DBusiness Daily Update: My Salon Suite Among Nation’s Fastest-growing Franchises, and More

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies.
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Hair dresser
: Entrepreneur magazine has placed Detroit-based My Salon Suite among the top 100 fastest-growing franchises in the country. // Photo courtesy of My Salon Suite

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.

My Salon Suite Among Nation’s Fastest-growing Franchises

Entrepreneur magazine has placed Detroit-based My Salon Suite among the top 100 fastest-growing franchises in the country. It ranked 92nd on the publication’s list.

The recognition follows a record-breaking year for My Salon Suite in 2022, building on a growing sales track record. The brand opened 42 franchise locations and one corporate location last year to reach a milestone of more than 250 locations, expanding nationwide with plans to grow the brand internationally this year.

The brand was previously recognized on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 list at No. 66 overall for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power.

The fastest-growing franchises ranking is based on information submitted to Entrepreneur for its annual Franchise 500 and is part of the brand’s continuing effort to best understand and evaluate the ever-changing franchise marketplace. The ranking appears in the March/April 2023 issue of Entrepreneur.

“Our 2023 Fastest-Growing Franchises ranking recognizes the franchise brands with the greatest growth but also highlights the extraordinary momentum in the industry over the past year,” says Liane Caruso, senior vice president of franchising at My Salon Suite. “After all, growth is what franchising is all about.”

The initial investment for a My Salon Suite franchise is approximately $664,738-$1,479,827, including a $50,000 franchise fee. Ideal candidates have a net worth of $1.5 million, of which $500,000 is liquid. Additionally, My Salon Suite offers a special incentive for veterans and first responders, including paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, sheriffs, and firefighters, which includes a 50 percent reduction on the franchise fee.

For more information about the My Salon Suite franchise, visit here.

Ann Arbor’s VergeIO Slashes Cost of VMware Disaster Recovery

VergeIO in Ann Arbor says it’s providing a robust disaster recovery solution, IOprotect, for VMware. The solution promises to reduce customer costs by more than 60 percent and, in most cases, requires no additional hardware while improving recoverability and resiliency.

IOprotect is part of VergeIO’s Ultraconverged Infrastructure (UCI) solution VergeOS and enables customers to take a safe first step of a VMware Exit Strategy. Customers can load IOprotect on the existing hardware at their disaster recovery location and replicate, in near real-time, their VMware virtual machines to it. IOprotect enables customers to cut costs almost immediately while increasing the number of workloads protected thanks to the efficiency of VergeOS.

“Disaster Recovery is an excellent first step in a VMware Exit strategy,” says Yan Ness, CEO of VergeIO. “It enables customers to fully vet the potential alternative by having it run a function that is critical and vital to the enterprise.

“Later, once customers experience the stability and robust capabilities of VergeOS, they seamlessly upgrade to the full version of VergeOS. Then they are ready to transition their production environment as their VMware licensing agreements expire, face a VMware audit, or want to avoid another round of disruptive upgrades.”

The IOprotect solution enables customers to maintain continuously updated copies of their VMware virtual machines on VergeOS but does not replace backup solutions. Instead, it is a radically affordable DR alternative to software from VMware, Zerto, array-based replication Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) bundles. It is also significantly easier to set up, operate and maintain.

IOprotect runs on the customer’s hardware at a site they deem appropriate for disaster recovery, eliminating the shock of unexpectedly high monthly bills from public cloud providers. With IOprotect, customers can restart protected workloads within minutes of a site outage. If organizations don’t have a suitable DR site, they can connect with one of VergeIO’s IOpartners and quickly address their disaster recovery needs with a few mouse clicks.

NTT, NTT DATA and IndyCar Extend Partnership with Multi-year Agreement

NTT and NTT Data have extended the entitlement partnership with IndyCar through a multi-year agreement that also includes official technology partner status.

NTT has been the title sponsor of the NTT IndyCar Series since 2019 and will continue in that capacity with this multi-year extension that goes into effect in 2024. NTT and NTT Data will continue as the official technology partner for IndyCar, the NTT IndyCar Series, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis 500, and NASCAR Brickyard weekend.

“NTT is an excellent partner across our enterprise with strong expertise and a deep commitment to our sport,” says Roger Penske, chairman of Penske Corp. “From Smart Venue technology at the Racing Capital of the World to the reimagined Series mobile application, NTT is transforming the fan experience in new and innovative ways. We look forward to a bright future together.”

Kaz Nishihata, CEO of NTT Data, says: “IndyCar is a great partner for NTT Data because of our shared commitment to driving innovation, increasing sustainability, and delivering amazing experiences. We also appreciate how IndyCar is so diverse, with drivers from 15 different countries, and races that range from short ovals and superspeedways to road and street courses. It’s both an incredible sport and a wonderful example for our world.”

Some of the highlights of NTT and NTT Data’s commitment to accelerating the sport’s future include:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a Smart Venue: The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled optical detection technologies, combined with real-time entry gate flow rate data, provide the IMS operations and security teams more insight into current and possible scenarios at the historic venue. The technology allows the staff to see a broader venue picture in real time ranging from visitor and traffic flow to congestion points and security. At-gate IMS personnel also have mobile POS capabilities at their fingertips for digital ticketing and parking transactions – all to help manage the event venue more safely and efficiently. It also provides fans attending one of the world’s largest-attended, single-day events with real-time entry gate wait times through the IMS app and website.

