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.
Willie Horton, Tony Hawk Among Celebrity Lineup for America’s Thanksgiving Parade
The Parade Co. has announced the line-up of celebrity guests that will participate in America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White.
“We look forward to one of our biggest and best parades ever, with a record nine new floats, great special guests and many surprises,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co.
The grand marshals will be Detroit native and member of the University of Michigan legendary basketball Fab Five Jalen Rose and Fellowship Chapel pastor and community leader the Rev. Wendell Anthony.
Other celebrities taking part in Detroit’s Thanksgiving morning tradition are:
- 1968 Detroit Tigers World Champion Willie Horton
- Skateboarding legend Tony Hawk
- Techno musicians The Belleville Three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson)
- Professional boxing champion Alycia Baumgardner
- Professional boxing champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison
- Olympic snowboarder Nick Baumgartner
- Olympic hockey star Megan Keller
- “America’s Got Talent” finalist Ava Swiss
The opening act for the parade will be the cast of “Tina — The Tina Turner Musical,” which is coming to the Detroit Opera House in December.
The annual parade down Woodward Avenue also will see new floats from Gardner White, Huntington, Pet Supplies Plus, Ford Motor Co., Skillman Foundation, Rocket Cos., Marygrove Awnings, DTE Energy, and University of Michigan Health Mott Children’s Hospital. A new caboose will be added to the Strategic Staffing Solutions float as well.
The Parade Co. also announced that Lil Jon will be performing at the sold-out Hob Nobble Gobble presented by Ford Motor Co. at Ford Field Nov. 18.
Consumers Energy Taps Oregon Firm for Solar and Storage Microgrid Project
Consumer’s Energy in Jackson has selected the Energy Warehouse platform of ESS Inc. in Wilsonville, Ore. as part of a microgrid powering a gas compression facility in Michigan.
The project, which includes the first iron flow battery to be used for a gas compression plant, underscores the capabilities of ESS’s Energy Warehouse to deliver low-cost, long-duration energy storage over a more than 20-year operational lifespan. When paired with solar photovoltaics, the Energy Warehouse is designed to provide a sustainable, resilient energy storage solution for critical infrastructure.
“Consumers Energy’s partnership with ESS on this first-of-its-kind project is another positive step toward a cleaner energy future for Michigan,” says Dennis Dobbs, vice president of gas engineering and supply at Consumers Energy. “This project delivers on our goal of producing and storing clean, renewable electricity to help the environment, reduce electric bills and increase operational efficiency at the compressor station. And by integrating ESS’s Energy Warehouse we are able to ensure the safe, dependable operation of our critical infrastructure.”
Utilizing earth-abundant iron, salt, and water for its electrolyte, and simple materials for battery components, the ESS Energy Warehouse promises to be a durable, environmentally safe, long-duration storage solution that is ideally suited for time-shifting renewable energy, managing a facility’s demand charges, and smoothing the intermittency of renewables on a constrained grid. It aligns well with the life span of solar and wind projects, supporting those applications’ low levelized cost of energy requirements.
Rockwell Medical Reacquires Distribution Rights for Hemodialysis Concentrates Business
Rockwell Medical Inc. in Wixom is reacquiring the distribution rights to its hemodialysis concentrates products from Baxter and has agreed to terminate the exclusive distribution agreement from 2014. Exclusivity and other provisions associated with the distribution agreement terminated this week and the remaining operational elements of the agreement terminate Dec. 31.
Rockwell will pay Baxter an undisclosed cost for the reacquisition of its distribution rights.
Rockwell is among the largest supplier of life-sustaining hemodialysis concentrates products to dialysis clinics in the United States. Under the exclusive distribution agreement, Baxter distributed and commercialized Rockwell’s hemodialysis concentrates products in the United States and certain other countries.
Rockwell manufactured all hemodialysis concentrate products and provided customer service and order delivery to nearly all U.S. customers.
