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.
Jay Feldman, Mark Wahlberg Open Fifth Ohio Dealership
Local car dealer Jay Feldman and actor Mark Wahlberg have opened their fifth Ohio dealership. The latest location is in the Cleveland suburb of Avon.
The Avon store is located on 10.5 acres with 38,000 square feet of showroom, service, and parts space. The location is equipped with 20 service bays.
“Having five dealerships in Ohio gives us the opportunity to provide consumers with a consistent sales and service experience and a huge product inventory,” says Feldman, who owns 15 dealerships in Michigan and Ohio. “We’ll be able to provide our Ohio customers even more brand choices at the lowest prices with this new location.”
In August 2020, Wahlberg added a Chevrolet store in Worthington, Ohio, a Columbus suburb. A month earlier, Wahlberg and Feldman launched Mark Wahlberg Buick GMC and Mark Wahlberg Airstream and RV to go along with their 2018 inaugural location, Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet. All three Columbus dealerships are on West Broad Street.
A grand opening celebration took place Wednesday with free cheeseburgers from the Wahlburgers food truck and special giveaways.
For information, visit here.
LunchboxWax Opens First Michigan Location in Troy
Idaho-based LunchboxWax, a full-service speed-waxing salon, has opened a location in the Troy Marketplace Shopping Center at 800 East Big Beaver Rd.
The new salon is locally owned by multi-brand operator and Michigan native, Jamie Scott. In addition to LunchboxWax, Scott owns multiple Two Men and a Truck locations in suburban Detroit with her husband. With more than 20 years of operational expertise under her belt, Scott says she is eager to make the shift from moving furniture to removing hair.
The Troy location will offer a waxing special allowing guests to buy a series of five waxing treatments and receive two free.
Following the opening of the Troy salon, Scott has plans to develop four more LunchboxWax locations throughout metro Detroit.
“After experiencing the refreshing culture at LunchboxWax for myself, I was instantly inspired by the brand’s impeccable customer service experience,” says Scott. “This led me to the decision to open not just one, but five salon locations in my home state.”
The Troy LunchboxWax salon will offer a full range of hair removal services from top to toes, bottoms to brows and cheeks to chest. Using its proprietary three-step speed-waxing process, LunchboxWax has a “soft wax” technique that is more effective and less painful than traditional waxing.
“Jamie’s passion for placing high emphasis on the well-being of her clients and employees aligns flawlessly with our values as a brand,” says Christo Demetriades, COO of LunchboxWax. “Her enthusiasm for excellent customer care and impressive business ownership background makes her the perfect person to be leading the charge in Troy. We are excited for the brand to be expanding into a new territory and look forward to supporting Jamie as she opens four additional salons throughout Michigan.”
The brand’s investment along with support from an executive team with extensive salon and franchise experience is designed to attract individuals who are passionate about providing exceptional customer service, working as a team, the desire to grow and learn within the brand and being involved in the local community.
For more information, visit here.
Foley and Lardner Announces Partnership with Boys and Girls Club
The Milwaukee-based Foley & Lardner international law firm, which has an office in Detroit, has signed a national partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America supporting the youth development organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Foley is the first law firm to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America on a national scale.
Foley and Boys & Girls Clubs plan to elevate the message of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and activate the potential of kids, clubs, and communities to build more inclusive and equitable futures.
“As the nation’s leading youth development organization, our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is deeply ingrained in our mission and is critical to empowering youth to realize their full potential,” says H. Walker, diversity equity, and inclusion officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “This new partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Foley & Lardner further emphasizes this important work, and will enable our organization to drive greater impact in the lives of youth across the country.”
The national partnership is expected to build on and continue the work that Foley and Boys & Girls Clubs have been doing regionally together for the last few years.
“We look forward to expanding our work with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the kids they serve,” says Jay O. Rothman, chairman and CEO of Foley & Lardner. “The work Boys & Girls Clubs of America does every day is part of the change needed to provide equitable opportunity to all. The partnership fits seamlessly with Foley’s culture and mission. We are proud to support a program that completely complements Foley’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
In addition to the direct work with the children, Foley also engages in pro bono work for Boys & Girls Clubs on legal matters, including human resources and employment, real estate, and corporate nonprofit issues that allow local clubs to offer more programs to a broader range of children.
Registration Open for Friendship Circle’s Annual Walk4Friendship Event
Friendship Circle, a West Bloomfield Township-based nonprofit that supports individuals with special needs and those struggling with isolation, addiction, and other family related crises, has opened registration for its 16th annual Walk4Friendship event.
Walk4Friendship is a mile-long family walk that raises crucial funds and community awareness for Friendship Circle and the individuals and families the organization supports. The walk will take place on Sunday, Aug. 29 at Friendship Circle’s West Bloomfield campus (6892 W. Maple Rd.)
