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Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate awarded artist residency in Berlin


Cranbrook Academy of Art has announced that Aaron Patrick Decker has been awarded the 2015 Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Emerging Artist Award. This is the 10th year Mercedes-Benz Financial Services has given an Academy graduate the award.

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Mentorship program at Pontiac Academy for Excellence focuses on making lifetime impact

Pontiac Academy for Excellence (PAE), the only charter district in Pontiac to offer ninth through twelfth grades, and Winning Futures, a leading mentorship program in Michigan, are working together to change the lives of local students.
At the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, 66 PAE students were chosen to participate in Winning Futures, a mentorship and scholarship program. Throughout the year, mentees attended an hour-long session once a week with their mentors. During the meetings, students were provided with tools needed to refine character building skills such as goal setting, conflict resolution, professionalism and self-awareness.
“Thanks to Winning Futures I learned how to express myself and have more confidence,” Lizannette, Rivera-Colon, an eleventh grade student at PAE and Winning Futures participant. “I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this program and am honored to be the recipient of the Winning Futures scholarship. While my time in the program has come to an end, I know this is the beginning of a better future.”
Outside of the walls of PAE, the 18 mentors made it a priority to reinforce the skills taught during the sessions and provide emotional support as their mentees faced real-world situations.
Amanda Rymiszewski, Lizannette’s mentor during the past school year, said “Lizannette has only lived in the United States for one year and she already has such a clear vision of her future because of the Winning Futures program. Seeing her and the other young women I mentor succeed is incredibly rewarding and heartwarming. I wouldn’t give up my experiences with Winning Futures for anything.”
Since the partnership between PAE and Winning Futures began in 2013, more than 140 students have participated in the mentorship program. An average of 95 percent of former mentees go on to pursue further education and training beyond high school.
About PAE:
Pontiac Academy for Excellence is a charter school district in Pontiac, Michigan, that supports the whole child, whole family and whole community in the pursuit of educational and life success. Founded by OLHSA, a Community Action Agency, in 1998 to offer a superior educational experience, PAE is the largest charter option in Pontiac, serving students from kindergarten through grade twelve. At PAE children and families are provided with the stability and resources needed to grow both in the classroom and beyond. Safety, respect, learning and community are the pillars of excellence honored by each student and the district. www.pontiacacademy.org
About Winning Futures:
Winning Futures is an award-winning non-profit organization that empowers youth to succeed through mentoring and strategic planning.  We partner with high schools in metro Detroit to facilitate weekly innovative mentoring sessions in the school where we engage youth through trusting relationships with mentors, energizing experiences, and unforgettable life lessons. We focus on character value development, self-exploration, goal setting, job readiness skills, overcoming obstacles, and strategic planning.  Over 95 percent of students continue their education past high school and we have awarded over $1.7M in scholarships to local youth.  Since 1994, 39,000 students have been impacted by Winning Futures.  www.winningfutures.org

One Stop Shop June Business Workshops

Business owners and entrepreneurs who need assistance are encouraged to attend seminars offered by the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center. Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, west of Telegraph, in Waterford. For pre-registration and a location map, visit www.AdvantageOakland.com/businessworkshops or call (248) 858-0783.

Capital Raise
June 9, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
If you are a startup or early-stage growth-based business looking for funding, come meet and listen to capital expert, Mike Brennan. He will detail the various capital sources in Michigan, and talk about how to properly position your company to be qualified for private funding, including private equity, the angel network and venture capital, and/or public funding, including grants, pre-seed, micro-loans and venture match.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

CEED® Small Business Loan Orientation 
June 10, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Many small business owners face obstacles when trying to obtain a business loan. If your business is in Oakland County and you need alternative financing, consider the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development (CEED) Small Business Loan Program. Discover the requirements and process necessary to apply and obtain a CEED small business loan. Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion
June 10, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Are you thinking of starting a business and want to research your business idea? Do you want to identify market trends and opportunities to grow your sales? Are you looking for new customers or to diversify your market base? Business Research shows you ways to find your ideal customers, your competitors, perform competitive analysis and more. Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Starting a Business
June 11, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
This workshop is designed for individuals who are at the beginning stages of starting a business. It will help aspiring entrepreneurs assess their abilities to lead and manage a company, as well as evaluate market and sales potential for their products/services. Startup costs, financing options and business planning are introduced, along with necessary steps to getting started.
Fee: This workshop is free but pre-registration is required.

