Double the Fun: A Second Chance to Watch June’s Eat to the Beat Virtual Event

Double the Fun: A Second Chance to Watch June’s Eat to the Beat Virtual Event southfieldcc_3ik8d2

The Southfield City Centre’s Eat To The Beat Events this summer are going virtual in response to COVID-19. On Thursday, June 11, the very first Eat To The Beat event of 2020 was aired on Cable 15 through the City of Southfield website.

The virtual event was an hour-long concert featuring singer-songwriter Angela Davis “up close and personal,” and Alise King & the Pure Nastiness Band, recorded live at Aretha’s Jazz Café in Detroit.

If you missed the first event, you can watch it on demand at the Southfield City Centre Facebook page.

“We recognize that everybody wants to enjoy themselves outside, listening to great music and sharing some great food with friends, family and coworkers. That’s why we are making our Eat To The Beat events virtual for the summer schedule,” says Terry Croad, director of planning for the City of Southfield, in a recorded introduction to the virtual Eat To The Beat events.

If you missed the first event, please tune in for a special rebroadcast, whenever and wherever you might be. It’s available right now at the Southfield City Centre Facebook page.

Mark your calendar for the next Eat To The Beat VIRTUAL event with all new bands for lunchtime enjoyment: July 9, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

Planning is in the works for a summer drive-through food truck event, so watch for additional information to follow.

Eat to the Beat is Virtual in the Southfield City Centre

Eat to the Beat is Virtual in the Southfield City Centre southfieldcc_3ik8d2

Eat To The Beat, the Southfield City Centre’s signature summer food truck and live music monthly event will take on a different look this summer, in response to COVID-19.

On Thursday, June 11, everyone can tune in to the first virtual Eat To The Beat in the Southfield City Centre.

“We recognize that everybody wants to enjoy themselves outside, listening to great music and sharing some great food with friends, family and coworkers. That’s why we are making our Eat To The Beat events virtual for the summer schedule,” says Terry Croad, director of planning for the City of Southfield, in a recorded introduction to the virtual Eat To The Beat events.

This creative effort was pulled together in record time in response to the rapidly changing environment surrounding stay-at-home orders in Southfield and across the state of Michigan.

“With the stay at home order, we have been trying to figure out a way to bring music to residents and those who work in the City Centre. Originally, we didn’t want to promote live gatherings so we came up with the idea to do a virtual Eat To The Beat experience and premier it on Facebook as if it is live, without it being live,” explains Samantha Jenkins, recreation programmer for Southfield Parks and Recreation.

Eat To The Beat VIRTUAL on June 11 will feature Alise King & the Pure Nastiness Band, recorded live at Aretha’s Jazz Cafe in Detroit and Angela Davis, recorded “up close and personal,” from her studio.

Here’s how it works:

Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 11, grab some lunch or snacks and tune in to Eat To The Beat VIRTUAL through one of these methods:

Take advantage of beautiful almost-summer weather while working at home or wherever you might be, and join in June’s Eat To The Beat VIRTUAL in the Southfield City Centre.

Planning is in the works for a summer drive-through food truck event, so watch for additional information to follow.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Take Steps Goes Virtual

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Take Steps Goes Virtual southfieldcc_3ik8d2

While the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation can’t conduct its signature fundraising Take Steps walk live in the Southfield City Centre this summer, it is reserving June 20 for a fun virtual walk with everyone invited to participate.

On June 20 at 12 noon, 53 communities across the country will combine efforts in a virtual walk to raise awareness and funds to support research into the causes, treatments and cures of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). This virtual walk event will take place on Facebook Live, with no Facebook account necessary to participate.

All participants can access the Take Steps Facebook page to connect with fellow walkers, learn more about events and get tips for fundraising. Or connect directly with the Southeast Michigan Take Steps event by searching “Southeast Michigan Take Steps + Virtual 2020” on Facebook. No matter where you are, you can help the Southeast Michigan Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation reach its fundraising goal of $185,000.