IndyCar App Enhancements and Growth: Powered by NTT DATA since 2019, the INDYCAR App has made dramatic gains in functionality, features and use. Over the last three years, downloads have grown by nearly 50 percent with users representing more than 200 countries and territories. A new version debuted for the start of this NTT INDYCAR SERIES season with a modernized look, upgraded navigation, and enhanced pre-race, live race and post-race experiences. It also returned fan favorite features such as driver-specific telemetry, live timing and scoring, multiple in car cameras and driver-to-team radio communication. The INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA is free and available for download from the iOS App Store or Google Play.

IndyCar Data Experience: NTT is providing fans with more race and driver data than ever before through multiple channels, including the INDYCAR App powered by NTT DATA and NBC television broadcasts. Utilizing 140 different data points from each car in the field and also the track, NTT delivers real-time, data-driven racing insights for fans to better consume and understand how a race is unfolding. AI and predictive data analytics allow NTT to provide fans real-time access to key in race aspects such as head-to-head driver battles for position; pit stop performance impact; fuel strategies and tire wear; leaderboard predictions; weather impact; and much more.

“The NTT IndyCar Series will continue to be a hub for progress and discovery with the extension of this world-class partnership,” says Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment. “NTT is fully invested in the development and growth of our sport and has already established a terrific track record in our industry with problem solving capabilities and access to top talent and tools.”

For more information, visit here.

Megabus and Indian Trails Partner to Expand Bus Service 

New Jersey-based Megabus and Indian Trails in Owasso are partnering to expanded service options for 90 cities in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois including trips between Ann Arbor and 20 cities, Detroit and 23 cities, Green Bay and 18 cities, Lansing and 20 cities, and Milwaukee and 18 cities.

“We are delighted to be expanding our service offerings once again in the Midwest,” says Colin Emberson, vice president commercial for Megabus. “This partnership will allow us to expand travel opportunities for customers in some existing cities in our network like Detroit and Chicago while also welcoming customers in a plethora of new cities.”

“We look forward to our new partnership with Megabus and the continued expansion of our service network,” saya Chad Cushman, president of Indian Trails. “Our mutual customers will surely benefit from the added connections available by merging our two existing networks.”

Schedules are now available and tickets can be purchased today for travel beginning on April 3 at us.megabus.com.

Michigan Panthers, Philadelphia Stars Hosting Youth Football Clinic for Local Children

The Michigan Panthers and Philadelphia Stars of the USFL are hosting a free Youth Football Clinic this Sunday from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. at Wide World Sports Center in Ann Arbor.

More than 150 kids ages 6-12 from the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan, Special Olympics Michigan, Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL), and local communities are expected to take the field to run drills with the help of players, coaches, cheerleaders, and Panthers team mascot Pablo.

All participating kids will receive a drawstring bag and t-shirt as well as complimentary lunch from Jersey Mikes.

New Ford House Facilities Cited in National Engineering Competition

SmithGroup of Detroit has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 56th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for its role in the design of the new visitor center and administrative building at the Edsel and Elanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores.

SmithGroup designed the building infrastructure for the new facilities, which enhance the visitor experience while also complementing the estate’s historic Cotswold architecture. To honor the Fords’ vision of enhancing and sustaining the environment, the administration building is fitted with a variety of systems designed to create as much or more energy than the facility consumes. Three-hundred-foot-deep wells provide geothermal support to offset heating and cooling for the buildings and reduce their carbon footprint.

The new buildings are sited to take full advantage of the waterfront property on Lake St. Clair, as well as the Jens Jensen-designed landscaping. The original vision of a “village in the woods” was maintained and enhanced with contemporary sustainable features such as an innovative system that captures all stormwater on the estate. Stored in holding tanks, the stormwater is filtered through a series of wetland-like fields before release into Lake St. Clair, with the treated stormwater cleaner than the lake water.

Genisys Credit Union Ranked in Top 10 of Best Performing Credit Unions

 Genisys Credit Union in Auburn Hills has been ranked 10th in Best Performing Credit Unions in the United States by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“To our members, my deepest thanks for your support in allowing Genisys to make a positive difference in your financial lives,” says Jackie Buchanan, president and CEO of Genisys Credit Union. “This accomplishment would not have been realized without your loyalty in choosing Genisys as your credit union. The recognition from S&P Global Market Intelligence attests to the endless contributions from our team for continued member success and the guidance from our board of directors.”

For three years in a row, Genisys Credit Union has ranked in the Top 15 in the nation. Credit unions were evaluated using five financial performance metrics: member growth, total number of loans per member, net worth as a percentage of total assets, delinquent loans as a percentage of total loans, and return on average assets for a 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2022. A total of 1,797 credit unions qualified for the rankings.

Detroit Zoo to Present its Annual Spring Celebration April 7-8

The Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is inviting the community to its annual spring celebration taking place from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. April 7-8.

Activities such as face painting, habitat chats, a golden egg hunt, and a bounce house and inflatable obstacle course will be available. The golden egg hunt features 100 hidden eggs each day across the zoo’s 125 acres. Lucky golden egg recipients will receive an animal plush and biodegradable pot with native seeds to support local pollinators. Only one golden egg may be redeemed per child.

In addition, Bunnyville is giving back to the community this spring. Those who join in on the fun are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate to Gleaners Community Food Bank, and the zoo will we donate a portion of the weekend’s ticket sales directly to Gleaners.

Additional activities will include:

  • “Ed-zoo-cation” stations.
  • Complimentary bunny ears.
  • Live entertainment.
  • Exclusive photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny.