DBusiness Daily Update: New Shinola Watch Honors Legendary Athlete Jim Thorpe, and More

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.
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Shinola has introduced the limited-edition 45mm Jim Thorpe Runwell Automatic watch. // Courtesy of Shinola
Shinola has introduced the limited-edition 45mm Jim Thorpe Runwell Automatic watch. // Courtesy of Shinola

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.

New Shinola Watch Honors Legendary Athlete Jim Thorpe

Detroit’s Shinola, in collaboration with the Thorpe family, has introduced the limited-edition 45mm Jim Thorpe Runwell Automatic watch, the latest edition in the watchmaker’s Great Americans Series.

In 1912 at the Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden, Thorpe became the first Native American to win a gold medal for the United States and the only athlete in history to win gold in both the decathlon and the pentathlon, a record he holds to this day.

In addition to his Olympic accolades, Jim Thorpe was a major league baseball player for the New York Giants, the first president of the American Professional Football Association (predecessor to the NFL), and a championship-winning professional football player for the Canton Bulldogs of Ohio.

Because of his professional sports endeavors, Thorpe was stripped of his Olympic gold medals for more than a century. Ultimately, they were reinstated.

The watch retails for $1,750 at shinola.com and select Shinola stores nationwide.

Pet Supplies Plus to Debut its First America’s Thanksgiving Parade Float

The Parade Co. and Livonia-based Pet Supplies Plus have unveiled the company’s first float, “Let the Pets Play On!” that will make its debut in the 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White.

The Monday unveil event also featured adoptable dogs from the Friends of Detroit Animal Care and Control to spotlight its support of numerous local rescues and shelters.

“We are proud to welcome Pet Supplies Plus to The Parade Company family,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. “As a Michigan-based company, Pet Supplies Plus is a household name and a great part of our community. It will be a thrill to see their beautiful float make its way down Woodward Avenue on Thanksgiving morning.”

Designed and built by The Parade Co. artists, “Let the Pets Play On!” is designed to be a reflection of the Pet Supplies Plus brand. It features some furry friends including a Great Dane that is 12 feet tall and a Pet Supplies Plus team member with a white umbrella Cockatoo named Phoebe (also known as the Pet Supplies Plus chief bird officer) riding on his shoulder that elevates 25 feet in the air. Additionally, the float showcases replicas of toys found at neighborhood Pet Supplies Plus stores. It is the first float in parade history to ever have three television screens, used to animate fish tanks and small animal habitats.

“The city of Detroit is our home and the relationships and partnerships we have been able to build and create with organizations like The Parade Company are extremely valuable to us,” says Emily Lange, social media marketing lead at Pet Supplies Plus. “Being part of such an amazing tradition not only in Detroit, but across the nation is so important to us here at Pet Supplies Plus and we are so excited for the community and our neighbors to see our new ‘Let the Pets Play On!’ float and cannot wait for the big day.”

Michigan Women Forward Announces Winners of the 53 Voices Challenge

Michigan Women Forward announced the three winners of the 53 Voices challenge sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.

The nonprofit hosted the top 10 entrepreneurs in Detroit on Oct. 18 to honor their accomplishments and declare this year’s 53 Voices Challenge winners.

First place went to Lisa Schilthuis and Alyssa Zehr of GrandMinds, an online shop that creates failure-free products to help people with dementia improve their quality of life by engaging in purposeful and enjoyable activities at their ability level. They won $7,500.

In second place was Christy Howden of Wolverine Pickleball, the “premier” place to play pickleball in Ann Arbor. She won $5,000.

Third Place went to Aiyenede Akhigbe of Sticky Spoons Jam, a veteran-owned business specializing in using locally sourced fruits to create uniquely versatile jams, which took home $2,500.

“We are overjoyed to announce the winners of the 53 Voices challenge,” says Alexis Dishman, chief lending officer at Michigan Women Forward. “After sharing their business ideas, these women went on to complete three Michigan Women Forward entrepreneur education training workshops. Their hard work and dedication have taken them far. Now we’re excited to see how they use their winnings to advance their business initiatives.”

For more information about the 53 Voices challenge, visit here.

CNCF Announces First Products Certified Under Cloud Native Network Function Program

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America — The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the Detroit-based organization that builds sustainable ecosystems for cloud native software, announced the first set of certified products as part of the Cloud Native Network Function (CNF) Certification Program.

The CNF Certification Program, introduced in May, helps communication service providers (CSPs) and other telecommunications organizations identify which network equipment providers (NEPs) follow cloud native best practices.

