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.
Magna Supplies High-tech Seats for Michigan Science Center IMAX Dome Theater
Magna Seating in Novi is donating 239 high-tech FreeForm seats for the Michigan Science Center’s IMAX Dome Theater when it reopens to the public early next year.
Magna’s FreeForm technology designed to enhance vehicle seat comfort and expand automakers’ brand design options. It also will bring comfort to the families who visit the Michigan Science Center’s IMAX Dome Theatre.
“We are grateful to Magna for providing state-of-the-art seating for our IMAX Dome Theatre, which will allow our guests to relax in comfort while viewing inspirational and thought-provoking shows,” says Christian Greer, president and CEO of the Michigan Science Center. “A large screen with 360-degree views provides an unforgettable experience for our guests and helps us to achieve our mission of putting you at the center of science. We would not be able to offer these immersive opportunities without the help of generous sponsors like Magna.”
The seating technology enables endless design possibilities, according to Magna, allowing the theater seats to have unique visual cues like those used by astronauts, race car drivers, and pilots. The use of FreeForm results in seats that symbolize the grandeur of the Dome Theatre through their concave details.
Magna’s bioscience team crafted the seats especially for movie-viewing for all ages, and with headrests that make looking up at the dome more comfortable. Also, since FreeForm eliminates deep trenches caused by seams, the seat surface is easier to clean.
“Our automaker partners trust Magna to give families a comfortable and convenient experience in their vehicles with innovative seating solutions,” says John Wyskiel, president of Magna Seating. “So naturally, we’re thrilled to bring our unique technology and product to the rebirth of a great Michigan institution like the Science Center’s Dome Theatre, and honored to give the next generation of scientists, engineers, inventors, and mathematicians the best seat in the house.”
Detroiter Launches Maison Black Online Retail Destination Featuring Black Designers
Detroiter Tori Nichel has launched Maison Black, a curated online retail destination for accessible luxury fashion, exclusively featuring products by Black designers.
Through Maison Black’s platform and capsule experiences, Black designers will have the opportunity to increase brand awareness and their customer base, while providing consumers a destination for discovery of Black talent exemplifying design excellence.
“I created Maison Black to build an ecosystem that fosters design excellence and creativity for Black designers,” says Tori Nichel, founder and chief creative officer of Maison Black. “I want to create a destination for discovery where Black-designed products are accessible globally. It is our mission to serve the Black designer community in order to create access, exposure, and longevity in the fashion industry.”
To celebrate the launch, six designers will presented their seasonless collections in a runway presentation called “Manhattan to Motown,” 6-8 p.m., Oct. 20 at the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant (461 Piquette Ave.) in Detroit.
Featured Detroit designers include APOTTS (Aaron Potts), Kevan Hall, Isaiah Hemmingway, N’GAI (Nicole King), TRUTH (Sharryl Cross), and S.MCGEE COLLECTION (Shawna McGee).
Also, there will be a pop-up shopping experience today at 2-6 p.m., and noon-6 p.m. on Oct. 23 at the Shinola store (441 W. Canfield St.) in Detroit.
Electric Last Mile Solutions Enters Canadian Market
Electric Last Mile Solutions Inc. in Troy announced the expansion of its global footprint to Canada, and the hiring of David MacPhail as its Canadian president.
Canada has been progressive in its recent sustainability actions, according to ELMS, supporting the Paris Climate Accord and making decisions that support the push toward an electric vehicle ecosystem.
“With Canada’s commitment to sustainability and EVs and the need for more delivery vehicles in a growing e-commerce market, we see a good market opportunity and application for our all-electric commercial vehicles,” says Ron Feldeisen, chief revenue officer at ELMS. “We’re excited to bring on David, with his wealth of sales experience and knowledge in the high-tech hardware and software solutions sector to help us grow our operations in Canada, where we have already received distribution and sales interest.”
MacPhail brings two decades of international B2B experience, with a particular focus in high-tech solutions encompassing hardware, software, and capital equipment. He brings sales knowledge from a variety of high-growth subsectors aligned with ELMS’ strategy, including e-commerce, electric vehicle manufacturing, logistics, telecommunications, and utilities. Prior to joining ELMS, he held various sales and engineering positions at JR Automation, ATS Automation Tooling Systems, Stabil, and CAE Inc.