Introduction to QuickBooks®
June 11, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
This introduction class will provide an overview of QuickBooks. It is designed for a person who is new to QuickBooks or has worked within the software in a limited capacity. ATD Solutions will cover the basic areas such as invoicing customers, receiving payments and making deposits, entering and paying vendor bills, generating financial statements, and more.
Fee: $60 per person

Government Contracting 101
June 18, 9 a.m. to noon
Find out what it takes to sell your goods and services to the federal government and the state of Michigan. What makes a successful government contractor? What services and resources are available to a small business pursuing the government market? If your company is considering government contracting, this seminar will give you the insight you need. Management and key players who will support and facilitate government contracting within your company should attend. Presented by Alexander Masters, PTAC of Schoolcraft College
Fee: $45 per person

Legal Basics for Small Business
June 23, 9 a.m. to noon
Legal Basics for Small Business gives new and existing Michigan entrepreneurs an understanding of the key legal and financial considerations when starting and operating a business in Michigan. The program addresses how to select the best legal entity for your business, how to protect your business interests when dealing with customers, suppliers or independent contractors, and important information and guidelines for establishing short- and long-term succession plans for your business.
Fee: $25 per person

Future Workshops
July 2015
08: CEED Small Business Loan Orientation
09: Starting a Business
14: Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion
August 2015
12: CEED Small Business Loan Orientation
12: Business Research: Feasibility to Expansion
13: Starting a Business
14: Team SBA Financing Roundtable
12: Create Your Marketing Plan

Transitions Legal partners with Vezina Law in downtown Birmingham

Working together is often the sort of business strategy that not only brings firms together but helps them become more successful. Those benefits are why two small law firms in downtown Birmingham are collaborating.

Transitions Legal and its principal attorney, Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, are now of counsel with Vezina Law. The idea is that each firm’s expertise will help complement the other’s strengths.

"We each have something that adds to our respective firms," Peskin-Shepherd says.

Transitions Legal specializes in family law and mediation. Peskin-Shepherd has grown to a staff of two people. Vezina Law focuses on business, healthcare, and employment law. It has offices in Michigan and Louisiana.

"They have been referring cases to us for two years," Peskin-Shepherd says. "We wanted to formalize that relationship."

Source: Alisa Peskin-Shepherd, principal of Transitions Legal
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

MagWerks LED develops cutting edge light technology

LED lights have a reputation as being lean, mean, and ultra-energy-efficient. The reality is, however, that the less energy they use, the heavier they become. It's a challenge that's keeping LED lights from reaching their full potential.

"It's a largely unknown subject but an important one," says Michael Pickholz, CEO of MagWerks LED.

The Oxford-based startup believes it has an answer for that dilemma. The LED lighting design and engineering firm’s technology aims to make high-powered LED lights smaller, lighter, and cooler. The first target market is automotive lights. MagWerks technology leverages the structural properties of magnesium, which is 20 times stronger than plastics.

"It brings a vast improvement in performance," Pickholz says. "It makes it lighter and brighter."

The 3-person firm has recently joined Automation Alley's 7Cs program, which helps new companies leverage advanced manufacturing practices to grow their business.

"There is a need," Pickholz says. "How can you grow a company fast enough to satisfy that need?"

Source: Michael Pickholz, CEO of MagWerks LED
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Baker College adds Master's in Nursing to fall roster

Baker College will offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) online beginning fall quarter. Registration is now open for classes that begin Thursday, Sept. 24.

The Baker College MSN is an advanced-level, postgraduate degree that provides education for registered nurses who wish to be employed as nurse educators, nurse administrators, nurse managers and health policy experts. The program includes practice hours performed in the student's community.

