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Building Resources through the Defense Hardtech Accelerator

Building Resources through the Defense Hardtech Accelerator 1200 800 sccadmin

The Centrepolis Accelerator at Lawrence Technological University was created to enhance the growth of Michigan’s advanced manufacturing, innovative hardware entrepreneurs and small manufacturers. The Centrepolis team of business development and technology experts focus on providing companies with the necessary tools and environment to thrive.

To this end, the Centrepolis Accelerator has collaborated with the U.S. Army to launch the Defense Hardtech Accelerator (DHA) Program. The goal of the program is to help the U.S. Department of Defense identify and assist companies with advanced technologies that bolster domestic product development and manufacturing and reduce supply chain gaps.

The global program’s presence in Michigan was driven by the many companies with applications for both commercial and defense sectors.

“The Defense Hardtech Accelerator is geared toward supply chain resiliency and domestic manufacturing,” says Program Director Chad Darr. “We have a lot of great dual-purpose tech companies here in Michigan that are addressing supply chain resiliency as well as supply chain gaps. These businesses are manufacturing their products here in the states instead of going offshore.”

The program emphasizes domestic design, engineering, prototyping and manufacturing, with a focus on technologies such as mobility, electrification, light weighting, drones and improved logistics for ground vehicle applications.

Upcoming Summertime Events

Upcoming Summertime Events 1200 800 sccadmin

Summer is here, and that means Southfield is bustling with things to do. Whether you’re a resident, employee, student or visitor, “Southfield offers a wide array of activities and events all summer long,” says Southfield Mayor Kenson J. Siver.

Here’s just a sampling:

Eat to the Beat is a lunchtime favorite featuring live music and food trucks on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Jun. 13: Circle of Sound Band
  • Jul. 11: Detroit Social Club Band
  • Aug. 8: Denise Davis & The Motor City Sensations
  • Sep. 12: Kathleen Murray Band

The 17th Annual Southfield Garden Walk (June 23), hosted by the Southfield Parks & Garden Club, will feature eight yards in the Tamarack/Hiawatha Neighborhood, located between Evergreen and Lahser roads, south of Ten Mile. Participants can enter the neighborhood on Tamarack Trail between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. Tickets for the walk are $10 and may be purchased on the day of the event or from the Southfield Mayor’s Office.

A Jewish Artists Exhibition (through July 31, 2024) features 15 Michigan-based Jewish American artists on display in the Southfield City Hall atrium/main lobby.

The 8th Annual Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival (August 9 and 10) takes place on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Campus. Enjoy great jazz Friday from 6 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday from 3 to 10:30 p.m. In addition to live music, the free event features food trucks, boutique vendors and more.

The Chutney Festival (August 24) is a vibrant and delicious celebration of South Asian and West Indian street food. The event will be held at the Southfield Municipal Campus.

Things to do all summer long:

Get moving on the Southfield City Centre Trail with a walk, jog or bike ride during lunchtime or after work. The trail features nearly 9 miles of non-motorized pathways, including a 3.5-mile “Inner Loop” where you’ll find several outdoor art installations. The Monarch Butterfly Pollinator Garden, Tapestry of a Community and Red Pole Park are just a few.

A Bike Share program (with 9 convenient locations]) makes it easy to ride the trail. For a 3.5 guided tour of 26 public works of art and cultural sites along the trail, download the PocketSights app to your mobile device and search “Southfield, Michigan.”

Get out on the green. If you’re a golfer, don’t miss your chance to tee off at the Evergreen Hills Golf Course, located at the Southfield Municipal Campus, 26000 Evergreen Road, this 9-hole, par 34, 2,954-yard public course features beautifully landscaped grounds and manicured fairways.

Grab lunch at one of your favorite Southfield restaurants, find an open bench along Evergreen or Civic Center Drive and enjoy the great outdoors.

For the athlete in you, the Southfield Municipal Campus is home to baseball diamonds, soccer fields and every type of court imaginable, including volleyball, tennis, pickleball, basketball and racquetball.

Vintage Fashion Show a Smashing Success

Vintage Fashion Show a Smashing Success 1200 800 sccadmin

Fashion was on full display at the Art and Vintage Fashion Show on Friday evening, May 31. The extraordinary event attracted an enthusiastic crowd of art and fashion lovers who enjoyed a wine & cheese reception, DJ-inspired music and fashion from bygone eras.

The former Skyline Club at 2000 Town Center was the scene of the event, hosted by The Friends of Southfield Public Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to procuring, transporting, installing and restoring art for public enjoyment.

The event featured a vintage fashion show with models from the Southfield A&T Dance Team displaying authentic vintage clothing from the 1940s, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. On loan from Fantoni, a Berkley vintage clothing store, the clothes were previously sold in such iconic Detroit stores as J.L. Hudson’s, B. Siegel, Winkelman’s, Himelhoch’s, Jacobson’s, Bonwit Teller, Claire Pearone and Surwin’s.