The first four participants to achieve certification include F5, Juniper Networks, MATRIXX Software and PANTHEON.tech. By utilizing these certified products and solutions, CSPs can adopt Kubernetes and cloud native tools with greater confidence, speeding their time and value to market as they continue to embrace software-defined networking and modern-day infrastructure best practices.

CNFs are applications that implement or facilitate network functionality in a cloud native way. CSPs and other telecom organizations are migrating away from traditional Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) and Physical Network Functions (PNFs) toward CNFs and Kubernetes-based infrastructures that provide service reliability while lowering capital and operating expenses and encouraging cross-cloud compatibility.

“CNFs help telecom providers break down the siloed resources and specialized solutions built up through the use of VNFs,” says Priyanka Sharma, executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

“With that said, it can be a challenging transition, which is why it’s critical for organizations to make use of solutions that have been certified to follow cloud native best practices. By leveraging products from Certified CNF vendors, telecom providers can ensure the interoperability and neutrality necessary for building out true cloud native infrastructure. Some of the world’s largest telecom organizations, including Huawei, Nokia, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, already use Kubernetes and other cloud native technologies, and this program will make it easier for others to do the same.”

Folktellers Studios Embarks on a Hero’s Journey

Folktellers Studios in Detroit has joined forces with Lion Forge Animation to create an exciting musical series that explores the lives of famous artists before they reached stardom. This private, invitation-only event at an Emagine Theatre will give audiences an incredible preview of the sights, sounds, and stories as this series moves deeper into production.

“Hero’s Journey: The Series where dreams become reality,” says Stephen Sadler, executive producer. “Anyone interested in how the greatest rose to the top, will now experience their fascinating journey in vivid color, accompanied with groundbreaking music from that era. By integrating animation and music with incredible storytelling, we have created a series that will appeal to fans of all ages across the world. I’m feel very appreciative for the opportunity to work on this project, especially the great people involved.”

The night’s festivities will include a live performance by the band, Slight Return, a screening of Lion Forge’s Oscar-winning short film, “Hair Love,” and the first showreel from the Hero’s Journey series, along with a brief Q & A with the Folktellers Team.

“We couldn’t be more excited to get this project off the ground,” says Mark Kassa, co-producer and lead singer and guitarist for Slight return. “With having a love for music and art, I know people are really going to connect with these stories, especially since most of these tales have never been told before now. What we’re doing is really different and very special – I think everyone will enjoy the results of our efforts.”

For more information, visit: folktellerstudios.com.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Offering Thanksgiving Experience Sweepstakes for Kids

One Michigan child will be a Thanksgiving Day star courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and the Detroit Lions.

Michigan children 10-18 can enter the #MIKidsCan Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes through Nov. 14 here.

The winner and their parents or guardians will ride on Blue Cross’ float down Woodward Avenue during America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White, then deliver the commemorative game ball on-field at the 83rd annual Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field. The winner will be joined at the game by nine guests, allowing their entire family to enjoy one of Detroit’s premier Thanksgiving traditions together while cheering on the Detroit Lions.

As part of the sweepstakes entry, parents are asked to share how their child will get active for 60 minutes on Thanksgiving Day. The Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes supports Blue Cross’ ongoing commitment to children’s physical fitness and good nutrition through its #MIKidsCan campaign and ongoing partnership with the Detroit Lions’ Play 60 program.

“Blue Cross is thrilled to again host this year’s Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes with the Detroit Lions in what’s considered one of the largest event days in Michigan,” says Andrew Hetzel, vice president of corporate communications at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Our mutual commitment with the Lions to improve children’s health and well-being, reinforcing the importance of 60 minutes of daily physical activity and making healthier food choices, comes to life through opportunities like the Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes.”

The winner will be randomly selected by the Detroit Lions and announced prior to the game. As part of their prize package, they will receive:

  • Winner and their parents to be part of the BCBSM parade float, carrying the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day commemorative game ball.
  • A custom jersey.
  • A commemorative football.
  • Participation in the national anthem prior to the Thanksgiving Day game.
  • Participation in the fan tunnel experience prior to the Thanksgiving Day game.
  • Special seating along the parade route for his or her guests in the BCBSM Blue Zone.
  • 10 club level seats at Ford Field, to watch the Thanksgiving Day game.
  • A complete Thanksgiving dinner for all 10 guests.

“We are thrilled to once again be partnering with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on the Turkey Day VIP Sweepstakes to bring an extra layer of joy to our community on the day of our greatest tradition, the Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day Classic,” says Emily Griffin, senior vice president of marketing and brand for the Detroit Lions. “We can’t wait to see how this year’s winner represents youth health and wellness by playing 60 as well as getting into the Thanksgiving holiday spirit on gameday.”