Following the reacquisition of these rights, Rockwell now will be able to sell its hemodialysis concentrates products directly to dialysis clinics throughout the United States and around the world. Additionally, Rockwell now will be able to independently price its products, eliminate costs associated with manufacturing covenants, improve manufacturing efficiencies, realize the full benefits from those improvements, and develop, in-license, or acquire new products to develop a broader kidney care products portfolio.
Farbman Group Partners to Offer A-rated Insurance for Deposit-free Commercial Leases
Southfield-based commercial real estate company Farbman Group is partnering with Otso, a fintech company and tenant risk expert to offer a multi-year lease insurance program that provides landlords with additional tenant default protection while minimizing cash outlays for tenants.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to support our real estate clients, and our partnership with Otso will be a game changer for those looking to lease commercial space with us,” says Andrew Farbman, CEO of Farbman Group. “The partnership allows us to provide creative security deposit options for potential tenants, all while mitigating risk to both parties involved.”
Traditionally, landlords accept letters of credit or cash to lock in security for their outlay on a lease. That can sometimes create a challenge for owners given the up-front cost of leasing space, and for tenants who may be required to have cash held throughout their lease term. Farbman says Otso provides a win-win scenario for both sides of the leasing equation, allowing Farbman Group to better protect landlords while allowing tenants to hold on to their cash.
Otso’s lease insurance is the first A-rated, multi-year policy for commercial real estate securitization providing a fully digital experience. Decisioning for prospective tenants is powered by Otso’s underwriting technology, which uses more than 800 credit factors including exclusive banking history, enabling most applications to get activated in a matter of minutes.
MotorCity Casino to Host Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit
The 23rd annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit will take place Nov. 14-15 at the MotorCity Casino Hotel Conference Center in Detroit.
This conference typically focuses on issues related to diversity and inclusion. This year’s conference will focus on ensuring inclusion of minority-owned suppliers, dealerships, and startups in the industry’s transition to electric vehicles, as well as minority representation in automaker leadership positions.
Ford Motor Co. CEO Jim Farley, Stellantis COO Mark Stewart, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are slated to participate in the summit. On Nov. 14, there will be a panel discussion with vice presidents of purchasing from four automakers.
For more information, visit here.
JDog Junk Hauling & Removal Expands to Plymouth Township
JDog Junk Hauling & Removal, a national chain of clean-up services companies, is expanding its Michigan footprint by opening a location in Plymouth Township on Saturday. This will be the second location for local franchisee Mark Aldrich, a U.S. Army veteran and police officer.
JDog Brands, which is designed to elevate the strengths of veterans and make the most of their leadership abilities and talents, has become one of the most popular franchise investments among veterans.
“I love that JDog Brands is veteran-centric,” Aldrich says. “I also really love their philosophies and business model because their main focus was similar to my own, which is giving back to the community.
“I’m excited about how far I’ve come and how much I can grow with JDog,” Aldrich says. “As long as we stay true to our mission statement and goals, we will find success. We’ve hired several Veterans recently, and I’m looking forward to hiring even more.”
Aldrich and his team are hosting a grand opening celebration on Saturday at the University of Michigan vs. Nebraska football game.
For more information, visit jdogjunkremoval.com.
Forgotten Harvest Receives $100K Gift from Schostack Brothers & Co.
Forgotten Harvest announced has received a $100,000 gift from Schostak Brothers & Co. to reach its $17M Solutions That Nourish Campaign goal to support a new distribution center that helps feed and care for more than 750,000 households in metro Detroit.
“Forgotten Harvest is very proud to have received this generous gift commitment from the Schostak family to close out our campaign,” says Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “Our new facility and campus will enable us to greatly reduce food insecurity and improve nutritional mix and food access for our metro Detroiter’s in need.”
