DBusiness Daily Update: Oakland Hills Rebuild Continues One Year After Devastating Fire, and More


Oakland Hills Country Club is working to build a replica of the 100-year-old clubhouse it lost in a fire one year ago today. // Photo by Tim Keenan
Oakland Hills Country Club will build a replica the 100-year old clubhouse it lost in a forest fire one year ago. // Photo by Tim Keenan

Here’s a roundup of the most important news from Michigan and Metro Detroit businesses. Also, announcements from government agencies. Send us a message if you have a story about a nonprofit or business.

Oakland Hills Rebuild Continues for One Year Following the Destruction of the Clubhouse Fire

One year ago, club members and avid golfers around the world saw streaming video of the burning building at Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Township. Work continues on the rebuilding of this clubhouse.

Firefighters from many communities responded to the call and fought the fire for over 24 hours. The structure, 100 years old, was destroyed. Its estimated value is $80 million.

Since that day, Oakland Hills’ board voted to build a modern replica of the iconic building at a reported cost of $83 million. According to reports, $55 million of the replacement cost will come from the club’s insurance. By increasing membership dues $165 each month, the balance can be raised.

Officials from the club predicted that the rebuilding project would take several golf seasons after the fire. The club has been hosting professional golf events while it continues with temporary structures.

The 36-hole U.S. Open was held at the Oakland Hills North Course across Maple Road from our clubhouse complex. Amateur qualifier last July.

The U.S.G.A. announced that one month later, the fire had been extinguished. The U.S.G.A. announced several major tournaments at Oakland Hills, including U.S. Open. Junior Amateur in 2024, the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2029, the U.S. Women’s Open in in 2031 and 2042, and the U.S. Open in 2033 and 2051.

The clubhouse was designed and built between 1921 and 1922, at a total cost of $650,000 — more than $300,000 over budget, according to reports from the period. C. Howard Crane was also the architect of Orchestra Hall, Fox Theatre and Capitol Theatre (which is today home to Detroit Opera).

For the May-June 2022 issue, click here DBusiness Cover story about the Oakland Hills Fire, click here.

Oakland County approves contract that will expand transportation services

The Oakland County Board of Commissioners has approved four contracts for public transportation providers. These agreements were made possible through the county-wide transportation budget approved by voters last November. This will help expand transit services in the future.

The approved contracts are with SMART, North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA), Western Oakland Transportation Authority (WOTA), and the Older Persons’ Commission (OPC).

NOTA and OPC will extend their hours, offer more destinations and standardize fares at $2/ride in their service area. SMART will investigate service expansions in Auburn Hills and Bloomfield Hills. Farmington Hills. Keego Harbor. Novi. Orchard Lake. Pontiac. Rochester, Rochester Hills. Sylvan Lake. Troy. Waterford. West Bloomfield. White Lake. Wixom.

“It’s fantastic to see the beginning of the expansion of public transportation across Oakland County moving forward,” says Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “Accessible and reliable public transportation is a critical necessity for our residents, our businesses and communities and our economy.”

A $500,000 local transit reimbursement program was also proposed by county commissioners. Community commissioners who have a current contract for public transport services or have budgeted for them may submit semi-annual reimbursement requests along with performance reports detailing ridership and expenditures.

“These initial transit contracts are a big deal,” says David T. Woodward, (D-Royal Oak), chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. “This is Oakland County’s greatest investment in public transportation ever. It’s a bold first step, which keeps our promises, expands service, and creates new routes. We’re on roll, and we won’t stop until we have better transit that’s accessible to all.”

Pending the SMART Board of Director’s approval of the Oakland County Transit Contract and the required public hearing processes necessary for route changes and expansions, SMART proposed service expansions include:

  • Novi and Farmington Hills will be connected to Wixom via route 305 that runs along Grand River, route740 on 12 Mile Road and route805 west from Farmington Hills towards Novi.
  • Auburn Hills and Pontiac are now Waterford and White Lake, thanks to the creation of a new fixed route 759 on M-59.
  • Troy, Rochester Hills and Rochester were all created by the creation of a new fixed route 492 along Rochester Road and Walton Boulevard.
  • Bloomfield Hills offers fixed route service along Woodward with stops in both northbound and southern lanes.
  • By extending route 851 north along Orchard Lake Road, you can reach West Bloomfield, Orchard Lake and Keego Harbor as well as Sylvan Lake.
  • Auburn Hills and Pontiac were served better by changing route 790.
  • All fixed route expansion routes provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), paratransit service.

SMART will receive $41.7million from the $68.2million Oakland County Transit Millage. NOTA will receive $2.8 million and OPC $1.9million.

Apply for the MEDC 3-D Printer Pitch Competition at Integration8

Integr8, Automation Alley’s Industry 4.0 conference, which returns Tuesday, May 9, will include a 3D Printer Pitch Competition hosted by the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s (MEDC) Pure Michigan Business Connect.

Manufacturers looking to purchase a 3-D printing machine that can produce metal and composite parts are invited to submit their applications and compete during a presentation at the conference.

The grand prize is worth more than $30,000 and includes the Markforged Mark Two (Gen2) 3-D Printer, an Advance Subscription Package for one year, a Material Starter Pack, access to user training and setup, technical support and many other goodies.

