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.
GamerSaloon.com in Detroit Launches New Affiliate Marketing Strategy
Detroit-based GamerSaloon.com has launched of a new affiliate marketing strategy to re-engage the approximately 1.3 million users who have signed up since 2006.
Through its website, mobile apps, social media handles, and esports team, GamerSaloon.com has partnered with several brands that appeal to the male, 18-35 demographic.
“Over time, many gamers stop or slow down the amount of time they are gaming and the games themselves evolve,” says Gabe Rubin, founder and CEO of GamerSaloon.com. “Our hope is that we can still connect with that user and introduce them to brands that speak to their lifestyle and values.”
Campaigns also will include new content from the Dot City Gaming team of sports game influencers and content creators. This will include promoting affiliate partners during streams, videos, and on social media.
The affiliate market industry is estimated to be worth more than $13 billion annually and is a top customer acquisition channel for 40 percent of U.S. merchants, according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
To be a partner, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
City of Saline Selects 123NET to Provide Next-generation Network
123NET, a Southfield-based provider of voice, network, and data center solutions, has been selected to provide dark fiber for the city of Saline.
The 10-year contract provides a modernized fiber optic network to support Saline municipal departments and city employees with high-speed, reliable connectivity. This high-performance network is designed to improve Saline connectivity and enable the city to leverage the latest technologies.
“We are excited to be a part of the city of Saline’s efforts to provide its residents and businesses with the connectivity they need to thrive in today’s digital world,” says Jon Eyerman, vice president of sales operations at 123NET. “With our dark fiber network, the city will be well-positioned to take advantage of the many benefits of high-speed, reliable connectivity.”
123NET is working in partnership with Saline to design, build, and maintain a dark fiber network that will meet current and future needs.
“The city’s existing facilities have maxed out our bandwidth capacity,” says City Manager Colleen O’Toole. “We generate a lot of information as a local unit and have a pretty heavy demand on bandwidth for our uses. We have gotten to a point where we need to identify alternative means for our broadband services.”
123NET also is expanding its residential services to Saline with the potential to connect more than 800 residents in Colony Estates, Northview, and Rolling Meadow Subdivisions.
Construction on this project is set to begin in late summer 2023. Residents in the area who wish to be included in the new residential services should contact 123NET here.
Dorsay Creative Marketing Agency in Pontiac Offers $499 Websites for Startup Businesses
Dorsay Creative, a boutique marketing agency in Pontiac, has just launched a new business for startups called Unite Websites, offering high-quality websites at a cost of $499 without any hidden extras.
Dorsay Creative Founder Steven Childs, who is co-founder and CEO of the new company, says he hopes the new venture will offer an opportunity for startup businesses with limited budgets to get visible online as quickly as possible.
“Custom-built websites can be expensive and someone opening up a small shop or other small business might not have tens of thousands of dollars to spend, but obviously without a website a business can’t reach its customers,” says Childs, whose expertise in marketing and website design spans two decades. “We are offering an extremely high-quality website for $499, where startups actually own the website, so they are not locked into a platform.”
Beyond the $499, there are fees for options to add e-commerce on the site or the ability to book appointments, which could be a requirement for business such as hairdressers.
Childs also explains that while some website companies offered the ability for people to build their own websites at what appeared to be bargain prices, many new businesses had difficulty in completing the project or were not happy with the result.
“If you aren’t a professional website designer it can be very difficult to get the look you want,” Childs says. “We can achieve a professional look for clients in as little as one week so that their businesses can get up and running.”
Unite Websites is supported by a team of experts including co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Raheem Kareem, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Rachellle Rap, and Jon Stys, art director and web designer.
For more information, visit unitewebsites.com.
Lansing’s Truscott Rossman Launches Digital Lobby Guide App
This week, Truscott Rossman in Lansing released the fully virtual 18th edition of the TR Lobby Guide. The all-new TR Lobby Guide app features photos, biographies, and contact information for more than 1,000 individuals in and around state government, including the media, multi-client lobby firms, public relations, corporations, unions, associations, and government.
