Karen Dybis – Daily Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com What To Know And Where To Go In Metro Detroit Sun, 25 Nov 2018 14:29:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Jason Hall Quits Slow Roll, Talks About What’s Next http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/31/jason-hall-quits-slow-roll-talks-whats-next/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2018/05/31/jason-hall-quits-slow-roll-talks-whats-next/#respond Thu, 31 May 2018 20:23:10 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=41939

Jason Hall is retiring – sort of. The co-founder of Detroit’s beloved Slow Roll is stepping down from his role as the public personality behind the city’s now-famous neighborhood bicycle ride.

Slow Roll isn’t going away – and Jason isn’t going anywhere. He’s definitely staying in Detroit. But his role will change and his commitment to the city is going to grow in terms of what he can do for bicyclists and his hometown.

For example, Jason is relaunching (RI)Detroit, Detroit’s weekend celebration of bicycles and culture. The event, which will take place the weekend of July 20-22, will be a full experience of Detroit on two wheels. In addition to group rides and events, bicycle and non-bicycle manufacturers will be selling their new bicycles and merchandise. Community leaders and bicycle advocates will host seminars and panel discussions to discuss regional and national cycling and mobility policies that affect all of Detroit and the region.

His last official Slow Roll took place Wednesday on Mackinac Island as part of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual Mackinac Policy Conference. The ride was good, the road was smooth and Jason’s mind was clear.

“It just felt like the time. It was a great ride,” Jason said in an interview with me (the audio is embedded at the top of this post). “It seemed like the right time.”

To say Hall is excited about the new enterprise (and a few others you’ll hear about soon) is an understatement. But, at the same time, his emotion at what his team and supporters created through Slow Roll is undeniable.

“When I started Slow Roll, it was really just about a bike ride. But through the past eight years, I’ve traveled the world and I’ve seen bicycling and bicycling advocacy and what that really means,” Jason says. “I’ve just evolved a little more. Once you’ve see what you could do, once we accomplished what we could accomplished through Slow Roll, I just wanted to go to the next level.”

After talking to Slow Roll’s board, family and friends, Jason decided it was time to make it official – he is stepping down from the organization’s leadership.

“I just decided that this would be my year to go ahead and step back and let the machine run itself. We’ve worked very hard to make that machine run,” Jason says. “I’ve got some other projects that I’m working on that are bicycling and city based. It’s still my family. But it’s time to move on.”

What changed was his mindset and evolution as a community leader. Jason says he started to see what else he could accomplish both as an individual, a bicyclist and an advocate.

“ I think it was really on my last trip to Minneapolis when I was out there. … I ran into what was called the Nice Ride Program. In Minneapolis, everybody gets a free bike. The way it works is you show up, they give you a bike, you ride it four times, you document that you rode it four times, you bring it back and you get a brand-new bike,” Jason explains. “That blew my mind that something like that existed. That became my new mission for Detroit. We’re going through all these changes with bike lanes and we’re doing all this stuff in the neighborhoods. But are we really connecting the community to these bike lanes?”

The dream he had for what Detroit could do in terms of the bicycling community began to grow. Plus, he has a flair for the dramatic and he knew there was a chance to expand his personal legacy. But, most importantly, Slow Roll could and would continue.

“It will last forever. Even if we decided as an organization, ‘Let’s stop doing Slow Roll,’ the spirit would still exist. The people would still meet every week,” Jason says. “I’m very proud of that. They’re just rocking and rolling; I’ve seen the schedule. It’s going to be a great summer for those guys.”

He also wants to thank everyone who ever took a ride with him and with Slow Roll.

“(Since I announced I’m leaving Slow Roll), I’ve received 100 emails from people from ‘Thank you for doing this’ to ‘Don’t leave.’ To all of those people: Thank you for making this what it is. It’s my baby.”

An interview with Jason Hall that appeared on the Daily Detroit News Byte is at the top of this page.

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Detroit’s Queen Of Fashion Retail Expands Her Domain With Yama http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/06/01/detroits-queen-fashion-retail-expands-domain-yama/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/06/01/detroits-queen-fashion-retail-expands-domain-yama/#respond Thu, 01 Jun 2017 18:42:14 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=36382 When you mention Detroit and retail, one name quickly comes to mind: Rachel Lutz, the proprietress of two of the city’s most influential stores: The Peacock Room and Frida.

Lutz stole the show (again) this week at the Mackinac Policy Conference when she made news in announcing the opening of her third retail location.

Lutz, who is attending the conference on Mackinac Island, is bringing her version of Modernism in terms of clothing, accessories and more with Yama. It will find a home in the iconic Fisher Building. She’s also hosting a pop-up shop at Mission Point to showcase her ideas and products.

