DBusiness Daily Update: Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo Returns, and More

Wild Lights features millions of twinkling holiday lights across dozens of designed displays throughout the zoo. // Courtesy of The Detroit Zoo


Wild Lights features millions of twinkling holiday lights across dozens of designed displays throughout the zoo. // Courtesy of The Detroit Zoo
Wild Lights features millions of twinkling holiday lights across dozens of designed displays throughout the zoo. // Courtesy of The Detroit Zoo

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.

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo Makes Glowing Return

Wild Lights at the Detroit Zoo, the facility’s annual holiday light show, flipped the switch on its 10th consecutive season Nov. 19.

Presented by Strategic Staffing Solutions, the event features millions of twinkling holiday lights across dozens of designed displays throughout the zoo.

Dates and times for the Wild Lights 2022-2023 season are as follows:

  • 25-26 (5-10:30 p.m.)
  • 27 (5-9 p.m.)
  • 2-3, 9-10, 16-23 (5-10:30 p.m.)
  • 4, 11, 14-15, 26-31 (5-9 p.m.)
  • 2-8 (5-9 p.m.)

New features of Wild Lights include:

An Enchanted Trail where guests can stroll through a forest of lights while listening to the sounds of the season.

Toyland, an immersive installation featuring larger-than-life, lighted toy sculptures, such as a 40-foot-long train – along with a Wishing Tree, where families can make their holiday wishes come true.

The Wild Lights Lodge, a festive, indoor oasis where guests can warm up and take in holiday décor, bar service, s’mores, and more.

“Wild Lights is one of our most successful and fun events of the year, and it’s easy to see why,” says Megan Gregg, senior events manager for the Detroit Zoological Society. “The incredible new activities we have planned for this year, along with all the traditional festivities that are part of Wild Lights, are what make this family-friendly event so popular.”

Wild Lights guests also can check out the Wildlife Photographer of the Year art exhibition, which is included with admission to any Wild Lights event. Owned by the Natural History Museum in London, this exhibition celebrates the best of nature photography and photojournalism using the unique. The Detroit Zoo is the first stop in the United States for the exhibition, which debuted Nov. 19.

For more information and tickets, visit wildlights.detroitzoo.org.

Applications for $50M Going PRO Talent Fund Program Opens Today

Michigan employers looking to take advantage of the Going PRO Talent Fund program will be able to apply for a share of approximately $50 million in competitive training awards over the course of two application cycles starting today.

Going PRO Talent Fund helps ensure employers have the talent they need to grow and stay competitive by providing awards to assist in training, developing and retaining current and newly hired employees. Training must fill a demonstrated talent need experienced by the employer and lead to a transferable, industry-recognized credential.

“We are committed to expanding opportunity for Michiganders, ensuring they have a path to good-paying jobs and making sure businesses can develop the talent they need to compete in the global economy,” says Susan Corbin, director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Since the program’s launch, Going PRO Talent Fund has provided training for 145,000 Michigan workers, supporting the needs of more than 5,000 businesses.”

This year, the application process includes increased transparency for applicants — allowing them to see their scores prior to submitting an application and make adjustments as needed.

The application period for the first award cycle ends at noon Dec. 12. Selections will be announced in January 2023. For more information, visit here.

Sterling Heights-based Jet’s Pizza Debuts in Henderson, Nevada

Jet’s Pizza, the Sterling Heights-based pizza chain, has expanded to the Las Vegas market with its first location in nearby Henderson.

“Nevada has long been on the list of the most requested locations by our fans,” says Doug Pierard, owner of Jet’s Pizza in Henderson. “We couldn’t be more excited to serve the local community and welcome pizza lovers to experience our new location.”

The new location will offer the full complement of Jet’s Signature pizzas, calzone style Deli Boats, freshly baked Turbo bread Stix, fresh salads, crispy wings, and boneless chicken, as well as cookies and cinnamon stix with delivery and carry out options. Gluten-free pizza is available upon request.

With the launch of its Henderson location, Jet’s Pizza has more than 400 locations in 20 states.

Lionsgate Launches Rewards Initiative Using Detroit-based TiiCKER Platform

Lionsgate has partnered with Detroit-based shareholder loyalty platform TiiCKER to launch the Shareholder Red Carpet Rewards program to increase retail shareholder engagement with the studio’s portfolio of film and television brands and franchises.

Lionsgate, home to the blockbuster “John Wick,” “Hunger Games,” “Dirty Dancing,” and other brands and franchises, now will offer verified shareholders an array of perks under its tiered Shareholder Red Carpet Rewards program.

These include limited-edition, collectible Lionsgate commemorative shareholder certificates featuring favorite Lionsgate movies and television series, a 50 percent discount on a full-year subscription to global streaming platform STARZ, discounts on movie tickets in partnership with Atom Tickets and discounts on a broad range of Lionsgate events, experiences, and merchandise.  Shareholder rewards also will include giveaways and sweepstakes that give shareholders the opportunity to win free tickets to movie premieres or host hometown screenings.

“We’re thrilled to debut our first partnership with a world-class Hollywood film and television studio and their tens of millions of subscribers and fans in utilizing the TiiCKER platform to build shareholder loyalty and engagement,” says Jeff Lambert, founder and CEO of TiiCKER. “Individual shareholders are loyal and want to connect with the companies they own and Lionsgate’s Shareholder Rewards program is the most comprehensive suite of perks and experiences ever introduced by a public company.  We’re honored to be their partner on this blockbuster program.”