The database can be downloaded in seconds for $4.99 from the iOS and Android app stores.
“Nothing is static under and around the Capitol dome,” says John Truscott, CEO of Truscott Rossman. “This new virtual TR Lobby Guide will help anyone who works around the legislative process and anyone who downloads the app navigate Lansing’s ever-changing inner circle and connect with changemakers.”
The move to an all-digital TR Lobby Guide aligns with the evolution of communications, advocacy, and government affairs over the last 30 years. Public relations pioneer Kelly Rossman McKinney first published the guide for Lansing insiders — the only directory of its kind in the nation — in 1998. A website component was added as the TR Lobby Guide evolved with the merging of Rossman McKinney’s and Truscott’s firms in 2011. Today, the fully virtual guide, which includes biographies, images ,and links to phone numbers, e-mails and websites, is instantly accessible, pocket-sized, and updated in real time.
“While a hard copy of the TR Lobby Guide may no longer be on every desk in the legislature, I suspect the app will be on every phone very soon,” Truscott says.
Detroit Pistons Coach Dwane Casey Resigns, Will Take Front-office Position
The Detroit Pistons announced that Dwane Casey will transition into a new role in the team’s front office and that a search process for a new head coach, led by Pistons General Manager Troy Weaver, will begin immediately.
“Dwane Casey has done everything we asked of him since the beginning of our partnership, both as a coach and a tremendous mentor and person,” says Pistons Owner Tom Gores. “Our organization and the young men he has been leading are very fortunate to have had his guidance and support. We are grateful for his steady hand as head coach during these important development years, and we are excited to have his wisdom and experience in the front office as we enter the next phase.”
Casey says he’s looking forward to the next challenge.
“I’m excited for what we’ve done, the culture and foundation that we’ve built,” Casey says. “Tom (Gores) has given me the opportunity to move into the front office and I’m excited about it, to go to the next phase of my life.”
Casey was named head coach on June 11, 2018, and tallied a regular-season record of 121-263 (.315) in five seasons with the Pistons.
“I want to thank Coach Casey for his commitment to the organization over the last five seasons,” Weaver says. “He has represented the organization with class and grace and built a system in which our young players could learn and grow. As we enter the next phase of our restoring, I look forward to continuing our work together in the front office and supporting him during his new chapter of life. I’m excited for him and his family moving forward.”
Motown Museum Launches Pop Shop Entrepreneur-in-residence Program
Motown Museum in Detroit announced that applications are open for its new Pop Shop Entrepreneur In Residence Program. The program is inspired by Berry “Pops” Gordy Sr. and his influence on the enterprising Gordy family.
It was this influence and focus on entrepreneurship within the family that drove Motown Founder Berry Gordy Jr. to recognize the importance of entrepreneurship and learn how to build a successful business.
The incubator program is made possible by presenting partner AT&T Foundation, with additional support by partners JPMorgan Chase, Michigan Arts and Cultural Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts as part of arts and culture initiatives.
Part of Motown Museum’s Hitsville NEXT expansion programming, the Pop Shop is open to youth entrepreneurs ages 13-18 who are aspiring to create a business tangentially connected to the music industry. Only four individuals will be selected to participate as part of the program’s competitive process. Each entrepreneur will be paired with a seasoned, professional mentor in their selected career space.
Throughout the program, mentors will work closely with their entrepreneur to share industry wisdom and connections to help them grow and learn. Motown Museum will offer visibility to participating entrepreneurs by promoting the participants’ businesses on its social media and official website.
“We’re thrilled to launch the Pop Shop, which will showcase the creativity and drive of the next generation of entrepreneurs in our community,” says Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of Motown Museum. “The program is competitive and will offer the selected cohort access to mentorship with seasoned entrepreneurs in their chosen field and a once in a lifetime opportunity to pop up their business on our Motown Museum campus.”
