2019 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon Creates Innovative Solutions to Business Challenges in Detroit’s Retail, Apparel Manufacturing, and Technology Industries

2019 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon Creates Innovative Solutions to Business Challenges
in Detroit’s Retail, Apparel Manufacturing, and Technology Industries
Winning Team from 36-Hour Hackathon Event Announced

Detroit –
The  2019 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon (DF+TH) brought together more than 70 participants from 33 Michigan cities as well as a few out-of-towners from other states and countries this past weekend to work together to solve real problems facing established brands in the fashion industry. The 36-hour event kicked-off on Friday, May 17, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. and ran until 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2019. The event was held at Grand Circus Detroit located at 1570 Woodward Avenue on the fourth floor. The Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon was co-hosted by Whim, a Detroit-based tech company specializing in the apparel, athletic, and retail industries and the Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), an initiative of the MEDC.

 The DF+TH set a number of goals for the event related to diversity, creativity, and community. It achieved these diversity goals by hosting 70 participants, becoming the largest retail and apparel innovation challenge in the Midwest. The 70 participants included 14 textile manufacturing professionals, 22 developers, nine UI/UX designers, and 10 retail owners and managers.

 Cash prizes totaling $1,500 were awarded to the top three winning teams. First place received $800, second place $500, and third place $200. DEVIATE, consisting of Cassidy Tucker, Kelsey Tucker, Matt Gotschall, and Vincent Bey, received first place with their solution “PoPP.” Fashion Tech Gurus, consisting of Shirley Rawlings, Steven Plat, Nathan Dimmer, Andrew Dimmer, and April Smith took second place for their solution “PopUp Hopper.” WildTex, with team members Reem Ali, Elizabeth Tong, Jordan Blackwell, Joseph Thomas, and Ali Azzawi, received third place after presenting their solution “Retrace.”

 There were two business challenges that were powered by Whim for the weekend. The first challenge, supported by Pingree Detroit and presented by Co-founder Jarret Schlaff, involved leveraging technology or data to reduce environmental textile waste to support designers, brands, and consumers who are looking for new ways to reduce their environmental footprint. According to The Balance Small Business, more than 15M tons of used textile waste is generated each year in the United States (an amount that has doubled in the last year).  Average Americans throw away 80 lbs of used clothing per person per year.  It costs a city, on average, $45/ton to dispose of textile waste and most consumers have limited options for repurposing old textiles.

 The second challenge, supported by York Project and presented by Founder Josh York, focused on creating a solution to help emerging brands assess which channels and pop-ups would deliver the most return on their investment. According to Accenture Retail, millennials, whose annual spending is projected to reach $1.4 trillion, will account for 30% of total retail sales by 2020.  Their shopping behaviors gravitate towards experiences and socially conscious brands.  And, emerging brands have challenges with making strategic decisions on how they select their customer channels, markets, and short-term pop-up investments.

 The first-place team, DEVIATE, presented the best solution to York Project’s issue of assessing which channels and pop-ups would deliver the most return on investment, called “PoPP.” “PoPP” is a mobile app that connects the following community: brands, customers, and pop-up locations. The mobile app allows brands to engage with customers, share their pop-up locations, and deliver analytics to help the brand with additional customer information. The additional information allows brands to make better selections regarding pop-up location selections.

 “The Detroit Fashion + Technology Hackathon is unique. We are building new innovation and collaboration muscles by merging creatives and retailers with developers, experience designers, and data analysts. It is an event that focuses on human capital and pushes people out of their comfort zones creating a prime display of collaboration,” said Lori McColl, Founder of DF+TH and Whim. “There is an important movement happening in the state for apparel manufacturing and design, and the DF+TH is helping to facilitate growth and partnership with talent, mentors and educators, and esteemed brands in the state.”

 The format for the Hackathon included multiple teams with two to five participants per team. At least one person per team is familiar with writing code. Other team members may include designers, artists, retailers, entrepreneurs, product/data specialists, and creatives. The team collaborated to find solutions to market-based challenges in the retail and fashion industries.

 “The DF+TH is a creative and efficient platform to provide an outlet to not only gather creative minds and show them where their talents could thrive, but to generate innovative new solutions to problems challenging brands everywhere,” said Kate Partington, Program Analyst for PMBC. “The hackathon is helping to show that Detroit and Michigan play an important role for innovation and talent in the apparel, retail, and tech fields.”

 The 36-hour competition provided participants with unique mentorship. The Whim team provided technology and industry experts with collectively more than 50 years of experience in the business. The mentors worked closely with participants throughout the weekend.

 The competition was judged on the quality of the participants’ responses to how their proposed solution presents an innovative approach in addressing the customer’s needs in a target market. Further, judges considered viability, impact, design, creativity, prototype, pitch, scalability, validation, and execution.  

 The event was made possible with support of numerous sponsors. Sponsors and partners for the 2019 DF+TH included: Google, Whim, Pure Michigan Business Connect, Pingree Detroit, York Project, Grand Circus Detroit, Shift Up, A. Victoria MAE, and Detroit Gourmet Nut Company.

 About Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon 
The 36-hour Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon brings together creatives and tech to create solutions to the problems facing the fashion and retail industries. The goal of the event is to support the overall foundation of innovation in Detroit. 
detroitfashionhackathon.com | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram 

 About Whim 
Founded with the mission to promote diversity in tech and innovation, Whim is an innovation lab and technology partner for businesses in the growth stage. The Whim team has more than 20 years of global experience in creative design, digital strategy, enterprise implementation, and managed services.   
www.whim-detroit.com | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |Instagram 

 About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) 
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  

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Valentine Distilling Co. Announces Entry-Only Tickets to Bourbon Release Party, First 100 Exclusive Event Tickets “Sold Out”

Valentine Distilling Co. Announces Entry-Only Tickets to Bourbon Release Party, First 100 Exclusive Event Tickets “Sold Out”

Ferndale, MI – Tickets became available today at 10 a.m. for the Valentine Distilling Co. Exclusive Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon release event scheduled for May 23 from 5-8 p.m. While a ticket to the event is free, the first 100 tickets secured on Eventbrite included the opportunity to redeem the ticket at the event for access to purchase a bottle of the exclusive Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon limited release for $89.99. (1 ticket per person per bottle) The first 100 tickets “sold out” shortly after becoming available on Eventbrite.

Due to popular demand, Valentine has released an additional, limited number of entry-only tickets for the event. The entry-only ticket includes entry to the event, a sample of the Black Label Bourbon, and access to the cash bar. Entry-only tickets are now available through Eventbrite. A ticket to enter the event is required.

The release event will take place at the production facility located at 965 Wanda Street in Ferndale. A cash bar will also be available for those in attendance, which will feature glass pours served neat or on-the-rocks of the Black Label Bourbon as well as specialty, hand-crafted cocktails featuring a variety of Valentine spirits.

“The Black Label was created to provide whiskey fans with access to an experience that they can’t find easily in the marketplace. Valentine is a craft, micro-distillery, and we stay true to that philosophy by creating quality products that are ultra-rare. This is our opportunity to create an experience not regularly found on liquor shelves,” said Valentine. “It’s a passion project for our decorated distiller; he creates the bourbon that you can’t find as a consumer.”

