DBusiness Daily Update: ‘Shoah Ambassadors’ Holocaust Documentary Debuts Thursday on DPTV, 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 Glass Train Car Replica by Hailey Callahan is one of the artistic stars of the new Holocaust documentary debuting Thursday on DPTV. // Photo by Samantha Otto
The Glass Train Car Replica by Hailey Callahan is one of the artistic stars of the new Holocaust documentary debuting Thursday on DPTV. // Photo by Samantha Otto

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.

‘Shoah Ambassadors’ Holocaust Documentary to Debut on DPTV on Thursday

“Shoah Ambassadors,” the Holocaust documentary by Wixom-based production company Visionalist Entertainment Productions, is making its debut on Detroit Public Television at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 18.

The film, produced and directed by Keith Famie, has a contemporary angle of telling the story through art.

Among the unique artistic elements included in the film are:

  • Glass Train Car Replica by Hailey Callahan, the assembly of which is teased throughout the film with the unveiling towards the end of the film.
  • Two rap songs — “Stolen Dreams” and “Never Again” by Curtis Bates and the Detroit Children’s Choir.
  • A short film about Holocaust survivor Fred Lessing and his teddy bear.
  • Animations by Senna Church.

In addition, Holocaust survivors Lessing, Edith Maniker, Irene Miller, Mania Salinger, Rene Lichtman, Edward Malinowski, Elizabeth Silver, Gita Griesdorf, Katherine Sattler, and Sheri Kohen appear in the film.

Meritor Selected to Supply Electrification Technology for Road Sweeper Prototype

Troy-based commercial vehicle technology supplier Meritor Inc. has been selected by the U.K.’s Electra Commercial Vehicles to provide its Blue Horizon 14Xe integrated ePowertrain for testing on its Iveco-based electric road sweeper platform.

“Working with Electra to bring electrified commercial vehicles to Europe’s city centers is a perfect addition to our existing collaboration with the 17Xe electric powertrain,” says Ken Hogan, senior vice president and president of Truck for Meritor in Europe and APAC. “Our expertise in axles will support Electra with its vision to provide operators with clean, zero-emission solutions.”

The 14Xe ePowertrain, will be delivered to Electra by the end of the year, and will be integrated on a road sweeper for testing in Wales.

“Integrating Meritor’s electric powertrain into this road sweeper application will allow Electra to replace its remote drive conversion solution and test a more compact electric drive solution,” says Sid Sadique, president and CEO of Electra. “Meritor’s ePowertrains are compact and power dense which maximizes the number of batteries that can be installed, allowing this vehicle to sweep more road surface in a single shift.”

Lake Orion’s American Battery Solutions Unveils Solution for Floor Cleaning Equipment

American Battery Solutions in Lake Orion introduced the 24V I Series, a lead acid drop-in replacement for the floor cleaning equipment market that offers longer operation between charges than current lead acid, AGM, gel, or TPPL alternatives and zero maintenance. ABS announced the introduction at the 2021 ISSA North America Show in Las Vegas.

“We understand that floor cleaning professionals need and want a battery solution that delivers more runtime between charges for the life of the battery, and we’re excited to introduce the 24V I Series to satisfy these demands, and can do so while minimizing total battery cost of ownership over the life of the equipment,” says Brad Bisaillon, director of ABS’ industrial segment.

“This Lithium-ion replacement solution requires no system modifications. One I24-3.0 delivers the same runtime as the usable energy of four 6-volt lead acid batteries; each one delivering 118 Amp Hours per cycle, allowing for much more runtime between charges, better equipment utilization and higher labor efficiency.”

The 24V I series is also scalable, where users can add batteries to increase runtime. Two I24-3.0 batteries in configuration deliver twice the usable runtime of four 6-volt lead acid batteries without walking down in capacity as the battery ages. With industry-standard GC2 size form factor, it offers the highest energy content with the highest power handling capabilities on the market.

“With fast charge capability and opportunity charging, downtime is minimized with the 24V I series,” Bisaillon adds.  “Additionally, the need for battery replacement is eliminated since the I24-3.0’s 8 year expected life and 7-year warranty exceeds the typical life of the equipment it powers without runtime degradation over time.”

Gantry Business Solutions in Grand Rapids Buys Amicus Management

Gantry Business Solutions in Grand Rapids LLC has acquired Amicus Management Inc., which has offices in Grand Rapids and Detroit. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The acquisition, which comes after the unexpected death of Amicus founder and owner Dan Yeomans in August, allows Gantry to provide a full spectrum of business consultancy services to its clients.

