DBusiness Daily Update: Townsend Hotel to Host Power Connections Real Estate Conference Thursday, 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.
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The Third Annual Power Connections Commercial Real Estate Conference will take place Thursday at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham. // Photo courtesy of Townsend Hotel

Townsend Hotel to Host Power Connections Real Estate Conference Thursday

Power Connections will present its Third Annual Commercial Real Estate Power Connections Conference from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

This one-day conference connects more than 400 key members of the industry, facilitating knowledge sharing, curating networking opportunities, and driving power connections. There are general admission and VIP ticket options.

The theme of the event is “Creating Powerful Connections in Commercial Real Estate.” The conference emphasizes the critical importance of creating and growing meaningful personal connections while learning from some of the region’s most respected and admired commercial real estate leaders.

Conference speakers include Dick DeVos, co-chair of Grand Action 2.0; Mary Culler, president of Ford Motor Co. Fund; and Mike Duggan, mayor of the city of Detroit, who will share initiatives that have attracted major employers, driving down unemployment to 4.8 percent, the lowest in Detroit’s history.

Several entrepreneurs, executives, and thought leaders in commercial real estate are featured panelists. They will provide insight into the latest market conditions, share actionable advice, and discuss strategies for business growth. Panelists include:

  • Sam Beznos: CEO, Beztak
  • Brandon Chesnutt: Identity PR
  • Terri Fitzpatrick: Senior Real Estate Advisor, MEDC
  • Charles Gleeson, II: CEO, C.E. Gleeson Constructors, Inc
  • Andy Gutman: President, Farbman Group
  • John Hindo: President, Boji Group
  • Matthew Lester: CEO, Princeton Enterprises
  • Dannis Mitchell: Sr. Director, Barton Malow Holdings
  • Akram Namou: CEO, Namou Hotel Group
  • David Schostak: CEO, Schostak Brothers
  • Raji Uppal: Principal, DTN Management

For a full agenda or to register for the event visit here.

Detroit Pistons Win Three Michigan Regional Emmy Awards

The Detroit Pistons’ Marketing and Content Production team was honored with three Michigan Emmys by the Michigan Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The awards were presented at the 46th annual Emmy Awards ceremony at Little Caesars Arena on June 15.

“It is our mission as a Marketing and Content Production team to craft deeply engaging narratives about basketball, our team and our organization, as well as the vibrant community and individuals of this city,” says Alicia Jeffreys, chief marketing officer of the Detroit Pistons. “Our dedicated in-house content team channels their talent, creativity and dedication into that work, and we take great pride in being acknowledged by our peers for our exceptional work and innovative approach.”

The Pistons took home the Commercial category for the second consecutive year, following up last year’s win for the team’s 2022-23 Brand Campaign “Different by Design” commercial with an Emmy for the organizations’ 2023-24 Brand Campaign commercial, “Always Detroit Basketball” featuring Ty Mopkins. The Pistons also earned Emmys for its 2023-24 Introduction Video and for its “Under the Hood” trailer for “Homecoming,” which detailed Monte Morris’ return to his hometown team.

The Pistons also were nominated for Emmys including Editor – Spot Announcement and Photographer – Sports highlighting the Todd Patrick Retail Capsule, Editor – Sports’ for the Bad Boys City Edition video, and for Editor – Short Form Content for the Bad Boys Release video.

Saroki’s Crispy Chicken and Pizza to Open New Madison Heights Location

The latest and 13th Saroki’s Crispy Chicken and Pizza location is opening in Madison Heights on June 27.

The newest Saroki’s is housed inside the new Mobil mega center at the corner of Dequindre and 10 Mile roads and will feature the company’s first drive-through in addition to carry-out and dine-in options.

The specialty-concept chain serves brick-oven=cooked pizzas and hand-battered chicken inside area fuel centers.

To celebrate the grand opening, there will be free samples and merchandise, $2,000 in gift card giveaways, chances to win free pizza for a year, and special food deals available all weekend.

AM General Features JLTV A2 International Debut at Eurosatory 2024

AM General, which has a facility in Auburn Hills, will feature the next generation Joint Light Tactical Vehicle A2 (JLTV A2) for the first time outside of the United States alongside the HUMVEE Saber during Eurosatory 2024 in Paris this week.

“Eurosatory is the perfect international venue to debut the JLTV A2 and demonstrate the improvements made to this incredible platform and how these will positively impact the Warfighter,” says Jim Cannon, president and CEO of AM General. “As we ramp up the program it’s also important for us to communicate to our customers the acquisition process, via Foreign Military Sales (FMS), for the JLTV A2 and being at this far-reaching show allows us to do that.”

