DBusiness Daily Update: Pulte Family $4M Gift to Help Build New Christ Child House, 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 Pulte Family Foundation’s $4 million donation will go toward the construction of a new Christ Child House. // Courtesy of Jim Pappas - Architect
The Pulte Family Foundation’s $4 million donation will go toward the construction of a new Christ Child House. // Courtesy of Jim Pappas – Architect

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.

Pulte Family Foundation $4M Gift to Help Build New Christ Child House

The Pulte Family Foundation has gifted Christ Child Society (CCS) of Detroit an investment of $4 million toward the construction of a new Christ Child House.

The gift represents a $3 million grant from the Pulte Family Foundation and individual $500,000 gifts from Julie and Mark Pulte and Carolyn Pulte.

Christ Child House provides comprehensive trauma-informed residential care for young boys who have been victims of severe abuse or neglect. Located on Joy Road in Detroit, the 63-year-old structure that has been home to thousands of boys is said to be beyond repair.

“Our dedicated group of volunteers dream of a new Christ Child House, and this generous gift from the Pulte Family Foundation has moved us even closer to making that dream a reality,” says Elaina Ryder, president of Christ Child Society.

The Capital Campaign for a Place to Call Home seeks to raise $11 million to build a 18,000-square-foot residential treatment center and recreation center to provide comprehensive care to the most vulnerable children in the community. Additionally, Christ Child is fundraising to build an endowment of more than $3.5 million.

“The outpouring of love the boys receive from not only Christ Child members, but the community and the outstanding staff at the CCH, is truly a blessing to all,” says Maryclare Pulte, a CCS member for more than 25 years. “Whenever I leave Christ Child House after spending time with the boys, I feel like I certainly got the better end of the deal.”

To learn more about their efforts or to donate to the Campaign for A Place to Call Home, visit www.christchildhouse.org.

Detroit Regional Chamber Convenes Mackinac Policy Conference; PBS Plans Broadcasts

The Detroit Regional Chamber began convening its 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference this week at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, starting on Tuesday.

Misinformation and political polarization, social justice upheaval, an increasing focus on the way we work, and amplified demands for diversity, equity and inclusion, and the challenges facing businesses and organizations are among the topics being discussed.

Detroit Public TV is offering live coverage of the events through Thursday at onedetroitpbs.org/mpc22.

Throughout the conference, “One Detroit” founding managing editor, Christy McDonald, will anchor Detroit Public TV’s coverage, hosting in-depth interviews with local and national decision-makers and exploring topics such as the future of work, the evolving automotive industry, Michigan competitive opportunities and deficits, and the profound effect the upcoming elections will have on all aspects of policy and leadership.

Among the event’s highlights:


12:30 p.m.: Ted Koppel, legendary anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline,” contributor to the “CBS Sunday Morning Show” and well-known columnist, discusses his latest New York Times bestseller, “Lights Out,” which examines the threat of a cyber catastrophe, the future of electric grids and cyber vulnerability, an especially relevant topic in the light of the Ukraine war.

1:15 p.m.: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg speaks with WDIV 4 NBC anchor Devin Scillian on current events impacting the nation and his role overseeing the formulation and execution of national transportation policy and promoting intermodal transportation.

1:50 p.m.: Pulitzer prize-winning author and presidential historian, Jon Meacham talks with One Detroit’s Christy McDonald about his book, “The Soul of America,” and where we are heading as a society in our current state of polarization and misinformation.

2:30 p.m.: Harold Ford Jr., vice chair of corporate and institutional Banking for PNC, moderates a crucial discussion of how Michigan’s congressional representatives can find common ground to engage and collaborate in finding solutions to the state’s top issues with civility at its core. Segment one includes U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Segment two features Michigan U.S. Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI, 12), Bill Huizenga (R-MI, 2) and Elissa Slotkin (D-MI, 8).

