DBusiness Daily Update: Traverse City Whiskey Co. Introduces ‘The Finishing Series,’ and More - DBusiness Magazine (2023)

DBusiness Daily Update: Traverse City Whiskey Co. Introduces ‘The Finishing Series,’ and More - DBusiness Magazine (1)

Our roundup of the latest news from metro Detroit and Michigan businesses as well as announcements from government agencies. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.

Traverse City Whiskey Co. Introduces ‘The Finishing Series’

Traverse City Whiskey Co. (TCWC), a portfolio of premium Michigan-made whiskeys and bourbon, has unveiled “The Finishing Series,” a set of three types of whiskey finished for up to 12 months in unique wine cases.

“Starting with three of our award-winning whiskeys, we further aged them using various wine cases, and captured fond memories of folks’ time here in Traverse City in a bottle,” says Chris Fredrickson, co-founder and president of TCWC. “Here in northern Michigan, we don’t just distill whiskey; we distill the spirit of Traverse City itself.”

Here’s the lineup:

Port Barrel Finish — a bourbon whiskey featuring TCWC’s classic straight bourbon mashbill (75percent corn, 21 percent rye, 4 percent malted barley) aged for five years and rested for nearly 12 months in massive 300L Ruby Port wine barrels. The dryness of the casks meld perfectly with the sweetness of the bourbon. 100 proof (50 percent ABV).

Cab Franc Barrel Finish – TCWC’s 100 percent straight rye whiskey aged for five years and rested for nearly 12 months in Cabernet Franc barrels from an artisan northern Michigan winery. 97.5 proof (48.75 percent ABV).

Sherry Barrel Finish – a unique high-rye bourbon whiskey featuring a mashbill of 60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and 4 percent malted barley, which was aged for five years in new American Oak barrels and then rested in Pedro Ximenez sherry wine barrels for nearly 12 months. 95 proof (47.5% ABV).

Whiskey enthusiasts can purchase the complete set of three or individual 750ml bottles at the company’s two tasting rooms (in Traverse City and Ferndale) and online at tcwhiskey.com for $59.99/each.

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Sharp Tooling Solutions Launches New Fixturing Product: CHXflex

Sharp Tooling Solutions in Romeo has launched its newest product, CHXflex, being showcased this week at the Assembly Show South in Nashville.

Manufactured and warehoused in Michigan, this priced product line from Sharp supports customers’ needs for inspection fixtures within either metrology based or traditional CMM measurement applications.

After working with several different styles of inspection fixtures, Sharp President Dan Friz and Business Unit Director Tim Kavanaugh say they realized that most of the products on the market were either costly or inflexible to adapt to changing needs inherent in the tooling and metrology process – particularly when it came to electric vehicle manufacturing.

“After sitting down and listening to our customers, a common theme of a void in the inspection process was apparent,” Friz says. “Through working closely with our customers’ internal teams, Sharp was able to take their direct input and develop a new product line to fill the gap within the evolving inspection industry.

“This is a great example of Sharp’s ingenuity and collaborative approach to solving customers’ needs, and now we get to share this innovation with other companies looking to streamline their inspection process. This product has truly redefined how it can support our customers’ need for speed to market within the mobility industry as they support the launch of their programs.”

Through CHXflex, Sharp established a three-step process that includes positioning, locating, and securing a workpiece within an inspection environment. Whether this inspection involves a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), measuring arm, laser tracker, or vision system, the goal of the fixture is to hold the part securely and repeatedly. The CHXflex product line includes standard components such as: adjustable nets, retractable pin blocks, pivot blocks, small clamp packages, and shimmable adapter plates. Users of this multi-use product line can engineer fixture solutions that save time while increasing accuracy.

For more information, visit here.

SBAM Partners with RiskAssure to Provide Cybersecurity to Small Businesses

To help small business owners reduce the volume of sensitive data that is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and pay an accurate amount for cyber liability insurance, the Small Business Association of Michigan has partnered with RiskAssure to provide support to its members.

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“Providing our members with affordable tools to keep their businesses safe and secure is a point of pride for us at SBAM,” says Brian Calley, president and CEO of SBAM. “RiskAssure helps protect businesses on the cyber front without breaking the bank to do it. We are proud to partner with RiskAssure and offer RiskAware at a discounted rate to our members.”

RiskAssure offers an easy-to-use tool, called RiskAware, that scans all devices across a company to calculate the total dollars value of the company’s sensitive information. The tool helps companies determine how much cyber insurance they actually need and what’s at stake in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

“We are thrilled to partner with SBAM to empower small businesses to protect their valuable data and thrive in the digital world,” says Keith Huckaby, a partner at RiskAssure. “By helping business owners see their cyber information value and optimize their data footprint, we can enable them to practice good cyber hygiene and stay safer from potential threats. Collectively, RiskAssure and SBAM are committed to providing the right tools and knowledge to help small businesses right-size their unique cybersecurity insurance needs.”

More information on the partnership and how members can sign up is available here.

Amazon to Fund Access to Computer Science Education for Detroit Area Students

Amazon has announced plans to provide funding for computer science education for more than 3,900 Detroit area K-12 students, reaching more than 12,000 students across Michigan by the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.

