DBusiness Daily Update: M1 Concourse Announces Comerica Sponsorship of Signature Events, 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.
Vintage IndyCars and other classic racers will be on display and on the track at M1 Concourse during the 2022 American Speed Festival. // Photo by Tim Keenan
Vintage IndyCars and other classic racers will be on display and on the track at M1 Concourse during the 2022 American Speed Festival. // Photo by Tim Keenan

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.

M1 Concourse Announces Comerica Sponsorship of Signature Events

Tim McGrane, CEO of M1 Concourse in Pontiac, announced that Comerica Bank will be a new presenting partner for its two signature events — Woodward Dream Show and American Speed Festival.

“For generations, car enthusiasts and owners have contributed to the history of the Motor City,” says Mike Ritchie, Michigan Market president at Comerica Bank. “This passion and love for the automobile has created some of this region’s outstanding events that bring people together. By partnering with M1 Concourse, our goal is to help continue providing these distinctive and exceptional experiences and build upon this region’s legacy.”

Woodward Dream Show (WDS) and American Speed Festival (ASF) return for their second years and feature several enhancements, including lower ticket prices, on-track experiences, food trucks, and more family-focused activities, according to M1.

WDS is now a one-day event on Friday, Aug. 19 so community members can enjoy the Woodward Dream Cruise the following day. Celebrating 90 years of the 1932 Ford, 100 years of Lincoln, and 55 years of the Pontiac Firebird, the event will feature hundreds of unique vehicles as well as remote control off-road cars, Food Truck Alley, and live entertainment.

New this year is the Insiders Garage on Friday evening. The panel discussion emceed by WCSX’s Jim O’Brien features industry leaders discussing cruising and customization. Panelists include Adam Genei of Mobsteel, Kevin Byrd of “Two Guys Garage,” and Murray Pfaff of Pfaff Designs. and others. On Saturday, to celebrate Woodward Dream Cruise, M1 will host a parade of 200 vehicles through Pontiac and on Woodward. Vehicles will be selected from 20 invited car clubs.

Tickets for Woodward Dream Show are $50 for adults, $25 for those 13-17, and free for those under 12. They are available at www.m1concourse.com.

The American Speed Festival celebrates 60 years of Shelby American and 75 years of Ferrari. On Friday, Sept. 30 and Saturday, Oct. 1, two days of On Track racing and demonstrations returns along with the opportunity for patrons to get a ride on track with a professional driver. The weekend also will feature remote control off-road cars, premium food, a Life-style Pavilion, and live entertainment. New this year is a Speed and Style Expo Car Show and Art Exhibit on Sunday, Oct. 2 with race cars, performance cars, muscle cars, classics, and exotics that represent and define performance and speed.

Tickets for American Speed Festival are $75 for adults, $50 for those 13-17, and free for those under 12. Special Events include a Dine and Drive Tour and Motor Grille on Thursday, Sept. 29 and limited tickets are priced separately. They are available at www.m1concourse.com.

McGrane also introduced the American Speed Festival’s 2022 Master of Motorsports recipient, Peter Brock. Brock, who was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in March, will attend American Speed Festival, and receive the Master of Motorsports at the Checkered Flag Ball on Saturday Oct. 1.

The Checkered Flag Ball is produced by the Checkered Flag Challenge, M1’ s philanthropic arm. Proceeds from the Ball go to M1 Mobility, which provides transportation solutions so residents can access community resources in Pontiac. The new initiative debuted last year and was able to serve the community despite the challenges presented by COVID as outlined by Dustin McClellan of the Pontiac Community Foundation.

Original artwork for this year’s Ball, created by Nico Roussele, will be part of the live auction at the Ball. Tickets for the Ball will be on sale later in May.

McGrane also announced the inaugural M1 Cycle Classic on Sunday, July 17 taking place at M1 Concourse. In partnership with the Michigan Bike Racing Association, the new event will feature a full day of on-track cycling events across 10 classes. On Saturday, July 16, the Detroit Athletic Club Foundation will host its Detroit Cycling Championship event. Both M1 and the DAC will collaborate on promoting a full weekend of cycling events in metro Detroit.

Additional events at M1 during the season of “All Things Automotive” include Cars and Coffee, hosted on the first Saturday mornings of the month through October. This year, there’s a speaker series called “Off the Grid” and features industry leaders, legendary racers, and more. More details are available for both free events online.