Valentine Distilling Co. has released three award-winning Black Label bourbons prior to this current release including the 9 year, 10 year, and 11 year. Awards include: 95pts, Double Gold from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; Best of Category, Gold Medal from the Artisan Distilling Institute; Double Gold from the North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition’ and 94pts, Gold Medal from the North American Whiskey Review. 

The Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon 7 Year release is an age-stated marriage of eight barrels that yielded 1,012 bottles from MGPI in Lawrenceburg, IN. The proof is 118.0. The marriage is a blend of 45 percent 12-year 6-month, 24 percent 13-year 7-month, and 31 percent 7-year 2-month bourbon. Although the 7-year is less than one-third of the blend, the law mandates that Valentine call this a 7-year aged bourbon.

“We included the 7-year with this blend on purpose, because it made it better. We could have made a few more dollars leaving the 7-year out from a marketing and labeling perspective, but that’s not what we do,” said Rifino Valentine, founder and president of Valentine Distilling Co. “We create quality products.”

Following the exclusive release party, approximately 900 bottles will be distributed to store shelves. The Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon 7 Year will be available at select stores and restaurants in the markets that Valentine Distilling Co. serves. The Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon 7 Year release has a suggested retail price of $89.99 as Valentine Distilling Co. aims to offer exceptional products at a fair price.

About Valentine Distilling Co.

Local to Global. It's Better.

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small-batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.

Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan
www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka | https://www.instagram.com/valentinedistillingcoMedia Kit

Valentine Distilling Co. Announces Exclusive Bourbon Release Party

Valentine Distilling Co. Announces Exclusive Bourbon Release Party

Ferndale, MI – Mark your calendars for May 23 from 5-8 p.m. for an exclusive release event for Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon from Valentine Distilling Co. The release event will take place at the production facility located at 965 Wanda Street in Ferndale. Tickets to the event are required and will be available only through Eventbrite starting Friday, May 17 at 10 a.m. EST. While a ticket to the event is free, you can redeem your ticket at the event for access to purchase a bottle of the exclusive Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon limited release for $89.99. The event is limited to the first 100 people that secure a ticket through Eventbrite. This event will be the first location bottles will be available for purchase. A cash bar will also be available for those in attendance.

“The Black Label was created to provide whiskey fans with access to an experience that they can’t find easily in the marketplace. Valentine is a craft, micro-distillery, and we stay true to that philosophy by creating quality products that are ultra-rare. This is our opportunity to create an experience not regularly found on liquor shelves,” said Valentine. “It’s a passion project for our decorated distiller; he creates the bourbon that you can’t find as a consumer.” 

Valentine Distilling Co. has released three award-winning Black Label bourbons prior to this current release including the 9 year, 10 year, and 11 year. Awards include: 95pts, Double Gold from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; Best of Category, Gold Medal from the Artisan Distilling Institute; Double Gold from the North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition’ and 94pts, Gold Medal from the North American Whiskey Review.

The Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon 7 Year release is an age-stated marriage of eight barrels that yielded 1,012 bottles from MGPI in Lawrenceburg, IN. The proof is 118.0. The marriage is a blend of 45 percent 12-year 6-month, 24 percent 13-year 7-month, and 31 percent 7-year 2-month bourbon. Although the 7-year is less than one-third of the blend, the law mandates that Valentine call this a 7-year aged bourbon.

“We included the 7-year with this blend on purpose, because it made it better. We could have made a few more dollars leaving the 7-year out from a marketing and labeling perspective, but that’s not what we do,” said Rifino Valentine, founder and president of Valentine Distilling Co. “We create quality products.”

The Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon 7 Year release has a suggested retail price of $89.99 as Valentine Distilling Co. aims to offer exceptional products at a fair price.

Following the exclusive release party, approximately 900 bottles will be distributed to store shelves. The Mayor Pingree Black Label Bourbon 7 Year will be available at select stores and restaurants in the markets that Valentine Distilling Co. serves.

About Valentine Distilling Co.

Local to Global. It's Better.

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small-batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products.

Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan

www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka | https://www.instagram.com/valentinedistillingcoMedia Kit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NUDG Systems Launches to Provide NIST 800-171 Compliance Software System Powered by Pacesetter & PC Shards

Sterling Heights, MI – For those government contractors still working to be NIST 800-171 compliant, NUDG Systems is here to assist. NUDG breaks down the policies and steps into an easy-to-understand process and stores all the information into an easy-to-navigate, auditable system. Gone are the days of word and excel for tracking this data.   

NUDG software shows the GAP analysis the company completed, and the steps they took to close the gaps to become NIST 800-171 compliant, so when audit time comes around for compliant-required companies, the data they need is at-hand. NUDG also provides updates to NIST policies, so a dedicated IT person is no longer needed to research NIST 800-171 updates and changes.  

NIST 800-171 provides requirements for protecting the confidentiality of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). The requirements apply to all components of nonfederal information systems and organizations that process, store, or transmit CUI, or provide security protection for such components. The CUI requirements are intended for use by federal agencies in contractual vehicles or other agreements established between those agencies and nonfederal organizations.  

NUDG is geared to create a process to compliance with NIST 800-171 and directed at Department of Defense and Government contractors to alleviate the stress and hours of work needed to be and maintain compliance.

NUDG offers the following:

  • Easy-to-understand, guided policy navigation system

  • Step-by-step analysis to NIST 800-171 compliance

  • NIST 800-171 compliant-ready policy and procedure templates

  • NIST 800-171 policy update notifications

  • Database with added permission security and group controls tracking

  • Robust, customizable status reports

  • Time stamped and recorded for ease in auditing

 “Decision makers can be confident that the product they are purchasing will provide peace of mind for their NIST 800-171 compliance needs,” said Katie Bigelow, Co-Founder of NUDG. “They know what they are getting and are offered customizable solutions to solve their IT compliance criteria.”  

About NUDG

NUDG provides NIST Unified Data Governance. The software is geared specifically to comply with NIST 800-171 and directed at Department of Defense and Government contractors to alleviate the stress of interpreting, complying, and maintaining NIST 800-171 policies.

www.nudgsystems.com | info@nudgsystems.com | 248-519-2429  

About Pacesetter

Pacesetter was founded in 2018, by Mark Bigelow, President, as he recognized a gap in the market while working to become NIST 800-171 in another business. 

About PC Shards

PC Shards is a computer repair and data recovery specialist as well as an all-inclusive small business IT company offering services such as remote support, networking, maintenance, virus removal, website hosting, website service, custom server builds/hosting, upgrades, and technology consultation. pcshards.com

 

2019 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon to be Held May 17-19, Registration Now Live

Detroit, MI – The 2019 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon (DF+TH) is happening May 17-19 at Grand Circus in Detroit located at 1570 Woodward Avenue, Level 3, and is co-hosted by WHIM and Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC), an initiative of the MEDC.

Who: The format for the Hackathon includes multiple teams with two to five participants per team. At least one person per team will be familiar with writing code. Other team members may include designers, artists, retailers, entrepreneurs, product/data specialists, and creatives.

What: The 2019 DF+TH is a 36-hour weekend retail + apparel innovation challenge that merges fashion and technology disciplines to create solutions to problems facing the industry. The competition brings together designers, creators, and developers and provides networking opportunities with industry experts 

Where: Registration is now open. Register at https://detroitfashionhackathon.com/registration/.Participants can sign up individually, in pairs, or as a team. Participants will be notified of the competition schedule prior to the event. An information session will be held on May 2 from 6-8 p.m. at WeWork, located at 19 Clifford St. in Detroit. Interested participants will be able to register for DF+TH during the information session.

