DBusiness Daily Update: Kidney Ball Returns April 2 at MotorCity Casino Hotel, and More

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.
Frank Venegas Jr., Laurie Sall, and Deborah and Loren Venegas at the 2019 Kidney Ball. // File Photo
Frank Venegas Jr., Laurie Sall, and Deborah and Loren Venegas at the 2019 Kidney Ball. // File Photo

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.

Kidney Ball Returns April 2 at MotorCity Casino Hotel

The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan’s Kidney Ball returns at 6 p.m. on April 2 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel in downtown Detroit.

Billed as “the most fun black-tie event in metro Detroit, the fundraiser hosts hundreds of area business, health care, and philanthropic leaders to support the NKFM’s many programs and services for preventing kidney disease and helping the more than 1 million Michigan residents living with it. The group expects to raise $375,000.

The evening features an open bar with drinks and appetizers, live/silent auctions, dinner, and dancing.

Dinner at 7:30 p.m. is followed by a short program and the live auction. This year’s live auction offerings include a private chef’s dinner for eight at Iridescence, a dinner cruise on a 70-foot yacht, a Detroit Tigers Opening Day/Season Tickets package, and much more.

Afterward, there will be a late-night coney dog station and dancing in the Sound Board to the band, 50 Amp Fuse.

“We’re so happy to be back in-person at the Kidney Ball,” says Linda Smith-Wheelock, president and CEO of the NKFM. “We have missed seeing all our wonderful supporters and celebrating the programs and services that we offer across the state. The pandemic continues to highlight the health disparities in our communities, and we are doing all we can to meet those challenges with our long-term kidney disease plan.”

Co-chairing the Kidney Ball are Dr. John Magee, professor of surgery, section head of transplant surgery, and director of the University of Michigan Transplant Center; Scott LaRiche, executive manager and vice president at Lou LaRiche Chevrolet; and Loren Venegas, president of the IDEAL Group.

Major sponsors include the Michigan Medicine/U-M Transplant Center, Meijer, Loren and Deb Venegas, the Artichoke Garlic Foundation, CareDX, Fresenius Kidney Care, General RV Center, Henry Ford Transplant Institute, Print-Tech, Molson Coors, MotorCity Casino, Natera, and VTC Insurance Group.

Tickets for the Kidney Ball are $350 per guest and are available here or by calling the NKFM at 800-482-1455.

Lansing Shuffle Food Hall & Social Club Announces Three Restaurant Partners

Lansing Shuffle Food Hall & Social Club, the new food hall dining space and entertainment complex that will take the space of the former Lansing City Market at 325 Riverfront Dr. in downtown Lansing, has announced its first three restaurant partners.

Browndog, Osteria Vegana, and Yeti Kitchen will be up and running when Lansing Shuffle opens its doors to guests later this summer.

“We’re thrilled to introduce our first three restaurant partners to the greater Lansing community,” says Jonathon Hartzell, managing partner of Lansing Shuffle. “We’re excited for our guests to have the opportunity to try some incredible flavors and cuisines, and we look forward to the possibility of adding a Latin- or Asian-inspired experience as well. We’re very happy with this lineup — and more to come.”

For its first three restaurants, Lansing Shuffle is focused on bringing established businesses that feature an emphasis on authentic and distinctive food experiences.

Browndog partners Brian Scherle and Paul Gabriel already operate a business in Northville and will be bringing their small-batch ice cream, burgers, fries, and upgraded Americana to Lansing. Their new location within Lansing Shuffle will expand their offerings and introduce boozy milkshakes to the riverfront.

Osteria Vegana is the self-proclaimed “world’s first vegan Italian restaurant” — a vegan menu that doesn’t sacrifice taste or comfort — offering vegan diners in Lansing clean eating and fresh juices, vegetables, and home-cooked Italian dishes. Chef Gianmarco Roselli is a native Detroiter by way of Rome, having learned to cook the world over, applying his vegan and health-conscious spin to traditional recipes. Roselli will be introducing his organic gourmet menu as the future of Italian fare, featuring main dishes like Gnocchi Alla Mucca, Pasta Capranese, and Rapini and Spinaci.

Yeti Kitchen is a new micro-kitchen concept by Chef Lama of Detroit Shipping Co.’s Momo Cha, and his 25 years of experience in cooking Nepalese and Indian foods. Traditional and hybrid versions of Nepali street food will be offered — from Momos and Sesame Gobi to Chef Lama’s Signature Butter Chicken Bowl. Aloo Tikki Sliders are served with a spicy raita-ranch for a wonderful introduction to the delicious yet unassuming flavors of Himalayan comfort food.