The JLTV A2 Utility variant will be on display and will feature the deFNder Medium Remote Weapon Station from FN Firearms that is suited for self-defense, infantry fire support, and long-range combat missions. In addition to its ability to integrate defensive weaponry, the JLTV A2 has many significant improvements over the A1 platform. The A2 platform key features include improved fuel efficiency via upgraded transmission gear coding, enhanced lithium-ion battery that replaces the 2 current lead-acid batteries, enhanced corrosion protection to mitigate existing corrosion issues, and improved accessibility for easier maintenance.

LUDWIG+ Named Small Agency of the Year by the Association of National Advertisers

LUDWIG+ in Bingham Farms, a woman-owned branding agency, has been awarded the Small Agency of the Year (Silver) award by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) during its annual B2 Awards show.

ANA’s annual B2 Awards honor top-tier, impactful, and “groundbreaking” campaigns in business-to-business (B2B) marketing, highlighting creative concepts with a strong emphasis on tangible business results. The top agency of the year distinction is given to agencies that maintain a high-level of excellence, represent a diverse portfolio of expertise and showcase the successful development of business marketing solutions in B2B marketing. This is LUDWIG+’s second time being awarded this honor, the first being in 2022.

The agency also was honored by The Adcraft Club of Detroit at its annual D Show for its work in the following categories:

  • B2B (Silver): Credit Acceptance: “Credit Acceptance”
  • Integrated (Silver): The Pink Fund: “Eye’s Up Here”
  • Print (Silver): The Pink Fund: “Eyes Up Here”

“We are incredibly honored to be named Small Agency of the Year by ANA and to receive multiple honors at this year’s D Show ceremony,” says Barbara Yolles Ludwig, CEO of LUDWIG+. “These recognitions reflect the hard work, talent, and passion of our team at LUDWIG+.”

The 2024 B2 Awards ceremony took place June 13 at the Ritz Carlton in Naples, Fla. during the ANA Masters of B2B Marketing Conference.

For more information on LUDWIG+ and their services, visit ludwigplus.com. 

Born In Detroit Partners with Walsh College on Limited Edition Apparel

Born In Detroit in Farmington Hills and Walsh College in Troy are partnering to offer a limited edition line of apparel for students and alumni.

Founded by Mervyn Walsh, the accountant for The Thomas Edison Light Co., in 1922, Walsh College grew from an accounting institute training the very best accounting professionals in the state, to a thriving upper division and graduate business and technology college.

Among the items available are polos for men and women, hoodies, sweatshirts, caps, and other accessories.

Part of all proceeds will be donated by Born In Detroit to Walsh College.

The store, which can be seen by visiting here, will close June 23 at 11:59 p.m.

ACG Detroit to Host Networking Event July 23 at Huntington Bank Rooftop

ACG Detroit is teaming up with the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce to host Fun @ 5 on Tuesday, July 23 from 5-7 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to connect with the area’s top professionals while enjoying delicious drinks and gorgeous views of the Detroit skyline from the Huntington Bank Rooftop.

Ticket prices are as follows — members: $40, non-members: $70. For more information and to register, visit here.

McLaren Health Care Invests in Proton Therapy Developer

McLaren Health Care in Grand Blanc  has taken an ownership stake in Leo Cancer Care as part of the proton therapy technology developer’s Series C financing round.

Leo Cancer Care is the manufacturer of the Marie, an innovative upright proton therapy unit of which two are currently being installed at the McLaren Proton Therapy Center in Flint.

Following this investment, McLaren Health Care Chief Administrative Officer Greg Lane will join the Centaur Health Holdings Board of Directors, the Leo Cancer Care holding company.

In 2023, the McLaren Proton Therapy Center began construction to expand the facility through the installation of upright Marie units. In a space originally designed and designated for a single conventional unit, the space can effectively accommodate two Marie units, essentially doubling the Center’s care capacity.

With Lane, McLaren Health Care initially began exploring proton therapy for cancer treatment in 2008, during which time there were only five centers of its type in the United States. McLaren’s commitment to offering proton therapy technology to its patients resulted in the opening of the McLaren Proton Therapy Center in 2018. In January 2024, the Center treated its 1,000th patient, illustrating its demand and supporting its expansion efforts.

Pending FDA clearance, McLaren Proton Therapy Center will be the first in the world to feature the innovative Marie upright technology in early 2025.

Rocket Mortgage Classic Gets Commitments from Cameron Young, Stewart Cink, Zach Johnson, Gary Woodland

The Rocket Mortgage Classic, which will be played June 27-30 at Detroit Golf Club, has received commitments from several new players, some among the best in the world and others who are former major champions.

World No. 23 Cameron Young and No. 31 Akshay Bhatia are coming to Detroit. As are Stewart Cink, who won The Open Championship in 2009); Zach Johnson, the 2009 Masters and 2015 Open champion; and Gary Woodland, the 2019 U.S. Open champion.

In addition, four of the last eight PGA Tour event winners in Chris Gotterup (Myrtle Beach Classic), Robert MacIntyre (RBC Canadian Open), Taylor Pendrith (The CJ CUP Byron Nelson), and Davis Riley (Charles Schwab Challenge) are set to play in this year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The tournament also received commitments from: Joel Dahmen, Austin Eckroat, Jake Knapp, Kevin Kisner, and nine-time Tour winner Matt Kuchar.