“Graduates of Baker College’s new MSN degree will be prepared for positions in nursing administration and nursing education,” said Lesley Morgan, Ph.D., ARNP, dean of Baker College’s School of Nursing. “This program will help meet the needs of administrators at our partner hospitals who are telling us that they would like more registered nurses to be academically qualified for leadership roles.

“The flexibility of this online master’s program is ideal for working nurses. No matter where they are located, students can log in online, when convenient for them, to pursue the next step in their education.”

In 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the average annual salary for registered nurses was $69,790; for health care administrators it was $103,680. Nationally, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, while employment of health care administrators is expected to grow 23 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.

At the undergraduate level, Baker College offers a post-licensure BSN through its online campus. Other undergraduate nursing programs – pre-licensure BSN, Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Practical Nurse (PN) certificate – are available at select Baker College campuses across Michigan.

For more information about the new Baker College MSN and the post-licensure BSN, contact Chuck Gurden in the admissions office at 800.469.3165 or adm-ol@baker.edu, or visit www.baker.edu.

For information about the Baker College nursing program at the Auburn Hills campus, contact Nicole Chirco in the admissions office at nicole.chirco@baker.edu or 248.340.0600, or visit www.baker.edu.

The largest private college in Michigan, Baker College is a not-for-profit higher education institution accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. It serves more than 28,000 students on multiple campuses and online. Baker grants certificates and associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 150 programs across diverse academic fields, including business, health sciences, engineering, information technology, education and human services. An impressive 97 percent of available graduates are employed. Every Baker graduate receives Lifetime Employment Assistance—free and forever. Baker is a pioneer in online education and offers students the option of completing a degree 100 percent online, without ever visiting a campus. For information, visit www.baker.edu or follow Baker College on Twitter, @bakercollege, or on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bakercollege.

Unitask Software partners for global expansion with Blue Turtle

Building upon the success of its Partner Advantage Program, Unitask Software has announced an International Partnership with Blue Turtle Technologies, a South African Solutions Provider for the delivery of Automation Solutions for the Oracle EBS marketplace.

Partnering with Blue Turtle, a leading integration deployment solutions provider for Oracle EBS application market will allow Unitask Software solutions to be readily available for deployment via the Blue Turtle team in the South African geography. Understanding and designing solutions to meet the automation demands and modernization needs as customers move to the newest versions of Oracle’s EBS R12 Application. This partnership will allow further allow for full transparent integration of Migration and Promotion processes in Enterprise Implementations.

“The Global EBS marketplace has directed us to search out and partner with Best of Breed Partners who are like minded in their determination for timely completion and success. Tom and the Blue Turtle Team fit those criteria as we bring fully implemented, automation solutions to the Oracle EBS world,” said Dale D. Royal, Chairman & CEO of Unitask.

“Unitask’s software solutions add tremendous value to our clients in Southern Africa. The ability to natively manage the development and release processes in an Oracle EBS landscape saves a lot of time and effort compared to what we are seeing customer teams do today with scripts and/or manual work. Unitask automates the movement of code, keeping change packages in sync and ensuring the application and infrastructure teams know exactly what is coming down the line and when. If you have Oracle EBS, you need Unitask.” shared Tom Erlank, Head of Application and Data Management at Blue Turtle.

About Unitask Software
Unitask Software develops and deploys solutions that accelerate the realized value of Oracle E-­- Business Suite Implementations. Based upon over a decade of experience in the Oracle E-­-Business Suite enterprise, Unitask products eliminate implementation and operational risk of the installation, while improving the application quality and usability. For more information, please visit: http://www.unitask.com.

About Blue Turtle
Blue Turtle, one of South Africa’s leading enterprise technology companies is a solutions provider, specializing in Oracle E-­-Business Suite (EBS) automation solutions. Blue Turtle is committed to providing innovative, flexible and professional IT solutions in the areas of Technology Business Management, Information Management and Application Management. With a host of globally renowned technology at their fingertips, Blue Turtle can bring solid expertise and results driven solutions across a broad range of platforms, environments and applications. For more information, please visit: http://blueturtle.co.za/ 

Governor reappoints VanderVeen to Aeronautics Commission

Gov. Rick Snyder has reappointed Oakland County Central Services Director J. David VanderVeen to a second four-year term on the Michigan Aeronautics Commission. He has served on the committee since 2011.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said VanderVeen has played a vital role in promoting the aviation industry in Michigan.