“We know that IBD doesn’t quit, especially during this time when it’s even more challenging. We are here to serve our Michigan communities,” says Sarah Arminiak, manager for fundraising campaigns & volunteer engagement at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Michigan Chapter.

“Now is the time to come together to support one another and focus on a time filled with positivity and community and now more than ever we need the continued support of our volunteers and community to keep moving forward! We sincerely hope that our supporters will walk virtually with us, from wherever they are. We’re all in the this fight together, and only together can we find cures for IBD!”

The 2019 event was the second year Take Steps was held in the Southfield City Centre. The 2.6 mile loop made good use of Southfield’s City Centre Trail, a larger shared-use path that makes getting around the City Centre enjoyable and safe. The extra-wide path encourages event participants to walk side-by-side, even include a wagon or stroller, and the placement of benches allows walkers to take a rest when they need to. The Southfield City Centre is pleased to support the event, even if it won’t take place live on the City Centre Trail this year.

Locally, the Southeast Michigan Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation will host a kickoff event just prior to the official virtual walk on June 20. Starting at 11:30, participants can hear from local honored heroes and local medical experts about the critical importance of supporting research and raising awareness about ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Want to know more?

Southfield City Centre Welcomes Juneteenth Week

Southfield City Centre Welcomes Juneteenth Week southfieldcc_3ik8d2

For a full week beginning June 15, the Southfield City Centre will burst with activity to celebrate Juneteenth 2020. This week-long event recognizes “Freedom Day,” honoring the emancipation of the last enslaved African Americans on June 19, 1865, when abolition of slavery in Texas was announced.

A collaborative effort between Southfield Mayor Ken Siver and Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., the event will offer participants the chance to learn the history of the Southfield City Centre and its important role in the Underground Railroad movement, enjoy jazz, blues, art and other types of entertainment, food trucks and much more.

“We are partnering with the City of Southfield and Mayor Siver to initiate our first annual Junteenth Week celebration,” said Zena Kyles, president of the Pi Tau Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., during an initial presentation to the Southfield City Council on Dec. 9, 2019. “This is a cultural event we want to bring to Southfield and to Oakland County.”

Juneteenth Week offers residents, family, friends and visitors a chance to enjoy the numerous amenities of the Southfield City Centre and explore the many public art installations, shared-use trail, bikeshare program, and many gathering places within the City Centre district.

“We presented the Mayor with our ideas, and we really just wanted a day of celebration, but the Mayor was enthralled and enthused and had so many ideas for a weeklong agenda of events,” said Kyles. “There were already events happening in Southfield, but we are renaming them or bringing them under the package of Junteenth Week.”

Beginning on Monday, June 15, the week will feature:

  • An Underground Railroad & Juneteenth History event with the Southfield History Museum at Burgh Historic Park.
  • A health fair, “Come Out & Play” event with Oakland County Parks, a jazz & blues concert with the Southfield Public Library, a local talent show and food trucks.
  • A Southfield student art show and adult art show in conjunction with the Detroit Breakfast Club, both at the Southfield Pavilion.
  • The AKA Juneteenth Black Tie Banquet.

Warmup events for the celebration begin the week prior with the first of the Eat to the Beat lunchtime concert series and food truck event on Thursday, June 11, followed by the Saturday, June 13 Take Steps walk for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, an annual affair that raises funds and awareness.

Juneteenth Week will culminate in the Mayor’s Juneteenth Fun Walk on the morning of Saturday, June 20. Kicking off at the Southfield Municipal Campus on Evergreen Road, the walk will guide participants on a fun community-building walk along the City Centre’s shared-use trail through Civic Center Drive and along the Northwestern Hwy. service drive, right through the iconic Red Pole Park interactive art installation.

Various Junteenth events target service goals of AKA, including awareness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, women’s health, economic empowerment and celebrations of the arts, dance and theater, Kyles said.

In the audience of the December 2019 Southfield City Council meeting were members of AKA and numerous other service fraternities and sororities to pledge their support and volunteer commitments for Junteenth Week.

Mark your calendar and visit this site often for forthcoming updates on Juneteenth Week 2020 in the Southfield City Centre!

