DBusiness Daily Update: Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel Makes Top 25 Historic Hotel Gardens List, and More

The Tea Garden is home to the historic English stone fountain at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. // Stock Photo
The Tea Garden is home to the historic English stone fountain at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel. // Stock Photo

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.

Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel Makes Top 25 Historic Hotels Gardens List

Historic Hotels of America have some of the most magnificent and beautiful storybook gardens and the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island—included among the Top 25 — is among them.

Any tour of the extensive gardens at Grand Hotel should always begin with the flower beds of the world-famous front porch, according to Historic Hotels of America. Measuring 660 feet long, it is the world’s longest front porch, and it is lined from one end to the other with signature Americana Red Geraniums: 1,375 geraniums in 147 planting boxes and 12 yards of planting soil.

Grand Hotel uses more than 2,500 geraniums in all its flower beds. Designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Grand Hotel’s grounds feature more than 25 gardens that account for more than one and a half acres of maintained garden beds.

Other gardens that can be seen from the front porch include the Tea Garden right below the hotel. The Tea Garden is home to the historic English stone fountain, horse and carriage topiary, and an historic meandering stone wall lined with cedars and gardens.

The Wedding Garden is adjacent to the Tea Garden, and roses line the west path to the pool and wooded areas. The Triangle Gardens are viewed walking up the hotel and are the most photographed of all the gardens. Guests should walk and view the East and West Garden Beds, The Labyrinth, which is hidden adjacent to the pool, and the Pool Gardens.

Margaret’s Garden serves as the hotel’s flower shop and provides fresh flowers throughout the hotel and for special occasions daily. The majority of the gardens and surrounding areas have matured over the 135 years Grand Hotel has been established as “America’s Summer Place.”

DTE Energy Foundation Providing $1.48M in Grants to Michigan Organizations

The DTE Energy Foundation announced it has granted $1.48 million in funding to seven organizations supporting programs that enhance natural resources across Michigan.

The grants are expected to bolster environmental programs across Michigan, including Traverse City, Ann Arbor, southeastern Michigan, and Muskegon, in time for Earth Day on April 22.

“At the DTE Foundation, we know that a healthy environment is an essential ingredient for thriving communities,” says Lynette Dowler, president of the DTE Foundation. “Through these grants and our valuable partnerships with dedicated nonprofits, we know people throughout Michigan will experience the benefits of this statewide support for years to come.”

The grants will fund many initiatives, including the expansion of the Conservation Resource Alliance’s (CRA) River Care program. They will bring the program into new regions with an emphasis on collaborative work with land conservancies, tribal communities, the United States Department of Agriculture and more. The grants build on DTE Foundation’s existing support for the successful River Care program.

“The DTE Foundation’s deep commitment to healthy environments is a cornerstone in CRA’s River Care program, designed to completely restore northern Michigan’s waterways, from stem to stern,” says Amy Beyer, director at Conservation Resource Alliance. “When waterways function well, communities benefit, especially in terms of reducing costs and risks associated with water treatment, flooding, and catastrophic failure of structures like culverts and bridges, embankments, and dams.”

Other grant recipients include:

  • The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan’s Great Lakes Way program.
  • Huron River Watershed Council.
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
  • Muskegon River Watershed Assembly.
  • ReLeaf Michigan.
  • Wildlife Habitat Council.

Maryland Propane Supplier Adds 10 Roush CleanTech Trucks

Maryland-based propane supplier ThompsonGas has increased its fleet of 127 vehicles by adding 10 new 2022 Ford F-750 trucks equipped with propane Autogas systems from Roush CleanTech in Livonia.

ThompsonGas has focused efforts to operate more propane vehicles due to its commitment to being innovators in the industry, along with access to OEM equipment technology. The propane supplier will continue adding more propane vehicles to its fleet each year. ThompsonGas’ new trucks will be used to deliver propane fuel to customers.

“Roush CleanTech continues investing in new technology development to provide sustainable propane vehicle options,” says Todd Mouw, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Roush CleanTech. “Propane’s low cost for fuel and maintenance makes adopting propane vehicles economically feasible for all fleet operators, especially propane suppliers.”

Propane autogas costs about 50 percent less per gallon than diesel and is known to have the lowest cost of ownership compared with all fuel types. ThompsonGas’ propane vehicle cost per mile is 60 percent lower compared with its diesel-powered models.

