DBusiness Daily Update: Tenneco Unveils New Shocks for Trucks and SUVs, Detroit’s Kolene Acquires Canadian Chemical Company, 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.
Tenneco Shocks
Tenneco has introduced a new monotube shock offering in its Rancho line for trucks and SUVs. // Courtesy of Tenneco

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.

Tenneco Unveils New Rancho Monotube Shocks for Trucks and SUVs

The DRiV group of Southfield automotive supplier Tenneco has introduced a new monotube shock offering in its Rancho line — the RS7MT — now available for select Jeep applications and engineered for precision on- or off-road handling.

Designed by a global team of engineers, the RS7MT is manufactured at Tenneco’s Gliwice, Poland, facility and part numbers for ¾-ton and ½-ton Chevrolet, Ford, and Toyota trucks, will be released later this year.

Each RS7MT shock features an integrated dirt wiper sealing system that helps keep moisture, dirt, and other debris from contaminating the shock, and a hardened piston rod that resists scuffs and corrosion.

Its large two-inch monotube body filled with all-weather fluid allows for cooler operation, increased vehicle control, and ability to withstand internal temperatures of -40 to 248° Fahrenheit, for larger wheel and tire packages. A full-floating dividing piston and high-pressure nitrogen gas maintain constant pressure against the hydraulic oil, reducing aeration, and shock fade. To smooth out the ride, the RS7MT features an internal rebound bumper, while shouldered rubber bushings help reduce noise, vibration and ride harshness.

This newest offering from Rancho also features a design that, like other Rancho products, is designed to fit right out of the box, with application-specific mounting and no need for installing sleeves or other extra hardware. Each RS7MT shock also comes with Rancho’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 90-day Performance Guarantee.

“This was truly a global effort to bring this latest monotube shock from design to manufacture by our teams in North America and Europe,” says Martha Remski, business line leader for shocks and struts in North America for Tenneco. “We are very excited that, not only did the teams come together to develop a new product, but they were able to produce a shock offering that meets the tough demands of today’s off-road enthusiasts.”

For more information, visit here.

Detroit’s Kolene Acquires Canadian Chemical Company

Kolene Corp., a thermal chemical provider in Detroit, has acquired the Chemical Division of Park Thermal International Corp. of Ontario, Canada. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jay Mistry, president of Park Thermal, will work with Kolene going forward to assure the transition of all Park Thermal standard and proprietary heat treat chemical blends, as well as providing customer support.

“We are very excited to broaden our molten salt offerings into the heat treat market and utilize Jay’s extensive chemical knowledge and excellent technical customer support to do so,” says Peter Shoemaker, vice president of purchasing at Kolene. “It’s great to have Jay as a partner with Kolene as we relaunch the industry-trusted Iso-Therm product line.”

Mistry says, “We were challenged with the COVID downturn in our business and we were looking for a strong partner to continue supporting our established customer base. I am glad to have found the Kolene team, a trusted and competent North American partner who has the technical and commercial bandwidth to carry our heat treat salt business into the next phase.”

Kolene Corp. has been supplying both ferrous and non-ferrous metal cleaning products for 82 years. It is known for its ferritic nitrocarburizing salts.

Bingham Farms’ Sunvera Group Forms Partnership with Troy’s TruVista Surgery Center

Sunvera Group, a Bingham Farms-based management services organization providing support services to ophthalmology practices across multiple subspecialties as well as ophthalmic-focused ambulatory surgery centers, announced a new partnership with TruVista Surgery Center, growing its network of organizations providing the highest level of specialty eye care.

Headquartered in Troy, TruVista Surgery Center was founded and developed by leading ophthalmologists in the Detroit metro area to deliver high-quality, cost-effective, and convenient surgical eye care to patients. The center and its staff are committed to giving their patients a personalized experience as they go through the surgery process. The AAAHC-certified center consists of four large operating suites and is focused on ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgery.

“Our commitment to expanding access for our patients and supporting those who provide advanced clinical care remains unwavering,” says Greg Nodland, CEO of Sunvera Group. “Adding TruVista to the Sunvera family is a testament to that commitment. As we broaden our footprint in the Michigan market, TruVista will bring exceptional insight to our teams and support our growth as a market leader.”

Dr. Carl Clavenna of the TruVista Surgery Center says, “We are thrilled to join Sunvera Group and greatly respect the outstanding service and collaboration that the team has provided for its partners. With Sunvera, we have found a partner that values the exceptional facility and team we have built and will work with us to take TruVista to even greater heights, further enhancing clinical outcomes and the patient experience.”