January Mix & Mingle Kicks Off 2020 for Southfield Area Chamber and Skyline Club

January Mix & Mingle Kicks Off 2020 for Southfield Area Chamber and Skyline Club southfieldcc_3ik8d2

Celebrate the new year by connecting with fellow Southfield Area Chamber members at a unique event on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at The Skyline Club in the Southfield City Centre.

“This is a great post-holiday event to start your year off on a positive note,” says Jasmine Patton, director of communications and events at the Southfield Area Chamber. “It’s a great opportunity to catch up and network with Chamber members.”

The event will allow Chamber members to relax and network while watching the sun set through the expansive view from the Skyline Club, which is on the 28th floor of 2000 Town Center, right in the heart of the Southfield City Centre.

“The view is amazing,” says Patton. “All windows, and nothing but the full skyline of the city. It’s a really great way to see all the different elements of the community, including residences and businesses.”

The January mix and mingle is the first of several events the Southfield Area Chamber plans to host at the Skyline Club in 2020. On Thursday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Skyline Club will be the venue for a Southfield Chamber & Friends Luncheon, a networking event where participants can learn more about the Southfield Area Chamber and Skyline partnership.

Many members have expressed an interest in lunchtime events that are blended with elements of learning, according to Patton.

“We thought lunch hour would be a good time to step away from the day-to-day and relax and have a view of Southfield with a little bit of downtime and enjoyable networking,” Patton says. “We are looking to offer a variety of event types, whether early morning, mid-day luncheons, or mixers.”

More information about both events:

Southfield Chamber Mix & Mingle
Thursday, January 16
5:30 until 7:00 pm

Join us for a happy hour networking event. Enjoy appetizers and drinks overlooking the Southfield horizon at the Skyline Club. Member only. Registration required. Reserve by contacting Jasmine at the Southfield Chamber at: 248.557.6661.

Southfield Chamber & Friends Luncheon
Thursday, February 20
11-12:30 p.m.

What better way to enjoy your lunch than creating connections within the community. Attend this networking lunch to learn more about the Southfield Chamber and Skyline partnership. $26 per person (includes Lunch Club Table luncheon buffet and coffee/tea) Reserve by contacting Jasmine at the Southfield Chamber at: 248.557.6661.

Pitch Contest Blends Students, Faith Community, and Education at Lawrence Tech

Pitch Contest Blends Students, Faith Community, and Education at Lawrence Tech southfieldcc_3ik8d2

Through a unique collaboration between higher education and a faith-based community, student entrepreneurs challenged themselves to bring their best business ideas forward in what may well be the first ever business pitch contest of its kind.

On March 7, teams of high school students pitched their concepts on stage at Lawrence Technological University’s campus in the Southfield City Centre during an event sponsored by Centrepolis Accelerator and Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit, funded by a grant from the New Economy Initiative (NEI).

“NEI was looking for innovative ways to share and spread awareness of entrepreneurship among youth. There are many programs trying to get into the schools, but never in faith-based organizations, which are entrepreneurial by nature,” said Ross Sanders, manager of corporate partnerships with LTU, who has been working with youth entrepreneurs for about 15 years. “Essentially, faith-based communities are communities, and that’s what entrepreneurship is all about: creating community and connections.”

The competition allowed students to gain plenty of business know-how, Sanders says.

“When you learn about business, you learn math, computer science, how to work in a team, finances, pitching, developing a website, funding, equity, and investment. So regardless of whether you go on to launch a business, you’ve experienced a lot of learning through this event,” he says.

In first place was a product called Scholarship and Homework Aid Finder, or SHAF, an app that helps students get ready for college through support for finishing homework, and searching for colleges and financial aid sources. The winning business concept took home $1,000 in cash and $5,000 in LTU scholarships.

The second place award of $500 in cash and $2,500 in LTU scholarships went to StressLess Funerals, a website designed to support families who have lost a loved one. In third place, winning $375 in cash and $1,750 in scholarships is a product called Slashguard that helps stop toilet flush splashing.

