DBusiness Daily Update: Locally Produced Hot Rod Documentary Lands Tim Allen, Chip Foose, 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.
Notable car guys Tim Allen and Chip Foose will be featured in the “Detroit: A City of Hot Rods and Muscle Cars” documentary. // Courtesy of Keith Famie
Notable car guys Tim Allen and Chip Foose will be featured in the “Detroit: A City of Hot Rods and Muscle Cars” documentary. // Courtesy of Keith Famie

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.

Locally Produced Hot Rod Documentary Lands Tim Allen, Chip Foose

“Detroit: A City of Hot Rods and Muscle Cars,” a documentary by local filmmaker Keith Famie, will include interviews with celebrity car enthusiast Tim Allen and designer Chris Foose, host of the “Overhaulin’” television series and owner of Foose Designs.

Allen’s personal car collection includes an original Shelby Cobra, a 1968 Pontiac GTO, a Dodge Demon, 1932 V8 Ford, vintage and modern Mustang GT350s, a modern Ford GT, a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS with the LT5 V-8 from a C4 Corvette ZR-1, 1968 Camaro “restomod,” and a modified Nova, and a Tesla Model 3, with which he says he has a “love/hate relationship.”

“I wanted Tim to share his vast knowledge of the impact Detroit had on the world of ‘let’s go faster,’ ‘let’s build it better,’” Famie says. “Allen’s real respect is for those who looked at an everyday ride and said, what if we do this or do that? Will it look better? Could it be faster? Will it handle smoother?”

The footage includes Allen driving his 1950s series 60 Cadillac. While doing so, he made sure Famie and his crew felt the power under the hood of his Caddy as they circled the neighborhood that houses his private collection.

The documentary also will include an interview with Fosse, who got his start from watching his father, Sam Foose, a self-taught master welder, painter, and panel beater who displayed extraordinary mechanical skills.

“Throughout the interview, Foose was sketching and when our interview came to an end, he held up what took him a very short time to create: a tribute to Detroit with the line, ‘You know, whether it’s a muscle car, a hot rod, a pickup truck, no matter what it is. They all have one thing in common. They’re all born in Detroit,” Famie says.

To learn more about the film, visit here.

ASE, SALTA Partner to Bring Primary Care Services to Michigan Businesses

Troy-based ASE has partnered with SALTA Direct Primary Care to bring primary care services to ASE members, helping them keep their workplaces healthy.

Through this partnership, ASE members can provide their employees with better access to primary care at SALTA’s locations in Clarkston, Auburn Hills, and Troy along with 24/7 access via phone or virtual care.

“ASE is very pleased to welcome SALTA Direct Primary Care as our newest partner,” says Mary Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “They will bring much value to our members in their efforts to keep workplaces healthy by improving access to primary care.”

Dr. John Blanchard, CEO of SALTA, says, “Health care costs are crippling companies and municipalities in Michigan. ASE is a leader in bringing innovative health care solutions to their members. We at SALTA are delighted to partner with ASE to give their members access to a direct primary care benefit their employees will love while lowering the employers’ overall health care costs by up to 20 percent.”

For more information, listen to a podcast featuring Corrado and Blanchard here.

Olga’s Kitchen Launches National Partnership with Goldbelly Food Website

Olga’s Kitchen, owned and operated by Livonia-based TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR), is launching a partnership with Goldbelly, the website that connects people with their greatest food memories and provides a platform for Olga’s to be ordered across the country.

“For years we’ve heard from Olga’s fans far and wide that they wanted a way to access their favorite menu items wherever they live,” says Mark Schostak, executive chair of TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants. “Our partnership with Goldbelly allows those fans to have the Olga’s items they crave delivered to their doorstep while maintaining our standard of excellence.

“Working with Goldbelly we will also gain unique insight on demand for Olga’s nationally. From there, we can explore potential expansion opportunities while preserving the food and experience that has made Olga’s Kitchen a beloved brand for generations.”

Fans of the brand from all 50 states can can enjoy Olga’s Snackers, The Original Olga, Peasant Soup, Spinach and Cheese Pies, Dessert Snackers, and a Greek Dinner Kit at goldbelly.com. Menu items serve between four and eight people.

