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.
Home Builders Group Announces Industry Leadership Awards
The Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan based in Bingham Farms has named its 2021 Industry Leadership Award honorees, recognized for their “outstanding accomplishments and contributions to the industry.”
Award winners are selected from nominations submitted by the membership of HBA and by industry leaders who serve as the chairs of HBA’s committees, councils, and forums.
Honorees have demonstrated outstanding commitment to promote the objectives of HBA and the best interests of the housing industry, according to HBA.
The 2021 award honorees include:
- Ben Templeton of Templeton Building in Birmingham and HBA president — Distinguished Service to the HBA.
- David S. Compo of Compo Builders in Novi — Hall of Fame (awarded posthumously).
- Gurmale (Gary) Singh Grewal of Singh Homes in West Bloomfield Township — Bert L. Smokler Builder of the Year.
- Dominic F. Moceri of Moceri Homes in Auburn Hills — Young Builder of the Year.
- Damiano DiMercurio of DiLusso Building Co. in Rochester — Multifamily Construction Builder of the Year.
- Robert M. (Bob) Tedesco of Silverado Custom Homes in Rochester — Developer of the Year.
- Liberty Hill by Boji Home Builders in the City of Farmington — Development of the Year.
- Michael Tobin of Mike Building Co. in Farmington Hills — Samuel Kreis Award for Distinguished Service.
- Michael C. Stoskopf of HBA of SE Michigan in Bingham Farms — Distinguished Ongoing Service to the Building Industry.
- Dave Bell of the City of Detroit — Thomas Ricketts Award for the Region’s Outstanding Building Official.
- TR Design Group in Bloomfield Hills — Distinguished Service Award in Architecture.
- Darian Neubecker of Robertson Homes in Bloomfield Hills — Distinguished Service Award – Urban Home Building.
- Stephen J. Taglione of Alliance Corporate Real Estate Solutions in Troy — Distinguished Service to the Housing Industry.
- Lake Michigan Credit Union Team — Don Maillho Memorial Award in Banking.
- Paul C. and Cheryl Robertson of Robertson Homes in Bloomfield Hills — Distinguished Service Award to HBA’s Charitable & Educational Foundation.
- Cole Wagner of Cole Wagner Cabinetry in Rochester Hills — Subcontractor of the Year.
- Mark Renn of KSI Kitchen & Bath in Birmingham — Associate of the Year.
- Mark Webberly of U.S. Bank in Bloomfield Hills — Professional Services to the Building Industry.
- Chris Adamski of Tri-Pups Inc. in Southfield — Remodeler of the Year.
- Michael McColgan of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Galleries in Troy — Distinguished Service to the Remodeling Industry.
- Paula Badalamente of IMAGIO in Sterling Heights — Distinguished Service to the Professional Women in Building Council.
Profiles of each honoree can be found here.
State Launching New Websites to Improve User Experience
The state of Michigan will begin launching refreshed websites that take advantage of the latest technology and design for all state departments beginning Friday.
“My top priority is to bring Michigan’s government into the 21st century at every level,” says Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. “Providing friendly, easy-to-use, and intuitive websites and digital services is key to that mission. Today’s announcement is a step forward in our efforts to serve the 32 million users visiting state websites each month and meet the needs of the people who live, work, visit, and do business in Michigan.”
Later this week, 19 state agency websites will be launched as part of the new Michigan.gov portal. Additional websites will be launched monthly through April. The new websites are the result of a multiyear statewide website content management replacement project to update and replace more than 110 executive branch websites. The initial launch is the beginning of efforts to continue streamlining content and making continuous improvements to the user experience.
Led by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) and supported by teams from across the state, the project was initiated in late 2017 after receiving funding approval from the Michigan Legislature. Replacing a 20-year-old platform, the project included the review and overhauling of more than 170,000 web pages and 133GB of digital assets.
“Our goal is to improve user experience for the public, bridge agency content experiences, and create a more flexible and user-friendly content management environment for staff and site visitors,” says Suzanne Pauley, director of eMichigan at DTMB. “We are excited about our multisite capabilities and, longer term, the ability to personalize content at a global level for visitors.”
Fuse Technology Develops New Features to Track Employee COVID Status
Fuse Technology Group in Ferndale has developed a new application tool for its COVID-19 screening application that allows employers to track the status of employee vaccination status and COVID test results.
The new application makes allows businesses to adjust, track, and abide by the ever-changing rules and regulations put forth by local, state, and federal governments. The new application simplifies the tracking process and allows companies to generate reports about employee COVID status should it audited by a government agency. Highlights of the new application include:
- Take a picture or upload, with any device, an employee’s vaccination card.
- Store test results.
- Track quarantine timelines for specific employees.
- A dashboard to show you which employees are out on quarantine and when they will be back.
- See at a glance which employees are vaccinated.
- Report-centric – Easily run reports on vaccinations, quarantines, and test results.
- HIPAA compliant.
