DBusiness Daily Update: LIGHT UP Livernois Celebration of Detroit’s Creative and Cultural Arts Coming July 6, 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.
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LIGHT UP Livernois is designed to showcase the city's rich contribution to the local economy and emphasizes neighborhood economic empowerment supporting small businesses. // Photo courtesy of LIGHT UP Livernois

LIGHT UP Livernois Celebration of Detroit’s Creative and Cultural Arts Coming July 6

LIGHT UP Livernois, a one-day festival that highlights Detroit’s vibrant creative and cultural arts scene, is being presented by Amazon on July 6 from noon-8 p.m. along Livernois Avenue, between Six and Eight Mile roads.

The event showcases the city’s rich contribution to the local economy and emphasizes neighborhood economic empowerment, supporting small businesses, and highlighting Detroit’s global cultural arts influence.

LIGHT UP Livernois transforms Livernois Avenue, known for having one of the highest concentrations of Black-owned-and-operated businesses in the country, into a bustling street festival celebrating fashion, art, and design. The event invites the public to park, walk, shop, dine, and explore the diverse array of merchants and cultural arts amenities along this iconic avenue.

The festival offers an experience that shines a light on the eateries, boutiques, and creative spaces that define Livernois Avenue. Attendees can indulge in a variety of culinary delights, discover unique fashion pieces, and appreciate local artistry.

For more information, visit: https://www.lightuplivernois.com/.

Consumers Energy in Jackson Agrees to Purchase Battery Storage

Consumers Energy announced an agreement that will add 100 megawatts of battery storage to its clean energy arsenal through a partnership with Jupiter Power. The agreement represents a “significant milestone” toward the company’s goal of reaching 550 megawatts of storage capacity by 2040.

“Battery storage is a critical part of our Clean Energy Plan, improving efficiency and boosting reliability during the transition away from coal to renewable fuel sources such as solar and wind,” says David Hicks, vice president of clean energy development at Consumers Energy. “We look forward to partnering with Jupiter to meet this need as we continue the journey to achieve our ambitious clean energy goals.”

Battery energy storage systems store and distribute energy harnessed from renewable sources like wind and solar, allowing for more energy capture and reducing the overall cost of electricity. When used in concert with energy efficiency improvements, demand response and grid modernization work, BESS will accelerate the renewable energy transition without sacrificing affordability or a reliable grid.

While Consumers Energy has plans to develop 75 megawatts of its own storage by 2027, the facility, to be built in partnership with Jupiter Power in Coldwater, will add to a growing number of storage systems already operational across the state, including ones in Kalamazoo, Cadillac, Grand Rapids, and Standish.

Grand Circus Gala Raises Record Amount for Park Revitalization

The Grand Circus Park Conservancy, in collaboration with the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and the Detroit Theatre District Business Association, hosted the 10th annual Grand Circus Gala June 20 in Grand Circus Park West.

This year’s Gala showcased a master planning process the conservancy and DDP launched to bolster the continuing revitalization of downtown Detroit’s oldest and most historic park. Over the past 10 years, the Grand Circus Gala has raised more than $2 million dollars for the historic Grand Circus Park, making supporting its maintenance, improvement, and programming possible as well as launching the “Grand Circus Park Bourbon Garden” series on Thursday evenings each summer.

“This year, we raised over $250,000, which is a new record for the Gala, and puts us within just a few hundred thousand of fully funding Phase 1 of the Grand Circus Park Master Plan,”says Stacy Fox, president of the Grand Circus Park Conservancy. “Grand Circus Park truly is a team effort and without the generosity of our stakeholders throughout the Theatre District and the support of DDP none of this would be possible.”

Phase one of the master plan for the park is set to commence later this year and includes improvements to the Woodward Avenue streetscape as well as the extension of a boulevard through the park to enhance connections. These improvements are the first step in a total renovation of the historic public space, including all new walkways, upgraded event spaces, and the addition of a permanent food and beverage venue. This plan, developed in collaboration with Ann Arbor-based SmithGroup, involved substantial public engagement and is estimated to cost over $10 million to complete.

The Grand Circus Gala took place in Grand Circus Park west around the Edison Memorial Fountain and adjoining lawns. More than 60 companies and individuals contributed support to this year’s gala including major contributions from Bedrock, Huntington Bank, Sterling Group, the Detroit of Tomorrow Fund, Roger Penske Endowment, and the Roxbury Hotel Collection.

