Technology Report Spotlight
Latest Detroit Technology Report Spotlight
Detroit looked great on national TV during the Monday Night Football game this week. The buildings glowed as businesses and residents kept their lights on in honor of the game.
NEETU SETH: Founder and CEO of NITS Solutions in Farmington Hills. NITS Solutions provides custom technology; marketing services such as direct mail, surveys and sales calls; and data-management services to Fortune 500 clients. The company began in staffing services and expanded into data analysis to meet customer demands. Since its inception in 2009, NITS Solutions has increased revenue significantly, projecting up to $2 million this year from $850,000 in 2012 and $400,000 in 2011. The company also has added several employees as it continues its rapid growth. Under Seth’s leadership, NITS Solutions recently has been named one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch. Previously, Seth held positions in e-banking services at ADP and Citigroup. She received her bachelor’s degree from Guru Nanek Dev University in India and her MBA from Eastern Michigan University. Read the full profile at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders. (Note: Leaders & Innovators will be on hiatus for the next two weeks due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and will return Tuesday, Jan. 7.)
Claudine George: CEO and Managing Member of ICONMA LLC in Troy. George oversees the activities of the overall business and promotes diversity initiatives for the staffing, consulting, and managed project services company. George began her career as an IT consultant to the automotive industry. While working at a major OEM, she founded her first company, which matched engineering and IT consultants and clients. Subsequently, George formed ICONMA, which has more than 1,700 employees throughout 25 national and international locations. Starting with staffing services, George has expanded ICONMA into additional service areas, including managed services, which provides web and mobile application development and testing services. Under her leadership, ICONMA has been named to the Inc. 5000 for six consecutive years, with $109.7 million in revenue for 2012, a three-year growth of 106 percent. The company has been recognized as one of the 50 Fastest-Growing Women-Owned/Led Companies in North America sponsored by the New York-based Women Presidents’ Organization and the small-business division of American Express, as well as a Corp! magazine economic bright spot. George was named an Ernst & Young LLP Entrepreneur of the Year in the staffing and support services category. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan. Read the full profile at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders.
SUSAN MOSEY: President of Midtown Detroit, Inc. in Detroit. Mosey has led the University Cultural Center Association, newly reconstituted as Midtown Detroit, for 24 years. Midtown Detroit is responsible for community development, marketing, public space maintenance, security services, real estate and small-business development, and arts programming within Detroit’s University Cultural Center and New Center districts – an area now known as Midtown. Projects undertaken by the organization under her direction include public improvements, and residential and commercial real estate development and management. The organization also produces a number of signature arts events for the district, including Art X Detroit, DLECTRICITY and Noel Night. Since 2000, Midtown Detroit, Inc. has raised more than $60 million in direct support for a variety of initiatives, including the restoration and conversion of six historic homes into a boutique hotel, the Inn on Ferry Street, and a façade matching grant program which has provided more than $1 million to local business owners. Midtown Detroit recently received the Urban Land Institute’s Global Award for Excellence, the real estate industry’s most prestigious honor, for the TechTown Living Room, an initiative of nonprofit urban development. Currently, Midtown Detroit’s neighborhood redevelopment initiatives include the creation of a walkable arts district and renovation of numerous historic structures for market-rate and mixed-income housing. Most recently, the organization is administering the national Living Cities Integration Initiative, providing commercial debt and low-interest loans, mixed-use development, and charter school financing. Mosey has been awarded the inaugural Mariam C. Noland Award for Nonprofit Leadership by the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, and named by Crain’s Detroit Business as a Newsmaker of the Year and one of the Women to Watch, and by MLive as one of 13 Michiganders to Watch in 2013. She received her bachelor’s degree in urban planning from Wayne State University. Read the full profile at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders.
In your next car, you may be replacing buttons and levers with a simple gesture, gauges with retractable touch screens, and conventional plastic with natural fibers that completely eliminate oil-based materials. All this is part of the technology that Faurecia is demonstrating at this year’s LA Auto Show.
Faurecia, known for its clever innovations in automotive seating, interior systems, emissions control technologies and automotive exteriors, has focused for many years on systems that make vehicles lighter, smarter and more comfortable. In LA, the company showcases a number of advancements in these areas that are expected to be available on cars over the next few years.
With a demonstrator called Performance 2.0, Faurecia Interior Systems shows off a cabin-full of wireless, touchless, natural-fiber and convenience innovations designed for midmarket vehicles that average consumers can afford.
Performance 2.0’s instrument panel supports two retractable screens, a small, automated heads-up display (HUD) module above the steering wheel and a centrally located retractable 8-inch touchscreen. The HUD shows information the driver needs, replacing conventional clusters of gauges, while the larger touchscreen serves as a display for navigation and entertainment systems.