The classroom portion of the program will take place in June — preparing the cohort of entrepreneurs to “pop up” their businesses on the new Motown Museum Rocket Plaza throughout summer 2023, creating visibility and a unique opportunity to test their business concepts. Participants will receive a $800 stipend to support their pop-up efforts, reminiscent of the start-up loan Berry Gordy Jr. received from his family’s savings club in 1959.
To apply to participate, visit here.
Ascent Named to Newsweek’s 2023 List of Most Trustworthy Companies in America
Ascent, a global logistics company based in Belleville, has been recognized on Newsweek’s list of Most Trustworthy Companies in America 2023.
This award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider.
Most Trustworthy Companies in America 2023 were identified in an independent survey based on a sample of approximately 25,000 U.S. residents who rated companies they know in terms of all three touchpoints of trust. A total of 95,000 evaluations were submitted. All companies headquartered in the U.S. with a revenue over $500 million were considered in the study.
“We are thrilled that Ascent has been included on Newsweek’s 2023 list of Most Trustworthy Companies in America,” says Chris Jamroz, executive chairman of the board at Ascent. “Being named alongside several of our customers speaks to the trust, values, and partnership we have fostered throughout the years. We are immensely proud of the passion and innovation our team continues to exemplify each day as we fulfill our unyielding commitment to customer-centric service.”
Ascent is ranked seventh out of 35 total companies in the Transport, Logistics, and Packaging category and is one of only 17 companies headquartered in Michigan included on the list.
Meijer Announces May 11 as Opening Date for New Indiana Supercenter
Meijer in Grand Rapids announced that it will open a new 159,000-square-foot supercenter in Elkhart, Ind. on May 11, making it the 11th Meijer store in northern Indiana.
The supercenter will feature grocery staples, fresh produce, bakery, meat, and deli, as well as a floral area.
Other departments will include a garden center, pharmacy, pets, electronics, toys, sports, and apparel. Additionally, a Meijer Express gas station will open April 13, adjacent to the new supercenter.
“We know that value and convenience are key for our customers, and the new store will provide both for Elkhart residents,” says Maureen Mitchell, vice president of the Indiana-Kentucky Region for Meijer. “Meijer is committed to investing in Northern Indiana, and we look forward to providing a more convenient option close to home for grocery and other everyday needs here in Elkhart.”
There are still select job openings for the new Elkhart Meijer. Interested candidates can begin the hiring process online, searching “Elkhart” as the location. Position details are outlined within the job postings.
Bloomfield Hills’ O’Keefe Named Receiver for Finlandia University
O’Keefe, a leading financial and strategic advisory firm in Bloomfield Hills, has been appointed by the court as receiver over Finlandia University in Hancock, north of Houghton in the Upper Peninsula.
Finlandia is a private Lutheran university, the only private University in the Upper Peninsula. It was founded in 1896 as the Suomi College and Theological Seminary. On March 10, Finlandia’s board of directors passed a resolution to seek judicially supervised dissolution citing a decline in enrollment and the debt load of the university. The Ingham County Court found good cause to appoint a receiver and has approved Patrick O’Keefe and O’Keefe & Associates for its duties.
“It is always sad to see an institution of higher learning fail in Michigan,” says O’Keefe. Finlandia has a long history of servicing the community and hosts a cultural center for Finnish Americans. O’Keefe noted that Finlandia’s financial issues are symptomatic of the financial stress many smaller universities are facing.
“We are thrilled that O’Keefe has been appointed as the receiver for Finlandia,” says Tim Pinnow, president of Finlandia. “Pat O’Keefe and his team have personal experience in higher education and understand the importance of Finlandia to the region and the Finnish community. They have already made several positive steps that will help Finlandia University wind down operations gracefully and with integrity.”
