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.
J.D. Power and JM&A Group Form Dealer Services Alliance
J.D. Power, the Troy-based data analytics and consumer intelligence company, and Florida’s JM&A Group, which provides automotive finance and insurance (F&I) products and other services to dealers, have announced an alliance to develop jointly branded F&I products.
Focused initially on a suite of warranties and service contracts designed to support the growth of vehicle sales, the two companies also will offer F&I training and certification programs and collaborate on data and analytics projects leveraging their collective industry insights.
“It was important to J.D. Power to work with a group of experts that not only know the F&I space, but also have a reputation for service and integrity that would be aligned with J.D. Power’s reputation as a voice for the customer,” says Dan Chait, president of JM&A Group. “We are honored to be the only F&I company to be aligned with J.D. Power to produce unique products and services with a consumer-centric approach.”
Together, the brands will create and release protection products, including a certified pre-owned program, limited warranties, and maintenance and service contracts, designed to inspire confidence for buyers and dealers alike. Expected to plug seamlessly into existing auto dealer F&I workflows for both online and in-person transactions, these warranty and protection products will be offered through dealers nationwide.
“As the industry continues to evolve and dealers focus on a customer-first approach, quickly creating trust becomes paramount to success,” Chait says. “This alliance perfectly positions our dealers to enhance their performance in-store as well as online by building trust in the F&I products and process they present to customers.”
To help dealers improve their F&I, the two companies also will offer select F&I training and certification opportunities through the JM&A Performance Development Center. Additionally, J.D. Power and JM&A Group will be pooling their collective vehicle and customer intelligence data, assembled over a combined 100 years of auto industry experience, to design new products and services for the industry.
“At J.D. Power, our goal is to help shoppers make better purchase decisions,” says Chris Sutton, vice president of automotive retail at J.D. Power. “The F&I process can be daunting for many consumers. We believe that our collaborative product design on co-branded products with JM&A Group will add value by showing consumers that the dealer’s F&I programs meet J.D. Power’s high standards.”
St. Croix Hospice Acquires Troy’s CNS Hospice
St. Croix Hospice, a large Midwest hospice care company, has acquired CNS Hospice in Troy for an undisclosed amount. This marks the first St. Croix Hospice branch in Michigan, the eighth state in which St. Croix Hospice has facilities.
CNS Hospice clinical staff joins the St. Croix Hospice team to serve patients at home, in senior living facilities, and in nursing homes.
“We’re excited to broaden our ability to serve patients and their families by opening our first location in Michigan,” says Heath Bartness, CEO of St. Croix Hospice. “The CNS Hospice team is a welcome addition to the St. Croix Hospice family. They know the community well and are aligned with our agency commitment to offer outstanding care for local patients and families.”
St. Croix Hospice specializes exclusively in hospice with a care model tailored to the needs of hospice patients and their families. Local care teams see patients wherever they call home, including private residences, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. St. Croix Hospice teams say they take pride in partnering with families and community providers to ensure a dignified end-of-life transition.
St. Croix Hospice also has branches in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin.
For more information, visit here.
Good Day Selfie Museum Opening in Ferndale
Local entrepreneur Catherine Tolbert-Wilson is opening a 3,000-square-foot selfie photo studio in Ferndale called the Good Day Selfie Museum with a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. July 15.
Good Day Selfie Museum at 22742 Woodward Ave. is an immersive self-serve photography studio featuring more than 20 interactive exhibits and photo opportunities where friends and family can get together and take photos or videos.
Tolbert-Wilson, 22, is a Ferndale High School product and recent graduate of Central Michigan University. She is using her interior design degree with a minor in business administration to open the operation. She personally designed and curated each of the interactive exhibits, one of which is a 360° photo booth, with a camera that rotates around guests, creating dramatic effects.
For more information, visit here.
JVS Human Services Offers Janitorial Training for People with Disabilities
A paid janitorial training program for metro Detroiters with disabilities and other barriers to employment, operated by JVS Human Services in Southfield, is providing local businesses with specialized cleaning skills essential during the pandemic.
