Skip to main content
Email Subscription

To sign up for email updates from Macomb County or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your email address. If you would like to subscribe for text alerts please select Text Updates in the drop-down menu.

Circuit Court
40 N Main, Mount Clemens, MI 48043
(586) 469-5208

Executive Focus Newsletter Spring 2017

Mark's Message
Selfridge offers ways to get involved in centennial birthday
Spring 2017 Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale has begun
Annual Sprint & Splash event helps to enhance Macomb County’s recreational assets
Macomb Business Awards winners announced

Mark’s Message

The New Year has been busy for me right out of the gate. Currently, I am really working to promote the fact that Selfridge Air National Guard Base is being considered as a site for the F-35 Lightning II, the military's new 5th Generation fighter. In an effort to encourage this decision, just a few weeks ago, Selfridge Air National Guard Base and Macomb County officials, along with a group of dedicated community partners, announced the launch of MIF35.org, a website designed to highlight all the benefits Selfridge and the community would realize if the base is able to secure the arrival of the F-35.

Over the next six months, the county will be working hand in hand with the state of Michigan, the Michigan Defense Center, our congressional delegation, local legislators and defense partners in, and around, southeast Michigan to showcase Selfridge. I hope you will join in this effort. 

Also, since my last newsletter in December, I attended the 2017 North American International Auto Show. In case you didn’t know, right now, automotive investment is at an all-time high in Macomb County.

  • Since 2010, the auto industry has invested $7.4 billion in Macomb County including 123 separate investments above $1 million.
  • The “Detroit Three” account for $4.8 billion of that total, which includes significant commitment to developing technologies for connected cars and also testing autonomous vehicles in both private facilities and public streets.
  • Combined, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company and General Motors employ more than 35,000 people and operate 10 facilities in the county, covering more than 25 million square feet.
  • In addition, there are more than 1,600 manufacturers in Macomb County employing more than 69,000 individuals.

You may have also seen another new face around in our Department of Roads office. In October, I appointed Bryan Santo as the new director of the department, but he officially started in his new post on Jan. 1, 2017. Santo took the place of Roads Director Bob Hoepfner, who retired on Dec. 31, 2016 after 43 years of service to Macomb County.

As director of the Department of Roads, Santo will manage the department’s 236 employees and a budget of over $119 million. He will also be responsible for overseeing the design and construction of multi-million dollar rehabilitation and capacity reconstruction road projects and keep in direct contact with the Michigan Department of Transportation and local municipalities to coordinate construction projects. The Department of Roads maintains more than 1,700 miles of roadway with over 900 traffic signals and 60,000 signs.

Since 1994, Santo has worked as a project engineer for the Department of Roads. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Michigan. I know Santo will do an excellent job as director of our Roads Department because he has the background to get the job done.

I’d also like to take a moment to welcome all of the new officials that were elected in November. They officially began their new jobs on Jan. 3 this year.

County offices
Candice S. Miller, Public Works Commissioner
Lawrence Rocca, Treasurer
Karen A. Spranger, Clerk/Register of Deeds

Board of Commissioners
Leon Drolet
Phil Kraft
Robert Leonetti
Elizabeth Ann Lucido
Joseph V. Romano

Judge of Circuit Court – 16th Circuit
Rachel Rancilio
Michael E. Servitto

Looking forward, I invite all of you to consider participating in two upcoming events. One is McLaren Macomb’s Let’s Move Festival of Races on April 29. The purpose of the event is to promote healthy living, especially to our youth. I will be participating, and I urge you to do so as well. I will also be at our upcoming Hotcakes for Hunger event the morning of May 7 flipping pancakes with other local celebrities to help raise money and encourage food donations for the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. I hope to see you there! All donations from this event will ultimately go to our Macomb County Food Program, which provides food to local hungry people.

Selfridge offers ways to get involved in centennial birthday

By Dr. Keith Defever
President, Selfridge Base Community Council

One of the region’s largest events of 2017 is going to be Selfridge Air National Guard Base’s Open House & Air Show Aug. 19-20. Even more exciting about this bi-annual event is that Selfridge is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Attendance is expected to approach 300,000 spectators, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are slated to perform.

As you can imagine, putting on such an event requires many contributors to make it a success. Selfridge has a variety of ways you, or your business, can get involved in the Centennial Open House & Air Show, from renting a chalet to providing content for our event brochure.