“Our customers operate vehicles fueled by propane Autogas,” says Monte McLeod, director of autogas at ThompsonGas. “We want to walk the walk and show our customers that we believe in propane and its technology, too. Plus, running our own vehicles on propane saves money and supports our goal to be good stewards for the environment.”

Vehicles that run on propane autogas emit fewer greenhouse gases, smog-producing hydrocarbons, and particulate emission than conventional fuels. The Ford 7.3L V-8 engine paired with Roush CleanTech propane fuel system is certified to the low nitrogen oxide level of 0.05 g, making it 75 percent cleaner than the Environmental Protection Agency’s most stringent heavy-duty engine standard.

A new ThompsonGas bobtail truck will be displayed in Roush CleanTech’s booth at the 2022 NPGA Southeastern Convention and International Propane Expo in Nashville from April 24-26.

Bank of America’s $900K Funds EVs and Expansion for Wayne Health Mobile Unit

Wayne State University in Detroit and Wayne Health, its affiliated physician practice group, have received a $900,000 grant from Bank of America to strengthen the Wayne Health Mobile Unit (WHMU) program.

This fleet of health delivery vehicles was established in partnership with Ford X in April 2020 to deliver COVID-19 testing, education and vaccinations to underserved populations in Detroit. The support from Bank of America will provide two fully outfitted electric vehicles
from Ford Motor Co. that will bring preventative health care to Detroit workers in an environmentally sustainable way.

The new electric Ford Transit vehicles will make regular site visits to an estimated 16 to 20 small- and medium-sized businesses in Detroit through partnerships between Wayne Health, the businesses, and their health insurance providers — offering comprehensive or preventive health care services to thousands of workers. Each mobile unit will function as a mobile clinical setting with an examination and consultation area and a telehealth component.

The funding from Bank of America will support the purchase of the vehicles, along with three years of personnel, medical supplies, and vehicle maintenance.

“Providing access to high-quality, preventative care means local businesses can retain and attract top talent while creating lasting connections with employees,” says Matt Elliott, president of Bank of America Michigan. “This new initiative builds on Bank of America’s long partnership with Wayne State University by helping to reshape health care delivery in Detroit for thousands of workers. This is especially important since we know small and medium-sized companies are the growth engines of our economy, and their success is everyone’s reward.”

Each vehicle will have a four-person staff that will include registered nurses, medical/research assistants, and patient and family health advocates. In addition, each is upfitted with two in-vehicle telehealth areas, one of which is ADA compliant, enabling ready, remote access to physicians, nurse practitioners and pharmacists as needed.

Emagine’s Paul Glantz to Address Washtenaw Economic Club May 12

Paul A. Glantz, co-founder and chairman of Troy-based theater chain Emagine Entertainment Inc. will be featured speaker at the May 12 Washtenaw Economic Club meeting, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at The DoubleTree Hotel (3600 Plymouth Road) in Ann Arbor.

Glantz’s presentation will be focused on “Key Success Factors that Drive Business Growth and Resilience.”

He has raised more than $150 million to bring 12 world-class entertainment venues to reality. At the forefront of technological change in the theater industry, Glantz has led the transition to high-definition digital presentation. He was among the first to deploy “4K” digital projectors, opened Michigan’s first all-laser projection theater, introduced Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos sound systems to the Michigan marketplace, and built some of the nation’s largest premium large format movie screens, Emagine’s Super EMAX auditoriums.

Business organizations and community members are invited to attend. Seating is limited. For more information and tickets, visit here.

Oakland County Michigan Works! Launches Oakland80 Tuition Scholarship Program

Oakland County Michigan Works! In Pontiac has launched the Oakland80 Tuition Scholarship program to help eligible residents obtain the skills needed to flourish in a range of high-demand careers.

More than 650 tuition scholarships are available, each worth up to $2,000 with the possibility of additional funding through Oakland County Michigan Works!

The program is intended to help individuals interested in short-term career training that leads to a job in fields such as advanced manufacturing, construction, defense, health care or information technology. The funds also may help pay for tuition in a four-year degree program, if a student is finishing his or her last semester.

Funded through the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s MiLEAP grant, the Oakland80 Tuition Scholarship aligns with Oakland County’s goal of having 80 percent of eligible residents earn a post-secondary degree or certification by 2030.

