Posts tagged with "university of Michigan"

Veep of Marketing at Lexus via 360 MAGAZINE

Vinay Shahani

Vice President – Head of Marketing at Lexus, Toyota Motor North America

*Listen to Vinay Shahani’s full conversation with Vaughn Lowery on the 360 MAG Podcast HERE.

As a crowded child growing up in and around Detroit, Vinay Shahani was exposed to the motor industry at a very young age. He started working at the Ford Motor Company when his father (of Sindhi descent) emigrated from India to the United States in the 1960s. Vinay became a car lover under the influence of his father: “He was in the car business, and I was also in the car business because I was his son, and I loved that.” Once he moved to Michigan, Vinay earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University. Currently, Vinay lives in the Dallas area.

Vinay is Vice President of Marketing for Lexus, a Japanese high-end car brand created by Toyota Inc., a position he has held since January 2021. He is responsible for Lexus’ marketing activities, including advertising campaigns, media and digital, product marketing and lifecycle management, auto shows, incentive and experiential marketing, and motorsports. He creates a “speak up” environment to make the opinions of all members of his team visible (agency partners and internal staff). Identifying social and commercial values helps expand the brand to various groups of consumers who may not align with the preferences of the Asian population, such as Walton Isaacson (black, Hispanic, and LGBTIQ community) and the IW group.

In addition, he oversees motorsports, engagement marketing, car shows, and other consumer events throughout the United States. Vasser Sullivan is a race team, with worldwide competitors such as Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, that Lexus empowers with some of the best drivers –  “We definitely want to win, and we have a winning team.” Meanwhile, Lexus also helps improve consumers’ skills in car track by providing the opportunity to study professionally at Performance Driving School.

Since the brand is determined to treat consumers as valued guests, one of Vinay’s top initiatives iis Lexus Hospitality, as it is inspired by the Japanese spirit of hospitality and is committed to providing excellence in customer service. 

Another dimension within the marketing field is monitoring and analyzing the results after experimenting with the Lexus IS 500 model and the Lexus RC F Track Edition. 

Under the massive influence of the metaverse today, Vinay mentions that Lexus is creating its own Mark Netscape plus Upstream to figure out what the role of Lexus is as a brand in the metaverse. In addition, they are in talks with global partners like Lexus International to find out what is being sought out in Japan while identifying markets in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Based on the diverse target audience of Lexus in the United States, Vinay seeks to use digital media and the National Brand Day to show brand culture and emotion, even

creating a TikTok account to get closer to younger audiences.  

As a high environment-friendly brand, by 2035, Vinay plans for Lexus to be a ‘global 100% battery electric’ vehicle brand to reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions. With these measures, it’s great to see the carbon footprint will be reduced thanks to the company’s shift. 

Finally, Vinay adds that “it is important that we know who we are as a brand from a strategic perspective.” With this, they are trying to add attractive and technological accessories to their vehicles that give the driver great confidence in the handling and control of their car. “Maintaining a love for performance cars gets your heart rate up, it excites you, and that’s something we definitely want to associate with different brands.”

Article: 

Andrea Esteban, Vaughn Lowery, Krishan Narsinghani, Armon Hayes

Resources:

Lexus & Toyota Motor North America

Links to the 2023 product announcements: Toyota New Product Showcase and 

Lexus New Product Showcase

RZ images can be found within the 2023 Lexus RZ album on this page.

Link to each brand’s Livestream press conference:

Toyota | Lexus

Link to Toyota Connected ‘Cabin Awareness’ Concept press release

Links to the final PDFs of the speaker support slides for each presentation:

Toyota , Lexus × Sequoia First Drive

Follow Vinay Shahani: Instagram | LinkedIn

Labratory Picture via Kennedy Reed for Pitch Perfect NYC for use by 360 Magazine

Don’t Freak Out During Tick Season

By: Sandra Lee, CEO, NJ Labs

Ticks are a year-long issue, but the season for ticks peaks from April to October. Are you ready for tick season? Do not ignore it. Do not freak out.

