DBusiness Daily Update: Detroit Grand Prix Garners Record Corporate Support, and More

Detroit Grand Prix photo
A total of 86 local and national corporate partners are participating in the return of the Detroit Grand Prix to its original home in downtown Detroit. // Rendering courtesy of the Detroit Grand Prix

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.

Detroit Grand Prix Garners Record Corporate Support

As the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear returns to the streets of downtown Detroit on Friday for the first time since 1991, the event will feature unprecedented partner support, according to race officials.

A total of 86 local and national corporate partners are behind the return of the event to its original home in downtown Detroit, surpassing the previous high of 75 companies during the 2019 Grand Prix. This year’s partnership portfolio includes a record 32 sponsors that are new to the Grand Prix in 2023.

The Grand Prix’s partners will be highlighted in numerous ways over the course of the upcoming June 2-4 race weekend, including on-track signage throughout the race venue, hospitality suites for entertaining clients and employees, and business-to-business opportunities with other event sponsors.

“We can’t thank all 86 of our partners enough for their unwavering support of the 2023 Grand Prix as the event returns to its original home in Downtown Detroit,” says Michael Montri, president of the Detroit Grand Prix. “These incredible companies and their commitment to the Grand Prix, as well as Detroit, will help us host an amazing event that will allow the Motor City to shine like never before. This year’s Grand Prix will be more inclusive, more sustainable, and more impactful to the city and our entire region, thanks to the incredible support of our partners.”

Bolstered by the commitment of its partners, the Grand Prix will offer more accessibility than ever before with more than half of the event’s footprint open to fans for free all weekend long. Partner support has also allowed the Grand Prix to create opportunities for neighborhoods and businesses across the city to benefit from the event. For example, the unique Small Business Straightaway in Cadillac Square will feature nearly 30 locally owned and operated businesses from each district in Detroit on Saturday and Sunday, thanks to the support of the Grand Prix’s Community Partners.

Tickets are still available for this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear. For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, visit DetroitGP.com.

Comerica to Unveil Newly Renovated Jefferson-Chene Banking Center Wednesday

Comerica Bank is unveiling its newly redesigned Jefferson-Chene banking center at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, the eve of the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear.

As part of its reopening and commitment to youth empowerment and workforce development initiatives in Detroit, Comerica is donating $10,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Southeast Michigan.

Located just blocks from the new Grand Prix course on the streets of Detroit, Comerica’s Jefferson-Chene banking center full interior and exterior renovations feature:

  • An open layout with clear sightlines to welcome customers.
  • Multiple areas in which customers can have comfortable conversations with the banking center team.
  • Updated signage and color scheme to reflect Comerica’s new brand elements.
  • New furniture.
  • Digital messaging displays.
  • Banker ConnectSM interactive teller machines with extended service hours.

Additionally, the 2023 Camaro Detroit Grand Prix official pace car will be on site for the event.

Macomb Group in Sterling Heights Expands with a New Ohio Location

Sterling Heights-based pipe, valve, and fittings distributor The Macomb Group has expanded into central Ohio and West Virginia with a 132,000-square-foot facility in Columbus, Ohio.

Located inside the I-270 outer belt near the John Glenn International Airport, the site will provide access to all major freeways to serve opportunities across a diverse mix of industries. The new regional branch will be supported by existing operations throughout the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast with almost $100 million of inventory.

“We’ve had our eye on central Ohio for quite a while and took our time to get everything right,” says Scott Henegar, COO of The Macomb Group. “We’ve cultivated a great team and are confident in their ability to grow the business.”

Livonia HopCat Targeting July Opening, Hiring for All Positions

Project BarFly, the west Michigan-based hospitality group that oversees operations of HopCat, Grand Rapids Brewing Co. and Stella’s Lounge, is looking to hire approximately 100 employees at its HopCat Livonia restaurant, located at 17800 Haggerty Road, which is slated for a July opening.

“At HopCat, we’re always looking for enthusiastic people to join our team to help us deliver high-quality service to our guests,” says Ned Lidvall, CEO of BarFly. “We strive to provide an inclusive, welcoming work environment and foster growth and development, to help employees discover a long-term, rewarding career.”

