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Oakland County's Big Four: Foreign Direct Investment, Life Sciences, Automotive and IT/Tech

Read more about Oakland County's Big Four - foreign direct investment, life sciences, automotive and IT/tech - in CAM Magazine here


Bistro 82 owner plans another restaurant in downtown Royal Oak


AFB Hospitality Group, the company that owns Royal Oak’s Bistro 82 and Sabrage lounge, plans to open a restaurant and bar next year featuring live entertainment on Main Street in downtown Royal Oak.

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Time2Talk announces receipt of US Patent for its 'talking' software suite

Time2Talk, LLC has introduced its Talking Power Management Unit (TPMU) software to the medical industry. The recent patent issuance, several years in the making, covers unique aspects of battery and power management used for the growing number of mobile computers in healthcare. “On behalf of the entire team at Time2Talk, we are thrilled to receive protection on our IP, providing further validation to our efforts, said Dean Figlioli, Founder and CEO. Our progress thus far is a real testament to the technological prowess and healthcare leadership in our region and state.

Healthcare IT professionals immersed in a clinical setting hatched the technology. After repeatedly experiencing the problem first hand, a comprehensive solution was created to solve it holistically. The server-deployed software is aimed at shared mobile computing assets like Medical Computer Carts, Laptops, Tablets and Thin Clients used extensively in hospitals.

The problem originates from computer units that run on costly, commercial-grade rechargeable battery systems. Unfortunately, due to shared use and the hectic nature of a clinical setting, plugging them in and allowing adequate time for recharge is an often-neglected task. Thus, deep battery discharge frequently render the assets inoperable and set off a string of costly and inefficient activities within the facility.

TPMU corrects this phenomena using a unique on-screen alert as well as a “talking” feature, both fully configurable, that remind busy clinicians to simply ‘plug in’ assets prior to reaching critical discharge phase. Compliance results are astonishing, reducing incidents by over two-thirds as Clinicians’ respond to on-screen alert and human voice as opposed to blinking lights or alarms that are inherent in many mobile computing assets. TPMU also meets The Joint Commission (TJC) compliance pertaining to noise reduction and associated clinician ‘alarm fatigue’ in hospitals. The company projects an 8:1 Return on Investment for hospitals.

The software suite also includes a comprehensive reporting console to empower decision makers with valuable information capital. “In a development world that supports producing a minimally viable product, pushing it to market to gain initial traction, then fixing the bugs, Time2Talk has taken the opposite approach”, said Figlioli. “Not only was the software fully patented, version 1.3 is the prerelease version that has been meticulously designed and tested to ensure customers needs are met. The company is one-hundred percent market ready to support leading hospitals throughout our region and across the country."

CORP! Magazine awards Genisys with Economic Bright Spots Award

Genisys Credit Union which provides services to anyone who lives or works in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, ranked as one of the healthiest credit unions in the nation and has also just received the Economic Bright Spot Award from CORP! Magazine.
“Genisys continuously strives to enhance the products and services we provide to our members, and that continued in 2014,” said Jackie Buchanan, President/CEO.  “We are once again extremely honored to accept this prestigious award from Corp! Magazine.”

