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.
Community Foundation Announces $600K to Maintain Trails, Greenways
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, together with the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, announced a round of grants from the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Trails Maintenance Fund totaling $600,000. The fund provides maintenance support for developed trails and greenways in the region.
“Investing in southeast Michigan’s quality of life is crucial to building our reputation as a world-class place to live and work,” says Ric DeVore, president of the Community Foundation. “That’s why we are proud to support our community partners who are working to ensure residents can enjoy well-maintained, accessible trails amid southeast Michigan’s natural beauty.”
The grantees include:
- Charter Township of East China — $100,920 for the removal and replacement of 2,023 linear feet of an existing asphalt pathway along the Bridge to Bay Trail, and upgrade ramps at three bridges to be ADA compliant.
- City of South Lyon — $199,100 for the reconstruction of part of the City of South Lyon Safety Path.
- Michigan Department of Transportation — $175,000 to make safety and connectivity improvements to the I-275 Metro Trail, including numerous trail crossings and trail connections.
- Wayne County Parks — $125,000 for the removal and replacement of 2,000 linear feet of shared-use asphalt path along the Hines Park Pathway.
Skyline Champion in Troy Acquires Factory Expo Home Center Locations
Champion Retail Housing, a subsidiary of Skyline Champion Corp. in Troy, has agreed to buy the assets from Alta Cima Corp. and assume operations of the Factory Expo Home Centers located at 12 Skyline Champion manufacturing facilities across the United States.
“We are excited to welcome the employees of these retail sales centers to the Skyline Champion family and look forward to the continuing collaboration with the Alta Cima team,” says Mark Yost, president and CEO of Skyline Champion. “This announcement reflects our commitment to elevate the customer experience directly with consumers, and to accelerate the capabilities that benefit all our channel partners.”
In addition to working together to deliver a seamless experience for customers and employees, Alta Cima will provide Skyline Champion with ongoing services in support of the home centers.
Skyline Champion is the largest independent, publicly traded, factory-built housing company in North America and employs approximately 8,700 people.
Prime Healthcare Forms Joint Venture with Los Angeles Robotics Outpatient Center
California-based Prime Healthcare, which has several locations in metro Detroit, and Robotics Outpatient Center Los Angeles (ROC-LA), have formed a joint venture that will further Prime’s goal of expanding services and high-quality, affordable care to the communities it serves.
Prime Healthcare is one of the nation’s leading health systems with 45 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient facilities in 14 states. ROC-LA is a leading orthopedic, spine, and urology outpatient surgery center based in Los Angeles, recognized for using innovative surgical techniques that decrease recovery time and relieve pain and suffering for patients.
This new strategic partnership will offer patients a convenient, cost-effective, high-quality solution for same day surgeries. ROC-LA currently offers minimally invasive procedures such as spinal surgery and restoration, the latest in laparoscopic urologic techniques, orthopedic sports injury repair, and more.
Accelerated Filtration in Midland Closes $1.5M Pre-seed Funding Round
Accelerated Filtration Inc. (AFI), a water filtration company based in Midland that develops industrial water filtration technologies, has raised $1.5 million in pre-seed funding.
Closed Loop Partners’ Ventures Group led the financing round, with participation from Michigan Capital Network, Anthropocene Ventures, and Oxcart Equity Partners. The company will use the funding to advance product development, marketing, and launch its first water filtration solution into the market later this year.
AFI delivers packaged turn-key filtration solutions for the consistent removal of fine suspended solids in variable water streams. AFI’s innovative technology offers fine particle filtration for large and small water processing challenges across a range of industries and applications.
“Our product offers customers a compact, robust solution for removing fine particles from water and wastewater streams,” says Scott Burr, president and CEO of Accelerated Filtration. “Its ability to economically filter out low and high levels of suspended solids sets it apart as an extended range, fully automatic, fine particle filter.
“The VelRay X filter is an essential product needed to address growing global water challenges, enabling greater capability in processing source water, recycling and reusing process water, and treating wastewater. We’re thrilled our investors see the incredible value for the marketplace.”
Steelhead Technologies in UP Raises $2.2M Seed Round
Steelhead Technologies, a platform for processed-based manufacturers in Laurium in the Upper Peninsula, announced a $2.2 million seed funding round to expand sales and marketing, technology development, and growth of its team.
The seed round includes investment from TIA Ventures and C2 Ventures, among other investors.
Steelhead’s software performs as a plant operating system. The platform modernizes and streamlines production environments through digitization, automation, and optimization, while uncovering previously unknown data manufacturers can begin to leverage to drive more efficient processes and profitability. Steelhead’s goal is to improve competitiveness and profits of manufacturing in the U.S.