What was once a regional issue has now become a national problem because of the migration of these bugs and the increasing frequency in which people travel and spend time outdoors. When it comes to ticks, most people are concerned about being infected with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi that is transmitted to humans through the bite of blacklegged or deer ticks. Lyme Disease is an inflammatory disease that if left untreated can lead to possible arthritis and neurological and cardiac disorders. The CDC estimates that there are about 300,000 cases of Lyme Disease per year, with more than 96% concentrated in the Northeast and upper Midwestern United States. However, there are many other tick species across the United States that also spread disease and cause virus-like symptoms including headaches, fever, fatigue, chills and muscle aches. This makes tick testing crucial, so you know the tick that bit you. Tick testing is a proactive measure to take that can help a doctor or veterinarian determine the best course of action to treat a tick-borne pathogen.

Be Aware of the Tick Types

Before learning more about tick testing, it is important to know the kinds of tick you or your pet may come across. The known species of ticks in the United States that bite and transmit diseases include:

Tick Prevention

You may encounter a tick during everyday activities. Tick populations tend to be in elevated, wooded and grassy areas where creatures they feed on live. However, they can also be found in populated urban areas and coastal locations. Ticks enjoy moist and humid environments, like wood piles, leaf piles and litter, bird feeders, or fallen and low-hanging branches. Some ticks are also found in homes, such as the Brown Dog Tick and Soft ticks. To prevent the at-home ticks from entering your home be sure to keep lawn grasses low, eliminate leaf litter and distribute gravel to create a zone that prevents ticks from coming in. Additionally, here are some tips to prevent tick bites:

  • Avoid direct contact with ticks by avoiding wooded and grassy areas; and if hiking, stay near the center of trails.
  • Dress appropriately with long pants and long sleeves, and ensure the clothing has been pretreated with permethrin, or spray 0.5% permethrin on clothing.
  • Immediately take a shower after coming home from outdoors, and check for ticks on body, gear and pets.
  • Tumble dry clothes on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks.
  • Use monthly flea and tick medications for pets as recommended by your veterinarian.

Tick Testing Peace of Mind

There are specific steps to take if you or your pet get bit by a tick. When removing the tick, you must be cautious because the way the tick is removed can affect whether or not a pathogen-positive tick’s disease will be transmitted to you or your pet’s bloodstream. To safely remove a tick, use plastic tweezers to grasp the tick, pull the tick upward with steady pressure, and thoroughly clean and disinfect the bite area. Do not use metal cosmetic tweezers that could damage the tick or the skin.  After the tick is removed, do not burn, freeze or squeeze the tick. Make sure to monitor the affected area for signs of infection. Immediately send the tick into a lab that uses a DNA-based method to test for common tick-borne pathogens, including Lyme disease.

Having a tick test and sample collection kit can make this process easier, especially if you are on vacation or outdoors. For peace of mind, and to be sure about the tick that bit you, I recommend including a Tick SURE kit to your first-aid kit. The Tick SURE kit includes simple directions on how to remove a tick along with plastic tweezers and safe packaging for the tick to be sent in a pre-paid, first-class envelope that is delivered to the FDA and DEA inspection lab for full identification and testing. Once the tick arrives at the lab, the tick’s DNA is extracted to identify the species, then tested for the different pathogens it may carry. Having a tick test and sample collection kit on hand will alleviate unnecessary stress if you come in contact with a tick because you will know what to do with it. At the same time, you send the tick in for testing, make an appointment with your doctor or veterinarian if you or your pet are not experiencing any symptoms. Sometimes symptoms do not show up until later, but the sooner you can get checked out the quicker you can be treated. Having the lab results of the tick in hand will help the doctor determine the best course of action.

What Does A Positive Test Mean?

If the tick test results from the lab come back positive, don’t panic. A positive tick test does not mean that you or your pet have the disease; a positive tick test just means the pathogen in the tick has been detected. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease early, doctors can use antibiotics to get rid of the disease within the first 14 days after transmission. However, if left untreated, Lyme disease may stay with you for the rest of your life. Another reason why testing is so important.

Don’t Freak Out

Being aware of tick season and taking preventive measures are the first steps toward protecting you and your pet’s health. A tick test and sample collection kit is an important addition to your first aid kit so you can enjoy your time outdoors. You can view videos and pictures HERE so you can be sure about the types of ticks you encounter and be prepared with the next steps. Most importantly, do not freak out when you encounter a tick. Mistakes can be made with tick removal if you are in a panic. We cannot avoid the outdoors, but we can be aware of the critters that live there, and the hitchhikers that come along with them, so we know what to do if a tick bites you.  

