DBusiness Daily Update: The Parade Co. Has Big Plans for 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade, and More

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.
Preparations are underway for the 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White. // Photo courtesy of The Parade Co.
Preparations are underway for the 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White. // Photo courtesy of The Parade Co.

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.

The Parade Co. Has Big Plans for 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade

Preparations are underway for the 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White, which, according to The Parade Co., “will awe generations of parade-goers on historic Woodward Avenue.”

In addition to those in attendance, the parade is broadcast to millions of viewers in 185 U.S. television markets. This year’s parade will be held on Nov. 24.

“Detroit is one of the greatest cities in the world and we celebrate it in a very special way with everything we do for America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White,” says Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co. “There is an amazing energy in our parade studio as our team prepares for one of our biggest years yet, and we are grateful to our partners who are helping to make it all possible.”

Registration is underway for the 40th S3 Turkey Trot, one of the nation’s largest runs on Thanksgiving morning. Live on Woodward Avenue, this tradition leading up to America’s Thanksgiving Parade features several distances for runners and walkers to choose from including the S3 Turkey Trot 10K, Stuffing Strut 5K, and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mashed Potato Mile, along with a combination of race options.

All runners and walkers receive an official race shirt and medal. Participants may choose to dress in their favorite holiday costumes for the event. Race registration is open through Nov. 23 and starts at $30. Details and registration available here.

Official grandstand seats for the parade also are available, ranging from $60 to $70 and support The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade Foundation. The parade rolls down Woodward from the Detroit Institute of Arts to Campus Martius Park and seating is available in limited areas throughout the route. Details are available at theparade.org.

Oakland County’s Three-year $1B Budget Passes with No New Taxes

Oakland County’s Board of Commissioners has approved County Executive Dave Coulter’s balanced, three-year, $1 billion budget with bipartisan support. The budget for fiscal years 2023-2025 includes investments in health care, roads, and workforce development as well as funding to stand-up a public defender’s office.

“We’re proud of this balanced budget because it helps Oakland County residents to live their best lives,” Coulter says. “Investing in our people, communities, and businesses defines our priorities for the coming years.”

The budget also offers a 5 percent cost of living adjustment for county employees’ salaries to lessen the impact of the rising costs of basic needs such as groceries and gas and to ensure the county continues to attract and retain a well-qualified workforce.

Budget highlights include:

  • $4 million to fund important road projects in all Oakland County communities, in partnership with those local units of government, supplementing federal and state road funding.
  • Using American Rescue Plan dollars to continue to augment improving mental health in schools, hospitals, nonprofits, and the community.
  • $9.7 million in state grant funding to stand up a public defender’s office and ensure that all residents receive qualified legal representation. Funding will also support hiring and retention bonuses for law enforcement personnel in the sheriff’s office.
  • Create a new position that will coordinate and help improve services the county provides to older residents across all departments.
  • $650,000 for additional efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, build the county’s Climate Action Plan, and more efficiently manage facility maintenance projects.
  • $250,000 in ongoing support for the Diverse Abilities Program, which offers employment opportunities for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities who face barriers to employment, frees up administrative and labor hours from other workers, and supports the county’s diversity hiring goals.
  • A new position in the Oakland County Purchasing Division to support outreach efforts to ensure that businesses owned by minorities, women, and disabled veterans can bid on county contracts.

The adopted general fund budgets for fiscal years 2023-2025 are $509.5 million, $516.5 million, and $527.9 million, respectively. The total budgets for all funds for fiscals 2023-2025 are $1.0129 billion, $1.0206 billion, and $1.0320 billion, respectively. It includes $7 million in appropriations from American Recover Plan (ARP) revenue to pay for direct county COVID response costs in fiscal 2023, but otherwise excludes ARP funds so that investments supported by those dollars can be specifically reviewed and approved by the Board of Commissioners.

Michigan State President Submits Title IX Certification to Michigan Officials

Michigan State University President Dr. Samuel Stanley Jr. has certified to the state of Michigan that the university satisfied the requirement under Michigan law that the president and a member of the Board of Trustees review all Title IX reports involving the alleged sexual misconduct of university employees for fiscal year 2022.

Stanley is reportedly facing pressure from some members of the school’s board to step down due to what they deem a lack of response to the sexual misconduct of employees.

“Recently, the Board became aware of concerns regarding the reliability of the University’s prior 2021 Title IX certification,” said the board in a statement. “In response to these concerns and to address concerns raised by the board about the certification process generally, the university’s Office of Audit, Risk, and Compliance conducted a review of the Title IX certification process. In the interests of transparency, the board is releasing the independent audit of Marilyn K. Tarrant, MSU Chief Audit, Risk, and Compliance Officer, dated Sept. 13, 2022. The names of individuals have been redacted to protect their privacy.

