BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND TRENDS LITTLE CAESARS ARENA FIRST NHL/NBA FACILITY TO BE CERTIFIED BY HOMELAND SECURITY DETROIT – Little Caesars Arena, the downtown home of the NHL Detroit Red Wings and NBA Detroit Pistons, has been certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for all ticketed events. The certification, known as SAFETY (Support Anti- Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies), was established as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002. Olympia Entertainment manages the facility, as well as Comerica Park, home of the MLB Detroit Tigers. Comerica Park earned the SAFETY Act Certification for all ticketed events in 2015. Designers of Little Caesars Arena consulted with federal, state, county and local public safety experts. The area covered by the SAFETY Act Certification includes a 100-foot perimeter around the arena, the parking deck, office buildings on Henry and Woodward, the Via and the Chevrolet Plaza. ITS PARTNERS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR NEW HEADQUARTERS GRAND RAPIDS – ITS Partners, a Grand Rapids-based company, says it will add some 68 high-tech jobs as part of its plans to build a new headquarters in Kent County. ITS currently employs 56 people in the area. Collaborating with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and The Right Place, a local economic development authority, ITS has secured a $476,000 performance-based grant for the $2.5 million expansion. ITS, founded 30 years ago, has been experiencing increased sales, the primary reason for seeking 12,000 square feet of space. “Finding and attracting top tech talent requires highly functional work-spaces that support collaboration and productivity,” said Jeremy Frost, ITS Partners’ chief financial officer. Project lead for The Right Place is Jen Wangler, business development manager. “Keeping ITS in our region and helping them to add 68 new high-tech jobs further validates our region’s commitment to growing this sector,” she said. ZIEBART EXPANDING INTERNATIONALLY AS PART OF FRANCHISE PUSH TROY – Ziebart International Corporation, a franchisor focused on vehicle protection and appearance services, is opening a new European headquarters in Poznan, Poland, as part of ongoing expansion plans. Thomas E. Wolfe, Ziebart International president and CEO, said the move is part of the 60-year-old company’s further expansion into the European market. The Poznan location has already sparked franchise interest in Europe, with one contract now signed for a location in Warsaw that will open its doors in March. Ziebart now has approximately 400 licensed locations, with 950 service centers in 33 countries. WHIRPOOL COMPLETES EXPANSION OF ARGENTINA FACILITY BENTON HARBOR – Whirpool Corporation, based in Michigan, says it has completed a $20 million expansion in Argentina that adds to the firm’s roster of 70 manufacturing and technology research centers globally. The facility, in La Tablada, started manufacturing ranges last year. Whirpool will be building front-load washing machines there. Bringing the firm’s advanced technology to the Argentine market is also part of a Whirlpool strategy to attract new talent to the organization, said Armando Valle Jr., vice president of Whirlpool Latin America. “We’re proud to be part of a milestone in Whirlpool Corporation history.” MEDC SUPPORTS REHABILITATION PROJECTS DETROIT – The rehabilitation of the former B. Siegel Department Store building in Detroit’s Livernois and Seven Mile Avenue area is among several projects being supported by the state through the Michigan Strategic Fund. The 7.Liv project will include the demolition of two adjacent structures and construction of a new structure that will complement the existing department store building. The completed project will consist of retail space, residential units and underground parking. A performance-based grant of $1.3 million through the Michigan Community Revitalization Program will follow a total capital investment of $8 million, which will create 30 full-time equivalent jobs associated with the 7.Liv project. The project aims to add density to the neighborhood, bring additional investment to the area, and attract residents to an improving neighborhood in Detroit. Also approved through the Michigan Strategic Fund was a bond inducement resolution for $5.5 million in private activity bond financing for the expansion of the Huron Valley PACE elderly care facility in Ypsilanti. The expansion will include the addition of 21,000 square feet to the facility and purchase of equipment and furniture. DOMINO’S ENTERS ‘BABY REGISTRY’ MARKET ANN ARBOR – While pizza might not be one of the first items that come to mind when looking to celebrate the birth of a new family member, Domino’s Pizza says it’s a move that makes a good deal of sense. “There’s nothing more exciting—and exhausting—than welcoming a new member to the family,” said Meenakshi Nagarajan, Domino’s director of digital marketing. “From baby showers to the big delivery, our baby registry makes it easy to enjoy pizza during the exciting events leading up to the baby’s arrival and thereafter.” The move follows another innovation by the pizza maker: a wedding registry that Nagarajan said was “extremely well-received by our customers.” The baby registry was a natural progression. “In fact, our baby registry is making its debut exactly nine months later.” Domino’s is using Gugu Guru, launched in 2015, as a universal baby registry. The Domino’s service can be accessed at www.dominosbabyregistry.com. SPARTAN MOTORS FEATURES AMERICAN-MADE RV CHASSIS AT NATIONAL SHOW CHARLOTTE, Mich. – Spartan Specialty Vehicles, a division of Spartan Motors, featured two of its custom heavy-duty, Class A diesel chassis units at the National RV Trade Show held in Louisville, Kentucky, in late November. The units included