DENSO Announces Sponsorship of Women in Auto Care
Mobility supplier DENSO, which has a significant presence in southeast Michigan, has joined Women in Auto Care as a corporate sponsor. The move builds on the company’s support for organizations and initiatives that promote the advancement of women in industry.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to create spaces in which people of all backgrounds feel valued and heard, we are thrilled to join Women in Auto Care,” says Denise Carlson, vice president of DENSO’s North America Production Innovation Center and executive lead of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. “The women of DENSO include leading engineers, designers, programmers, technology developers, logisticians, and managers, and some are already individual members of Women in Auto Care. DENSO is proud to follow their lead in supporting the organization’s commitment to elevating women.”
Women in Auto Care is dedicated to connecting, empowering, and mentoring women in the global industry that manufactures, distributes, and sells vehicle parts and components, as well as services and repairs for every class of car and truck on the road today. Through conferences, networking, scholarships, education, awards, and other programs, the organization provides opportunities, education and career leadership to women in the industry. The group is part of the Auto Care Association.
Those interested in building a career at an automotive supplier dedicated to supporting employees of all backgrounds, can visit densocareers.com.
Goldfish Swim School Promotes Swim Safety During Autism Acceptance Month
In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, Troy-based Goldfish Swim School is raising awareness about the increased risk of drowning for children on the autism spectrum and the heightened need for water safety education among kids in this group and their families.
Children with autism are 160 times more likely to die from drowning than the general pediatric population, according to a study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, due to their increased tendency to explore and wander away from parents, teachers, or caregivers and the affinity for water that many autistic kids share.
Children on the spectrum can be highly focused, and if they slip away from a known adult, their curiosity can be life-threatening near any water source.
To combat this danger, Goldfish Swim School stresses the importance of water safety instruction for all kids, particularly those on the spectrum. At each of its 146 schools, Goldfish provides swim lessons with a unique and science-backed approach called The Science of SwimPlay.
Through a combination of guided play and a safe environment, kids build life skills both in and out of the water. This approach is adaptable for most children, including those on the spectrum, in group or private lessons. Many Goldfish Swim Schools also have implemented a Golden Learners program, which offers modified swim lessons that provide additional assistance and tools for children with special needs to learn and grow.
“Our primary mission at Goldfish Swim School is that all children have the opportunity to learn how to swim and be safe around the water, and we understand that every child is unique,” says Clarey Collins, curriculum development manager at Goldfish Swim School. “For children on the spectrum who may need a different approach, we’re here to adapt our approach or guide them toward the right resources.”
To further highlight the importance of water safety for kids on the spectrum, Goldfish Swim School has partnered with Alijah’s Awareness. The organization was founded after Allyson Alvarez and Eric Gonzalez’s daughter, Alijah, who had been diagnosed with autism, died tragically in a drowning accident after wandering into a pool area during non-swim hours.
Since then, the family has continued to honor Alijah by raising awareness about autism and the increased risk of drowning for kids on the spectrum, even when parents take all the right precautionary measures, including issuing life jackets, watching the pool during swim time, or locking the doors.
For more water safety tips for all children, visit here.
Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice Earn CHAP Accreditation
The Community Health Accreditation Program Inc. announced that Hospice of Michigan (HOM) and Arbor Hospice have been awarded accreditation under the CHAP Hospice Standards of Excellence.
CHAP accreditation demonstrates that both organizations meet the industry’s highest nationally recognized standards. Evaluation by CHAP focuses on structure and function, quality of services and products, human and financial resources, and long-term viability. Accreditation reinforces HOM and Arbor Hospice are providing the highest quality of service to patients and their families in 48 counties across lower Michigan.
“At Hospice of Michigan and Arbor Hospice, we dedicate ourselves being knowledgeable, engaged and professional — providing comfort and compassion to every patient, no matter the circumstances,” says Bob Cahill, president and CEO of HOM and Arbor Hospice. “The teamwork that went into the CHAP survey was exemplary and should be a source of pride for each and every employee, as it signifies our commitment to the consistent and high-quality service we provide.”
HOM and Arbor Hospice are not-for-profit agencies that provide care for all — regardless of age, diagnosis, or financial circumstances. Both offer a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end-of-life, including community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs.