With only a simple gesture, the radial-sliding glove box rotates out and opens. The center console is equally remarkable, incorporating an armrest that opens with just a single touch. Inside the console is a charging area for smartphones. It is equipped with near-field communication technology that connects the device inside to the vehicle’s antenna. Mirror Link technology wirelessly transmits anything from an iPhone in the console to the center retractable screen and streams it wirelessly to a tablet mounted on the back of the driver’s seat. Like the glove box, the tablet is controlled with gestures.
The demonstrator’s door panel is composed of a natural-fiber carrier and pocket and offers the industry’s first heated armrest. The armrest is covered with a textile that is backlit at night and that displays patterns in the daytime. The forward portion is covered with an anodized aluminum containing engraved graphics, the first use of this material in this manner for vehicles.
All-Natural Injection Molding
Another Faurecia Interior Systems exhibit demonstrates three evolutionary levels of natural-fiber materials developed with the goal of replacing oil-based plastics with fibers made from such materials as flax and hemp in the injection molding process. That goal is attained in Faurecia’s BioMat Project, which is ready to roll out an injection material composed 100 percent of natural fibers plus a bio-based matrix. Working with Mitsubishi Chemicals, Faurecia has finalized development of a poly-butylene succinate (PBS) ingredient that is combined with fibers from hemp plants.
Faurecia further demonstrates the application of large areas of natural fibers — its Ligneos wood-based decoration — along with aluminum, in an exhibit that showcases the company’s “one-tool-x-surfaces” technology. This system enables Faurecia to produce a variety of wood and aluminum finishes using a single tool.
Ligneos overcomes several inherent challenges in using wood, including its rigidity and the difficulty of working the wood. Ligneos allows for larger sheets of wood to be processed in three dimensions, making them lighter and more flexible. It also adjusts to the shape of the components, so it is perfect for larger surfaces, like instrument panels, door panels and seatbacks.
3D Seat Covers
Another advancement in design comes in the form of sculpted seat covers from Faurecia Automotive Seating. A Faurecia cover-carving process transforms the conventional seat cover with a brilliant array of selections. The seat features creative covers, with embedded 3D effects and customized markings. Moreover, the covers can sport any of thousands of personalized trim options for seams, foils and other decoration available from Faurecia. These approaches contribute to Faurecia’s success in “mass customization” of seating for future vehicles.
Many of these innovations are available now, and others will be found on midmarket cars in the next cycle of vehicle designs. But Faurecia has a vision for even smarter vehicle systems in the not-too-distant future and is showing those off in its interactive Vision Wall display. Demonstrated on an HD touchscreen are seating comfort concepts designed to help drivers feel better on arrival after a long trip than they felt when they started. The concepts combine a number of sensing and advanced adjustment technologies under development by Faurecia to enable seats to recognize, perfectly fit, re-energize and relax drivers.
Within just a few years, we’ll be driving with these increasingly intelligent and comfortable systems that Faurecia is moving from concept to production.
More about what Faurecia is demonstrating at the LA Auto Show at http://www.FaureciaLAAutoShow.com.
Editor’s Note: This Spotlight article was sponsored by Faurecia. For information on how you can sponsor content in the Spotlight, contact Van Rohr at (248) 327 2757 or email@example.com.
Our new mayor, Mike Duggan, and the members of the new city council have a tough and rewarding job ahead of them as Detroit continues to move through one of the most challenging times in our history. They will set the tone for our city’s future, and ultimately create a new sustainable, business model that will take us into the future.
That new business model must deliver an action-oriented road map that puts people to work, improves education, moves our neighborhoods and our region forward, deals with Detroit’s safety and security issues and, most importantly, ensures our city never again falls into the economic quagmire we are in today.
The only way to accomplish those goals is to create a collaborative environment where business, government, labor, the religious community, residents and others come together to create a Detroit that is clean, safe and inviting for everyone in every neighborhood. That means eliminating silos. Sharing power. Listening to one another and building long-lasting, trusting relationships.
Here’s the bottom line: Everyone involved, from Mike Duggan to Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr to the Detroit City Council to city departments and unions to Governor Snyder and the state Legislature to the federal government, needs to be for Detroit.
Duggan is a master negotiator and I have every confidence he will gain a place at each table. Still, sitting at the table is not enough. His seat must carry the same weight as all the others for Detroit and a new business model to succeed.
That still is not enough to resolve one of our biggest challenges, safety and security.
Duggan must restore faith in the Detroit Police Department’s ability to keep our neighborhoods safe and to investigate and solve crimes and to respond quickly to emergencies. Chief of Police James Craig as well as Fire Commissioner Don Austin currently report to Orr. The best way to restore faith in both departments is have them report to the mayor’s office instead of the emergency manager. That would streamline decision making, bring an amount of local control back to elected leadership and help Orr focus on finances and Duggan focus on fixing departments. I would hope the powers that be see the wisdom in making that change.
Much will be decided over the next month or so as we head toward Duggan’s inauguration on Jan. 1. He’s picked two very strategic and knowledgeable people to head his transition team … former state Rep. Lisa Howze, a certified public accountant, and former Detroit Police Chief Ike McKinnon, an associate professor at the University of Detroit Mercy. With their help I hope he will be able to put together a strategic plan that will include the road map for Detroit’s future.
