DBusiness Daily Update: Space Force Director to Speak at Space Summit in Traverse City, 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.
Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno will be a keynote speaker for the fifth annual North American Space Summit in Traverse City. // Courtesy of the U.S. Space Force
Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno will be a keynote speaker for the fifth annual North American Space Summit in Traverse City. // Courtesy of the U.S. Space Force

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.

Space Force Director to Speak at Space Summit in Traverse City

The Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (MAMA) in Sterling Heights has announced that U.S. Space Force Director of Staff Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno will be a keynote speaker for its fifth annual North American Space Summit, Oct. 2-4, at Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City.

Armagno is the only person to have commanded both launch wings in the U.S. Air Force and is the first woman general officer commissioned in the Space Force, a new branch of the armed services focused on organizing, training, and equipping the U.S. to conduct global space operations. She is responsible for coordinating policies, plans, positions, and procedure issues for Space Force staff.

“We are honored to have Lt. Gen. Nina Armagno speak at this year’s North American Space Summit and excited attendees will have an opportunity to hear from one of the most influential space leaders in the U.S.,” says Gavin Brown, executive director of MAMA. “The summit will offer attendees a chance to learn about innovative trends and technology, build significant partnerships as well as how to adapt and grow their organizations in this growing $447 billion industry.”

Armagno’s military career spans more than three decades in various defense and space operation leadership roles within the Air Force and now Space Force. Prior to her current role, Armagno was the director of Space Programs at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, where she oversaw the development of space programs, working with the Air Force, Secretary of Defense, Congress and White House.

“We’re focused on where the space industry is going, not where it has been,” Brown says. “The summit will reflect that by offering educational sessions on unique and emerging trends in the industry, a platform for contractors to brief attendees on opportunities for partnerships on current and planned projects as well as networking events.”

The two-day summit, also known as the NASS, will feature leaders in aerospace, government, national security, automotive, academia, and more on initiatives in new technology, capabilities, services and innovation in hypersonic materials and vehicles as well as low-Earth orbit, or LEO.

Hypersonic technology refers to commercial and defense applications designed to travel at minimum speeds of Mach 5, or nearly 3,800 miles per hour at sea level. Hypersonic technology has the opportunity to change numerous applications such as commercial travel, supply chain and defense initiatives. This technology has become a trending topic in the U.S. as demand for research and development ramps up to keep pace with Russia and China, which have already made key advancements.

“The U.S. space ecosystem is in an era of tremendous growth that represents unparalleled opportunities,” Brown says. “What makes this more exciting, and different, than other moments in the space industry is that the collaboration between the private and public sectors has never been stronger. Our goal for this year’s NASS is to offer a platform to educate the industry on how they can take advantage of these exciting times.”

For more information and to register, visit thenass.org.

Detroit Quality Staffing Opens Offices in Dearborn, Trenton

Detroit Quality Staffing (DQS) is continuing its growth with the addition of locations in Dearborn and Trenton.

Dearborn is the headquarters of DQS and the Trenton site will be the base for the company’s engineering and sales team. The company now has a total of six locations in Michigan.

DQS provides staffing, engineering, and other solutions for businesses that specialize in automotive, manufacturing, and logistics. The additions allow DQS to expand its staffing services to businesses throughout Michigan, while growing other offerings.

The Dearborn opened at the end of June and the Trenton location will be operational by October.

Michigan Founders Fund Reaches 50th Founder Pledge

Michigan Founders Fund (MFF), a Detroit-based nonprofit organization that provides startup programming and company-building support to high-growth entrepreneurs, has now reached 56 pledged members.

Pledged members are tech founders and investors who have pledged 1 percent of equity, carry, or profit into a fund for Michigan-based grantmaking.

“When people ask what makes Michigan a great place for innovation, what makes it different, we can genuinely say it’s the people,” says Trista Van Tine, executive director and co-founder of MFF. “The generosity of our high-growth entrepreneurial community speaks for itself, by pledging 1 percent of their future success back to the state, founders and investors are not only advancing Michigan’s economy through the companies they are building here, but are giving back some of that success to the communities where they live and operate.”

For more information about the opportunities available to entrepreneurs through MFF and how to become a member, visit here.

Tigers to Celebrate 17th Annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! Aug. 19

To recognize and honor the contributions of Latino players and coaches to the game of baseball, the Detroit Tigers are proud to host the 17th annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! celebration, presented by Miller Lite, at Comerica Park on Friday, Aug. 19. The Tigers will host the Los Angeles Angels at 7:10 p.m.

Gates will open at 5 p.m., and the first 10,000 fans ages 21 and over will receive a ¡Fiesta Tigres! hat, courtesy of Miller Lite. The Comerica Park concourse will be decorated with banners saluting current Latino Tigers players, and flags representing the home countries of all Major League Baseball players of Latin American descent.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy music and dancing on the Comerica Park concourse that celebrates Latin American culture. Detroit minority-owned restaurant Shell Shock’d Tacos will be selling “Detroit’s finest tacos” all weekend long.