“We are deeply saddened by Dan’s sudden passing,” says Tim Emmitt, co-founder and partner of Gantry. “Our goal with the acquisition of Amicus is to continue his strong legacy of helping clients throughout Michigan, Indiana, the upper Midwest and beyond.”

Gantry will continue to provide receivership services under Amicus Management’s experienced team and well-established brand name through offices in both Detroit and Grand Rapids.

Detroit Pistons to Host Thanksgiving Event Nov. 18

The Detroit Pistons are hosting a private Thanksgiving event outside the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center in Detroit on Nov. 18.

The event will be conducted as a drive-thru event benefiting 800 pre-selected families from Detroit PAL, Starfish Family Services, Detroit Housing Commission, Alternatives for Girls, Wish Upon a Teen, Boys and Girls Club, SAY Detroit, Mosaic Youth Theater, and more.

Pistons players and coaches will pass out non-perishable food items sourced from Feed the Children, turkeys donated by Jerami Grant and Hamidou Diallo, and milk and cheese from United Dairy.

Families also will receive toiletries from Delta Dental, diapers from Priority Health, and miscellaneous items courtesy of Meijer. This event is not open to the general public.

Buddy’s Pizza Launches Holiday Season Specials

Buddy’s Pizza is offering gift card, catering, and dine-in promotions for the holiday season.

Gift Cards: Stuff this year’s stockings with a gift card to Buddy’s Pizza! For every $25 purchased in gift cards, customers receive a free, four-square pizza with one topping. The pizza coupons will be redeemable Monday-Thursday, Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2022. Gift cards are available at all locations, or online at the Buddy’s Shop.

Catering: Customers who place a catering order by Dec.15, will receive 21 percent off the total ($200 minimum) when using the code HOLIDAY21 at check out. Catering packages are offered at all locations, and orders can be placed online.

Holiday Dine-In Packages: When a party of eight or more dines in, they can enjoy all-you-can-eat pizza and salad for only $12.50 per person. To have your holiday gathering at Buddy’s, call your local store to reserve a spot by mentioning the “Holiday Party Package.”

“For the past 75 years, Buddy’s has been rooted in tradition, and we want to close out our milestone anniversary year by giving the community multiple ways to celebrate this holiday season,” says Wes Pikula, chief brand officer at Buddy’s. “With this year’s offerings, there’s something for everyone to enjoy, and that was our goal – bringing everyone together to create special memories, either at home or with us at Buddy’s Pizza.”

Kettering University in Flint Receives Grant for Robotics Teams

The Nartel Family Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to Kettering University to support high school FIRST Robotics teams.

“We’re very proud that Kettering is reaching out to younger people to get them excited about a career in engineering,” says Timothy Allen, communications officer and secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Nartel Family Foundation.

The grant, which will support eight high school FIRST Robotics teams in the FIRST Robotics Community Center at Kettering University, is the Nartel Family Foundation’s first gift to the university.

“Fundraising for teams has been very difficult due to the pandemic,” says Bob Nichols, director of the FIRST Robotics Community Center at Kettering. “This funding will really help each team get off to a good start by ordering parts now so they will be here in time for the new game reveal on Jan. 8, 2022, and when the teams start building their robots.”

FIRST Robotics is an inclusive, global robotics competition in which teams have six weeks to design, build and prepare their industrial-sized robots to compete in a field game against robots from other teams. Teams are responsible for the cost of the parts for their robots as well as travel costs to attend competitions.

For more information about robotics at Kettering University, visit here.

Davenport University Designs Bachelor’s Degree to Tackle Urban Teacher Shortage

Davenport University in Grand Rapids has launched a new specialty degree program, a Bachelor of Science in urban STEM education, to develop elementary and secondary teachers with both a deep expertise in K-12 STEM instruction and culturally responsive teaching strategies to empower them and their students intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

Two degrees will be offered: An Elementary, Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Integrated Science, and a Secondary, Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, or Integrated Science.

“We’re seeing teachers and administrators continually challenged with access to adequate resources to support students in urban schools,” says Richard Pappas, president of Davenport University. “Davenport’s College of Urban Education curriculum is designed to address these challenges. And with our Master’s Degree programs, we’ve seen measurable success in both the classroom and through teacher retention. It’s time we shared these learnings with those seeking Bachelor’s certification.”