“Today manufacturers are under myriad pressures,” says Jeff Halonen, co-founder and CEO of Steelhead Technologies. “From labor turnover, pressure on margins, traceability requirements, and customer service expectations, our customers have provided a roadmap of opportunity for technology in these plants.
“From tracking production cost and quality, to training operators, digitizing workflow and paperwork, to automated custom plant reports, we are providing a digital foundation to unlock decades of growth in an ever more digital world with a platform that is flat out easy
Steelhead serves the surface finishing, heat treatment, additive manufacturing, and powder coating industries.
Crowdfunding Campaign Launched to Rebuild Historic Battle Alley Following Fire
Main Street Oakland County and Main Street Holly, an arm of the Holly Downtown Development Authority (DDA), have launched a crowdfunding campaign to help rebuild the historic Battle Alley section of the city following the six-alarm fire June 21 that destroyed or badly damaged several businesses and buildings.
To give offline by cash or check, please make the check payable to Main Street Holly and mail or deliver the donation to Main Street Holly, at 300 East St., Holly, MI 48442. To donate online, visit here.
“Oakland County will continue to support Holly leaders, business owners, and residents as they recover from the damage caused by the fire,” says Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “We’re committed to ensuring that this historic jewel is restored and rebuilt.”
The campaign will subsidize a variety of projects, including facade grants to offset the costs and repairs to the surviving historic buildings; matching funds for grant applications for the long-term repair and restoration of infrastructure; street and sidewalk paving; building grants for new construction; and small business grants for those impacted by the fire.
Plus, the restoration will require the hiring of design professionals and replacement of community items such as public art, pedestrian furniture, flower containers, trees, and trash receptacles.
Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Gets $1.5 Donation from Rachel Bendit, Mark Bernstein
A $1.5 million donation to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy from Rachel Bendit and Mark Bernstein will provide climate change educational activities and a new program to support generations of Detroiters as they grapple with the effects of climate change along the Detroit Riverfront, within the city of Detroit, and around the globe.
Additionally, the conservancy is naming a two-story play scape designed by Denmark-based Monstrom the “Bernstein Bear.” The park currently is under construction along the West Riverfront.
Located in the Delta Dental Play Garden at Ralph Wilson Park, the Bernstein Bear will feature several surfaces on which children can climb around and a large slide.
“We are thrilled with this generous gift from Rachel and Mark,” says Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “This gift will help us to develop educational programs focused on the importance of environmental stewardship for everyone in our community.”
ZIMS Vodka Names Musician Timothee Lovelock as Influencer
Detroit-based ZIMS Vodka has teamed up with DJ and violinist Timothee Lovelock to launch #ZIMSLOVE, an initiative that kicked off July 1.
#ZIMSLOVE grew out of a friendship between Terry “T.O.” Olson, founder and CEO of Detroit-based The Rebel Spirits Group and creator of ZIMS Vodka, and Lovelock, founder and CEO of Florida’s Lovelock Music Group, a full-service entertainment company.
The initiative is expected to deliver fun, entertaining, and informative marketing messages for vodka- and music-loving consumers, and producing events showcasing Lovelock’s music and ZIMS award-winning vodkas.
Bedrock’s Monroe Street Midway, Nick Speed Arrange Conversation Series
Bedrock in Detroit has partnered with radio host, filmmaker, and Detroit native, Nick Speed, to host a series of live artist panel discussions at Monroe Street Midway. Starting July 14, Speed will welcome Detroit artists and entrepreneurs to the midway stage to share how hard work and perseverance has led them to achieve local influence and recognition.
“Detroit has so many successful people who have powerful and inspirational stories that the entire world needs to hear! It is very important for the next generation of Detroiters to hear from the successful people who made it from the same place they’re from,” Speed says. “The artists will show the world what it took to make their dreams become reality and that they can do it too.”
Times and participating artists and entrepreneurs include:
- July 14 — John Mason, Pistons’ public address announcer, 6-8 p.m.
- 11 — Jessica Care Moore, American poet, 6-8 p.m.
- 1 — Sheefy McFly, artist and rapper, 6-8 p.m.
The panel discussions are free and open to the public. Learn more about Monroe Street Midway here.
Junior League of Detroit Announces Designers for 2022 Show House
The Junior League of Detroit (JLD) has announced the lineup of interior design firms selected to transform its 2022 Designers’ Show House.
