DBusiness Daily Update: Wayne County Residents Invited to Review Flood Maps, 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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FEMA has started a website where citizens can review flood risk information and updated flood insurance rate maps. // Image courtesy of FEMA

Wayne County Residents Invited to Review Flood Maps

Preliminary flood risk information and updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are available for review by residents and business owners in Wayne County. Property owners are encouraged to review the latest information to learn about local flood risks and potential future flood insurance requirements.

Community stakeholders can identify any concerns or questions about the information provided and participate in the 90-day appeal and comment period.

The 90-day appeal period will begin on or around today. The preliminary maps and changes from current maps may be viewed online here.

The updated maps were produced in coordination with local, state, and FEMA officials. Significant community review of the maps has already taken place, but before the maps become final, community stakeholders can identify any concerns or questions about the information provided and submit appeals or comments. Contact your local floodplain administrator to do so.

  • Appeals must include technical information, such as hydraulic or hydrologic data, to support the claim.
  • Appeals cannot be based on the effects of proposed projects or projects started after the study is in progress.
  • If property owners see incorrect information that does not change the flood hazard information, such as a missing or misspelled road name in the Special Flood Hazard Area or an incorrect corporate boundary, they can submit a written comment.
  • The next step in the mapping process is the resolution of all comments and appeals. Once they are resolved, FEMA will notify communities of the effective date of the final maps.

For more information about the flood maps, visit here and click on the live chat or call 1-877-336-2627.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. Learn more about your flood insurance options by talking with your insurance agent and visiting FloodSmart.gov.

Tigers to Celebrate 22nd Annual Negro Leagues Weekend July 12-14

The Detroit Tigers are hosting their 22nd annual Negro Leagues Weekend, presented by Comerica Bank, from July 12-14, when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit Comerica Park.

This annual tradition marks the longest-running weekend celebration of its kind in Major League Baseball. Tickets for all three games during Negro Leagues Weekend are currently available here.

Negro Leagues Weekend will be highlighted by the 28th annual Negro Leagues Tribute Game on Saturday, July 13. Prior to the game, the Tigers will recognize former Negro Leagues players on the field with a special ceremony.

Former Tigers outfielder and member of the 2012 American League Championship team, Austin Jackson, will return to Detroit for Negro Leagues Weekend, and will interact with Tigers fans on July 13 and July 14, when he also will receive the Willie Horton African American Legacy Award.

The Tigers will distribute complimentary game tickets to local organizations as part of the Negro Leagues Weekend celebration. A portion of the 50/50 Raffle proceeds on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will benefit The Black Sports Business Academy, and Comerica Bank will match those proceeds.

Fans are encouraged to arrive at Comerica Park early to enjoy many activities planned throughout Negro Leagues Weekend. DJ Mo Beatz – Big Sean’s official DJ – will spin on the Comerica Landing all weekend long. The “Walk of Stars,” similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, will highlight the historic achievements of former Detroit Stars players. There will be a True Black History Museum exhibit highlighting the history of the Negro Leagues and the Detroit Stars and PLC Detroit will have a live artist painting on the Comerica landing. Several Negro Leagues and Detroit Stars-themed photo opportunities will be available throughout the concourse.

Negro Leagues merchandise will be sold on the Comerica Park concourse at Tony Dee’s Negro Leagues Baseball Store.

To see the full slate of activities planned, visit here.

Portillo’s to Celebrate Opening of New Livonia Restaurant July 16 

Portillo’s, the Illinois-based fast-casual restaurant concept known for its menu of Chicago-style street food, officially opened the doors of its second restaurant in the Detroit-area and will celebrate with a grand opening at 9:30 a.m. July 16 at 10:00 a.m.

Located at 13004 Middlebelt Road in Millennium Park, at the intersection of I-96 and Middlebelt, the 7,900-square-foot restaurant features a dining room with seating for more than 175, as well as a seasonal outdoor patio with room for about 50 additional guests.

The restaurant also features the brand’s signature double drive-thru lanes, Portillo’s pick-up area, and Portillo’s new Grab and Go display for food, beverage and retail items.