Biography

Sandra Lee is the CEO of NJ Labs, a nationally recognized provider and advocate for quality in chemistry and microbiology testing that serves the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, dietary supplement, cosmetic and cannabis/CBD industries. As a scientist and one of the few female CEOs in the analytical testing industry, she has a passion for chemistry and how it influences multiple aspects of our daily lives. At NJ Labs she leads the privately-owned FDA and DEA inspected facility that has been a mainstay in the testing industry for 85 years with a certified full-service contract analytical testing laboratory that follows strict Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations and holds ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation. She also hosts the “Going Beyond Testing” podcast series to help companies and consumers get an insider’s look at testing practices and what should be tested to keep products safe and effective. Lee is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry.

Eyelinerz illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Importance of Eye Contact

THE ALL-IMPORTANT SUBJECT OF MAINTAINING EYE CONTACT DURING VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Did you know that we have oxytocin receptors in our eyes? When we make eye contact with someone (researchers say about 30 seconds of maintained connection should do it), the receptors tell the brain to produce the hormone, which travels through the body, hits the internal organs, and ends in the heart. Each time the eye contact is maintained, the reaction repeats. The result? Our breath and heart rate slow down, we feel calmer, we feel… happy. Even better, research shows that this effect is achieved when we make eye contact virtually as well as in person.

The Dangers of Losing Human Connection

Connecting with others doesn’t just make us happy, it can apparently also make us better people. In one study, researchers found that individuals who felt connected to others were more likely to want to volunteer in their community or do kindness for strangers. Researchers are now trying to determine how our wellbeing and connection to others is being impacted by spending so much time distanced from our social groups.

Some studies seem grim. One extensive study out of the UK analyzed over 80 research articles on loneliness indicates that as children experience increasing levels of loneliness due to being away from school and friends, they’re at increasing risk of depression and anxiety.

But the good news is that we are getting really creative (and effective) at keeping our human connection going despite the social distancing.

Connecting Creatively

For children navigating distance learning and time away from friends, doctors from the University of Michigan encouraged parents to see this time as an opportunity to teach children new skills that focus on kindness, resilience, and flexibility, while reminding parents that children are incredibly resilient as long as they are in a supportive and loving environment.

Kids can find social connections in lots of creative ways, from Zoom playdates to video game challenges with friends’ half-way around the world.

Technology also helps adults maintain — or form — meaningful connections. More than ever, meeting online is leading to meaningful, romantic relationships despite (or maybe because of?) couples waiting longer to meet in-person. Apparently, flirting via video chat is incredibly effective, despite the fact that you’re never quite really looking each other in the eye.

We are also connecting deeper with our coworkers, as Zoom happy hours have brought socializing into our homes, making for more relaxed conversations. There’s something about seeing your colleagues sipping seltzers from their kid’s playroom that really ups the camaraderie.

Connecting Effectively

Research has shown that the key to virtual connection is the same as it is in person — eye contact. Now we just need to get better at forming that connection during video calls.

The best way to do this is to look into the camera intermittently as you would someone’s eyes when meeting in person. I know, easier said than done! Our instinct is to look at the person’s face on the screen. But one solution to make maintaining eye contact with a camera more natural is having a tool like Eyelinez around your lens. The fun designs will grab your attention and remind you to keep looking into the lens.

What Are Eyelinez?

Maintaining proper eye contact with a camera is not a new challenge.  In fact, the challenge has existed ever since anyone had to stare into a cold dark camera as if they were engaging with a smiling human.  An “eyeline” is where the speaker is looking and Eyelinez is the solution to enable you to maintain a natural and engaging eyeline with the camera.

Gleaves Whitney × Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

Gleaves Whitney, who has served as director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University since 2003, has been chosen to fill the role of executive director for the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation (GRFPF) effective Sept. 1. He will replace Joe Calvaruso, who will retire after serving as the Foundation’s executive director since 2008.

“Gleaves has a strong background developing successful collaborations and partnerships, which will be beneficial for the Foundation’s relationships with the National Archives and Records Administration, the Ford Museum and Library, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, as well as Grand Rapids community and nationwide entities,” said GRFPF Board Chair Mike Ford, son of President Gerald R. Ford and Betty Ford.