“In addition, the board took swift action by retaining two outside law firms to investigate the 2021 Title IX certification process, provide guidance to the board in reviewing Title IX reports, identify shortfalls in the process, and make recommendations to improve the process. The reviews by these law firms, Honigman LLP and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, remain ongoing.

“Nonetheless, in addition to the 2022 certification — out of an abundance of caution — members of the board have reviewed the relevant Title IX reports for fiscal year 2021 and President Stanley has re-certified that the university satisfied the requirement under Michigan law for fiscal year 2021. President Stanley has submitted that re-certification to the Legislature and state of Michigan.”

MVCA Celebrates 20th Anniversary, State’s Successes at 2022 Annual Awards Dinner

The Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) on Thursday celebrated its 20th anniversary during its 2022 Annual Awards Dinner at Greenfield Village in Dearborn.

MVCA also announced awards recognizing the capital events that are fueling the growth of Michigan’s companies, the significant investment milestones enabling companies to grow and excel in Michigan, the companies that are producing groundbreaking solutions in their sectors, and the organizations working to engage with their communities and enrich their local economies.

The MVCA Annual Awards Dinner attracted 150 attendees from across the state to celebrate the successes of the entrepreneurial and investment community in the state.

Awardees of the 2022 MVCA Annual Awards Dinner were voted by MVCA members in each category. They include:

  • Workit Health, Financing of the Year Award
  • Benzinga, Exit of the Year Award
  • Airspace Link, Up-and-Coming Company of the Year Award
  • Invest Detroit, Community Impact Award
  • Robin McIntosh and Lisa McLaughlin, Entrepreneur of the Year Award

“This was an extra special year for our annual award dinner as we celebrated MVCA’s 20th anniversary” says Ara Topouzian, executive director of MVCA. “We expanded the number of awards we presented this year and look forward to a bright future for both the investment and entrepreneurial community in Michigan.”

The evening featured a tribute to Michael A. Finney former CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., Ann Arbor SPARK, and most recently the Miami-Dade Beacon Council who passed away this past year. His wife, Gina, accepted the award on his behalf.

This year, MVCA presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Sam Valenti III. This award recognizes the achievements of individuals who formed the foundation of Michigan’s entrepreneurial and investment community. Valenti paved the way for the next generation of investors in the community with his leadership and expertise.

“Sam believed so much in the need for this organization at a time when there was question about where both Michigan and venture capital were headed that he paid for the first group meeting of MVCA,” says Chris Rizik, CEO and managing partner of Renaissance Venture Capital.

University of Michigan Awarded U LIFT Challenge Machine Learning Project

LIFT, the Detroit-based national manufacturing innovation institute, has awarded a U LIFT Challenge project award to the University of Michigan to utilize machine learning to better predict the melting temperature of new alloys.

Understanding the melting temperature of alloys is a critical piece of designing a component, helping ensure that component is fit for purpose. The end result of this project will be an open-source model, allowing other manufacturers to use its findings.

Currently, an alloy’s melting temperature can be predicted using the Calculation of Phase Diagrams (CALPHAD) approach, which is an important aspect of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), however, thermodynamic data only exists for a limited set of alloy systems and cannot be used for new, novel alloys.

“We will build a supervised machine-learning method to extend capability to predict high-temperature melting for novel systems,” says Wenhao Sun, principal investigator on the project and assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the U-M. “Rapid and accurate estimations of melting temperatures for novel alloy systems will facilitate their design, manufacturing and deployment.”

Noel Mack, chief technology officer at LIFT, says: “Our university partners are critical to our work of advancing technologies for the U.S. industrial base, particularly when it comes to better understanding novel materials. We received a number of outstanding proposals for the U LIFT Challenge and our sharks had to make some difficult decisions, but we are excited to see the outcome of working with Dr. Sun and his Michigan team.”

The U LIFT Challenge is funded by LIFT and modeled after the popular television show “Shark Tank,” open to universities from across the country. Proposals were initially reviewed by the LIFT Technology Team and a select number were then invited to present their proposal in a “Shark Tank”-style virtual meeting, including LIFT staff and industry members from the LIFT Technology Interest Group.

TechTown Detroit’s Toast of the Town Returns with Oct. 6 Block Party

TechTown Detroit’s annual fundraiser Toast of the Town will return in person on Oct. 6 with a ticketed block party from 5:30-9 p.m., showcasing Detroit’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs.