Other pitched ideas ranged from toys embedded in soap to encourage bathing for small children, an online network for suicide prevention, a biometric gun lock to prevent accidental shootings, and a shoe-leasing business for high-end designer footwear.

“I was surprised by the ingenuity of the pitches,” says Sanders. “The students came up with a lot of innovative stuff, in my opinion.” The footwear leasing concept was an exercise in applying one business model to a new segment, as the students intuited that people who like to drive high-end vehicles will lease, thereby creating an additional market for the sale of those used cars. “The kids said ‘why can’t we do the same with shoes?’ It was an interesting thought, and a business model that fills a customer need.”

Sitting on the judging panel were Lee Gaddis, founder and CEO of Gaddis Gaming, a Detroit-based gaming table manufacturer; Lee Gorman, owner of Barton Consulting Services LLC, an Ann Arbor business consulting firm; and Belinda Turner-Dubois, loan officer at CEED Lending, a small business lending center of the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development, an initiative of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.

Part of the business pitch experience were four Saturday bootcamp-like coaching sessions with Jackie Stavros and Matt Cole, who are professors in Lawrence Tech’s College of Business and Information Technology, and Sibrina Collins, executive director of LTU’s Marburger STEM Center.

Business students from LTU also volunteered to act as team coaches. “The student coaches were major contributors to this event. It would not have gone off as well as it did without them,” says Sanders. “Each team was assigned a student coach, who worked with them and helped come up with and refine their business ideas.”

The high school participants toured LTU’s campus, visited the Detroit Food Academy at Eastern Market to learn about youth-run food businesses, and stopped off at Tech Town, the midtown Detroit-based startup accelerator.

“Tech Town is within a few minutes of Tabernacle Church, and it really exposed the students to all the entrepreneurial resources available there,” says Sanders.

Overall, the faith-based student pitch contest highlighted the need for more engagement with high school and middle school youth in entrepreneurship. The high turnout for this event is an indication of its value for the educational, business, and faith communities.

“These kids now know more about business than a lot of adults,” Sanders says. “They learned about scaling, leveraging, building platforms, multiple revenue streams, and a lot of other deep concepts.”

Bigger Than Before: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Event Returns to City Centre

Bigger Than Before: Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Event Returns to City Centre southfieldcc_3ik8d2

On Saturday, June 8, 2019, hundreds of people will take to the shared pathway in the Southfield City Centre in a symbolic walk to raise awareness and money to combat inflammatory bowel disease, as the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation embarks upon their second year hosting this event within the City Centre district.

And the group will be even stronger this year.

On December 4, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation announced a merging of the metro Detroit and the Ann Arbor area Take Steps events to form Take Steps Southeast Michigan. Event walkers, fundraisers, family, and friends from both geographic areas will meet in June in the Southfield City Centre for their combined event.

“We are excited to be joining with our neighbors to build awareness of inflammatory bowel disease and will make this event the premiere Crohn’s & Colitis walk in southeast Michigan,” says Sarah Arminiak, Take Steps manager with Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

The Southfield City Centre is a perfect location for the expected crowd of 1,500 participants at June’s expanded event, Arminiak says. This year will mark the event’s eleventh year, and event planners are hoping it will be the best-attended yet.

With ample space on extra-wide shared pathways throughout the district that can accommodate walking groups of all speeds, the Southfield City Center offers a nearly tailor-made experience. Along the 2.6-mile route, walkers of every ability will find space to roam, art installations to stop and enjoy, and welcoming benches to rest and take in the scenery.

And walkers will have a new exciting experience as they walk through the expanded Red Pole Park, a new interactive art installation along Northwestern Hwy. Just beyond Red Pole Park, walkers will see the new NOAH’s Event Venue—both destinations have been completed since last year’s event.

Year after year, participating in the Take Steps Walk may be a very good way to experience the growth and development of the district.

In the planning is a pre-walk festival on the Civic Center front lawn. The festival will start at 9:00 a.m. and kick off the event with entertainment and information about inflammatory bowel disease. The walk will begin at 10:30 a.m.

“The front lawn gives us ample space to grow, and there’s plenty of parking, which makes it so convenient for people to attend,” says Arminiak.