At the same time, lives of participants in the eight-week program have been changed forever, with graduates gaining the ability to work part-time or full-time in a variety of facilities once the course is completed, ranging from hospitals and retail outlets to sports arenas, offices, apartment buildings, and government buildings.
To qualify for the program, participants need to have an open case with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) or the Veterans Administration (VA), to be referred for training from these organizations.
During the course, which runs five days-a-week and is paid at minimum wage, participants learn skills including: how to measure and mix chemicals, the correct sequential order of cleaning rooms, how to restock supplies, safety measures, how to follow a cleaning route, timeliness and how to use floor care machines such as scrubbers and buffers. In addition to deep cleaning and sanitizing techniques, trainees also learn interpersonal skills to help them interact appropriately with people if they are cleaning around them, for example in an office or hospital.
Typically, starting wages for janitorial jobs is $10-$15/hour, and while most of the jobs are part-time and do not include benefits, many participants will retain their disability benefits; and workers employed in hospitals are often full time and have benefits.
For more information, email Danita Love-Carter at email@example.com.
Marathon Introduces ‘Fueling Detroit’ Event Series
Marathon Petroleum Co.’s (MPC) Detroit refinery is adding a new series of community events to its list of local giving and investments in zip code 48217. The series begins July 9 with a walk-up “drive-in” movie.
MPC looks to further engage with 48217 residents, making the Kemeny Recreation Center the connection point.
“We have been a part of the southwest Detroit community for more than 60 years, and we’re looking forward to establishing new relationships and deepening existing ones within the community,” says Dave Leaver, general manager of the refinery. “We’re excited to bring fun and educational events to our neighbors in 48217 and further respond to community needs on a large scale.”
Fueling Detroit programs will focus on bringing family fun and resources to the community at monthly events starting in July through October. All events will include free food from local vendors, PPE at the door, while supplies last, and family friendly entertainment.
The inaugural Fueling Detroit event features “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” on July 9. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the first 50 in line will receive a free lawn chair for the event. Spider-Man activity books will be given to all kids who attend. Due to a maximum capacity of 200, attendees are asked to pre-register for the event here to guarantee their spot.
Families will be able to social distance on the field during the movie. Light refreshments will be provided.
Future Fueling Detroit events include:
- Farmers Market, Aug. 14
- Back to School Blitz, Sept. 11
- Health & Harvest Fest, Oct. 9:
SpartanNash Foundation, Store Customers Raise $243K+ for Special Olympics
The SpartanNash Foundation in Grand Rapids has donated of $243,750 to Special Olympics to advance support and inclusion programs for people with intellectual disabilities. The donation will support Special Olympics athletes and the Summer Games in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
From May 5-18, customers at SpartanNash stores were invited to donate $1, $5, or $10 or round up at any checkout lane or online through Fast Lane at participating stores.
“SpartanNash has been a wonderful partner to Special Olympics Michigan for so many years,” says Tim Hileman, president and CEO of Special Olympics Michigan. “When our athletes return to fields for Summer Games, it will be because of the financial support of the SpartanNash community. I know all of the associates will be cheering them on.
“The 2021 Summer Games will mark the first large in-person event for Special Olympics Michigan athletes in over one and a half years. This would not be possible without the incredible support of SpartanNash.”
Since 1985, SpartanNash and the SpartanNash Foundation have donated more than $9.7 million and thousands of volunteer hours through their partnership with Special Olympics. SpartanNash has been the Presenting Sponsor of the Special Olympics Michigan Summer Games since 1985 and the Minnesota Summer Games since 2003.
“SpartanNash is a proud employer and supporter of the talented Special Olympics athletes who have shown incredible perseverance and determination to achieve their goals in spite of the challenges they faced during the pandemic,” says Adrienne Chance, vice president of communications for SpartanNash and executive director of the SpartanNash Foundation. “Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in our workplace and communities continues to be a key focus for SpartanNash and the foundation.”
To learn more about the SpartanNash Foundation, visit here.