Teachers and administrators within urban schools often lack the resources and adequate training to support their students, resulting in an especially high turnover rate for teachers and leaders. As a result, students in urban schools are at a significant disadvantage.

“We’ve found that integrating students’ cultural knowledge, prior experiences, and providng a frame of reference makes learning encounters more relevant and effective,” says Pappas. “It’s essential teachers today meet students where they are to help them succeed academically.”

Salvation Army to Kick Off Holiday Season by Lighting World’s Tallest Red Kettle Nov. 19

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is kicking off its 2021 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign with the lighting of the world’s tallest red kettle in downtown Detroit, starting at 4 p.m. on Nov. 19 at Cadillac Square.

The Salvation Army has set a $8.3 million goal for the campaign, which will fund the nonprofit’s year-round efforts to ensure Hope Marches On for those in need in the community.

This year’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign Co-Chairs David Lewis, president of AT&T Michigan; and Herman Moore, founder and CEO of Team 84 and president of Tackle Life Foundation, will be on hand to flip the switch on the tallest red kettle, which stands 56 feet tall and 24 feet wide and features some 26,000 lights. The Salvation Army will be joined by The Salvation Army band to perform the festive sounds of the season.

Busch’s Fresh Food Markets Donate 4M Meals to Metro Detroiters Over a Decade

Busch’s Fresh Food Markets is supporting Forgotten Harvest’s efforts to help relieve hunger for metro Detroit families during the Thanksgiving season from now through Nov. 28.

As part of Busch’s Season of Sharing, this food donation program along with Busch’s many other donations, has provided nearly four million meals to Forgotten Harvest clients for more than 10 years.

Busch’s will offer participating customers of the Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb County locations the opportunity to purchase ready-to-go bags to donate to Forgotten Harvest for various donation amounts. Clients of Forgotten Harvest will then receive at least one turkey meal and additional food items during the week before Thanksgiving.

“We’re extremely grateful to Doug Busch, his team, and customers for helping make Thanksgiving more nourishing for the Forgotten Harvest community year after year,” says Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “It’s a tradition our community can rely on, thanks to our steadfast supporters at Busch’s.”

Epiphany Glass Studios Holiday Show Planned for Dec. 3-5

Epiphany Glass Studios in Pontiac will host its annual Holiday Show and Sale Dec. 3-5 at its facility at 770 Orchard Lake Rd.

Glass artist April Wagner and her team will give live glassblowing demonstrations while shoppers receive a 15 percent discount on handmade gifts, including the new Italian-style Spicchi ornaments, along with kaleidoscope wine stoppers and glasses, delicate snowflakes, curving glass sculptures, festive paperweights, and an array of pet-themed items benefitting the Michigan Humane Society.

The event is free and open to the public. Families are welcome to attend. Hours are 2-7 p.m. on Dec. 3 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 4-5.

Ann Arbor Holiday Art Fair Scheduled for Dec. 4-5

The Ann Arbor Holiday Art Fair premiers Dec. 4-5 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds with a wide variety of handmade items, books, and other gifts priced from $10 to $1,000. The event features juried artists, crafters, food makers, and authors.

Patrons are encouraged to bring a food donation for Food Gatherers. The show will give a voucher for a shopping credit to doners.

The Ann Arbor Holiday Market is patterned after the former Winter Artists Markets at the University of Michigan in the 1980s and 1990s.

“These were extremely popular events and gave artists a chance to make sales during a typically slower time,” says Mark Loeb, president of Integrity Shows, which organizes the event. “It also encourages people to choose one-of-a-kind gifts for their loved ones.”

The event will use heated buildings as well as outdoor space, to provide extra space for COVID precautions.  All attendees and participants will be advised to wear masks.

This new art fair includes more than 30 local authors, about 20 of whom work in children’s literature and illustrated books. Authors will be doing readings throughout the show so shoppers can determine which books will make the best presents.

Kids and adults may enjoy free make-and-take activities, including dreidels, ornaments, and snow globe projects.  The Hands-on Museum and Leslie Science Center are bringing an owl to meet the kids on Saturday.

Treats include food trucks, small-batch candies, salsa, as well as fresh roasted Michigan chestnuts.

The fair will be located at 5055 Ann-Arbor Saline Road in Ann Arbor. For more information, visit AnnArborFair.com. Admission is $5 for those older than 12.  Discount tickets are available on the website.