In 2019, Forgotten Harvest embarked on the most important initiative in the organization’s history; a $17M campaign to maximize the alleviation of hunger and food insecurity across southeast Michigan. The goal of the campaign was to increase community impact and create an enhanced, more sustainable food security network that provides nutritional food equality, while focusing on four key priorities: access, supply, knowledge, and heightened community awareness.
Third generation Schostak Brothers, Bobby Schostak, Partner, Schostak Brothers & Co.; David Schostak, CEO, Schostak Brothers & Co.; and Mark Schostak, executive chairman of TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants state:
“We are proud to support Forgotten Harvest in their incredible efforts to relieve hunger and help neighbors in need in our community,” said Bobby, David, and Mark Schostak in a joint statement. “Their incredible work of delivering over 42 million pounds of food annually is truly remarkable. We are in awe of their admirable and vital work.”
In Related News: Mootz Pizzeria + Bar in Detroit has presented Forgotten Harvest with a check for $3,771 in celebration of National Pizza Month.
Detroit Lions Center Frank Ragnow Raises $150K at Ford Field Gala
Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow and his teammates hosted more than 120 guests inside Ford Field’s Hall of Legends to raise funds for Ragnow’s charitable foundation, The Rags Remembered Foundation.
The Night of Memories event raised more than $150,000 with net proceeds going toward the community outreach programs of the foundation including programs like Camp Huddle Up in June 2023. The camp will host local children ages 5-18 years old who are grieving from the loss of a parent or loved one to an outdoor grief camp with Ragnow for the day.
The event started out with an open bar cocktail hour with some Detroit Lions players, photo opportunities, autographs, games, and bidding on silent auction items. A three-course dinner and a live auction followed.
Busch’s Fresh Food Market Helps Fight Hunger During the Holidays
Ann Arbor-based Busch’s Fresh Food Market will host its 15th annual Season of Sharing food drive Nov. 14-27, to help those in need during the holidays. The proceeds will go to local food banks and rescue agencies in the communities of all Busch’s locations.
Donations will be accepted at all Busch’s locations in southeast Michigan. The community will have several ways to get involved during the food drive, including donating at a Busch’s checkout register, purchasing gift cards, and donating bottle return slips.
“Busch’s is your local supermarket helping those in need in our community,” says Doug Busch, community director for the grocery chain. “Working together we can all make a difference and, with Season of Sharing, we do.”
For more information, visit here.
MJR Theatres Turns Cannes into Cans to Benefit Gleaners
MJR Theatre moviegoers who bring five cans of non-perishable food items to a participating theater for Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Nov. 19 will receive a free ticket to a holiday movie.
Those guests will receive a free ticket to the holiday classic movie of their choice: “A Christmas Story,” “Elf,” or “The Polar Express.”
“As an active and engaged business in our local communities and throughout metro Detroit, we are thrilled to partner with Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan to bring back the MJR Canned Film Festival to support those in need this Holiday season,” says Joel Kincaid, vice president of operations for MJR Theatres. “It’s our mission to not only share the magic of cinema to everyone in our community, but to also use this magic to give back to our communities.”
Participating MJR Theatres include:
- Brighton Cinema 20
- Troy Grand Cinema 16
- Chesterfield Cinema 16
- Universal Grand Cinema 16
- Marketplace Cinema 20
- Waterford Cinema 16
- Partridge Creek Cinema 14
- Westland Grand Cinema 16
- Southgate Cinema 20
Public Invited to Explore WCC Programs at Business Department Showcase
Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor will showcase its business programs at an open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the school’s Business Education Building, Room 260.
First-time students as well as employees looking to enhance their current skill set are welcome. Business faculty will be on hand to answer questions about the variety of business degrees and certificates WCC offers, as well as transfer opportunities and careers trends.
“Majoring in a business program prepares you for incredible career possibilities and teaches an impressive set of versatile, critical skills that will help you succeed no matter what your career path,” says Eva Samulski, dean of WCC’s Division of Business and Computer Technologies.