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.
JLL Capital Markets Leads $125M Financing to Recapitalize Detroit Industrial Campus
Chicago-based JLL Capital Markets led the way the $125 million recapitalization of Gateway Industrial Center, a 69-acre, 1.4-million-square-foot industrial campus on the Southfield Freeway in Detroit.
JLL represented Kalamazoo’s Innovo Development Group in arranging $10 million of joint venture equity utilizing the Realty Mogul platform to recapitalize the venture. The equity raise follows an $80 million financing package JLL also arranged in June 2021 on behalf of the sponsor.
Gateway Industrial Center provides immediate access to both the Southfield Freeway and I-96. Additionally, the property has on-site access to the regional railway via the Central Pacific – Oak Terminal, while offering tenants access to a skilled local workforce in the heart of metro Detroit.
Last month, Innovo completed an expansion of the property totaling 421,000 square feet of speculative development. The new manufacturing, warehouse, and logistics facility features more than 60 dock positions, 36-foot clear heights, 50-by-50-foot column spacing, heavy power suitable for electric vehicle battery requirements, LED lighting, and ESFR fire suppression. Additionally, the property provides parking for 317 vehicles and 100 trailers.
Bouncing Around The Motor City wins $100K Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest
Bouncing Around The Motor City has won the 2023 Comerica Hatch Detroit Contest by TechTown, claiming the $100,000 grand prize from Comerica Bank to open a brick-and-mortar business in Detroit.
As the winner of the 2023 Hatch Off, Bouncing Around The Motor City will receive technical assistance from TechTown and its partners in addition to the $100,000 business grant from Comerica Bank to kickstart and open a brick-and-mortar business in Detroit.
Bouncing Around The Motor City is Detroit’s one-stop shop for balloons, decor, event planning, and party rentals. It aims to create “unique and vibrant” designs for parties and special occasions that will captivate.
Founder and owner Cathryn Coleman is a certified balloon artist who creates each design.
Bouncing Around The Motor City was crowned the winner in front of a live audience at the Hatch Off event that took place April 26 at the Wayne State University Industry Innovation Center in Detroit. During the live pitching competition, the top four businesses were given the opportunity to present their business pitch to a panel of judges, as well as a live audience. Public voting, along with the judges’ deliberation, determined the winner.
For more information, visit HatchDetroit.com.
AaDya Security Announces $5M in Series A Funding
AaDya Security, a software company founded by cybersecurity veteran Raffaele Mautone in March of 2019, announced the close of a $5 million Series A funding round.
Led by Mautone as AaDya’s CEO, the new funding will enable the company to fill a key leadership position in finance and expand its sales team to accelerate the growth of its channel program for managed service providers, resellers and referral partners serving small and midsize business customers.
New York-based Left Lane Capital led the funding round with participation from current investors 645 Ventures, Firebrand Ventures, Gaingels and Invest Detroit.
Along with the funding round, AaDya is also announcing its new board of directors which includes a majority of experienced female cybersecurity executives — a rarity in what is typically a male-centric industry. Board members include Julie Cullivan, Didi Dayton, Laura Sillman, Tom Lazay, and Raffaele Mautone. Cybersecurity and channel veteran Lisa Matherly will serve as an advisor for the marketing and channel teams.
California Wealth Management Firm Acquires $1.5B Barber Financial Group
Barber Financial Group, which has offices in Michigan, has been acquired by California-based Modern Wealth Management. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Barber Financial was established in 1996 by CEO Dean Barber. The firm has since evolved into a team of 50 employees including CFP professionals, CPAs, and estate and insurance specialists, all of whom will join Modern Wealth as a result of the acquisition. Barber Financial serves more than 2,300 clients with more than $1.5 billion of collective assets under management.
As part of the acquisition, Barber Financial’s existing radio show and podcast will provide Modern Wealth with an opportunity to showcase its expertise in wealth management to a loyal audience and prospective clients. The firm aims to create informative and engaging content that attracts potential clients seeking financial guidance.
Henry Ford Health, GM, 7-Eleven, Others Join Consumers Energy’s Renewable Energy Program
Consumers Energy in Jackson is announcing that 16 businesses — including General Motors Co. in Detroit, Henry Ford Health in the Jackson area, and 150 7-Eleven locations — will use clean energy to power their Michigan operations.
“Consumers Energy is powering Michigan’s clean energy transformation, and we’re doing it with employers who are catalysts to add clean energy sources,” says Lauren Snyder, vice president of customer experience at Consumers Energy. “Their promises are making positive change happen even faster and building on our industry-leading Clean Energy Plan to develop new carbon-free energy sources here in Michigan.”
Businesses joining the Business Renewable Energy Program agree to match energy they use with wind and solar energy Consumers Energy developed in Michigan. In total, participating businesses have committed to roughly 380 megawatts of emission-free renewable energy supporting their sustainability goals and the local communities in which they serve and operate.