U.S. Great Lakes-Seaway Ports See Increases in May as Economy Recovers

U.S. Great Lakes ports and the St. Lawrence Seaway reported sharp increases in cargo volumes of construction materials, steel, and iron ore in May to supply renewed manufacturing and building activity in the region, according to statistics from the St. Lawrence Seaway between March 22 and May 31.

Overall cargo shipments totaled 8.1 million metric tons, in line with last year. But in the dry bulk category, cement and gypsum shipments totaled more than 776,000 metric tons, up 51 percent over the same period in 2020 and 59 percent higher than the five-year average.

General cargo shipments through the St. Lawrence Seaway were up 37 percent compared to the same period in 2020 (and 23 percent above the five-year average), driven by steel imports from Europe being used in Ontario and U.S. Great Lakes cities for auto parts, battery, and appliance manufacturing as well as construction.

“Prices and demand for raw materials are surging around the globe as well as in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region as the pace of economic recovery has taken everyone by surprise,” says Bruce Burrows, president and CEO of the Chamber of Marine Commerce. “Our marine highway is delivering products and materials to support everything from infrastructure and building projects, to automotive and consumer goods manufacturing.”

May was a productive month at the Port of Toledo, with total tonnage up 20 percent over the same period in 2020. Highlights in year-to-date totals include a 45 percent increase in grain, 29 percent increase in dry bulk, iron ore was up 27 percent, and coal was up 15 percent.

“We saw an uptick in our usual commodities like coal, grain, and iron ore coupled with overseas exports of products like petroleum coke and distillers dry grains,” says Joe Cappel, vice president of business development for the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority.

The Toledo Port also received and unloaded its new Liebherr 550 mobile harbor crane shipped from Liebherr’s factory at the Port of Rostock in Germany. The new crane is currently being assembled and will be ready to work at the general cargo facility operated by Midwest Terminals.  “The crane is fitted with various attachments for handling all types of products and, with a massive lift capacity, will greatly improve our efficiency for loading and unloading vessels,” Cappel says.

At the Port of Cleveland, general cargo numbers (including imported steel, containerized goods, and project cargo) increased by close to 50 percent compared to April, and also outperformed May 2020 numbers by close to the same percentage. Bulk terminal tonnage grew by 35 percent compared to April and by 20 percent compared to 2020 same period.

WorkForce Software Launches Integrated Employee Experience/Management Platform

WorkForce Software in Livonia has launched its WorkForce Suite with a fully integrated set of employee experience (EX) capabilities designed to facilitate interactions between managers and their deskless employees.

Capabilities delivered in the newest release include two-way communications and real-time workforce data, which managers can use to engage staff, capture feedback, and act on employee sentiment. Harnessing these digital interactions through the WorkForce Suite can drive more effective employee engagement, provide for a safer, more compliant work environment, and boost employee retention for greater organizational resiliency and agility.

“In our work with some of the largest global employers, we can see that focusing on improvements to employee experience are being prioritized even more highly than before the pandemic,” says Mike Morini, CEO of WorkForce Software. “A tightening labor market, lower barriers to job change, and an increasingly diverse and digitally native employee population with higher expectations creates a demand for employers to re-imagine their workforce management technology and include solutions aimed at improving the employee experience.”

Today, there are 2.7 billion deskless workers in the global workforce — many of whom indicate a disconnect due to a growing technology gap, which makes it difficult for employers to communicate with employees and keep their workforce engaged at scale.

“Companies can no longer afford to consider solutions primarily aimed at the office worker and must include solutions that work for the entire workforce, especially those who don’t perform their work from behind a desk,” says Morini. “To cultivate an inclusive corporate culture with highly engaged employees, companies must now invest in solutions that offer the consumer-grade experiences modern workers expect while enabling organizations to adequately engage their employees and keep operations running efficiently.”

Organizations now can benefit from advancements to the WorkForce Suite that include:

  • WorkForce Experience
  • WorkForce Labor Forecasting
  • WorkForce Scheduling
  • WorkForce Insights

Ross Mortgage in Troy Expands to Virginia Market

Ross Mortgage Corp. in Troy is expanding into Virginia and has hired Scott Morris to manage the company’s new Culpeper office.

“As Ross Mortgage continues to grow, we look for top talent to represent the Ross brand by being both relatable and reliable with our customers and business partners,” says Tim Ross, CEO of Ross Mortgage. “Scott is a well-respected individual who will successfully lead the Ross Mortgage Culpeper office by providing excellent service and helping clients efficiently and effectively realize their home buying goals.”