“This was a unique experience for attendees to get a glance into yesterday’s fashion world while supporting the local art community,” says Southfield Mayor Kenson J. Siver.

Local artists Priscilla Phifer, Rosemary Summers, Samah Kthar, Reggie Singleton, Lionnel Hurst and Brian Nickson also showcased their work along with several vintage clothing, jewelry and art vendors.

Funds from the show will go toward public art projects, including a signature piece by famed Mexican sculptor Sebastian. His sculpture will be part of the “Nine Mile Greenway Corridor and Placemaking Project,” which represents the corridor extending from I-75 in Hazel Park to I-275 in Farmington Hills.

Pollinator Garden in Bloom

Pollinator Garden in Bloom 1200 800 sccadmin

The Southfield City Centre Monarch Butterfly & Pollinator Garden is buzzing right along as summer kicks into high gear.

With plans for this pollinator-friendly demonstration garden finalized last fall, it’s been full speed ahead, says Souzan Hanna, ENV SP, LEED AP, Sustainability Planner with the Southfield Planning Department.

Saving Monarch butterflies from extinction is the inspiration for the garden, which was spearheaded by the Southfield Planning Department, Southfield City Centre and Eaton Corp.

“The first phase began last year with installation of a vibrant Monarch butterfly sculpture, an educational panel, benches and wayfinding signs,” notes Hanna.

Located on the Eaton Corp. campus, adjacent to the Southfield City Centre Trail, the garden was designed by Juno Solutions, LLC, in collaboration with Terry Croad, AICP, ASLA, Director of Planning for the City of Southfield. Phases I and II have been fully installed by Artistic Outdoor Services, Inc., with a phase III planting in the fall.

“Employees, residents, students and visitors are encouraged to watch the progression from the Southfield City Centre Trail as more and more butterflies, bees and other pollinating insects discover the garden,” says Croad.

According to Joane Slusky, landscape architect and owner of Juno Solutions, LLC, much goes into the layout, design and selection of native plants for the garden, including various blooming stages, ample nectar supply, plant height and resistance to the deer and rabbit population. “In addition to nectar, the plants we select provide shelter for the pollinators and the small boulders we incorporate allow butterflies to extract salts and minerals from water that collects on their surfaces and indentations.”

“The pollinator garden project goes hand in hand with our commitment to sustainability and brings awareness to the decline of pollinators,” says Hanna. “We hope to inspire other communities to design similar gardens to attract butterflies, bees and other pollinators to urban areas.”

A Driving Tradition

A Driving Tradition 1200 800 sccadmin

The annual Blessing of the Corvettes took place on May 4th as local Corvette owners who’ve had their cars in storage over the winter took to the roads. This yearly “coming out” ceremony is hosted by Roadmasters Vette Club in cooperation with the City of Southfield. In addition to their love of cars, the Roadmasters are passionate about community service, with members showing up to support many community events throughout the year.

Community Feast Focuses on Sustainability

Community Feast Focuses on Sustainability 1200 800 sccadmin

The importance of eliminating food-related waste was the theme during Southfield’s “Community Feast” hosted by Make Food Not Waste. The free educational event, held April 13th at the Southfield Pavilion, was designed to inspire attendees to enjoy food with an awareness of how to reduce waste.

As part of its overall sustainability initiative, the City of Southfield is working to become the first city in the state to eliminate food waste, says Souzan Hanna, ENV SP, LEED AP, sustainability planner with the Southfield Planning Department.

During the event, attendees enjoyed a meal prepared by professional chefs using food that would otherwise go to waste and end up in landfills, while local food vendors and organizations working to reduce food waste in the community provided tips for grocery shopping and simple cooking methods.

Make Food Not Waste is a nonprofit organization working to keep food out of landfills by creating lasting solutions to food waste through education, food upcycling and advocacy.

For more information visit https://makefoodnotwaste.org.

Mid-Century Modern Architecture Bus Tour – June 9

Mid-Century Modern Architecture Bus Tour – June 9 1200 800 sccadmin

Mid-century modern enthusiasts are invited to join us June 9th as we tour homes, neighborhoods, commercial buildings and religious institutions throughout the Southfield City Centre and citywide.

The 2.5-hour tour begins at 2:00 p.m. at Shaarey Zedek (27375 Bell Rd, Southfield). From there, you’ll be transported by bus to visit other examples of this timeless architecture created by visionary designers and architects.

The event is sponsored by the Southfield Historical Society, Detroit Area Art Deco Society and Friends of Southfield Public Arts.

Pre-sale tickets are $40 available through PayPal at SFLDPublicArts@gmail.com or by check made payable to Friends of Southfield Public Arts. Checks can be mailed to the City of Southfield, c/o Mayor’s Office, 26000 Evergreen Road, Southfield, MI 48037-2055. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets will also be sold at the door, if available, for $50. All ticket purchases are a tax-deductible donation.

