DBusiness Daily Update: WDET to Raffle Off 1964 Dodge 880 Once Owned by Horace Dodge Jr., 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.
1964 Dodge for auction
This 1964 Dodge 880 custom convertible, first owned by Horace Dodge Jr., will be raffled off to WDET 101.9 FM. // Photo courtesy of WDET

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.

WDET to Raffle Off 1964 Dodge 880 Once Owned by Horace Dodge Jr.

This year’s Aug. 19 Woodward Dream Cruise will feature a 1964 Dodge 880 custom convertible owned first by Horace Dodge Jr., followed by Ralph and Mary Wilson Jr. The vehicle will be raffled off to benefit Detroit public radio station WDET 101.9FM.

Ralph Wilson purchased the car at auction in 1994 as a gift for his wife, Mary. The Wilsons affectionately named it “Horace,” in acknowledgement of the first person who bought the car, which has 22,000 miles on the odometer. Mary Wilson donated the car to the radio station.

Horace Dodge Jr., the son of Horace Dodge who co-founded Dodge Car Co. with his brother, John — originally purchased the convertible as a Christmas gift for his mother, Anna Thompson Dodge. It was one of the first of this model to roll off the assembly line.

At the Dream Cruise, the Dodge 880 will be joining the Lambda Car Club – Detroit Region, which is hosting a vehicle display in Pleasant Ridge’s Memorial Park beginning at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the raffle are $101.90 and the proceeds support WDET.

“It is so exciting to think that the winner of our raffle will be only the car’s third owner,” says Mary Zatina, station manager at WDET. “We are so grateful to Mary Wilson for this priceless donation that shows her love of our station.”

The winning ticket will be drawn at 1 p.m. on Sept. 24, the last day of the Detroit Auto Show, live on WDET. All the official rules are available here.

U-M’s MTRAC Awards $1M to Support Mobility, Transportation Research Projects

The Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization Advanced Transportation Innovation Hub at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor recently awarded nearly $1 million to support eight multidisciplinary research projects with high commercial potential.

U-M researchers from the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses, along with faculty from Western Michigan University, will receive a one-year grant from MTRAC to advance their research projects, which range in scope from vehicle drag reduction to power converter software.

In addition to funding, teams also will receive commercialization resources and support, including connections to industry partners, coaching, and mentoring from the MTRAC Team, and access to an industry and venture capital advisory board.

The MTRAC Advanced Transportation Innovation Hub, administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp. with funding from the Michigan Strategic Fund, is co-managed by Innovation Partnerships and Michigan Engineering. The program aims to support translational research projects that have high commercialization potential, with the ultimate goal of launching new technologies into the mobility and transportation sectors. Innovators from all public universities across the state, hospital systems and nonprofit research centers are eligible to submit funding proposals.

“Since its inception in 2014, the MTRAC Advanced Transportation Innovation Hub has awarded more than $6.5 million to accelerate 66 truly innovative research projects,” says Kelly Sexton, associate vice president for research and innovation partnerships at U-M.

“The success of the program is demonstrated by the fact that these projects have since led to 27 startups, which have attracted more than $96 million in follow-on funding. To see such growth is extraordinary and demonstrates the impact that this program is having on advancing the transportation innovation ecosystem across the state of Michigan.”

Finalists pitched their proposals to an oversight committee of experienced technologists, entrepreneurs, industry partners, and venture capitalists with a track record of commercializing and investing in frontier technologies. They provided feedback to and will mentor all projects that applied.

This year’s MTRAC award recipients include:

Daniel Cooper, U-M assistant professor of mechanical engineering, “Reducing Quench Distortion in Metal Extrusion to Accelerate Vehicle Lightweighting.”

  1. Jay Guo, U-M professor of electrical engineering and computer science, “Structural Chrome Color for Automobile Application.”

Chinedum Okwudire, U-M associate professor of mechanical engineering, associate professor of integrative systems and design, “Intelligent Thermal Compensation for 3D Printing of Metals”

Wencong Su, UM-Dearborn associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, “Commercializing Machine Learning Enhanced Automated Circuit Configuration and Evaluation of Power Converters (ML-ACCEPT) Software.”

Shorya Awtar, U-M professor of mechanical engineering, “Achieving Trust in Autonomy via Preemptive Adjustment of Occupant Posture.”

Pingsha Dong, U-M Robert F. Beck Collegiate Professor of Engineering, professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, professor of mechanical engineering and professor of integrative systems and design, “A Robust Durability Simulation Tool for Spot and Seam Welds for Rapid Virtual Prototyping of Vehicle Structures.”