4:20 p.m.: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in his annual address at the conference discusses the latest developments in Detroit under his leadership in context of the conference’s themes. He will be introduced by Jerry Norcia, president and CEO of DTE Energy.


11:35 a.m.: Rhonda Walker, anchor for WDIV-TV 4, hosts a session on the future of women in the post-pandemic workplace with participants Jeanette Abraham, founder, president and CEO of JMA Global, LLC; Joi Harris, president and CEO of DTE Gas; and Nancy Tellem, executive chair of Eko and co-founder and CEO of BasBlue.

12:10 p.m.: Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II participates in a panel on how workforce diversity and equity can be Michigan’s competitive edge, along with Tammy Golden, executive director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, General Motors; and Dana Williams, chief strategy officer, Detroit at Work. The moderate is Jason Tinsley, Michigan market president, JPMorgan Private Wealth Management.

1:50 p.m.: Host of WJR “NewsTalk” 760 AM, Paul W. Smith, moderates a two-part session addressing Michigan’s future-of-work landscape and what the state needs to do to become more competitive. Segment one panelists include Awenate Cobbina, CEO of Bedrock Group LP and chair of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation executive committee, Maureen Krauss; president and CEO of Detroit Regional Partnership; Sandy Pierce, senior executive vice president of Private Bank and the regional banking director and chair for Huntington Michigan; and Dug Song, the chief strategy officer for Cisco Secure and co-founder of Duo Security. Segment two features Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber; Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of BHSH System; Quentin Messer Jr., CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and president and chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund; and Howard Ungerleider, president and CEO of Dow.

3:20 p.m.: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shares an update on what’s happening in the state and the progress of her administration. Daniel J. Loepp, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, introduces the governor and serves as interviewer throughout the address.

4:30 p.m.: In a Republican gubernatorial debate candidates Tudor Dixon, Ralph Rebandt, Kevin Rinke, and Garrett Soldano face off as they address the issues confronting Michigan voters.

7 p.m.: DPTV’s One Detroit’s team: Founding Managing Editor Christy McDonald and contributors Nolan Finley and Stephen Henderson host a one-hour special summarizing the conference with highlights of key events and interviews of national and state leaders.

The future of work – in all its many phases and factors – will be a recurring theme and one that Detroit Public TV has an ongoing initiative to cover and explore.

DPTV’s coverage dates and times:

  • June 1: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • June 2: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Joe Vicari Restaurant Group Establishments Now Serving Sunday Brunch 

Joe Vicari Restaurant Group’s Bronze Door, Birmingham Pub, and The Statler are now open for brunch on Sundays with each allowing guests the option to dine indoors or outside on the patio.

All three brunch menus have been curated by Certified Master Chef Daniel Scannell. There are several menu options that carry over to each location, like the Croque Madame and the Omelet Au Boursin as well as certain dishes that are unique to each location.

The Birmingham Pub is open for brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays and for lunch starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday.

The Bronze Door in Grosse Pointe Farms also is open for brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sundays and for lunch beginning at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday.

The Statler in Detroit is open for brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. It is expected to start a weekday lunch service sometime this summer.

Young Inventors Return to The Henry Ford for Invention Convention

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is hosting the seventh annual Raytheon Technologies Invention Convention U.S. Nationals today through Friday.

More than 300 young inventors from across the country are displaying their inventions alongside the greatest innovations in American history. The competition comes to a close Friday with an awards ceremony hosted by The Henry Ford’s Innovation Nation correspondent Albert Lawrence, with special guest Jay Flores, a global STEM ambassador. More than 80 awards, including cash prizes, trophies, medals, and patent applications will be handed out.

“We are thrilled to once again welcome these wonderful young inventors and their game-changing ideas through our doors after two years of virtual celebrations,” says Patricia Mooradian, president and CEO, The Henry Ford. “It’s so important to give these young inventors a place where they can showcase their inventions and gain inspiration not just from their surroundings, but through each other.”