Grand Valley Receives $1.8M Federal Grant to Address Physician Assistant Shortage

The Physician Assistant Studies Department at Grand Valley State University near Grand Rapids received a five-year, $1.8 million federal grant to address the shortage of physician assistants who work in rural locations and are trained in behavioral health services.

Theresa Bacon-Baguley, professor and associate dean of research for the College of Health Professions, says the grant from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources ,and Services Administration (HRSA) will be used to train physician assistant studies (PAS) students, faculty and clinical preceptors to integrate behavioral health into their primary care services.

Bacon-Baguley says the HRSA grant is a natural extension of the federal grant that helped establish Grand Valley’s satellite PAS program in Traverse City. That program will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year. Nearly 80 percent of Grand Valley’s PAS graduates, in Traverse City and Grand Rapids, practice in a rural setting.

Jill Ellis, associate professor and program director of PAS, says students can apply now for the rural behavioral health certificate course that begins in January. The project also provides a stipend for student housing. Over the five-year grant period, 90 students will be trained, and a clinical coordinator will build new and enhance existing partnerships to expand the program’s reach.

Auburn Hills’ Yeo & Yeo Among Metro Detroit’s ‘Best and Brightest Companies’ to Work For

Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Advisors, an Auburn Hills-based accounting and advisory firm, has been named one of metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For by Accounting Today for the 13th consecutive year.

The Best and Brightest programs recognize organizations for their commitment to excellence in human resources practices and employee engagement. It celebrates companies that go above and beyond to foster a positive work environment, nurture talent, and empower employees to thrive.

Yeo & Yeo’s culture is one of learning, growth, and purpose. Its award-winning CPA certification bonus program, wellness initiatives, and flexible hybrid and remote work options exemplify the firm’s investment in its team. Yeo & Yeo’s career maps are designed to meet employees where they are and help provide a clear path for growth and development.

The company has partnered with Boon Health to offer employees complimentary professional and personal coaching. Prioritizing employee appreciation, the firm hosts many company-wide events and promotes work-life integration through initiatives like half-day summer Fridays.

The Metro Detroit Best and Brightest companies will be honored Nov. 7 at The Henry in Dearborn.

Lawrence Tech Receives $2M+ Gift from Donley Family to Create Scholarship Fund  

The family of a 1943 graduate of Lawrence Technological University in Southfield has donated more than $2.1 million to the university this year, adding significantly to the scholarship pro-gram that Edward Donley established before his death in 2017.

At Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Donley rose from a part-time draftsman earning 70 cents an hour to CEO. When he joined the company, Air Products was a Detroit startup that had just invented a way to extract oxygen from air and cool it to liquid form. Today, the company, now based in Allentown, Pa., has $12 billion in annual revenue and 23,000 employees worldwide.

 According to Donley’s son, John, his father never forgot the one college — Lawrence Tech — that offered him a scholarship, unlocking the opportunities only a college education can provide.

“Lawrence Tech degrees have launched thousands of successful careers, and our alumni are high achievers,” says Tarek Sobh, president of LTU. “The Donley family’s incredible generosity will ensure that many deserving students have the chance to make their mark on the worlds of engineering, architecture, business, healthcare, the sciences, and more.”

Emagine Entertainment to Host Annual Boys & Girls Clubs Fundraiser

Emagine Entertainment Inc. in Troy will again be supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan (BGCSM) throughout the summer by raising funds throughout July and August to help offset the cost of their yearly membership for local youth.

Guests will be encouraged to make donations when visiting any of the Michigan Emagine Theatre locations, throughout July and August. Each guest who makes a monetary donation will be recognized with signage at the box office during the two-month period.

The funds raised by Emagine guests will provide deserving children between the ages of 6 and 18 with a year-long BGCSM youth club membership. BGCSM continues to provide high-quality youth development programs that have reimagined the future of afterschool learning. They continue to stay agile and expand to better support the needs of our changing youth, while inspiring, educating, and empowering the youth, ensuring they are career, start-up, and homeowner ready.

To learn more about Emagine Theatres, visit Emagine-Entertainment.com.

Amadore Beverages Inc. Extended Sponsorship of All Four One Holiday Harvest Toy Drive

Amadore Beverage Inc. in Lansing and All Four One have agreed to extend their partnership for another four years.