Those interested in walking for friendship can register for the event here.
Friendship Circle provides support to 3,000 individuals with special needs by providing recreational, social, educational, and vocational programming. Fundraisers like Walk4Friendship are critical for raising funds and awareness that will enable Friendship Circle to continue its mission for many years to come.
This year’s Walk4Friendship theme is “You Belong.”
Gage Growth Corp and Khalifa Kush Announce Partnership
Gage Growth Corp., a leading cannabis brand and operator in Michigan, announced its exclusive partnership agreement with multi-platinum-selling, GRAMMY Award and Golden Globe Award-nominated recording artist Wiz Khalifa’s brand, Khalifa Kush, to develop and launch a line of premium cannabis products in the state of Michigan.
Through this partnership, Gage will be the exclusive producer, processor, and retailer of KK branded products in Michigan. Gage and KK will work to develop and commercialize a product lineup that includes flower, pre-rolls, extracts, and concentrates that will be sold at Gage provisioning centers.
“We are excited to partner with Gage for our first expansion into the Midwest, and to finally release KK to my fans in Michigan,” says Khalifa. “From day one of Khalifa Kush, we have only partnered with people we align with, who focus on customer and quality over everything, and Gage is one of the best.”
Airspace Link to Enable Drone Delivery Test in California
Airspace Link, Inc., announced it will oversee the testing of the safe integration of drones into the City of Ontario, California beginning this July.
Airspace Link will team up with Virginia-based drone delivery services provider DroneUp and the city of Ontario to showcase the digital infrastructure between the New Haven neighborhood, located within the Ontario Ranch development and its nearby New Haven Marketplace. This digital infrastructure will enable safe, advanced, and scalable drone delivery options for a variety of products.
Airspace Link CEO Michael Healander says Ontario will serve as a test bed for future connected communities — those which will one day receive other drone delivery services such as water meter readings, safety reports and on-demand pharmaceutical delivery.
“We are pleased to see the leadership in Ontario ensure their community has the right safety procedures in place and is ready to support advanced commercial drone operations,” says Healander. “Brookfield Properties recognizes a need for greater connectivity and convenience with residential homes and populations migrating out of downtown urban environments and into more rural and suburban environments.”
Following the launch in Ontario, Airspace Link will implement a full operational strategy for routine deliveries with various drone companies, providing an alternative option to traditional ground transportation that is faster, more economical, and more sustainable.
HealthBridge Partners with Bronson Healthcare to Improve Patient Financial Wellbeing
HealthBridge Financial Inc., a financial security solution company in Grand Rapids, announced that Kalamazoo-based Bronson Healthcare has joined the HealthBridge Provider Network. HealthBridge Members will soon have a new way to pay for and manage their out-of-pocket payments when receiving care at any Bronson location in southwest Michigan.
“We know that when patients are unsure of how they will afford medical costs under today’s high deductible plans, they delay care – which hinders early diagnosis and treatment. This ultimately increases costs for everyone in the healthcare ecosystem and negatively impacts a patient’s health,” says Gregory VandenBosch, HealthBridge co-founder and CEO. “Bronson Healthcare is a forward-thinking, nationally recognized health system, and we are excited by the opportunity to work with them to improve both access and the overall financial experience for patients in the Kalamazoo area.”
Founded in 2016 by a team of industry experts, the HealthBridge solution complements an employer’s high deductible health plan, helping covered participants manage and pay for out-of-pocket medical costs. It is estimated that two/thirds of Americans skip needed healthcare due to the high cost of care and not having money saved for emergent healthcare needs.
“HealthBridge will help make the payment process easier for patients and provide them with more options than they had before, including extended payment options,” says Becky East, senior vice president and CFO for Bronson Healthcare. “We hope the financial security this service provides will give our patients confidence to seek care when they need it.”
UWM to Ring Closing Bell at New York Stock Exchange for National Mortgage Brokers Day
UWM Holdings Corporation, the publicly traded indirect parent of United Wholesale Mortgage (UWM), the #1 wholesale and purchase mortgage lender in the America, announced July 7 it will bring 75 independent mortgage brokers to the New York Stock Exchange and ring the closing bell on July 21, 2021 in celebration of National Mortgage Brokers Day.
“Mortgage brokers make a profound impact on borrowers across America every day,” says Mat Ishbia chairman and CEO of UWMC. “The personal service, immense savings, exceptional speed and ease with which they close loans is astounding. Their ability to make dreams a reality for consumers is why we will dedicate time to celebrate them later this month at the New York Stock Exchange.”
National Mortgage Brokers Day is an annual celebration of independent mortgage brokers across the country, established by the Association of Independent Mortgage Experts (AIME) and celebrated each year on July 18. UWM has been a passionate advocate of independent mortgage brokers who save borrowers an average of $3,700 on their mortgage costs.