the K3 605 for the Entegra Cornerstone RV and the K2 450 for the Newmar Dutch Star. Daryl Adams, president and CEO of Spartan Motors, said displaying at one of the country’s largest trade events “demonstrates Spartan’s commitment to excellence in RV innovation and design.” Steve Guillaume, president of Spartan Specialty Vehicles, said being at the event demonstrates the company’s support for its dealer and service network while “providing better support and service for the retail customer.” KELLOGG’S TEAMS UP WITH FOOD AUTHOR TO LAUNCH NEW ‘CEREAL CAFE’ IN NYC BATTLE CREEK – Kellogg’s, the iconic breakfast cereal maker, is bringing Tony the Tiger to New York City as part of a partnership with Lauren Conrad, best-selling author, foodie and entertainer. The new food destination, which opened December 14, features what is being described as simple, exciting cereal-inspired creations for its new menu—good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “I love spending time in the kitchen thinking of flavorful new ideas so people can enjoy food in new ways,” said Conrad, an author whose how-to lifestyle book, Celebrate, became her seventh New York Times best seller. The new cafe will include favorites from Kellogg’s original Times Square location, featured within a DIY cereal bar. “Lauren Conrad is a natural when it comes to entertaining done easy and thinking of fun ways people can enjoy their food,” said Aleta Chase, Kellogg’s marketing director. “In thinking through the evolution of our new menu and fully customizable experience, we were excited about Lauren’s fresh ideas and ways to inspire people with the endless possibilities cereal can bring.” The Kellogg’s NYC Cafe experience, located at 31 E. 17th St., is five times the size of its former location. DETROIT AUTO SHOW FEATURES PERMANENT DISPLAY DETROIT – The 2018 North American International Auto Show, which wrapped up in mid-January, was the first to feature a permanent display paying homage to current and past winners of the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards, along with a replica of the coveted automotive award. The awards program comes together through the work of a jury of automotive journalists, whose final votes are revealed at the beginning of the auto show. A conversation with Ed Welburn, a member of the Automotive Hall of Fame who served for many years as vice president of global design at General Motors and who designed the NACTOY award, led to the idea of creating a permanent display space in the Cobo Center’s Riverside Atrium. “I immediately thought it was a great idea,” said Mark Phelan, the auto critic at the Detroit Free Press and president of NACTOY. The unveiling of the permanent replica of the NACTOY award was on November 21, 2017. GLOBAL AUTO SUPPLIER GETS HELP WITH EXPANSION EFFORTS LANSING – Brose, a global automotive supplier headquartered in Germany, is among several projects being supported by the Michigan Strategic Fund, a unit of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. The company is receiving an increase in a grant related to its New Boston facility, a project that is expected to create 475 new jobs. Brose says it has already created 229 jobs, which is ahead of its required milestones under the terms of the MEDC funding. The latest MSF grant of $2.7 million brings the total funding to $6.95 million. Bill Hunter, Brose New Boston general manager, said the company will soon be entering the recruiting phase of the project. Brose has invested $97.6 million in the New Boston facility, which will focus on automotive mechatronics, which combines mechanical, electrical, electronic and sensor systems. The state’s relationship with Brose goes back to 2012, when Governor Rick Snyder first met with company officials as part of a trade mission. That has resulted in a commitment by Brose to invest a total of $262 million and the creation of 1,125 jobs in Michigan. COMPANY BRINGS UPRIGHT PET HAIR VACUUM TO MARKET GRAND RAPIDS – A well-known maker of floor care appliances has introduced a product specifically designed to appeal to people with pets. Bissell Homecare, Inc. says its Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off unit is engineered to combine the power of an upright vacuum with the convenience of a lightweight, easy-release portable. The company says the unit, which has a retail price starting at $299, is safe for use on carpet, hard floors, and upholstery. The appliance is said to avoid pet hair getting wrapped around its brush roll. It also has an extension wand that includes specialized tools to clean in tight corners that traditional vacuums may struggle to reach. The Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off also features a hands-free canister that lets the user dump hair, dirt and debris directly into the trash. More information on the product is available at the website www.bissellpetvac.com. ALFA ROMEO GIULIA EARNS SPOT ON CAR AND DRIVER ‘10 BEST FOR 2018’ LIST AUBURN HILLS – The Alfa Romeo Giulia is one of Car and Driver magazine’s “10 Best Cars” for 2018, a list that recognizes outstanding vehicles with a sub-$80,000 price tag. In its nomination information, Alfa Romeo, which was founded in Milan, Italy in 1910, said the vehicle “reinvents the premium mid-size sedan segment with an unprecedented level of Italian craftsmanship, class-leading performance, state-of-the-art technology and a true passion for driving.” Car and Driver, in highlighting the vehicle, said high-fidelity steering and innately easy response define the Giulia. “The efforts are never high, but a deliberate grip on the wheel is required as the Alfa shifts and pulls, subtly but faithfully exposing where there’s grip and where there’s none,” said Car and Driver. Today Alfa Romeo is a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles brand.
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