Yama is a tribute to Minoru Yamasaki, whose influence is found across Detroit, the United States and the world. Yama, his nickname, is best known as the architect of the World Trade Center in New York (Detroit’s One Woodward or Consolidated Gas Building was his original model for that design) as well as for memorable buildings including Wayne State University’s dramatically beautiful McGregor Memorial Conference Center.

Yamasaki was known for his credo and desire to create “serenity, surprise and delight.” And it’s not too much of a stretch to say that Lutz does the same. She gave an update on her work, her inspirations and her hopes for the future in an interview.

Q: Why add to your retail empire at this time?

A: I had no plans for physical expansion. But the Fisher Building approached me about a month ago, and I’ve been keeping an eye on New Center- there’s a fresh energy there. The developers of The Platform really have a vision for the Fisher Building and the neighborhood, and I want to help them achieve it.

Q: Why Yama?

A: The Peacock Room is a girly dress-up closet, while my sister store Frida is more casual and bohemian. Yama is for a woman who favors clean, simple lines but still has an appreciation for interesting detail. As a lover of architecture and Detroit history, I named the store after Minoru Yamasaki, my favorite architect. He left a large footprint in Detroit.

Q: Where do you feel Detroit retail is compared to when you opened the Peacock Room?

Rachel Lutz

A: The Detroit retail market was severely underserved when I opened more than five years ago. It’s still underserved, but Detroiters now have more options. It’s fantastic that we have more luxury goods than ever during my lifetime! But it’s so important to remember that the city needs a mix of merchandise. Luxury and basic goods, big-box and independent, in the downtown core and in the neighborhoods.

Q: Where do you see yourself and Detroit in five more years?

A: I can barely keep up with Detroit now, so I cannot imagine what it will be like five years down the road. I just hope that my customers will continue to support me so that I can continue to be a part of it.

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5 Secrets To Making Awesome Things Happen With Jason Hall Of Slow Roll http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/06/01/5-secrets-making-awesome-things-happen-jason-hall-slow-roll/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/06/01/5-secrets-making-awesome-things-happen-jason-hall-slow-roll/#respond Thu, 01 Jun 2017 17:46:35 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=36390 The first thing you need to know about Jason Hall is that he is a realistic optimist. He knows there is negativity in the world – he just chooses to grab it, flip it upside down and turn it into something he can use to improve himself, improve his work and, ultimately, improve the city that he loves.

Hall is a pizza lover, a Detroiter, a bike rider and the creator of Slow Roll, which he describes as “a unique nonprofit that brings together thousands of people from all over the region during 25 weekly bike rides a year.” During those rides, Hall says, people learn more about Detroit and each other.

“When it comes to things that I stand behind, that was what pushed this, was my passion to see how far we could take it. To say, ‘It’s not just a bike ride, but how can we affect Detroit? How can we make change? How can we bring people together?’ Once I attached to that, that was it,” Hall says.

In 2016, Slow Roll grew to more than 12,000 registered riders and that number continues to increase. In 2017, Slow Roll is focusing on continuing to educate people about Detroit, engage riders with local businesses and charities, and create the cohesive and peaceful community everyone wants.

As Hall puts it, “We believe that Slow Roll is transforming Detroit through exercise, education, experiences and community.”

Here are the top five life lessons Hall shared during his stay on Mackinac Island as part of the Mackinac Policy Conference, where he took a group of cyclists on a ride around this iconic rock.

1. Learn As You Do It

Jason Hall on Mackinac Island

“I think if there’s anything that you want to do, I’m a big fan of doing it and learning as you do it. Me personally, if I’d have stopped and thought, “Okay, let me learn how to get a permit for Slow Roll, and let me learn how to get insurance. And let me learn how to …” That would have put me five years behind the eight ball. For us, it was, “Let’s just do it and then figure out how to do it.” And that’s what I tell people. Learn on the job. I tell you, 100% of what I am now is from my evolution of this ride. I didn’t go to school for business or anything.”

2. Learn From It

“When I’m in the city county building filling out permits all day, I cherish that time because I’m learning. I’m in this place that I’ve never been before. I would just say anything that you want to do, do it.”

3. Don’t Ask Permission

Photo via Facebook

“If you know the history of Slow Roll, I’m a big fan of, ‘It’s better to apologize than ask for permission.’ … Never ask anybody who’s supposedly already done it. I speak at schools all the time and I tell kids, ‘Just do it, man. If you want to start a bike program, write your friends. Get your friends together and then talk to your parents about it. Bring them the plan cooked.’ That’s what I always say. Don’t bring me the ingredients, cook it and bring it up. And that’s what I do.”

4. Don’t Trust Authority

“A couple of mistakes I made at the beginning is I said, “Well, I don’t know how to run a bike ride. Let me ask somebody who ran bike rides.” But if they ran bike rides and they don’t run bike rides anymore, why would I get advice from them? Like I said, I just sort of do it. I don’t like to ask people, and they’re tainted. A lot of times if you ask somebody, you say, “Hey, what’s it like to run a bike ride?” They’re not gonna tell you their positive experiences until they tell you their negatives first. And they’re gonna turn you off.”

