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.
New Nonmetallic Construction Center of Excellence Opens in Farmington Hills
Aramco in Novi and the American Concrete Institute in Farmington Hills announce the launch of NEx: A Center of Excellence for Nonmetallic Building Materials to develop and promote the use of nonmetallic materials in the building and construction sector.
Based at ACI World Headquarters in Farmington Hills, NEx will focus on accelerating the use of nonmetallic materials and products in construction, leveraging ACI’s role as a world-leading authority and resource for the development, dissemination and adoption of consensus-based standards for concrete design, construction and materials.
“The center’s mission will be to collaborate globally on using nonmetallic materials in the built environment by driving research, education, awareness, and technology adoption,” says Jeffrey W. Coleman, president of ACI. “Expanding incorporation of nonmetallic materials and products in the built environment will improve sustainability, contribute to a lower carbon footprint, and enhance the durability and longevity of structures.”
Ahmad Al-Sa’adi, senior vice president of technical services at Aramco, says, “Aramco has been developing and deploying nonmetallic solutions within our own operations for more than 20 years as they offer superior lifecycle cost, efficiency, and environmental advantages over their metal alternatives.
“The potential for using nonmetallic advanced polymetric materials, however, goes way beyond the oil and gas sector and includes the building and construction industries where there is significant potential. That is why this new Center of Excellence for Nonmetallic Building Materials offers enormous and exciting opportunities.”
Aramco is leader in the use of nonmetallic materials in oil and gas facilities to reduce corrosion, weight and the cost of construction and operation. This initiative with ACI is part of the company’s broader strategy to enter new markets, leveraging its hydrocarbon resources and technology to deliver advanced polymeric materials solutions across industries.
Nonmetallic materials are increasingly being deployed across multiple industries, including oil and gas, construction, automotive, packaging and renewables. They offer several advantages over metallic materials, such as corrosion-resistance, reduced weight, increased durability, lower cost, and improved environmental efficiency.
Over the past four decades, the American Concrete Institute has been convening the industry’s brightest minds to advance nonmetallic technologies. With numerous published guides, reports, and specifications on nonmetallics in concrete, including fiber-reinforced polymers and fiber reinforced concrete, NEx will serve as a catalyst to incorporate more than 40 years of knowledge into the further acceleration of nonmetallic materials and technology.
“Our founding member, Aramco, aligns with our vision to effectively meet the demands of a changing world by setting standards for the development and adoption of nonmetallic materials in building and construction,” added Mr. Coleman. “ACI is pleased to have Aramco’s support in leading this dialogue with industry stakeholders around the world.”
The Center plans to expand its scope to include the use of nonmetallics in other construction materials, such as composite cladding, asphalt and soil. The Center looks to draw additional partners from leading academic institutions, industries, technical societies, standard bodies, manufacturers and professionals.
To learn more about NEx, visit here.
Park West Gallery Hosts Riverboat Art Auction Cruises
Southfield’s Park West Gallery, the world’s largest art dealer, hosted a round trip American Duchess Riverboat cruise from New Orleans to Memphis and back for 120 clients in March.
“Heading into 2021, we had a vision and a plan to bring cruising back to our clients and I am proud to say we successfully made that happen,” says John Block, executive vice president of Park West Gallery. “Our clients’ safety is our top priority and thankfully we’ve been able to host events that strictly adhere to COVID-19 guidelines. We were diligent with testing and our clients were more than cooperative with each of the procedures that provided an enjoyable, safe and exciting voyage for them.”
Guests and staff were required to have two consecutive negative COVID-19 negative tests, one prior to flying to the departure port administered by Vault Health and one before boarding the riverboat administered by Impact Health.
In addition to testing and daily temperature checks for clients and staff members, all staterooms were sanitized using fogging twice a day, masks were worn, and social distancing guidelines were adhered to, and shore excursions were done exclusively with the Park West group members to minimize risk and keep everyone who had been tested, “in the bubble.”
“We are delighted to see the world starting to open up again and we look forward to scheduling VIP Cruise dates with more of our cruise line partners as they set sail later in 2021,” says Block.