The Tigers will conduct a pregame ceremony to honor the club’s current Latin American players and coaches, and celebrate Cuban native Barbaro Garbey, who played on the Tigers’ 1984 World Series championship team. The parade of flags will be led by youth baseball players from southwest Detroit.

“We’re excited to celebrate ¡Fiesta Tigres! with our fans, current and former players and coaches of Latin American descent, and Latinos throughout our community,” says Chris McGowan, president and CEO of Ilitch Sports + Entertainment. “We encourage fans to arrive at the ballpark early to enjoy the atmosphere and join us in honoring some of the legendary names and countries that are so engrained in Detroit Tigers and Major League Baseball history.”

The festivities will begin with the 9th annual ¡Fiesta Tigres! Luncheon, presented by Miller Lite, a private event the afternoon of Friday, Aug. 19. Garbey and Pedro Sierra, a former Negro Leagues and Cuban-born player, will be the luncheon’s special guests.

For the first time, the ¡Fiesta Tigres! game will be broadcast in Spanish. Tigers Media Relations Bilingual Coordinator Carlos Guillen and broadcaster, journalist and writer Mari Motes will have the call on WSDS La Explosiva 1480 AM. The station’s general manager, Alex Resendez, will lead the in-park pregame announcements and player introductions in Spanish.

123NET Bringing High-speed Internet to Northland City Center

Southfield-based fiber internet provider 123NET in Southfield is continuing its residential internet service rollout via a new partnership with Contour Construction to bring 10 gbps home fiber internet to its Northland City Center development in Southfield.

Originally built in 1954, the historic Northland Shopping Center was the first mall of its kind in the United States, although it more recently fell into a state of disrepair. Contour Cos. is leading its redevelopment into the Northland City Center, which will transform the space into more than 1,200 apartment units and 95,000 square feet of commercial space spread over 14 buildings. The plan calls for the development to have a community park and its own Southfield police station.

“Our development plan seeks to blend Northland’s proud history with the modern features and services that we know the community values,” says David Dedvukaj, CEO of Contour Cos. “This goal requires the best possible internet capabilities. That’s why we selected 123NET, a Michigan-based internet provider, to connect all 14 buildings with incredibly fast and reliable 10 Gbps fiber internet.”

Contour Cos.’ $402 million reimagining of the 100-acre parcel already is under construction and accepting lease applications. Fiber internet will be available along with other amenities such as fitness clubs, hospitality and restaurant venues, a rooftop pool, convenient parking, and a walkable community area.

“123NET is a proud Michigan company headquartered in Southfield,” says Chuck Irvin, vice president of 123NET. “We believe being local to Michigan translates into consistently better, faster, more thorough service for our customers versus the national telephone companies and cable providers. It’s important for us to have our services incorporated into this phenomenal new development that will be a game-changer in our hometown.”

For more information, visit here.

Gleaners, Lighthouse Expand Partnership to Strengthen Food Relief Operations

Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit and Lighthouse in Pontiac announced a new partnership agreement for Lighthouse to operate its food programs from Gleaners’ Pontiac facility, located at 120 E. Columbia Ave.

Gleaners is providing Lighthouse a no-cost lease of the facility, while Lighthouse assumes operating costs and maintenance, with the option to purchase the building.

“Over the past two years, Lighthouse has become Gleaners’ largest distribution partner in Oakland County,” says Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners. “They are vital to the region. Partnerships are incredibly important to Gleaners. When Lighthouse expressed the need for a more stable, affordable facility to centralize their operations, we agreed Gleaners’ Pontiac facility presents a positive arrangement for both of our organizations to have greater community impact and expanded reach.”

Lighthouse will utilize the 22,000-square-foot building as its new food distribution center, supporting home delivery services, largely for seniors and individuals with transportation challenges, as well as agency pickups. The site also will host Lighthouse volunteer groups, in particular for food packing activities.

“This partnership with Gleaners mutually strengthens our ability to serve vulnerable populations through programming and meet people where they are,” says Ryan Hert, president and CEO of Lighthouse. “This move will afford us the space we need for refrigeration and storage, as well as food distribution capabilities from one strategically located hub, that will enhance our support to the community while reducing costs and overall logistics challenges.”

In recent months, Gleaners consolidated its large-volume distribution operations to a new South Campus facility in Taylor, in addition to maintaining its headquarters in Detroit. For Gleaners, the Pontiac location was previously utilized for storage, cross-docking, volunteer work, and partner pickups. Under Lighthouse’s operations, Gleaners’ partner pickups, the Kroger Reclamation Center (which rescues dry groceries and shelf-ready staples that are not sold by Kroger stores and distributes them to food relief organizations), and support for Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency’s (OLHSA) food storage will continue at the location.

