Growing With Detroit – Giffels Webster Celebrates 25 Years Downtown

Growing With Detroit – Giffels Webster Celebrates 25 Years Downtown
August 25th, 2020
Consulting firm plays integral role with those leading the city’s revitalization

Giffels Webster Celebrates 25 Years in Detroit
DETROIT, Aug. 25, 2020 – Giffels Webster, a Detroit-headquartered consulting firm, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in the city this month. The firm has provided a broad scope of civil engineering, surveying, planning, GIS and landscape architectural services. They are dedicated to the revitalization of the city and improving overall quality of life, as well as actively involved in community service and volunteerism.

“We’re proud to have played a role, working side by side with the city’s visionaries, leaders and residents, in the remarkable rebirth that the City of Detroit has experienced over the past 25 years,” said Scott Clein, P.E. LEED, AP, president of Giffels Webster. “During that period, we have become a part of the community we serve and remain passionate about making it a better place for all Detroiters.”

Giffels Webster’s move to Detroit was fueled by the opportunity to work amongst the community it serves. The firm’s growing range of services has helped the city rejuvenate private buildings and public spaces through a mix of traditional surveying and engineering services, as well as newer technologies like laser scanning and drone mapping to preserve and update historical buildings and sites. Giffels Webster has also been instrumental in major Detroit initiatives, such as the city’ non-motorized transportation network, which boasts over 170 miles of bike lanes throughout the city.

Giffels Webster – Beacon Park
Shown: Beacon Park in Downtown Detroit
Key Detroit projects and places impacted by Giffels Webster’s expertise include:

Little Caesars Arena
Detroit East Riverfront Framework Plan
Campus Martius
Henry Ford Health Systems South Campus
Comerica Park and Ford Field
Dozens of Residential Developments in Capital Park, Midtown and the CBD
Foundation Hotel
Beacon Park
Orleans Landing
Baltimore Station
Detroit Police Athletic League
Wayne County Justice Complex
Partnering with communities, municipalities and the private sector, Giffels Webster provides innovative solutions to everyday problems. The firm designed Michigan’s first protected bike lane on East Jefferson, which fits their “complete streets” model, where roadways are accessible to pedestrians and bicyclists in addition to motor vehicles.

Giffels Webster has received three consecutive Top Workplaces awards from the Detroit Free Press, crediting their shared vision, known as “True North,” a guiding influence which draws inspiration from their surveying roots. “Each day, our team comes together to make a difference,” says Scott Clein. “We aspire to improve ourselves, our work, our company and our community a little bit every day. It’s exciting to think about what the next quarter century will bring in the Motor City.” The firm sponsors and participates in many education-based and volunteer activities throughout each year, including Game On Cancer, Adopt-A-Highway, Tour De Troit and Life Remodeled.

About Giffels Webster

Giffels Webster is a collection of people – civil engineers, landscape architects, planners, surveyors and GIS specialists – who choose every day to make communities better. The Michigan-based firm helps public, private and institutional clients throughout the United States with their planning, land development and infrastructure needs.

Since its inception in 1952, Giffels Webster has evolved to offer a broad scope of services centered on helping clients achieve their project or programming goals, including civil engineering, municipal consulting, planning, land development consulting, landscape architecture, traffic engineering, surveying and GIS consulting. For more information, visit

MessageMakers Celebrates 40 Years

A red glow peeks through the cracks of an old photographer’s darkroom fifty-some years ago. Just west of Detroit, a young boy helps his father as he patiently dips and slowly swishes a tray of chemicals, and brings memories to life as he develops a picture.

“Those hours spent with my father in a darkroom sparked a dream inside me,” said Terry Terry, now president of the creative firm MessageMakers, celebrating its 40th year. “Visual storytelling was part of how I learned to understand the world. I remember when he gave me a copy of ‘Around the World in 1,000 Pictures’ by Milton Runyon and Vilma Bergane, I knew it was my dream to tell stories.”

Terry started with freelance work while teaching at Michigan State University, helping people with video and photography. He fell in love with the idea of being able to help people tell their stories and communicate their ideas, but wasn’t sure how to start a business.

“When you love what you do, things have a way of working themselves out.” said Terry. “My bank account was empty when I landed my first contract. That was a problem, because I was supposed to fly around the world to produce videos for international schools in Central and South America, then Europe, Africa, and Asia. But that first client – specifically a gentleman named Burt Fox – paid me cash on the on the spot for my future travel expenses.”

Four decades and 50 countries later, MessageMakers has worked around the globe telling stories and producing programs in twelve languages. That body of work has included the Governor’s Economic and Education Summit, a rebranding campaign for the City of Berkley, Michigan, graphic recording to communicate the nature and purpose of major change initiatives at General Motors, as well as work for Harley-Davidson, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Herman Miller, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Michigan Virtual, and a wide range of other businesses government agencies, associations, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Non-profit involvement has been an important part of the story of both Terry and MessageMakers. In 1984, Terry founded a non-profit that would evolve into the Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art. MICA was first focused on local impact in the Lansing, Michigan’s “Old Town” – producing music and art festivals that would grow to attract thousands to the downtown neighborhood.

