DBusiness Daily Update: Rebel Nell Unveils First Artist Series Jewelry Collection, Kalamazoo’s Kalsec Opens $10M Center for New Technology, 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.
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Rebel Nell is collaborating with mural artist Ouizi on a new line of jewelry. // Courtesy of Rebel Nell
Rebel Nell is collaborating with mural artist Ouizi on a new line of jewelry. // Courtesy of Rebel Nell

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.

Rebel Nell Unveils First Artist Series Jewelry Collection

Rebel Nell, the Detroit-based jewelry social enterprise, is offering a new collection with renowned muralist Ouizi.

The Ouizi Collection will be the inaugural collection of a forthcoming Artist Collection series, which will feature collaborations with established and up-and-coming artists across the country.

“As a company known for its dedication to different mediums and art forms, namely graffiti and street art, we are so excited to introduce an entirely new look and feel to our jewelry line,” says Amy Peterson, co-founder and CEO of Rebel Nell.  “Those familiar with our brand and those new to our brand will see something they have not yet seen from Rebel Nell through this collaboration with Ouizi.”

Known for her large-scale floral murals in public places around the country, and prominently in Detroit, Ouizi, aka Louise Jones, has made a name for herself by creating an individual style, informed by her education in drawing and printmaking.

For the collection, Ouizi created a proprietary mural for Rebel Nell, inspired by the brand’s work and style. From there, the mural was carefully deconstructed, and pieces were meticulously created by the teams’ Creative Designers, into one-of-a-kind necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more. Each customer gets to own an actual piece of the original mural.  Additionally, each purchase of an Ouizi Collection piece of jewelry will come with a 5×5 canvas reprint of the original mural, which will become a signature for each Artist Collection.

The pieces are on sale at www.rebelnell.com and at Rebel Nell’s retail store at 1314 Holden St. in Detroit.

Kalamazoo’s Kalsec Opens $10M Center for New Technology

Kalamazoo-based Kalsec, a producer of natural spice and herb extracts, colors, food protection, and hop extracts for the food and beverage industry, has opened a $10 million Center for New Technology.

The 6.500-square-foot Don Berdahl Center for New Technology is named in honor of Don Berdahl, who retired as the company’s chief technical officer in 2019. It will support deeper collaboration with its customers to deliver on consumer demands for natural and sustainable foods and beverages.

The center is staffed with a variety of resident scientists and visiting product developers to explore and test opportunities in green technology, biotransformation, and natural ingredient production. This facility also enables new product discovery, advanced application testing, and process engineering advancements.

“Kalsec is proud to expand our innovation ecosystem with the Don Berdahl Center for New Technology,” says Roger Nahas, senior vice president of global research and development. “This facility enables our internationally diverse team of scientists from multiple disciplines to develop more breakthrough natural solutions for the food industry at an even faster rate.”

Berdahl, who joined Kalsec in 1994, focused on building Kalsec’s research strategy through business acquisitions and new technology. He holds numerous patents and led the commercialization efforts of various technologies at Kalsec, including rosemary extract for extending the shelf-life of ground meat, zeaxanthin for eye health from orange paprika, and advanced hops products for the brewing industry.

“This new technology center is instrumental to Kalsec’s long-term growth strategy,” says Scott Nykaza, CEO of Kalsec. “We are honored to dedicate the space to Don’s legacy, which has made such a significant impact on our people, our purpose and our potential.”

Phoenix Theatres to Relaunch Movies at Woodland Mall with $4M Investment

Movies are returning to Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids with a $4 million investment by Kentwood’s Phoenix Theatres, which has signed a long-term lease to bring first-run movies and amenities back to the mall, including the first theatres in west Michigan to have Dolby Atmos sound.

The 21-year-old independent movie theatre company plans to refurbish the 14-screen theatre, creating a new premiere movie-going experience in the greater Grand Rapids area. Renovation plans have been submitted for the 47,000-square-foot building, which will feature all-new premium reclining heated seating, 4K digital projection, Dolby Atmos, first-run movies, and family friendly pricing.

The Woodland Mall project marks the 50th screen for Phoenix Theatres, which operates theaters in southeast Michigan, Iowa, and Massachusetts. This is the first location in west Michigan for Phoenix, which expects to open at Woodland Mall in late 2021.

“We are delighted to partner with Phoenix Theatres to bring movies in an upgraded format back to one of our premier assets, Woodland Mall,” says Joe Coradino, CEO of PREIT, the mall’s parent company. “Our $100 million investment in this property enabled us to bring first-to-market retail and dining options including Von Maur, Urban Outfitters, and The Cheesecake Factory to west Michigan, and this addition highlights the continued strength of this property.”

Cory Jacobson, CEO of Phoenix Theatres, says, “Phoenix Theatres has always been a neighborhood theatre company, and that’s something we’re very proud of. We visited and were simply stunned by the vibrancy of the mall and the exceptional mix of high-end retail tenancy.

“After spending several weeks exploring the city, we felt very much at home in the culture of the community. Movie theatres are places where people come together to enjoy themselves. Creating an environment that celebrates community has always been our highest goal.”

