DBusiness Daily Update: Progressive Novi Boat Show Coming to Suburban Collection Showplace, and More

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.
The Progressive Novi Boat Show cruises back into the Suburban Collection Showplace March 10-13. // File Photo
The Progressive Novi Boat Show cruises back into the Suburban Collection Showplace March 10-13. // File Photo

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.

Progressive Novi Boat Show Coming to Suburban Collection Showplace

The Progressive Novi Boat Show cruises back into the Suburban Collection Showplace March 10-13 with exhibitors lining the showplace with boats to see and purchase along with accessories, entertainment, and activities.

Among the attractions are:

  • An amphibious Iguana Yacht – the only one of its kind in the United States.
  • eFoils – Surf with no ocean required.
  • Mercury 600 HP Verado Engine debut.
  • Twiggy the waterskiing squirrel.
  • Harborside Market featuring high-end shopping for lake enthusiasts with giveaways each day.
  • Paint A Paddle Workshop – The first 25 crafters receive a free paddle to decorate each day, $10 fee per paddle thereafter.
  • Kids Zone with a mermaid princess.
  • Pirates, Captains, and Sailors Oh My! exhibit.
  • Boating skills virtual trainer from the United States Power Squadron.
  • Fishing
  • Free Boater

More information and tickets are available at Noviboatshow.net.

Ford Records 72K New Retail Vehicle Orders in February

Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn recorded more than 72,000 new retail vehicle orders, up 54,000 over year-ago figures.

The automaker also reported total U.S. sales in February of 129,273 units – 66,158 were trucks, 58,396 were SUV’s and 8,984 were electrified.

“In addition to our February sales, our retail order bank continues to expand totaling 72,000 vehicles in February – four times higher than last year,” says Andrew Frick, vice president of Ford sales in the U.S. and Canada. “Our newest products are turning on dealer lots at record rates. More than 33 percent of our retail sales are coming from previously placed orders and leaving dealerships directly upon arrival.”

Other highlights from Ford’s monthly report:

  • Ford sales of electrified vehicles increased 55.3 percent through February, providing a record start to Ford’s electrified vehicles. Ford’s electrified vehicle conquest rates climbed to 54 percent – 13 percentage points higher than year ago.
  • Ford Pro recorded its first sales of E-Transit – America’s No. 1 selling van that’s going full electric.
  • Ford brand SUVs set record retail sales start through February. Along with record turn rates and new products, Ford hits record level transaction pricing. Average transaction prices at Ford were up approximately $4,100 over a year ago at $48,000 per vehicle.
  • Ford’s all-new Bronco is turning on dealer lots in just 14 days.

SpartanNash Providing $1M in Product, Financial Aid to Ukraine

Grand Rapids-based SpartanNash has committed to donate more than $1 million worth of critical food and supplies such as canned meats, energy bars, water, and personal hygiene items to Ukrainians amid the country’s recent invasion and attacks by Russia.

The military division of SpartanNash is exporting the products via its global supply chain network and supplier relationships and working with Convoy of Hope to get the necessities in the hands of refugees across eastern Europe.

“This is a humanitarian disaster, and SpartanNash is uniquely positioned to support Ukrainians in addition to the American military heroes who are serving on the front lines of this crisis,” says Tony Sarsam, president and CEO of SpartanNash. “As a people-first company, we look for opportunities to provide aid to those in need whenever we can.”

SpartanNash’s military division distributes grocery products so military commissaries and exchanges can deliver a familiar shopping experience to servicemen and women with their favorite USA brands, providing a touch of home regardless of where they are stationed. The company distributes products to 160 military commissaries and more than 400 exchanges located in 39 states and the District of Columbia, Europe, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Djibouti, Korea, and Japan.

SpartanNash distribution centers are strategically located among the largest concentration of military bases in the areas the company serves and near Atlantic ports.

“In any crisis situation, rapid response is vital, and we are glad to partner with SpartanNash to leverage its expertise in global food logistics,” says Ethan Forhetz, vice president of public engagement for Convoy of Hope. “Getting close to a warzone and responding during a crisis is no simple task. We rely on our disaster response experts and local volunteers to deliver hope to the impacted communities.”