Credited with establishing the first sustained and comprehensive common ground initiative in U.S. higher education, Whitney received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the program. Through his leadership, the Hauenstein Center has hosted major conferences that have helped revive the study of Midwestern history and launched the nation’s first presidential question-and-answer column, “Ask Gleaves.” He also developed the Peter C. Cook Leadership Academy at the Hauenstein Center, which now has more than 400 alumni serving in communities around the nation.

“Gleaves brings to the Foundation an exciting and innovative vision for our future work, both across Michigan and throughout the nation,” said Ford. “We have great confidence that he will help us continue to advance the strong legacy of my father and mother for the greater good of our American democracy and the national well-being of all people.”

Whitney was selected from a pool of candidates following a comprehensive national search. Calvaruso will assist Whitney with his transition through the end of August.

“I am honored to be selected as the new executive director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation and to bring the legacy of President and Mrs. Ford to a new generation of Americans,” Whitney said. “The Ford family, Foundation trustees, and Joe Calvaruso have been instrumental in shaping what the Foundation is today, bringing critically important conversations about our nation’s 38th president to the forefront of our national dialogue. I am extremely humbled to have the opportunity to build on their considerable achievements.”

Before joining the Hauenstein Center, Whitney served in Michigan Governor John Engler’s administration as a senior writer, chief speechwriter, and historian, and also assisted in the creation of the Michigan Department of History, Arts, and Libraries. He earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Colorado State University, Fort Collins; and a master’s degree in history from the University of Michigan. He was presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, Berkley California; and was selected as a Fulbright Scholar to West Germany (1984-1985).

About the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation fosters increased awareness of the life, career, values, and legacy of America’s 38th President. It does so through activities designed to promote the high ideals of integrity, honesty, and candor that defined President Ford’s extraordinary career of public service. The Foundation promotes the ideas, values, commitment to public service, and historical legacy of President Gerald R. Ford, and further promotes greater civic engagement and recognition of integrity wherever it exists in the public arena. It supports permanent and changing exhibits designed to promote historical literacy; conferences; educational outreach and other programs, both scholarly and popular, including at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.

The Handbook for Eliminating Stress for Sustainable Change in Work and Life

Stress and anxiety are part of leadership and life, but what if someone told you these feelings are simply self imposed states of mind and that humans belong to an ego-thought system that is a very common way of seeing, thinking and behaving in the world? That we can be hurt by nothing but our thoughts? Or that in order to be a truly transformational leader and enjoy a more peaceful and prosperous life in both business and family, one most surrender the ego to a higher power?

All too often, organizations implementing operational excellence do so without addressing the human and cultural implications of such a change strategy. They conduct studies, move equipment, reduce work in process, allocate employees and change measurement systems, all focusing on minimizing waste and improving the flow of value through the value stream, but they overlook the human impact of these changes, the mindset and belief system that must accompany it.

In Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business [Beyond Words, October 22, 2019], “zentrepreneur” and mindful leadership expert John J. Murphy teaches readers how to get out of their own way by shifting their thinking to see life—and themselves—very differently. By integrating teachings of A Course in Miracles (ACIM), a unique, spiritual self-study program designed to awaken us to the truth of our oneness with God and love, along with other great spiritual lessons, Miracle Minded Manager helps people improve their lives. Readers are provided with the tools to eliminate stress, not just manage it, through a non-sectarian, non-denominational spiritual tone in which everyone can participate.

“The next time you have a big problem, look in the mirror,” says Murphy. “People all over the world are stressed, especially as innovation, change and uncertainty accelerate. More importantly, people are stressed and they are not aware it is a condition of their own making. The ego mindset is projecting a negative outcome or possibility onto the future and when we dwell on what could go wrong, we feel anxious and afraid. These negative assumptions, projected by the mind, are triggering fear and stress. It is like being nervous before giving a speech or taking an exam. We are nervous because we ‘think’ something might go wrong. Mindful leadership is essential to helping people see things differently – by teaching them to see in a different way, a miracle-minded way.

Miracle-Minded Manager is the sequel to Murphy’s Agent of Change: Leading a Cultural Revolutionbut it is not necessary to read Agent of Change before reading this book. An intriguing parable about bringing more inspiration, harmony, balance, and peace of mind to corporate culture, Miracle Minded Manager offers insightful lessons on how to overcome fear and eliminate stress in all areas of their lives. Through an entertaining and compelling fictional narrative, readers will learn how to apply the spiritual ideas of ACIM and the law of attraction to everyday challenges, discover practical meditation techniques, and experience a transformational shift in thinking to discover a whole new level of understanding, awareness and appreciation in life.