The 14,000-square-foot multifaceted complex will feature a total of seven restaurants, a large dining hall, two full-service bars, riverfront exterior patio, and stage with a shuffleboard pavilion. The food hall and shuffleboard venue is expected to be completed by summer.

For more information, visit here.

ASE and Three Sixty Safety Partner to Bring Training to ASE Members

ASE in Troy has partnered with Three Sixty Safety to bring workplace safety consulting and training services to ASE members.

Through this partnership ASE is able to enhance its safety offerings through a third party, Three Sixty Safety, which employs highly credentialed safety managers.

Through years of experience, Three Sixty Safety has developed a hands-on, boots-on-the-ground proprietary system for managing the cost and on-site execution of an organization’s safety program.

“ASE is very pleased to welcome Three Sixty Safety as our newest partner,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and stated ASE President and CEO. “They will bring much value to our members in their efforts to provide a safe and compliant worksite for their employees,”

Through this partnership, ASE will offer safety webinars; peer-to-peer discussions; a member-exclusive, discounted Mock OSHA Audit; discounted Three Sixty Safety Certification Program; and more.

“Three Sixty Safety is extremely excited to be partnering with ASE,” says Jeff Mattes, CEO of Three Sixty Safety. “We believe this partnership will provide employee safety and OSHA compliance expertise to ASE members and ASE resources to Three Sixty Safety clients.”

For more information, visit here.

Priority Health Expanding Access to Care for Detroit Medicare Advantage Members

Priority Health has partnered with Dedicated Senior Medical Center, a subsidiary of ChenMed, to expand access to care for members in the metro Detroit area.

Effective immediately, Priority Health Medicare Advantage members can select Dedicated Senior Medical Center’s providers as their assigned primary care provider and have access to six facilities in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties.

The Dedicated Senior Medical Centers offer a full range of primary care services to seniors, including preventive care, diagnostic services, chronic condition management, behavioral health support, and more.

By expanding access to care and medical services for its Medicare Advantage members, Priority Health says it aims to improve health outcomes and lower the cost of care for members. The two companies have entered into a value-based agreement in which provider payments will be directly tied to patient health outcomes. Part of this work will also focus on identifying and addressing underlying social factors that may be negatively impacting access to care, like transportation or housing.

As part of the agreement, Priority Health Medicare Advantage members now have access to the following Dedicated locations in metro Detroit:

  • 6150 Cadieux Road in Detroit.
  • 20001 W. Seven Mile Road in Detroit
  • 13210 E. Jefferson in Detroit
  • 21811 Kelly Road in Eastpointe
  • 1921 E. Eight Mile Road in Warren
  • 21832 W. 11 Mile Road in Southfield

“Our physicians provide seniors with affordable, award-winning VIP care that delivers better health outcomes, including 35 percent fewer ER visits and 51 percent fewer hospitalizations,” says Catalina Rodriguez-Edwards, Michigan division president for ChenMed. “We are honored to collaborate with a like-minded partner like Priority Health and be a provider of choice for their Medicare Advantage members seeking personalized primary care.”

For more information, visit here.

State Offers New Grant Opportunity for Businesses

The Growing MI Business Grant Program is an initiative of the state of Michigan to distribute up to $409 Million of its federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to eligible businesses.

The program will support businesses as defined by Public Act 132 of 2021 and is available through 11:59 p.m. March 31.

More information and applications can be found here.

Philanthropist Gilbert Hudson Dies at Age 87

Gilbert Hudson, former president and CEO of Hudson-Webber Foundation, passed away peacefully in his Florida home with family on Feb. 24.  He was 87 years old.

Hudson was born in Buffalo, N.Y. on Aug. 16, 1934. After graduating from Yale University in 1956, followed by two years of service in the U.S. Air Force, he relocated to the Detroit area to work at the J.L. Hudson Co., whose founder was his great uncle. In 1973, Hudson was asked to lead three family foundations that merged in 1984 to become the Hudson-Webber Foundation. He led the foundation until his retirement in 1999, and continued his service as chair of the board until 2005, and as a trustee until the time of his death.

Hudson married Anne Rouse Hudson in 1957, who preceded him in death. He is survived by the couple’s three children, seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and his partner of twelve years, Anne LaSalle.

Hudson provided counsel to numerous community organizations, with long-standing dedication to Council of Michigan Foundations, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, and United Way for Southeastern Michigan, to name a few. Throughout his life, Hudson was committed to inclusive revitalization, economic recovery, and quality of life for the citizens of Detroit.

A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. on May 14 at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church, 16 Lakeshore Drive in Grosse Pointe Farms.

In accordance with the family’s wishes, memorial gifts in Gilbert Hudson’s name can be made in any amount to Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and to Grosse Pointe Memorial Church.