A partnership experience with the Southfield City Centre made the choice to continue hosting the event in the City Centre district an easy one, says David Paull, president of Medical Weight Loss Clinic, and board president with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Michigan Chapter.

“We really appreciate the partnership,” Paull says.

With dual objectives of building awareness and raising funds to support programming, walk organizers hope to top the $157,000 raised in 2018, which was up from $130,000 the previous year. Additional business involvement is a goal for this year’s event, and organizers are interested in building collaborations to drive more walk participants to businesses, and to build awareness among employees, visitors, and customers here in the City Centre.

Want to build a fundraising team and participate in the walk? Learn how here.

Get Hands-On with a Career in the Skilled Trades

Get Hands-On with a Career in the Skilled Trades southfieldcc_3ik8d2

Attend the BUILD YOUR FUTURE event, Feb. 14.

An average working day for a plumber, electrician, or carpenter–what’s it like? Unless you have a family member or friend in the trade, you probably don’t know.

Here’s your chance to find out.

On February 14, the Southfield Pavilion will welcome the BUILD YOUR FUTURE Skilled Trades event to showcase smart, accessible careers in a wide variety of skilled trades including drywall installation, painting, HVAC, information technology, construction, mechanical contracting, and much more.

As many as 30 booths will feature companies, unions, technical education centers, and community colleges, all offering actual opportunities to interact with aspects of the trades represented. Here, you can ask questions to learn more about what that average working day in a skilled trade is really like.

“This is not your typical careers fair,” says John Dignan, director of Post-Secondary Options & Community Partnerships at Southfield Public Schools, the sponsor of this event. “We say ‘every dream has a journey and every career has a path,’ and it’s absolutely true.”

For students—and adults, too

Informational booths from Oakland County Michigan Works Southfield, Southfield Public Library, Easter Seals, Jewish Vocational Center, U of D Cybersecurity and many others will round out the experience, which is open to students and those of any age who are looking to establish a new career path with the potential to earn a good salary.

This event is a great way to get to know today’s version of skilled trades, says Dignan. “Technology has changed the nature of skilled trade work,” he says. “What people traditionally view as the skilled trades may not be up-to-date. Even for those who lay floors and carpets, technology has changed their vocation.”

At the day-long event, 8th grade students from Thomson Middle School and Levey Middle School, and 11th and 12th grade students from University High School Academy, Southfield Regional Academic Campus, and Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology will visit during the morning and afternoon.

The event is open to the public from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on February 14.

“We’re hoping students will bring their parents back so they can show them the options and keep them informed of possible future career tracks, says Rochelle Freeman, business and economic development director for the City of Southfield. “Unfortunately, Southfield has a slightly higher unemployment rate than the rest of Oakland County. There are people here who need options to get back into the workforce. This is a great chance to explore future careers and find out what their aptitude might be. The outstanding staff from Oakland County Michigan Works will be on hand to help people find out about what is available to them with regard to career assistance, too.”

Jump start to a great job

Training or an apprenticeship in the skilled trades can be a fast track to a stable career that is always in demand, says Dignan, who encourages everyone to make time to attend the evening event.

“In a lot of cases, a job in the skilled trades is access to the middle class, with good wages in high demand fields. Through this hands-on event, kids and adults are able to explore, engage and interact with experts in different industries, and gain an awareness of what careers are out there and the skills needed for employment.”

Attend the SOUTHFIELD BUILD YOUR FUTURE event on Thursday, February 14, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

Farbman Group Donating Hats, Mittens, Scarves to Baldwin Center

Farbman Group Donating Hats, Mittens, Scarves to Baldwin Center southfieldcc_3ik8d2

As they pull on hats, scarves, and mittens for their daily commutes, employees of Farbman Group in the Southfield City Centre are thinking about more than just keeping warm. They’re thinking about those who struggle every day in our community.

That’s why Farbman Group employees are sponsoring a collection drive for new and slightly used hats, mittens, gloves, and scarves. Between December 10 and December 17, 2018, they will be gathering these items to donate to the Baldwin Center in Pontiac.