The Culpeper office is Ross Mortgage’s first location in Virginia.

For more information, visit here.

Troy’s Rehmann Wins Association for Accounting Marketing’s “2020 Best Pivot” Award

Troy-based financial services and advisory firm Rehmann has won the 2020 Best Pivot Award by the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM). The award recognizes the best external campaign or initiative in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Following one of the most difficult years in our country’s history, it is an honor to be recognized for an effort that extended firm wide in support of our clients — offering business wisdom to the masses,” says Holly Shire, chief marketing officer at Rehmann. “We take pride in our associates’ flexibility and ability to adapt, always prioritizing our clients and associates and understanding what information they need to ensure they feel supported and empowered.”

Rehmann’s efforts to support clients and other businesses in response to the pandemic included:

Going the Distance Guide — This 21-page guide was utilized as a resource to help clients and other business owners map the next steps for their business’ success during the pandemic.

Internal and External Web Pages — Internal and external web pages were created to serve as hubs of information for Rehmann’s associates, clients and other business owners.

Webinars — Rehmann experts offered a series of webinars, offering timely expertise and resources to assist clients and other business owners.

Print Advertisements — Rehmann designed advertisements to highlight various positive impacts clients were making in their industries in the midst of the pandemic.

Digital Assets — Digital advertisements were developed and used across social media and publications to promote valuable resources.

The firm’s marketing efforts resulted in a 30 percent increase in average open rate on COVID-related email communications to clients and prospects, a 13 percent increase in average click rate on COVID-related email communications to clients and prospects, and a 500 percent increase in average webinar attendance.

Dossin Great Lakes Museum Opens ’20 for the ‘20s’ Exhibit

The Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle has opened a new exhibit featuring the city’s most imaginative innovations from the 1920s. It will be on display through January 2022.

During the 1920s, the Detroit River was one of the most dynamic waterways in the world. It featured fast boats, big boats, flying boats, bridges, tunnels, radios, and even rumrunning.

“20 for the ‘20s” showcases 20 of the city’s most imaginative innovations from this transformative decade through rarely seen artifacts and photos from the Detroit Historical Society collection.

From amusement parks to Prohibition, civil engineering to sewage treatment, the exhibition shows how Detroiters were creating the dynamic city whose legacy we enjoy today. Some of the innovations — like advances in powerboat racing, assembly-line military vessel construction and radio dispatch for police cars — were unique to our region. Others reflected cutting edge technologies being toyed with on lakes and rivers across North America, as people explored new ways to succeed in business, enjoy leisure time and improve everyday life.

This new exhibition serves as a maritime-focused companion to “Boom Town: Detroit in the 1920s,” currently on display at the Detroit Historical Museum. “20 for the 20s” was made possible by the support of Del and Dianne Dossin-Ruth.

Advance museum tickets (free with a suggested $5 donation) can be reserved here. Walk-in visitors also are welcome.

For more information, visit here.

Holocaust Memorial Center Presents Program on Jewish Refugees in India and Iran

The Holocaust Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in Farmington Hills is presenting “Trauma and Adventure in Transit: Jewish Refugees in Iran and India,” a program on Sunday, June 27, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

The program features Atina Grossmann, professor of history at the Cooper Union in New York City.

The virtual event will provide insight on the Jews who escaped to India and Iran after 1933. On the margins of the Holocaust and anxious about their families’ fates, they were homeless and stateless, but also oddly privileged as adventurous Europeans in non-western societies.

“This fascinating program will show how the plight of these Jews were shadowed by the emerging European catastrophe, and how they navigated complex and unfamiliar terrain in India and Iran,” says Rabbi Eli Mayerfeld, CEO of the Holocaust Memorial Center. “They lost their livelihoods and professions, and had an anxious sense of their families’ fate or what their future held. Drawing upon the experiences of her parents and other sources, Professor Grossmann will detail the challenges these Jews faced of living in a precarious forced transit that also offered experiences of adventurous travel.”

To register, visit here. Registrants will receive a link to the program.

2021 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic Returns Aug. 26-28 at Wayne State

The Detroit Sports Commission has announced the matchups for the 16th Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic to take place Aug. 26-28 at Tom Adams Field on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit.

Following an event pause in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Xenith Prep Kickoff Classic returns as the premier season-opening high school football showcase in Michigan, highlighted by six games over three days that include teams from multiple divisions and powerhouse conferences. The teams will represent four southeast Michigan counties in a diverse showcase lineup that will feature three new participants.