Since first opening in 1936, Genisys continues to experience growth. In 2014, Genisys opened a new branch in Downtown Royal Oak and in the Village of Oxford.  Additionally, by an overwhelming vote, members of Tri-Pointe Community Credit Union approved a merger with Genisys Credit Union. The combined credit unions will operate under the Genisys name with a total of nearly 2 billion in assets and will provide services to nearly 175,000 members. The expanded operations will include a total of twenty-nine branches, twenty-six of which are in Michigan.
Genisys is one honoree out of hundreds of nominations demonstrating that there are Michigan-based companies who are growing, thriving and standing out from the crowd. In 2014, Genisys saw growth in assets and total loan balances, 7.5% and 14.1%, respectively.  Of the 14.1% growth in total loan balances, 28% is attributed to auto loans.  “We are very proud that Genisys continues to receive a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial, an independent rating firm,” Buchanan said.  “Fewer than 10% of all financial institutions in the country have received the 5 star rating for as many consecutive quarters as Genisys.”
In order to position itself for continued growth, Genisys has invested in member conveniences and has dedicated many of its resources to giving back to surrounding communities. Genisys has nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, mobile banking, newly developed mobile deposit applications, and in 2014 contributed nearly 3,500 volunteer hours to local communities on behalf of Genisys staff and family
About Genisys Credit Union:
Genisys Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution that has been committed to helping its members financially since 1936. Based out of Auburn Hills, MI, Genisys is one of the largest credit unions in Michigan, with over 175,000 members and 29 branch locations. They also provide business loans and a range of services for small to mid-sized businesses.  Genisys Credit Union is proud to be making a difference in their communities, and truly believes that Genisys is “where you come first”. Connect with Genisys on Facebook and Twitter by following “GenisysCU”. For convenient access to your account, download the Genisys iPhone App in the iTunes Store and Android App in the Google Play Store. For more information or a calendar of events, visit Genisys online at www.genisyscu.org.

Moceri to build loft-style apartments in Birmingham's Rail District


Moceri Companies, a luxury homebuilder based in Auburn Hills, breaks ground today on an 11-unit loft-style residential development called Irongate on Eaton in Birmingham's Rail District.

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Fresh Thyme Farmers Market opening three stores in metro Detroit July 22

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is set to rock Metro Detroit July 22 with three store locations staging grand opening celebrations and bringing their amazing grocery giveaway, live entertainment and fun activities the whole family will love! Fresh Thyme will support local charitable organizations by donating a total of $15,000 during check presentations and ribbon cutting ceremonies just prior to the scheduled 7 a.m. door openings.
Three Detroit area locations to serve you:
901 E. Big Beaver Road
Troy, MI 48083

2025 S. Rochester Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48037

15480 Sheldon Road
Northville, MI 48168

Each store will host a grand opening celebration and grocery giveaway! Fresh Thyme Farmers Market reusable shopping bags packed full with healthy groceries valued at $50 will be given to the first 250 shoppers through the doors at each store. Throughout the day attendees will be treated to live entertainment, face-painting, food sampling and other activities.

“Fresh Thyme is excited to open its first three Metro Detroit stores on the same day! These communities have an amazing pride in their local goods and we are proud to be able to source these high quality offerings for our stores,” said Fresh Thyme’s CEO Chris Sherrell. “As part of our commitment to providing local, healthy choices to the community, we will offer over 400 locally sourced grocery goods from Michigan within these stores.”

Fresh Thyme’s bountiful produce, delicious butcher shop and expansive wellness items are all encompassed by a local, hometown atmosphere.

“We do all this while keeping our produce and health items competitively priced at a great value. Cost really shouldn’t—and doesn’t have to—be a barrier to eating healthy,” said Sherrell. “Fresh Thyme’s first Michigan store recently opened in East Lansing, and we are thrilled to join three new communities in the Detroit market.”

About Fresh Thyme
Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is a full-service specialty retailer focusing on value-priced fresh, healthy, natural and organic offerings. It boasts an extensive produce department with organic and local fruits and vegetables, a natural meat department, healthy deli foods to go, bakery goods, 400 bulk food bins, dairy and frozen, and health supplement products. Fresh Thyme is scheduled to open 60 stores by 2019. Learn more at freshthyme.com. Keep in touch by liking us at facebook.com/FreshThymeFarmersMarkets and following us at twitter.com/FreshThymeFM.

Oakland County's 2015 business investment 'On Fire'

Oakland County business investment through the first six months of 2015 is more than three quarters of a billion dollars – surpassing the total business investment for all of 2014 by nearly $100 million.

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said the June Emerging Sectors® report revealed private business investment of more than $756.8 million through the first six months of 2015. Business expansion, attraction and retention investment for all of 2014 was $658.7 million, a difference of $98.1 million. The county tracks business activity connected to the Emerging Sectors business attraction and retention strategy as well as more traditional investments such as automotive.

“I encourage the citizens of Oakland County to take a look at those numbers,” Patterson said. “Our economy is on fire. We are roaring back from the ravages of the Great Recession. Our future looks blindingly bright.”

