. According to Project Equity, Baby Boomers own nearly half of all businesses in the Detroit Metro Region, accounting for more than 400,000 jobs. More than 85 percent of business owners do not have a succession plan in place, and many struggle to find a buyer when they are ready to exit.
The Worker-Owned Detroit program helps business owners transition their businesses to current employees, a smart option that can help owners secure the financial benefits of their investment and hard work while ensuring a fair market price and preserving their legacy.
Worker-Owned businesses, also known as worker-co-ops, offer shared ownership of the business to workers, typically one share per worker, which empowers workers with the rights and responsibilities of ownership, including participation in decision-making.
They can boost local economies and provide greater stability to communities and regions. Worker-Owned businesses are less likely to fail than traditional businesses, since they report higher worker satisfaction, and, according to the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives, on average pay higher wages and improve the quality of life for workers, particularly when owned and operated by people of color, immigrants, women, and other populations that lack access to reliable, quality work.
Detroit Community Wealth Fund makes the worker-ownership transition process possible by providing accessible financing for workers to buy business from owners without personal guarantees. It assists the transition to worker ownership by leading business feasibility studies to gauge financial and operational needs and by providing ongoing training, culture change support and education for employees on the cooperative business model.
“This program solves two challenges at once,” says Margo Dalal, executive director of the Detroit Community Wealth Fund. “We can address the need for small business retention while creating wealth-building opportunities for Detroiters.”
“Small business owners in the Detroit metro area who have built successful businesses and are ready to retire now have an opportunity to exit to their workers, creating a legacy. We provide the needed financing and technical assistance to make this possible.”
The first informational workshop session is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21. Interested parties can register to attend on Eventbrite. For more information, visit here.
American Advantage Home Care Pairs Job Fair with Trenton Office Opening Oct. 8
American Advantage Home Care, a Dearborn-based, full-service home health care agency, is opening its Trenton office with a job fair and ribbon cutting from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Oct. 8.
Applicants may be hired on the spot (1545 Kingsway Court, Suite 102 in Trenton) for full- and part-time positions, working in the Trenton and Detroit areas, Dearborn, and Oakland and Macomb counties.
“The new office and need for additional staffing are results of significant patient growth and indicators that growth is continuing,” says Cleamon Moorer, Jr., president of DBA. “Job fairs are an important recruiting tool as they attract talent of which we may not otherwise be aware. We are fortunate to be in an industry that can offer meaningful work with flexible schedules.”
Moorer says he is looking for registered and licensed practical nurses, home health aides, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, executive assistant, intake coordinator, and billing specialists. Arabic-speaking clinicians are needed in Dearborn.
Those attending the job fair should bring their resume and an ID card. Masks are required for entry. Those unable to attend can find more information here or by calling 844-469-2242, and apply online here.
The ribbon cutting for the new office will take place at noon.
Help the Red Wings Help Local Kids
The Detroit Red Wings are conducting a donation drive through today with proceeds directly helping kids through the Learn, Play, Score program.
The Learn, Play, Score program is a platform in partnership with the Red Wings, Detroit Red Wings Foundation, NHL, and NHLPA, and aims to expand access to the sport of hockey for more than 30,000 youth in Detroit. Donations will help these children attend a Red Wings game this season when many of them wouldn’t have the means to do so on their own.
All donations are tax deductible and can result in unique game-day experiences like a Zamboni ride, watching warm-ups from the penalty box, and scoreboard recognition.
For more information and to donate, visit here.
American Cancer Society Hosting Detroit Discovery Ball Nov. 12
The American Cancer Society in Southfield will host a live immersive event, the Detroit Discovery Ball, celebrating the courage and determination of individuals touched by cancer and those hustling to find its cure on Friday, Nov. 12.
Led by co-chairs Karen and Matt Cullen, Mary and Tom Shafer, and new vice Jason Roycht, the ball will raise funds for life-saving cancer research, advocacy, patient programs, and services. A portion of this year’s proceeds will go directly toward the Michigan Cancer Research Fund, supporting the work of local researchers.
Presented by Huntington Bank and Lineage Logistics, the event features a VIP reception, strolling supper, entertainment by NUCLASSICA and both a silent and live auction, which includes among others, a one-of-a-kind vehicle in partnership with a local artist.
The Detroit Discovery Ball will take place at Detroit’s historic Eastern Market in Shed 3 from 6:30-10:30 p.m. Nov. 12. Tickets are on sale here for $250 and are all inclusive. The dress is creative black tie or city chic. All appropriate health and safety precautions including proof of COVID vaccination will be in place.
The evening is emceed by Detroit radio personality Bill McAllister and features special guest Nicole Curtis of HGTV’s “Rehab Addict.”
The Detroit Discovery Ball replaced the Cattle Baron’s Ball in 2020 as Detroit’s premier American Cancer Society fundraising event. Close to $20 million has been raised in 19 years.