The effort is a “pay it forward” initiative that Tammy Felhandler, accounts payable specialist at Farbman Group, says is important for community support.

“I believe that if you have the ability to help, that kindness goes a long way,” Felhandler says.

This is not the first charitable effort that Farbman Group, a commercial real estate firm based on Northwestern Hwy., has spearheaded. In fact, social responsibility is woven into its way of doing business. With “Farbman Cares,” a committee dedicated to seeking out ways of supporting the community, the company does a local fundraising effort each month.

Organizations such as Almost Home Animal Shelter in Southfield, Gleaners Community Food Bank, and Game on Cancer at Henry Ford Hospital and others have benefitted from Farbman employees’ generosity.

“We always try to brainstorm how we can help others, or collaborate with organizations that are doing this work,” says Felhandler.

No effort is too small. March Madness collections have benefitted the Southfield High School forensics team in the past, she says.

“We try to put out to our employees that they get a day each year to take and volunteer wherever they’d like,” shares Felhandler. “Over the summer we went to the farm at Forgotten Harvest and worked in the field. We were exhausted, but it felt good to do good.”

Individuals can donate to the Baldwin Center warm accessories drive by simply bringing items to Farbman Group’s office by December 17.

Find Farbman Group at 28400 Northwestern Highway, 4th floor, Southfield. (248) 353-0500. For larger donations, please email

NOAH’S Event Center at home in Southfield City Centre

NOAH’S Event Center at home in Southfield City Centre southfieldcc_3ik8d2

Southfield City Centre will soon have a new venue for weddings, showers, parties, youth groups, corporate meetings, and more. In April, NOAH’S Event Venue broke ground on a 2.4-acre parcel of land, tucked back off the Northwestern Service Drive and Civic Center Drive, visible from the Red Pole Park.

The City Centre location for the 8,200-square foot venue is perfectly suited to NOAH’S business model, according to Brandon Jensen, vice president of construction for NOAH’S Event Venue.

“There is newer development and infrastructure in the [City Centre], and that’s one of the things that attracted us,” Jensen says. The walkable, mini-urban environment of the City Centre, and the new growth it has sparked makes the district an ideal location, as well as its proximity to the many businesses in and around the Town Center.

“We like to put ourselves near office buildings because NOAH’S is a great off-site facility for meetings. Businesses don’t want to travel more than 10 minutes for off-site events, and we will be on the doorstep for them.”

NOAH’S Event Venue is a national organization founded in 2003 by William Bowser, who recognized the value of making space available for community activities, much like he saw among Mormon churches in Utah.

“There’s nothing like this outside of Utah, and he had the idea to create something that would help people create lasting memories. Everyone knows the ark story. Everything was in the ark; it was a venue for all,” says Jensen.

NOAH’S does not require customers to use their catering and other services, offering more flexibility than is typical for venue rental. “You can rent the facility for an anniversary and do your own catering. Or, if you are looking for catering services, we go through a process to make sure the people we recommend have good business history. We are also in the process of offering full wedding packages for catering, cake, DJ, venue, everything in a one-stop shop,” says Jensen.

In addition to Michigan, NOAH’S operates in 20 states across the U.S. Within Michigan, there is a NOAH’S in Auburn Hills, which opened in September 2015.

For the construction process, NOAH’S hires local subcontractors, and once opened, will employ up to five workers.

To fit with the overall look of the Southfield City Centre, NOAH’S created a modern, custom look, swapping out more traditional materials for metal panels and wood-look aluminum products. As with other company venues, the Southfield City Centre location can accommodate a maximum of 250 people for a wedding, party, or other event.

With the City Centre’s commitment to creating a walkable community in harmony with nature, wedding parties will benefit from the rich green landscape that surrounds the venue site, as well as the newly-installed, iconic Red Pole Park, which are unique locations for capturing photographs.

The venue’s address is 21100 Civic Center Drive, and Jensen says he expects it to be open for business by the end of 2018.

Learn more about NOAH’S Event Venue in Southfield by visiting its website.