5. Focus On Your Goal

“I’m from Detroit, man. I come from a family of union workers and we’ve always dealt with adversity and things of that nature. That’s nothing new to me. I’ve always told myself, ‘You cannot let yourself live in that space of negativity.’ I don’t even go there.

When people come at me with negativity, I immediately kill them with kindness, because I won’t let you take me out of my space of, ‘I’m alive. The sun is out. I run a bike ride for a living.’ As down as I could get, that’s all I have to do is think about that. I go, ‘Tomorrow, I get to ride my bike with 5,000 people and even if I don’t ride with those 5,000, I’m gonna walk out a my door and see 100 people that ride Slow Roll.’ … And then, where Detroit is at right now, man, how can you not be? I say that to people all the time, ‘If you walk out the door and you don’t look around at the Red Wing Stadium and think about all the concerts that are coming and the potential for money that you could make and your friends, that’s crazy. You’re a robot if you can’t be happy on a daily basis in the city.’”

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When Fighting Back Against Detroit’s Poverty, You Need An Education To Survive http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/05/31/fighting-back-detroits-poverty-need-education/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2017/05/31/fighting-back-detroits-poverty-need-education/#respond Wed, 31 May 2017 16:28:25 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=36354 As Khali Sweeney travels to represent his beloved Downtown Boxing Gym, one thing always remains on his mind: That education is a keystone to moving Detroit forward.

Actually, it’s the only thing Sweeney thinks about as he and Downtown Boxing Gym Executive Director Jessica Hauser move through the crowds on Mackinac Island. They’re here to listen to the conversations about Detroit schools, to meet new Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and to spread the work about their non-profit boxing gym.

If he had one message to share at the Mackinac Policy Conference, Sweeney said he would shout it from the rooftop of the Grand Hotel: Detroit needs to invest deeply in education and its children.

“Education is the most important thing in our community right now. If we don’t educate our community, they’ll fall behind. They’ll get left out. They can’t take a part in a new Detroit or a new Michigan if they’re not educated,” Sweeney said.

“If you look at statistics, and you see the successful communities, it will say things like: Two people in the household hold a degree or have graduated from high school. But if you look at our zip code, few people hold a degree. Few people have graduated from school; only 30 percent the last time I looked have graduated from high school. People with education have access to better jobs. They’re in a financial better situation. Without an education, you’re not going to survive.”

Photo via Downtown Boxing Gym

This is the first whirlwind experience at Mackinac Policy Conference for Hauser and Sweeney, Founder and CEO of the Downtown Boxing Gym, a free after-school academic and athletic program for Detroit students ages 8 through 18. Since 2007, Sweeney has worked with hundreds of students who want to expand their minds as well as their muscles.

At the Downtown Boxing Gym, the rules are books before boxing. There are tutors, mentors and volunteers who work with the students each day. Over the last 10 years, 100 percent of participating students have graduated from high school.

The program includes computers, fiber optic training, a music studio, a learning kitchen for culinary classes, a library, tutoring and testing in all major subjects, college and career readiness and a variety of enrichment programs in addition to boxing and athletics.

Moreover, there is a huge waiting list to get into the program. And to Sweeney and Hauser, that means the need for quality education, quality after-school programs and quality investment in educational institutions has never been greater.

“I was inspired with what (Dr. Vitti) was talking about,” Hauser said. “Actually, everything he said is what Khali has implemented into the program. It’s reinforcing that our model works and it’s what needs to happen to ensure the success of our kids.”

Sweeney said he was pleasantly surprised so many people were familiar with the Downtown Boxing Gym, its purpose and its program.

“That sends me back home with the message to keep doing what I’m doing because people are taking notice of it. There’s a need in our community – we have a waiting list of 800 kids. They want to be there. They want the support,” Sweeney said.

Ed. Note: If you’re looking for more with Khali Sweeney, he was a guest last year on our Daily Detroit Happy Hour podcast. Check it out here.

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For every step forward, Detroit has to be wary of taking multiple steps back http://www.dailydetroit.com/2016/12/14/every-step-forward-detroit-wary-taking-multiple-steps-back/ Thu, 15 Dec 2016 01:01:06 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=33243 There is so much good going on in Detroit right now. The M1 Rail is on the tracks as we speak, being tested for operation. The Detroit Pistons are slated to move downtown, creating huge synergy among the city’s sports teams. Businesses are opening with such regularity that it’s becoming difficult to keep track. Housing is starting to show improvement with new developments like the one in Brush Park and major lenders moving into Detroit with budgets for rehab and more.

