Category: Business Written by Michigan Chronicle
The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund, will convene its 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit, October 2-3, at the MGM Grand Detroit Meeting & Events Center in Detroit. This year’s theme, “Economic Parity: Driving The Plan For Success,” addresses the release of the Rainbow PUSH Diversity Automotive Scorecard.
The Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit provides viable solutions in an industry that is still
recovering from significant economic downturns. The Summit’s ultimate goal is to bring inclusive
strategies to the forefront of the global business landscape as an endeavor to identify, sustain and
grow ethnic suppliers, dealers, media outlets, advertising agencies and firms that provide professional
Summit conversations will include community and industry leaders discussing The Assault on Diversity at the Leadership Town Hall Breakfast. As the automotive industry bounces back and reaches
unprecedented growth rates and profitability, African American automotive suppliers and dealers have
dwindled to an alarming rate. Automotive leaders will also Speak on Diversity: The Business Case during the Business & Education Awards Luncheon. The Summit will conclude by recognizing living legends and emerging leaders in the automotive industry.
“We will continue to celebrate diversity within the automotive industry by recognizing companies whose business model embodies inclusion. However, we will also highlight those companies that resist diversity,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., president and founder of Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
“Minority consumers support automotive companies with more than 22 percent of new vehicle purchases, yet some companies’ diversity plans continue to lag woefully. This is unacceptable.”
In January the Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project released an Automotive Diversity Scorecard to provide a snapshot of each manufacturer’s success of building and sustaining diversity and inclusion. The Automotive Diversity Scorecard is the basis for the establishment of unbiased diversity standards that will be presented at this year’s Summit.
The Summit sponsors include (but are not limited to) Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Chrysler Group, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Subaru and Volkswagen.
For more information about registration for the 14th Annual Rainbow PUSH/CEF Global Automotive Summit visit www.rainbowpush.org.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 16:22
Category: Business - Original Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Austin Black II is the founder of City Living Detroit, a full-service real estate brokerage that is headquartered in Detroit’s thriving Midtown neighborhood. His firm specializes in properties located in Detroit with a focus on downtown, the growing riverfront, the cultural center, and the city’s historic neighborhoods.
From an early age Black had shown an interest in urban development and major metropolitan cities. His fascination started with an elementary school project about skyscrapers and wind velocity. It continued later in life while studying at the university level. He is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, College of Architecture, Art and Planning where he studied redevelopment projects abroad and earned a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies. Black was also a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
After visiting more than 20 cities in Europe and Italy and earning a degree that concentrated on Real Estate and Urban Redevelopment, Black decided to return home to Detroit and put his knowledge and passion to make Detroit a better place to live, work and raise a family. He was determined to make a difference.
Upon his return, non-profit organizations like Detroit Synergy introduced Black to a diverse group of people that had a common goal of creating positive change in the community. Black credits Detroit Synergy for finding organizations with similar goals that helped him build a stronger connection to the community and introduced him to other opportunities.
In 2004, Black and four other young professionals came together to plan an event to showcase residential options in the city of Detroit. With the help of Matt Cullen of Rock Ventures and General Motors, the group hosted a housing fair at the GM Wintergarden. As a result of this partnership, City Living Detroit was formed, an organization that promotes Detroit as a vibrant urban center by providing resources that encourage people to move into the city.
Over the last four years, City Living Detroit has produced four housing fairs, three magazines, and several bus tours of residential developments throughout the city. Many people that attend its events are surprised at the amount of development happening here.
According to Black, there are several bright spots outside the growing Midtown and downtown neighborhoods.
“The Villages and East Jefferson corridor are seeing new retail business open, Livernois in northwest Detroit is starting to see new businesses open and Grandmont, Rosedale neighborhoods are going through an aggressive program to rehabilitate foreclosed homes. All of these initiatives are vital to stabilizing and growing the adjacent residential neighborhoods. There is a lot that can be learned from the success of organizations like Midtown Inc,” he said.
As the housing market is beginning to stabilize in the greater downtown neighborhoods (Midtown, downtown, Lafayette Park, Corktown) and many of the historic neighborhoods (Indian Village, Rosedale Park, Palmer Woods, Golf Club District, Sherwood Forest, University District), demand is growing while inventory is low, causing values to rise.
“For people that want to make a difference, there are endless opportunities to get involved with a strong support system that allows people to do things here that would not be possible in other major cities,” said Black. “National trends are changing in favor of city living. More people are gravitating to walkable mixed-use neighborhoods. Detroit is starting to benefit from this trend as more people are choosing to relocate from suburban communities to the city. A large percentage of the buyers we work with are suburbanites wanting to relocate to Detroit.”
Black has quickly proved to be a rising star in Detroit real estate, achieving success at all levels and racking up both local and national accolades. He has been the recipient of several awards and honors. In 2010 he was recognized by Realtor® magazine as one of 30 up and coming realtors under 30 in the nation. Crain’s Detroit Business named him to their Dream Board of Directors. He received the Rising Star Award from Max Broock Realtors and was named to the first Crain’s Detroit Business 20 in Their 20s list.