Other new participants in the Business Renewable Energy Program include:
- Circuit Controls Corp., Petoskey
- Comcast, Detroit
- DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility, Battle Creek
- I I Stanley, Battle Creek
- Interlochen Center for the Arts
- MACI, Parma
- Magna, Alto
- Magna Cosma Casting Michigan, Battle Creek
- State of Michigan, Lansing
- US Signal, Grand Rapids
- Worthen Industries Inc., Grand Rapids
BetMGM Launches Exclusive Buffalo Wild Wings Slot Game
BetMGM today launched a new Buffalo Wild Wings online casino slot game, developed exclusively for BetMGM by Inspired Entertainment.
The title is the latest evolution of the company’s partnership with the largest sports bar brand in the United States. The Buffalo Wild Wings slot is available in Michigan on BetMGM Casino.
“BetMGM’s newest exclusive title presents our players with the branding and visual appeal of Buffalo Wild Wing’s popular restaurant and sports bar with the familiar and player-centric game mechanics from Inspired,” says Oliver Bartlett, director of gaming at BetMGM. “We have a great partner in Buffalo Wild Wings and look forward to continuing to work with them to deliver innovative experiences players can only find on BetMGM.”
MSU Health Care Sports Medicine Sponsors Fitness Finders Mileage Club
MSU Health Care Sports Medicine in East Lansing is sponsoring the Fitness Finders Mileage Club in 13 mid-Michigan elementary schools. This year’s program benefits more than 5,000 children from Bath Community Schools, Concord Community Schools, East Lansing Public Schools, Fowlerville Community Schools, Holt Public Schools, Leslie Public Schools, Okemos Public Schools, and Portland Public Schools.
The Fitness Finders Mileage Club encourages children to stay active and keep track of their progress as they run or walk during recess or physical education classes. Participants will receive a Toe Token, a foot-shaped plastic charm, at each checkpoint, which they can display on a chain or shoelace as a symbol of their achievements. The program will run for several weeks and at the end of the program each participant will receive a certificate of accomplishment.
“We are proud to sponsor the Fitness Finders Mileage Club and help promote fitness and wellness among young children in our community,” says Seth Ciabotti, CEO of MSU Health Care. “By engaging in regular physical activity, children can develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime. We believe that this program will be a fun and exciting way for kids to get active and stay motivated.”
Magna Services of America Presents $100K Grant to Kettering University
Canadian based mobility company Magna Services of America Inc., which has several locations in southeast Michigan, has given a $100,000 grant to Kettering University in Flint to support and enhance its precollege programs, competitive teams and professional development.
“Magna, a global leader in mobility and our longtime co-op partner, recognizes higher education is most effective when it is a collaborative enterprise between institutions and industry,” says Kettering President Robert K. McMahan. “This extraordinary gift demonstrates Magna’s commitment to partnering with Kettering in opening doors for promising high school STEM students, supporting critical robotics programs for young people and creating opportunities for our students to benefit from hands-on learning, competition and mentorship.”
The contribution will be divided equally among various science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.
“As one of the nation’s preeminent STEM universities, Kettering has long been a partner of Magna and has helped us move the industry forward thanks to a large alumni base across our organization,” says Ann Costello-McLain, vice president of talent and total rewards at Magna. “With the mobility industry rapidly evolving to an all-electric and connected future, now more than ever it’s imperative that we continue to invest in the skills and training of our future leaders and team members.”
The Magna grant will establish a new Hardware in the Loop (HIL) lab to support SAE student projects and work. HIL tests systems, specifically software on test benches with real hardware components instead of a simulation.
In addition, the grant money will be used as partial funding for a graduate student to support the AutoDrive team; as partial sponsorship of the Baja, Formula, and Aero teams; and as sponsorship for other competitive university teams.
Born in Detroit Collaborates with Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s
The Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s in Birmingham is collaborating with Michigan owned and operated Born in Detroit Apparel, LLC, with the launch of an exclusive Kirk Gibson Foundation for Parkinson’s Team23 collection apparel line.
A portion of proceeds from this limited-edition apparel line will benefit the foundation, which was formed by former professional baseball player and manager Kirk Gibson after his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease in 2015. Apparel is available now through May 10, 2023, exclusively online at KirkGibsonFoundation.org.
New Motor City Origins Tour Explores Detroit History
The Ford Piquette Plant Museum is offering an after-hours tour that explores the history of Detroit’s Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, the cradle of the auto industry.
Motor City Origins Tours, which begin at 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. May 6, highlight how Ford, Dodge, Cadillac, Studebaker, Anderson Electric, and others laid the foundation for Detroit to become the world’s automotive capital.
The evening will begin with a Enjoy a complimentary Happy Half-Hour and lite bites, followed by a presentation and guided tour though out the museum focusing on the Milwaukee Junction Gallery space and a new exhibit created with support from MotorCities National Heritage Area.
Tickets are $30 and $20 for members. Visit here for more information and to purchase tickets.
Thomas the Tank Engine Returns to The Henry Ford Throughout May
Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to The Henry Ford in Dearborn and bringing a colorful new spin to Day Out with Thomas events.