Joaquim Martins, U-M Pauline M. Sherman Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and professor of naval architecture and marine engineering, “Shape Optimization Software for Transportation Vehicle Drag Reduction.”

Lina Sawalha, WMU associate professor of computer and electrical engineering, “Commercialization of the Hybrid 3D Metal Printer Software.”

Michigan Broadcasters Group Launches Industry Recruitment Campaign

The Lansing-based Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) launched a multifaceted industry recruitment campaign — “Be There”— during its annual Summer Leadership Conference.

The marketing effort includes impactful television and radio spots, social media, printed materials, and a long-form video. These resources, along with a new website BeThereMichigan.com, showcase career opportunities available at TV and radio stations across the state.

“The MAB and our board of directors are incredibly proud to kick off this unique campaign that inspires, engages, and ultimately will attract young, talented people to broadcast media,” says Sam Klemet, president and CEO of the MAB. “The industry is evolving quickly and there are incredible opportunities for a new generation to use creative talents to make a real impact serving their communities with news, alerts, information, and entertainment. The ‘Be There’ campaign makes clear that there is a place for everyone within broadcasting.”

All “Be There” materials direct people to BeThereMichigan.com, which provides deep insight into the jobs that make up the entire ecosystem of a station, whether on-air or behind the scenes.

There are detailed descriptions of more than a dozen broadcast media careers including reporters, anchors, meteorologists, hosts, engineers, I.T. professionals, sales, music directors, editors, traffic managers, marketing professionals, and more. The site also provides visitors with information and instructions on how to apply to current job openings at stations in Michigan.

Stations in Michigan will begin airing the spots and sharing them on social media today. The MAB also will begin a statewide roadshow of high schools and colleges to share the campaign with students.

“This recruitment campaign has been a tremendous collaborative effort with input from our MAB members throughout the entire state,” says Mike Murri, vice president and general manager of WXYZ-TV and WMYD-TV in Detroit and MAB board Immediate Past Chair. “I especially look forward to sharing the campaign with our Michigan universities, community colleges and high schools to help inspire the next generation of broadcasters.”

The “Be There” campaign is part of a larger effort by the MAB to engage with young people.

The association hosts an annual training event — the Great Lakes Broadcast and Sports Media Academy — at Ford Field that attracts more than 600 students to learn about the industry and recently opened a video podcast studio in Lansing that is available for free to students looking to create content for resumes.

The MAB also is offering the High School Radio Project to give young people hands-on experience and the MAB Foundation has awarded more than $460,000 in scholarships over the past 27 years to support students pursuing broadcast media careers.

Monroe-based Mahalak Auto Group Goes Solar in Florida

The Low Payment Kings powered by Monroe-based Mahalak Auto Group has announced a major commitment to sustainability by going solar at its Dodge Chrysler Jeep RAM of Winter Haven (Fla.), Posner Park Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM FIAT (Davenport, Fla.), and Lake Wales Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM (Fla.) dealerships.

The company has partnered with ESA to invest in new rooftop and ground-mount solar panel arrays that will be installed at these three dealerships.

In addition to reducing its carbon footprint and contributing to a cleaner environment, Mahalak Auto Group decided to go solar to save money on its climbing electric bills. As the new solar panels generate clean energy to power up the dealerships, the amount needed to be drawn from the grid is drastically reduced.

Mahalak Auto Group also will be installing more EV chargers at each dealership, in addition to the solar arrays. This move is aimed at supporting the growing number of electric vehicles on the road and providing a convenient charging option for their customers.

“We are thrilled to partner with ESA to take this major step towards sustainability,” says J.P. Mahalak, CEO of Mahalak Auto Group. “We believe that investing in renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but it also makes good business sense. This investment opens up possibilities for our business, like ensuring our infrastructure can withstand the additional electric vehicle inventory and the accompanying charging stations on our lots. We are excited to see the positive impact that our new solar panels and EV chargers will have on our dealerships, our customers, and the community as a whole.”

The installation of the new solar panels and EV chargers is expected to be completed in the coming months. Mahalak Auto Group hopes that this move will inspire other businesses to take similar steps towards sustainability and contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future for all.

Michigan Diversity Council to Host Black Men in Leadership Summit

The National Diversity Council and Michigan Diversity Council are hosting their annual Black Men in Leadership Summit Aug. 17-18 at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit.

The summit focuses on providing Black male leaders with the practical tools they need to achieve both personal and community growth amid systemically unequal workplaces. Participants at the summit can engage in cross-industry networking, professional career development, and restorative experiences.

The Michigan Diversity Council is a regional organization under the National Diversity Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being both a resource and advocate for the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The NDC promotes actionable DEI efforts in the workplace through numerous initiatives, including the facilitation of community events and educational certification programs.

For more information, visit here.