This is where you start to get worried. This is the time when things seem too fragile to continue their upward movement. This is the moment where you wonder: What is going to screw this up?

Perhaps my pessimism has its roots in history; modern-day Detroiters never get used to good times for too long. For every good thing, there seems to be a bad thing. For every announcement, there is another story about senseless murder, a school without resources, a business owner struggling to find customers.

I’d like to share two short stories to illustrate what feels like a tenuous moment we find ourselves in as Detroit lovers. On one side, you have something amazing: Young people flooding Detroit with good tidings. My example is that of my niece, who decided that she wanted to celebrate her 17th birthday in Detroit. Another example is a family friend who regularly posts pictures of herself in the city, hanging out at cultural institutions of all kinds.

Fort Wayne historical market. Photo: Karen Dybis

Here is what both of those examples have in common: Both young women live in suburbs that have wealth beyond compare. In theory, there is no reason for them to venture out of their secure little bubbles. They could find great food, good times and like-minded people just in their backyards. But they went out of their way to explore Detroit – the downtown, the neighborhoods. They shared what they saw and experienced on social media. That’s a good thing, particularly as Millennials see and emulate those images. More people = more investment.

But here’s what also worries me, even in the midst of what seems like the city’s stable revival. Recently, my family and I went to Fort Wayne for a holiday tour of this historic site. The volunteers could not have been more cordial.

Fort Wayne guide in outfit.

The setting was magnificent. The stories were impressive, told by docents and people dressed as characters of every time period from President Lincoln to World War II. The tour took nearly three hours to complete, and we got to see and experience the majority of this historic site.

Yet the evidence of decades of disinvestment were easy to see. Houses that once held soldiers and their families are now falling into the ground. These homes and buildings were stripped of their basic needs, such as gutters. Volunteers repaired what they could with limited resources. But with a small budget and little to no support from the outside, many of the historic buildings are now in such a state of disrepair that they likely cannot be fully restored.

My only thought that afternoon was: Please, Detroit, don’t screw this up. Find a way to save your historic sites. Write one more grant. Seek one more foundation to contribute. Start an online fund that we all can contribute to, even if it’s $5 like we paid per person for this very fine tour. There are so many good things in this city; surely, they can outweigh the bad.

For all of my confidence that Detroit is beyond the tipping point – that it is has tipped toward the right direction and then some – you see a place like this, and you realize just how significant the fight is to regain the glorious city that once was and certainly can be again. And you steel yourself to continue to support Detroit in any way you can – by moving there, by shopping there, by working there, by pushing for good government and hoping for great leadership.

Dearest Detroit, don’t screw this up.

New Detroit Flower Week Blooms Out Of The Success Of Flower House Experiment http://www.dailydetroit.com/2016/10/09/new-detroit-flower-week-blooms-success-flower-house-experiment/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2016/10/09/new-detroit-flower-week-blooms-success-flower-house-experiment/#respond Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:54:40 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=26442 Ideas, like people, evolve and change. What you’ve done in the past should be remembered. But it is what you do today that truly matters.

So Lisa Waud and her friends could have sat back, popped open an adult beverage and talked endlessly about an October 2015 event they created called Flower House. It was an amazing experiment, creating a short-term art installation made completely of flowers, plants and imagination within a Hamtramck home.

Instead, Waud’s crew are back with their floral inspiration with Detroit Flower Week. The event, which runs from Oct. 11 through 15 at locations around the city, is a conference that stands completely on its own yet has a foundation in Flower House. In other words, it’s going to be pretty, amazing and pretty amazing all at the same time.

Detroit Flower Week brings internationally acclaimed floral designers and flower farmers to Detroit for a week of presentations, workshops, and opportunities for learning and connecting in the spirit of the Flower House project.

“Detroit Flower House was an unexpected sensation that inspired so many people in just one weekend – the experience changed my life,” said Waud, creator of Flower House and owner of Pot & Box. “I wanted to bring everyone together again to lay the groundwork for more connections and collaborations, giving both designers and enthusiasts more time to share. From this idea, Detroit Flower Week was born.”

Flower House
Flower House

Presenters at Detroit Flower Week will include floral designers such as British botanical artist Joseph Massie, sculptor turned designer Emily Thompson, European floral designer Francoise Weeks, Waud, and New York designers Ariella Chezar, and Lewis Miller. Attendees will learn tricks of the trade from these design luminaries.

Industry leaders like Lisa Ziegler from The Gardener’s Workshop, Michael Genovese of Summer Dreams Farm in Oxford, and Heidi Joynt and Molly Kobelt of Field & Florist, will share business tips, encouraging guests to branch out on their own.

Additionally, hands-on workshops with artists, including Detroit muralist Louise “Ouizi” Chen, Ann Arbor floral designer Susan McLeary, Emily Katz of Modern Macramé and more will delve into explorations of floral painting, perfumery, and macramé.