Rochester University to Premiere Film on Hoops Coach Garth Pleasant April 21
Rochester University in Rochester Hills is hosting the premiere of a documentary film about its longtime basketball coach, Garth Pleasant, at 6 p.m. at the Emagine Theatre Rochester Hills April 21.
“COACH: Make The Big Time Where You’re At” details Pleasant’s influence on countless Rochester University students and the institution as a whole, and features interviews with Oakland University’s Head Men’s Basketball Coach Greg Kampe, Milwaukee Bucks General Manager Jon Horst, former players, and the Pleasant family.
Pleasant is a Hall of Fame basketball coach and sought-after motivational speaker. As the RU men’s basketball coach for 38 years, Pleasant’s teams amassed 720 wins and four national championships — without ever playing a home game due to lack of a facility. Having served RU for more than four decades, Pleasant now is a professor of sports management. He also preached at the Lake Orion Church of Christ for 30 years. He is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Wayne State University. He and his wife, Pat, split their time between Orlando, Fla., Tawas City, and Rochester Hills.
View a trailer of the film here.
The university also is hosting its 52nd annual Partnership Dinner at 6 p.m. April 22 at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. The event will feature former Detroit Tigers Willie Horton, Jim Price, Lance Parish, and Dave Rozema in a panel-style discussion moderated by Detroit broadcasting legend Eli Zaret. Visit here for more information.
Women Helping Women Luncheon, Fashion Show to Help Homeless, Abused Women
Grace Centers of Hope (GCH) presents the 25th Annual Women Helping Women Luncheon and Fashion Show from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22, at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester.
The event, which is presented by Marx Layne & Co., showcases the hottest spring fashion trends from some of the most notable designers and brands. Tickets are $150 per person and include a silent auction preview, delicious luncheon, and fashion show. All proceeds benefit GCH’s Women’s Program, which supports women who are faced with issues of homelessness, addiction, and abuse.
“The Women Helping Women Luncheon and Fashion Show has truly become a signature event for our nonprofit organization, helping to raise meaningful awareness about the very difficult challenges our program participants face,” says Kent W. Clark, Pastor and CEO of GCH. “We know it takes a community to change someone’s life for the better and that is why we are incredibly grateful to our event sponsors, volunteers and hundreds of women who join us every year to generously lend their support. Together, we are making it abundantly clear that we are committed to offering at-risk and vulnerable women a life-changing pathway to recovery, stability and hope.”
Karen Drew of WDIV-TV 4 will serve as this year’s mistress of ceremonies.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit gracecentersofhope.org.
Families Against Narcotics’ Run Drugs Out of Town Event is June 17
Families Against Narcotics (FAN), a nonprofit based in Clinton Township Macomb County, will conduct its 15th annual Run Drugs Out of Town 5K Run/Walk fundraiser at 9 a.m. June 17 at Fraser High School.
This community event, which is expected to draw close to 2,000 people, helps increase awareness of addiction and raise money to fund the many compassionate programs FAN provides to individuals and families who have been affected by the disease.
“Run Drugs Out of Town is such an exciting event for us,” says Linda Davis, executive director of FAN. “We love to see so many people of all different ages gathering together to support such an important cause. It’s a fun, uplifting, and emotional day, and it shows how important combating substance use disorder is to the community.”
Run Drugs Out of Town participants walk or run the 5K course — which winds through residential neighborhoods — either individually or as a team, and FAN gives recognition to the top fundraising team and top fundraising individual, as well as to the largest team. All runners receive medals, with the top finishers in multiple age groups getting special medals.
FAN will also be collecting gently worn, used, and new running shoes and sneakers at the event, so they can be recycled through Sneakers4Good. In addition to creating innovative opportunities for families in developing countries all over the world, the donated footwear will raise additional money for FAN.
To register for Run Drugs Out of Town, visit here or call 586-438-8500. Participants who register before May 17 may be eligible to receive a discount. There also will be on-site registration at the Fraser High School field from 5-8 p.m. June 16 and on the morning of the event, beginning at 8 a.m.