DBusiness Daily Update: Urban Air Adventure Park Sterling Heights Adds Go-Karts Nov. 12, 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.
Urban Air Adventure Park Sterling Heights is adding go-karts to its list of attractions beginning Saturday. // Courtesy of Urban Air Adventure
Urban Air Adventure Park Sterling Heights is adding go-karts to its list of attractions beginning Saturday. // Courtesy of Urban Air Adventure

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.

Urban Air Adventure Park Sterling Heights Adds G-Karts Saturday

Urban Air Adventure Park Sterling Heights is adding a new go-kart attraction beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The first 200 riders will have an opportunity to get free basic access to the park for a year if they purchase a Platinum or Ultimate pass.

“This investment was made to re-energize the excitement in the community, and to attract team-building events, client appreciation events, middle school and high school field trips, group outings, overnight camps, summer camps, and much more,” says Andy Batal, co-owner of the facility. “Urban Air Adventure Park is a place where you can provide an experience to your team instead of a classic dinner or gift card. There is nothing more powerful than providing an experience.”

Other attractions at the park include wall climbing, virtual reality, Spin Zone bumper cars, and Sky Rider (indoor sky diving).

For more information on the company and franchising opportunities visit urbanairparks.com.

McKesson Foundation Awards Grant to U-M Pharmacy School to Improve Diversity

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor was among five U.S. pharmacy schools to receive part of more than $4.1 million in grants from the Texas-based McKesson Foundation to help increase diversity of the pharmacy workforce and improve overall health outcomes for vulnerable populations.

Other schools receiving grants include Hampton University, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and University of New Mexico. The grants, which range from one to five years, will support various pharmacy school education and community outreach programs.

“The innovative student support, professional development, and community outreach that the McKesson Foundation is funding through these pharmacy school partnerships will help transform patient-pharmacist interactions,” says Melissa Thompson, vice president of philanthropic giving and president of the McKesson Foundation. “We believe these partnerships will lead to improved health equity and patient outcomes for vulnerable populations in their respective areas, as well as establish program templates that can be replicated in other locations.”

Research shows patients often have better outcomes when their clinician shares a similar cultural background. The modest representation of Black (7.6 percent), Hispanic (4.6 percent) and Indigenous (1 percent) pharmacists lags behind the overall diversity in the U.S. Improving diverse representation, as well as cultural competency skills across the profession, can lead to more inclusive care and drive better patient outcomes.

Detroit’s Freestyle Partners Gets Two European Patents for UV-C Light in Handheld Devices

Freestyle Partners in Detroit has received a Notice of Intent to Grant for two additional patents from the European Patent Office covering portable, handheld uses of filtered Far UV-C germicidal light to inactivate pathogens on commonly touched surfaces in seconds.

Freestyle is the first to patent technology that identifies to a user when proper distance to a surface is being maintained, ensuring pathogens are being safely inactivated for disinfecting surfaces. The EPO has recognized this advancement and is prepared to award two additional patents to Freestyle’s growing global patent portfolio.

While aerosolized pathogens have been a primary focus over the last several years due to COVID-19, surface pathogens also are of utmost concern, especially with the rate of hospital-acquired infections rapidly increasing and the need for more effective solutions for disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in hospitals, office buildings, schools, and during travel.

“By patenting key needed functionality for portable, handheld filtered Far UV-C, Freestyle has positioned itself to be a market leader while also ensuring application of filtered Far UV-C using handheld devices will be done efficaciously and safely to disinfect commonly touched surfaces,” says Jennifer Rosen, co-founder of Freestyle Partners. “Testing continues to show filtered Far UV-C can be used in lieu of expensive, environmentally hazardous chemicals to safely inactivate any pathogen, including MRSA, E. coli, salmonella, influenza, and SARS-CoV-2, on commonly touched surfaces in seconds, at close distance.”

Buff City Soap Brings Plant-based Customizable Products to Canton Township

Buff City Soap is opening a location in Canton Township on Thursday and the first 50 people who visit the new store at 43507 Ford Road, from Thursday to Sunday will receive free soap for a year.

“When customers enter our stores for the first time, they instantly recognize that Buff City Soap is unlike any other retailer on the market today,” says Virginia Kamenitzer marketing director for the brand. “Our products are handmade, right in-store by members of the local community and can even be customized to a particular scent. They sure make for the perfect gift idea this holiday season.”

Founded in 2013, Buff City Soap has created an alternative to commercial soap products full of chemicals, detergents, animal fats, and sulfates. By giving customers the chance to see the whole making process live in each Soap Makery, Buff City Soap says it’s disrupting the consumer goods industry by focusing on transparency of ingredients and process.

Each Buff City Soap store offers more than 30 unique and customizable scents across dozens of handcrafted soap products; including its soap bars, bath bombs, foaming hand soap, and laundry soap. The brand’s products are crafted by local artisans at the in-store Makeries, which allow guests to customize the scent and ingredients used in the process to create a unique scent profile.

For more information, visit buffcitysoap.com.

Suburban Toyota of Troy Wins Toyota’s Board of Governors Award

Suburban Toyota of Troy was recently presented with the president’s Board of Governors Award from Toyota Motor North America Inc.