ITC to Conduct Aerial Patrols of Transmission Lines in Michigan

Novi-based ITC will be conducting aerial patrols of the high-voltage transmission structures and lines in Michigan from approximately May 16-June 3, weather permitting. The helicopter patrols are conducted to provide an overall status of the overhead transmission system that is operated by ITC’s Michigan operating entities, ITC Transmission and Michigan Electric Transmission Co.

The aerial inspections will cover nearly all the Lower Peninsula, including all or part of the following counties:

May 16-23: Clinton, Genesee, Gratiot, Huron, Ingham, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Midland, Monroe, Oakland, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair, Tuscola, Washtenaw, and Wayne

May 17-27: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lenawee, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa, St. Joseph, and Van Buren

May 18-June 3: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Clare, Crawford, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Midland, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, and Wexford.

These patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corp. (NERC) requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program, support proactive maintenance objectives, and are in line with the company’s model for operational excellence. They include inspections of all transmission structures and equipment including, but not limited to, monopoles, steel towers, wood poles, conductors (wires), insulators, and other equipment.

Crews check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards. The inspection flights often are conducted at low altitudes to allow accurate visual inspection of equipment for lightning damage, wear or other potential problems. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines.

Baobab Fare’s Single-origin Burundi Coffee Available in Meijer Rivertown Market

Baobab Fare’s Burundian Coffee, once only available in its New Center shop, is now available for purchase in Meijer Rivertown Market.

With wife and husband owners Nadia Nijimbere and Hamissi Mamba being big on East African culture, customers get to experience Burundi medium roast coffee with notes of complex citrus, floral, and warm baking spices. The single-origin coffee is grown and harvested near the Matongo village at the Bwayi Washing Station, near the owners’ home village.

The coffee comes from a cooperative facility, which turns freshly picked coffee cherries into exportable coffee for many farmers in the area, including Baobab Fare. The coffee is grown in Africa and then roasted in Detroit.

“It’s a big moment for us because this is the first time we’re going to sell our product in a big retail store,” says Hannah Fischer, retail manager of Baobab Fare. “It’s also going to be the first time we see our Burundi Coffee on shelves outside of Baobab Fare and a few smaller coffee shops.”

Hamissi Mamba says, “This is the beginning of a new adventure for Baobab Fare. We’re so thrilled for this partnership and have big plans to supply more Baobab Fare products on shelves. We’re also so proud of our team who made this amazing accomplishment happen.”

Veterans Can Access Veterans Benefits Counselors at Oakland County Michigan Works!

Oakland County Veterans’ Services and Oakland County Michigan Works! are providing veterans with convenient access to a broad range of services.

Oakland County Michigan Works! (OCMW) centers in Novi, Southfield (Tuesday), and Oak Park (Thursday) will host veterans’ benefits counselors one day a week. Veterans who visit the OCMW offices in Pontiac, Troy, and Waterford will receive a referral to a liaison in the Veterans’ Services offices in Pontiac or Troy.

“Our goal is to bring veterans services into the community, closer to where they live,” says Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “By placing our veterans’ benefits counselors in Oakland County Michigan Works! offices, residents who served their country will not only be able to get help accessing their benefits, but assistance for their careers as well.”

Veterans’ benefits counselors help clients navigate the process of completing and submitting applications for federal, state, and county veterans benefits. Benefits available to eligible veterans include:

  • Military service-connected disability compensation.
  • Non-service-connected disability pension.
  • Veteran Administration health care.
  • Transportation services.
  • Employment and education resources.
  • Financial support, including home loans, life insurance, and other relief and compensation.
  • Burial benefits.

“Our team is available to assist Oakland County veterans of all ages,” says Garth Wootten, manager of the Veterans’ Services Division. “We welcome these men and women to call or visit one of our offices or the Oakland County Michigan Works! centers, where we partner with veterans through the claims process and advocate on their behalf to ensure they receive the benefits they’ve earned.”

  • Veterans also have access to employment services including:
  • Matching a veteran’s military experience and accomplishments with civilian occupations.
  • Helping them secure military-related credentials, certifications, and licenses.
  • Preparing a veteran for conducting a successful job search.
  • Connecting veterans with disabled/injured veteran resources.
  • Finding resources available to veterans and their families to aid in the transition to civilian life.

For more information, visit here.

