Tue. Jun 22nd, 2021
Courtesy of Bridge

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies, including updates about the COVID-19 pandemic. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Historic Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores Opens New Visitor Center May 26
Ford House, the historic estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford in Grosse Pointe Shores, will be open to the public May 26, showcasing its first major expansion in more than 90 years.

The expansion includes a 40,000-square-foot visitor center and 17,000-square-foot administration building. The visitor center will offer a new restaurant, four event spaces, exhibition spaces, expanded program offerings, and views of Ford Cove.

The visitor center and administration building were designed to be net-zero energy efficient, emphasizing sustainability and the surrounding natural ecosystem. The buildings are designed to enhance the visitor experience and allow the National Historic Landmark estate to plan and pursue long-term restoration and rehabilitation projects.

Starting May 26 through May 29, visitors are invited to participate in an open house to see both buildings, explore the grounds and gardens, and enjoy activities to celebrate the expansion.

Adult admission for the open house event will be $5 and includes access to the inaugural exhibitions, grounds, and gardens. Ford House members will receive exclusive access the weekend before, May 21-23, with free admission. Purchase tickets in advance by visiting fordhouse.org.

The visitor center will open with three exhibitions — an orientation gallery and two rotating exhibitions. The Ford Family Story is a permanent exhibition that introduces visitors to Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s estate, demonstrates how the Fords built a life and home that paid tribute to the property’s natural environment, the arts, and interior design.

Equipped with multiple interactive displays including a virtual scrapbook and projected home movies, the exhibit shares intimate moments throughout the Fords’ lives on the estate.

“Our goal is to weave together the Ford family legacy with 21st century technology,” says Mark Heppner, president and CEO of the Ford House. “This milestone expansion project was designed with the visitor experience top of mind. The brand-new, state-of-the art visitor center is our commitment that Ford House will always be an inclusive community destination.”

Hours for the grand opening are 1-8 p.m. on May 26. The open house will continue May 27-29, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and May 30 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, visit here or call 313-884-4222.

Rocket Mortgage Classic to Welcome Fans Back to Detroit Golf Club
The 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic, June 28-July 4 at Detroit Golf Club, will once again welcome fans to the Detroit area’s only PGA Tour event.

Last year’s event, won by Bryson DeChambeau, was played without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Based on the most recent order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regarding Coronavirus policies for outdoor events, we are pleased to announce that the Rocket Mortgage Classic will welcome fans at Detroit Golf Club,” says Jason Langwell, executive director of the tournament. “We will continue to work with state and local health officials to create a safe and enjoyable experience for our fans.”

Limited ticket options are available now via a donation to the Faces of AREA 313 program at RocketMortgageClassic.com, and more information about general admission tickets will be available soon.

State Extends MiMortgage Relief Partnership
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has extended the MiMortgage Relief Partnership with more than 225 of Michigan’s financial institutions agreeing to continue to provide mortgage relief to borrowers experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

The agreement was initially launched in April 2020 to ensure that no one experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 will lose their home during this public health crisis.

Through this partnership, impacted homeowners who contact their lenders or mortgage companies by Dec. 31, 2021 can reach an agreement for mortgage relief that includes:

  • A 90-day grace period or forbearance for all mortgage payments.
  • Waived mortgage-related late fees and charges for 90 days.
  • Protection from foreclosures or evictions for 90 days.
  • Credit score protection.
  • Individual assistance for specific needs or concerns.

For more information, visit here or call 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

TecMD Provides Mobile Diagnostics, Other Services to Auto Collision and Repair Centers
Tweddle Group in Clinton Township is piloting a mobile diagnostics program called TecMD in southeast Michigan. The service offers on-site diagnostics, programming, pre-scan, post-scan, and calibration services for automotive collision and repair centers in Oakland and Macomb counties.

“On-site/on-demand service makes a lot of sense,” says Pat Aubry, CEO of Tweddle Group. “TecMD answers an important need for southeast Michigan. Especially with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, it’s very dangerous for a collision center to neglect that part of a repair. Many shops have to send vehicles out for that kind of work. It’s inconvenient and it’s expensive.”