Programming for Detroit Flower Week will be based out of the Jam Handy building at 2900 East Grand Blvd., Detroit, and will host coffee and conversation each morning from the Red Hook, and lunch from local food trucks each afternoon. Saturday’s events will take place at the Detroit Public Library at 5201 Woodward Avenue in Detroit.

Flower 4The week’s events will culminate in a dinner called, Floral Renaissance: A Revived Interest in the Classics (the Detroit Flower Week Dinner), produced by Detroit Cultivated at the Detroit Public Library’s Adam Strohm Hall. The dinner, from 8-11 p.m. Oct. 15, will celebrate a rebirth of sustainability in food and flowers, set beneath a mind-blowing floral installation created by London designer Joe Massie. Two-hundred and fifty guests will enjoy a five course seated meal with beverage pairings created by six of Detroit’s hottest chefs, including Kieron Hales (Zingerman’s Cornman Farms), Brad Greenhill (Katoi), Kate Williams (upcoming Lady of the House), Nikita Sanches (Rock City Eatery), Heather Anne (Sweet Heather Anne) and Detroit Ento. Detroit-based Double Winter will be providing tunes throughout the evening.

Tickets are available to Detroit Flower Week per day or for the week. A day pass gives guests admission to daily lectures and the opportunity to attend workshops for an additional fee. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.detroitflowerweek.info.


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Henry Ford QuickCare Brings “Healthcare Boutique” Urgent Care Clinic To Downtown Detroit http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/08/02/henry-ford-quickcare-brings-healthcare-boutique-urgent-care-clinic-to-downtown-detroit/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/08/02/henry-ford-quickcare-brings-healthcare-boutique-urgent-care-clinic-to-downtown-detroit/#respond Sun, 02 Aug 2015 10:15:29 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=16129 People used to say (in the good old days of Detroit 1.0) that the city was a food desert – you couldn’t buy groceries easily or residents didn’t have access to “chain” grocers. You also could say the same of the city’s urgent-care options.

Yes, there are great hospitals with emergency rooms, terrific staff and lots of services. But what about when you have a simple ear infection, a busy schedule and don’t want to clog up a downtown ER? There are few if any walk-in clinics in downtown or even near downtown. Until now.

Calling its new QuickCare clinic a “healthcare boutique,” Henry Ford Health System offering downtown Detroit a destination that mixes wellness with smartphone scheduling, virtual consultations, health concierges and wellness services including acupuncture.

Much like a traditional urgent care, the Henry Ford QuickCare Clinic at 1515 Woodward will provide flu shots, medical tests and assessments for about four dozen common illnesses such as ear infections, officials said Wednesday at the clinic’s unveiling. The 2,000-square-foot clinic officially opens Monday.

Upon checking out the new QuickCare clinic, I did a little Internet research. That’s where I found (and this is backed up by Henry Ford as well) that Detroit has a limited number of urgent-care facilities within the city limits; downtown has fewer still.


The Detroit Medical Center lists urgent-care centers on Conant and Eight Mile. St. John Providence’s closest is its Samaritan Urgent Care on Conner, according to its website. Concentra has a site on East Jefferson as well. There is no Minute Clinic at the CVS on Woodward. The DMC has a family practice in the Compuware building, and many nearby residents use that for their primary care. Patients can be seen the same day but by appointment only.

It is time to have something in downtown, especially with the high number of employers, employees and residents. Having the QuickCare clinic there is a sign that healthcare has moved in alongside retail, restaurants and offices, giving downtown a more well-rounded offering to all. It’s a sign of a healthy city in more ways than one.

What makes QuickCare interesting is both its great looks (more on that in a second) and its more innovative aspects, such as its online reservations and appointment adjustments via text, which came about from surveys and focus groups with area Millennials and Gen X patients, said William Conway, MD and CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group.

“These are two generations constantly on the go that are empowered by digital technology, and want care that is convenient and affordable. We believe Henry Ford QuickCare meets their needs,” Conway said.

The QuickCare Clinic uses the ClockwiseMD program to let patients make appointments from any web-enabled device like a smartphone. If the wait time changes, the system also sends the patient a text resetting his or her appointment.

Along with its ready-made hashtag of #HFQuickCare, the QuickCare clinic aims to attract Millennials and Gen X patients with its sleek interior as well. It is a great marriage of design and practicality — and it shows off how people are investing in making “Detroit 2.0″ look as modern and updated as possible. The front lobby features the building’s original tile floor and brick walls along with Midcentury-style couches and finishes in black and gray. The clinic, whose overall look was created by Patrick Thompson Design, is in the historic Grinnell Building that once housed the Grinnell Brothers Music House.