“For many small manufacturers, the cost of a 3-D printer is often hard to justify,” says Tom Kelly, executive director and CEO of Automation Alley. “But just one 3-D printer can help a company leap forward into the Industry 4.0 digital revolution. That’s why we believe this year’s 3D Printer Pitch Competition not only provides Michigan manufacturers with the opportunity to add important capabilities to their manufacturing process, but also the chance to positively impact the industry and change the world through the power of 3-D printing.”

All manufacturers who are interested in participating need to meet the following criteria.

  • At least one manufacturing plant in Michigan.
  • The Small Business Administration will classify you as a small company.
  • Automation Alley members can become Essential Members.

Learn more about eligible businesses and apply online.

The Integr8 conference will invite selected applicants to participate in a pitch competition. Each participant will have to give a 4-minute pitch to the panel of judges. It will briefly describe a problem or inefficiency, explain how a 3-D printer can solve it, and communicate the results of the project.

Integr8 will bring together global technology and manufacturing leaders. Now in its sixth year, the conference will focus on smart production that fosters agility, resilience, and efficiency. A smart manufacturing exhibition will be featured at the conference, as well as breakout sessions and tech talks. Roundtables will return for the first time since 2019.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution comes with many challenges and this year’s Integr8 conference will prepare us for the obstacles to come and bring us one step closer to understanding the digitally transformed, software-automated 21st century,” Kelly says.

Learn more about Integr8 2023 and how to sponsor or speak at the event.

Integr8 offers a 20% discount for early registrations until February 28, 2018. Expo entry is completely free and the All-Access Pass, which includes keynotes, breakout sessions, roundtables and breakfast, costs $159. Register now if you want to be there

West Michigan Training Center hosts the Michigan Small Business Workshop

Michigan Carpenter & Millwrights Apprenticeship Wayland Training Center in Wayland, south of Grand Rapids, is hosting a “Get Your Business on Local Search and Maps” workshop from 9-10 a.m. on Feb. 23.

Wayland City Main Street is hosting the workshop, along with Teresa Heger (a local marketing expert and Grow With Google digital coach).

Businesses will learn how create and manage Google business profiles, as well as how to:

  • Register or claim a Google Business Profile.
  • Google Search and Google Maps allow you to manage your business information.
  • Connect with potential customers by using the business profile.

Register by clicking here

McGregor Fund awards Miller Fellowships to Detroit Nonprofit Leaders

The McGregor Fund Board of Trustees has approved an unprecedented nine applicants for the Fund’s Eugene A. Miller Fellowship Program.

The McGregor Fund’s 2023 Eugene A. Miller Fellows are “nine extraordinary local leaders who embody service, love of community, and a pathway to a more just world,” says Kate Levin Markel, president of the McGregor Fund. “They are well known to the fund for their long-term dedication to their work, their communities, and to equity and justice.

These are the 2023 Eugene A. Miller Fellowship winners:

  • Allandra Bulger, executive director, Co.act Detroit.
  • Courtney Smith, President and CEO of Detroit Phoenix Center.
  • Kimberly Johnson, President and CEO of Developing K.I.D.S.
  • Angela Reyes, executive director, Detroit Hispanic Development Corp.
  • Suma Karaman Rose, executive director, InsideOut Literary Arts.
  • Ashley Atkinson is co-director of Keep Growing Detroit
  • Yodit Mefin Johnson. President and CEO, Nonprofit Enterprise at Work.
  • Racquet Up Detroit CEO Derek Aguirre
  • Christine Bell, Executive Director, Urban Neighborhood Initiatives

This sabbatical program supports the fund’s grant partners’ CEOs and executive directors to take extended time away from their organizations to recharge, immerse in enriching experiences, build skills and knowledge, and broaden their vision – all according to a plan of their own design. The McGregor Fund determines eligibility and contacts applicants each year about the application process.

This program, which was established in 2009 to honor Trustee Emeritus Eugene Miller’s years of outstanding leadership, recognizes the achievements of executives in McGregor-funded non-profit organizations in Detroit.

For more information, please visit mcgregorfund.org.

Grace Centers of Hope expands education and career programs for homeless and others

Pontiac Grace Centers of Hope (GCH), has expanded its Career and Education Center’s (CEC) offerings, as it continues its investment in the recovery of its residents.

To accommodate the updated programs at its CEC, the nonprofit completed extensive upgrades to the building — including spending $15,000 to build three new high-tech classrooms, a lounge area, a bathroom, and an office in the previously unfurnished basement.

“We are going to have the ability to create more responsible citizens when they get into recovery,” says Traci Cunningham, director of the CEC. “This will create an improved community atmosphere, better workers, more impactful dads, more supportive friends. And when they graduate from the program, they will be better prepared to become successful in life.”

Prior to the renovations, much of the focus of the CEC was on its GED program, which is required for all Grace Centers residents who don’t have a high school diploma or GED, as well as job placement support for residents.

These upgrades allowed the non-profit to expand its education program to include:

  • Life skills classes.
  • Discussions about recovery and how to live with it.
  • Science projects that are hands-on.
  • Field trips to the grocery to learn how to budget for food.
  • Fitness and health classes (field trips to a gym).
  • Big Brother program where younger participants in the GCH can learn from those who are more mature.
  • Public speaking lessons.
  • Classes in anger management
  • Job readiness/etiquette classes.
  • Grace Centers offers parenting classes for male residents.

The renovations started in May 2022, and were completed in January. The renovations included the installation a new epoxy floor, ceiling as well as an electrical system, additional security cameras, telephone lines, and internet connection.



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