The two brands announced a new deal has been signed to replace the current deal set to expire in 2025. As part of the arrangement, Amadore Beverage will continue to supply brand new toys to All Four One Holiday Harvest Toy Drive with 1/3 purchase of their shoe line until 2028.

Amadore Beverage also has been granted permission to provide toys to All Four One Holiday Harvest Toy Drive mobility hospital location. The beverage company donated new toys last year at the 2023 holiday harvest Beaumont Hospital Pediatric Unit.

Flint Native Willie Mack Wins The John Shippen to Earn Place in Rocket Mortgage Classic

Flint native Willie Mack III will play in the PGA Tour’s Rocket Mortgage Classic for the second time after earning an exemption Sunday by winning The John Shippen Men’s Invitational at Detroit Golf Club.

Mack III will tee it up alongside the world’s best golfers at the Rocket Mortgage Classic starting Thursday after shooting 63-74-137 on the same course Saturday and Sunday to earn a two-stroke victory at the Shippen event. His victory also earned him a first-place prize of $13,200 from the event’s $22,000 purse.

In 2021, Mack III was granted a sponsor’s exemption into the Rocket Mortgage Classic and tied for 71st, making his first cut on the PGA Tour. He continued his success by making the cut at the John Deere Classic the following week. Mack III made his major championship debut at this year’s U.S. Open.

Gesher Human Services Offering Career Change Masterclass for Michigan Teachers  

Gesher Human Services is offering MyCoach for Teachers, a masterclass group of four online sessions designed to help teachers explore how they can utilize their many skills in a new form of employment.

The program runs from 10-11. 30 a.m. on July 9, 11, 16, and 18. The course fee is $50, and teachers will be given assessments to identify their skills and strengths for a new career path, take a career inventory, discuss toxic work environments and how that can impede a job search, build their confidence, and gain hope for the future with their coaches. The program also will provide resume assistance, job search advice, and opportunities for professional growth. For more information go to the events page at geshermi.org.

To register, contact Phyllis Scripsick at pscripsick@geshermi.org or call 248-233-4278. Individual career and job search advice is also available to metro Detroiters at no cost and those interested should email employmenthelp@geshermi.org or call 248-233-4245.

Paint Creek Center Welcomes Next-gen Artists to Art & Apples Festival Sept. 6-8

The first Friday after Labor Day traditionally kicks off the Paint Creek Center for the Arts’ annual Art & Apples Festival, and the nonprofit community arts organization will continue the celebration in 2024.

The festival’s return will take place Sept. 6-8 at Rochester Municipal Park, near downtown Rochester, with a juried group of 250 artists and artisans headlining the three-day jubilee and an anticipated 70,000 art aficionados in attendance.

According to PCCA Executive Director Shaun Hayes, the overall quality of the Art & Apples Festival—presented through the generous support of Genisys Credit Union—not only continues to be a draw for artists but also Michigan art lovers and community members who enjoy this beloved annual tradition—and now an up-and-coming generation who will appreciate this year’s heightened festival offerings.

Hayes notes that a record-breaking number of artist applications came in for this year’s show — 444 compared to last year’s 367 — and 76 of those are first-time vendors.

Taking center stage will be unique artwork, handmade keepsakes, and distinctive home goods available to purchase, sprinkled with live stage entertainment from community music and dance groups as well as local musicians; food trucks, tents, and restaurant pop-ups offering a wide array of tasty options; the Meijer Kids Art Zone offering children’s art activities; and the Creation Station featuring live art-making demonstrations, including Ervin Glassworks.

The free shuttle transportation to/from Rochester High School will be entirely provided by OPC Social & Activity Center’s transportation services with wheelchair lift-equipped buses for accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

Art & Apples serves as the PCCA’s signature fundraiser to support the nonprofit organization’s art classes for kids and adults, free art exhibitions, the Art Market exclusively featuring local Michigan artists’ work, summer camps, and community outreach through its Art Anywhere program. A suggested $5 donation per person will be accepted at each of the festival’s entrances; in turn, PCCA shares a portion of these donations with the other area nonprofits and community ‘gate groups’ greeting festivalgoers.

A variety of sponsorship packages available. For more information, call PCCA at 248-651-4110, or email Shaun Hayes at Shaun@PCCArt.org.