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.
Troy’s Rehmann Joins HLB International Accounting Network
Rehmann, a fully integrated financial services and advisory firm in Troy, says its planning to join HLB International, a global network of independent accounting and advisory firms.
“We are extremely excited to make this move official,” says Randy Rupp, CEO of Rehmann. “HLB International is a strong global network of firms with strategies that align with Rehmann and talented associates that will add to the depth of solutions that are key to our clients’ success. This move allows us to provide an even higher level of service to our clients.”
Formed in 1969, HLB firms operate across more than 150 countries, comprising more than 32,000 industry professionals. Combining local expertise and global capabilities through affiliation, HLB firms are able to better help clients meet organizational growth goals of expanding into new domestic territories and across borders. Along with Rehmann, Whitley Penn and Miller Cooper also are joining HLB helping to further enhance the network’s presence in the United States.
“Over the years, we have been fortunate to establish very strong relationships across the HLB network,” says Chip Hoebeke, director of consulting and director of the turnaround, restructuring, and insolvency practice at Rehmann. “We’ve known many of the HLB member firms for some time and have always been impressed by the quality of their people and the work they do.
“Their forward-thinking strategies, passion for client service, and strong presence in both the domestic and global markets directly align with our goals. Of course, this means we will be leaving Nexia International, which is an excellent organization about which we continue to have nothing but positive things to say. This decision simply makes the most sense for the direction of our firm.”
Huizenga Group CEO Steve Klotz Donates $1M to EMU College of Business
Steve Klotz, president and CEO of the Huizenga Group in Grand Rapids, has made a $1 million donation to the Eastern Michigan University College of Business to establish the Stephen J. Klotz Financial Learning Center on the Ypsilanti campus. It is the largest single gift to the EMU business school.
Klotz, who graduated from EMU in 1977 with a BBA in accounting, began his career with Touche Ross and then joined the Huizenga Group in Grand Rapids, where he was ultimately appointed president and CEO.
“Eastern Michigan University equipped me with the tools to be successful in life,” Klotz says. “We’re born with relatively similar skills and abilities. It’s education that makes the difference.”
In addition to his role as Huizenga CEO, Klotz also serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the EMU College of Business.
“Business leaders such as Steve Klotz make an invaluable impact on Eastern Michigan University,” says James Smith, president of EMU. “This gift will go a long way to paving the way for the success of current and future students — and the development of future business leaders. We are so grateful for his gift, and for his strong support of his alma mater.”
The Klotz gift is part of the university’s current comprehensive fundraising campaign, Give Rise: The Campaign for Eastern Michigan University. With a goal of $100 million, Give Rise is Eastern Michigan’s largest campaign goal to date, and is nearing the $86 million mark.
Jefferson East Receives $250K Grant from A.A. Van Elslander Foundation
Jefferson East Inc. has received a $250,000 grant from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation to continue its mission of preserving and stabilizing homeownership in the East Jefferson corridor.
A survey conducted by JEI indicates that more than 4,000 homes within the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood and adjacent neighborhoods received between one and eight feet of water in their basements during last year’s catastrophic rainfall.
The grant will allow JEI to assist flooding victims with repairing and elevating furnaces that were damaged during the flooding event. To date, JEI has installed two green storm water parking lots that remove more than 800,000 gallons of stormwater each year and has been working with the city of Detroit to identify long-term solutions to minimize flooding moving forward.
The A.A. Van Elslander Foundation grant will allow JEI to:
- Repair, replace and elevate furnaces.
- Link affected residents into other supports and resources.
- Counsel homeowners and help develop a long-term plan to further improve and stabilize their homes.
“With this grant from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation, we have the ability to offer critical support to those in Detroit’s East Jefferson corridor and its surrounding neighborhoods,” says Josh Elling, CEO of JEI. “One of our major organizational goals at JEI is to preserve and stabilize homeownership. With the support from the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation, we can help residents continue the long recovery from the June floods as well as get their heat back on during these cold days.”
JEI estimates there are more than 160 furnaces in need of repair in within Jefferson-Chalmers and other nearby neighborhood. The price of a furnace repair and replacement can range from $1,000 to upwards of $9,000. JEI will work to align these flooding resiliency fixes with the mayor’s newly announced $30 million home repair fund, the 0 percent Home Repair Loan Program, State Emergency Assistance and other funds.
“Our father was always the first to help in a crisis,” says David Van Elslander, an A.A. Van Elslander Foundation board member. “Following the unfortunate flooding events of last summer, with many residents facing this winter with no functional furnace or water heater, the Foundation saw a critical need. We are honored to support JEI’s efforts to help families within the Jefferson East neighborhood by repairing or replacing these essential items.”
For more information, visit here.
Oakland County Investing $1M to Aid Development of Attainable Housing
Oakland County is supporting the development of affordable rental housing in the community with award up to $1 million in total gap funding for new construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, or preservation of affordable rental housing.
The funds, from the county’s Neighborhood and Housing Development Division, will focus on access to supportive services and sustainability such as walkability to jobs, groceries, transportation, and more.
“Increasing the stock of attainable housing in Oakland County is key to keeping residents here and attracting new and younger people to the county,” says Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Securing a safe and affordable place to live is fundamental to quality of life and shouldn’t be denied to anyone who wants to make Oakland County their home.”
The funds are a portion of the county’s annual funding allocation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). The HOME Program is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households.