The Jackson Restaurant Opens Thursday at Village if Rochester Hills

The Village of Rochester Hills announces that The Jackson Restaurant will be opening its doors to the public at 5 p.m. Thursday. The Jackson, co-owned by Michigan natives Chef Justin Vaiciunas and hospitality expert Michael Mauro, will offer a new style of restaurant to The Village’s culinary landscape.

The restaurant will pay homage to the renowned American Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock and will offer a culinary experience that will push the boundaries of creative expression, leaving guests feeling as if they are eating in an inviting and chic modern art gallery.

Vaiciunas, a native of Rochester Hills, will create a menu focusing on artistic presentation, seasonality, and local sourcing providing a captivating and dynamic dining experience for the community. Mauro, a native of East Lansing, will provide guests with a curated selection of new and old-world wines as well as elevated cocktails. Incorporating the use of color and modern vision of Pollock, The Jackson aims to become a culinary destination that reflects a commitment to culinary and artistic excellence.

Visit here for more information and to book a reservation.

Alro Steel Foundation Donates $1.5M to Meijer Sports Complex in Grand Rapids

The West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC)’s Meijer Sports Complex improvement/expansion campaign got a major boost with a $1.5 million donation from the Alro Steel Foundation and $750,000 in federal grant funds, raising the fundraising total to $8.7 million – or 77 percent of its $11.4 million goal. Alro Steel’s donation also ensures the naming rights of the complex’s new championship softball field.

“We are thrilled to honor my father Al Glick’s legacy by naming the championship softball field at the Meijer Sports Complex after the company he founded, Alro Steel,” says Randy Glick, CEO of Alro Steel. “He was a passionate believer in the power of youth sports to teach valuable life lessons and develop strong teamwork skills. We are proud to partner with the West Michigan Sports Commission in providing a place for future generations of young athletes to have a beautiful and inspiring place to play and grow.”

The WMSC launched the $11.4 million A Winning Streak for West Michigan capital campaign in October 2022 to improve and expand its flagship Meijer Sports Complex that it opened in 2014 with eight baseball and softball fields, a championship baseball field and Nate Hurwitz Miracle League Field. Costing $7.5 million and funded through private donations, the complex has cumulatively attracted 208 events, 8,200 teams and 265,750 visitors, for a total economic impact for Kent County of $60 million in direct visitor spending since it opened.

More information can be found here.

Second Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation Catching Dreams Weekend Set for July 13-15

Join 2021 Pro Football Hall of Famer and Detroit Lions legend Calvin Johnson Jr., along with celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment, for the second Calvin Johnson Jr. Foundation Catching Dreams Weekend of events.

The weekend reinforces the foundation’s mission of helping underserved youth and communities, will take place from July 13-15 and will feature a series of fun-filled and impactful activities. Graduating high school football student-athletes also can apply now for a scholarship by completing the online application here. Application must be received by June 21.

The weekend kicks off on July 13 with the foundation’s 17th Annual Scholarship Extravaganza. The gala event spotlights the foundation’s commitment to educating and empowering today’s youth, and will be hosted by WDIV-TV Detroit’s, Rhonda Walker. Guests looking to participate in the gala or the star-studded pre-gala VIP reception can purchase tickets here.

On July 14, high school football players will have the chance to participate in a free all-positions camp at Lawrence Technological University, led by Johnson and a variety of former and NFL stars including Gosder Cherilus, Harry Douglas, Braylon Edwards, A.J. Green, Randy Moss, Justin Reid, Warren Sapp, Rob Sims, Justin Reid, Aaron Williams, Rick Williams, and more. Spots are limited and participants need to complete this online application here.

The festivities will conclude on July 15 with a star-studded Celebrity Golf Classic at Detroit Golf Club, where sponsors and foursomes will golf alongside celebrities on one of the state’s most challenging courses, and the home of the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Those interested can visit here.

Washtenaw Community College, U-M Credit Union Partner on Student Job Training

Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan Credit Union (UMCU) have partnered to provide affordable financing options for students seeking non-credit Fast Track Job Training.

Fast Track Job Training programs are aligned with industry certifications, offering community members a way to quickly earn the skills and/or credentials that employers want, sometimes in as little as a few weeks.

WCC offers more than 40 non-credit flexible classes — most of which are online — to quickly train for a promising career. For example, the mean annual pay is $89,460 for a certified network administrator with labs, $45,600 for a certified personal trainer or wellness coach and $41,600 for a data technician.

UMCU is offering students financing to pay for any Fast Track Job Training program offered by WCC. It can be combined with other scholarship and funding options.

Visit WCC’s non-credit financial assistance page for more information about UMCU affordable loans for the Fast Track Job Training program.