When: May 17-19 at Grand Circus in Detroit, located at 1570 Woodward Avenue, Level 3.

Why: The DF+TH was created in 2018 as a strategic event to attract investment and create jobs for Detroit. Detroit has been home to creatives for many generations. With the goal of diversifying trades and manufacturing, the DF+TH has an opportunity to diversify technology and innovation to bring creatives together in a new and sustainable way.

About Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon

The 36-hour Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon brings together creatives and tech to create solutions to the problems facing the fashion and retail industries. The goal of the event is to support the overall foundation of innovation in Detroit.

detroitfashionhackathon.com | Twitter | Facebook |Instagram

About Whim

Whim was founded with the mission to promote diversity in tech and innovation.  Inclusive of a team doing game-changing work, Whim pushes the limits of innovation, taking risks, and working with passion.  Together, the Whim team has more than 20 years of global experience in creative design, digital strategy, enterprise implementations, business transformations, and data analytics. 

www.whim-detroit.com | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |Instagram

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community and talent development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit www.MichiganBusiness.org. For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at www.michigan.org. Visit Pure Michigan Talent Connect at www.mitalent.org for more information on Michigan’s online marketplace for connecting job seekers and employers. Join the conversation on: FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.



Valentine Distilling Co. Commits $500,000 for 10-Year Climate Sustainability Initiative

Ferndale, MI – Distilling. It’s a process. A process that is energy intensive, creates waste, and utilizes gallons upon gallons of water throughout the manufacturing production. Valentine Distilling Co. is one of the largest craft distilleries in the U.S. today. And since they were a pioneer in the distilling industry, it’s only appropriate that they take on the mission to have a positive impact on the environmental and resource changes happening in our world today. Valentine Distilling Co. has committed to a 10-year climate sustainability initiative that is rolling out already in 2019.

It is estimated that craft distilleries, on average, use at least 500 gallons of water per day. Times that number by the 1,800 craft distilleries in the U.S., that is nearly 1 million gallons of water per day being utilized, and the majority is process water that is being wasted.

“We have a goal to be a part of the solution, not a contributor to the problem,” states Rifino Valentine, Founder & President of Valentine Distilling Co. “We created this initiative because it’s the right thing to do. We want to inspire other businesses to join in this very important movement. This is an investment, not a cost-savings or tax-break for us. We are hopeful that in the near future that we will receive some government leadership in the area of climate sustainability to help us go even further.”

You may have heard of farm to table, but have you heard of farm to bottle to farm? This is exactly how Valentine Distilling Co. recycles the grains they use, from their all-grain distillery, in their distillation process. First, they purchase the grains from Midwestern farmers. Then, they process the grains during production. While the grain goes through the distillation process, the starches are removed leaving them protein rich when the process is complete. After production, the grains are then returned back to the farmers for cattle feed.

Valentine Distilling Co. is proud to call Michigan, the Great Lakes state, its home. And because it is the Great Lakes state, water is near and dear to Valentine. As part of this initiative, a newly purchased piece of equipment will recapture 95-98% of water lost during the distillation process by the distillery, which is equivalent to approximately 2,000 gallons of water per day for the distillery’s size. With much of Valentine’s water source coming from the Great Lakes, it is crucial to be respectful of its usage in order to preserve this natural resource.

Throughout the manufacturing of spirits, heating and cooling elements are used on a regular basis as separate systems. Valentine is coming up with ways to integrate these systems through heat transfer solutions.

Another inspiration towards implementing a long-term sustainability initiative came from Valentine’s cocktail lounge neighbor, MBrew. MBrew plants a palm tree every summer in their front yard and then relocates it during the Michigan winter. This past winter, in an effort to maximize their carbon offset, they placed the palm tree in their production facility.  The facility has 45-foot tall ceilings with natural light coming in creating a livable and successful environment for the tree. Palm trees are one way to absorb the 30-40 pounds per year of carbon dioxide that is created during the distillation process.

“The palm tree is symbolic of our efforts and serves as an everyday reminder to what is important in Valentine’s role towards climate sustainability,” said Valentine. “Taking respectable steps towards preservation of our natural resources, will ensure a better, more sustainable tomorrow for future generations, and that is part of our responsibility.”

The little things make an impact too, such as recycling cardboard and glass, using paper straws in the cocktail lounge, and only serving them when customers ask for one.

Throughout this initiative, Valentine will work to implement wind and solar-powered solutions to help power the production facility, with the eventual goal of becoming carbon neutral. Currently, they are installing energy-efficient lighting and boiler controls.  

Valentine’s 10-Year Climate Sustainability Initiative projects 4.75 million gallons of water saved over the 10-year period. Valentine plans to invest approximately $500,000 in this initiative over 10 years. However, the 10-Year Climate Sustainability Initiative is focused on investing in climate sustainability, not the cost. This is an initiative to save the precious resources available to our world today.  

About Valentine Distilling Co.  

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in nine states, Ontario, and Quebec. 

 Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, MI 48220
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, MI 48220
www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka 
https://www.instagram.com/valentinedistillingco/Media Kit

 

Valentine Distilling Co. Wins 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award from Michigan Celebrates Small Business

Valentine Distilling Co. Wins 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award from Michigan Celebrates Small Business

Ferndale, MI Valentine Distilling Co. has won a 2019 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award from Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB), the most prestigious, small-business awards program in the state of Michigan. Michigan Celebrates Small Business recognizes small businesses in a variety of different industries and fields whose growth supports Michigan’s economy. The mission of the program is to honor and recognize Michigan’s small business people as well as those champions and advocates that support them.

“We are proud to be selected for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award and be a part of a supportive entrepreneurial culture. As the growth of Valentine Distilling Co. continues, we hope to leave lasting and positive impressions, not only on each customer, but on the next generation of entrepreneurs as well,” said Rifino Valentine, Founder and President of Valentine Distilling Co. 

The Michigan 50 Companies to Watch recognizes 50 companies that are high-potential, second-stage companies in Michigan.

To be considered for selection as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch, the enterprise must have met the following criteria for the year ending 2018.

  • Be a privately held, commercial enterprise that has not received the award in the past (not a nonprofit, not publicly traded, not a subsidiary or division of another company).

  • Be past the startup stage and facing issues of growth, not survival.

  • Employ 6-99 full-time equivalent W-2 employees (including the owner).

  • Have between $750,000 and $50M in annual revenue or working capital from either investments or grants.

  • Be headquartered in Michigan.

  • Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow based on:

o   Employee or sales growth.

o   Sustainable competitive advantage.

o   Other notable successes.

“We at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business organization are proud to recognize these exceptional companies. They are a tremendous part of Michigan’s success, and we are excited to see what the future holds for them,” said J.D. Collins, State Director of the Michigan Small Business Development Center and a member of the Michigan Celebrates Small Business Board of Directors. 

Winners were selected by Michigan-based judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development, and venture capital communities. The selected companies also go through a rigorous due diligence process.

The 2019 Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala will be held on Wednesday, May 8 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Small business owners and supporters come from across the state to show their support for the awardees and support Michigan’s growing companies.

About Valentine Distilling Co.

