DBusiness Daily Update: Mawby, Cherry Republic Unveil Sparkling Wine Blend, 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.
Mawby has collaborated with Cherry Republic to produce a unique blend of cherry and sparkling white wine called Sustain. // Courtesy of Cherry Festival
Mawby has collaborated with Cherry Republic to produce a unique blend of cherry and sparkling white wine called Sustain. // Courtesy of Cherry Festival

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.

Mawby, Cherry Republic Unveil Sustain Sparkling Wine Blend

Leelanau County winemaker Mawby has collaborated with Cherry Republic to produce a unique blend of cherry and sparkling white wine called Sustain. A portion of the proceeds will go to support the Great Lakes Business Network (GLBN).

The wine will be released to GLBN members and supporters at a private event June 23 at Mawby sparkling wine. It will be available at Mawby (in store and online) and at Cherry Republic’s Traverse City and Glen Arbor retail locations. The wine will sell for $23 and is made up of 60 percent cherry wine and 40 percent grape wine.

“We’re really excited to partner with Mawby, a truly great northern Michigan company, in support of the Great Lakes Business Network and all the good work they do to protect the Great Lakes,” says Bob Sutherland, founder and president of Cherry Republic. “And what better way to celebrate the partnership than with a one-of-a-kind cherry sparkling wine that highlights the best of northern Michigan.”

Peter Laing, partner/operations at Mawby, says: “We are thrilled to partner with another like-minded business to raise awareness for the GLBN. Both Cherry Republic and MAWBY are committed to the SUSTAINability of agriculture on the Leelanau Peninsula and the Great Lakes region. The GLBN has helped amplify our voices in pursuit of that, and we are excited to spread the word even more broadly through this collaboration.”

Solero Technologies Plants Roots in Michigan with New Headquarters

Solero Technologies, a global supplier of transmission solenoids, engine solenoids, stop-start accumulators, and hydraulic control modules, opened its new headquarters in Rochester Hills on Thursday.

Solero Technologies, formerly BorgWarner’s North American Controls business, was acquired by Atar Capital on Los Angeles in December 2021. Donald R. James was named CEO in March.

“Our new headquarters in Michigan will enable Solero Technologies to continue creating innovative solutions to deliver best-in-class testing, manufacturing and customer service to the automotive market, with a closer connection to the Motor City,” James says. “This space was selected with growth in mind, and we look forward to growing our Michigan team in the coming months.”

The headquarters, with nearly 13,000 square feet of space, will house the company’s sales and engineering operations. Nearly half of the new facility will serve as a warehouse and lab for advanced solenoid product development. The lab is expected to be operational in July.

“We are excited for Solero’s continued growth in Michigan with their new R&D and lab facility,” says Quentin Messer Jr., CEO and Michigan Strategic Fund president and chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. “We are grateful for Solero’s vote of confidence in Michigan and look forward to their future innovations happening right here in Michigan.”

Solero Technologies’ manufacturing operations are based in Water Valley, Miss. The Water Valley location, with more than 500 employees, has served the automotive industry for more than 50 years with a reputation for its quality, precision, and safety.

In addition to the new Michigan headquarters, significant investment has been made at the Water Valley manufacturing facility in recent months, including equipment upgrades to the onsite performance and validation testing labs.

American Project & Repair in Brighton Partners with National Facilities Maintenance Platform

American Project & Repair (AP&R), a leading national facilities maintenance company based in Brighton, is partnering with Orion Group, a commercial facility services platform backed by Alpine Investors.

AP&R is Orion’s first partner specializing in interior services.

AP&R specializes in providing handyman, plumbing, electrical, and locksmith services across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It was founded in 1998 by Ted Mastrucci and has continued to grow over the past 24 years. Over the next year, Mastrucci will begin to transition his leadership to his long-standing deputy Erin Lucas. Seasoned managers and customer and vendor representatives, Meghan Petchell, Amanda Knezevich, and Brandon Keller will continue in their leadership roles.

Isaiah Brown, co-CEO of Orionm says: “Ted has created a unique interior service offering that prioritizes long-term relationships with service partners and advocating for customers. His industry expertise and commitment to excellence is inspiring and I am thrilled to welcome AP&R to the Orion FM platform.”