Guests can look forward to enjoying Portillo’s signature menu items, including Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches, char-grilled burgers, crispy crinkle cut French fries and the company’s signature chocolate cake.

During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Portillo’s also will present each of its charity partners, Livonia Education Foundation (LPS) and Breaking Barriers for Kids and Families, with a $5,000 check.

Michigan-based Planet Fitness Franchise Group Acquires Eight Chicago Locations 

EPIC Fitness Group (“EFG”), a Northville-based Planet Fitness franchisee, announced the acquisition of eight Chicago-area Planet Fitness locations in a transaction completed in April.

The acquisition brings EFG’s total Planet Fitness club count to 64. The remainder are located throughout Michigan and in the Toledo area.  The company is currently building its 65th location in downtown Detroit.

The newly purchased clubs are in Fox Valley (Aurora), West Chicago, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Villa Park, Wheaton, Downers Grove, and Woodridge. Members at these clubs had no interruption to their membership and continued to use the clubs as usual. In the first weeks of ownership, EFG installed new equipment in the Aurora and Woodridge locations, ordered zero gravity Elite Massage Chairs for each club and currently is finalizing plans to roll out various upgrades.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to serve the West Chicago area and continue building the judgement free philosophy in this market,” says Bryan Rief, CEO of EPIC Fitness Group.  “Our entire team is eager to get to know the members, hear their stories and to deliver the best fitness experience possible.”

Chandler Park Conservancy Announces Community Art and Music Festival with DSO

Chandler Park Conservancy announces its Fourth Annual Community Art and Music Festival (CAM), in partnership with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This free neighborhood event will take place at Chandler Park, located at 12831 Frankfort St. in Detroit from 1-4 p.m. on July 13. In case of rain, the event will be moved to True Worship Church, 13031 Chandler Park Dr.

Visitors of all ages will enjoy a variety of interactive activities focused on art and music. More than a dozen partners will offer engaging experiences such as dance, instrument sampling, and art activities. Attendees also will have the chance to purchase art from some of Detroit’s finest artists.

The festival will showcase performances by DJ Quad, Detroit Opera for Kids, comedian Ms. Joyce, musicians from the DSO, dancers from the House of Jit, and musical performances by Larry Lee and the Back In The Day Band.

This family-friendly event is free of charge and includes complimentary food and beverages from four premier food trucks.

Boyne Capital Announces the Sale of Grand Rapids’ Infusion Associates to Vivo Infusion

Boyne Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm focused on lower middle market companies, has sold its portfolio company, Infusion Associates in Grand Rapids to Vivo Infusion (“Vivo”). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Infusion Associates is a provider of ambulatory infusion services across the Midwest. The company specializes in long-term treatment of chronic health conditions across a range of therapeutic areas including neurology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, and immunology. With an extensive formulary of more than 160 therapies, and a dedication to clinical research that has kept IA at the forefront of emerging treatment pathways, the company has developed a reputation for high quality patient care and management of complex conditions in an affordable and accessible setting.

Michigan Selects Geotab and Wheels for Zero-emission Fleet Initiative 

The state of Michigan has selected Geotab Inc., a connected transportation solutions provider in Las Vegas, and Wheels, a leading fleet management company in Illinois, to provide telematics solutions to advances the state’s goal of decarbonizing its fleet by starting the conversion of state-owned vehicles to zero-emission vehicles by 2040.

Telematics and data insights will allow Michigan to achieve its goal of efficient and cost-effective conversion to zero-emission vehicles. The state fleet will benefit from the following reports to facilitate the transition:

  • Fleet Benchmarking & Vehicle Utilization Assessment: The state will receive benchmarking insights on vehicle utilization, fuel efficiency, enabling the identification of areas for improvement.
  • EV Suitability Assessment Report: Driving patterns of the state’s fleet will be analyzed to determine the most suitable vehicles for electrification, supported by a business case focused on return on investment.
  • Charging Infrastructure Assessment Report: A detailed plan for charging infrastructure will be provided, using predictive analytics and geospatial analysis to determine the number and location of charging stations needed.
  • CO2 Emissions Report: Geotab uses engine-based fuel economy data to calculate the estimated CO2 emissions due to fleet activity.