“Dave is leaving his mark on Michigan’s aviation industry by bringing his thorough knowledge and experience in aviation and managing airports to the Aeronautics Commission,“ Patterson said. “It’s a compliment to Oakland County when the governor selects a member of my staff for a leadership role in Michigan.”

VanderVeen, who will continue his duties at Oakland County while serving on the Aeronautics Commission, said he is looking forward to another four years. “I’m honored and delighted the governor continues to have confidence in me to promote the aeronautics industry in Michigan,” VanderVeen said.

VanderVeen oversees Oakland County’s three airports including Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) in Waterford, Michigan’s second busiest airport. He oversaw the construction of the first LEED Gold certified general aviation airport terminal in the United States at OCIA. The terminal features wind, solar and geothermal energy; advanced insulation; LED lighting; a living wall; and other energy efficiencies.

VanderVeen holds a private pilot license and is a member of the board of directors for the Michigan Business Aircraft Association. He lives in Clarkston with his wife, Shelagh. The Michigan Aeronautics Commission encourages, fosters and participates in the development of aeronautics within the State of Michigan. It also makes rules and regulations for airports, flight schools, and other aeronautics activities.

C&G Solutions PLC triples staff in Southfield

Jehan Crump-Gibson worked for many years as an attorney in both government and corporate settings. Those experiences inspired her to launch her own firm, C&G Solutions PLC.

"These were great experiences, but I didn't feel I had the autonomy to really help my clients," Crump-Gibson says.

She launched the legal practice five years ago. Today the Southfield-based firm serves the metro Detroit area and specializes in a broad variety of subjects, including civil litigation, probate, government affairs, and business law. Over the last year, the firm has grown its revenue by 35 percent, allowing it to make its first hires (an attorney and a clerk), expanding its team to three people.

"I have been able to grow personally and give some people some great work experiences," Crump-Gibson says.

That growth has come from word-of-mouth recommendations by C&G Solutions PLC's clients.

"My clients are pleased with my work and are helping me," Crump-Gibson says.

Source: Jehan Crump-Gibson, managing member of C&G Solutions PLC
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Vectorform partners with DTE to launch Powerley

A downtown Royal Oak tech firm and the biggest utility in Michigan are partnering to launch a new startup aimed at helping mobile users be more energy efficient.

Powerley is the product of a joint venture between DTE Energy and Vectorform, a digital experience company. The 1-month-old venture is launching a platform for utility customers to link their smartphones to smart meters, enabling them to take a comprehensive look at their energy use.

"Powerley can bring the technology and the expertise in energy efficiency to world," says Kevin Foreman, CTO of Powerley.

The Powerley home-energy-monitoring platform can help track energy usage down to the consumption of individual electrical devices. It also provides personalized tips on how to best save energy. Check out a video describing it here.

"A lot of our early adopters are either retirees or not as technology savvy as you would think," Foreman says.

The Powerley platform has been three years in the making. The joint venture currently employs six people and is looking to add a few more. Vectorform has also worked with DTE Energy to produce the DTE Insight mobile app, which allows utility customers to monitor and personalize their energy consumption patterns.

Source: Kevin Foreman, CTO of Powerley
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.

Troy-based Berylline debuts hybrid scooter at Oakland University


Troy-based Berylline Co. will introduce a 100-mile-per-gallon hybrid scooter today on the campus of Oakland University, giving riders more transportation options in the resort and leisure vehicle market.

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Furniture executive touts 'bed of the future'


How's this for a chief executive qualification? Putting people to sleep.

Martin Rawls-Meehan has spent the last decade convincing people he can do just that — perhaps even better than his competitors.

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Private cloud service provider launches in Southfield


CloudSAFE, a company offering private cloud service that will include 24/7 live technical support for businesses, launched today in Southfield.