For more information on funding and qualifications, visit here.
Lansing’s PM Environmental Announces Partnership with Keystone Capital
PM Environmental Inc. in Lansing has completed an investment partnership with Keystone Capital Management, a Chicago-based private investment firm. The recapitalization occurred in early December 2021.
PM is a regional leader in environmental risk management with offices throughout the eastern United States. The partnership between PM and Keystone is aligned with a broader strategy to drive consolidation and further organic growth within the North American environmental risk management market.
“The Keystone Team has been a pleasure to work with,” says Michael Kulka, co-founder and CEO of PM. “Their track record of strengthening and growing leaders in the professional technical services space is impressive. We are excited about the future of PM. With support from Keystone Capital, we are confident that PM will experience smart growth, offering new service lines and geographic expansion opportunities.”
PM represents further investment from Keystone in the engineering and technical services industry, where Keystone has demonstrated considerable investment experience.
“PM is an ideal fit with our experience in the engineering and consulting industries,” says David Greer, managing director of Keystone Capital. “We are proud to be associated with PM, a long-standing leader in environmental consulting, and we look forward to further building on its successful legacy.”
PM is Keystone’s first partnership in the environmental risk management industry.
Kroger Offers $1 Grocery Delivery for Michigan Customers
The Kroger Co. of Michigan has announced a new initiative to provide contact-less, doorstep grocery delivery service to customers for $1 with an order of $35 or more for a limited time.
“As Michiganders brace for winters cold amidst the ongoing pandemic, we encourage shoppers to consider grocery delivery for the added relief it can bring to their shopping experience,” says Rachel Hurst, corporate affairs manager for The Kroger Co. of Michigan. “Our delivery service offers shoppers the convenience of placing orders on Kroger.com or in the Kroger app and having fresh groceries delivered contact-free and at a time convenient for them.”
To place an order, customers sign into their account, enter their ZIP code, and choose delivery as their shopping method. Then, they simply fill their online cart with the items they need. No additional action is needed for customers to activate their delivery savings as it will be applied automatically at checkout.
Michigan’s Women-owned Small Businesses Can Apply for Comcast Funds
Comcast Corp. has expanded its Comcast RISE program to all women-owned businesses nationwide, furthering its efforts to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive.
Comcast RISE, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary last November, remains open to racially and ethnically diverse small business owners. Information and the applications to apply for marketing and technology services are available here.
“As we continue to rebuild and emerge from the pandemic’s impact, small businesses across Michigan remain critical to our local economy,” says Jeff Marston, vice president of Comcast Business in Michigan. “Expanding Comcast RISE to women-owned small businesses reinforces our company’s commitment to empower and strengthen even more Michigan companies that are the heart of our local communities across the state.”
U-M Reaches $490M Settlement with Anderson Plaintiffs
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and attorneys for approximately 1,050 claimants who have alleged abuse by the late Dr. Robert Anderson announced they have reached a settlement agreement that would resolve all of those survivors’ claims against the university.
Pending documentation and approval by the U-M Board of Regents; approval by 98 percent of the claimants, as recommended by their attorneys; and approval by the court, the cases would be resolved for $490 million.
Of that total, $460 million will be available to the approximately 1,050 claimants, and $30 million would be reserved for future claimants who choose to participate in the settlement before July 31, 2023.
Claimants and their attorneys will be responsible for deciding how to divide the $460 million among the claimants. U-M will have no role in this process.
This settlement agreement was reached under the confidential mediation process facilitated by the court-appointed mediator, Robert F. Riley, and overseen by the Hon. Victoria A. Roberts, U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. Mediation has been ongoing since October 2020.
“We hope this settlement will begin the healing process for survivors,” says Jordan Acker, chair of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. “At the same time, the work that began two years ago, when the first brave survivors came forward, will continue.”
U-M President Mary Sue Coleman says the settlement agreement was the right thing to do.
“This agreement is a critical step among many the university has taken to improve support for survivors and more effectively prevent and address misconduct,” Coleman says.
For more information, visit here.
Founders Brewing Co. Founder Transitions from CEO to Board Member
Mike Stevens, co-founder and CEO of Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, will be transitioning to the role of board member on Feb. 1. Dave Engbers, president of Founders, will remain in his role and additionally assume the responsibilities of chairman of the board.
Founders currently is looking for a new CEO. In the interim period, Erik d’Auchamp, the Grand Rapids-based director of international business for parent company Mahou, will assume CEO duties.
Stevens is a leader in the craft brewing industry and co-founded of Founders Brewing Co. in 1997.
“Building this company from the ground up and watching it grow into a successful business has truly been the honor of a lifetime,” says Stevens. “To find something I love doing and then create an entire brand and business from it was an incredible experience. I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished, and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our organization, and to be part of that progress in my new position as a member of the board.”
An entrepreneur at heart, Stevens says he decided to step down from his role to pursue other personal ambitions and spend more time with his family.
“We are so grateful for Mike and Dave’s vision and direction in developing and executing a brand and strategic plan that enabled Founders to gain a leadership position in the craft beer space,” says d’Auchamp. “When we very first met with Mike and Dave back in 2014 to discuss a partnership between our two brands, we could tell that we were building a connection to something special.
“After working closely with the Founders team for years, we are excited to continue down the path of innovation with this group of talented and passionate individuals. We will continue to pave our way forward in the craft beer space while retaining everything that makes Founders unique, including their incredible team.”