In addition to its product donations, which begin shipping next week, SpartanNash is making an immediate cash donation of $25,000 to Convoy of Hope, which will provide 7,500 additional meals to families in need. On Feb. 26, the company also ceased the purchasing and sale of all Russian-produced vodka.

For more information or to donate to Convoy of Hope, visit convoyofhope.org.

Workers at Novi’s PowerVac Vote to Free Themselves from Unpopular Unions

With assistance from National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, employees at PowerVac in Novi have freed themselves from unwanted union control in their workplaces.

In votes tallied on March 2, LaRon Matlock and his fellow industrial cleaning workers at PowerVac in Novi voted to remove (or “decertify”) International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 324.

The elections were conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal labor law and adjudicating disputes among unions, private sector employers, and individual employees. Matlock and his PowerVac colleagues ousted IUOE officials by a 18-3 margin.

“The foundation is proud to help workers across the country, including Mr. Matlock, just get a vote on whether union officials deserve to remain in power at their jobs,” says Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, it is increasingly apparent that the Biden NLRB have every intention of reducing the rights of independent-minded workers by making it easier for union bosses to add workers to union ranks while limiting workers’ ability to escape them.

“The NLRB should not neglect its mandate to protect the free choice rights of workers, and Foundation attorneys will always assist workers in resisting union attempts to undermine those rights.”

The foundation also helped resolve a similar situation in Arkansas.

Daimler Truck North America Selects MOTOR for Heavy-duty Integrated Data

Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) has signed an enterprise renewal agreement with MOTOR, the Troy-based custom data provider for medium- and heavy-duty part numbers and cross-references.

DTNA, its dealers, and its Alliance aftermarket business have selected MOTOR for a custom-parts database. This data feeds Daimler’s master parts database to better lead all-makes part searches back to a DTNA or Alliance part number to increase part sales.

MOTOR’s Heavy-Duty Parts Professional Services provides businesses with the ability to increase medium- and heavy-duty parts sales on e-commerce sites by ensuring their customers can find their parts when searching a vendor part number.

Additionally, DTNA licenses MOTOR’s BulkX enterprise cross-reference, allowing them to respond to fleet requests in more timely, efficient, and accurate manner. MOTOR’s BulkX gives part suppliers the ability to cross-reference lists of parts to the parts they provide to the market. This solution is powered by FleetCross e- commerce and cross-reference information, ultimately accelerating turnaround time for quotes.

“The agreement with DTNA allows the company to easily and quickly access parts data from MOTOR’s Custom Database to serve their needs as a leader in the trucking industry,” says Jeff Nosek, president of MOTOR. “We are thrilled to have industry leaders like DTNA continue to use MOTOR as their customized solution for parts cross-referencing information.”

J.D. Power Launches Financial Health Support Certification

J.D. Power in Troy has launched of a new certification program to recognize banks and credit card issuers that deliver a high level of satisfaction with the way they support customers’ financial health via personalized products and services.

The first organization to receive the J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification is Bank of America.

The exclusive J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification program draws on the company’s deep data and real-world analytics to evaluate financial institutions on two criteria: 1) the ability to support customers striving to improve their own financial health, and 2) adherence to industry best practices for building and maintaining sustainable consumer financial health programs. Drawing on data and insights collected as part of the J.D. Power Financial Health Study, which segments and profiles banking customers based on financial health and assesses how well their primary institution is addressing the needs of each segment, the J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification recognizes Bank of America for delivering consistently high levels of financial support to its customers.

“Consumers need personalized communications directing them to the best products and services for their individual needs from their banking institutions now more than ever,” says Bob Neuhaus, executive managing director of banking and payment intelligence at J.D. Power. “Financial institutions that proactively recognize the growing importance of financial health are well positioned for differentiation and to ultimately improve their customers’ lives, and the J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification introduces critical metrics for evaluating and benchmarking performance against these goals each year.”

Holly O’Neill, president of retail banking at Bank of America, says, “We play a critical role in our clients’ lives, and it is imperative that we honor that position by providing the resources to help them achieve financial wellness in their everyday lives. Receiving this J.D. Power certification is a testament to our commitment, and we’re pleased to be the first company to achieve this important milestone.”

