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.
Somerset Collection’s Castle Gets a Revamp in Time for Santa’s Arrival
Somerset Collection’s three-story holiday castle in North Grand Court got a new sprinkling of snow in time for Santa’s arrival Nov. 19.
The castle was first built for the Somerset Collection in 1996 and now is newly adorned with turrets covered in fluffy snow and glistening icicles. Once Santa arrives, the holiday events will begin, including:
- Pictures with Santa, 10 a.m.-6:55 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon-5:55 p.m. Sundays
- Children’s Only Holiday Shop, noon-6 p.m., Dec. 1-23
- Santa’s Departure, 7 p.m. Dec. 23
- 24 Days of Gifts and Surprises, Dec. 1-23, Somerset Collection North, Level 2
Holiday hours at Somerset Collection are as follows:
- Thanksgiving – Closed
- Black Friday – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- 26-Dec. 15, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
- 16, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- 17, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Dec. 18, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Dec. 20 – 23, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Christmas Eve – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Christmas Day – Closed
- 26-30, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- New Year’s Eve – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- New Year’s Day, noon to 6 p.m.
In Related News: Santa Claus will be arriving at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, at 11 a.m. on Nov. 17. After his arrival, Santa will be available from Nov. 17-Dec. 24. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 3-7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3-8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Visits are always free, and a variety of photo packages are available for purchase.
Laurel Park Place also is bringing back its Pet Photo Nights, Monday nights, Nov. 21-Dec. 12 from 4-7 p.m.
Consumers Energy Completing 2,000+ Electric Projects in 2022
Consumers Energy in Jackson says it is finishing more than 2,000 electric projects by the end of this year, aimed at building a more reliable power grid to reduce power outages.
The projects being completed this year are providing better service for about 1 million out of 1.9 million homes and businesses that Consumers Energy serves across the state, the company says.
“Our No. 1 job is to keep the lights on for our customers,” says Chris Laird, vice president of electric operations at Consumers Energy. “The work we’re doing takes a significant step to help ensure we deliver reliable energy 24/7. Consumers Energy will remain focused on improving our system every year to meet our goal of having fewer and shorter power outages for our customers.”
This year, work on the Consumers Energy electric system covered areas across the state and included:
- Clearing tree branches from 7,100 miles of power lines, addressing the number-one cause of power outages in Michigan.
- Replacing 10,000 poles with sturdier material that can withstand higher winds.
- Upgrading, rebuilding, and expanding nearly 100 substations.
- Adding smart technology like 32 Automatic Transfer Reclosures (ATRs) that help limit the frequency and duration of power outages.
- Strategically piloting a project to underground power lines in areas that would receive the greatest benefit for less cost.
CareEvolution in Ann Arbor Joins the Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance
CareEvolution in Ann Arbor has joined the Decentralized Trials and Research Alliance (DTRA) to collaborate in efforts to improve global adoption and education surrounding decentralized research, participant-centric trial models, and applications for novel digital biomarkers.
CareEvolution is a health technology company with a more than 20-year legacy in data, and its platform known as HIEBus is leveraged by clients such as Elevance Health and Camden Coalition.
In 2018 CareEvolution developed MyDataHelps, a decentralized research platform that combines critical digital capabilities like eConsent and clinical outcome assessments with real-world data collection including Electronic Health Record (EHR), claims, digital biomarkers from wearable devices (e.g., FitBit, Apple Watch, Google Health, SensorKit), and more.
“We are committed to helping fix health care and further clinical trials and research by enabling researchers to access real-world data through digital biomarkers, combined with real-time survey responses for more complete, comprehensive data,” says Vik Kheterpal, founder of CareEvolution.
“These novel biomarkers and the ability for study participants to contribute to research remotely will expand our participant demographics and deepen our collective knowledge, benefitting current and future patients across the globe. We’re excited to join this Alliance and collaborate to strengthen and grow decentralized research.”
Detroit Public Television, GM Seek to Close Michigan’s Talent Gap
General Motors Co. and Detroit Public Television (DPTV) announced a new collaboration to bridge the talent gap and diversify Michigan’s education and workforce pipeline.
The initiative addresses the future of Michigan’s workforce through a comprehensive, two-track approach, launching on the statewide Michigan Learning Channel and Detroit Public Television’s local One Detroit platforms.
GM has provided a $500,000 grant to support the initiative, which will utilize DPTV’s online, television, and community resources to bring the vision for the Future of Michigan’s Workforce to life with funding to:
- Convene an ongoing dialogue with an array of stakeholders to deeply understand workforce and talent issues, needs, and gaps.
- Collect existing resources and create new tools for students, teachers, and parents to explore careers and build essential skills needed for success in the workplace.
- Create a digital destination for trusted and vetted career information, tools and resources from education and industry leaders with easy, free access for all.
“GM’s generosity lays the foundation for this vitally important work, and we look forward to attracting additional partners and funders to help accelerate the initiative’s expansion and impact on Michigan’s students, parents, educators, and employers, while strengthening the overall economic development of our city, region and state,” says Rich Homberg, president and CEO of DPTV.
DPTV’s initiative features two distinct, inter-connected tracks:
Future of Work on the Michigan Learning Channel – A “cradle to career” initiative which provides students, teachers and parents with age-appropriate, curriculum-based, standards-aligned, multi-platform educational content, programming, and experiences to prepare every young person in Michigan for a viable career pathway and successful future
Future of Work on One Detroit – Through stories, town hall conversations, and live event coverage, One Detroit will engage with business leaders, employers, educators, and government organizations. Coverage will focus on the most pressing issues and promising solutions to expand the labor pool and build candidates who can meet the workforce challenges facing Detroit and Southeast Michigan.