In June, Patterson reported Emerging Sectors total investment had topped $3 billion since the program began in 2004. It was created to diversify Oakland County’s economy which had been heavily dependent on the automotive industry. The strategy targeted international companies that expressed an interest in expanding operations into North America and North American companies that identified Oakland County as the right business location. The targeted sectors include advanced electronics, advanced materials, alternative energy, information technology/communications, aerospace and defense/homeland security.

The June report lists businesses such as Canada-based Magna International Inc., Troy-based Energy Power Systems and Bmax USA, subsidiary of a French tech company called I-Pulse, among nine companies who announced total investment in the county of $145.4 million, resulting in more than 1,000 new jobs and 759 retained jobs. Magna projects in Lyon Township and Novi total $104 million in investment.

Since inception, Emerging Sectors has 346 business successes resulting in total investment of $3.1 billion; 35,689 new jobs and 20,062 retained jobs. A success is a company that is either new to Oakland County or expanded here when it considered moving to another state or country.

The county’s Business Development Team works closely with Emerging Sector companies, providing assistance in such areas as site selection, workforce development, financing strategies, and coordinating state and local incentives. The team literally travels the world selling businesses on the advantages of locating in Oakland County. The county has more than 1,000 global firms from 39 countries.

Patterson said economists may debate reasons for the investment surge this year but he has his own theories.

“First, pent-up demand that is now being served,” he said. “Second, our gamble on diversifying our economic base beyond automotive is paying off in spades. And finally, there is a term, ‘Cumulative Causation,’ which means success breeds success. We are all beneficiaries.”

The most successful sectors in total investment are health care/life science (Medical Main Street) at $978 million, IT/communications (Tech 248), at $620 million and alternative energy at $548.9 million.

Patterson said the strategy is responsible for new investment in the county, on average, of $772,000 every day for 11 years.

“If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Oakland County is the economic engine that drives the Michigan economy,” Patterson said.

Western Oakland County development booming

Magna Seating of America, Inc.’s $48 million investment to build a new seating headquarters in the city of Novi underscores how western Oakland County is becoming a corridor for companies looking to expand or relocate, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said today.

The new investment is expected to create 164 new jobs.

“The I-96 corridor in western Oakland County is booming,” Patterson said. “Magna is among many companies investing millions and creating hundreds of jobs and we still have room for growth.”

Magna Seating will consolidate activities into a single facility to house its world headquarters, engineering, research and development, and sales and marketing teams. The company will construct a new 180,000-square-foot facility to house these operations in the city of Novi, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced in a press release. The new facility will be located on Cabot Drive north of 13 Mile Road, east of M5, with construction on the building expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

“As a valued member of the Novi business community, we are proud Magna chose to continue to call Novi a “home” in southwest Oakland County,” Novi Mayor Bob Gatt said. “We look forward to working with our friends at Magna and enhancing relationships throughout the community.”

Less than a month ago, Magna International Inc. also announced plans to construct a $56 million manufacturing facility in Lyon Township. The facility will supply underbody structural components to the auto industry. Combined with today’s announcement by Magna Seating, that’s a total investment by Magna of $104 million in western Oakland County creating a total of 414 new jobs.

“We want to thank Magna for its confidence in Oakland County,” Patterson said. “Building our future on the strength of companies such as Magna will enable Oakland County to continue to prosper.”

For career opportunities with Magna Seating, visit www.magna.com/careers. For more information about locating and investing in Oakland County, go to www.AdvantageOakland.com.

Magna International is a leading global automotive supplier with 316 manufacturing operations and 87 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries. The company has approximately 133,000 employees focused on delivering superior value to our customers through innovative products, processes and World Class Manufacturing. Their product capabilities include producing body, chassis, interior, exterior, seating, powertrain, electronic, vision, closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing.

Third Monk Brewing Company opens in South Lyon


There wasn't a lot of fanfare before Third Monk Brewing Company opened June 26.

But word has gotten out and the place has been hopping ever since.