In addition, there are also other events set up throughout the year to celebrate the base’s centennial celebration. Titled "Inspiring the Next Generation – STEM," these events will be hosted in Wayne, Macomb and St. Clair counties and fit well with our charter of community focus on education. The Inspiring the Next Generation – STEM events include Women in Aviation in St. Clair April 28, Michigan Defense Opportunities in Macomb May 19 and Tuskegee Airmen Heritage in Wayne County May 26. These events are expected to engage approximately 900 local high school students.  

For more information on how to get engaged in the Centennial Open House & Air Show, visit TeamSelfridge.com.

Centennial promotional videos on the Selfridge YouTube page can be found at the links below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yEb_tUsCRI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLvIBdL-RE0

Spring 2017 Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale has begun

As part of the Green Macomb initiative, the Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development is working with the Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District to bring a new Spring Tree, Shrub and Plant Sale to Macomb County’s residents and business owners.

Historically, the spring sale has been geared toward rural and agricultural communities, selling smaller trees in larger quantities. Through the efforts of Green Macomb and the Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District, this year’s sale provides an opportunity to buy smaller quantities of slightly larger tree stock for those in more urban and suburban areas of the county. For business owners, this is an inexpensive way to install new landscaping.

Planting trees provides many benefits including increased property values, cleaner air and water, lower energy bills, more attractive neighborhoods and healthier communities. This sale’s plant selection is specifically tailored to provide these benefits and increase local community tree canopy.

The public has the opportunity to purchase young bare-root trees, fruit trees, flowering shrubs, native pollinator wildflower seeds, fruits and vegetables at very low prices. To place an order, download the order form at Green.MacombGov.org and mail the completed form with payment to the St. Clair Conservation District office by Thursday, April 6.

Orders will be available for pickup at Freedom Hill County Park during Macomb County’s Arbor Day celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 28 or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Orders will be filled on a first-come first-served basis as supplies may be limited. Remaining unsold stock will also be available for purchase on-site. Michigan State University Extension and Sanilac/St. Clair Conservation District representatives will be on hand to answer questions and provide planting guidance and tree care advice.

Visit Green.MacombGov.org for more details about the sale and forthcoming information about Macomb County’s Arbor Day celebration at Freedom Hill County Park April 28.

Annual Sprint & Splash event helps to enhance Macomb County’s recreational assets

By Amanda Minaudo, senior planner for Macomb County Planning & Economic Development Department

We are well into the month of March. Spring will be here before we know it, and so will the 6th Annual Sprint and Splash Festival Races! Held on Saturday, June 17, the event is a fantastic opportunity to get outdoors and experience Macomb County’s beautiful natural assets.

In addition to being a great way to kick off summer through a variety of competitive events, plus music, food, craft beer and a multitude of vendors, Sprint and Splash also serves the unique purpose of acting as a fundraiser for organizations that promote and celebrate Lake St. Clair. Truly the heart of the Great Lakes, Lake St. Clair is one of the largest freshwater fisheries in North America and also one of the busiest recreational waterways in the Midwest. By sponsoring this event, you are supporting organizations that are working to improve the regional economy by increasing tourism to Lake St. Clair and its coastal communities while also striving to protect and restore Lake St. Clair, the Clinton River and the surrounding natural areas.

If you would like to support these organizations as well as advertise your business, this event will offer great promotional opportunities, as we are expecting over 1,000 participants and spectators. Consider being a part of the Beach Village which allows sponsors to have presence at the event with a 10-by-10-foot booth space. You can sell paraphernalia or give away promotional items, as well as have your organization’s logo on the website and race T-shirts. Can’t be at the event? Sprint and Splash offers several levels of sponsorship. For more information, visit www.SprintandSplash.com.

Sprint and Splash begins with a duathlon, which combines a 5K run and a 2-mile paddle (kayak or stand-up paddleboard). Sprint and Splash also offers a 5K Fun Run and Walk (for those who want to stay dry) and a 2-mile recreational SUP race. The Sprint and Splash Beach Village is open throughout the day, giving participants and spectators the option to visit local vendors before or after their race.

All of these aspects of the event allow local businesses the opportunity to really get involved at many levels. If you want to participate in the event, visit www.SprintandSplash.com for more information or to register online. The early registration discount ends on Sunday, April 16!