The story features enlightening conversations between two characters, Jack MacDonald, the president of a business unit of TYPCO (Typical Company), and Jordan McKay, an intriguing business consultant. With the help of Jordan, Jack learns how to overcome a great deal of resistance to completely reinvent the organizational culture he leads. In addition to this, he learns valuable insights that apply to his personal life. It is here that Jack first learns of the ACIM course and begins to apply it himself, along with the help of his wife.

Miracle Minded Manager can help business and government leaders, people living in stress and those seeking enlightenment, no matter what they are doing, overcome:

  • Fear, anxiety, worry and stress – at work and at home.
  • Challenging relationships – at work and at home.
  • Business culture issues; Divisiveness

“We all get in our own way from time to time by doubting ourselves and thinking inside a box- a paradigm- that doesn’t exist,” adds Murphy. “It could be a ‘rule’ that we follow, like we have to work 40 hours per week, eat three meals a day or wear certain clothing styles. We spend countless hours trying to find ways to improve performance and results inside these ‘boxes.’ Entire industries are being disrupted by innovations challenging old paradigms. The same is true in our personal lives. If we can find innovative ways to work four hours a day, or three days a week, why not? In healthcare, if we can find ways to prevent illness and disease, rather than treat it, what might that look like? This is what miracle-minded management is all about. It is about challenging old paradigms with a truly open and fearless mind.”

About the Author:

John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, “zentrepreneur,” and award winning author. He is Founder (1988) and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high performance work environments.  As a business consultant, Murphy has delivered services to some of the world’s leading organizations, including ADP, AlliedSignal (Honeywell), BMW, Chase, the CIA, GE, GM, GSK, Hilton, Lockheed Martin, Merck, the Michigan State Senate, Perrigo, Prudential, Raytheon, Spectrum Health, Target Stores, Teva, and the US Navy. As an educator and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Murphy has trained thousands of people from over 50 countries, including Fortune 500 executives, project leaders, military leaders, managers, and black belts. He has mentored dozens of project teams in Organizational Development, Operational Excellence, Business Process Innovation and Lean Six Sigma applications. As a speaker, Murphy has delivered keynotes and seminars worldwide. A critically-acclaimed authority on peak performance, transformational leadership and healthy mind-body-spirit, Murphy is a best-selling author who has published 19 books and appeared on over 400 radio and television stations and his work has been featured in over 50 newspapers nationwide.

Murphy is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BBA Finance) and the University of Michigan’s Human Resource Executive Program. He is also a former quarterback for Notre Dame.

Connect with John J. Murphy on Facebook @Author.John.J.Murphy, Twitter @sageleader, LinkedIn @johnjmurphymystic, YouTube @AuthorJohnJMurphy, Instagram @jjmurphy13 and visit www.johnjmurphy.org.

Miracle-Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply A Course in Miracles in Business releases on October 22, 2019 in paperback and e-Book.

Ann Arbor

Kelsey Welsh x Vaughn Lowery

Ann Arbor is a small town unlike any other, primarily because it is not a small town at all; with a population of over 120,000, Ann Arbor is actually classified as a city. Although some aspects of Ann Arbor do resemble city-like characteristics, there is also an obvious small-town vibe. Basically, what we’re saying is that if a big city got together with a quaint little town and they had a baby, its name would be Ann Arbor. Fondly referred to as A2 by the locals, the city is located just 50 miles west of Michigan’s hub, Detroit. Although technically an exurb (a prosperous area beyond the suburbs that absorbs influences from the larger city) of Detroit, Ann Arbor embodies a unique personality of its own. Ann Arbor is the younger, more mellow neighbor to the bigger, more energetic Detroit. While Detroit may be the party house on the block, Ann Arbor is more akin to the house that is surrounded by a white-picket-fence with a University of Michigan flag hanging proudly by the front door. Ann Arbor is the epitome of a college town.

