DBusiness Daily Update: Regina Carter, Louis Hayes, Kenny Garrett to Headline 2023 Detroit Jazz Festival, 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.
Detroit Jazz Festival
A stellar roster of jazz artists from around the world will hit the Detroit Jazz Festival stages on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-4. // Photo courtesy of Detroit Jazz Festival

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.

Regina Carter, Louis Hayes, Kenny Garrett to Headline 2023 Detroit Jazz Festival

The newly minted recipients of the 2023 NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship — Regina Carter, Louis Hayes, and Kenny Garrett (all from Detroit) — along with a stellar roster of jazz artists from around the world will hit the Detroit Jazz Festival stages on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-4.

“We are extremely excited to feature three newly awarded NEA Jazz Masters — Regina Carter, Louis Hayes and Kenny Garrett — who are also Detroit jazz icons, on the stages of the festival this year,” said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “Their presence, along with the unique energy and vision of Karriem Riggins, who is also from Detroit, will highlight an incredible showcase of diverse talent and revolutionary jazz from around the world.”

Riggins is the 2023 Rocket Mortgage artist-in-residence of the Detroit Jazz Festival.

A partial list of other artists scheduled to play in Detroit Labor Day Weekend include:

  • Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade
  • Children of the Light
  • Miho Hazama and M_Unit
  • The Detroit Piano Legacy Continues
  • Dafnis Prieto “Cantar” with Luciana Souza
  • John Scofield Trio featuring Vicente Archer and Bill Stewart
  • Melissa Aldana Quartet
  • Isaiah Collier and The Chosen Few
  • Stefon Harris and Blackout
  • Detroit Jazz Festival Global Connect International All-Stars Hurricane Trio featuring Chris Collins
  • Jason Moran and the Harlem Hell Fighters/James Reese Europe and the Absence of Ruin
  • Lizz Wright
  • Johnny O’Neal & Sullivan Fortner “Tribute to Detroit Piano Masters”
  • Alexa Tarantino Quartet
  • Nduduzo Makhathini Quartet

For the full lineup and updated information on the festival, visit detroitjazzfest.org.

U.S. Small Business Administration Recognizes Top Michigan Small Business Lenders

During a ceremony at the Federal Reserve Bank in Detroit, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Michigan District Office honored some of the most active small business lenders across the state during the annual SBA Michigan Lender Awards Ceremony.

Lenders in the following categories were recognized for their outstanding efforts during Fiscal Year 2022 (FY 22):

  • Lender of the Year — Comerica Bank
  • 504 Third Party Lender of the Year— West Michigan Community Bank
  • Rising Star Lender of the Year — Cadence Bank
  • Microlender of the Year — Michigan Women Forward
  • Diversity Lender of the Year — First Internet Bank of Indiana
  • Community Diversity Lender of the Year — The State Bank
  • Community Lender of the Year — The State Bank
  • Credit Union Lender of the Year — Credit Union One
  • CDC Lender of the Year — Great Lakes Commercial Finance
  • Community Advantage Lender of the Year — CDC Small Business Finance
  • Rural Lender of the Year — The State Bank
  • District Director Award — Abron Andrews

Top 10 Lender honors were given to Comerica Bank, The State Bank, Live Oak Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, Oxford Bank, KeyBank, Fifth Third Bank, Chase Bank, PNC Bank, CDC Small Business Finance.

Henry Ford Health Researchers Studying Impact of Genomic Testing for Heart Patients

Henry Ford Health research teams in Detroit are launching a series of clinical studies in partnership with Illumina Inc., a DNA sequencing and array-based technologies organization, to assess the impact of comprehensive genomic testing in various disease areas.

The first study, CardioSeq, includes 1,500 patients receiving care from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Henry Ford Health.

The Lisa and Christopher Jeffries Center for Precision Medicine and the Center for Individualized and Genomic Medicine Research at Henry Ford Health are conducting a series of clinical studies that will investigate the use of next-generation sequencing tests, including whole-genome sequencing (WGS), to assess their impact on clinical care, and how it impacts routine clinical care. The focus will be in disease areas with substantial clinical and economic burden to the healthcare ecosystem, and with particular interest in diverse racial populations and underserved groups.

“This study is the first of several that will measure the impact of whole genome sequencing in patients with cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. David Lanfear, vice president of clinical and translational research at Henry Ford Health, and the study’s lead clinician. “What we’re initially most interested in is the rate of the change in medical management due to the genetic information, but eventually we will be looking at differences in cost and clinical outcomes as well.”

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization, including in the United States. Genetics play an important role in determining a patient’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease and how they respond to commonly prescribed medications.

The CardioSeq study will use an Illumina-developed and accredited clinical test, which leverages whole-genome sequencing, to create a comprehensive cardiovascular genomic profile.

Genomic profiling can provide clinicians and patients a more complete picture upon which to base decisions. For example, individuals who might not otherwise know that they are at high risk for heart disease might become more vigilant about other modifiable risk factors, such as their weight, smoking status, and level of physical activity. Genomic information could also help improve patient health by prompting earlier testing and diagnosis, reducing unanticipated medication side effects and improving clinicians’ ability to select the right medication for the patient.