As host for Kroger reclamation, Lighthouse will be a recipient of reclaimed food donations. Additionally, new partnership possibilities exist for Gleaners and Lighthouse to collaborate in the USDA’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), focused on low-income people at least 60 years of age, providing Lighthouse with opportunities to serve additional senior communities.

IWG Opens New HQ, Flexible Workspace in East Lansing

IWG, the Switzerland-based provider of flexible workspaces, announced the opening of a new 9,500-square-foot HQ center in East Lansing.

The center will occupy the top floor of 1760 Abbey and will include 115 workspaces and one 12-person meeting room.

The new HQ center comes as companies continue to embrace a hybrid work model with increasing demand from employees who want to live in “15-minute cities,” where everything they need, including where they work, is within 15 minutes of their home.

“As a key component for hybrid work, flexible office spaces are expected to grow in demand from 2 percent of the office market to 30 percent by 2030,” says Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG. “Providing an opportunity to break into an unsaturated market with considerable projected growth, IWG workspaces offer a wide range of accessible locations both in city centers and suburban areas closer to where employees live, providing multiple work options at a time when flexibility is top of mind for employees.”

With the combination of an historic small-town atmosphere and cosmopolitan sophistication, East Lansing offers numerous hotels, restaurants, and shops.

IWG provides on-demand services to its members, including access to 3,500 locations around the world, meeting rooms whenever they are needed, IT support, networking, and business and social events and much more.

For more information, visit here.

Detroit Youth Choir to Perform at NCJW|MI Fundraising Concert Aug. 21

The Detroit Youth Choir will be performing at a concert at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 21 at Temple Shir Shalom (3999 Walnut Lake Road) in West Bloomfield Township to raise funds for programs operated by the National Council of Jewish Women, Michigan (NCJW|MI).

Money raised will go toward youth projects including the Back 2 School Store, backpacks for homeless youth, blankets for children in hospitals and in foster care, and childhood literacy programs.

Fox 2 Detroit TV anchor and WNIC radio personality Jay Towers will be emceeing the event and doors open at 3 p.m.

“Detroit Youth Choir is the pride of our city and showcases the amazing talents our young people have, when given a chance,” says Sallyjo Levine, president of NCJW | MI. “Our organization is committed to making sure all children in metro Detroit get the start they deserve, whether that is providing them with new clothes and school supplies for starting the academic year or offering comfort in the form of cozy blankets to sick children or those in foster care. This fundraiser will ensure that these projects remain strong and effective.”

Tickets for the concert are $36 for adults, $10 for children ages 6 to 19 and are free to children under 5. Patron tickets are $75. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit here.

Detroit Youth Bicycle Racers Bring Home Medals from National Championships

Thirteen junior racers from Detroit went to USACycling’s National Championships in Trexlertown, Pa., July 26-Aug. 1, and came home with six stars and stripes jerseys, and 37 gold, silver, or bronze medals in the five-day event.

The team, called American Track Cycling League’s Elite Junior squad trains and is based out of Detroit’s Lexus Velodrome, which is owned and operated by the nonprofit Detroit Fitness Foundation (DFF).

“The performance by our juniors was extraordinary and their results were hard earned and well-deserved,” says Dale Hughes, executive director of the DFF. “They were prepared to race and they’ve been training to win. Every medal, every jersey, represents hours of work and dedication.

Medal winners include:

  • Cameron Coleman, 14, Detroit: Gold – 13-14 Men/Omnium.
  • Christopher Rivera, 18, Beverly Hills: Gold – Team Pursuit, Bronze – Team Sprint.
  • Emma Jimenez Palos, 14, Northville: Gold –13-14 Women/Omnium.
  • Brendan Leary, 18, Detroit: Gold – Team Pursuit, Bronze – 17-18 Men/Elimination.
  • Matt Redfield, 18, Troy: Gold – Team Pursuit, Bronze – Kilo.
  • Connell Alford, 16, Chelsea: Gold – Team Pursuit; Gold – Individual Pursuit; Gold – 15-16 Men/Omnium; Bronze – Team Sprint
  • Donnell Anderson, 16, Detroit: Silver – 15-18 Men/Sprints; Silver – 15-18 Men/Keirin.
  • Kash Adamski, 14, Bloomfield Hills: Silver – 13-14 Men/Omnium
  • Donald Smith, 12, Brighton: Bronze – 11-12 Men/Omnium
  • Padraig Leary, 15, Detroit: Bronze – Team Sprint

Also racing for the American Track Cycling League at the nationals, and placing in the Top 10 of their category: Avi Leary, 15, Detroit; Jack Leary, 11, Detroit; and DeJohn Parks, 18, Detroit.

“This is just the beginning of long-term successes,” Hughes says. “We have kids that weren’t ready for nationals – yet, but they will be next year. We offer access to a facility and a sport that means access to unique opportunities that can change lives. We are honored and fortunate that these kids are finding a path through us.”