U.S. Households in Better Financial Shape at End of 2021 Than Pre-pandemic

U.S. households were in a better financial position, on average, at the end of last year than in 2019, despite widespread joblessness and economic uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Researchers at U-M Poverty Solutions attribute this financial stability to the unprecedented, cash-based safety net response by the federal government during the pandemic, which included expanded unemployment insurance, a series of economic impact payments (also known as stimulus checks), and monthly payments to families with children through the expanded Child Tax Credit.

The analysis revealed that the percentage of Americans with poor credit scores fell in 2021 to the lowest rate in at least 16 years, and available measures of liquid assets indicate low-income households had more cash on hand at the end of 2021 than in 2019, even after accounting for inflation.

Early data from 2022, however, suggest the expiration of COVID-19 safety net policies may negatively impact the financial well-being of families in the year ahead.

“Inflation remains a great concern, but it should be placed in the broader context of the historic success of the COVID-19 pandemic economic recovery,” says Patrick Cooney, assistant director of policy impact at Poverty Solutions. “There’s evidence that the end of monthly Child Tax Credit payments is taking a heavier toll on families’ financial well-being than inflation.”

Visit here to review the full report.

Survey: Social Responsibility Initiatives Taking Hold in Organizations

Social responsibility (SR) is a high priority for executives across for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations, and serving the social good is perceived as becoming more important — even essential — for most organizations, according to a new survey by PNC Institutional Asset Management.

“SR initiatives have proliferated in recent years and studies have shown that investors and consumers increasingly are seeking out socially responsible companies that align with their values,” says Alistair Jessiman, head of PNC Institutional Asset Management. “Organizations recognize that not only is this good business and critical for continued growth, but it is also the right thing to do.”

The inaugural edition of the PNC SR survey finds, among other things, that the vast majority of executives (92 percent) rank corporate social responsibility as a priority for their organization with two-thirds (65 percent) saying that it is a “very high priority.” The survey reveals that both nonprofit and corporate leaders expect to see more SR-related policies in the workplace, with 94 percent of respondents predicting that social responsibility programs are here to stay.

Most executives (91 percent) also believe that companies and nonprofits can make a real impact on issues like climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion through their social responsibility programs and initiatives.

When asked what is driving their organization’s commitment to social responsibility overall, executives cited a number of internal and external forces, including direction from senior leadership (92 percent) and their board of directors (89 percent), alignment with their organization’s mission (90 percent), interest from their clients (91 percent), the community (90 percent), and marketplace competition (86 percent).

“Our survey definitively shows that the importance of SR and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) is here to stay and that both for-profit and nonprofit organizations increasingly are looking for opportunities to demonstrate their values and commitments in this space. This also means they are seeking guidance in an appropriate manner to implement these programs,” Jessiman says.

Three in four organizations (73 percent) currently have an environmental sustainability related program or initiative. The majority of those organizations, however, also acknowledge that their efforts have launched relatively recently — within the past three years. An additional 18 percent have not yet implemented an environmental sustainability program but are in the planning process. For-profit organizations are more likely to have a sustainability initiative (79 percent) than are nonprofits (67 percent).

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) also ranked as a top priority for many executives. Two in three organizations (68 percent) currently have a program or initiative related to DEI. An additional 26 percent don’t currently have one but are in the planning process.

Birmingham Shopping District Planning April 9 Spring Stroll

The Birmingham Shopping District is introducing a new event in 2022, the Spring Stroll, which will take place between 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9.

The Spring Stroll will feature more than 20 local retailers, with special offers and giveaways for both adults and children. All ages are invited to participate.

Registration is required. Click here for more information and to register.

Italian Consulate to Present Celebration of Italian Design

The Consulate of Italy in Detroit is recognizing Italian Design Day with a series of programs featuring by Italian architect and designer Roberto Palomba, March 25 and 28.