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network Offer More Plans for 2023 ACA Marketplace

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are adding 18 new plan offerings for people selecting individual health plans during the 2023 ACA Marketplace open enrollment period. The new offerings include a virtual primary care plan and localized network option to give members more choice.

Blue Care Network’s new virtual primary care plan provides HMO members with the convenience of on-demand health care, when and where they need it with the flexibility of in-person visits, if necessary. Members in southeast Michigan also will have access to a narrow HMO network plan offering a more streamlined group of in-network physicians at a more affordable cost.

Additional benefits for 2023 include genetic testing through the Blue Cross Precision Medicine program for qualifying HMO members, and a comprehensive maternal health solution for select PPO and HMO members, among other emerging developments.

“We recognize that individuals and families are looking for more ways to customize their health care coverage, so they have more access to the services they really need,” says Rick Notter, vice president of individual business for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “This year’s additions not only provide members with several more plan options to fit their health care needs and budgets, they’re also providing more value, convenience, and access through new partnerships and increased capabilities that we’re very excited to offer as part of our portfolio for the upcoming open enrollment.”

Pending approval of rates filed with state regulators this week, on average, Blue Cross PPO plans will see a rate decrease of 2.8 percent and Blue Care Network HMO plans will see an increase of 8.6 percent. Blue Cross and BCN say they will continue to provide a variety of coverage options with a portfolio of 48 products for 2023 enrollment — four Gold, 21 Silver, 20 Bronze, and three Catastrophic level offerings.

Several benefits are included as part of all individual plans to keep members and their families healthy at no extra cost. These services include free annual visits, wellness appointments and vaccines, as well as no-cost Blue Cross medical online visits and diabetes management tools.

Schostak to Mark 100th Anniversary with $1M Community Giving Campaign

Schostak Brothers & Co. announced that it will mark its 100th anniversary with a community giving campaign to distribute $1 million across Detroit-based nonprofit organizations.

Selected from a range of nonprofit sectors including neighborhoods, workforce development, education, health, and entrepreneurship, the goal of the initiative was to select a range of organizations based on their work in Detroit, the city where the company was founded a century ago.

The gift recipients were carefully chosen through an extensive selection process involving their employees, with the intent to help the charities complete a current project or start a new phase. It also will shine a light on each organization’s efforts to reach other potential donors. Consideration was also given to the overall impact of each gift, along with hands-on community engagement opportunities available to the Schostak team of more than 8,500 employees.

“Our father Jerry Schostak had a strong belief that charity begins at home,” the family said in a joint statement. “And that meant our home community. The opportunity to give back to our community as we mark this significant milestone was more important to us than a traditional celebration, and in doing so, we engaged our colleagues and associates in helping select organizations they feel are reflective of our company, our family and all of them.

“Our employees have been instrumental in our company’s success over the past 100 years, and we are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together. This company is only successful because of the people that are a part of it, they are the key ingredient, so it’s imperative to us that they are a big part of marking this special moment.”

Detroit-based Life Remodeled was named as the first gift recipient, receiving a $100,000 gift to kick-off the 2022 Life Remodeled Six Day Project taking place Oct. 3-8 in the community surrounding Cooley High School, an approximately 4.5-square-mile area in Detroit’s Cooley Community. Hundreds of Schostak team members will be on the ground participating in the volunteer efforts to beautify the area surrounding Life Remodeled’s next opportunity hub.

The additional funding recipients will be announced throughout the anniversary year, in coordination with each organization’s projects and initiatives.

Detroit Artist Announced as Stellantis Mural Project Takes Shape

Stellantis in Auburn Hills has announced a partnership with Detroit fresco artist Hubert Massey to create the largest municipal art installation in the city’s history on the sound barrier outside of the automaker’s Detroit Assembly Complex.

When the project is complete, Detroit’s east side will have one of the largest municipal mural installations in the region at 15 feet high by 1,500 feet long.

“I’m honored to work with Stellantis and residents to bring this project to life and beautify our community,” Massey says.