Macomb Community College Foundation Recognizes Donor Impact

The Macomb Community College Foundation recognized donors whose contributions make an ever-increasing number of scholarships available to current and incoming students at its recent 2022 Donor Scholarship Luncheon.

Approximately 140 donors, students, and college representatives attended the event at the Lorenzo Cultural Center on the college’s Center Campus in Clinton Township.

During last fiscal year, the college awarded more than $450,000 in scholarships to more than 400 Macomb students. Beyond scholarship programs, contributions to the foundation also support program funds, including arts and culture, that advance the college’s mission of education, enrichment, and economic development.

“It’s through the generosity of our donors who provide the scholarship money who truly make a difference for our students who otherwise may not be able to attend college,” says James O. Sawyer IV, president of Macomb Community College. “Macomb Community College is a very special place. Our students come with all sorts of life stories and experiences and your support is critical to their success. Otherwise, many wouldn’t be able to achieve their goals, and I can’t thank you enough for that.”

New scholarships announced at the luncheon included:

  • Chief Gerald B. Alward Scholarship for Fire Academy – Established to continue Chief Alward’s legacy by helping train future firefighters to serve and protect within their communities.
  • Elaine Belich Memorial Culinary Scholarship – Established in memory of Elaine Belich for students enrolled in the culinary institute at Macomb who are facing financial challenges.
  • Dental Sciences Scholarship Fund and Dental Sciences Program Fund – Established to support the needs of the Dental Science program and students at Macomb.
  • Leader Foundry –Established to provide financial assistance to students enrolled in Applied, Automotive, Climate Control Technology and Apprenticeship programs at Macomb.
  • Macomb Student Immediate Relief Fund – Established to address the financial hardships facing Macomb students including tuition and other immediate needs.
  • William and Lesley Metz Memorial Scholarship – This endowed scholarship is to recognize students with academic achievement or potential in an academic area who are enrolled in a credit program at Macomb.
  • Thomas R. Mill Memorial Scholarship – Established to continue Mill’s legacy of firefighting, EMS and police training at Macomb.
  • Laura K. Osaer, D.O. Memorial Endowed Scholarship for the Sciences – Established to continue Laura Osaer’s legacy of helping others while supporting students who are passionate about science.
  • Arlington E. Pullins Memorial Nursing Scholarship – Designed to assist students who wish to pursue any number of arts disciplines. Open to students pursuing a degree in speech communication, humanities or social science disciplines.
  • Willa J. Pullins Memorial Nursing Scholarship – Established to provide scholarship assistance to students enrolled in the nursing program at Macomb.
  • Tom “Wakes” Waelchli Memorial Baseball Scholarship – In memory of Coach Wakes to continue his legacy and passion for Macomb’s baseball program through scholarships to student athletes.
  • Denise Williams Professional Development Fund – Established for the professional development and growth of Macomb Community College employees.

EMU to Celebrate 10th Anniversary of its Center for Jewish Studies

Eastern Michigan University’s Center for Jewish Studies in Ypsilanti is celebrating its 10th year of providing dialogue and education with an event May 24.

The event will mark the center’s 10th anniversary and honor its founder, EMU professor Martin Shichtman, who is retiring. It will take place at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the Student Center (900 Oakwood St.).

“Sen. Carl Levin spoke passionately about the joys and difficulties of growing up Jewish in Michigan,” recalls Shichtman of the cetner’s opening. “He addressed why he was so delighted that EMU, a school of opportunity that has afforded a dynamic educational environment for working-class, first-generation college students, would now be offering a venue to showcase the importance of Judaism.”

In the decade since, the Center for Jewish Studies has become a space for community engagement where all of southeast Michigan’s multicultural communities can learn more about Jews and Judaism.

“The Center has provided opportunities for EMU students to engage deeply with a culture and history that may not be their own, engage with members of the local Jewish community and expand their thinking to imagine diverse points of view,” Shichtman says.

For a decade, students were exposed to various lectures and performances featuring scholars, musicians, culinary historians, and political figures. The space has forged collaborations with the Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, Jewish Historical Society of Michigan, and the Holocaust Memorial Center, to name a few.

In addition to honoring Shichtman’s accomplishments, event attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the impact EMU’s Center for Jewish Studies has had on past and present students. The evening also will include dinner and live music by Ari Axelrod.

To attend, visit the event webpage or call 734-487-5634.