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Preh designated a best place to work for millennials


Preh, Inc., a global auto electronics supplier in Novi, has been named one of the best places to work in America for employees now categorized as "millennials" – persons born in the 1980s and 1990s – according to the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research consulting group in Austin, Texas that teaches companies to better employ and sell to millennials.

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Durr Group sets up North American HQ in Southfield

The Durr Group, a global mechanical and plant engineering firm with a majority of its business in the auto industry, is relocating its North American headquarters to Southfield.

The operation will move its offices into a renovated former DTE Energy facility located on 14 acres on Northwestern Highway. A nearly 100,000-square-foot newly constructed building will include testing, training, and valuation centers.

The redevelopment, which is located in a brownfield-designated area, will bring an investment of about $40 million to the city along with nearly 500 jobs.

The project comes with tax abatements and will include a re-use that incorporates innovative, cost-effective energy saving technologies,

"The resulting campus will enable increased collaboration, communication, and creativity, benefiting employees and customers alike," says Rochelle Freeman, the city's business development manager.

Source: City of Southfield
Writer: Kim North Shine

GM to build Bolt and unnamed model at Orion plant


General Motors will invest $245 million and eventually hire 300 workers at its Orion Township assembly plant to build an unnamed model the company isn't willing to identify.

"Orion Assembly is a breeding ground for manufacturing innovation," said Cathy Clegg, vice president of GM North America manufacturing and labor relations, in a statement. "It serves as a model for how to engage the entire workforce at all levels to achieve success."

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Novi-based Maxion Wheels, ThyssenKrupp to make lightweight wheels for luxury, sports cars


Novi-based Maxion Wheels and ThyssenKrupp Carbon Components have entered into an agreement to develop and market new lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber hybrid wheels for OEMs.

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New Lyon Township facility to add at least 250 jobs


A subsidiary of Magna International, a Canadian-based auto supplier, plans to build a $56 million manufacturing facility in Lyon Township and bring 250 jobs in the initial phase of the project.

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Supply Chain Summit highlights innovation and state's logistics resources

In today's competitive global economy, Michigan businesses are searching for ways to strengthen the backbone of their enterprise - logistics and supply chain. Effectively managing warehousing, distribution, inventory and production are at the core of profitability and the driving force behind the state's newly created logistics and supply chain strategic plan.

That strategy along with the emerging challenges facing small- and medium-size businesses will be among the topics at the "Michigan Supply Chain Innovation Summit," Aug. 30-31 at the Henry Ford Event and Conference Center in Dearborn.

A New Emphasis
"There's a new emphasis in economic development strategy on the significance and priority on the state's supply chain network," said Steve Arwood, CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which co-hosts the supply chain summit along with Prima Civitas.
"At the MEDC, our role is to serve as a catalyst and facilitator, bringing together the private sector, distinguished academic minds, public sector resources and a strategic approach to meld knowledge with economic opportunity," said Arwood. "The summit is a major step in making the state's logistics and supply chain strategy a reality."

"We are excited to bring together thought leaders and innovators in the supply chain industry," said Arnold Weinfeld, CEO of economic and community development catalyst Prima Civitas. "The Summit will be all about pushing the boundaries of today's best practices."

Located at the heart of the NAFTA corridor, Michigan's supply chain and logistics network combines global know-how and on-going innovation, according to Arwood. The state's strategy focuses on providing key logistical support to a range of small-to-midsize manufacturing and agricultural businesses.

Be Inspired
With the opening session set amid the dramatic landscape of The Henry Ford's exhibits of some of the nation's greatest industrial innovations, the summit brings together today's leading supply-chain-and-logistics thinkers who will offer insight into successful integrated and tailored supply chain solutions, talent development and leadership, along with managing revenue, risk and complexity. By 2020, trade with Canada is expected to further increase with the creation of a new international trade crossing between Detroit and Windsor.

Summit sessions include a critical examination of current supply chain practices, innovations on the horizon, and advice on how to take advantage of Michigan's tactical logistical assets and "knowledge resources."

For details and online registration for the Michigan Supply Chain Innovation Summit, please visithttp://www.michigansupplychainsummit.com 

 Early Bird Discount applies before July 1.
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