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.
MotorCities National Heritage Area Announces Tour Operator Partners for 2022
The MotorCities National Heritage Area, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving automotive heritage, is partnering with five Detroit-area and one Lansing-based tour operator to offer public tours about the state’s automotive and labor heritage this tourism season. The partnerships continue a program that originally launched in 2019 to serve the 16-county National Heritage Area.
Tour experiences available vary from traditional walking tours to riding in a vintage Ford Model A or pedaling a bicycle — all while visiting key automotive historical sites and learning the story of how the region put the world on wheels.
“We’re excited to continue partnering with these companies to offer additional tour options and bring more of our amazing automotive heritage to both metro Detroit and Lansing residents and out-of-town tourists alike,” says Shawn Pomaville-Size, executive director of MotorCities.
The tour operators selected offer the following experiences:
Antique Touring Company — From Tinkerers to Titans Tour- Hop in a Ford Model A and explore the “coming of age” story of the automobile during the first decades of the 20th Century from the vantage point of Detroit’s Woodward Corridor. Tours are offered every day, except Monday, now through Nov. 1. Additional information can be found here.
City Institute (formerly Detroit Experience Factory) — MotorCities Auto Heritage New Center, Pontiac and Dearborn Walking Tours. On the New Center walking tour, guests will experience the past, present and future of the Detroit area, going back in time with a visit to the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant and speak with some of the innovators who now call these neighborhoods home. This tour is offered June 25, July 30, Aug. 27, and Sept. 24. In addition, new for 2022 are one-time walking tours of Pontiac on June 11 and Dearborn on July 9. For more information, visit here.
GLAD Tours (Lansing) — REO Town Walking Tour. Before there was an REO Town, there was REO City. Take a walk down the main drag with GLAD Tours and see where Ransom Eli Olds started the auto industry. Tours are available by appointment by visiting here.
Magical Michigan Tours — Henry Ford: From Farm to Factory Tour. This bus tour connects visitors to actual historic sites that reveal Henry Ford’s life from his farming roots to becoming an industrial magnate. Guests will visit locations important to his story and gain a personal view of his life and the impact on society in the 20th century. The tour is being offered on demand for groups and at least once for the public. Visit here for more information.
Russell Brothers City Tours — Customized Automotive History Tours. Greg Russell, takes guests to places they may know and some sites they might not. The tours are informative and insightful. Russell Brothers City Tours also offers virtual tours online. Guests can visit via their computers or other devices some of the fun and historical places from Detroit’s automotive history. For more information, visit here.
Wheelhouse Detroit — Auto Heritage Bicycle Tour. On this 15-mile tour, guests will discover how Detroit became the center of industry. The tour takes in the Globe Building, Dequindre Cut, Packard Plant, the GM Detroit-Hamtramck (Poletown) Assembly Plant, Milwaukee Junction, New Center (old GM Headquarters and Fisher Building), and TechTown, where riders will learn how industry is evolving with advanced technology. Tour dates are June 26, July 24, Aug. 28, Sept. 25, and Oct. 9. For more information, visit here.
For more information on MotorCities tours and events, visit here.
Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber to Honor Downriver Women in Business
The Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber has announced the award recipients for the 6th annual Women of Achievement Awards presented by Beaumont Health on Friday, Oct. 14 at 11 a.m. This year’s event will take place at Crystal Gardens, located at 16703 Fort St. in Southgate.
The ceremony will showcase outstanding women in business and community leadership in southeast Michigan’s downriver region. It will feature a Frontline Heroes Panel Conversation, powered by PNC Bank, which will provide a discussion with frontline leaders highlighting their personal stories of heroism throughout the COVID pandemic.
The panel includes Jenna Dicker of Howe-Peterson Funeral Home representing the memorial services industry; Amy DiBrano of Beaumont Health, a registered nurse and clinical manager representing healthcare; and Courtney Gutierrez, an Allen Park firefighter who was deployed on a FEMA mission during the onset of the COVID pandemic, and who will be representing first responders. Detroit media personality Christy McDonald will return as emcee and panel moderator for the event.