The design firms were selected from across the Midwest to showcase their work in 18 interior design spaces at the House on the Hill, located at 205 Lake Shore Road on Lake St. Clair in Grosse Pointe Farms.
The designers include:
- Ethan Allen – Bellville
- Birch Design Associates – Ann Arbor
- Jessica Blue Designs – Chicago
- Kia Interior Designs – Bingham Farms
- Baird Design Group – Detroit
- Crenshaw and Associates – Detroit
- Luxurious Settings Limitless – Detroit
- Decor & More Designs – Grosse Pointe Farms
- LaShee Floral & Events – Detroit
- Wanda Brown Designs – Detroit
An announcement about final participating landscape designers who will reinvent the property’s expansive gardens is forthcoming.
The JLD Designers’ Show House season includes the Sneak-a-Peek weekend event July 13-15. The event offers a sneak peek at the home’s pre-renovated state before the grand reveal in which the setting is transformed by a curated slate of designers. Event hours are:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, July 15; from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16; and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 17.
Information and tickets for Sneak-a-Peek are available at JLDetroit.org. Both Gala and public admission tickets to tour the 2022 Designers’ Show House will be available beginning July 25.
Michigan Medieval Faire Coming to Canterbury Village
Canterbury Village in Lake Orion is hosting the Michigan Medieval Faire July 16-17 and July 23-24.
Among the attractions are a unicorn, Pegasus, dragons, ogres, musicians, jesters, magicians, fire breathers, mad Queens, more than 30 entertainers in all.
Knights in shining armor will joust on their great steeds providing all the excitement of a medieval tournament.
Young knights can get some combat training with Helaman’s Warriors taking up foam swords to battle against each other while others can try their hand at the battlefield skills competition with the Rangers of Asgard with ax and archery games.
There also will be fire breathers, dancers, bubble fairies, a royal court and a host of performers including live bands playing Celtic music.
Tickets, which are $14.99 per person plus $5 parking, are available here. Active military, veterans, and children under 2 are admitted free.
Registration Now Open for Friendship Circle’s Walk4Friendship
Friendship Circle, a West Bloomfield Township nonprofit that supports individuals with special needs, has opened registration for its 17th annual Walk4Friendship event, Aug. 28 at Friendship Circle’s Farber Center.
Those interested in walking for friendship can register for the event
Walk4Friendship is a two-mile-long family walk that raises crucial funds and community awareness for Friendship Circle and the more than 3,000 individuals and families the organization supports with recreational, social, educational and vocational programming.
To donate to the Friendship Circle, visit here.
“Pledge Allegiance” Exhibition Opens in the David Whitney Building
Nicole Tamer Art in the David Whitney Building in downtown Detroit announced that its newest art exhibition Pledge Allegiance, featuring Jonathan Harris, will debut during an opening reception from 6-9 p.m. on July 21.
Pledge Allegiance is Harris’ first solo show and his inaugural exhibition with Nicole Tamer Art Gallery. For this show, Harris presents photographs he captured of Detroit residents from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, highlighted by an oil enamel technique on canvas resulting in graphic, high-contrast portraits without the use of a brush.
“I want to tell the stories of different people coming from different life paths, wanting to be loved and embraced for who they are and where they come from,” says Harris. “Here I am, please love me.
“Pledge Allegiance features large-scale black, red, white, and blue paintings of Americans and their relationship to themselves and their identities as Americans. The desire to be loved and embraced for the multitudes we contain. At the forefront is the relationship between showing up as who we are and being met equally as an American with similar hopes, dreams, and aspirations for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Nicole Tamer Art Gallery is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free. Pledge Allegiance will be on exhibition through August 2022.
Registration to attend the opening reception is not required.
Treetops Resort in Gaylord Now Offering The Bee Experience
There’s something new at Gaylord’s Treetops Resort for guests and agricultural enthusiasts to enjoy this summer season — The Bee Experience.
Treetops’ resident beekeeper Bill takes guests through a hands-on bee experience and shares his love and knowledge of apiculture. It takes place atop of one of Michigan highest elevations, Treetops’ most exclusive property, Project Nature, home of The Windows.
Guests will be provided with an authentic beekeeper’s suit, complete with gloves and gaiters keeping each participant safe from stings. They will join Bill at the beehives located high above the resort for this unique opportunity to view these insects up-close and learn more about how they work and survive in today’s world.
The Treetops Bee Experience may be reserved for any of the four dates that include: Saturdays, July 16 and 30 and Saturdays, Aug. 13 and 27. Each experience is $50 for adults, kids 12 and younger are just $30.