Michigan Cannabis Retailer Partners with Homeless Shelters

New Standard, a cannabis retailer with eight locations across Michigan, is partnering with four shelters throughout March to help provide homeless community members with warming essentials.

In addition, New Standard is donating $1 from sales of its Beaverton Farms pre-rolls from Feb. 21 through March 31 to benefit each shelter.

Partnering shelters include Lighthouse of MI, Washtenaw Shelter Association, Muskegon Rescue Mission, and Christian Neighbors of Douglas. Each location will have a dedicated donation area inviting the community to drop off new hats, gloves, sweatpants, or socks to help those in need within reach of the communities New Standard serves. For every donation made, shoppers will receive a 10 percent discount on their purchase that day.

New Standard staff and leadership will all contribute donations throughout the month, collecting these essential winter items.

“It is important to us to provide creative ways for our customers and our communities to give back,” says Howard Luckoff, co-founder and CEO of New Standard. “Each of these shelters serves a community in the neighborhoods we serve. We are honored to be able to partner with them to not only give back but also raise awareness of the important work that shelters and emergency food service agencies do.

“We hope to see many people stopping in to drop off donations at our locations. We will also have information about each of the local shelters on hand and hope that you’ll learn about more ways to give back.”

For more information, visit here.

LEE Group Hosts 8th Annual Small Business Workshop Virtually

The LEE Group is conducting its eighth annual Small Business Workshop virtually in May and June.

This year the workshop is free, carries the theme of “The Future is Now: The Roadmap to Recovery,” and is presented by Fifth Third Bank.

The purpose of this year’s workshop is to focus on re-establishing a strong foundation, strengthening the small business core with an eye toward the future. The objective is to identify practical solutions businesses need to prepare for a post-COVID-19 world.

Attendees will hear from business experts, entrepreneurs, and community leaders who will discuss practical solutions businesses need to continue to navigate the pandemic while preparing and focusing on the road-to-recovery.

The workshop begins at 10 a.m. on May 11, May 18, May 25, and June 1. Visit here for more information and to register.

SubSummit Launches 2022 Startup Scholarship Program

SubSummit, the world’s largest direct-to-consumer subscription conference, announced its first Startup Scholarship Program and revealed the first round of speakers for this year’s Startup and Early-Stage Track.

The Startup Scholarship Program provides early-stage businesses the opportunity to learn, engage and leverage tools available through SubSummit’s network of trusted vendors, members, and peers. SubSummit has invested more than $320,000 in subscription brands, and aims to help even more up-and-coming subscription entrepreneurs pursue their passions this year.

In advance of SubSummit 2022, which takes place in Orlando June 1-3, interested applicants are encouraged to apply here. Applications are due March 31 at 11:59 p.m. Selected winners will be alerted by April 7. Scholarship recipients will receive one SubSummit ticket, hotel accommodations, and airfare reimbursement. The total package is valued at more than $2,900.

Eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Must have less than 1,000 subscribers.
  • Be a merchant in the direct-to-consumer subscription space.
  • Have identified a growth strategy and believe SubSummit is a catalyst for that growth.
  • Have not previously raised funding for the subscription business.

This year, SubSummit will feature a track room dedicated to those who are looking to grow out of the startup and early-stage phase. Attendees who belong in those verticals will learn from and connect with fellow subscription professionals who know what it takes to succeed in the industry. To date, the 2022 Startup and Early-Stage Track speakers presenting at SubSummit 2022 include:

  • Jessica Principe, founder and CEO of All Girl Shave Club
  • Julie Ball, founder and CEO of Sparkle Hustle Grow
  • Sarah Williams, founder of Launch Your Box
  • Eric Musick, co-founder of Louis and Léa, and host of “The Subscription Box Show”

Tickets for the SubSummit can be purchased here. Sponsorships are available here.

Furniture Bank Sees 60% Surge in Need, Requests Donations

The Furniture Bank of Southeastern Michigan in Pontiac is experiencing a 60 percent year-over-year increase in requests for furniture from local families.

Currently, more than 150 families who are either in poverty, transitioning from homelessness, or working with child protective services need of furniture to build new lives.

“We are in desperate need of the very basics — mattresses, dressers, sofas, dining sets — and are encouraging anyone living in Oakland, Wayne, or Macomb (counties) to donate immediately,” says Robert Boyle, executive director of the Furniture Bank. “The families who come to us can’t afford to purchase these items at retail or resale and still afford food, rent, and utilities.

“With the end of the eviction moratorium, the terrible floods and so many families being resettled, we’re just seeing remarkably high numbers. This is even more concerning because our referral volumes always increase in the spring, so we’re anticipating an even greater spike in coming weeks.”