How that plays out will determine what image Detroit portrays locally, nationally and internationally for the foreseeable future.
MIKE JENNINGS is CEO of Secure-24 in Southfield. Secure-24 provides managed IT operations, enterprise resource planning application hosting, and cloud computing services with data centers in Michigan, Nevada, and Arizona. With more than 25 years of experience in information systems, business development, finance, and manufacturing, Jennings has led the firm’s growth to more than 170 clients in a variety of industries, including government and education. During the past year, Secure-24’s work force has grown 71 percent to more than 340 employees, mostly in Michigan. The company plans to implement numerous IT training certifications for its employees after receiving the Challenge Fund Award through Automation Alley’s technical talent development program. Secure-24 gives back to the community through monthly fundraisers, blood drives, charity dinners, and other events to groups such as Gleaners, Angels of Hope, and the American Red Cross. The company has been designated by Computerworld as one of the 2013 Best Places to Work in IT. Last year, it was named one of Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. Secure-24 also is on CRN’s 500 Top Solution Provider list. Previously, Jennings was the co-founder, chief technology officer, and senior vice president of business development at Appshop. He also founded the IT services company InfoSolutions and was a principal at Simplify, an Oracle ERP consulting company. Jennings’ experience includes positions with El Dorado Ventures, United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, and SimulTrans. He also has held senior finance positions as a CFO and controller. He studied network management and engineering at the University of California Santa Cruz. Read the complete profile at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders.
SCOTT FOSTER is president of Wellco in Royal Oak. Wellco provides ROI and appraisal systems to fix corporate wellness programs and measurably improve organizational health costs and conditions. It also provides corporate wellness programs, speaking, and consulting services. In the past year, Wellco’s revenue has increased by 30 percent and staff has increased by 14 percent. The company has worked with such organizations as Home Depot, Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Hitachi, and the United Auto Workers. Under Foster’s leadership, Wellco has been recognized as one of the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch by the Edward Lowe Foundation, Corp! magazine’s Best of Michigan Business, and one of Michigan’s Economic Bright Spots and Entrepreneurs of Distinction. Prior to founding the company in 1996, Foster was a cardiology manager with St. John Providence Health System. He is a certified health promotion director from the Cooper Clinic and a certified Lipid Clinic facilitator from Chicago’s Midwest Heart Specialists. Foster is a speaking faculty member for Merck, consultant to the state of Michigan, chairman of the Michigan Wellness Council, and columnist for Corp! magazine. He received his bachelor’s degree in health science from Central Michigan University. Read the full profile at http://www.ltu.edu/leaders.
Michigan’s advanced lighting industry will be displayed at full brightness on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at the Michigan Advanced Lighting Conference, to be held at the Electrical Industry Training Center in Warren.
The conference features two tracks with topics and speakers tailored to a wide range of industry professionals — track 1 for customers and contractors, track 2 for manufacturers. Topics covered include the companies moving Michigan’s lighting industry forward, innovative project case studies, optimizing return on investment with sensors and controls, and “what’s next” in research and development.
Keynotes will be delivered by John W. Curran, president of LED Transformations LLC, a Stanton, N.J. advanced lighting consultant, and Eric Haugaard, director of product technology at Cree Inc., a manufacturer of light-emitting diode materials and devices, headquartered in Durham, N.C.
Attendees will also have access to an “Advanced Lighting Showcase” featuring products and services, many from Michigan-based companies.
The day’s agenda includes many valuable opportunities for participants to network, including breakfast, lunch and an afterglow reception.
Facility owners and managers can discover the innovative products, tangible resources and proof of ROI they need to enhance both their buildings and their bottom line. Contractors and other industry participants will discover how to leverage the latest advanced technology to grow their businesses.
Conference participants include architects, engineers, lighting manufacturers, building managers, owners, and developers, and other industry professionals. Attendees have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits toward certifications offered through American Institute of Architects (AIA), Building Owners and Managers Institute International (BOMI) and US Green Building Council (USGBC). The cost to attend is $75.
NextEnergy is serving as the event organizer, with the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and partnering organizations, the Michigan Public Service Commission, the Michigan Solid-State Lighting Association, the Green Team Coalition, the Electrical Industry Training Center, and the Michigan Advanced Lighting Controls Training Program.
Event sponsors include DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 58 and the National Electrical Contractors Association of Southeast Michigan. Sponsorship opportunities are still available at costs ranging from $250 to $15,000.For more information on sponsorships, please contact Diana L. Nash, LEED AP, at (248) 763-2275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The influence of information technology, energy codes and standards, and advances in lighting efficiency and flexibility are driving significant changes within the lighting industry,” said Thomas Bowes, assistant director, Detroit Electrical Industry Training Center. “This is an exciting time for the industry with a degree of innovation not seen since the days of Thomas Edison and his development of the incandescent light.”
For more information about the conference visit http://www.nextenergy.org