The Livonia Hopcat is hiring to fill both front-of-house and back-of-house positions, including line cooks, prep cooks, dishwashers, barbacks, hosts, food runners, servers, and bartenders. Employee training will begin in June, so job seekers are encouraged to apply now at barflyjobs.com or in person at the training center located at 17800 Haggerty Road in Livonia. Applicants also can text BarFly at 85000 to begin the application process.

Anticipated to open this July, the Livonia HopCat is taking over the former Claddagh Irish Pub. It will accommodate 315 guests and feature a wrap-around bar, spacious booth seating, two outdoor patios, arcade games, and a private event space for up to 45 people.

Bamboo and Culture Shift(hers) Unite Presents ‘No More Starving Artists’

Culture Shift(Hers) Unite, in partnership with Bamboo Detroit, will present the second installment of its “Un-Networking” event series, titled “No More Starving Artists.”

This event will take place at Bamboo Royal Oak (220 S Main St.) June 22 from 6-8:30 p.m.

“No More Starving Artists” is designed to support and uplift female creatives in their pursuit of success. The event aims to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and provide a platform for female artists to thrive in their respective fields. Through a dynamic program of panel discussions, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities, attendees will gain valuable insights, inspiration, and practical tools to fuel their artistic endeavors.

Attendees will have the chance to network with like-minded individuals, forge valuable collaborations, and showcase their own artistic talents. The event is designed to be an immersive and transformative experience, leaving attendees inspired and motivated to take their artistic careers to new heights.

To register, visit here.

Telemetry and Bureau Detroit Highlight Restoration of ‘Restoring Valor Project’

Two Michigan-based communications agencies, Telemetry and Bureau Detroit, are partnering to bring attention to the “Restoring Valor Project” – a Memorial Day initiative launched by Paul Davis Restoration of East Michigan in Shelby Township.

Produced by Telemetry and Bureau and conceived in collaboration with Paul Davis Restoration of East Michigan, the “Restoring Valor Project” visually documents Paul Davis Restoration’s volunteer-based initiative on behalf of Plymouth Township-based VFW Post 6695 to restore and protect their archived military memorabilia. These tangible reminders of veterans’ sacrifices and bravery, including uniforms, medals, and photographs, among others, which will be displayed at Post 6695, preserving their stories for future generations.

“The synergy between Telemetry and Bureau Detroit is rooted in our shared commitment to storytelling,” says Craig Daitch, founder of Telemetry. “For the ‘Restoring Valor Project,’ we have harnessed this power to portray the deep respect that Brian Thomas, CEO of Paul Davis Restoration of East Michigan, holds for our veterans, exemplifying what happens when you can harness the power of social purpose into social movements.”

In addition to its reflective storytelling, the project showcases Paul Davis Restoration’s technical capabilities. The team utilized advanced techniques such as ultrasonic cleaning to restore the historic memorabilia meticulously.

To view “Restoring Valor,” visit here.

DTE Warns Customers to Beware of Scammers Impersonating its Systems

DTE Energy in Detroit is warning its customers to beware of scammers who are using the latest in technology to impersonate its customer service systems.

Scammers are posing as DTE by using lookalike phone numbers and emails, also known as email or phone spoofing. These “energy imposters” trick customers into giving out their credit card information or transferring money by threatening to disconnect service within a matter of hours or even minutes. Unfortunately, sometimes the threat of losing their energy service scares customers into sharing sensitive financial information and losing large sums of money.

It’s critical for customers to recognize the red flags of energy scammers so they do not fall victim to a scam, DTE says.

DTE is encouraging all customers to trust their gut when a call or home visit doesn’t seem right. If customers are unsure of a potential DTE representative at their door or over the phone, they should call DTE customer service at 800-477-4747. If payment is truly required on a customer account, DTE’s customer service team can help customers arrange for payment.