“Like many businesses, we were struggling to determine who was vaccinated, who
tested positive or negative, who is out or in, are employees past quarantine and safely able to return to work,” says Pete Sanders of Fuse Technology Group.
“To combat this, we developed an easy-to-use COVID 19 screening application that makes it easier for businesses to adjust, track, and abide by all the new rules and regulations being enforced. It not only makes the tracking process easier for organizations, but also adds peace of mind.”
For more information, visit here.
DTE Energy Helps Vulnerable Customers with $5M Donation
DTE Energy announced Tuesday it is donating a total of $5 million to help low-income residents across the state stay healthy, safe, and warm during Michigan’s freezing winter weather.
The company donated $2.25 million to the United Way of Southeastern Michigan; $1 million to the Salvation Army; $1 million to True North; and $750,000 to The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). These non-profit outreach agencies will help DTE customers who are struggling to pay their energy bills, while also helping them enroll in affordable payment plans, including DTE’s Low-Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP) payment program.
“Many Michigan families are still facing financial hardships and may be challenged to keep their homes warm this winter,” says Jerry Norcia, president and CEO of DTE Energy. “This donation will help Michiganders who are struggling to access the help they need to pay their heating bills and, if they are eligible, enroll in payment programs that will provide more financial assistance.”
DTE has donated more than $50 million since 2016 to help customers stay warm and keep their lights on. These donations to human services agencies enable them to help Michigan residents pay down past-due balances and current energy bills.
Bank of America to Sponsor Membership Drives for Black Business Alliance
The Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance (MDBBA) is partnering with Bank of America (BofA) to launch a series of membership events for business owners.
Powered by a $25,000 sponsorship from BofA, funds will be used to cover 50 percent of the membership cost for Black businesses who aren’t current MDBBA members. The membership drive will run from Jan. 13-Feb. 24.
MDBBA currently has more than 200 members and hopes to add 100 new members at the conclusion of the membership drive. MDBBA, started in March 2021, provides strategic programming and resources to its members. With its sponsorship for new members, BofA seeks to help Black businesses be connected to the opportunities and resources provided by MDBBA.
“We recognize the essential role black businesses play in benefiting our Detroit community,” says Matt Elliott, president, Bof Michigan. “Partnering with the Metro-Detroit Black Business Alliance to support the recruitment of new members is a great example of Bank of America’s commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.”
The membership drive will begin with a virtual happy hour kick-off on Jan. 13. Guests will have an opportunity to meet MDBBA members, learn about the alliance and become members. Additional virtual membership recruitment events will be conducted each Thursday until Feb. 24. To receive the membership discount, business owners must attend one of the virtual sessions.
“We are grateful for companies such as Bank of America who acknowledge the importance of the MDBBA and want to assist in helping others be a part of our organization,” says Charity Dean, president and CEO of MDBBA. “If you aren’t a member, now is the time to join. Take advantage not only of the special discount, but the other programming and services we offer our members.”
For more information, visit here.
Oakland County Hosting Virtual Business Succession Workshop
As part of its Employer Virtual Workshop Series, Oakland County is hosting a session entitled “Business Succession: Do you have a plan in place?” at 1 p.m. on Jan. 19.
The workshop will address succession planning tools that increase the stability of a business and assist business owners who have invested work, sacrifice, and stress to make their businesses grow and succeed.
To register, visit here.
The Salvation Army Has $1.3M to Go to Meet Fundraising Goal
The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit has $1.3 million to go in order to meet its $8.3 million donation goal with only three weeks left of the 2021 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign.
Donations will provide critical social services and programs to those in need all year long, including feeding and sheltering, outdoor and educational opportunities for at-risk youth, anti-human trafficking initiatives, a free legal aid clinic, emergency disaster services, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, among others.
All funds raised throughout the campaign directly benefit individuals and families served by The Salvation Army’s 13 corps community centers throughout Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties and contributions remain in the community from where the donation is received.
“The Salvation Army is thankful for those who have already contributed to the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign, but we need the community’s assistance to help thousands of metro Detroiters still struggling with pandemic poverty,” says Maj. Timothy Meyer, general secretary, metro Detroit area commander, regional COO for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division.
Individuals are urged to make a donation by:
- Texting GIFT to 24365
- Visiting org
- Calling 877-SAL-MICH
- Sending or delivering a check, made payable to The Salvation Army, to: 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075
All donations received by Jan. 31 will go toward The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s $8.3 million fundraising goal.
Sheefy McFly and Monroe Street Drive-In Presents ‘Back to the Future’
Sheefy McFly and Monroe Street Drive-In are presenting the motion picture “Back to the Future” tomorrow at 7 p.m.
Gates open at 6 p.m. A DJ set begins at 6:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 7 p.m. The vost is $20 per car and includes the film, DJ music and an artwork print by Sheefy McFly, the Detroit artist behind the Monroe Street Midway skate murals and the current Monroe Street Drive-In mural on the screen.