Through Amazon Future Engineer, the company’s childhood-to-career computer science program, Amazon aims to inspire millions of students from underserved and historically underrepresented communities to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. The program helps students build life-changing skills in computer science and coding, preparing them to obtain the jobs that will be in high-demand in the near future.

Nearly all Amazon Future Engineer schools serve a student body with a significant percentage of students from historically underrepresented communities in computer science, and more than 80 percent are Title I eligible, indicating a high percentage of the school’s students come from families who need financial assistance.

“Every young person should have equitable access to the education they need to reach their full potential,” says Victor Reinoso, global director of philanthropic education initiatives at Amazon. “At Amazon, we are committed to creating a diverse pipeline of tech students and hiring homegrown talent to help keep our communities strong for years to come.”

Amazon Future Engineer increases student access to computer science education in three ways:

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  • Funds high-quality computer science curriculum and educator professional learning to help school districts implement sustainable K–12 computer science initiatives. As part of this effort, Amazon funds the development of customized curriculum that accounts for the unique cultural perspectives, interests, and experiences of Black, Latino, Native American (BLNA) students. For instance, Amazon Future Engineer committed $2.25 million to support Indigenous schools in accessing culturally responsive computer science curriculums.
  • Offers virtual class chats, career tours, and project-based learning modules that bring role models to classrooms to help students explore computer science through real-world experiences.
  • Provides college scholarships, paid internships, and industry mentors, so students can conceptualize their path forward in the industry.

$6M Settlement Reached in Shock Absorbers Price Fixing Class Action Lawsuit

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division in Detroit has approved the proposed $6 million class action settlements with the KYB and Hitachi Astemo, in a price-fixing, class action lawsuit.

The settlements resolve allegations against the companies that they conspired to suppress and eliminate competition for shock absorbers by agreeing to raise, fix, maintain, and/or stabilize prices, rig bids, and allocate markets and customers for shock absorbers sold in the U.S., in violation of federal antitrust laws.

The settlements affect those who purchased shock absorbers in the U.S. between Jan. 1, 1995 and Sept. 18, 2021 directly from any one of the following entities (or their controlled subsidiaries, affiliates, or joint ventures): KYB Corp. (f/k/a Kayaba Industry Co. Ltd.); KYB Americas Corp.; Hitachi Ltd.; Hitachi Astemo, Ltd. (f/k/a Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd.), successor to Showa Corp.; and Hitachi Astemo Americas Inc. (f/k/a Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas Inc. and successor to American Showa Inc.).

A hearing will take place at 2 p.m. on June 8, before District Judge Sean F. Cox for the purpose of determining whether to approve: (1) the proposed settlements with the KYB and Hitachi Astemo Defendants totaling $6 million; (2) Settlement Class Counsel’s request for an award from the KYB and Hitachi Astemo settlement proceeds of attorneys’ fees and litigation costs and expenses; (3) the proposed plan of distribution of the Shock Absorbers Settlement Fund; and (4) service awards for the class representatives.

For more information, visit here.

Study: Michigan is 14th Best State for Golfers Who Are Retired

According to a new data study published by Gambling.com, Michigan is the 14th best state in America for golfers who are retired.

The research team crunched five golf-related data points to produce an overall score for each state, and then created an index of the overall Top 20 U.S. states for golfers who are retired.

According to the National Golf Foundation, the number of new players has increased since 2020 to a record-high of 6.2 million and the age group that logged the most hours on the course was the 60-69 demographic.

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To read the full report, visit here.

BetRivers Launches Michigan Million Online Slot Tournament

Rush Street Interactive Inc. (RSI), a Chicago-based casino and sports betting gaming company, is launching the BetRivers Michigan Million Online Slot Tournament.

BetRivers Michigan Million players will have the opportunity to play a popular slot game, earning tournament points, and experiencing the excitement of the tournament’s real-time leaderboard. With every successful spin, players will see their username climb up the leaderboard and hopefully into a qualifying position for the next round of tournament play.

To qualify for their chance to win $1 million in bonus money, players in Michigan can visit BetRivers.com from now through April 30. Ten finalists then will play the famous Cash Machine slot game during a live online event for their shot at the $100,000 bonus money grand prize.

“BetRivers is known for bringing first-of-its kind online casino experiences to our customers and we couldn’t be more excited to launch Michigan’s most exciting online slot tournament ever,” said Richard Schwartz, CEO of RSI, which operates BetRivers.com. “With BetRivers Michigan Million, you get all the excitement of a real-world slot tournament, and the chance to win part of $1 million in guaranteed bonus money, from the comfort of home.”

Open to players who are 21 years of age or older and physically present in Michigan during the promotion period, BetRivers Michigan Million Online Slot Tournament has three exciting rounds. Here’s how it works:

Zoller Donates nearly $250K in equipment to Train Future Workforce at WCC

Zoller Inc. in Ann Arbor has donated nearly $250,000 in equipment to Washtenaw Community College (WCC) to train students on state-of-the-art machinery that measures precision cutting tools along with an advanced Tool Management System.

The company’s equipment gift is part of a multi-pronged investment in WCC and the future workforce, including an apprenticeship program with a direct path to hire and train four-to-six students per year for high-demand careers with the company.

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