Invention Convention Worldwide is a global K-12 invention education curricular program mapped to national and state educational standards that teaches students problem-identification, problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and creativity skills. The program is designed to build confidence in invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship for life.

More than 147,000 K-12 inventors from across the country participate in Invention Convention Worldwide programs each year, with the hopes of advancing to the U.S. national competition.

“The innovation process that student inventors work through at the Invention Convention mirrors the process our teams at Raytheon Technologies use to solve some of our world’s biggest challenges,” says Mark Russell, chief technology officer at Raytheon Technologies. “This innovation experience, coupled with the supportive communities they forge together, equips young Invention Convention students to build a more inclusive, connected, and sustainable world for us all.”

Young inventors compete at local and regional levels before advancing to the U.S. national competition. To participate, they must submit a video presentation of their invention, a prototype, an inventor’s logbook showing the journey of their invention process, and a poster board highlighting key points of the invention process. Select finalists from U.S. Nationals will be invited to compete virtually against Nationals programs finalists from Mexico, Singapore, and China in the Invention Convention Globals 2022 ceremony presented by Pratt & Whitney taking place on Aug. 26.

For more information, visit here.

Wayne State Changes Transfer Credit Policy to Provide more Equity, Access for Students

Wayne State University in Detroit has expanded access to a four-year degree by simplifying transfer credit for all students from two-year colleges, eliminating the transfer credit limit and allowing students to transfer all earned credit for a quicker path to graduation.

The limit also was eliminated on the number of transferrable credits earned in applied, technical, or vocational programs that will be accepted toward a bachelor’s degree at WSU. This important update provides students in Associate in Applied Science and other two-year degree programs with equal opportunities to transfer into Wayne State bachelor’s degree programs.

Provost Mark Kornbluh says removing obstacles so more students can complete a four-year degree is part of university’s 2022-27 strategic plan.

“Two key priorities in our strategic plan include launching a campus-wide initiative to further educational attainment for people with partial college educations, and increasing graduation rates for community college transfers to 60 percent,” Kornbluh says.

“These policy changes link to the university’s overall mission and vision, they are measurable, and they both relate to social mobility. We know that a college education is an investment in the future, and students with four-year degrees have more opportunities than students with only a high school education. We are proud of our mission of access and we are committed to providing it to our students.”

Previously, students could transfer up to 64 credits from an accredited community college and 12 technical or vocational credits, while students transferring from a baccalaureate-issuing institution could transfer an unlimited number of credits. The new policy puts all transfer students in equal standing, regardless of the type of institution they come from.

Ahmad Ezzeddine, vice president of academic student affairs and global engagement at Wayne State, says the new policy greatly benefits transfer students, many of whom are first-generation or from underserved communities. More than 40 percent of undergraduates nationwide begin their studies at a community college but Wayne State’s percentage is even higher, with about 45 percent of recent graduates beginning as transfer students.

“The most pressing barriers for transfer students are lack of clear pathways to a degree and the loss of credits they experience when they transition to a university,” Ezzeddine says. “By limiting the number of credits that students could transfer to Wayne State from two-year institutions, transfer students were losing academic credits that they have already achieved.

“Those limitations often resulted in students needing additional elective credits from WSU in order to graduate, which increases the time transfer students need to earn a bachelor’s degree and the costs associated with that. When faced with more cost and time to graduation, transfer students frequently choose not to pursue additional credentials such as certificates, minors, and dual degrees while at WSU.”

The first step in implementing the changes was made official when Wayne State and Jackson College signed the new WSU-JC Transfer Pathway agreement for Jackson students interested in earning an associate degree and/or certificate (pre-baccalaureate) and then continuing their education into a corresponding WSU bachelor’s degree program.

Jackson students who complete one of more than 30 different associate degrees and/or certificates with Michigan Transfer Agreement certification, with a minimum 2.5 overall GPA, will be eligible for seamless transfer into one of these WSU bachelor’s programs: business administration (accounting, finance, global supply chain management, information systems management, management or marketing), criminal justice, electrical/electronic engineering technology, mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering technology or public health.

