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.
Shinola Introduces Mackinac Yacht Watch Automatic
Inspired by the near century-old Bayview Yacht Club Mackinac Race, run this past weekend, Shinola launched the Mackinac Yacht Watch Automatic in conjunction with the start of the race.
The automatic chronograph is a regatta timer — a watch specifically designed for competitive recreational sailing. It features a unique 40mm square stainless-steel case with an exhibition case back window. A bright canary yellow dial is paired with orange and red details and contrasts with the three-tone blue yacht timer sub.
Time pieces are critical in yacht racing, especially during the start of a sailing race when boats get up to cruising speed in a stretch of water parallel to the starting line. Using a yacht timer at countdown, a boat crew can precisely cut into position, get the perfect angle, and cross the starting line at the start signal.
The Mackinac Boat Race was first established by the Bayview Yacht Club in 1925. Starting in the lower waters of Lake Huron, hundreds of boats traverse more than 200 nautical miles in a race to the channel just off Mackinac Island.
Detroit Pistons Win NBA Team Partnership of the Year Award
The Detroit Pistons won the NBA Team Partnership of the Year Award during last week’s NBA Team Partnership Awards ceremony, an honor given annually by the NBA at the Team Presidents Meeting in Las Vegas.
These awards recognize teams for setting new standards of excellence in fan engagement, creative partnerships, and innovative programming, with the goal of enhancing the fan experience throughout the season and continuing to grow the game around the globe.
The Pistons won the NBA Team Partnership of the Year Award for their multifaceted program with Shopify, tipping off the e-commerce company’s first sports partnership. The NBA Team Partnership of the Year Award recognizes the best partner marketing campaign and platform, with special attention given to a new idea that achieves the partner’s objectives with measurable results.
“We are thrilled to have our partnership with Shopify and the SHOP313 program recognized as the NBA Team Partnership of the Year,” says Mike Zavodsky, chief business officer for the Pistons. “The SHOP313 program was built utilizing Pistons organizational assets and Shopify business technologies to amplify and grow small businesses in Detroit. Supporting small business owners is vital to the economic growth of our community, and we appreciate everyone at Shopify who helped launch and support the SHOP313 program.”
The Pistons say more than 800 small businesses applied to the SHOP313 program. Over the span of the 2021-22 season, it spotlighted 82 small businesses through a cycle of amplification from in-arena exposure, community events, and a digital presence.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Awards Sponsor Exemptions to Young Golfers
Collegiate golf stars Michael Thorbjornsen (Stanford), Chris Gotterup (Oklahoma), and Cole Hammer (Texas) will join the 156-player field when the fourth Rocket Mortgage Classic returns July 26-31 to Detroit Golf Club.
The tournament also will grant an exemption to the champion of The John Shippen National Golf Invitational presented by Rocket Mortgage, a 36-hole tournament designed to expand professional golf opportunities for Black golfers that will be played July 23-24.
The exemptions are in line with the Rocket Mortgage Classic’s philosophy of affording playing opportunities to accomplished young golfers with future PGA Tour aspirations.
“Future stars start here, and that’s certainly true for these accomplished young golfers,” says Jason Langwell, executive director of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Since our first tournament in 2019, we have subscribed to the philosophy that our event can be a springboard to long-term success on the PGA Tour for some of the top amateurs and newly minted professionals in the game.”
Tickets for the tournament can be purchased here.
Detroit to Open Online License Applications for Cannabis Retailers Aug. 1
Online applications will be accepted online by the city of Detroit Aug. 1-31 for Phase 1 of limited licensing for adult-use marijuana retailers, micro-businesses, and designated consumption lounges.
The city says it is planning to award up to a total of 100 retailer licenses, 30 total microbusiness licenses, and 30 total consumption lounge licenses over the course of three phases. During Phase 1, the following licenses will be awarded:
- 20 Social equity retailer
- 20 General retailer
- 5 Micro-business equity
- 5 Micro-business general
- 5 Consumption lounge equity
- 5 Consumption lounge general
The City of Detroit Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity’s Office of Marijuana Ventures and Entrepreneurship is overseeing the licensing process.
“We are excited to announce the opening of adult-use retailer, micro-business and consumption lounge licenses for our adult-use marijuana program,” says Megan Moslimani, director of marijuana ventures and entrepreneurship. “Ensuring social equity has been at the forefront of our work so that these applicants have access to this billion-dollar industry.”
Once the Phase 1 application period closes, licenses are to be granted in order of applicant scores, with tiebreaker lotteries used for applicants who have received the same score and have earned a minimum of 100 points of the general scoring criteria and a minimum of five points of the social equity scoring criteria.
For more information, visit here.
Guidepoint Systems Partners with Stellantis’ Free2move on Fleet Management
Guidepoint Systems in Madison Heights, a global provider of vehicle telematics and Software as a Service (SaaS) for automotive OEMs, vehicle dealerships, rental agencies, and fleet managers, has partnered with Free2move, the global fleet, mobility, and connected data division of Auburn Hills’ Stellantis.