Southfield Gets Top Recognition

Southfield Gets Top Recognition 1200 800 sccadmin

When the City of Southfield earned the title, “Top City in the U.S. for Black Women to Flourish Financially,” for the second year by MoneyGeek.com, Sherry Swift and Tina Catron weren’t surprised.

The two Black businesswomen chose to locate Swift Transitions Coaching, Consultation and Training in Southfield eight years ago and are happy they did. The company has since grown to include The Swift Collaboration and Swift Transactions Management, also located in Southfield.

“Southfield has always been an extremely diverse community,” says Swift. “If there’s an area that would be most available for success for African American women, it could be easily Southfield because of the diversity here.”

Southfield Mayor Kenson J. Siver is proud of the recognition. “We are thrilled once again to have the distinction of Southfield being the top city in the U.S. for Black women to flourish financially,” he says. “We support our minority-owned businesses through our involvement with the Southfield Chamber of Commerce, job fairs and our Business Accelerator co-sponsored by Lawrence Technological University, among other initiatives. It should come as no surprise that a number of city departments are led by Black women,” Siver adds.

To determine the best places for Black women to flourish, MoneyGeek looked at 164 cities with populations greater than 65,000 — from the best to the worst. The ranking includes analysis of income, poverty rate, home ownership, educational attainment and health insurance gaps between Black women and the entire population nationally and locally.

Catron notes another important advantage she and Swift have realized with their business location. “Southfield is a great spot for our business because it’s close to downtown and to anywhere you want to maneuver within the state. This is where a lot of businesses intentionally land because no matter where you’re coming from, it’s central to everything.”

As Swift and Catron focus on growing their business, which currently includes a real estate brokerage arm as well as training, coaching and consulting services, their plan is to “100 percent” remain in Southfield.

“It’s easy for people to find us and we can access all of the tools and resources located here,” says Swift.

RESTART Program a Win-Win-Win for Retirees, Businesses and Students

RESTART Program a Win-Win-Win for Retirees, Businesses and Students 1200 800 sccadmin

Southfield’s Lawrence Technology University (LTU) is home to a Michigan program that offers complimentary waste reduction and sustainability expertise to companies interested in pursuing a lower carbon footprint.

Known as the RESTART Program, services are provided by retired professionals (Retired Engineers, Scientists, Technicians, Administrators, Researchers and Teachers) who want to remain in the workforce on a part-time basis. The program, which operates within the LTU Centrepolis Accelerator department, currently employs 20 professionals with a scientific background and experience in energy efficiency, sustainability or risk reduction practices.

According to Robert Jackson, Executive Director of the program, “We provide funded onsite energy and sustainability assessments and consultations to Michigan businesses with less than 500 FTEs (full-time equivalents) and public institutions of any size, including K through 12 schools.”

The RESTART program — a collaboration between the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and LTU — is committed to helping businesses maximize energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption, promote sustainable manufacturing practices and/or lower operational costs.

Although other states offer similar programs, “None of them is as unique as ours,” says Jackson, pointing out the RESTART’s student internship offering.

“We’ll place junior and senior engineering students or those in the sciences into a business over the course of a summer to work on an energy efficiency or sustainability project. We currently have solicitation for students in the state of Michigan who are looking for an internship, as well as solicitation for businesses seeking an intern for the summer. What also makes our internship program different is that our retired professionals serve as mentors over the course of the summer as students carry out their projects.

Jackson encourages companies to explore the RESTART Program if they’re interested in improving energy efficiency and sustainability practices. “The program can conduct an audit and help guide companies through the process.” To date, says Jackson, “We’ve done about 131 energy sustainability assessments, with more planned for the year. We hope to get to 150 by the end of the summer.”

For more information about the RESTART Program, visit https://www.restartmi.org.

City Centre Event Recap

City Centre Event Recap 1200 800 sccadmin

Warm Winter Fest 2024

Adults and children enjoyed a warmer-than-normal Winter Fest Sunday, March 3, at the Southfield Sports Arena. With temperatures hovering near 60 degrees, the event drew a crowd of more than 300 for a variety of activities, including indoor ice skating, a high ropes course, a rock-climbing wall with bouncers, carriage rides, electric car rides, marshmallow roasting and nature programs sponsored by Oakland County Naturalists.

Happy Hour and Team Trivia

The Southfield City Centre Happy Hour and Team Trivia Networking event on March 14 drew a sellout crowd of participants from many Southfield-based organizations. The group gathered at Towne Square Food & Spirits from for the chance to show their brain power and network.

“Our area businesses have found that joining us for this event has been a win-win,” says Rochelle Freeman, director of Business & Economic Development for the City of Southfield. “Their employees have an opportunity to bond and build relationships outside of their work environment, and to mix with other companies to develop potential new leads and professional connections.”