Transfer Pathway students must meet the university’s admission standards and can only transfer courses with a grade of “C” or higher. Remedial or development coursework is not accepted. Students must take at least 30 credits at Wayne State and complete the same number of upper division credits as non-transfers to complete a bachelor’s degree.

“The new policy will support the State of Michigan Talent initiatives and help provide the state of Michigan with a well-prepared workforce needed in a changing economy by ensuring that students can pursue advanced degrees in a coherent and timely fashion with minimal redundancy and delay,” Ezzeddine says.

The changes go into effect in August.

Rebel Nell Co-founder Amy Peterson Talks Entrepreneurship and Giving Back

Amy Peterson, co-founder of the Detroit-based Rebel Nell and members and guests of M3Linked will discuss entrepreneurship and empowering others to transition from a life of dependence into one of self-reliance during a June 1 event at 5:30 p.m. at Dick O’Dow’s in Birmingham.

Headquartered in Birmingham, M3Linked, which builds communities of entrepreneurs, CEO’s, business owners, inventors, and investors to facilitate connections for personal and professional growth, currently operates in eight states serving 36 major metropolitan communities.

Visit M3Linked.com for more information.

DIA’s Sculpture Exhibition Touring Michigan this Summer

The Detroit Institute of Arts is co-organizing of a new traveling exhibition, “Rethinking Monuments: American Sculptures in its Time,” which is embarked on a statewide tour to three partner Michigan museums through from April 9, 2023.

Nineteen sculptures drawn from the collections of the four collaborating museums – made between 1850 and 2000 – each present different approaches American artists used to confront the past, shape the present, and hope for a brighter future.

“Rethinking Monuments: American Sculptures in its Time” will be on view at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph from now until Aug. 28; the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw from Sept. 10, to Jan. 2, 2023; and the Grand Rapids Art Museum from Jan. 13 to April 9, 2023.

The exhibition marks the second in a series of American art exhibitions created through the Art Bridges Initiative, a program which supports multi-year, multi-institutional partnerships among museums nationwide. The DIA received nearly $1 million in support from the initiative to support the two-part exhibition tour across the state of Michigan.

“The DIA’s continued vision is to serve audiences across the state of Michigan through statewide programming,” says Salvador Salort-Pons, director of the DIA. “With this support from Art Bridges and the Art Bridges Initiative, we are able to highlight these incredible American Artists and sculptures to a diverse audience throughout the state. We also gain an opportunity to learn from the expertise and experience of other institutions, and to collaborate with them to create exhibitions that address the interests of a range of different audiences.”

For more information, visit www.dia.org.

Mindful Michigan Initiative Addresses Youth Mental Health Crisis

Inner Explorer, a Detroit-based daily mindfulness platform, is leading the Mindful Michigan Initiative — a public-private partnership to improve the mental health and academic success of Michigan children.

Launching in Spring 2022, this effort will provide designed to be easy-to-implement and inexpensive tools proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while also activating learning readiness.

“Students need to feel safe and cared for to become active learners,” says Xiaoan Li, senior program officer at The Fetzer Institute. “Our goal is to engage schools across the state to address the growing mental health crisis and promote success in the classroom and beyond. Students, parents, and teachers are the ones most deeply affected, and we are excited to support them with the proven work Inner Explorer, Millennium Forum, and the Michigan Collaborative for Mindfulness in Education (MC4ME) continue to have in Michigan schools.”

As part of Phase One of the initiative, Michigan schools and centers can access the Inner Explorer daily mindfulness program, the MC4ME professional development training programs, and the Millennium Forum educator community at little or no cost through June 2023. Families can also sign up to access Inner Explorer at home. This is made possible by support from The Skillman Foundation, The Fetzer Institute, The Hemera Foundation, and LG Electronics USA.

For more information, visit here.