Macomb Business Awards winners announced

By Maria Zardis, Macomb County Planning & Economic Development Department 

Business leaders from across the region attended the 5th Annual Macomb Business Awards Feb. 14 at Palazzo Grande in Shelby Township. Macomb County Executive Mark A. Hackel joined Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development Director John Paul Rea to recognize the following award winners:

  • Champion of Workforce Development: R&E Automated Systems, Macomb Township

R&E specializes in all areas of turnkey automation including concept, design, prototyping, controls design and engineering, robotics and PLC programming, laser welding, joining, roller hemming and more. R&E has a dedicated, state-certified training center which provides training to young professionals looking to get into the industry, existing professionals looking to expand their knowledge and on-site training for its own employees. R&E has grown from 30 employees to more than 400 in the span of 10 years and continues to grow. The company recruits at local colleges and is very involved with local high schools and middle schools, helping them to grow their STEM programs.

  • Corporate Citizen: Binson's Medical Equipment and Supplies, Center Line

Binson’s is a family-owned-and-operated, full-service home medical equipment, medical supply and orthopedic company. Their customer base includes individuals, hospitals, doctor offices, nursing homes, health plans and other providers. They are committed to helping defeat the diseases that impact the families they serve on a daily basis. Throughout the years, they have raised and donated funds to many charities including the Karmanos Cancer Institute and Muscular Dystrophy Association. They also played a big role in supporting the MDA Summer Camp and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by donating the medical supplies and wheelchairs needed for attendees to participate at these events.

  • Diversification Leader: Baker Industries, Macomb Township

Still privately owned by the Baker family, Baker Industries has been in business for 24 years as a tier one and tier two supplier for automotive and aerospace industries. They began as a duplicating company and have evolved over the years to become a premier tooling and machining shop. With the goal of encompassing all the capabilities that their customers could wish for in a supplier, today Baker has expanded to include machining, fabrication, injection molding, tooling, 3-D printing, project management and quality assurance. With the addition of a 3-D printer, they have entered new markets including medical, agriculture, appliances, energy and defense.

  • Efficiency Expert: JEM Tech Group, Clinton Township

JEM is dedicated to helping customers with information technology products and services to transform their mission-critical environments into energy-efficient areas. They provide corporations with efficiency studies to assess their baseline energy consumption, determine problem areas and provide recommendations. Improvements may include reorganizing room layouts, equipment upgrades or airflow management devices. JEM also provides hardware and software that analyzes power consumption down to each outlet. Knowing the amount of power servers the customer is using can help determine what equipment can be better utilized or consolidated. JEM can help companies eliminate 30 percent in energy costs, resulting in significant savings.

  • Model of OneMacomb: Arts Academy in the Woods High School, Fraser

Arts Academy in the Woods is a free public high school where students can major in the fine and performing arts while also fulfilling their academic requirements. They promote racial, cultural and gender diversity, and this is reflected in the makeup of their student body. Since their founding, hundreds of students who were uncomfortable fitting in at other schools have felt welcomed and accepted in this school community. Arts Academy in the Woods begins each school year with a three-day diversity training for new students which is led by current students. Here, students develop a cultural awareness and respect that will benefit them for a lifetime.

  • Startup Business to Watch: United Shore Professional Baseball League, Utica

USPBL is the first professional independent baseball league in Southeast Michigan. The league’s inaugural season in 2016 featured three teams: Utica Unicorns, Eastside Diamond Hoppers and Birmingham Bloomfield Beavers. USPBL attracted more than 225,000 fans during its first season at Jimmy John’s Field. Starting the league was a Herculean task that included working with city and county officials, securing corporate sponsors, constructing a state-of-the-art stadium, designing team logos and uniforms, hiring more than 400 employees, marketing and launching a baseball finishing school. USPBL has significant plans for growth in the future including a fourth team next season and additional stadiums in the future.

In addition to the above-mentioned awards, Rea also recognized Macomb/St. Clair Michigan Works! as the Economic Development Partner of the Year. The Beacon of Economic Development award was presented to Dr. Jim Jacobs, president of Macomb Community College.

Fox 2 Detroit’s Huel Perkins and Charlie Langton served as co-emcees. Keynote speaker Richard Sheridan, founder, CEO and chief storyteller for Menlo Innovations, spoke about joy, creativity and human energy in the workplace. Digital First Media Publisher Jeannie Parent presented how to leverage the local media through successful partnerships. This event was sponsored by Henry Ford Macomb Hospitals and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, along with support from Advancing Macomb, Automation Alley and First State Bank.