Those interested in making a tax-deductible furniture donation can call 248-332-1300 or visit here. The Furniture Bank makes donating furniture easy and will take items from the porch or garage at no charge. For only $50, trained movers will carefully remove pieces such as mattresses, box springs, dressers, dining sets, and basic living room furniture from a home. The Furniture Bank also will remove items such as china cabinets, desks, and armoires for a modest charge.

Matchups Set for Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic

The Detroit Sports Commission has announced the matchups for the 17th annual Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic to be played Aug. 25-27 at Tom Adams Field on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit.

The 2022 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic will kick-off the high school football campaign as the premier season-opening high school football showcase in Michigan. Six games will highlight the event over three days, including teams from multiple divisions and powerhouse conferences.

“The Detroit Sports Commission is proud to once again kick off the high school football season in Michigan with an exciting lineup of games at a great setting in the heart of Midtown Detroit,” says Marty Dobek, deputy director of the Detroit Sports Commission. “The 2022 event will feature a tremendous collection of high school football teams from the state and also include the colorful pageantry of bands and cheerleaders for fans to experience at this annual signature event in the city of Detroit.”

The Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic will open at 4 p.m. on Aug. 25, with the lid-lifter between Birmingham Brother Rice and Macomb Dakota. Sterling Heights Stevenson will face off with West Bloomfield at 7 p.m. On Friday, Aug. 26, Allen Park will play Downriver League rival Wyandotte Roosevelt at 4 p.m., followed by Belleville vs. Novi at 7 p.m. On the final day, Dexter will open against Grosse Pointe South at 1 p.m., followed by River Rouge vs. Cedar Springs in the event finale at 4 p.m.

For the sixth year, Detroit-based Xenith returns as the classic’s title sponsor. Xenith is known for offering football players, parents, and teams the best value and protection through better fitting, more durable football equipment, all-inclusive helmet reconditioning, and transparent pricing solutions for coaches.

“Xenith is thrilled to be back as the title sponsor of the Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic,” says Abby Jacobs, director of strategic partnerships at Xenith. “The Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic marks the beginning of our favorite time of the year, and we’re proud to continue our support of the Detroit Sports Commission and the local prep football community during this weekend celebration of gridiron action.”

Tickets will be available at a later date online at detroitsports.org, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting each school.

Students from Sanilac, Plymouth-Canton Win ProStart Competition

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association Educational Foundation (MRLAEF) will send the culinary team from Sanilac Career Center in Peck (northwest of Port Huron) and the management team from Plymouth-Canton Educational Park in Canton Township to compete against teams from across the country at the National ProStart Invitational in Washington, D.C., May 6-8.

Both teams were awarded first place in their respective disciplines at the Michigan ProStart Competition on Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West in Lansing.

A total of 31 teams representing 12 career and technical centers from across Michigan competed at the Michigan ProStart Competition, an annual culinary and management competition hosted by the MRLAEF. Student teams competed in Culinary, Management, Knife Skills, Nutrition Discipline, Tabletop Design, and the ServeSafe Knowledge Bowl, and were judged by top industry professionals as well as leading college and university instructors who observed and rated all portions of the competition.

“It is both encouraging and exciting to witness the hundreds of students who arrive to compete for ProStart, showcasing their talents and motivations — ready to demonstrate their passion for the hospitality industry,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA. “We’re proud that this technical program can help teach and grow these eager individuals and point them in the proper direction both for their future and the future of the industry.”

The top teams shared in more than $100,000 in scholarships to help the students pursue careers in the foodservice industry.

DIA Adds Six Photographs by Metro Detroiters to Permanent Collection

As part of the Detroit Institute of Art’s commitment to expand the collection with diverse works, the museum has acquired six photographs by Black photographers from metro Detroit.

These photographs are currently on view in the exhibition “The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion in the New Gazes – Detroit section,” which was co-curated by Bre’Ann White and DIA Curator of Photography Nancy Barr.

The six photographers all have established reputations in the Detroit community and beyond. Together, they bring greater visibility to Black culture and history as inspired by Detroiters.

The works include:

  • Untitled (Detroit), ca. 2020, Justin Milhouse, American; pigment print.
  • “Down the Street from Peace,” 2019, Ray “Trilogybeats” Rogers, American; pigment print.
  • “Dapper Hop,” ca. 2020, Corey Turner, American; pigment print.
  • “For the Black men my love cannot protect, you are radiant…,” 2020, Mishira Davis, American; pigment print.
  • Untitled (Black Man), ca. 2020, Christian Najjar, American; pigment print.
  • “Freedom I, 2020,” Bre’ Ann White, American; pigment print.