On March 25, Palomba will conduct a masterclass for a small group of students selected by the heads of the design, fashion, and product design departments of the College for Creative Studies. In addition to an introduction on what makes Italian design a world “best in class,” Palomba will follow the students in the conceptualization and creation of some pieces inspired by Italian creativity.

Later that day, Palomba will give a lecture on the specificity of Italian design and the creative process. The more than 200 participants including experts and professionals in the field of design; teachers, students, and graduates of the College for Creative Studies at CCS; those passionate about design; and part of the Italian and Italian-American community are expected to attend. To register, visit here.

On March 28, there will be an event benefitting entrepreneurs and potential customers of Made in Italy luxury brands at which Palomba will make a presentation about details on the creative process behind some of the pieces he designed. At the same time, a craftsman will complete a piece of furniture supplied by Poltrona Frau, one of the Italian furniture brands that best combines innovation with manufacturing tradition, in front of the audience present.

The event also will be the occasion for the global preview of the new Versace Home collection and to invite the guests to come to Milan for the Salone del Mobile (Furniture Show). Following the event, there will be a social part dedicated to networking, with food from the famous Shewolf restaurant, Italian wines provided by Cantoro and a fabulous DJ duo who will offer a mix of Italian music.

Michigan Science Center Places Second in USA TODAY Poll

The Michigan Science Center came in second in the 2022 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Science Museum.

MiSci was edged out by The Center of Science and Industry of Columbus (Ohio). The Great Lakes Science Center of Cleveland came in third.

The complete Top 10 includes:

  1. Center of Science and Industry
  2. Michigan Science Center
  3. Great Lakes Science Center
  4. Tellus Science Museum
  5. Louis Science Center
  6. The Franklin Institute
  7. Museum of Science and Industry
  8. Rochester Museum & Science Center
  9. Bishop Museum
  10. National Air and Space Museum

Metro Detroit Nonprofit Launches Dedicated Portal to Support Ukraine

SHARE Detroit has launched SHARE Ukraine, a one-stop-shop where those who wishes to support Ukrainian citizens can find trusted ways to help.

SHARE Detroit and SHARE Ukraine co-founder Sam Rozenberg was born in Ukraine and says he is passionate about doing good in his home country, especially in its most urgent time of need. The new digital portal can be found at ShareUkraine.org.

“As I quell my emotions, I become increasingly committed to doing everything in my power to make a difference and be on the right side of history,” Rozenberg says. “This site is a call to action. One hundred percent of all contributions go to an organization that directs your money to help Ukraine bring light out of the darkness. All recipient organizations are nominated and vetted by people on the front lines in Ukraine, like my former classmate, Tolik Lobanov, a retired general in the Ukrainian Army, now a volunteer in territorial defense force.”

The site hosts a direct connection to the Ukrainian American Crisis Response Committee of Michigan, where individuals and groups can donate supplies and volunteer to join the committee’s efforts. Donations will go directly to Ukrainians whose lives have been flipped upside down during the Russian invasion. The committee also is looking for people with varied skill sets, from legal knowledge to communications to health care to fundraising.

Oakland County Offers Free Rabies Vaccine with Dog License Purchase in April

Oakland County residents can get a free rabies vaccine for their canine with the purchase of a dog license at the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center in Pontiac 9-11:30 a.m. every Tuesday in April. No appointment is necessary.

“Michigan law requires your dog to have its rabies shot up to date before buying a dog license,” says Bob Gatt, manager of the Oakland County Animal Shelter and Pet Adoption Center. “We don’t want the cost of the rabies vaccine to be a barrier for anyone getting a dog license, especially as spring approaches and we’re spending more time outdoors with our pets.”

If a dog is spayed or neutered, a dog license costs $15 for one year or $40 for three years. For a dog that is not spayed or neutered, those fees rise to $25 or $70, respectively. The three-year license requires a three-year rabies vaccine. Pet owners must bring proof of a prior rabies vaccination to get the three-year vaccine.

Michigan law requires licenses for all dogs as a public health measure to ensure dogs have their rabies vaccines. Plus, it makes it easier to return strays to their owners. For more information, visit here or call 248-858-1070.