Uno Pizzeria and Grill to Opens in Farmington Hills
Cicero Hospitality Group, a Bloomfield Hills-based commercial real estate firm, has opened Uno Pizzeria and Grill at its Delta Hotels by Marriott Detroit Novi in Farmington Hills. A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. Nov. 16.
Founded in Chicago, Uno Pizzeria and Grill has been making its deep-dish pizza since 1943.
Cicero Hospitality is introducing a new franchise concept that recreates the feel and looks of the iconic brand. In the latest year, the brand has expanded entirely by seeking hotel restaurant conversion, redevelopment, and buildout. Within the hotel restaurant framework, UNO offers multiple revenue stream possibilities, including dining-in, ordering take-out, and even delivery to the local area.
The restaurant is offering a free pizza buffet from 4-5:30 p.m. on Nov. 16, and those who reserve on opentable.com starting at 5:30 p.m. will receive 50 percent off meal purchases (drinks excluded). Coupons will be handed out to each guest.
Grain, Dry Bulk, and Petroleum Lead Strong Month of Great Lakes Shipping
Shipping across the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway system topped 4.2 million tons in October, led by strong gains in grain as well as potash, salt and other dry bulk cargos. Overall grain shipments reached 1.5 million tons, a reflection of the strong late harvest in various regions of the Great Lakes.
“It’s great to see these positive numbers for the late harvesting of grain in the U.S. and Canada,” says Bruce Burrows, president and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “The promising trend for grain continues to show the important role the Seaway plays in exporting goods from the Great Lakes to the rest of the world.”
“There has also been a significant increase in the number of vessel transits, another demonstration of the vitality of waterborne transportation throughout the region.”
Overall shipping on the seaway system through October was 27.6 million tons, which represents a steady improvement over the past few months.
Meanwhile, dry bulk shipments remain strong with potash up 190 percent over last year, salt up 22.3 percent, and petcoke running 18 percent ahead of 2021 year-to-date totals. Shipments of petroleum products have also been robust, showing a 37 percent increase over 2021.
Camp Bob Wow Celebrates Success at 2022 Company Reunion
Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest doggy day care and boarding franchise, conducted its company reunion in Colorado last month. The conference was the brand’s largest to date in terms of attendance, with 536 attendees and 41 sponsor partners.
At the reunion, Camp Bow Wow celebrated the growth of the industry as well as the growth of the brand. According to the American Pet Products Association, the $120 billion pet industry is growing 7 percent annually, leading to an increased demand for Camp Bow Wow’s services. As a result, the franchise has grown to 205 camps, with more in the development pipeline.
“There is nothing better than spending time in person to celebrate our franchise owners who embody our culture and are the reason for Camp Bow Wow’s continued success,” says Julie Turner, president of Camp Bow Wow. “One thing our franchise owners have in common is a passion not only for dogs but for our brand. We believe the reunion this year helped reignite their collective passion for Making Dogs Happy as we prepare for another exciting year in 2023.”
A highlight of the Reunion was Camp Bow Wow’s “Pawscars” awards ceremony, which acknowledged the exceptional work of franchise owners and their teams. More than 25 awards were presented to recognize performance, leadership, and commitment to the brand.
Tony and Jamie Caruso, with camps in Missouri and Michigan, won the award for Region 3.
CCS Student’s Artwork Adorns Parking Garage Downtown Detroit
Park Rite, a parking services company with locations from Detroit to Ann Arbor, says it recently worked with Center for Creative Studies illustration students and Nicole Tamer Art to transform one downtown Detroit parking garage into a work of art.
The project was led by CCS Illustration chair Don Kilpatrick, and Nicole George, founder and curator of the Nicole Tamer Art Gallery and consultant on the project. The students developed concepts for a mural on a parking structure located on Washington Boulevard, across from the Nicole Tamer Art Gallery.
“I chose to work with CCS students because I believe that it’s a top 10 art school in the country,” says Nick Aubrey, co-owner, Park Rite. “I love Detroit and believe that CCS should be celebrated more than it is.”
The first of three murals currently is on display on the Washington Boulevard side of the Trolley Plaza Garage and was installed by muralist Kelly Golden, whose work can be found all around Detroit, with notable clients ranging from Carhartt to Starbucks.
“I feel incredibly grateful for this opportunity,” Brandt says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to my experience at CCS. I hope that many students get to have this experience during college, and have the opportunity to work with a client and see their art out there in the world. It makes a huge impact on your confidence as an artist, which is something many art students — including myself — have a hard time with.”
Brandt, along with her classmates in the course, received scholarships from Park Rite for the work that was created.
Tickets, Sponsorships Available for Volunteers of America Michigan’s Holidays of Hope Event
Volunteers of America Michigan (VOAMI) invites community members to attend and sponsor the Holidays for Hope gala, which will take place at 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at The Henry Ford in Dearborn.
Funds raised at Holidays for Hope will support a variety of at-risk groups and VOAMI services. Programs provided by VOAMI include meal and shelter services for homeless veterans, affordable housing for underprivileged seniors and assistance for families facing hardship.
“If you’re able to give and looking for a fun night out, I urge you to join us on this night,” says Kristin Benton, director of development and communications at VOAMI. “It’s easy to forget from time to time, but each of us has the power to change lives in our community. Holidays for Hope is a great opportunity to do that.”
For more information, visit here.