Local to Global. It's Better.

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small-batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in nine states, Ontario, and Quebec. 

Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan

Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan

www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka | Media Kit

 

About Michigan Celebrates Small Business

Michigan 50 Companies to Watch is presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The program received nearly 600 award nominations in 2019, which surpassed the last year’s record of 425 nominations.  

Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is a collaboration of trusted statewide founding organizations who offer resources for small businesses. Since 2005, Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala has placed a spotlight on how small businesses positively impact our communities and state. The MCSB organization is focused on supporting, promoting and celebrating small businesses in Michigan. The Michigan Small Business Development Center is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2019. Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan, Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan Business Network, and the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Founding sponsors are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, AF Group, and Dynamic Edge, Inc. www.MichiganCelebrates.org

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Mettle Ops Honored as One of the 2019 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch”

Mettle Ops Honored as One of the 2019 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” 

Sterling Heights, MI – Mettle Ops has been recognized as one of the 2019 “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch,” an awards program presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB). In addition, Mettle Ops has also been recognized by MCSB as one of the 2019 “Best Small Businesses.” Michigan Celebrates Small Business is the most prestigious, small-business awards program in the state of Michigan.

 The mission of the program is to honor and recognize Michigan’s small business people as well as those champions and advocates that support them. The program allows organizations to raise awareness of small business in Michigan while building a network of entrepreneurial companies.

“We are honored to be selected for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award as well as a PTAC Best Small Business honoree from Michigan Celebrates Small Business,” said Katie Bigelow, President of Mettle Ops. “We recognize that our most valuable asset is our team.  As Mettle Ops continues to grow, we hope to truly make a difference for the warfighter, our ultimate customer.”

The Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award recognizes 50 Michigan headquartered companies that are high-potential and in their second-stage.

To be considered, the company must meet the following criteria for the year ending 2018:

  • Be a privately held, commercial enterprise that has not received the award in the past (not a nonprofit, not publicly traded, not a subsidiary or division of another company).

  • Be past the startup stage and facing issues of growth, not survival.

  • Employ 6-99 full-time equivalent W-2 employees (including the owner).

  • Have between $750,000 and $50M in annual revenue or working capital from either investments or grants.

  • Be headquartered in Michigan.

  • Demonstrate the intent and capacity to grow based on:

    • Employee or sales growth.

    • Sustainable competitive advantage.

    • Other notable successes.

Companies recognized as a “Best Small Business” through Michigan Celebrates Small Business were selected by their regional Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), Small Business Development Center (SBDC), or SmartZone. Honorees are selected based on their demonstration of successful growth and contributions to the economy of Michigan. 

The 15th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala is scheduled for Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing. Small business owners and the advocates that support them will be in attendance from across the state.

“We at the Michigan Celebrates Small Business organization are proud to recognize these exceptional companies. They are a tremendous part of Michigan’s success, and we are excited to see what the future holds for them,” said J.D. Collins, State Director of the Michigan Small Business Development Center and a member of the Michigan Celebrates Small Business Board of Directors. 

Winners were selected by Michigan-based judges from the banking, economic development, entrepreneurship development, and venture capital communities.

About Mettle Ops 

Mettle Ops is an U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a), Service-Disabled, Veteran-Owned, Small Business (SDVOSB), Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), Women Business Enterprise (WBE), Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB), National Veteran Business Development Council (NVBDC), Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), and Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB). Headquartered in Sterling Heights, Michigan and founded in 2013, Mettle Ops specializes in research, development, reverse engineering, program management, ground vehicle design, test and evaluation experience, system integration capabilities, and facilitates manufacturing and fabrication. Mettle Ops’ team includes war veterans with 35 years combined experience in Army service. Inspired by courage and tenacity and so-named Mettle Ops. 

 

Mettle Ops | Warfighters Serving Warfighters | mettleops.com 

3223 15 Mile Road, Sterling Heights, MI 48310 | info@mettleops.com | 586.306.8962 

WBE, WOSB, EDWOSB, NVBDC, CVE, VOSB, SDVOSB,  
U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Certified 2027 

DUNS: 07-908-4144 | CAGE: 6XYB2 

About Michigan Celebrates Small Business

Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is a collaboration of trusted statewide founding organizations who offer resources for small businesses. Since 2005, Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala has placed a spotlight on how small businesses positively impact our communities and state. The MCSB organization is focused on supporting, promoting and celebrating small businesses in Michigan.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2019. Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan, Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan Business Network, and the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Founding sponsors are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, AF Group, and Dynamic Edge, Inc. www.MichiganCelebrates.org

 

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Security Vitals Selected as 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB)

Security Vitals Selected as 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business by Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB)

Pontiac, MI Security Vitals has been selected as a 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business from Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB), the most prestigious, small-business awards program in the state of Michigan. Michigan Celebrates Small Business recognizes small businesses in a variety of different industries and fields whose growth supports Michigan’s economy. The mission of the program is to honor and recognize Michigan’s small business people as well as those champions and advocates that support them.

Macomb-Oakland Incubator nominated Security Vitals as 2019 Southeast Michigan SmartZone Best Small Business. The designation of SmartZone Best Small Business is awarded for demonstrating a strong relationship with the support organization as well as significant success as a company.

Corporate cyber security is a fast-moving field with many players and diverse requirements across industries. In particular, the cyber-security standard NIST 800-171 became an important compliance challenge in 2017-2018 for the more than 1,000 Michigan-based manufacturers holding contracts with the Federal government. In response, Security Vitals developed and launched its Compliance as a Service (CaaS) program to deliver the hardware, software, and consulting support necessary to help these companies achieve compliance and retain their government contracts. The company has developed a strong track record by driving compliance for organizations ranging from 3-person operations to Fortune 500 firms. Insights gained through data collected for the CaaS program led to the development of a new dashboard solution for vulnerability management. The Vulnerability Management Program (VMP) was released in 2018 to provide executives and operations staff with critical insights that dramatically improve the effectiveness of vulnerability risk management.

Security Vitals was building out the Compliance as a Service offering when it was introduced to the Velocity organization in Macomb County.  The timing was outstanding as a marketing program, pricing configurator, and legal service agreements were items that required external support.  The Velocity team helped organize the application and business plan to obtain a funding award of nearly $15,000.  In fact, the pricing configurator developed for CaaS is being revised to support pricing for the VMP.  

The relationship formed during the planning phase has built a strong foundation for continued synergy between the two organizations.  “We are humbled by this nomination from our colleagues at Macomb-Oakland Incubator through our work with Velocity,” says Rob Cote, President of Security Vitals.

Security Vitals self-funded its initial development of the CaaS program and was awarded a $15,000 grant in 2017 from Macomb OU-Incubator’s Business Accelerator Fund (BAF). The BAF award helped Security Vitals successfully launch its CaaS offering. CaaS has had a big impact on the organization as Security Vitals’ revenues have grown by 60% and staff headcount has increased 30% since unveiling the program offering. The firm has also partnered with Duo Security, a leader in two-factor authentication technology based in Ann Arbor, to support DoD, NASA, and General Services Administration (GSA) supplier compliance programs.

Since receiving the award, Security Vitals has been a guest speaker at Velocity public events, supported other award recipients through an application security test, referred other entrepreneurs for program funding, and provided input for the cyber security intern program.  