In 2014, MessageMakers collaborated with the MICA to produce the feature documentary “Second Shift: From Crisis to Collaboration.” The film was recognized with an Emmy nomination.

Over the past 40 years, MessageMakers has earned over 100 awards for quality. Terry was named Small Business Advocate of the Year Award in 1999 and Outstanding Small Business Award in 2008 by the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, Terry was presented with the Distinguished Alumni award from James Madison College. During his acceptance remarks, Terry encouraged students to “be tenacious in pursuit of your dreams. The notion of being fully responsible and accountable is my definition of freedom.”

Today, the work of the MessageMakers team is in many ways the realization of Terry’s childhood dreams. “I’m very happy to be working with good, smart people who want to make a better world.” said Terry.

“It’s hard to predict the future, but I know that in another 40 years we’ll still be storytellers,” said Terry. “The form of those stories may change dramatically as technology and society evolve, but narrative will continue to connect the many facets of our creative work as MessageMakers, and also in turn connect that work to the world. Regardless of the medium, we’ll push to tell stories that are category-defining, and based on strong relationships with our clients and our community. We’ll help people to learn and connect with purpose, hopefully making some kind of social impact. That’s who we are today, and that’s who MessageMakers will be for years to come.”


Artloft Midtown One Year Anniversary Celebration

Detroit October 10, 2016 Over the past year, Artloft and their Midtown location have grown into much more than just a gift store. They frequently host girlfriend parties, tea parties, ladies brunches and have participated in local charity events as well. Rachael, along with her knowledgeable staff, offers a high level of personalized service to her clients. We want to create a connection with the customer that evokes the feeling that Artloft is “my go-to store.”

“Our customer base is building daily, and new customers quickly become regulars and friends,” said Rachael Woods

If you haven’t been into one of their locations (they have had their first location in downtown Birmingham for almost twenty years) your eyes are in for a feast! Artloft Midtown offers a highly-curated collection of unique housewares, wonderful gifts, one-of-a-kind artwork, locally made Detroit items, jewelry, authentic African clothing and more. Their best selling item is their Egyptian cotton blend sheet sets and pillowcases. Whether they are purchased as a gift or for themselves, customers always come back for more.

Rachael is looking forward to her next year and beyond with confidence. But first, she is celebrating Artloft’s one year anniversary of their Midtown Detroit location by having a festive event where they will celebrate in style with friends, customers and family and all who have supported Artloft Midtown. The date for the anniversary party will be Friday, October 28, 2016 from 5pm-10pm in store. Beyond the fun of the party, Artloft will also have portions of the event benefiting The Pink Fund.

“We are grateful to Artloft for taking up our mission, making it a point to help raise money to help local women in active treatment for breast cancer pay some of their non-medical basic cost of living expenses through The Pink Fund.” said Molly MacDonald.

Visit Artloft’s Midtown location at 4160 Cass Ave., Suite C, Detroit, MI 48201 313.818.0023 Open Monday-Saturday 11-7 with Fridays open late 11-9.

In addition to their two brick-and-mortar locations, Artloft sells merchandise through its website: and frequent updates and store events are posted on the store’s Facebook page.

Innovative Learning Group Celebrates 10 Years as a Leader in Custom Training and Performance Support Solutions

ROYAL OAK, Mich., March 4, 2014 — Innovative Learning Group, Inc. announced today that March 2014 marks the company’s 10th anniversary as a leading provider of custom training and performance support solutions to Fortune 1000 companies.

ILG began in the basement of CEO and owner Lisa Toenniges’ home over a weekend 10 years ago. With the support of her previous employer who was closing, Toenniges and five colleagues set out to start a company to serve the needs of their previous employer’s clients. By the end of the first few weeks, the company had a name, business plan, and six clients with projects in process.

Today, ILG has more than 90 clients across 30 industries, 13 employees, and a corporate headquarters based in Royal Oak. The company has achieved revenue growth and remained profitable since opening.
“My goal is to continue on our path of steady growth and profitably while maintaining the culture and client-focus that has made ILG successful,” says Toenniges. “We have wonderful clients and take building relationships and partnering with them very seriously. I thank them for their continued support and encouragement. It’s because of their confidence in our team and services that ILG has reached this milestone. I look forward to continuing the journey.”

ILG has received a number of awards for its learning solutions, including two Brandon Hall Awards of Excellence, an International Society for Performance Improvement Award of Excellence, and a Learning in Practice Award from Chief Learning Officer. The company also has received a variety of workplace and business awards, including being named a Michigan Bright Spot by Corp! and a Cool Place to Work by Crain’s Detroit. Additionally, Toenniges has been named a Top 10 Michigan Business Woman and Rainmaker of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners of Greater Detroit and an Entrepreneur of Distinction by Corp!.

About Innovative Learning Group, Inc.
Headquartered in Royal Oak, Mich., Innovative Learning Group, Inc. helps employees of Fortune 1000 companies perform better by creating powerful, practical training and performance support solutions that are smart, engaging, and designed to significantly improve business results. Founded in 2004 by Chief Executive Officer Lisa Toenniges, ILG is privately held and a Women’s Business Enterprise–certified company. Performance. Results. We get it.SM Learn more at