Dickinson Wright Recognized Wins 2022 Compass Award for Legal Diversity

Dickinson Wright has been named a Compass Award winner by the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD), recognizing those law firms and corporations showing a strong commitment to building more diverse organizations and a more inclusive legal profession.

LCLD is one of the nation’s leading organizations promoting diversity and consists of more than 430 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners—the leadership of the profession—who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse U.S. legal profession.

The Compass Award recognizes those individuals and organizations that fulfill all of the following requirements in a single calendar year:

  • Member attendance at the LCLD Annual Membership Meeting and/or Member attendance at a Leadership Summit and/or submission of a Leader’s Pledge.
  • Participation in the LCLD Fellows and Pathfinder Programs.
  • Participation in an LCLD Pipeline program (the 1L Scholars program or the Success in Law School Mentoring Program).

DCD’s Honey Bourbon, BITD’s Bourbon Barrel-Aged Honey Go on Sale Nov. 11

Detroit City Distillery (DCD) and Bees in the D (BITD) have united again to release their limited-edition Honey Bourbon and Bourbon Barrel-aged Honey.

A Honey Bourbon Launch Party will take place at DCD’s Tasting Room in Eastern Market from 4-11 p.m. on Nov. 11, featuring Honey Bourbon tastings, honey cocktails. and other honey-themed treats

Produced only once-a-year, coinciding with the annual honey harvest, this wildly popular seasonal spirit routinely sells out in days. Both items will be available for online purchase starting at 8 a.m. on Nov. 11, with pick-ups and in-person purchasing available starting at 4 p.m. at the launch party.

“People from all over ask us if they can buy Honey Bourbon all year long,” says Michael Forsyth, co-owner of Detroit City Distillery. “Our goal this year is to make it more accessible and available to Michiganders throughout our great state.

“We are distributing this bourbon to grocers, liquor stores, bars, and restaurants for the first time and lowering the price so more people can try it. This fine bourbon features the truest taste of Detroit you can get. We combine our award-winning bourbon we make in Eastern Market with honey made by thousands of honeybees using flower nectar from all over the city. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

Detroit City Distillery Honey Bourbon goes for $60 per bottle and Bees in the D Bourbon Barrel Aged Honey sells for $40 per bottle. Both bourbon and honey bottles come with ornate honeybee labels.

Customers can purchase these items, as well as other limited edition Honey Bourbon merchandise, at https://www.detroitcitydistillery.com/shop and pick up merchandise starting at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 11, 2022, at Detroit City Distillery’s Honey Bourbon Party at their Tasting Room at 2462 Riopelle Street, in Detroit’s Eastern Market. Online and in-person sales will continue while supplies last.

OnStar is Presenting Sponsor of Alzheimer’s Association Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter has announced that General Motors Co.’s OnStar will be the presenting sponsor of the 2022 Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s Oct. 29 at the Detroit Zoo.

The Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s — which has raised more than $3 million for Alzheimer’s and dementia care, support, and critical research over the last five years — brings together individuals and teams from across metro Detroit.

“OnStar is proud to support the Detroit Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” says Laura Thornton, director of OnStar marketing at General Motors. “With 25 years of experience in providing safety and vehicle connectivity services, our team has a deep commitment to customer-centric innovation and ensuring our safety and connectivity services continue to be accessible in our fast-changing world.

“We are honored for the opportunity to bring our passion for safety, security, and human connection to the fight against Alzheimer’s.”

To register, donate, and receive the latest updates on this year’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, visit here.

Gesher Human Services Starts Career Change MyCoach Program Nov. 8

Gesher Human Services in Southfield is starting a new, two-week program called MyCoach Nov. 8 that will assist people looking to change careers.

The new program will be conducted in person from 10 a.m.-noon on Nov. 8, 10, 15, and 17. Participants will also be offered an individual coaching session with an experienced career counselor. MyCoach has a $100 class fee, although financial hardship will not be a barrier to taking part in the program.

“We know that there are many people who feel stuck in their job, who want to reinvent their working life, but just don’t know how to make that career change because they think there are too many obstacles, including the possibility of an economic recession,” says Sherrie James, career counselor at Gesher Human Service. “We are here to tell you that there is no need to settle and that through career counseling tools and coaching you can build confidence, eventually finding a job that you love.”

The program offers:

  • Identification of skills.
  • Personal coach.
  • Career inventory.
  • Opportunity for professional growth.
  • Awareness of market trends.
  • Confidence building.
  • Job search tools.

For more information and to register for MyCoach, contact Sherrie James at sjames@geshermi.org or call 248-233-4472.