Here’s what DTE wants all customers to know:

  • Even if Caller ID shows DTE Energy, it may still be an imposter.
  • DTE does not ask for unusual forms of payment such as Green Dot, Cash App, Bitcoin, Zelle, or any type of gift card.
  • DTE does not visit homes to threaten shutoff or collect payment for a late bill.
  • DTE does not use aggressive tactics to get into a customer’s home.
  • DTE does not request personal or financial information, such as a Social Security number, utility account number or payment information.
  • DTE does not claim a customer is entitled to a refund or rebate and ask for a bank account or credit card information to make the alleged refund.
  • DTE does not ask for your personal information for a government program that claims to reduce energy bills.

Metronet Breaks Ground Fiber Optic Network in Portage

Indiana-based Metronet has begun construction of a multi-gigabit fiber optic network in Portage, south of Kalamazoo.

Metronet’s fully funded multimillion-dollar investment will provide residents and businesses throughout the city with access to its 100 percent fiber optic internet. Upon completion of construction, Portage will join the country’s internet elite as a certified gigabit city.

The first customers in Portage can expect to gain access to service by this summer. As construction progresses, customers may sign up for presale to indicate their interest and prioritize service installation once available. Those interested in Metronet services may visit Metronet.com to access presale and to be notified once their address is available for installation.

Switch Issues Annual Environmental, Social and Governance Report

Switch, the technology infrastructure company with a facility in Grand Rapids, has issued its 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report that highlights the company’s leadership and accomplishments in environmental stewardship, social commitment, and corporate governance.

“We must do our part to enhance human productivity and drive economic prosperity,” says Rob Roy, founder and CEO of Switch. “My vision for Switch is to sustainably power the future of the connected world by providing the most secure, energy-efficient technology ecosystems to facilitate digital commerce now and for the next 100 years.”

All Switch data centers run on 100 percent renewable energy and have been achieving this milestone since 2016. In recognition of the company’s efforts in solar energy, the Solar Energy Industries Association named Switch one of the top five companies for solar use in the U.S.

In addition, Switch has again achieved NET ZERO scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions and maintains industry-leading Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) ratings on fully seasoned sectors.

Switch’s commitments to conserving resources and maintaining the highest standards of efficiency have also led to new certifications, including the Energy Management Systems ISO 50001 and Environmental System Management ISO 14001.

Switch, whose company culture has long embraced diversity and inclusion, increased the employment of ethnic minorities and further benefited from a decrease in turnover.  Switch expanded its wellness initiative for all employees and their families through the addition of virtual Teladoc appointments and consultations for greater access to mental health resources.

A full copy of the 2022 ESG report can be found here.

Saint-Gobain Installs Smart Water System at Jackson Facility

French building products company Saint-Gobain has installed a smart water submetering system and upgraded equipment at its subsidiary CertainTeed siding plant in Jackson.

The new equipment has reduced the site’s consumption of water by more than 9 million gallons per year, a reduction of more than 50 percent compared to 2019 levels.

In Jackson, CertainTeed uses process water to cool vinyl siding products manufactured on-site, including its Northwoods Perfection and Rough-Split Shingle lines, vinyl siding that recreates the natural textures and patterns of cedar shakes and shingles. Recycled water is additionally used in vacuum pumps, key to specific steps in the manufacturing process.

The system, which captures nearly 100 percent of all water that flows through the site, works by allowing the plant to more closely manage how much water is used at each step in the manufacturing process.

An alert system, developed by early career participants in Saint-Gobain’s Essentials of Manufacturing Development Program, helps to notify the Jackson team of leaks and accidental overuse so that they can be pinpointed and fixed quickly. The plant has also invested in a closed loop system for its vacuum pumps, which allows the facility to reuse the water needed for its production process.

“With this smart water submetering system, our Jackson plant has shown how equipment optimization and enhanced technology can have a huge impact,” says Joe Bondi, vice president and general manager of CertainTeed’s sidings product group. “I would like to thank each member of the team for their help in achieving our industrial water withdrawal reduction goals and for their commitment to sustainability and minimizing our environmental footprint.”

In 1988, CertainTeed Siding began operations in Jackson, where Saint-Gobain also operates a Research and Development Center. Today the plant is home to 230 employees and is hiring for several roles in engineering, administration, and operations.

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