During the event, special guest appearances were made by artists Scott Jacobs, Kre8, Allison Lefcort, Tim Yanke, Michael Godard, David “Lebo” Le Batard, Alexandre Renoir, Orlando Quevedo, and James Coleman.
During the onboard auctions, a special focus was put on raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Amelia Island Jazz Festival. In total, more than $150,000 was raised for these two organizations.
In addition to in-person events, Park West also hosts live-streaming online art auctions every weekend. To learn more about Park West’s online collecting events, visit here.
Domino’s Pizza Subsidiaries Announce Recapitalization
Domino’s Pizza Inc. in Ann Arbor, the largest pizza company in the world based on retail sales, today announced that some of its subsidiaries intend to complete a recapitalization transaction. It will include the refinancing of a portion of their outstanding securitization debt with a new series of securitized debt. The company also expects these subsidiaries to enter into a new variable funding note facility.
The subsidiaries intend to issue $1.5 billion of new securitized notes and to use the proceeds to prepay and retire in full approximately $291 million in aggregate principal amount of the company’s 2017-1 Floating Rate Senior Secured Notes, Class A-2-I at par, prepay and retire in full approximately $582 million in aggregate principal amount of the company’s Series 2017-1 3.082 percent Fixed Rate Senior Secured Notes, Class A-2-II at par, to pay transaction fees and for general corporate purposes, including distributions to holders of the company’s common stock, other equivalent payments and/or stock repurchases.
Domino’s expects that these subsidiaries also will enter into a new $200 million variable funding note facility that will replace the existing $200 million variable funding note facility. As of Jan. 3, 2021, there was approximately $42.5 million of outstanding letters of credit and no outstanding borrowings under the existing variable note funding facility.
The consummation of the note offering is subject to market and other conditions and is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2021. There can be no assurance, however, that the Domino’s will be able to successfully complete the recapitalization transaction on the terms described, or at all, officials say.
Benton Harbor’s Gladiator Unveils New Garage-ready Beverage Cooler
Benton Harbor-based Gladiator is debuting a new beverage cooler created specifically for use in garages.
The new beverage cooler has enough storage space to hold up to 154 12-ounce cans and provides functionality, durability, and flexibility during hot summer afternoons, frigid winter evenings, and everything in between, according to the company.
Available through GladiatorGW.com beginning this month, the beverage cooler can be left in a garage or basement year-round and can withstand ambient temperatures ranging from zero to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, a temperature alarm is designed to indicate when the inner temperature of the cooler exceeds 73 degrees Fahrenheit or drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Over the past year, people have placed more importance than ever on spending time in and around their garage,” says Toni Sdao, general manager of Gladiator. “As a result, they’re searching for quality, durable products that can withstand the elements. Products like the beverage cooler are a perfect year-round storage solution in the garage.”
The Gladiator Beverage Cooler features a tempered glass, shatter-resistant door, the signature Gladiator silver tread and hammered granite finish on its door frame and body. It can hold up to 200 pounds on its top, creating additional storage that fits in alongside any other Gladiator product. It also includes a set of casters for easy portability.
Inside, the cooler has three removable, shatter-resistant glass shelves that can be arranged in multiple positions, allowing for a fully customizable experience. The product also features a blue interior LED light to help see inside at any time of day.
For more information, visit here.
Blue Cross Blue Shield and Pistons Hosting ‘Piston for a Day’ Sweepstakes
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit Pistons today are kicking off the Detroit Pistons “Piston for a Day” social media sweepstakes for Michigan kids 6-14. This one-week-only sweepstakes will pick five winners, who will be treated to a special visit to the Detroit Pistons Performance Center.
Additional prizes include:
- A special virtual message from a Detroit Pistons player.
- A Pistons/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan-branded locker filled with an
- autographed jersey, shorts, shirts, basketball, bag, and more.
- Private shootaround on the Pistons basketball court.
- Four club tickets to a Pistons home game for the 2021-2022 season.
Entries will be accepted until April 12 here.
The sweepstakes is part of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s #MIKidsCan campaign, which is focused on encouraging kids to adopt healthy habits early in life that are more likely to be carried into adulthood. The organization works together with sports teams across the state to help kids maintain an active, healthy lifestyle with good nutrition and exercise habits.