“Oakland County is committed to helping its residents take the next step in their careers and change their futures,” says Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “The Oakland80 Tuition Scholarship will help our residents achieve their goals and obtain the credentials for the jobs they’ve always wanted.  We hope many people take advantage of this opportunity.”

To be eligible for an Oakland80 Tuition Scholarship, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or authorized to work in the United States, 18 years old or older, a high school graduate or equivalent, and registered with the Selective Service (if applicable).

For more information, visit OakGov.com/MiLeap.

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County Breaks Ground for Remodel of Pontiac Home

Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County recently broke ground for a home remodel in Pontiac that will offer attainable and quality housing and contribute to the nonprofit’s vision of a community where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat Oakland County partners with Oakland University and more than 27 organizations from government, industry, education, and the nonprofit sector as part of the Talent Development Coalition (TDC). This collaborative effort seeks to provide training and jobs for un- or underemployed individuals throughout the county.

During the 10-week construction pre-apprenticeship program, participants spend three days each week working at a Habitat work site to learn hands-on building techniques and practices. This remodel will be the main location for a group of these participants, who will actively engage in the hands-on building of this project.

Community Foundation Announces $14M+ in Southeast Michigan Funding

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan announced funding totaling more than $14 million during the first quarter. The grants will support organizations primarily in southeast Michigan that focus on arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health, human services, recreation, and youth.

“The Community Foundation’s goal is to enhance the quality of life throughout southeast Michigan,” says Richard L. DeVore, president of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we can support the work these organizations do to advance equity, improve education, and create healthy, vibrant communities in our region for years to come. In addition to these grants, we provided funding for projects that address public spaces in Pontiac, criminal justice reform and older adult care.”

Grant recipients include:

  • Akropolis Quintet Inc. ($20,000)
  • Detroit Opera ($100,000)
  • Develop Detroit Inc. ($150,000 over two years)
  • Enterprise Community Partners Inc. ($55,000)
  • Central Michigan University ($64,780)
  • Historical Society of Michigan ($40,000)
  • Regents of the University of Michigan ($31,900)
  • Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association ($50,000)
  • Bridging Communities Inc. ($15,410)
  • Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation ($74,945)
  • Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit ($75,000)
  • Oakland Family Services ($33,500)
  • City of Detroit Support ($75,040)
  • Community & Home Supports Inc. ($75,000)
  • First Step – Western Wayne County Project on Domestic Assault ($50,000)
  • Forgotten Harvest Inc. ($50,000)
  • Chandler Park Conservancy ($65,000)
  • Friends of Children – Detroit ($45,000)
  • Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health ($53,000)

MCHS Family of Services Expands Programs to Better Serve Michigan Youth

MCHS Family of Services in Redford Charter Township, formerly known as Methodist Children’s Home Society, has announced an expansion of services and community programs that will amplify resources provided to support both Michigan’s youth and individuals in need at all stages of life.

MCHS provides individualized treatment, care, advocacy, and permanency to more th
an 3,000 individuals impacted by childhood trauma. The announcement is simultaneous with an organizational rebrand aimed to educate people across the state on the increased continuum of care services as including day treatment, workforce development and case management for unaccompanied minors.

Additionally, efforts to enhance focus on existing programs including foster care, adoption, residential treatment, independent living for youth aging out of foster care, transitional housing for young, homeless mothers, senior programs, a trauma-informed K-8 charter school and a year-round camp for individuals with disabilities are already in motion.

“At MCHS we advocate tirelessly on behalf of our community’s most vulnerable — youth in peril and their families — in the public, private, and political sector to ensure their voices are heard,” says Kevin Roach, CEO at MCHS. “With this organizational rebrand, we brought a vision to life by designing a comprehensive approach of often overlapping services, with individualized care to support our local youth in their greatest time of need. Supporting youth and their families now will prepare them with what they need to carry them into their lives and impact future generations.”

This new phase of MCHS also included the launch of a new brand identity.

“We are beyond excited to bring these much-needed services to local families,” says Carolyn Watson, chief advancement officer at MCHS. “Our team works to educate the community to better understand the needs of youth and families who have experienced trauma, so we can all function together toward having them be healthier, stronger, and more whole individuals.”

For more information, visit MCHSMI.org.

Karen J. Simmons

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