The new Guidepoint Air data monitoring service is the latest innovation from Guidepoint. It’s designed to manage vehicle fleets without the need to install additional hardware. The Free2move-GuidePoint Systems collaboration enables data from properly equipped and eligible MY2018 and newer Stellantis vehicles, including Ram, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep to be received within Guidepoint Air to provide inventory management services to dealers, fleet management services for commercial and government fleets, auditing services to floor plan lenders, and vehicle diagnostic reports to consumers.
“We are continuing our strategy aimed at facilitating the access to connected vehicle data and provide insights to Stellantis fleet owners and operators by using Free2move solutions such as Connect Fleet, which we plan to deploy soon, but also by enabling connectivity with platform partners, for the benefit of the users of these platforms,” says Benjamin Maillard, general manager of North America at Free2move. “This is the case, for example, with Guidepoint, whose users can now access data from their eligible Stellantis vehicles thanks to the connection established between the Free2move MultiBrand server and Guidepoint.”
These advanced solutions give fleet owners the ability to drive increased operational efficiencies, reduce down-time and increase driver safety. Free2move takes these capabilities further and combines data insights with new methods of mobility that expand the reach and breadth of fleet operations tools.
In addition to Stellantis passenger vehicles, Guidepoint Air will be available for law enforcement fleets that include the Dodge Durango Pursuit, Charger Pursuit, and Ram 1500 Special Service. Connected-capable Stellantis vehicles for government fleets, commercial trucks, and commercial vans (including the ProMaster) can be managed via embedded telematics and our robust Fleet Management System.
“As a Tier-1 supplier of telematics to the auto industry for more than 20 years, we understand how important vehicle data is to our customers,” says Samuel Spencer, president and CEO of Guidepoint. “This new partnership will allow us to deliver great value and service to fleet customers, dealerships and others looking to maximize their business performance.”
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Installs Free Public WiFi at Two Riverfront Parks
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy is making free high-speed Wi-Fi service available to all visitors at Cullen Plaza and Robert C. Valade Park. The service is funded through a grant from General Motors Co. to support public programming on the Detroit riverfront and provided by Cronus, a native Detroit internet service provider.
Visitors can connect to the internet daily during park hours from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The Wi-Fi can be accessed by connecting to “Riverfront WiFi” without a password. The Wi-Fi is compatible with all electronic devices. Devices can connect to the Wi-Fi from anywhere at Robert C. Valade Park or Cullen Plaza. The high-speed internet also can maintain video calling speeds.
“During the pandemic, we noticed that more people were spending time in our parks meeting with colleagues and working remotely,” says Rachel Frierson, director of programming for the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “Working in the park provides a change in the day to day and allows people to connect with their community and nature in this increasingly virtual world. In addition to using Wi-Fi for work, free Wi-Fi helps close the digital divide by providing free access to online resources, news and more. We look forward to offering digital literacy programming with this new amenity.”
In addition, the conservancy brought back an event that made its debut last summer to encourage people to work from the parks. “Work from the Park” takes place every third Wednesday at Robert C. Valade Park from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. From 9 to 11 a.m, guests can grab a free coffee at the Valade Park Shed. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy lunch specials from on-site food vendors Geisha Girls Sushi and Smokey G’s Smokehouse. To cap off “Work from the Park,” Bob’s Barge will be hosting a happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m.
The next two events are July 20 and Aug. 17. Participants are encouraged to register here.
Detroit Opera Announces 2022–23 Resident Artists, Launches New Residency Model
Detroit Opera announces five new singers who will train in the Detroit Opera Resident Artist Program in the 2022–23 season: sopranos Melanie Spector and Elizabeth Polese; mezzo-soprano Gabrielle Barkidjija; tenor Leo Williams, and baritone Ben Reisinger.
These five artists will be the first participants in Detroit Opera’s reworked program, spearheaded by Associate Artistic Director Christine Goerke and Detroit Opera’s new head of music, Nathalie Doucet. The program builds on the foundations of the Studio Artist program launched in 2015 by the late MOT (now Detroit Opera) founder David Dichiera while embodying the leadership of Artistic Director Yuval Sharon and President and CEO Wayne S. Brown.
“I am delighted that Detroit Opera will once again sponsor a Resident Artist Program for young singers,” says Brown. “Under the leadership of Christine Goerke and Nathalie Doucet, participants can expect an extraordinary experience with our organization and the Detroit community.”
Sharon says: “One of the most unfortunate losses for our company during the pandemic was putting our studio artist program on hold. So, it’s wonderful to see the program not simply revived but also given a fresh perspective. I look forward to seeing how Christine Goerke and Nathalie Doucet’s leadership of this renewed Resident Artist program will create a unique opportunity for these fantastic singers.”
The five Resident Artists will commit to an intensive program while living in Detroit from September 2022 through June 2023, training directly with Goerke, Doucet, and other members of the Detroit Opera community in specially crafted and individualized curricula of voice, movement, and language.
In addition to their hands-on training, Resident Artists will have opportunities to perform with Detroit Opera in main stage productions, giving them access to work with guest artists, directors, and conductors. In keeping with Detroit Opera’s focus on making opera accessible to the surrounding community, Resident Artists will forge direct ties to Detroit through recitals, concerts, and other collaborations with local schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and institutions.
All Resident Artists will begin on a one-year contract; selected artists will be invited to participate in a second year, at the discretion of the Director of the Resident Artist Program and the Associate Artistic Director of Detroit Opera.