TecMD primarily focuses on vehicle diagnostics for electrical systems, software programming for electronic control units, and ECU calibrations for ADAS.

“The average vehicle has many ADAS systems relying on different sensors and components,” says Mike Flaherty, group director at Tweddle Group. “Each is finely calibrated and sensitive to collision and post-collision repair.

“OEMs have even published position statements recommending post-collision inspection and calibration of ADAS systems irrespective of collision severity. If anything gets misaligned even slightly, you could have a significant safety issue. We make sure these systems get restored to OEM factory settings.”

According to Flaherty, TecMD specialists are trained, certified, and equipped with OEM-approved tools and procedures.

“We’re able to provide dealership-quality service with greater convenience,” Flaherty says. “Our curated OEM domain knowledge simplifies the repair process and reduces cycle time for collision centers. You call us, we show up with the requisite tools and knowledge to restore the vehicle to OEM standards for safety and operation.”

Clark Hill Law Firm Unveils New Brand, Website, Logo, Tag Line
Detroit-based international law firm Clark Hill revealed a new brand that reflects the firm’s cohesive culture, internal DNA, core values, commitment to diversity, and legal skills.

The brand is articulated with a new logo, which includes an entwined modern C and H. The new brand captures Clark Hill’s unified identity through a redesigned website that conveys the firm’s forward-thinking, innovative and collaborative culture.

“We believe that our new look is reflective of the growth of our firm and the enrichment of our diversity,” says John Hensien, CEO of Clark Hill. “Each and every one of us at Clark Hill is energized by the culture and core values we aspire to live every day. We feel that for our clients and for professionals who want to work with a modern, dynamic, law firm, the Clark Hill approach is ‘simply smarter,’ which is why we have chosen that as our positioning statement.”

Holland’s BluJay to Acquire Florida-based Raven Logistics
BluJay Solutions, a provider of global supply chain software and services in Holland (southwest of Grand Rapids) has signed an agreement to acquire Raven Logistics, which is based in Florida and has an office in Keego Harbor.

Raven is a logistics management company focused on rail transportation, offering a railroad SaaS solution and managed services for the North American shipper market.

“As a best-in-class rail transportation solution provider, Raven brings exceptional complementary expertise to provide our collective customers with end-to-end multimodal transportation solutions,” says Andrew Kirkwood, CEO of BluJay Solutions. “With this acquisition, we continue BluJay’s strategy to invest in the data, networks, and applications that enable frictionless supply chains.”

The Townsend Hotel Receives Top AAA Inspector’s Award
The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham has received a 2021“Best of Housekeeping” award from the American Automobile Association (AAA). The award is presented to the top 25 percent of all 25,000 AAA Inspected and Approved hotels in the United States and Canada, based on cleanliness and condition ratings by an AAA inspector.

“In today’s day and age of the pandemic, we promote safety and cleanliness first,” says Steven Kalczynski, managing director of The Townsend. “We are very proud of our Housekeeping Department leadership and every member of our Housekeeping Team for consistently delivering on their high standards for cleanliness. Being recognized with this award is an honor that affirms the appreciation we all have for our Housekeeping Team’s outstanding performance.”

LGBT Chamber to Host Virtual Colours Conference, Pride Awards May 13-14
The Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Diversity Council will host the 2021 Virtual Colours Conference and Pride Awards from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 13-14.

The conference will feature southeast Michigan’s foremost diversity, equity, and business development leaders for two days of education and celebration, culminating with a regional LGBTQ Career Fair sponsored by DTE Foundation.

“This conference will highlight the barriers many marginalized communities face in business and corporate America, while also celebrating progress,” says Kevin Heard, founder and board president of the Detroit Regional LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “In the end, these sessions will provide real steps to fix broken systems, build networks, and grant access to opportunities.”