Data analytics will provide information the state needs to effectively transition its fleet to zero-emission vehicles. This strategic move not only accelerates the decarbonization process but also focuses on the byproduct benefits that telematics can deliver.

The adoption of telematics is for more than just environmental gains. It can provide significant operational advantages, such as fuel management and engine diagnostics. The latter can provide early detection of maintenance needs, thereby reducing vehicle downtime allowing more time to support the community.

To learn more about the contract, visit here.

New Jersey Medical Claims Company Acquires ReviewWorks in Northville

Medlogix, a national medical claims management solutions provider in New Jersey, has acquired Michigan-based ReviewWorks, a premier provider of medical cost containment solutions and disability management services in Northville. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Medlogix delivers a comprehensive suite of innovative medical claims management services to insurance carriers, claims administrators, and employers in the auto, workers’ compensation, and group health markets by leveraging its robust technology-enabled platform, fully integrated service offerings, and deep clinical expertise. The addition of ReviewWorks further bolsters the capabilities of Medlogix’s subsidiary companies: CHN PPO, Integrity Medicolegal Enterprises, and Michigan Evaluation Group (MEG).

The acquisition of ReviewWorks represents a combination of two clinically focused organizations that are aligned in their dedication to delivering customized, highly effective, and quantifiable claims management solutions to their carrier and administrator clients. Both organizations will work together to integrate service offerings that provide maximum value to their customers.

Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative Moves from Advocacy to Action

The Detroit nonprofit Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative (UEI), established in 2014 to advocate for entrepreneurial activity aimed at improving the quality of life in urban communities, is re-launching with a proprietary urban innovator platform and member-driven model to inspire and activate a new generation of urban innovators.

The announcement was made by W. David Tarver, UEI founder and president, tech entrepreneur, investor, and longtime lecturer at the University of Michigan College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Seed funding for the re-launch was provided by a $250,000 grant from the University of Michigan.

“Many people now recognize the role entrepreneurship plays in ensuring urban community vitality, but there remains a shortage of urban innovators capable of creating game-changing, scalable businesses that specifically target and address urban community needs,” Tarver says. “That’s why UEI is moving from advocacy to action, with the online urban innovator platform serving as a home base where urban innovators can find vital business model information, inspiration, and a connection to like-minded individuals and groups.”

Initially, UEI advocated for urban-focused entrepreneurship mainly via its annual Urban Entrepreneurship Symposiums in Flint, Detroit, and Ann Arbor. The symposia convened regional and national entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government to raise awareness about the need for urban entrepreneurship, to discuss best practices and solutions, and to recognize accomplishments.

The organization also provided direct advice to entrepreneurs, facilitated development of the university-level course in urban entrepreneurship, and hosted an eight-week “Urban Launchpad” bootcamp at SpaceLab Detroit in 2018.  When the COVID-19 pandemic caused tremendous disruption in urban communities, Tarver decided that UEI needed to take on a more active role to spur urban innovation.

UEI’s new strategy will focus on:

Creating a member-driven business model centered on access to its urban innovator platform, an online compendium of urban-focused business profiles that will help innovators shape new businesses and projects by understanding the triumphs and challenges of existing urban innovation efforts from across the globe.

Providing community profiles and needs assessments that will direct entrepreneurial energy to the places where it is needed most.

Convening entrepreneurial-minded professionals from varied backgrounds – from startups, existing businesses, community organizations, academia, and government – through a global, online urban entrepreneurship network.

Producing a knowledge base of courses, seminars, media, and reference materials that emphasize the unique knowledge, methods, and skills necessary for effective urban innovation and entrepreneurship.

The three primary beneficiaries of UEI activities are the member entrepreneurs, who maximize their impact and financial success while boosting career satisfaction; the companies they work with who achieve financial success and positive community impact; and the urban communities that become more livable, productive, equitable and resilient.

“Urban quality of life is subject to disruption by rapidly advancing technology, cultural conflict, and environmental crises,” Tarver says. “Urban innovation — distinctly different from general business entrepreneurship — is the key to minimizing disruption and providing new wealth and opportunity for residents.”

Those interested in joining UEI or supporting its work can contact info@urbanei.org.

