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Ann Arbor Area Business Briefs: Meemic Insurance and Center for Entrepreneurship at Eastern Michigan University
April 17, 2014
Ann Arbor, Mich., April 17, 2014 / Sarah Rigg, MLive.com -- Ann Arbor area business briefs: Meemic Insurance and Center for Entrepreneurship at Eastern Michigan University
From new hires and promotions to industry awards, here’s a roundup of achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area.
People & Achievements
From new hires and promotions to industry awards, here’s a roundup of achievements by businesses and individuals in the greater Ann Arbor area:
• Meemic Insurance Co., a Michigan-based insurance provider offering coverage to teachers and other educational employees, announced in early April that the Gordon Group Insurance Agency of Ann Arbor has been recognized as a 2013 President’s Circle of Honor recipient. This designation is the highest acknowledgment within the company and has been awarded to select agencies who have achieved the uppermost agency sales.
• The board of trustees for Washtenaw Community College recently approved the launch of an honors program to begin in the fall 2014 semester. The program will be housed within the Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences division.
• The Ypsilanti District Library was one of two libraries in the nation to receive a grant to increase its inventory of graphic novels. The $7,000 grant is part of the Will Eisner Graphic Novel Award from Eisner’s family foundation.
• ProQuest, an information firm based in Ann Arbor, and J.P. Morgan, a global financial services firm, joined forces to create J.P. Morgan Research. The new research solution provides trend, forecast and macro analysis on companies and global economies, and integrates approximately 1,500 reports published each month by J.P. Morgan, plus a selection of archived items, into one resource.
• Ann Arbor-based Domino’s Pizza recently announced an exclusive 15-year master license agreement with Taste Holdings to develop the Domino’s brand in seven Southern African countries. Taste Holdings, based in Johannesburg, operates nearly 150 restaurants under the Scooters Pizza and St. Elmo’s Pizza brands in the Republic of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Franchisees of both brands will be offered the opportunity to convert their stores and operate under the Domino’s brand.
• Toyota Technical Center, an Ann Arbor-based division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, recently announced the promotion of Monte Kaehr to chief engineer of the Toyota Camry.
• Yoshiaki “Yoshi” Kato has been named president of Plymouth-based Aisin Technical Center of America, effective April. Kato most recently was senior managing officer of the company’s Research & Development Sector in Japan. Previously, he spent more than 25 years in a variety of engineering and product development positions with Toyota Motors Co, including several years in senior management at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor.
• Ann Arbor-based healthcare information firm Truven Health Analytics has acquired Simpler Consulting, a “Lean” enterprise transformation coaching and consulting organization. The entire Simpler management team will continue to run the business as a unit of Truven Health Analytics serving healthcare, commercial/industrial and public sector industries and will report into Roy Martin, chief operating officer of Truven’s commercial division.
• Rochman Design-Build in early April finished moving its offices into a newly-renovated space at 2204 Packard St., Ann Arbor. The firm’s phone number remains the same: 734-761-6936. An open house celebration is planned for the end of the summer.
• Five Eastern Michigan University faculty members and a full-time lecturer were honored for their excellence in teaching, research and other categories during the 37th annual Academic Awards celebration, held March 26 in the Student Center. The Academic Awards are part of the week-long celebration on Eastern’s campus known as the “Week of Excellence.” The recipients honored this year and the honors received were: Pamela Landau, lecturer in psychology, the EMU Full-Time Lecturers Outstanding Teaching Award; Steven Ramold, professor of history, the 2013 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award - Teaching II; Heather Janisse, a professor of psychology, the 2013 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award - Research I; Philip Schmitz, a professor of history, the 2013 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Research II; Joan Cowdery, a professor in health promotion and human performance, the 2013 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Research II; Pirooz Aghssa, a professor in the department of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts, the 2013 Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Award – Creative/Artistic Activity; and Doris Fields, a professor in the department of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts, Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year.
• Ann Arbor SPARK, in collaboration with Redwood City, Calif.-based NestGSV, recently hosted a connected vehicle hackathon. Ann Arbor-based Hertz Alerts won the Hertz challenge track grand prize, including the Ann Arbor grand prize of $10,000 of business acceleration services from Ann Arbor SPARK and a TK1 development kit from NVIDIA. During the 26-hour event, teams at SPARK Central and NestGSV solved challenges, and the teams from Michigan and California worked head to head via a remote feed. Sam Harrell and Harrison Steves, the Hertz Alerts developer team, were tasked with using the Hertz application programming interface and iBeacon technology to develop and application to improve a customer’s pickup and return experience. Other Ann Arbor hackathon winners included a team from Detroit-based Apigee and Jim Barstow of Ann Arbor-based Dynamic Edge. The Apigee team won NVIDIA’s shield gaming platform and Jim Barstow won $1,000 cash. University of Michigan Dearborn team Creative Computing Club was awarded “judges choice” for its hackathon efforts.
Paparazzi highlights photos of industry awards, corporate donations to a local charity or other business happenings in the greater Ann Arbor area.
Eastern Michigan senior finance major Adam Kauer recently won first place and $1,000 at University’s annual business plan competition, the EMU Skandalaris Business Plan Competition. For his idea, “StorageBid.com,” Kauer won $1,000, to be used as seed money for the business.
The competition, which is in its seventh year, culminates at the annual Sesi Entrepreneurial Conference at the EMU Student Center. University students compete alongside high school students for thousands in prize money.
Angela Elkordy, an EMU student from Ann Arbor, placed second for her plan, “Badgebox Learning,” while Eastern’s Natalie Morris, of Galesburg, Ill. took home third place for “Child Behavioral Solutions.”
Datebook is your source for information about important business events going on in the greater Ann Arbor area.