The conference will officially kick off with a keynote address by Louis A. Vega, president of North America Dow Chemical on celebrating LGBTQ Pride in the workplace. The two-day virtual event features concurrent sessions, offering attendees best practices and education on the importance of LGBTQ inclusion in the workplace and supplier diversity. There also will be opportunities for networking, matchmaking, a career fair and Colours Award presentations.

Nancy Schlichting, former CEO of Henry Ford Health System, will be presented with the Allan D. Gilmour Award for Outstanding Leadership.

The conference will end with a special closing keynote address by Carmen Carrera, a trans rights activist and model, who will focus her remarks on trans representation, rights and employment needs, and entrepreneurship.

Registration for the virtual event is $249 per person and available until the first day of the event. For more information, updates, and a complete list of event speakers and sponsors, visit here.

Research: Could Take 333 Years to Close Minority Business Equity Gap
Results of a study commissioned by the Michigan Minority Supplier Council on economic equity for people of color showed that at current growth rates, it will take 333 years for Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) to achieve revenue equity with white-owned businesses in our nation.

“This research makes it crystal clear that the current path is one we cannot continue if we wish to achieve economic equity for people of color in our lifetimes,” says Michelle Sourie Robinson, president and CEO of the council. “Corporations who understand that strong communities create strong customers, strong employees, and strong neighbors, must re-commit to providing access for MBEs to compete for all aspects of their business. If all corporations grow their MBE spend percentage by 1 percent annually, the timeline to achieve parity would improve from 333 years to 15 years.”

Robinson says increasing supplier diversity remains a major challenge, and that achieving parity would bring a significant boost to the overall economy. For example, achieving parity between Black-owned and white-owned businesses would add $290 billion in overall wealth.

She says a solution to shortening the timeline is a deliberate and intentional focus on minority firms access to and spending from corporations.

The report was commissioned by the MMSDC, and analysis conducted by supplier.io Inc., to assess the growth rate of MBEs and determine the gap that remains in revenue parity for MBEs, relative to the number of minorities in the United States.

To access the full research findings, visit here.

FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation Celebrates 70th Anniversary
FAR Therapeutic Arts and Recreation in Birmingham is celebrating its 70th year of providing artistic opportunities and recreational therapy for individuals with special needs with reimagined events and new fundraising programs.

“FAR is the Detroit area’s primary resource for fully integrated creative arts and recreational therapy for individuals with special needs, and we serve about 1,500 kids and adults of all ages and diagnoses each year,” says Pamela Ayres, president of FAR. “While we had to hold off on 2020 events during the pandemic, we are reimagining some much-loved traditions to honor our clients and supporters during our 70th anniversary year.”

Upcoming events (virtual or COVID-compliant in person) include:

  • May 20 – Sing Out 4 Kids; local celebrities including former Red Wing Darren McCarty perform their favorite songs to raise money for FAR in this hybrid virtual and in-person event, with space generously donated by the Birmingham Community House
  • June 14 – New! Bringing You Broadway
  • July 12-23 — Camp Sing Out musical theater camp
  • Nov. 14 or 17 – Annual FAR Friends fundraising event at Seligman Performing Arts Center at Country Day Upper School

For more information, visit here.

Eisenhower Dance Detroit Return May 16
Eisenhower Dance Detroit is back with a two-day program entitled, “MOVE,” part of the Oakland University Outside the Box Performing Arts Festival, May 16-17, at OU’s Verner Courtyard.

The two shows include works by choreographer Christian Denice and Eisenhower Dance Detroit Artistic Director Stephanie Pizzo. Works by founding Artistic Director Laurie Eisenhower are also included, as is a preview performance of “Hyper,” by Los Angeles-based choreographer Micaela Taylor.

Tickets are $10 and $18 and are available by visiting here.

Eisenhower Dance Detroit is a touring nonprofit professional contemporary repertory company based in metro Detroit in its 29th season. The company’s mission also includes community engagement and education programs aiming to foster the appreciation of dance as an art form by providing performances and, through its schools, instruction to students of any age.