The expansion into Canada is the latest in a series of moves by ELMS to broaden its global capabilities in sales, engineering, supply chain and advanced technology solutions.
Perrone Robotics Plans Open House for at American Center for Mobility
Perrone Robotics is planning an open house at its facility at the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti Township at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 28.
The company if offering visitors an opportunity to inspect its robotics shop, ride in autonomous vehicles, and meet company founder Paul Perrone.
Both ACM and Perrone Robotics are following CDC guidelines for all events and gatherings. Face masks are required to attend this event. If you do not have a mask, Perrone will provide one.
All guests must register here.
Eaze Launches On-demand Cannabis Delivery in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids
California-based cannabis retailer Eaze has launched its adult-use delivery service in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, and expects to do the same in Detroit in the coming weeks.
“Shopping with Eaze means Michiganders get the best selection of cannabis products and deals, delivered quickly and safely to their doorstep,” says Rogelio Choy, CEO of Eaze. “Michigan is a national leader in cannabis normalization, so we’re excited to expand Eaze’s footprint and bring our extended hours, fast delivery, and great prices to customers statewide.”
Eaze’s Ann Arbor delivery launches in partnership with leading Michigan licensees D & K Ventures, owners of Detroit Edibles and Cannalicious Labs brands, and in Grand Rapids with partner Fluresh. With Eaze delivery, customers have access to a large menu of Michigan-made products alongside trusted multi-state brands already on Eaze’s California menu and made in Michigan.
All new Eaze customers will get $30 off their first two orders when using this link to register. All Eaze customers in Michigan will get 15 percent off orders $75+; 20 percent off orders $125+; and 25 percent off orders $200+.
Eaze anticipates creating at least 250 jobs in Michigan, and is actively hiring drivers in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, and Detroit to meet consumer demand.
Sheraton Airport Hotel in Grand Rapids to Get $14M Upgrade
Marshall Hotels & Resorts is planning a $14 million conversion of the 259-room Sheraton Hotel Airport and Conference Center Grand Rapids beginning in December.
“Following the completion of the renovation currently scheduled for June 2022, the hotel will have undergone a complete reimaging, bringing it to like-new status,” says Mike Marshall, president and CEO of Marshall Hotels & Resorts. “The renovation will touch on myriad aspects of the hotel, from exterior signage and public spaces to guest rooms.
“The process will be conducted in phases to create minimal guest interruptions, and we cannot wait to share Grand Rapids’ ‘newest’ hotel with area business and leisure travelers.”
The renovation will incorporate the recently announced new Sheraton concept by Marriott, which reimagined the brand’s public spaces and guest rooms. In addition to completely upgrading existing spaces to meet Sheraton standards, the hotel also will feature a new, soon-to-be-announced restaurant. The hotel will feature 21,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, the new Sheraton Club Lounge for Sheraton Club level rooms, indoor/outdoor swimming pool and fitness area and 24-hour airport shuttle.
Ann Arbor SPARK Awards $200K to Tech Startups During Invest360 Competition
Ann Arbor SPARK awarded $200,000 to startups through Invest360 during a2Tech360, a pitch competition that recognizes promising emerging companies in the mobility, health care, and information technology sectors.
The winners, Bedestrian, Espervita Therapeutics, and LoanSense each were awarded $50,000 and went on to compete for an additional $50,000 “People’s Choice” prize, which was awarded to LoanSense.
The mobility sector winner, Bedestrian, designs and builds logistics robots for delivery inside healthcare systems. Health care sector winner Espervita Therapeutics has developed a pipeline of novel compounds with preclinical evidence of safety and efficacy for the treatment of liver cancer. Information technology sector winner LoanSense is a debt management platform that reduces student loan payments, and as a result, increases student borrowers’ budget for a home.