Just 13 years after the city was founded in 1824, the University of Michigan relocated from Detroit to Ann Arbor, meaning that the city’s cultural foundation was built around the university which has resulted in an exuberant amount of Wolverine pride. At the core of all of that pride is “The Big House”, also known as Michigan Stadium. “The Big House” earned it’s nicknamed due to its sheer immensity. The stadium holds the record for the largest stadium in the United States and comes in at second for title of largest stadium in the world. The stadium’s capacity, which is officially listed as 109,901, is big enough to accommodate almost the entire population of Ann Arbor. Every seat in “The Big House” is necessary as game attendance often exceeds 111,000 fans. The Wolverine’s football team have earned the right to call this magnificent area their home field as they are the winningest collegiate football team in NCAA history. Even just stepping foot on the turf during our tour of the stadium made us feel like winners. When game day rolls around, the city becomes a sea of blue and gold.

The university is not the only reason to visit. Ann Arbor’s diverse food scene is ripe with international flair. There are over 300 restaurants with menus inspired by cuisines from all over the world with atmospheres that will satisfy the wildest dining dreams. Whether you’re in the mood for a fancy, black-tie dining extravaganza or a laid-back snack from a quirky food truck, Ann Arbor has it all. We treated ourselves to a fine dining experience at Taste Kitchen. The high-quality ingredients combined with the expertise of the staff are what makes the blend of French and New American style dishes so delicious. Miss Kim’s Korean restaurant was perfect when we were in the mood to sit back and relax with a fabulous Korean style meal with a little Michigan twist. The restaurant’s owner and namesake designed the menu to showcase Michigan’s bountiful produce and works closely with local farmers to ensure the food is always at the highest possible quality. Miss Kim’s prides itself on offering a carefree and fun environment to its guests. Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina offers patrons the best of both worlds. The restaurant opened its first location in Southfield, Michigan with the intent to provide diners with a casual dining experience while still maintaining supreme standards of cleanliness and authentic cooking, adopting the motto “we feed you like we feed our family.” Bigalora is the pioneer of biga fermented pizza in the state of Michigan. The restaurant’s success led to several more locations opening up throughout the metropolitan area, including Ann Arbor. Biga lovers can grab a slice anytime anywhere from the food truck or even book the truck for catering services. 

We planned a trip to world class indoor rock climbing facility, Planet Rock, but before we could transform ourselves into world class rock-climbers, we had to look the part. We outfitted ourselves at Bivouac, a men’s and women’s gear and clothing store that was founded in 1970. We may have bought way more than we needed for our upcoming adventure but we just couldn’t help ourselves! Bivouac’s array of unique merchandise is perfect for every occasion, whether it be a weeklong camping trip or a night out on the town. Once we had nearly emptied our wallets, we were ready to take on Planet Rock. Unfortunately, we had been so distracted by the stylish clothing at Bivouac, we completely forgot to pick up some climbing gear. Luckily, Planet Rock pro shop carries all essential gear for both indoor and outdoor climbing sessions. The facility caters to recreational climbers as well as those training to climb competitively. The climbing walls are fun for everyone and the challenging features are sure to interest even the most experienced climbers. The topography of the wall design may result in a few missteps and slip-ups but Planet Rock has installed an innovative mat system that will suitably cushion the occasional fall. By the end of our session, we were exhausted and in serious need of some chill vibes and good food. We replenished the burnt calories at Fred’s, a trendy health conscious restaurant a few blocks away from the University of Michigan. 

By the time we refueled, our heads were still in the clouds from our rock climbing adventure and we weren’t quite ready to land just yet so we went over to the Yankee Air Museum, located just 30 minutes away from Ann Arbor in the city of St. Belleville, Michigan where the sky is the limit. Literally. The museum opened its doors in 1981 and really took off when it acquired a small collection of flyable aircrafts, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell Bomber, and C-47 Skytrain. The museum’s popularity soared right along with its visitors once the opportunity was extended to the public to fly on some of America’s most iconic flying machines. Our team was lucky enough to have a chance to ride aboard the C-47 Skytrain. With the wind beneath our wings, we glided through the sky in that bright yellow airplane and admired the beautiful city of Ann Arbor below. Although we flew for a reasonable length of time, it felt like we were only up there for a few seconds. We guess it’s true when people say, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Our feet were back on the ground and we felt sad that our stay in Ann Arbor was coming to an end. 360 Magazine’s President, Vaughn Lowery, loved the trip so much that he decided to nab a souvenir before we left so he could carry the experience around with him for the rest of his life. Michael Aul, a local tattoo artist who works at one of Ann Arbor’s best shops, Spiral Tattoo, drew up a stunning design and inked it onto Lowery’s arm. Much like a tattoo, the memories of our experience in the beautiful city of Ann Arbor will last a lifetime. 