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), and SmartZones are organizations located across the state that provide support services to Michigan small businesses. Each regional PTAC, SBDC, or SmartZone may only select one company to be recognized as Best Small Business.

Selected regional Best Small Business recipients also undergo a judging process to determine a single statewide Best Small Business of the Year award recipient for each category (PTAC, SBDC, or SmartZone). This business receives additional special recognition. The “Of the Year” recipient is selected by a panel of judges based on the information provided by the region and the business. 

About Security Vitals

Security Vitals is a cyber security solutions firm that helps organizations identify and effectively mitigate the risk of data loss, business disruption, and reputational impact tied to cyber threats. Offering a blend of technology and consulting services, the team applies creative solutions that solve the most challenging elements of compliance and cyber security. securityvitals.com

 

About Michigan Celebrates Small Business

The Best Small Business awards are presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. The MCSB awards program received over 600 award nominations in 2019. Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is a collaboration of trusted statewide founding organizations who offer resources for small businesses. Since 2005, Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala has placed a spotlight on how small businesses positively impact our communities and state. The MCSB organization is focused on supporting, promoting and celebrating small businesses in Michigan.

The Michigan Small Business Development Center is the managing partner of Michigan Celebrates Small Business in 2019.  Michigan Celebrates Small Business was founded by the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, U.S. Small Business Administration - Michigan, Edward Lowe Foundation, Michigan Business Network, and the Small Business Association of Michigan.

Founding sponsors are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, PNC Bank, AF Group, and Dynamic Edge, Inc. www.MichiganCelebrates.org

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Innovation, Cybersecurity, and Workplace Talent Among Top Priorities for Southeast Michigan Businesses in 2019

The Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg Releases 2019 Confidence & Clarity Survey Results

(Bloomfield Hills, MI) – Year-over-year, the business landscape changes. It changes globally, regionally, and locally. And it shifts for all businesses in one way or another.

Most business surveys that are conducted focus on Fortune 500 companies and forget about this single overwhelming statistic: The SBA 2018 Small Business Profile reports that there are “30.2 million small businesses in the U.S.” That accounts for 99.9 percent of businesses in the U.S. according to the profile. This is one statistic that is rather resounding, especially in Michigan.

According to the 2018 Michigan Small Business Profile at SBA.gov, Michigan small businesses employed 1.8 million people in 2015, which is almost half of the Michigan workforce, and firms with fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment. These statistics support why the Confidence & Clarity Survey is a critical element to the business landscape in southeast Michigan.

“The recognition of this gap is how the Confidence & Clarity Survey came to be,” said Andrew Goldberg, Founder & Managing Partner, Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg. “It is important for these businesses to receive information about trends and the economy within their marketplace. This information will help them further grow their own businesses by setting realistic benchmarks and goals related to their industry and the market they exist in.”

More than 90 percent of survey respondents were in ownership or leadership positions within their organizations.  These owners and leaders revealed the following areas are top priorities for businesses in southeast Michigan:

·      Innovation

·      Knowledge management

·      Cybersecurity and data information protection

·      Attracting and retaining workers

·      Use of AI and automated workflows

·      Personalized customer experience

·      Net margin growth, cash management, and cash flow

While the survey is constructed around business functions, there are many legal elements that come into play when addressing the priority areas above. Goldberg realized this based on conversations with clients throughout his career as an attorney. His legal practice is dedicated to helping clients address the legal issues encountered when executing these priorities.

The full details of the 2019 Confidence & Clarity Survey report results can be accessed at http://confidenceandclaritysurvey.com.

About the Confidence and Clarity Survey

In 2018, the Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg debuted the Confidence & Clarity Survey. The survey helps to (1) identify trends in the region and marketplace; (2) gain competitive intelligence; (3) spark dialogue within organizations; (4) inspire conversations with business advisors on how to implement new initiatives, improve on strategies already in place, and take advantage of opportunities. http://confidenceandclaritysurvey.com

About the Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg

The Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg is proud to share their best ideas with clients, are relentlessly proactive, and devote themselves to their client’s business. Having advised clients for more than 25 years, Andrew guides clients to think and view situations from new perspectives with passion, energy, knowledge, and experience. The firm’s processes are designed to achieve the simple goals of making businesses grow, managing risks, and achieving Confidence & Clarity for a brighter future.

Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg | 2550 S. Telegraph Rd. Ste. 110, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

248.455.6500 | https://ajglaw.com | https://www.facebook.com/lawofficeofandrewjgoldberg/ | https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-law-office-of-andrew-j.-goldberg/

 

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Valentine Distilling Co. Mayor Pingree Red Label Bourbon Whiskey Returns After Being Sold Out for Two Years

Valentine Distilling Co. Mayor Pingree Red Label Bourbon Whiskey Returns After Being Sold Out for Two Years

Valentine Distilling Co Mayor Pingree Red Label Bourbon Whiskey.jpg

Ferndale, MI – Demand was rather high for the Mayor Pingree Red Label Bourbon Whiskey when it made its debut release a few years ago as the first bourbon in the Mayor Pingree labeled collection from Valentine Distilling Co.  So much so, that it sold out and hasn’t been on shelves for two years. The reason being, Mayor Pingree Red Label is aged at least 4 years and is a small-batch marriage of Valentine’s finest casks, which are distilled in the Ferndale production facility. Well, it’s time to raise a glass and say cheers, because starting Thurs., Feb. 21 the Red Label is back and in limited quantity. This release of the coveted bourbon yielded 3,900 bottles, and the distribution of this release encompasses nine states including Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Non-chill filtered and bottled at 94 proof, Mayor Pingree Red Label Bourbon’s flavors are delivered in layers that linger long through the finish. Valentine’s triple-pot distillation allows for flavors and textures not commonly found in typical column-distilled bourbons.

Rifino Valentine, President & Founder of Valentine Distilling Co., has always appreciated the American craftsman; working by hand, making one-of-a-kind items that stand the test of time. According to Valentine, “In distillation, this means selecting the best ingredients, distilling in small batches, and taking care in every single step of the process. This leans heavily on employing old-world techniques that haven’t changed in centuries but improving on them through an intimate understanding of the science involved in the complex and dynamic processes.”

Valentine anticipates this production run to sell out rather quickly as it is a limited release. A second release of the Red Label Bourbon is scheduled for fall 2019, which is anticipated to be similar in quantity.   

“Eleven years ago, when I started this company, I made the vow of producing products that compete not only locally, but internationally.  By doing small releases more frequently, it ensures that we only bottle the choicest casks, when they are truly mature,” said Rifino Valentine, President & Founder of Valentine Distilling Co. “These releases are limited, because the whiskey has to tell us when it’s ready.”

So, mark your calendars! And keep an eye out for this coveted product on your local liquor store shelves. Information on locations and distributors can be found on Valentine Distilling’s website. The Mayor Pingree Red Label Bourbon is also available for bottle purchase at the Valentine Cocktail Lounge in Ferndale at one bottle per customer.

Hazen S. Pingree, mayor of Detroit (1890-1897), is considered one of the greatest mayors in U.S. history. He was a champion for the Detroiter, fighting monopolies and corruption. Valentine Distilling Co. honors the enduring spirit of ‘Old Ping’ with its award-winning Mayor Pingree family of spirits.

About Valentine Distilling Co.  

Local to Global. It's Better.

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small-batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in nine states, Ontario, and Quebec. 

Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan
www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka | www.instagram.com/valdistill  | Media Kit

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Valentine Distilling Co.’s Ferndale Cocktail Lounge Announces Half-Off Cocktails  to Federal Workers During Government Shutdown

Valentine Distilling Co.’s Ferndale Cocktail Lounge Announces Half-Off Cocktails  to Federal Workers During Government Shutdown

Ferndale, MI – Rifino Valentine has a passion for aviation. As a pilot himself, he appreciates the labor of air traffic controllers, TSA workers, and the many more positions within government agencies that keep air travel safe. In fact, Valentine’s Liberator Gin and Liberator Old Tom Gin are named after the B-24 Liberator heavy bomber, which was a well-known aircraft used during World War II.

“I belong to a local flying club and take many short trips, usually with my wife, for fun.  On most of these trips, I’m talking to our local Detroit Approach controllers.  They do a tremendous job of keeping us safe from other traffic and advisories along our route.   They are professional and very helpful.  To think that they are still doing their very important job and not getting paid, I thought that this was the least we can do,” said Rifino Valentine, Founder, Valentine Distilling Co.  

Valentine Distilling Co.’s Cocktail Lounge located in Ferndale is offering half-off cocktails to federal workers every day, through the government shutdown, to those who present their federal ID. The Cocktail Lounge is located at 161 Vester Street in Ferndale. Hours of operation can be found at valentinedistilling.com.

The Beverage Testing Institute awarded Valentine Distilling Co. a Gold Medal for its Liberator Gin during the 2015 International Review of Spirits. And in 2018, Valentine Distilling Co.’s Liberator Old Tom Gin won a Double-Gold medal at the world’s largest gin tasting competition from The Fifty Best. Barrel-aged for two years, Liberator Old Tom Gin is a respectable gin featuring flavors of juniper berries and pine with a touch of vanilla, citrus, cardamom, and cinnamon. Liberator Old Tom Gin has also earned the title of ‘Best Cask Gin in the World’ from the World Gin Awards. It also has received a Gold Medal from the International Craft Spirit Awards. 

Valentine Distilling Co. reminds customers to drink responsibly.

About Valentine Distilling Co.  

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in nine states, Ontario, and Quebec. 

Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan
www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka | www.instagram.com/valdistill  | Media Kit
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65 Michigan Applebee’s Locations Enter Craft Cocktail Market with Features from Valentine Distilling Co. 

Ferndale, MI – TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR)franchisee and operator of Applebee's in Michigan, announces its entrance into the craft cocktail market with its recently-formed partnership with Ferndale-based Valentine Distilling Co. Two craft cocktails featuring Valentine vodka products are now available in its 65 Applebee’s locations in Michigan. 

A classic Moscow mule featuring Valentine Vodka can now be found on participating Applebee’s menus. And for a twist on the classic mule, a Motown Mule featuring Valentine White Blossom Vodka is also available. Both are served in Valentine-branded, copper mugs.   

“To kick off the New Year, we are extremely excited to share two of our favorite cocktails with innovative restauranteurs at TEAM Schostak,” said founder Rifino Valentine of Valentine Distilling Co.

As a family-owned company, TSFR purchased the Michigan Applebee’s due to its alignment with their company values of creating a neighborhood dining experience with high-quality food at an affordable price.

“We understand the dining experience often begins with a cocktail.  Having the opportunity to partner with a local, craft brand that’s already won international acclaim was an easy decision to make. This allows us to offer something unique & different from other national dining establishments.” said TSFR Executive Chairman Mark Schostak. “Throughout our more than five years owning and operating Applebee’s, we have remained committed to bringing a local perspective of the market to our Applebee’s locations.”

Recognized as one of The Detroit Free Press’ 2018 Michigan Top Workplace, TSFR is proud to be the local owner and operator of Applebee’s and looks forward to continuing to lead the way both in the restaurant industry and the communities it serves for years to come. 

About TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants 

Livonia-based TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants (TSFR) takes pride in creating jobs for today that lead to careers for tomorrow. TSFR is one of Michigan’s largest multi-brand, family-owned restaurant groups with an expansive portfolio of casual dining, quick service and family dining restaurants throughout the state of Michigan including Applebee’s, Olga’s Kitchen, MOD Pizza, and Del Taco. teamschostak.com


About Valentine Distilling Co.  

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also, in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in nine states, Ontario, and Quebec. 

 

Valentine Distilling Co. Production | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan

Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan

www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka | www.instagram.com/valdistill  | Media Kit
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Share the 2019 Confidence & Clarity Survey from the Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg

The Confidence & Clarity Survey was created by the Law Office of Andrew J. Goldberg in 2018, to see how business people were feeling about the economy and their organizations and what business advisors anticipated from their clients.

This survey helps:

  • Identify trends in the region and marketplace;

  • Provide insight on what other businesses are doing;

  • Spark dialogue within your organization about business opportunities;

  • Inspire conversations with external advisors on how to implement new initiatives, improve on strategies already in place, and take advantage of opportunities.

2018 Survey respondents consisted mainly of individuals holding leadership positions in organizations predominantly having from 10 to 100 employees, and with annual revenues between $2,500,000 – $20,000,000. These organizations tended to be in the manufacturing, retail and wholesale services, professional services, health care, and marketing and advertising industries.

Share the link of this survey with your network to help us better the information and knowledge shared and collected with businesses in southeast Michigan. You are important to the business community.

Typically, it will take 10 minutes or less to complete.

Warm Up with Valentine Distilling Co.’s Pumpkin-infused Vodka and Autumnal, Hand-Crafted Cocktail Recipes

Ferndale, MI – As the cooler weather sets in, Valentine Distilling Co., focuses on cocktails inspired by fall-fitting flavors. Toasty pumpkin, cinnamon, apple, allspice, vanilla, and rich ginger flavors invigorate taste buds and warm up the stomachs of cocktail lovers.

The following recipes include both crisp and refreshing drinks, as well as snug and cozy concoctions. Enjoy these delicious Valentine Distilling Co. fall-inspired cocktails all season. Start off by creating your own Pumpkin-infused Valentine Vodka.

Pumpkin-infused Valentine Vodka Recipe

  • 1 bottle of Valentine Vodka (750 ml)

  • .5 of a raw pie pumpkin (gutted, peeled, and cubed)

  • 5 pieces of whole clove

  • 7 whole allspice 

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine ingredients in a large pitcher, and let it steep for one week at room temperature. Strain off ingredients and keep infusion refrigerated for up to three months.

Now, let’s take that infusion to the next level by mixing up Valentine’s top three favorite fall cocktails. Classic cocktails infused with a twist of traditional fall flavors, these drinks can be enjoyed throughout the season.

Pumpkin Cream.jpg
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Pumpkin Mule

  • 1.5 oz. Pumpkin-infused Valentine Vodka (see recipe above)

  • .5 oz. lime juice

  • Top with a mildly spiced ginger beer

Espresso Pumpkin Martini

  • 2 oz. Pumpkin-infused Valentine Vodka (see recipe above)

  • 1 oz. cold brew coffee

  • .5 oz. simple syrup

Pumpkin Pie Martini

  • 2 oz. Pumpkin-infused Valentine Vodka (see recipe above)

  • .5 oz. simple syrup

  • .25 oz. Allspice liqueur

  • .75 oz. 1/2 & 1/2 cream

Preparation: Combine ingredients in a mixing tin, add ice, and shake. Rim martini glass by dipping the rim in simple syrup and then into crushed graham cracker crumbs. Strain into rimmed martini glass, and sprinkle ground nutmeg on top.