Neighbors including residents and businesses say they hope the addition of the QuickCare facility will make this Woodward corridor “a health-conscious hub,” said Callie Bradford, co-owner of GO Smoothies at 110 Clifford Street. I’m hoping Henry Ford snaps up lots of GO Smoothies to sell at its site, giving both businesses a boost. I could see dropping in the QuickCare clinic for wellness options just as much as for smaller maladies.

Henry Ford has made a great investment in Detroit, both in terms of facilities and the companies it works with as a healthcare giant. It is the health system’s seventh patient-care facility in Detroit, adding about seven more employees to the 8,800 Henry Ford employees already in the city, said Nancy Schlichting, Henry Ford’s chief executive officer, who was on hand Wednesday for the unveiling.


Other investments in Detroit include the purchase of 18 acres of land that was sold and became a Cardinal Health distribution center in a partnership between Henry Ford Health and DMC.

In 2012, Henry Ford announced its vision for a $500 million expansion of its Henry Ford Hospital campus in Detroit. That vision, eyed for the next 10-15 years, includes green space and commercial, retail and housing development. CEO Schlichting says the Cardinal Health project was always seen as a catalyst for the expansion of its flagship hospital to be south of West Grand Boulevard and north of I-94.

There’s also Henry Ford Medical Center-New Center One, Henry Ford Medical Center-Harbortown, Henry Ford Medical Center-Detroit Northwest, William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine, as well as its Corporate Offices and Health Alliance Plan (HAP).  With all of this, Henry Ford provides an estimated $6.018 billion economic impact to the metro Detroit area.

The Henry Ford QuickCare clinic is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at this time. Most insurance plans are accepted; payment must come in the form of credit or debit cards. A standard visit costs about $85, officials said. The clinic has a nurse practitioner with access to consultations with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians.

This post originally appeared on DetroitUnspun and is used here with permission.

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Ford Fireworks To Be Longer And More Colorful This Year http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/06/22/ford-fireworks-to-be-longer-and-more-colorful-this-year/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/06/22/ford-fireworks-to-be-longer-and-more-colorful-this-year/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2015 14:09:57 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=14708 While Fourth of July fireworks may be one of oldest American traditions, Detroit’s Parade Company always has something new up its proverbial sleeve.

This year, the theme of “Colors of Love” has a special meaning because the fireworks will have a new hue added to the mix, said Tony Michaels, president and CEO of The Parade Company. He refused to reveal the color ahead of time, saying the surprise had to wait until the night of June 22.

For Michaels and the rest of The Parade Company team, the 57th Ford Fireworks is the official kickoff of summer in Detroit city.

“It’s going to be one of the biggest, brightest and best ever,” Michaels said of the annual event, which is one of the world’s largest and most well-attended fireworks displays.

The fireworks also will be a minute longer, Michaels said, taking the show up to 24 minutes in total. That 60-second addition may not seem like much, but it is significant in the planning of such a monumental event, he noted.

“It takes an amazing amount of collaboration to pull off an event this huge,” Michaels said. “That’s why we are so proud that it is free to the public. It means so much to so many people. And it’s a great way to enjoy Detroit and bring people here to see the great things happening in the city.”

The Parade Company selects the musical arrangement that Zambelli Fireworks Internationale will stage with more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects along the Detroit River. Michaels said this year’s show will be choreographed again by the world-renowned Patrick Brault, who has years of experience designing pyrotechnic displays, including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Ford Motor Co. is now in its second year as title sponsor and as presenting sponsor of The Parade Company’s Rooftop Party, one of The Parade Company’s largest fund-raising events. It is sold out already, Michaels said, making this year’s celebration even sweeter.

“The fireworks are stronger than ever with the great support from Ford Motor Company. It’s been great teaming up with them and our other sponsors,” Michaels added.

To help make this an enjoyable experience for all, the City of Detroit provided the following information to assist spectators.


Viewing areas: The following locations have been identified as the best viewing sites: Hart Plaza, Belle Isle (viewing from the MacArthur Bridge will not be permitted) and Mt. Elliott Park, Owens Park and Erma Henderson Park

Hart Plaza
Hart Plaza will be open to the general public, but pedestrian set-ups and/or gatherings will not be permitted before 2 p.m. June 22. Entry to Hart Plaza will close once it has reached desired capacity. There is No Re-Admittance once you leave Hart Plaza. No tents allowed. No alcohol, pets, or contraband (weapons, knives, etc.) will be allowed.  Flames or fires are prohibited, and cooking is prohibited. Reserving an area in excess of the number of people currently in the group is prohibited. Coolers and backpacks will be searched.

Belle Isle
Belle Isle will be closed on Monday, June 22, until 2 p.m. for vehicle traffic. Motorists will need the Recreation Passport to enter the island.  The passport, which is only needed for vehicles, may be purchased at the entrance for $11. Once island capacity is reached, no additional vehicles will be admitted to the park. Alcohol consumption is prohibited on the island except by use permit, which can be obtained from the park supervisor with a shelter or event rental. Tents and canopies should be 9 feet by 9 feet or smaller with no more than two tents or canopies per group. Consumer fireworks are prohibited on the island. The Detroit RiverWalk and Riverside Park will be closed.