Kettering University in Flint Achieves Top 10 Ranking for AI Career Employability

Kettering University in Flint has been ranked No. 8 on Vention’s list of Best Institutions in the United States for Employability in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Vention, a leading software development company, studied the latest graduate employment data from the U.S. Department of Education and considered factors such as job placement rates, median salaries, and career growth potential, among others, to determine the rankings.

The study evaluated 1,790 degree programs related to Computer Science, focusing on students’ employment status one year and four years after graduation. Kettering University’s Computer Science program emerged as a top performer, with graduates achieving a median salary of $91,590 four years after graduation.

“It is very exciting that we were ranked in the top 10 for the best-paying AI-related degrees,” said Dr. Michael Farmer, Kettering University’s Computer Science Department Head. “This demonstrates strong performance that we believe will even be stronger in the future since this evaluation period covers the last four years — and our concentration in AI is only two years old! It is the fastest-growing concentration in the Computer Science major and continues to generate considerable excitement with the students and with our Co-op employers.”

Kettering’s unique Co-op program is the only one of its kind in Vention’s top 10. By applying hands-on academics to paid, professional Co-op experiences, Kettering students gain 2.5 years of on-the-job experience upon graduation. This rigorous blend of education and employment equips students with the skills to find creative, practical solutions that can impact the most competitive industries, including  AI. Kettering graduates enter the job market beyond entry-level positions, commanding the highest starting salaries in Michigan, as evidenced by a multi-year standing at the top of SmartAsset’s list.

The Vention study highlighted that AI-related bachelor’s degrees with 100% employability lead to 56% higher salaries four years after graduation than other fields of study. This ranking makes Kettering University’s program a standout choice for students aspiring to a lucrative and stable career in AI.

“We were utterly astonished to discover so many universities, whether public or private, across so many different states, that produce clearly outstanding graduates,” said Mark Karasu, Chief Marketing Officer at Vention. “Our study aims to help AI enthusiasts make more informed choices when submitting their college applications.”

Kettering University’s dedication to excellence in education ensures that its graduates are highly employable and positioned to become leaders in artificial intelligence. Kettering’s unique approach to AI education, which combines rigorous academics with real-world work experience through the Co-op program, sets the University apart and equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to excel in the AI industry.

For more information about Kettering University and its Computer Science program, visit https://www.kettering.edu.

Radiant Waxing Targets Growth Efforts to Expand in Michigan

Colorado-based Radiant Waxing, a waxing brand that provides inclusive hair removal services, recently announced its latest plans to expand its franchise footprint in Michigan. Targeting Detroit, the concept is primed to grow with like-minded entrepreneurs eager to elevate the growing waxing industry and be a foundational part of the diverse wellness space.

Radiant Waxing brings the speed-waxing experience to women and men in a luxury environment, with private waxing rooms and refined techniques from professionally trained and licensed estheticians. Each Radiant Waxing salon is independently owned and operated. With more than 60 locations in 17 states, the brand is part of a global market projected to reach $21.04 billion by 2031, according to a new report by IMIR Market Research.

To learn more about Radiant Waxing and franchise ownership opportunities, visit Radiantwaxing.com.

Hamtramck Public Schools Announce Partnership with Varsity Tutors

Hamtramck Public Schools has announced a partnership with Varsity Tutors for Schools, a Nerdy company and a platform for live online tutoring, to provide all students with access to the Varsity Tutors for Schools platform at no cost to Hamtramck Public Schools, students or families.

The partnership extends from now until June 30, 2030, ensuring students, educators, and parents have a set of powerful resources for school years to come.

The comprehensive platform integrates interactive study tools, collaborative workspaces, and dynamic learning resources, including:

  • 24/7 on-demand chat tutoring
  • On-demand essay review
  • Live enrichment and remediation classes
  • SAT and ACT test prep classes
  • Celebrity-Led StarCourse classes
  • Self-study resources
  • College and career readiness resources
  • Adaptive assessments and personalized learning plans
  • Recorded enrichment classes

Families from Hamtramck Public Schools can access the Varsity Tutors for School platform by visiting hamtramckschools.org. The platform is available immediately through June 2030.