Invest360 was embedded in a2Tech360’s Michigan Angel Summit, Mobility Summit, and MI-HQ’s Tech on the Edge events. The “People’s Choice” competition took place was during Ann Arbor SPARK’s Tech Talk event.
For more information, visit here.
Kroger Health, Cardinal Health, and DisposeRx to Host Drug Take-Back Events Oct. 23
Kroger Health of Michigan, Cardinal Health Foundation, and DisposeRx will host drug take-back events at local pharmacy locations across metro Detroit on Oct. 23, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
In the Michigan, drug take-back events are scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local law enforcement officers will be on site to accept unused or expired pills, liquids, gels, and patches just outside stores (no medications will be accepted inside stores).
Participating Michigan Kroger locations include:
- 2808 Ashman St. in Midland
- 26200 Greenfield Road in Oak Park
- 2105 South Blvd. in Troy
- 22801 Harper Ave. in St. Clair Shores
- 900 S U.S. Highway 27 in Saint Johns
- 578 S. Monroe St. in Monroe
- 47650 Grand River Ave. in Novi
During the events, Kroger Health pharmacy associates will distribute free reusable shopping totes with DisposeRx at-home medication disposal packets and Generation Rx materials.
In Related News: Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park has received a $1 million commitment from The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation in partnership with The Kroger Co. of Michigan to support its Solutions That Nourish Campaign and innovative Grocery Rescue program.
The sponsorship is part of Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, Kroger’s plan to end hunger in local communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025. The contribution will allow Forgotten Harvest to continue recovering healthy food such as protein, meat, fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and prepared meals from local grocery retail stores.
“Forgotten Harvest has been rescuing surplus food since our founding in 1990, but our Grocery Rescue program really took off in 2004 through a program partnership with Kroger,” says Kirk Mayes, CEO of Forgotten Harvest. “We’re excited to continue partnering with Kroger to serve the community — with them as the presenting sponsor of our Grocery Rescue program.”
Community Foundation and Partners Announce Investments to Support Police Reform
The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and its local and national partners announced $200,000 in a new round of investments in technical assistance from the Community Policing Innovations Initiative, a program launched earlier this year and committed to collaborative police reform in southeast Michigan.
This latest round of support brings the total investments of the initiative to nearly $500,000. Funders of the initiative are the Community Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, Ballmer Group, the JAMS Foundation, and Oakland County.
The Community Policing Innovations Initiative is the first of its kind in the region to target the training and technical assistance of police and community together to build progress towards the creation of public safety models that represent each unique community’s needs.
“The Community Policing Innovations Initiative focuses on community-driven change,” says Mariam Noland, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “The Community Foundation and Hudson-Webber Foundation came together on this program, and we are pleased that our local and national partners including Ballmer Group, the JAMS Foundation and Oakland County have also made substantial contributions to support this effort.”
The goal of the program is to provide the guidance and support necessary for local communities, in partnership with local law enforcement, to develop community-driven, substantive, and pragmatic changes in the way that policing and public safety services are provided.
The initiative is chaired by Barbara McQuade, professor at the University of Michigan Law School and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. She also serves on the boards of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Hudson-Webber Foundation.
Communities selected to receive the new round of support include:
- Pontiac: Pontiac Community Foundation/City of Pontiac/Oakland County Sheriff
- Ecorse: City of Ecorse/Ecorse Police Department
- Eastern Michigan University Campus: Eastern Michigan University Department of Public Safety/ Public Safety Oversight Committee/Washtenaw County
- Ann Arbor: City of Ann Arbor/Ann Arbor Policy Department/ Ann Arbor Independent Community Police Oversight Commission
- Hamtramck: City of Hamtramck/ Hamtramck Police/ Warriors on Wheels/ ARC Detroit
- These new communities will join others supported to date including Canton, East Dearborn, Detroit Farmington/Farmington Hills, and Inkster.
The organizations that are supported through the initiative will partner with law enforcement agencies to focus on one of five discrete areas: use of force, officer accountability, disparate enforcement and treatment, re-imagining public safety, and truth and reconciliation.
The Community Foundation is now accepting applications on a rolling basis until Dec. 31 from Oakland County communities. To apply, please visit here.