Municipal Parking
The Municipal Parking Department also will not enforce parking meters after 10 p.m. June 22. However, motorists are advised to observe parking restrictions. Parking violators will be ticketed, and in some instances, vehicles may be towed.  Motorists will be ticketed for: Improper parking (vehicles within 20 feet from crosswalk; within 15 feet from an intersection, within 30 feet of a stop sign or traffic control device; and within 15 feet of a fire hydrant) Parking in designated zones, such as handicap zones (without proper credentials), fire lane, no parking zones or no standing zones.

Parking Facilities and Lots
MPD will offer parking at the following City-owned garages and lots.
•    Ford Underground Garage: 6 a.m. – 1 a.m.; $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum); 30 E. Jefferson
•    Joe Louis Arena Garage; 6 a.m. – 1 a.m.; $10; 900 W. Jefferson
•    Millennium Garage: 24 hours;  $10; 432 W. Congress
•    Premier Garage; 24 hours; $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum); 1206-08 Woodward Ave.; No new customers after 9 p.m.)
•    Grand Circus Park Garage; 24 hours; $5 (minimum) – $15 (maximum); 1601 Woodward Avenue

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Small Pop Up Shops From Detroit Make A Big Entrance At Mackinac http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/05/27/small-pop-up-shops-from-detroit-make-a-big-entrance-at-mackinac/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/05/27/small-pop-up-shops-from-detroit-make-a-big-entrance-at-mackinac/#respond Wed, 27 May 2015 17:05:17 +0000 http://www.dailydetroit.com/?p=13671 To use the parlance of today’s teens, Detroit’s small businesses knew how to bring it to the Mackinac Policy Conference.

They brought pins. They brought literature. They brought pin-up girls dressed in patriotic garb who passed out the pins and literature. It was a greeting like no other.

The brains behind it all? The marketing maverick known as Rachel Lutz, who is bringing her Peacock Room and its friends to Mackinac Island. Want to know how to get noticed in the best possible way among all of these muckety-mucks? Bring some Retro Girls with you to greet everyone when they get off of the ferry and onto the Island.

There is a joy to her mission – she’s a small-business evangelist. Lutz has a clear agenda, and it is to make sure that Detroit, its entrepreneurs and her friends get noticed. That everyone talks about them here and back in the city. That they get their missions understood. What a way to live your brand and your message.

Senator Debbie Stabenow with dock greeters
Senator Debbie Stabenow with dock greeters

Why is Lutz here? She is one of the creators of “Building Bridges to Small Business,” a pop-up shopping experience at the Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, May 28.

The event, sponsored by Detroit-based IT staffing and business solutions company Strategic Staffing Solutions (S3) and Mackinac Island’s Mission Point Resort, will coincide with the 2015 Mackinac Policy Conference.

Lutz recruited three successful, Detroit-based small businesses to bring their own pop-up shops to Mackinac, including Sweet Potato Sensations, Rebel Nell and Cyberoptix Tie Lab.

S3’s sponsorship reflects the personal commitment of founder, president and CEO Cynthia J. Pasky to support and profile talent that resides in the City of Detroit.

“The small businesses of today are the big businesses of tomorrow, and when there’s robust civic and institutional support of small business, we remove barriers to retaining talent,” Pasky said in a statement. “Small businesses have a real stake in the progress of the communities they serve and are critical to urban revitalization.  S3 started out as a small business in Detroit, and now we’ve grown into a $264 million global company that provides over 2,700 jobs.”


Here’s a little bit about each business – all are must-sees here and in Detroit:

The Peacock Room – A fourth-generation Detroit business owner, Rachel Lutz went from unemployment to providing jobs for seven people after establishing the women’s apparel boutique in the Park Shelton building in 2011.  Tripling her projected revenue during her first year in business, the success of The Peacock Room allowed Lutz to open a second store within ten months at the Park Shelton, called Frida.

Cyberoptix Tie Lab – Bethany Shorb, owner and lead designer, came to Michigan to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and after graduation chose to settle in Detroit, starting Cyberoptix in 2005.  Fabricating scarves, ties and other accessories from silk, microfiber, leather and recycled materials, each item is individually hand-stitched and silkscreened to order by Shorb’s studio team.  Cyberoptix was named one of the top ten performing handmade artists on Etsy.com, and their items can be found online and at over 250 retail locations.