To qualify for the J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification, brands must rank among top banks and credit card issuers in the J.D. Power Financial Health Study. In addition, qualifying brands must pass a comprehensive evaluation of operational best practices, collateral review and leadership validation interviews conducted by a collaboration between J.D. Power and Financial Health Network. The evaluation framework is based on the FinHealth Maturity Assessment Program developed by Financial Health Network.

Once certified, a brand is permitted to market its achievement for 12 months with such marketing tools as a J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification emblem, online marketing collateral and in-store merchandise displays. Certified brands also will be listed on jdpower.com/business for consumers to search while shopping.

For more information about the J.D. Power Financial Health Support Certification, please visit here.

Acrisure Expands Global Footprint into Spain with Acquisition

Acrisure, a Grand Rapids-based fintech company that operates a top-10 global insurance broker, has acquired one of Spain’s leading insurance brokerages, Summa Insurance Brokerage.

The acquisition of Summa is Acrisure’s first expansion into the Spanish market, bringing the number of countries in which the company has a physical presence to 10. This follows Acrisure’s recent announcement of its partnership with the Brazilian firm It’sSeg and adds another major European market to Acrisure’s already substantial operations on the continent, including Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Since its founding in 2005, Summa has grown revenues to more than €11.5m ($13m) and expanded its offices and franchises throughout Spain. The deal brings Summa into Acrisure’s global network of Partners, providing a wide array of tech-driven financial services solutions in areas including Insurance, Re-insurance, Asset Management, Real Estate, and recently announced Cyber Services.

“Summa has an impressive track record displaying strong growth over the last several years while solidifying their position as a top insurance broker in Spain,” says Greg Williams, co-founder, president, and CEO of Acrisure. “Summa’s exceptional team and their particular focus on training insurance experts with multidisciplinary skills makes for a strong combination as we continue our geographical expansion.”

Oakland County Courts Resume Jury Trial Scheduling

The Oakland County Circuit and Probate Courts will resume the regular scheduling of jury trials beginning April 25.  Prospective jurors will be summoned to the courthouse on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays to begin addressing cases awaiting trial.

This decision was made in conjunction with discussions with the Oakland County Health Department, the Sheriff’s Office, and the relaxing of MIOSHA requirements and county policies regarding COVID safety measures.

Despite the considerable improvement of the status of COVID in Oakland County, the courts remain mindful of the health and safety of prospective trial participants. Judges will have discretion to require masks and observe physical distancing as circumstances warrant and as they deem appropriate.

This is a balanced plan, the county says, to resolve the backlog of cases awaiting jury trials in a timely way, to protect the health and safety of trial participants, to operate within the availability of Sheriff’s Office personnel who provide courtroom security, and to be sensitive to the demand upon the time of trial lawyers who may have several cases to try.

Pistons’ Jerami Grant’s Foundation to Host Top Golf Classic March 20

On Sunday, March 20, Jerami Grant’s Hour Generation Foundation will host the Jerami Grant Top Golf Classic at Top Golf Detroit at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills.

During the event, attendees will have the chance to interact with Grant, play a round of TopGolf, and give back to the city of Detroit.

Grant founded the Hour Generation Foundation on the basis of leveraging his passion and resources to give back to those most in need, and now he has the opportunity to expand his reach to the city of Detroit.

This event includes three hours of Top Golf contender tournament-style play with live scoring, a Hole-in-One contest for a chance to win $10,000, and many other prizes. There also will be a fiesta buffet, silent auction, awards ceremony, bottomless soft beverages, and a cash bar.

For more information, visit here.

Habitat for Humanity Hosts Comedy Show Fundraiser April 6

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County will host Comics for Habitat 2 at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak at 6 p.m. on April 6.

The night of stand-up comedy will feature local comedians Tam White, Mike Cronin, Jason Jamerson, Johanna Medranda, and Greg Sharp, and will be hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County’s philanthropy director and stand-up comic, Ann Duke.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7:30 p.m. Guests will be provided a light dinner, as well as the opportunity to purchase 50/50 raffle tickets, visit the gift card wall, and grab a drink at the cash bar. All proceeds from the event will be used to further Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County’s mission to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through safe and affordable housing. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased here.