"The fall season brings some incredible new flavors to our in-house infusions, including our homemade pumpkin vodka,” said Heather DeLiso, General Manager at Valentine Distilling Co. “We've created some impressive new cocktails that we can't wait to share!"

These fall cocktail recipes are sure to please the casual home bartender as well as the experienced cocktail connoisseur.

About Valentine Distilling Co. 

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe, and Ontario.

Valentine Distilling Co. | 965 Wanda Street – Ferndale, Michigan
Valentine Distilling Co. Cocktail Lounge | 161 Vester Street – Ferndale, Michigan
www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka  |www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit

 

 

Valentine Distilling Co. Hires National Sales Manager to Take Company to the Next Level

Welcome Sarah Warde to the Valentine Team

Ferndale, MI – Valentine Distilling Co., known for its world-class, high-quality spirits has yet again made another strategic investment in the company. Valentine is pleased to welcome National Sales Manager, Sarah Warde, to the team. Come early November, Warde will be responsible for brand product market distribution.

Warde brings a wealth of beverage industry knowledge acquired from previous experience through her many positions as an Area Manager, District Manager, and On-Premise Sales Director totaling eight years at Great Lakes Wine & Spirits, District Manager for three years at Rodney Strong Vineyards, and as a Sales Consultant for five years at Viviano Wine Importers/J. Lewis Cooper Co.

“I’m honored to take a position with the Valentine Distilling Co. team,” said Warde. “I can’t wait to continue with the success the distillery has already had in its first 11 years.”  

With Warde’s powerful expertise joining the team, the award-winning craft distillery intends to continue to increase its brand posture and expand into various markets.

“During our first 11 years, we have seen tremendous growth in Michigan and select states.  As we embark on establishing a more national and international footprint, it was the right time to bring on an experienced national sales manager.  Hiring Sarah is going to help take Valentine Distilling Co. to the next level,” said Rifino Valentine, president and founder of Valentine Distilling Co. “We’re extremely excited to welcome her to our team, and I know her extensive industry knowledge is exactly what we need to move Valentine further on the map throughout the next 10 years.”

The National Sales Manager position is a newly added position for Valentine Distilling Co.

About Valentine Distilling Co. 

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe, and Ontario.

www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka |www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit 

Brought to You by Valentine Distilling Co. and McClure’s Pickles: The Bloody Mary Mix Kit is Back for the 2018 Tailgating Season

Ferndale, MI – It flew off the shelves last fall. So, if you missed it; you’re getting a second chance. The two Detroit-based companies, Valentine Distilling Co. and McClure’s Pickles, have teamed again up to make the perfect Bloody Mary box kit for this season’s football tailgates.

Available in limited quantities, the kit comes with two glasses, a fifth of Valentine vodka (featuring a new-and-improved bottle that recently debuted on shelves), and a McClure’s Bloody Mary mix jar for $29.99. It will hit shelves mid-to-late September at many convenient retailers such as Meijer, Kroger, Walmart, and Costco as well as other area retailers while supplies lasts.

“Our custom tailgating kit is exactly what every fan needs on game day,” said Rifino Valentine, president and founder of Valentine Distilling Co. “Our high-quality ingredients will keep the fan’s spirits up while they cheer on their favorite team.”

Masters of their crafts, Valentine and McClure’s have had a lifelong business relationship. Last fall, these two companies teamed up to stand out on retail shelves.

“Competing for retail shelf space amongst national brands claiming craft status is a challenge,” said Valentine. “We decided to create the Bloody Mary Mix Kit to showcase Detroit craft, quality products in a unique way.”

Working together for years as friends, and now partners as they continue to collaborate on this product, the two companies have extraordinary synergy and strong dedication to Detroit, and aim to share their spirit with football fans this tailgating season.

“Fans loved it last season, and we except them to go crazy for the kit again this season,” commented Valentine. “Looks like a touchdown to me!”

Information regarding locations and distributors can be found on Valentine Distilling Co.’s website.

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About Valentine Distilling Co. 

Established in 2007, Valentine Distilling Co. is an American pioneer of small batch spirits. Valentine Vodka has been named “World’s Best” by The World Vodka Awards in London back-to-back in 2016 and 2017. Also in 2017, Valentine Distilling Co.’s 10-year Mayor Pingree Blue and Black label bourbons received the most prestigious medal awarded, the Double Gold, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In the tradition of Detroit’s manufacturing leadership, Valentine Distilling Co. is dedicated to American ingenuity, quality manufacturing, and small batch distilling using old-world techniques that create superior products. The company’s award-winning vodka, gin, and bourbon are available in seven states, Western Europe, and Ontario.

www.ValentineDistilling.com | www.facebook.com/ValentineVodka |www.twitter.com/ValentineVodka  | Media Kit

About McClure’s

A family-owned and operated company headquartered in Detroit, McClure’s ensures they get the best, freshest produce available. Every jar is hand packed by one of its talented team members. All products are all natural, gluten-free (pickles, relish, bloody mary, all-natural chips, brine), and kosher certified (Michigan Kosher Supervisors, OU). Distributing to more than 4,000 national and independent retailers throughout the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, McClure’s currently produces high-quality, all-natural pickles, specialty drink mixers, and premium salty snacks.

www.mcclures.com | www.facebook.com/mcclurespickles |www.twitter.com/mcclurespickles

 

Meet the 7-Year Old CEO-In-Training who Helps Run His Mom’s Multi-Million Dollar Hair Care Empire

Detroit, MI - Gwen Jimmere, CEO, is not the only one driving the success of Naturalicious, one of the nation’s fastest growing hair care, beauty, and lifestyle companies. Caiden, her 7-year old son, has been involved in the company since it was founded in 2013, as the CCC, Chief Candy Curator.

Jimmere started Naturalicious after finding herself on the brink of becoming an unemployed single mom. After an unexpected layoff from her full-time job and a sudden divorce, Jimmere decided to start selling her handmade, hair care products to generate an income for herself and her son. Caiden, then age 2, was there by her side each day as she built Naturalicious, now headquartered in Detroit.

One might ask: what is the Chief Candy Curator’s role in this beauty empire, exactly? The answer is quite simple. Caiden is responsible for offering each customer an exciting experience. He handpicks a piece of candy to add inside every single online order that Naturalicious ships. It’s a sweet surprise and customers literally eat it up!

What’s more, adding a little something special to each order was the brainchild of this little entrepreneur-in-the-making when he was just 3 years old. Caiden explains, “My mommy was always working really hard, and I wanted to help her. She asked me what kind of job I wanted to have. I thought that everybody should get candy, because candy is a nice surprise, and it makes people smile. I started picking out candy for our customers and adding it to every order. They really love it!”

Serious about keeping his customers happy, Caiden has expanded his sweet treat shopping experience through live streaming on the Naturalicious Facebook page to crowdsource customer input for monthly batches of delectable surprises. Customers can even message him with their requests, and they wait with anticipation to see if Caiden has selected their sweet tooth-craving treat.