Sweet Potato Sensations – A second-generation family-owned bakery and restaurant, Sweet Potato Sensations was created in 1987 when Cassandra and Jeffrey Thomas began producing sweet potato cookies at local events in northwest Detroit.  Expanding from community kitchens to successful storefronts, Sweet Potato Sensations offers a variety of sweet treats six days a week at their bakery café on Lahser Road in Detroit, as well as local retail outlets.  The company has been featured in local and national media, and has provided the dessert course for the largest sit down dinner in America, the Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner for the Detroit Branch NAACP for over a decade.  In 2013, Sweet Potato Sensations was admitted to the first Detroit class of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

Rebel Nell – Co-founders Amy Peterson and Diana Russell started their jewelry company with the sole purpose of employing, educating and empowering disadvantaged women in Detroit.  Rebel Nell repurposes broken concrete chips of graffiti, and transforms them into unique, wearable art objects.  The company’s stated goal is to help women move from a life of dependence to one of self-reliance, and they have helped several women successfully make the transition from homelessness to financial stability.  Working directly with local homeless shelters, they identify women who are ready to overcome barriers to employment through the fruits of their own labor.

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Meet The Michigan Positivity Project http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/01/26/meet-michigan-positivity-project/ http://www.dailydetroit.com/2015/01/26/meet-michigan-positivity-project/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 22:59:19 +0000 /?p=9727 Lisa Diggs, in case you don’t know this Michigan dynamo, is a glass-half-full kind of woman. She’s got big ideas and big ideals. Best part, she never sits still.

That is why her latest project caught our collective eye. Michigan Positivity (#MIpositivity for you hashtaggers out there) is what she describes as the “long overdue offshoot of the Buy Michigan Now campaign.” It’s the kind of campaign that takes stuff we’re already doing – Tweeting, updating our Facebook status or posting heavily tinted photos on Instagram – and making it all about our Great Mitten State.

“We’re trying to use social media to get more people to share all of the great assets of this state and of Detroit, without every other story starting with a burnt-out building or unemployment statistic,” Diggs said, who described it as aiming “to bolster the image of Michigan and its cities on a local, national, and global level.”

So who is going to participate in this positivity challenge? Lots of people, it turns out. Diggs left the state to get a few ex-pats involved. Some very fun ex-pats, it turns out.


“Last September we went out to LA and got 10 celebs who were from Michigan to sit down and share what they love about the state and how it shaped them. We’re editing the videos and intend to begin releasing them soon,” Diggs said. “Eventually we’ll add more as well as entrepreneurs, athletes, activists, students. …  We’ve barely launched and have our first success story. Days of Our Lives star Shawn Christian and his co-star Ari Zucker are now going to bring their Arrow-Heart Adventure Camps to Detroit as a result of getting involved with our project.”

This isn’t Diggs first go-around with creating positive Michigan buzz. After all, you’ve got to be pretty positive when your self-description is “Writer, speaker, consultant, & founder of Buy Michigan Now. Passionate advocate for the Great Lakes State & small businesses. Be a catalyst for positive change!”

She’s also the heart and energy behind much of the Buy Michigan Now project. Buy Michigan Now is a campaign whose aim is to boost Michigan’s economy by encouraging residents and friends of the state to buy more Michigan-made products and local services. That includes Michigan businesses buying from other Michigan businesses.

It also has an annual event for those who want to really get involved. Entering its sixth year in downtown Northville, the Buy Michigan Now Festival is a weekend celebration of the state’s annual Buy Michigan Week. This family-friendly event includes tasty treats, street vendors, live music, and children’s activities, all highlighting Michigan-based businesses and Michigan-made products. According to its very positive tagline, “Together we are revitalizing the economy, one product, one purchase, one person at a time.”

detroit-regional-news-hub-detroitSo far, I’m loving the posts that Diggs and others are adding to the #MIPositivity hashtag. They’re getting word out about our state’s low unemployment rate. Another day, it might be about the fund-raising efforts of the North American Auto Show. Or getting people involved in voting for a great Michigan-based project like the Miracle Grow Community Garden project.

There is a lot to be positive about in our fine state right now. Closer to home, there is a lot of positivity in the city – something the folks who are new here notice right away. They see what we cannot sometimes … that there is a buzz in the air of vitality and energy. We might be the underdog in our collective eyes, but to people who recognize our state’s natural resources, business innovators, community advocates and non-profit organizers, we’re something special.

I do believe that having a positive attitude (despite occasion bad days, natch) makes you look for the best in people, in cities, in every day life. If any state of this fine union could use a positive outlook, it’s likely to be Michigan. Some accuse us of having low self-esteem, especially around Detroit. I think we just need to say how much we love our geography a little more. Be a little bit gushing about where we live. It couldn’t hurt.

Check out the Facebook page and follow along. It’s something simple – sharing a post or Tweet with a hashtag attached. But it all builds upon itself, cultivating a culture of thankfulness, positivity and optimism for Michigan. And we need all of that that we can get these days.

A version of this post originally appeared at DetroitUnspun and is used here with permission.

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