Other Notable Ann Arbor Hotspots

Humane Society of Huron Valley Animal Shelter vows to love and protect the animals of Ann Arbor by encouraging and enforcing responsible care. Their mission is to adequately nurture the animals that come into their shelter until they can be placed in loving homes and also to provide educational services about animal care to the community in an effort to combat animal cruelty. http://www.hshv.org

Yourist Studio Gallery exhibits and celebrates the works of clay artists, potters, printmakers, sculptors, and painters. Their diversified classes are held in the fully-equipped studio workspace and are offered for advanced and introductory level students. http://www.youristpottery.com

Ypsi Alehouse is located in the Centennial Center Building in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Founded in 1982, Ypsi is not only one of the first breweries in Michigan, but also one of the first in the country. Guests can wash down the delicious food with one of the 12 unique brews that are crafted from the finest local ingredients. http://ypsialehouse.com/

VinBar is one of Northern Michigan’s finest wine bars and is located in downtown Ann Arbor. All wines come from Black Star Farms and cocktails are made from Grand Traverse Distillery spirits. VinBar customers can enjoy the cozy, yet contemporary atmosphere and munch on small bites that pair perfectly with the drinks. http://www.vinbara2.com

Mélange is a French word that literally means “a mixture”. The restaurant is named due to the unique combination of diverse culinary influences that make up the foundation of the menu. Taste buds embark on an epic journey with every bite. http://www.melangebistro.com

Nightcap is exactly what it sounds like: the perfect way to end (or begin) a great night out. Ann Arbor’s newest cocktail bar is open every day of the week except for Tuesday from 5 PM – 2 AM. Their drinks are mixed with the finest and freshest ingredients and the staff is devoted to excellence and quality. http://www.nightcapbara2.com/

The Graduate hotel is just minutes away from iconic Ann Arbor destinations such as Kempf House and University of Michigan. The air-conditioned rooms are equipped with refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, and complimentary WiFi. http://www.graduatehotels.com/ann-arbor/

Yankee Air Museum is “where history takes flight.” The museum’s goal is to educate people about American aviation, aerospace technology, and Willow Run, the birthplace of Rosie the Riveter. Visitors can opt to soar through the sky in one of the museum’s historic flyable planes. http://yankeeairmuseum.org

Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina is famous for their mouth-watering biga fermented pizza. Pizza lovers rejoice as the Bigalora is committed to their motto: “we feed you like we feed our family.” http://bigalora.com

The Brinery was founded in 2010 with the intent to preserve a surplus of fresh cabbage by making it into sauerkraut. The operation expanded and went on to make more batch ferments and processes over 200,000 pounds of local family farmed vegetables per year. http://thebrinery.com

Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars opened its first tasting room in Traverse City, Michigan in 2007 and has since expanded to opening four additional locations, including one in Ann Arbor. Fustini’s prides itself on the quality is taste of their products, offering healthy and flavorful additions to any home-cooked meal. http://www.fustinis.com

Spiral Tattoo is among the best tattoo shops in Ann Arbor and has maintained its superb reputation for over 13 years. Although the shop specializes in Traditional Tribal and Americana styles, the talented artists can masterfully ink just about any design in whatever style is desired.
http://www.facebook.com/pg/spiraltattooannarbor/

Taste Kitchen believes that the first step to preparing good quality food is knowing exactly where the ingredients come from. The variety of menu selections are a delicious blend of French and New American cuisine and are cooked to perfection with the highest quality ingredients available. http://www.tastekitchena2.com/#restaurant

The Last Word embodies an old-fashioned aesthetic and gives off serious speakeasy vibes. The dimly-lit underground locale is decorated with vintage style furniture and the book-themed menu offers a variety of drinks and late-night bites. Well-dressed bartenders serve up both classic and original cocktails while patrons enjoy the live music and unique ambiance. http://thelastwordbar.com

At Candy Bar, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, whatever; everyone (over the age of 18) is invited to the weekly dance party. Satisfy your sweet tooth every Thursday at LIVE nightclub. http://livea2.com

Blind Pig is the music venue that helped put Ann Arbor on the map. The club opened in 1971 and originally only showcased blues style music to the wide range of clientele that frequented the venue. Ownership changed in the 80’s and the atmosphere of the club followed suit. The 90’s brought about “grunge” music and Blind Pig became one of the first to book the then unknown start-up band, Nirvana, that would later describe Blind Pig as their all-time favorite venue. http://www.blindpigmusic.com