The mural project is part of the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) reached between Stellantis, the city and the Neighborhood Advisory Committee, a partnership that provides more than $35 million in support for neighborhood improvements, housing, workforce development, education and training programs, and environmental initiatives.

“Our commitment to this city goes well beyond our facility,” says Mark Stewart, CEO of Stellantis North America. “Together, Stellantis, the city of Detroit and residents, have a shared responsibility for the neighborhood around the new plant. This mural will reflect the values and identity of the community and our shared vision for a positive future.”

Battery Show and EV Tech Expo Sells Out Suburban Collection Showplace Show Floor

The Battery Show, North America’s largest advanced battery technology event, and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo, the only trade show and conference exclusively dedicated to the drive train and power system in electric and hybrid electric vehicles, are returning to the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi with a sold-out show floor and more than 700 exhibitors booked to date.

Slated to take place from Sept. 13-15, the co-located trade show expanded the show floor to accommodate an extra 8,000 NSF, packed full of hundreds more industry-leading suppliers.

Notable exhibitors confirmed include 6K Energy, American Battery Solutions, Beckhoff Automation, DEWEsoft, Engel, Festo, IMA Spa, Lion Energy, Magna Powertrain, Marelli, National Instruments, Navistar, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Xalt Energy, among others.

“With the global battery technology market forecasted to grow from 92 billion in 2020 to 152+ billion by 2025, consumers and OEMs alike are increasingly interested and investing in an electric and battery-powered future,” says Kayle Kvinge, event manager of combined expos.

Interested attendees can register here.

Returning programs include:

Conference – The three-day educational conference brings together battery and EV/HEV manufacturers, industry experts, thought leaders, and academics to discuss and help solve your manufacturing, supply chain, and production challenges, in addition to must-attend keynote sessions.

Open Tech Forum – Serves as the epicenter of the expo floor, hosting panel discussions, live demos, thought leadership presentations, and more.

Product Showcase – Get an under-the-hood look at new technologies from more than 25 exhibiting companies. Each exhibitor will host 15-minute live demonstrations offering a close examination of new and improved solutions for your applications.

New features and programs include:

Battery Tech Theater – Access industry-leading educational sessions provided by suppliers such as ATS Automation Tooling Systems, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Tekscan, and more.

Ride & Drive – Drivers test vehicles on the public roadways while accompanied by a representative from the sponsoring company. This program will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. September 13-15 at the Suburban Collection Showplace Red Lot 1.

Oktoberfest – Oktoberfest celebration in Novi. Network with the advanced battery and electric & hybrid vehicle community over German beers, pretzels, bratwurst, and more on Sept. 14.

‘Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison Headlines EMU’s Weekend with the Stars

The Eastern Michigan University Foundation in Ypsilanti and the Hundley Foundation will host their inaugural Weekend with the Stars events that benefit the mission of both foundations. These events will take place July 8-9 at the George Gervin GameAbove Center on EMU’s campus.

Anyone planning to attend is required to purchase tickets for the celebrity-filled weekend events. Visit here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Attendees will join EMU officials, athletes, and celebrities, including Rick Harrison, owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas made popular by the TV show “Pawn Stars.” Baltimore Ravens quarterback Brett Hundley, chairman of the Hundley Foundation also will be participating. The weekend kicks off with a Friday evening fundraising dinner and program at EMU’s George Gervin GameAbove Center with other special guests.

On Saturday morning, participants are invited to meet Harrison and have him appraise their items at the George Gervin GameAbove Center. Attendees will have the opportunity to showcase their prized possessions for a chance to be featured in an upcoming episode of “Pawn Stars.”

“I’m thrilled to visit EMU and meet supporters of the university and the Hundley Foundation,” Harrison says. “We believe in putting the fun in fundraising and maybe to find a few cool items for the show.”

The Hundley Foundation has created and supported several initiatives, programs, paid internships, and financial scholarships.

“I’m truly happy that Rick could join me for these special events at EMU benefitting my foundation and the university,” Hundley says. “It’s awesome to see how excited people are to meet him and see he is as authentic in real life as he is on ‘Pawn Stars.’ I am beyond grateful to the University for hosting us and look forward to meeting our supporters in the Metro-Detroit community.”