This year, the chamber will honor recipients of the Kyle F. Stack Leadership Award, the Entrepreneur Award, the Unsung Heroine Award, and the Distinguished Young Woman Award to inspire and recognize future leaders in the region.
The 2022 award recipients include: Kyle F. Stack Leadership Award recipient Gina Wilson Steward, CEO of The Telegram Newspaper in Ecorse; Entrepreneur Award recipient Jessica Bazner, owner of Kevin James Menswear in Trenton; Unsung Heroine Award recipient Lisa Rutledge, board chair of The Information Center in Taylor; and Distinguished Young Woman Award recipient Alyssa Angellotti, vice president of business development at Expert Heating and Cooling in Taylor.
“This signature event has become one of our region’s most highly anticipated celebrations of the year,” says Ronald J. Hinrichs, president and CEO of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber. “I am thrilled to congratulate the 2022 recipients and nominees. These remarkable women exemplify tremendous leadership and demonstrate a passionate commitment to improving our Downriver community. Their strong efforts and outstanding achievement are worthy of this recognition and more, and we are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate each of these women at this year’s awards ceremony.”
Amazon LGBTQIA+ Group Raising Money, Donating Toys for Beaumont Children’s
In recognition of Pride Month, Amazon’s LGBTQIA+ employees in metro Detroit are supporting a community event on Saturday, June 11, beginning at 8 a.m. in partnership with Beaumont Children’s.
The group is volunteering at the Walk for Miracles at Detroit Zoo to raise funds for pediatric programs and services of Beaumont Children’s, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Amazon also is donating more than 1,000 toys for pediatric patients at all eight Beaumont Health hospitals, across the nine-county southeast Michigan region.
For more information on the Walk for Miracles, visit here.
KeyBank Teammates to Volunteer for Neighbors Make the Difference Day
KeyBank will host its 31st annual Neighbors Make the Difference Day, from 1-5 p.m. on Tuesday during which bank teammates in Michigan will spend time volunteering with community organizations and service projects in the region.
They’ll join thousands of KeyBank teammates nationwide receiving paid time off to volunteer at seven projects in the neighborhoods where they live and work.
Many of the bank’s branches will close at noon tomorrow to accommodate teammates who are volunteering. Customers will have access to ATMs, as well as online and mobile banking.
“All of us at KeyBank take great pride in working in, living in and serving our communities,” says David Mannarino, Michigan Market president and commercial sales leader at KeyBank. “We are proud to carry on the tradition of coming together as one to dedicate our time and talent, brighten lives and help transform our community in a meaningful way.”
M/I Homes to Build 14 Homes Across the U.S. to Benefit Cancer Research
M/I Homes, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, has announced that it will be building 14 homes in its various markets across the U.S. with a portion of the sale proceeds benefiting Pelotonia, a leading national nonprofit organization that funds innovative cancer research.
“Cancer research is a cause close to our hearts, and M/I Homes is proud to support Pelotonia, an extraordinarily successful and unique organization that is laser-focused on accelerating funding for innovative cancer research.” says Robert H. Schottenstein, chairman and CEO of M/I Homes and Pelotonia board member.
“Since its inception in 2008, Pelotonia has raised more than $236 million and has dramatically impacted the quality and quantity of cancer research, particularly in the area of immuno-oncology. We are honored and proud to engage our divisions across the country, as well as our building partners, in this significant endeavor.”
M/I Homes has been a supporter of Pelotonia for years, raising more than $1.9 million for the organization since 2014. With this announcement and plan, M/I Homes expects to donate upwards of $2 million to Pelotonia through the sale of the 14 homes.
The 14 homes with proceeds going toward Pelotonia are being built in Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Tampa, Orlando, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Charlotte, and Raleigh.