For more information, visit here.

LP Building Solutions Announces First Production of LP SmartSide at Michigan Facility

Nashville-based LP Building Solutions, a manufacturer of high-performance building products, announced the first production of LP SmartSide products at its Sagola Township facility in the Upper Peninsula.

For more than 20 years, LP SmartSide Trim and Siding has provided customers with home siding products that combine the beauty of traditional wood and the durability of carbon-negative engineered wood. In that time, SmartSide has become one of the fastest-growing siding brands in the United States.

LP’s Sagola facility opened as an oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 1988. In 2021, the company announced a phased, multi-year plan to expand its siding production capacity to meet the increased demand for SmartSide products. At that time, LP Sagola was among the two facilities, for conversion from the manufacturing of OSB to SmartSide siding.

“Expansion projects like this one in Sagola enable LP to meet increased demand for SmartSide siding across North America while positioning us for long-term growth,” says Jason Ringblom executive vice president and general manager of siding at LP. “This outstanding accomplishment is a result of the talent and determination of LP’s Sagola team, with engineering, capital procurement, and other LP departments providing invaluable support.”

At full capacity, LP Sagola will be able to produce approximately 330 million square feet of SmartSide siding annually, bringing the company’s total siding production capacity to approximately 2.3 billion square feet.

Warner Recognized as Top Law Firm in Client Service

Warner Norcross + Judd in Detroit is the only Michigan-headquartered firm to be recognized as one of the top 200 law firms in the nation for various areas of client service.

Conducted by BTI Consulting Group, the recent Client Service A-Team survey evaluates individual law firm performance through the eyes of the client. BTI conducted 350 in-depth interviews with legal decision makers at companies with more than $1 billion in revenue to arrive at this year’s list.

Law firms are judged on 17 activities, including providing practical solutions, fielding the absolute best team, and offering customized solutions for multipronged issues. Corporate counsel look for firms that have the deepest understanding of their business, deliver value for their dollar and provide superior client service.

“Client service is one of our guiding principles at Warner, and it’s gratifying to have that commitment recognized at the national level by our clients,” says Mark Wassink, managing partner. “We strive to get to know and understand our clients and their industries in real and meaningful ways so we can offer practical, proactive legal and business counsel. Providing exceptional client service is part of our DNA.”

BTI surveyed representatives of more than 15 industries, including health care, financial services, and manufacturing.

GM Awards Kettering University $200K Grant for Underrepresented Students

In a boost to its programs serving underrepresented high school students, Kettering University in Flint has received a $200,000 grant from General Motors Co. in Detroit.

The grant will help Kettering expand three programs that introduce female and minority high school students to pre-college science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

“General Motors has been a generous donor and active co-op partner to Kettering University for over 40 years, providing vital financial support and employing hundreds of our students over that time,” says Robert K. McMahan, president of Kettering. “With this grant, they continue to partner with us in creating opportunities for talented precollege students to pursue bright futures in STEM education.”

For GM, supporting the Kettering programs helps the company fulfill its goal to make STEM education accessible to underserved Michigan populations.

“Working to ensure high schoolers consider STEM degrees is critical to growing a diverse pipeline for these in-demand careers,” says Terry Rhadigan, vice president of corporate giving at GM. “GM is proud of our work with Kettering University and their efforts to inspire and develop our future leaders and innovators.”

The three programs include:

Academically Interested Minds (AIM), a program to expand AIM’s mission to bring to campus 28 to 36 rising high school seniors of color from across the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean for five weeks over the summer. The students take freshman-level classes in calculus, chemistry, communications, computers, and physics.

Lives Improve Through Engineering and Science (LITES) will invite approximately 25 incoming high school seniors to campus for two weeks over the summer to explore their interest in science, technology, and engineering, exposing female students to these disciplines.

The Robotics Community Center will host precollege camps on campus, STEM/technical/team workshops on campus, and high school robotics team trips to campus. Kettering also will use part of the grant to buy a STEM resource trailer and stock it with supplies. The trailer will be loaned to historically excluded communities and Title I schools to enable them to host STEM competitions. It also will enable Kettering to take its pre-college STEM camps to schools around the state.

Focus: HOPE Hosts Free Education Summit to Highlight Black and Brown Male Educators

In recognition of the Focus: HOPE’s 55th anniversary and to coincide with the Month of the Young Child, Focus: HOPE is presenting an education summit entitled, “Black & Brown Male Educators Matter.”

As of 2019, fewer than 3 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers were men, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Focus: HOPE is leading the way in changing that scenario with nearly 40 percent of its educators being Black and Brown men. The summit will bring together those leading male voices in early education to discuss the positive impacts, how to and how to eliminate barriers to increase Black and Brown male representation in the classroom.

The free education summit will take place from 10:00 a.m.-noon April 18 at the Focus: HOPE Conference Center (1400 Oakman Blvd.) in Detroit, Michigan.

“We’re very excited to highlight the conversation and the importance of having Black and Brown men in our education programming,” says Portia Roberson CEO of Focus: HOPE. “As a human and civil rights organization, it is imperative to ensure all spaces, especially those for our early learners include Black and Brown educators.