Each year, the board presents the award to Toyota dealerships that exhibit outstanding sales and maintain Toyota’s high standards for customer satisfaction.

The award pays homage to Toyota dealerships throughout the U.S. that achieve high standards of performance in all facets of the automotive dealer profession, including vehicle and parts sales, service, and customer satisfaction.

Suburban Toyota of Troy is located at 2100 W Maple Road.

DTE Energy Foundation to Unveil New Parade Float at Beacon Park Thursday

The Parade Co. and DTE Energy Foundation will unveil a new parade float at Beacon Park, 1901 Grand River Ave., in downtown Detroit at noon Thursday.

The public is invited to join Lynette Dowler, president and chair of DTE Energy Foundation, and  Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Co., to unveil the float that will debut in the 96th America’s Thanksgiving Parade presented by Gardner White.

Oakland County Michigan Works! Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week

Oakland County Michigan Works! is celebrating National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 14-20 by hosting two special workshops on launching and growing a registered apprenticeship program.

There are thousands of dollars available from Oakland County through the Advantage: Apprenticeships program to help employers secure and train apprentices in a variety of fields, from construction to information technology to health care.

“Registered apprenticeship programs help employers develop talent and, in turn, provide valuable skills our workers need to succeed,” says Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter.

On Tuesday, employers interested in an apprenticeship program can attend a workshop featuring guest speakers from the U.S. Department of Labor and Workforce Intelligence Network, as well as Williams International and Robert Bosch, both of whom have launched registered apprenticeship programs in recent years.

The apprenticeship workshop is being conducted at the Oakland County Executive Office Building, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, in Waterford Township. Advance registration is required. Click here to register.

Oakland County municipal officials who are considering a public sector apprenticeship program can attend a virtual program on Nov. 17. Guest speakers include a representative from Oakland County, which launched a DOL-registered apprenticeship program earlier this year, and the Oakland County Michigan Works! apprenticeship success coordinator.  To register, click here.

Detroit Opera Presents ‘Faust’ Starting Saturday

Detroit Opera’s season presents “Faust,” one of history’s greatest operas, on Saturday and on Nov. 18, and 20 at Detroit Opera House.

“Faust” is the classic deal with the devil, updated for modern times, together with restored music unheard for nearly 150 years. Faust strikes a deal for a second chance for youth, vitality, and love with disastrous consequences for him and those around him. A timeless story, this production comes to the Detroit Opera House with a modern lens: Faust, part of the 1 percent, is tantalized with the one thing his money cannot buy.

“Faust” stars Zach Borichevsky as Faust, Robert Pomakov as Méphistophélès, Amina Edris as Marguerite, Babatunde Akinboboye as Valentin, Jenny Anne Flory as Siébel, Ben Reisinger as Wagner and Victoria Livengood as Dame Marthe. Reisinger is a Detroit Opera resident artist. The show is performed in French with English supertitles.

“Gounod, in this opera of numbers, created a clear dramatic story with people who experience journeys of passion to the point of transcendence,” says Lileana Blain-Cruz, the opera’s director. “The desire to flesh out these characters is what also makes me so thrilled that we did the first version of this opera at Opera Omaha, and now we do it again at Detroit Opera, with dialogue and additional music that add to the complexity of the characters and their relationships.”

Tickets for “Faust” are available at detroitopera.org and start at $29.

Troy Schools Gear Up for Step Up to the Plate Promotion, Chance to Win $1,000

A partnership between Troy Chamber member restaurants and Troy School District, Step Up to the Plate, is slated for Nov. 13-18.

During these dates, participating restaurants will offer diners 20 percent off their food purchases if they show a Step Up to the Plate promotional piece (i.e., school flyer, ad, email, or other communication about the program). The discount offer is only valid for food and non-alcoholic beverages. You can download the Step Up flyer on the Troy Chamber website.

Diners may then turn in their detailed receipts to a Troy school of their choice. Receipts are due to a Troy School by Nov. 29. The school receiving the most money in receipts will win a $1,000 cash prize. This promotional event is supported by Lake Michigan Credit Union.

The eight participating Troy restaurants include:

  • Clean Eatz Troy
  • Condado Tacos
  • Crispelli’s
  • McVee’s Pub & Grub
  • Kabob Xpress
  • Olgas Fresh Grille
  • Shield’s Restaurant Bar Pizzeria
  • The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

For a copy of the flyer, watch for email updates from the Troy School District, or visit troychamber.com.

Aquinas College to Host Career and Internship Fair Nov. 17

Aquinas College in Grand Rapids is hosting a Career and Internship Fair from 2-5 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Sturrus Sports and Fitness Center, 1580 Fulton St. E, in Grand Rapids. The event is open to students from all area colleges and universities.

More than 50 organizations from business and nonprofit sectors expected to attend include Atomic Object, Corewell Health, Diocese of Grand Rapids, LG Energy Solutions, Mill Steel, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, SpartanNash, West Michigan Whitecaps, YMCA of Greater Grand Rapids, and many more.

There will also be a representative from the Siena Heights’ McNair Scholars Program, an undergraduate program that seeks to provide research experience and grad school prep to students whose family and/or ethnic background is underrepresented in graduate school.

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