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Tech248 branding Oakland County as a technology hub while connecting hundreds of companies

Tech248 meetups attracted more than 400 technology industry professionals and students, including the founder of an Oakland County-based company who was among 50 people nationwide recently invited to the White House to talk tech.

The meetups are vital to Tech248’s mission of connecting the county’s 2,000 tech companies to collaborate and network while marketing Oakland County as a global technology hub. Thanh Tran, founder of Wixom-based of Kidpreneur: Kids + Entrepreneurship + Technology, met with technology leaders from across the United States earlier this month at the White House. The event was designed to create project collaboration and foster technology interconnections.

“The tech industry is prospering here,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “We have a wealth of IT innovators who are shaping the future of this dynamic global industry and it’s happening right here in Oakland County.”

Tran, who is also founder of D-NewTech – a group of nearly 1,200 members which foster and encourage startups – was understandably excited by his recent visit to Washington D.C.

“Among the fifty or so invited to the White House, I was the only representative from Michigan,” Tran said. “Detroit is one of the fastest growing tech areas in the country. Opportunities to network with others, finds jobs and learn to code is so important. Groups like D-NewTech and Tech248 help meet that need.”

Tech248 meetups are scheduled monthly and have included locations in Auburn Hills, Southfield, Waterford and Wixom. Each event features a tech update, a series of speakers and an opportunity to network. Speakers have included Jason Raznick of Benzinga Networking, Brian Hudson of Templar Games, Brian Wassom of Honigman, and Kidpreneur’s Tran.

The participant list is a virtual who’s who of the IT industry, with representatives from nearly 200 companies, including ASG Renaissance, DASI Solutions, Eaton, General Motors, iDashboards, Lawrence Technological University, Media Genesis, SunTel Services and ThyssenKrupp.

The next meetup is May 21 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 365 Retail Markets in Troy. Speakers include Reed Bingaman, CFO of 365 Retail Markets; Lauren Bigelow, CEO of Growth Capital Network; Antoine Dubeauclard, president of Media Genesis; and Mark St. Peter, managing director and CEO of Computing Source. Most events are free of charge. To register for this or any other Tech248 meetup, go to AdvantageOakland.EventBrite.com.

Oakland County tech professionals are encouraged to join the Tech248 network at MITech248.com. Automation Alley, southeast Michigan’s 1,000-member business technology association, is offering a 10 percent membership discount for companies that join the Alley by May 31. Joining the Tech248 network also allows Oakland County companies to have their company’s Twitter feed featured on the Tech248 feed.

Oakland County has 42,000 jobs in the tech field – more than twice the number of any other county in Michigan. About 100 tech companies have located in Oakland County in the past 10 years, investing over $586 million and creating more than 10,500 jobs. The focus includes software development, network/data, mHealth, game development, connected cars, digital media, mobile technology, cyber security and other evolving technologies.

For more information about Tech248, visit MITech248.com.

G2 Consulting Group hires 10, looks to hire 10 more

When the Great Recession hit, G2 Consulting Group adapted by integrating more technology into its business model. It was a successful strategy and the firm grew significantly in the years that followed. Today it’s using that same philosophy to keep growing.

The Troy-based construction firm specializes in environmental and geotechnical engineering services. (Think of it as doing the construction work that takes place below the ground, such as soil testing.) The addition of technology, such as remote monitoring of solar panels or sensors at the I-94/I-69 interchange that track vibration, has become an integral part of the company's work.

"We're just using more technology to get the data," says Noel Hargrave-Thomas, principal of G2 Consulting Group.

The firm opened a satellite office in Ann Arbor last year and now has a staff of 46 employees and five interns. It has hired 10 people over the last year.

"We're looking to hire 10 more," Hargrave-Thomas says.

The driving force behind those new hires is revenue growth. G2 Consulting Group's revenue spiked 43 percent in 2014, which is up from 31 percent growth in 2013 and 20 percent growth the year before.

"We're on pace to continue that growth," Hargrave-Thomas says.

Source: Noel Hargrave-Thomas, principal of G2 Consulting Group
Writer: Jon Zemke

Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
1079 Articles | Page: | Show All
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