“We want our Pre-K kids to be the most prepared as they enter their next phase of education and beyond — and increasing the number of teachers that look like them will greatly impact their growth, confidence and successful.”

The program will feature a panel discussion featuring subject matter experts and group discussions and a detailed tour of Focus: HOPE’s early learning facility.

To register, visit here.

New Detroit Invited to UN Forum on Racial Equity

New Detroit Inc., the nation’s first racial justice coalition that works toward racial equity and dismantling systemic racism, will facilitate a session at the United Nations 2023 Financing for Development Forum (FfD Forum) April 17-20.

New Detroit’s leadership at the forum ensures the UN hears from diverse constituencies as it relates to racial equity and people and communities of color.

The FfD session “Connecting the Dots in Climate Finance” is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. April 18. It will be facilitated by New Detroit Director of Programs and Services Rebecca Irby. She also will address the group in Session 7 on Financing for Climate Adaptation and the SDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals). Registration is free to watch virtually via UN Web TV.

“The UN is interested in listening to diverse constituencies, and it is especially important for them to elevate voices from the environmental justice community,” says Michael Rafferty, president and CEO of New Detroit. “Climate change is disproportionately impacting Black and Brown people, with 61 percent more likely than white people to live in an area with a failing grade for at least one pollutant.”

Irby, who holds consulting status with the UN, is founder of the PEAC Institute, which with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons coalition, won the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

New Detroit also will bring to the forum energy justice lead Andrew Kaplowitz of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice and also invited to serve on the panel is Detroiter Gibran Washington of Eco-D (Eco Detroit, a Detroit-based nonprofit that creates equitable solutions to climate change and other community sustainability challenges.) Panelists also will come from Taiwan, Sierra Leon, and Nigeria.

Buddy’s Pizza to Donate 20% of April 24 Sales to Capuchin Soup Kitchen

 Buddy’s Pizza is gearing up to host its 47th annual Slice for Life fundraiser to support its longest-standing charitable partner, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, April 24.

The event raises funds for the soup kitchen’s community outreach services, which help people in need within the metro-Detroit area.

On Monday, April 24, Buddy’s Pizza invites the community to visit any Buddy’s location to enjoy their meal of choice while supporting a great cause. Buddy’s will donate 20 percent of proceeds made at all 22 locations to Capuchin Soup Kitchen.

Buddy’s and its communities raised $90,000 during last year’s fundraiser. Since then, the Capuchin team has used this donation to fund programs, including providing meals six days per week through its two meal program sites and addressing the longer-term needs of thousands more through consultations with its staff of professional social workers and case managers.

“Generations of metro Detroiters have supported two beloved institutions, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and Buddy’s Pizza, through the annual Slice for Life fundraiser,” says Br. Gary Wegner, executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. “We are grateful for the thousands of people who back our mission every year through this ‘Detroit-style’ partnership.”

Since the first Slice for Life event, Buddy’s Pizza has raised more than $3 million to support Capuchin Soup Kitchen’s programs, including:

  • On the Rise Bakery and Café.
  • Two mean program sites.
  • Earthworks Urban Far.
  • Rosa Parks Children’s Program.

Those unable to dine in or order carryout during the fundraiser but still want to support the Capuchin Soup Kitchen can donate online.

Gesher Human Services Helps 3,000 Disabled Students in Wayne and Macomb Counties

Gesher Human Services in Southfield has announced that 3,000 high school students in Wayne and Macomb counties who have intellectual and physical disabilities have been served through its School-to-Work Transition Program since 2010.

The program helps students explore careers that might be suitable for them with a variety of activities and experiences including paid summer internships. It also prepares students to be successful by teaching them what to expect at a place of employment, appropriate behaviors in the workplace and how to request accommodations.

Gesher also is announcing that it is seeking 30 summer job coaches to provide onsite support to School-to-Work summer interns in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Pay is $16 per hour and there is a $200 bonus for those job coaches who work the six-week program with one or fewer call-offs. Prospective applicants can apply here or go to geshermi.org.

Seven high schools in Wayne County and 10 highs schools in Macomb County currently take part in the School-to-Work Transition Program and students are enrolled in the program from ninth through 12th grade. After the program, many students secure employment or decide on further education at community colleges, technical colleges, or elsewhere. Internships are an important part of the program, and 278 students with disabilities have secured employment within 30 days of the conclusion of their internship.

Along with intellectual and learning disabilities, students may suffer from medical disabilities such as spina bifida, cerebral palsy, and seizure disorders. Participants all are identified by Michigan Rehabilitation Services; students who may be eligible but who are not enrolled should talk to their school’s transition coordinator or counselor from Michigan Rehabilitation Services. While the program has been running for 26 years, detailed data on the program was not collected prior to 2010.

“The program gets students to think about life beyond high school as early as the ninth grade,” says Rene Dell, vice president of vocational rehabilitation at Gesher. “Students are able to gain knowledge on the soft skills they need to be successful in employment, create a resume, cover letter and list of references, learn interview techniques, job search skills and have an opportunity to outline short term and long-term vocational goals while exploring various career pathways.”