Detroit Announces Street Closures, Bus Reroutes, Parking for Thanksgiving Events

Individuals attending America’s Thanksgiving Parade, Turkey, Trot and the Detroit Lions game on Thursday, Nov. 24 should make note of street closures, bus reroutes, and suggested parking, as tens of thousands flock to downtown Detroit.

The city of Detroit also issued a reminder to parade watchers that the building of scaffolds and any device without a city permit is prohibited during Thanksgiving events in downtown Detroit on private or public property.  Violators will receive tickets, and the scaffolds will be removed.


Nov. 23

  • Woodward between W. Grand Blvd and Warren to close at 9 a.m.
  • Woodward from Warren to Congress to close at noon.
  • Atwater between Civic Center Drive and Third to close at 3 p.m.
  • Griswold between Fort and Congress to close at 6 p.m.

Nov. 24

Motorists may cross Woodward at these intersections until 5 a.m. Crossover streets are: Warren, Alexandrine, MLK/Mack, Fisher Service Drive, Adams, Park/Witherall, John R/Clifford and Grand River.

Woodward from W. Grand Blvd. to Larned will be closed completely from 5 a.m.-4 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

The following streets will close beginning at 5 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24 and reopen after the Turkey Trot at approximately 10 a.m.:

  • Jefferson from the Lodge Freeway to Cabacier
  • Michigan at Cass
  • Fort Street from Trumbull to Woodward
  • Congress from Shelby to Randolph
  • Larned from Shelby to Randolph
  • Shelby from Congress to Michigan
  • Michigan from Cass to Woodward
  • Monroe from Woodward to Randolph
  • Lafayette Blvd. from Trumbull to Griswold
  • Washington Blvd. from Adams to Congress
  • Atwater from Civic Center Dr. to Third
  • In addition, the southbound Lodge exits at W. Jefferson/Cobo and Larned Street (Exits 1A & 1B) and the northbound Lodge exit at W. Jefferson (Exit 1A) will be closed beginning at 7 a.m. and during the entire Turkey Trot. The Larned exit will reopen after the Turkey Trot ends.

The Detroit People Mover will be free on Thanksgiving Day and operating from 6 a.m. – 7 p.m.

As a result of street closures for Thanksgiving Day events, DDOT customers can expect delays beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 24 until the end of the parade. Some eastside and westside bus routes will be rerouted.

The following routes will be located on Beaubien between Congress and Lafayette at the Bricktown People Mover Station.

  • 5 Van Dyke/Lafayette
  • 6 Gratiot (Gratiot will be located on Congress)
  • 9 Jefferson
  • 31 Mack
  • 52 Chene
  • 67 Cadillac/Harper
  • Passengers can transfer by way of the People Mover at no charge (Bricktown Station on Beaubien at Congress and Michigan Station on Cass at Michigan)

These routes will be located at:

  • 3 Grand River will be at Cass on Michigan
  • 4 Woodward will be available at the Rosa Parks Transit Center (Bay 15)
  • 16 Dexter will be available at the Rosa Parks Transit Center (Bay 14)

DDOT will operate on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day for all regular routes at regular fares. For more information, please call DDOT’s Customer Service Office at (313) 933-1300 or go to RideDetroitTransit.com.

The Detroit Municipal Parking Department (MPD) recommends the following facilities:

  • Ford Underground Garage, Nov. 24, 5 a.m.-7 p.m., $10
  • 30 East Jefferson Ave., Nov. 25, 6 a.m.-7 p.m., $5-$15
  • Eastern Market Garage, Nov. 24, 6 a.m.-9 p.m., $20
  • 2727 Riopelle St., Nov. 25, Closed
  • Normal business hours resume Monday, Nov. 28.

Parents can find lost children at the Detroit Police Department Downtown Services, 20 Atwater, or by calling 313-237-2850.

Metro Detroit Young Professionals Start New Committee to Combat Illiteracy

More than 100 metro Detroit young professionals met in late September to learn about the mission of Beyond Basics, Michigan’s leading provider of structured literacy intervention.

The event, conducted at the Riverside, launched the newly formed Leaders for Literacy, which is a committee of adults aged 25-40 who want to do their part to eradicate the crisis of illiteracy in America.

Committee Chair Abigail Turnbull felt moved to become part of the solution after learning about Beyond Basics at a nonprofit showcase in 2021. Currently two-thirds of fourth graders nationwide are reading below proficiency, and pandemic learning losses have only added to their ranks. Turnbull said she was was heartened to learn there is a remedy: Beyond Basics’ multisensory approach helps students achieve grade-level movement in an average of six weeks.

Turnbull’s passion to become a literacy advocate quickly drew her peers to join her in forming Leaders for Literacy, and the committee’s enthusiasm is contagious, as evident by the many young professionals who milled about the venue, enjoying cocktails and music, curious to learn more.

“I’m blown away by the generosity of our attendees,” says Turnbull, an account manager at leading insurance broker NFP. “I’m very much looking forward to keeping the momentum to continue to make a difference and work to eradicate illiteracy.”

Young professionals interested in joining, can email Executive Outreach Manager Katie Nienstedt at [email protected].