Caiden’s involvement as the Chief Candy Curator plays a huge role in creating one of the best parts of Naturalicious’ customer experience. He never fails to put a huge smile on each customer’s face, and he takes pride in doing so.

While his mom specializes in creating beauty solutions for busy women with products found in more than 2,500 stores worldwide, including Sally Beauty and Whole Foods; Caiden has a job that is truly the envy of every kid practically everywhere. Smart, busy women can’t get enough of Naturalicious’ products that include incredible time-saving value; and along with a handpicked treat to satisfy their sweet craving, this mother/son duo truly has concocted a recipe for success.

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About Naturalicious

Naturalicious is one of the nation’s fastest growing natural hair care companies. Since 2013, Naturalicious has been providing a one-of-a-kind hair care experience that does the work of 12 products in only 3 simple steps, taking users from wash to style in a fraction of the time. Gwen Jimmere, CEO, is the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. Gwen Jimmere has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, Essence, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, and more. Naturalicious is a proud partner of Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a Detroit-based nonprofit, offering opportunities for men and women with special needs to join the Naturalicious team. Purchasing a Naturalicious product means you are supporting a brand that is dedicated to helping not only your hair, but also our communities, thrive.

https://naturalicious.net | https://www.facebook.com/naturalicious/ https://twitter.com/naturalicious  | https://www.instagram.com/naturalicious

GG’s Foundation Impacts Animal Advocacy with Human“e” Education Program Offerings Sharing Experiences with Children and Adults to Improve the Lives of Animals

Northville, MI – Be Educated, Be Human“e”.  Animals have feelings too.  Cheryl Phillips, the author of GG’s Journey: From Lost to Loved and founder of GG ~ Gorgeous Gal and GG’s Foundation, is dedicated to providing Human”e” Education for all ages to prevent abuse, neglect, and violence of animals. 

Phillips strives to positively impact the Metro Detroit communities by conducting GG's Human“e” Education Workshops.

GG’s Foundation has held Human“e” Education Workshops through collaboration with the Detroit Impact Center as well as Friendship Circle. It is critical for children and adults alike to understand that we must treat all living creatures with respect, responsibility, and compassion. The goal is to educate, inspire, and create awareness of the abuse, neglect, and violence that animals endure, and what we can do to prevent it. GG’s next Human“e” Education Workshop is at the Detroit Impact Center on July 21.  

When asked what she learned during Phillips’ Human“e” Education Workshop, Anaiya, age 9, stated, “I learned about how dogs are spayed and neutered, and how you train them.”

Since 2012, Phillips has completed TNR (Trap, Neuter, and Return) for more than 225 “community felines” through rain, heat, sleet, and snow.  “We have to stop over-population,” says Phillips, who blames the problem on irresponsible pet owners who fail to have their pets spayed/neutered and abandonment, and shelters and rescues that release cats and dogs for adoption before they are spayed and neutered. “I try to do whatever I can; it starts with education. “

“She’s the lady you wouldn’t expect to be a typical cat lady. But she goes out of her way running around saving cats and dogs. Cheryl to the rescue,” said Bill Koresky from Hamtramck, who contacted Phillips about his kittens after calling multiple organizations without receiving help.

In 2017, GG’s Foundation

1.     Responded to 29 calls for assistance and made 49 trips.

2.     Provided spay/neuter for 68 animals. 

3.     Traveled more than 2,500 miles and volunteered more than 130 hours.

4.     Funded spay/neuter and medical care for 16 community felines in Grand Rapids.

“Cheryl is very helpful in rescuing strays. She is so generous with her time and energy, and she is truly a steward of God’s creation,” said Canton resident Mary Ann.

“If we can instill compassion in our youth, we will be a kinder, gentler nation,” said Phillips.

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About GG ~ Gorgeous Gal

Gorgeous Gal, GG, an abandoned Pitbull mix, strives to create a better future for animals everywhere. Founder Cheryl Phillips is an award-winning philanthropic leader giving animals a voice.  

www.ggsjourney.com | Media Kit | info@ggsjourney.com | Cheryl’s Bio

 

About GG’s Foundation

GG’s Foundation mission is to prevent animal homelessness, euthanasia of healthy and treatable pets, exploitation, inhumane treatment, and animal cruelty.

www.ggsjourney.com | Media Kit | info@ggsjourney.com

Detroit-based Naturalicious Expands Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System to Sally Beauty Retail Stores Nationwide

Detroit, MINaturalicious, one of the nation’s fastest growing hair care, beauty, and lifestyle companies, announces immediate availability of its Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System in almost 100 Sally Beauty locations.

Naturalicious is quickly becoming widespread through different states to keep up with demands. Gwen Jimmere, CEO of Naturalicious, introduced the Hello Gorgeous Hair Care System to provide time-saving beauty solutions for busy women. “When I created this product, it miraculously transformed my wash and style time down from practically all day to less than 30 minutes. This is a huge issue for many women with naturally curly hair and until we came along, they’ve accepted spending hours on their hair as the status quo. We’ve disrupted that and changed the game, without sacrificing healthy ingredients or amazing results” explains Jimmere.

Naturalicious started in Gwen’s kitchen in Detroit and quickly developed by combining 12 products into 3 simple steps. Naturalicious is the only sulfate, paraben, mineral oil, petroleum, gluten, and cruelty-free line of products that is also providing significant time savings to its users on the market.

“These products have truly made a huge difference in my life,” said Kristina B. “My time is so precious as a single mom & my daughter had a head FULL of beautiful hair that I just didn’t have time to manage before I found out about Naturalicious. Huge time save + great results!”

Naturalicious offers a wide range of products to satisfy both tight and loose curls along with managing frizz while maintaining great hair hydration – all vital parts of the company’s unique trifecta of achieving fantastic style results, with natural ingredients in a fraction of the time as other brands.

For a limited time, Naturalicious is giving customers the opportunity to earn a free 4oz bottle of their bestselling Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Hair Mist with purchase. The Naturalicious rebate will be valid on purchases starting July 15 through August 15. To participate in this promotion, purchase each of the three-step products at any Sally Beauty store where Naturalicious is sold or online at sallybeauty.com. Then send an image of your receipt via the online rebate form, and Naturalicious will mail you a free bottle of their Heavenly Hydration Grapeseed Hair Mist, at no cost, within 30 days of promotion end date.

Sally Beauty retail store state locations include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. Visit naturalicious.net/storelocator to find the store nearest to you.

Be totally satisfied with your purchase knowing that Naturalicious has a 60-day, 100% money back guarantee.

 

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About Naturalicious

Naturalicious is one of the nation’s fastest growing natural hair care companies. Since 2013, Naturalicious has been providing a one-of-a-kind hair care experience that does the work of 12 products in only 3 simple steps, taking users from wash to style in a fraction of the time. Gwen Jimmere, CEO, is the first African American woman to hold a patent for a natural hair care product. Gwen Jimmere has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Black Enterprise, Essence, Fast Company, Buzzfeed, and more. Naturalicious is a proud partner of Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a Detroit-based nonprofit, offering opportunities for men and women with special needs to join the Naturalicious team. Purchasing a Naturalicious product means you are supporting a brand that is dedicated to hair beauty while helping our community thrive.

 

https://naturalicious.net | https://www.facebook.com/naturalicious/

https://twitter.com/naturalicious  | https://www.instagram.com/naturalicious