DEGC Programs Receive Economic Development Awards

Miller & IECD Award.jpg-degc-wcap

Three DEGC small business programs received Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), including:

  • D2D Procurement Program — Silver Award for Multi-Year Economic Development (Program manager: Brian Watkins)
  • Green Grocer Project — Bronze Award for Neighborhood Development (Program manager: Mariangela (Mimi) Pled)
  • REVOLVE Detroit — Bronze Award for Entrepreneurship (Program manager: Michael Forsyth)

“From localized community projects to large scale endeavors, economic development efforts have played a vital role in the global economy,” said JoAnn Crary, CEcD, chair, IEDC and president, Saginaw Future Inc. “As we address new and longstanding challenges, these efforts continue to take on even greater importance. These awards serve as a salute to pacesetting organizations like the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation for leading the charge.”

“Each one of these programs is part of our effort to build a whole ecosystem to support small businesses,” said Rodrick Miller, president and CEO, DEGC. “Our first priority is to provide jobs for Detroiters, and we need both large and small enterprises to sustain a globally competitive economy.”

“We’re very proud of the accomplishments of Brian, Mimi, Michael and their staffs, and we congratulate them for their hard work and innovative thinking,” said Olga Stella, chief operating officer, DEGC.

Recipients of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards demonstrate to an experienced panel of judges that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession. Recipients are recognized as the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. The awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities.

The honors were presented during the 2015 IEDC Annual Conference in October in Anchorage, Alaska.

Regina Bell
Special Advisor

Sakthi Automotive holds groundbreaking, hosts D2D PRO session for bid opportunities


India-based automotive supplier Sakthi Automotive broke ground for its new 180,000-square-foot casting and machining facility in October. Located at 6701 Fort Street in Detroit, it is part of a larger campus which includes the rehabilitation of the former Southwestern High School and the razing of American Mailers Building. Fairway Engineering LLC designed and engineered the facility,

The manufacturing plant is expected to open in March 2016 and employ 350 workers. Sakthi currently employees more than 225 employees at its facility next door. Sakthi Automotive produces Tier 1 parts for automakers such as General Motors. The Michigan Strategic Fund approved $3.5 million in incentives for the facility earlier this year.

The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s D2D program held a PRO session on October 16, connecting Detroit-based construction companies with bidding opportunities for the facility.

About 31 people from construction and development companies attended the session to get an overview of Sakthi’s construction plans and learn more about bidding opportunities. PRO sessions are necessary for construction companies as they provide the chance to identify opportunities early and get a better understanding of the bidding/procurement process.

Bid opportunities include interior and exterior concrete work, overhead and dock doors, plumbing, HVAC, electrical and lighting. Bidders must meet specific requirements and comply with the City of Detroit requirements to utilize a certain percentage of Detroit businesses and residents in their work.

To inquire about Sakthi Automotive’s construction project, contact Construction Manager Kamal Tolia at

Brian Watkins
D2D Program Manager

Orleans Landing holds groundbreaking ceremony along Detroit riverfront


Orleans Landing, a $65 million, expansive mixed-use development which spans nearly eight acres along the Detroit riverfront, officially broke ground in October.

It will be the first new market-rate residential neighborhood construction project on Detroit’s east riverfront in 25 years. This neighborhood and mixed-use community will feature 278 apartments and 10,500 square feet of retail space.

The residential plans include one- and two-bedroom homes, flats, hybrid retail/lofts, and 30 townhouses with garages, all built to Enterprise Green Community criteria. Affordable housing rates will be offered on 20 percent of the available residential units.

The project was made possible by a partnership of public organizations including the City of Detroit, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Strategic Fund, a Wayne County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority loan, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other private partners. Construction is projected to be completed April 2017.

Will Tamminga
Director of Project Management

Moddie Turay Joins DEGC as EVP, Real Estate and Finance


Moddie Turay is DEGC’s new Executive Vice President of Real Estate and Finance. He will work closely with DEGC managers of other departments and programs, the city of Detroit, and existing business partners and will represent DEGC with a broad group of stakeholders to lead commercial, industrial and retail development efforts in the city of Detroit.

Turay replaces Brian Holdwick who announced in June he would leave after an orderly transition to form his own private development consulting firm, Holdwick Development Group.

Prior to joining DEGC, Turay was president, Moddie Turay Company, Washington, D.C., a real estate development firm focused on multimillion dollar mixed-use residential, retail, office and hotel development initiatives.

He also has served as a member of the senior executive team in the Public Building Services Regional Commissioners’ Office of the National Capital Region of the U.S. General Services Administration. He was a project executive and advisor on the development of asset and portfolio business plans for new developments and the redevelopment of real estate portfolios across the Washington, D.C., area.

Turay also was a development manager at Western Development Corporation, Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for pre-development strategies, management of new business opportunities, and the development management and acquisition of a diverse range of real estate projects and holdings.

He served as special assistant to District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A. Williams between 2001- 2004, advising on strategic planning, operations, public policy, and marketing and public relations.

Turay holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C.

Tiffini D. Smith
Director of Communications

10 Businesses Share $500,000 in Motor City Match Grants


The first 10 businesses that will receive a combined $500,000 in grant funding through Motor City Match to help them start or expand in Detroit were announced last month. In addition to the 10 grant winners, 87 businesses will receive business planning assistance, expert guidance on the renovation of their space, match-making with Detroit’s top available properties and other assistance to help their business get off the ground.

“These first Motor City Match winners are on the leading edge of Detroit’s growth,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “These are companies that will be renovating neighborhood buildings for their businesses, creating jobs and serving the community.”

Launched by Mayor Duggan earlier this year, Motor City Match connects new and expanding businesses with Detroit’s quality real estate opportunities and provides them with the funding and technical assistance to help them open.

Funding for the ten grant-winning businesses ranged from $10,000 to $100,000 to help fill gaps in capital needed for the build out or equipment purchase at their locations.

“Motor City Match is designed to help take businesses from idea to open,” said Detroit Economic Growth Corporation CEO Rodrick Miller. “We have winners with a great business idea who will receive help developing a business plan, others will get help finding the right property for their business, while those that have a location picked out will receive technical support to plan and budget for their needed renovations.”

“There is not another program like Motor City Match anywhere in the country,” said Linda Forte, chair of the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Detroit board of directors. “This $500,000 investment from Motor City Match will help these 10 companies leverage a combined $2.8 million to help them grow in Detroit.”

The next applications window for businesses looking to apply to Motor City Match open on Dec. 1 and closes Jan. 1. Qualification requirements, program guidelines and other application details are available at

Michael Forsyth
Program Manager, Motor City Match