Prior to the party, which will shut down Burroughs Street from Cass Avenue to Second Avenue, TechTown will livestream the seventh annual Salute Awards to a virtual audience from 4-5 p.m.

Toast of the Town will allow guests to experience the best of Detroit’s rising innovators and entrepreneurs with immersive experiences, tech startup demos, displays from the trendiest independent retailers, and tastings from food entrepreneurs spanning TechTown’s outdoor and indoor spaces. Tickets start at $20, and the Salute Awards ceremony livestream is free. For more information, visit here. Registration for both events can be found here.

“We’ve waited three years to safely celebrate the amazing entrepreneurial community in Detroit in person, and we are going to throw a fundraising event for the record books,” says Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and president and CEO of TechTown Detroit. “Come ready to eat, shop, and experience a diverse collection of TechTown’s clients and alumni while supporting an organization that is working every day to build bridges for a vibrant Detroit.”

Hitachi Astemo Launches New Website for its Automotive Group in the Americas

Hitachi Astemo, a global automotive supplier in Farmington Hills, has launched a new website — am.hitachiastemo.com — covering its operations in the Americas.

Hitachi Astemo Americas has more than 20 manufacturing plants, research-and-development centers and sales offices in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

“Hitachi Astemo has the global scale, technical depth, software capabilities, and advanced manufacturing resources to make significant contributions in rapidly changing automotive technology areas such as safety, electrification, comfort, and sustainability,” says John Nunneley, a senior vice president and general manager of Hitachi Astemo Americas.

The new website has sections specifically designed to assist the company’s customers, suppliers, current and prospective employees, and news media.

Hitachi’s automotive and motorcycle customers will find details about the company’s range of products, its aftermarket operations, and plant locations on the site.

The company’s current and prospective suppliers will have access to a supplier handbook along with trade zone information. There also are a variety of helpful portals, including a primary supplier portal, an online order-system portal, a quality portal, and a corrective action portal.

A career-section link on the site’s homepage offers prospective employees information about open positions and provides an application form for each opening. The company’s employee engagement program is driven by a dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Hitachi Astemo was created in 2021 with the merger of four companies — Hitachi Automotive Systems and three Honda affiliates: Nissin Kogyo, Keihin, and Showa. The Astemo name stands for Advanced Sustainable Technologies for Mobility.

Rugiero Promise Foundation to Host Casino Royale Fundraiser Oct. 8

The Rugiero Promise Foundation benefitting the Antono Rugiero Sr. Diabetes Research Fund at Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan, is hosting its 12th annual Casino Royale Carnevale at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center in Dearborn.

The event will include gaming, strolling supper, dancing, entertainment, live and silent auctions, and prizes.

Former Lear Corp. President and CEO Matt Simoncini is chairman of the event.

For more information, visit rugieropromise.org.

St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center Plans Grand Opening for New Detroit Headquarters

One of Detroit’s longest running nonprofits, St. Vincent and Sarah Fisher Center (SVSF), will host a grand opening to celebrate its new headquarters on Lappin Street in Detroit.

Planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 15, the event is open to the community and will include a children’s backpack giveaway (courtesy of DTE); refreshments; various games and activities like a donut eating contest, slime station, and candy bar scavenger hunt; program sign-up information; and tours of SVSF’s new center.

The 14061 Lappin building, located near Seven Mile and Gratiot Avenue on Detroit’s east side, is the first building to be owned by SVSF in its 178-year history.

The 36,000-square-foot educational facility will house various learning programs, basic skill and learning enhancement programs for at-risk children and adults, as well as SVSF staff and community resources.

The building will showcase three unique design elements. A large mural is being created for the children’s wing by local artist Lauren Magda. A 60-foot-long “timeline wall” is being designed to depict the center’s history of serving the community for the last 178 years.

In the parents’ waiting room of children’s wing, the famous SVSF stained glass windows from the historic site in Farmington Hills will be showcased in a specially designed LED case. The 18 stained glass windows, featuring childhood favorites such as Little Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, and a wide range of others, were saved from the Farmington Hills location of SVSF Center, which was built in 1929 by Charles and Sarah Fisher.

“This building has been a labor of love and we are overjoyed to welcome our neighbors and friends into our new home.  We are so excited to open this building to serve our community,” says Diane Renaud,  executive director and of the SVSF Center. “Our legacy started in Detroit over 175 years ago and today we have a permanent home we can call our own, demonstrating our commitment to building our city and helping our residents.”