For the first time, Thomas & Friends is celebrating the beauty of color with Day Out With Thomas: The Color Tour. The Color Tour will be stopping at Greenfield Village May 6-7, 13-14, and 20-21. Also new this year is the offering of an early access 9 a.m. ticket to be the first to ride Thomas. Simply select the 9 a.m. ticket time during online checkout for early entry.
Day Out with Thomas is a family event that includes an interactive train ride with a life-size Thomas the Tank Engine as well as access to a full day of activities. Families will be able to enjoy live entertainment, photo ops with Sir Topham Hatt, lawn games, and a pop-up gift shop for exclusive Thomas merchandise.
For more information, visit thehenryford.org.
ASE Planning 2023 Michigan Pay & Economic Briefing June 6 in Troy
Troy-based human resources organization ASE will be hosting its Michigan Pay & Economic Briefing from 8 a.m.-noon June 6 at its Troy headquarters (5505 Corporate Dr. Ste. 200).
This half-day briefing is designed to provide insight required to meet the labor and economic challenges facing employers today. In addition to hearing the results of the 2023 ASE Compensation Survey, participants will hear from experts that include economic futurist Andrew Busch and Payscale Chief Product Officer Russ Wakelin.
“With so many factors affecting today’s economy and workforce, it’s important for employers to stay up to date with the latest information,” says Mary E. Corrado, president and CEO of ASE. “This briefing will include results from ASE’s 2023 Compensation Survey as well as an economic trends forecast and information on how to prepare for pay transparency in Michigan.”
The event will include breakfast followed by three sessions:
- The Future of the Economy & Growth Opportunities
- 2023 Pay Trends
- Pay Transparency: A Lesson in Valuing Your Employees
For more details or to register, visit here. Early bird pricing is available through May 1.
Vince & Joe’s Presents $55K Check to St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market in Clinton Township and Shelby Township has presented a check for $55,000 to Kimberly Blackmon and George Allen with the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This donation will support St. Jude’s mission of research, treatment, and prevention for pediatric catastrophic diseases.
For more than a decade Vince & Joe’s has been supporting St. Jude’s mission during its anniversary week with the Bread, the Staff of Life campaign. Donations come from 50 percent of one week of sales of the Vince & Joe’s house-made Italian breads along with customer donations at the register. Vince & Joe’s reusable bags have the St. Jude logo on them and a portion of all sales for both the reusable shopping bag and the insulated food bag goes to St. Jude as well.
As of 2023 and this donation, Vince & Joe’s has donated more than $150,000 to St. Jude’s. This year’s donation of $55,000 is the largest single donation so far.
Grand Hotel Selects Texas Company for Staff Communications Software
The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has selected Optii of Austin, Texas to provide the software it uses to communicate with its housekeeping, service, and other staff.
Optii was selected because of its ability to connect front and back of house with flow of information from the PMS to Optii housekeeping and service, the companies say. Optii chat acts as an addition for staff communication between the departments. Because of the expansive property and premium services, such as everyday turndown service for all guests, Optii housekeeping is expected to deliver both productivity gains and a new level of insight and control over the operation.
“After reviewing Optii’s solution and having a background in housekeeping and operations myself, the choice was pretty simple,” says David Jurcak, president of the Grand Hotel. “We are excited to get started with Optii and reap the benefits of higher efficiency, improved communication, and better collaboration across teams. Ultimately this will translate into an improved guest experience, and that’s what it’s all about for us.”
Ted Lindsay Foundation to Host Wine Tasting May 19
The Ted Lindsay Foundation will be hosting its annual Wine Tasting event from 6-9 p.m. May 19 at the San Marino Club (1685 E. Big Beaver) in Troy.
The event will feature Nicola Biscardo Italian Wines with special guest Nicola Biscardo. There will be celebrity wine pourers, a strolling dinner, and silent and live auctions.
The Ted Lindsay Foundation was founded in 2001 by former Detroit Red Wing and Hockey Hall of Famer Ted Lindsay and his friend, John Czarnecki, whose then two year old son, Dominic, had just been diagnosed with autism.
The foundation’s mission is to support autism research and educational programs focusing on the cause and management of autism spectrum disorders.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit tedlindsay.org.
Washtenaw Community College Board Approves Tuition Increase
Tuition for in-district students at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor will rise $4 per credit hour with the fall 2023 semester.
In-district students are those who live, work or own property in Washtenaw County. Tuition increases also were approved for students who live outside the district.
The increase, the first in five years, was approved April 25 by the college’s Board of Trustees.
The per credit hour rate will rise from $95 to $99 for in-district students, with Washtenaw’s tuition continuing to be the lowest in the state and among the lowest in the nation.
Based on a 15-credit hour semester, tuition will increase $60 compared to last year, with a total tuition of $1,485. Full-time students typically take 12-15 credit hours each semester.
Students with federal Pell grants will not feel an impact as Pell grant awards are also increasing for the Fall 2023 academic year.
The college and the WCC Foundation continue to expand the range of scholarship offerings, including support for childcare and emergency expenses for students who may need extra help. WCC also has invested in establishing open educational resources so that many courses now offered at WCC can be taken with a low- or zero-cost textbook.
Visit here to review the complete chart of 2023-2024 tuition rates.