“Right now I’m working on the Willys Overland Lofts. City Living Detroit is in charge of the sales and marketing for this project. The development was the last new developments to launch when the housing market crashed in 2008. The first few years were difficult because of the uncertainty with the economy. Within the last 12 months we have seen a significant increase in sales with 14 units going under contract within this period, priced from $190,000 to $540,000. Many of our buyers are downsizing from large suburban homes and like the vibrancy that this prime Midtown location offers.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 September 2013 10:35
Category: Business Written by CNN
by Blake Ellis
Your credit score can make or break your financial future.
Last Updated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 08:00
More Investment In Downtown Detroit: Detroit Marriott At The Renaissance Center Announces A $30 Million Renovation
Category: Business - Original Written by Rian Barnhill
More change and investment is coming to Detroit’s riverfront as the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center announced that it will begin a $30 million renovation project in February 2014, transforming 1,329 guest rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Detroit Marriott is one of the tallest hotels in the western hemisphere and its massive makeover will take about a year to complete. Guest room renovations will start in February 2014 and are expected to take about one year to complete. Meeting room remodeling will begin in spring 2014 and conclude in fall 2014. The 70-floor hotel will remain open throughout the project with a few floors undergoing reconstruction at a time.
“We’re energized by the current revival of Detroit and excited to be a big part of it by making a $30 million investment in a landmark property that welcomes visitors from around the globe to our amazing city,” said Shonda Johnson, area general manager of the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. “Like Detroit, we’re undergoing our own rebirth of an original icon.”
Given Marriott’s commitment to Detroit, the corporate design team created a one-of-a-kind look specifically for the Detroit Marriott. The designers immersed themselves in the fabric of the region and Detroit to incorporate the city’s vibe and personality into the new, comfortably modern décor theme. The color palate is neutrals and greys with teal accents, providing the perfect backdrop to stunning photography of Detroit architectural landmarks that will adorn the walls.
The new meeting rooms will feature the colors of a Michigan beach at sunset — mauve, taupe, purple and brown. Renovations include an extensive remodeling of the ballroom and exhibit hall space to allow greater functionality of the meeting space.
The Detroit Marriott’s massive makeover is part of Marriott Hotels’ current brand transformation to reflect the lifestyle of the next generation of travelers who seamlessly blend work and play in a mobile and global world. The iconic brand is reasserting its position as an industry innovator through a new multi-year global marketing campaign call “Travel Brilliantly” to amplify its dedication to leading the future of travel. The campaign includes TV, digital and mobile advertising, a new brand look and logo, enhanced social media platforms, and, a new website — www.travelbrilliantly.com — revealing innovations under development, as well as a co-creation platform to solicit user-generated ideas.
As part of the overall brand transformation, Detroit Marriott guests will enjoy many new amenities and technological innovations. The enhanced amenity package includes a new line of personal care items, such as soaps and shampoos, as well as new bedding and linens.
In recognition of its increasingly connected mobile guests, Marriott Hotels is now rolling out mobile check-in at 325 Marriott-brand properties in the U.S. and Canada, including the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. With the Marriott Mobile App, Marriott Rewards members can check in after 4:00 p.m. the day before their arrival and receive an automatic notification when their room is ready. Members simply walk up to the expedited mobile check-in desk to pick-up their pre-programmed key card. More information about mobile check-in can be found at http://travel-brilliantly.marriott.com/our-innovations/check-in-app.
As the industry leader in hosting meetings, Marriott is introducing new technology designed for the mobile worker including Workspring at Marriott, Red Coat Direct and Workspace on Demand.
The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is located on the riverfront in the heart of downtown Detroit. The hotel’s guest rooms offer some of the most spectacular views in all for Detroit with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the city skyline, the Detroit River and Canada. The property has 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting space to accommodate up to 2,200 guests. The hotel is within the General Motors Renaissance Center complex, 25 minutes from Detroit Metro Airport and five minutes from Windsor, Ontario.
For more information or reservations, call Marriott at 1-800-352-0831, or visit
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:48
Detroit’s historic Livernois Avenue of Fashion gets a makeover with REVOLVE Detroit’s ‘Art + Retail on the Ave’ winners
Category: Business - Original Written by Rian J. Barnhill
The Thrifty Broads of THRIFT on the Ave., TaNisha D. Prater (left) Tisha Prater.
More than 20 artists from as close as the local neighborhood to as far away as England have been selected to participate in REVOLVE Detroit’s “Art + Retail on the Ave” program to revitalize Detroit’s historic Livernois Avenue of Fashion into a premier shopping and cultural destination. The artists will work alongside twelve Detroit–area retailers who were selected to open new permanent and pop-up businesses on Livernois Avenue.
The new art installations and businesses will debut Friday, September 20, when Livernois Avenue hosts the Detroit Design Festival.
REVOLVE Detroit issued a call for entries for artists and retailers in June and received nearly 100 proposals. Winners were selected based on interviews, feedback from the community, and expert reviews from a panel of 28 Detroit leaders in art, business, local universities and community organizations.