The classic will kick off at 4 p.m. on Aug. 26, with a clash between Canton and Dearborn Fordson. In the Thursday nightcap, Chippewa Valley will face 2020 Division 1 District champion Detroit Catholic Central at 7 p.m. On Aug. 27, Birmingham Groves will play Dexter at 4 p.m., followed by 2020 MHSAA Division 2 finalist Warren De La Salle vs. Chicago St. Patrick at 7 p.m. On the final day, Eastpointe will open against 2020 Division 3 finalist River Rouge at 1 p.m., followed by Detroit Cass Tech vs. Southfield High School for the Arts & Technology at 4 p.m.

Detroit-based sports equipment manufacturer Xenith returns as the XPKC event title sponsor.

“The Detroit Sports Commission is proud to once again kick off the high school football season in Michigan with an exciting lineup of games at a great setting in the heart of midtown Detroit,” says Dave Beachnau, senior vice president of the DSC. “The 2021 event will feature a tremendous collection of schools and also highlight the colorful pageantry of bands and cheerleaders for fans to experience at this signature event.”

Tickets will be available at a later date online with a portion of the proceeds benefitting each school. One ticket will grant admission to all games on a particular day.

Gleaners Launches Summer Food Program for Children

Gleaners Community Food Bank announced the launch of its Summer Food Service Program, with many summer distribution sites beginning June 21. The program will complement Gleaners’ food distribution programs through its more than 660-member partner network, emergency food distribution sites, and emergency food box delivery programs to meet the need in the community.

“Summer has always been a difficult time for families and children facing hunger, and last summer we saw some of the greatest community need we have ever seen in southeast Michigan,” says Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners. “While there are new signs for hope, far too many children and families in our community will not be hunger free this summer without our help. Gleaners is dedicated to being a stabilizing resource for kids in need.”

This year’s Summer Food Service Program will use multiple distribution models to meet the needs of children 18 years or younger across southeast Michigan including 22 grocery sites, 42 meal sites, and 24 mobile delivery sites.

To support Gleaners’ summer food distributions, community members can donate to the Hunger Free Summer Plus campaign, in which all donations are matched by Citizens, Toni Wisne Sabina Foundation, GM, Ford, Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, and other donors. Donations can be made securely here.

JVS Human Services Offers Webinar on Coping with Returning to the Office

JVS Human Services in Southfield is offering a free webinar, June 22 at 10 a.m., for workers having difficulty returning to the office.

A recent survey found that 100 percent of workers had some anxiety about going back into an office or worksite after being remote during the pandemic with 77 percent being nervous of being exposed to COVID-19, 71 percent being worried about having less flexibility, and 68 percent being concerned about commuting again.

“The Road Ahead: Coping with Returning to the Office” is designed to assist those facing this transition. The online webinar will feature Phyllis Scripsick, a JVS career counselor and licensed professional counselor, and Hannah Berger, a JVS employment specialist, who will provide tips to cope with the stress and practical advice to make the change as easy as possible.

No registration is necessary for the webinar, which will be streamed on the JVS Human Services Facebook page. For those who miss the live interactive webinar, it will be recorded and can be accessed on the Facebook page for later viewing. Job seekers who need help preparing for an interview or putting together a resume or searching for employment can also email employmenthelp@jvshumanservices.org or call 248-233-4245.

Judson Center President Hardy-Foster to Speak at ICONS: Women of Note Conference

Lenora Hardy-Foster, president and CEO of the Judson Center, a multi-county human service agency and designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic, will be one of the featured speakers at the ICONS: Women of Note virtual conference, hosted by Financial Executives International (FEI) on June 30 from noon-5 p.m.

Hardy-Foster will be joined by these global brand finance leaders, who will share their personal stories, experiences, and challenges in their careers:

  • Teri Reinseth, vice president, corporate controller, and chief accounting officer at 3M Co.
  • Leslie Seidman, head of Audit Committee at Moody’s Corp.
  • Sue Taylor, chief accounting officer at Facebook Inc.
  • Yang Xu, senior vice president, global treasurer, head of corporate development at The Kraft Heinz Co.

A long-time member of FEI Detroit, Hardy-Foster was the only Black woman member of the group when she joined in 2008. Seven years later, she was the FEI Detroit chapter president.

“FEI is an organization that has played a very special role in my career of managing the business aspects of large nonprofit organizations,” says Hardy-Foster. “I am thrilled to be speaking alongside such esteemed women industry leaders and look forward to bringing my non-profit perspective to the conversation.”

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