The Big House, also known as Michigan Stadium, is the largest stadium in the United States and the second largest stadium in the world. The stadium is home to the University of Michigan Wolverines and was built in 1927. http://mgoblue.com/

Fred’s is a health-centered café that is located within walking distance of the University of Michigan. The assortment of acai bowls, salads, smoothies, and various toast options makes eating healthy the ideal and tastiest option. http://fredsannarbor.com

Planet Rock has been offering its world-class indoor rock climbing facility to the public since 1994. Climbers of all ages and experience levels will enjoy the innovative design of the walls and landing mats that Planet Rock has perfected in order to enhance everyone’s rock climbing experience. http://www.planet-rock.com

Jolly Pumpkin is a local chain that brews artisan ales. With six different locations throughout the state, it is undeniable that Jolly Pumpkin is a Michigan favorite. The Ann Arbor location is not only a brewery but it is also a café that offers delectable dishes to pair with the hand-crafted beers, wines, or cocktails also listed on the extensive menu. http://www.jollypumpkin.com

Final Round Training Center is a personalized mixed martial arts training facility that offers classes 7 days and individual lessons. Beginners, experts, and everyone in between is sure get their booty kicked (in a god way) by the skilled coaches that are devoted to understanding the individual goals of each client and helping them to succeed. http://finalroundannarbor.com

KindleFest is a one day annual festivity that takes place on the first Friday of December in the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market. The four-hour event features artisans, farmers, and retailers selling unique goods at unbeatable prices to holiday shoppers and downtown businesses stay open after traditional hours to participate in the festivities and offer some holiday bargains of their own. The assortment of traditional food, mulled wines, crafted beers, and family-friendly activities are an added bonus to the highly anticipated night. http://kerrytown.org/kindlefest/

Aventura is the brainchild of restaurateur Sava Lelcaj, who bought the building out due to her fascination with its history. Lelcaj decided to transform the building into a space that would celebrate her fixation with Spanish culture and cuisine, particularly with tapas-style dining and its intent to bring people together through food. http://aventuraannarbor.com

The Earle delivers scrumptious award-winning French and Italian country style meals and an epic wine list that features over 1,200 selections to choose from and has been given the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence for 21 consecutive years. Jazz music resonates through the dining room five nights a week for an uncontested high-class dining experience. http://theearle.com

Necto Nightclub is all about serving up good drinks, good music, and good vibes. Weekly theme nights such as Factory Monday, one of the longest-running Goth-Industrial style nights in the U.S., and Pride Friday, one of the largest weekly LGBTQ+ parties in Michigan, revamp the atmosphere frequently to ensure that every night is a good night. http://www.necto.com

Zingerman’s Deli is the birthplace of some of the best sandwiches every ingested in Ann Arbor. Each sandwich is made-to-order therefore the opportunities are endless. The Deli is also proudly stocked with an array of fine farmhouse cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, fish, salamis, coffees, teas, and much, much more. http://www.zingermansdeli.com

Zingerman’s Roadhouse is the seventh member of the Zingerman family of businesses. Following the success of the Deli, Zingerman’s has committed itself to providing Ann Arbor with great-tasting foods as well as fun and informational eating experiences for guests to enjoy and they have traveled the country looking for inspiration on how to do just that. The Roadhouse has allowed the Zingerman’s franchise to bring traditional foods from all over the U.S. back home to Ann Arbor. http://www.zingermansroadhouse.com/

Bivouac was founded in 1971 as an army surplus store and has since expanded evolved to cater to a much larger audience. Bivouac, which has adopted the slogan “Outfit Your Life”, is essentially a one-stop-shop that serves a wide array of shopping needs. The store carries an immense collection of both men’s and women’s clothing and gear and has the means to prepare customers for any and every adventure. http://www.bivouacannarbor.com

Miss Kim is another member of the Zingerman’s family. The restaurant was named for the restaurant’s lead female chef, Ji Hye Kim. Raised in Seoul, South Korea, Kim greatly admires ancient Korean culinary traditions and seeks to practice the cooking methodologies of her home country while using ingredients native to the state of Michigan. http://misskimannarbor.com/#home

 

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