“We received a huge response from artists, and proposals came in from countries like France, Austria and Romania, as well as cities here in the United States, including New Orleans, Baltimore, New York and more,” said Michael Forsyth, REVOLVE program manager at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.
“We received many strong proposals from both pop-up and permanent businesses based in Detroit. Some of the strongest proposals were from residents right here in the community. All of the entries were excellent, making the selection a difficult but exhilarating process.”
The temporary and permanent art installations will include a variety of media, such as painted murals, projections of “living” paintings in ink and oil, metalsmithing, and photography.
Michael Owen, a contemporary painter from Baltimore, Md., will be painting a mural on the wall of Jo’s Gallery on Livernois that honors the legacies of African American musicians from Detroit.
“I’m honored that my proposal and the quality of my work led the committee to believe I’m the right candidate for this project. My plan is to talk with the galley owner and others in the community to hear who they feel should be on the mural,” Owen said.
Native Detroiter Mandisa Smith and her business partner Najma Wilson will open Detroit Fiber Works, a cooperative of artists who work in a variety of fiber techniques and offer classes as well as sell their work, with a focus on community service.
“I grew up in the neighborhood. My parents both shopped on Livernois, and one of my favorite pastimes was walking up and down the street, looking in the windows. Najma and I remember how wonderful Livernois used to be, and we really want to be a part of the transformation. We know it’s going to be great,” Smith said.
The permanent and pop-up businesses will include streetwear, women’s fashions, books and gifts, specialty bakery, coffee shop and more.
Katrina Studvent, who with her husband Donald owns 1917 American Bistro on Livernois, will be opening Social Ice Cream Bar.
“It will be a social gathering place for a play date, a first date or a meet-up. Our goal is to engage the community to get out of their house and meet for a cone and conversation. The families in the neighborhood work so hard, and we want to offer a space they can walk to and enjoy being with their friends and family,” Studvent said.
Art + Retail on the Ave Winners:
• Regal Cafe - Detroit, MI
A coffee shop that provides a connective space for students and neighbors and a venue for arts and culture
• Local Social Ice Cream + Good Cakes and Bakes - Detroit
Two complimentary businesses building a neighborhood gathering space for ice cream, treats, snacks, drinks and social events on the Ave.
• Renaissance - Detroit
A high-end streetwear shop representing designer sneakers, hip-hop fashion, Japanese streetwear, and modern haute couture
• Art in Motion - Detroit
A ceramic studio where the community can participate in workshops, attend classes, gain technical skills, enjoy private lessons and work in an open studio setting
• Thrift on the Ave. - Detroit
Name-brand, mid and high-end women’s fashions that accommodate all body styles and shapes on any budget, curated by social media darlings, the Thrifty Broads
• Fresh Food Co-op - Detroit
A community of food entrepreneurs committed to making the possibility of good food in Detroit a sustainable reality. Participants include Batata Shop, Beautiful Soup, Fresh Corner Cafe, and Treats by Angelique
• H2BT - Detroit
An online radio station and boutique clothing retailer for emerging musicians
• Pages on Livernois - Detroit
A collection of books and gifts curated specifically for the neighborhood
• Fill-Anthropy - New York, NY
A temporary, non-profit bar whose profits go back into projects that benefit the community
• Detroit Fiber Works Creative Center - Detroit
A space where community members can see fiber artists at work, purchase fiber art by local Detroit textile artists, and attend classes and/or workshops in various fiber craft techniques
• Love Travels Imports - Detroit
Fair trade, handmade goods in a variety of colors and themes, sustainably created by artisans from around the world
• True Indulgence - Detroit
A specialty bakery featuring bite-sized desserts and decorated cakes
• Michael Owen - Baltimore, MD
Murals that honor the legacies of African American musicians from Detroit
• Vaughn Taormina - Detroit
A mural that captures the spirit of the Detroit landscape and engages viewers in a dialogue about the city as a muse
• Walter A. Bailey, The Millenium Project- Detroit, MI
Innovations in acrylic arts
• Pam Tietze - New York, NY
Outdoor installation of viewfinders that use ‘h0les’ crystal prisms for a transformative, sensory experience.
• Thomas Humery - Paris, France
A photographic series that captures members of the community through an international lens
• Harrison Richards Bartlett III 1/2, Delaney Martin, Taylor Lee Shepherd, Margot Couture, Arielle De Pinto, Artem Voevodin, and the Treasure Nest present Dacha - Detroit
An art installation and performance space constructed using locally-sourced, recycled and found materials
• Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic - London and New York
Black As Ink: projections of “living” paintings in ink and oil that explore the visual dynamism of the substance which fueled Detroit’s history
• Carrie Walker, Ghost Jungle - Detroit
An art installation composed of layers of light and paper that will take the form of plants, vines, and small trees, to form a dense and colorless jungle of surfaces on which light can play
• Jessica Janda and Joshua Smith - Detroit
Graphic design and identity development for businesses selected to participate in the Avenue of Fashion program
Last Updated on Wednesday, 21 August 2013 10:25
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