ZF North America Enrolls in DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower Program

ZF North America Inc., an automotive supplier in Northville, has joined a growing list of companies and organizations enrolling in DTE’s MIGreenPower program.

MIGreenPower is a voluntary renewable energy program that enables DTE Electric customers to attribute a greater percentage of their electricity use to DTE’s wind and solar projects beyond the 15 percent already included in customers’ energy mix.

ZF North America has committed to a 10-year, escalating MIGreenPower contract with the company attributing 100 percent of its usage to renewable energy by 2030. This commitment will offset the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by an estimated 78,144 acres of forests in one year.

By 2030, ZF will have switched all 270 locations around the globe to renewable electricity, either by its own production or purchase of clean energy from renewable sources. This will enable a total reduction of ZF’s own carbon emissions by 80 percent. By 2040, ZF plans to reach net zero carbon emissions, meaning that all emissions from its own plants, supply chain, and use of their products are either completely avoided or removed from the atmosphere.

“The enrollment in DTE’s MIGreenPower program is a major step in reducing our carbon footprint in North America and in contributing to our overall carbon neutrality goals,” says Martin Fischer, head of the ZF North American region and member of the Board of Management. “We applaud DTE’s efforts to accelerate renewable energy projects that give ZF and other major industrial partners the opportunity to utilize solar and wind energy sources and protect the environment for future generations.”

ZF North America joins more than 350 businesses and 35,000 residential customers who are using MIGreenPower to reduce their carbon footprint and support the development of future wind and solar projects in Michigan.

For more information on DTE’s MIGreenPower program, visit migreenpower.com.

Scholarship Winnings Help Support Fitness and Black Culture in Detroit

Entrepreneur Cynthia Merritt of Southfield won the Pure Imagination Scholarship from the Stahls Family Small Business Fund, which she is using to take her business — Cynergy Runs — to the next level.

Part of her award is a Stahls A2Z heat press, heat printing materials, and a full year of one-on-one coaching from industry experts at the Stahls.

Cynergy Runs, which started in December 2020, combines two of Merritt’s greatest passions: fitness and cultural and ethnic observances. The company plans virtual runs in which fitness enthusiasts across the country can participate. Each run typically has a theme and a philanthropic element. Merritt uses the runs as a platform for communities to honor Black cultural observances and holidays including MLK Day, Black History Month, and Juneteenth.

Not only does Merrit give people a chance to celebrate these significant cultural events through fitness, but she also takes pride in providing high-quality running wearables, awards, and water bottles to each of her run participants.

Jack Nicklaus Headlines Ally Challenge Celebrity Shootout

Golf greats Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino, and Michigan State University basketball coach Tom Izzo are the headliners of the Celebrity Shootout Aug. 28 at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren, a PGA Tour Champions event at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc.

The celebrities will play a nine-hole team scramble exhibition to benefit charities that will be announced at a later date.

The Celebrity Shootout will take place following the last tournament pairing of the tournament’s second round and begin on the 10th hole. Additional details, including celebrity pairings, also will be released later.

Nicklaus’ competitive career spanned five decades, and his legend has been built with 120 professional tournament victories worldwide, including a record 18 major-championship titles (six Masters, five PGA Championships, four U.S. Opens, three British Opens).

“I look forward to returning to Michigan and the fans at Warwick Hills, and reconnecting with my friends at Ally,” Nicklaus says. “It’s been a couple of years since we did this, but I recall how kind and appreciative the galleries were. Most important, we raised significant money for charity, and hope to do so once again. I don’t play much golf these days, but I am certain we will have a lot of fun. And if I can negotiate eight shots from Lee for the nine holes, we will have even more fun!”

In related news, the tournament announced the return of the Celebrity Shootout Inside the Ropes Experience. This program, featuring exclusive inside the ropes experiences, including the opportunity to caddie for the celebrities, is open to the public by visiting here. All proceeds from the Celebrity Shootout Inside the Ropes Experience will benefit charities associated with the tournament.

For more information, theallychallenge.com.

Madison Heights Food Pantry and Liberty Madison Heights Partner for Food Drive

Cannabis dispensary Liberty Madison Heights partnered with the Madison Heights Food Pantry to collect food and supplies for those in need.

Since the grand opening of Liberty Madison Heights in June, Liberty Cannabis collected more than 500 pounds of canned goods, cleaning supplies, and more. Liberty and Lumetta Produce matched donations to the food bank with more than 500 pounds of fresh produce. Liberty also donated $350 worth of grocery store gift cards to help supplement meals. In total, more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce and supplies were donated to the Madison Heights Food Pantry and St. Vincent de Paul of Madison Heights.

“We’re so appreciative of all of the help and support we get from our community,” says Colleen Porter, president of the Madison Heights Food Pantry. “Food insecurity is an issue for people throughout the year, especially during the COVID pandemic. We are grateful for companies like Liberty Cannabis in Madison Heights who recognized the need for donations and organized a food drive at their new store opening last month to help the community.”

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