Apple picks 4 metro Detroit companies as part of first-ever Impact Accelerator program

Posted at 8:57 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 17:58:11-04

(WXYZ) — Apple has chosen four businesses owned by people of color in metro Detroit for the company's Impact Accelerator program.

The program was announced last year as part of Apple's Racial Equity and Justice Initiative. Apple will invest in minority-owned businesses.

In all, there were 15 businesses selected throughout the country, all of which Apple said drive positive outcomes in the company's supply chain.

The companies in metro Detroit are:

Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc.
Founder and CEO: George Hill
Chemical Safety Firm in Detroit, Michigan

"Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc. is a technology, specialty chemicals, and services company with manufactured product lines in adhesives, process chemicals, CIP/COP cleaners, facility cleaners, metal working fluids and lubricants, and MRO service solutions. The company operates on the Diversified 1 Systems model to promote excellence, stewardship, and sustainability in their leadership and throughout the company, believing it creates value for their stakeholders, reduces their carbon footprint, and keeps them socially responsible. The company started by Hill in 1971 began as a manufacturer of janitorial chemicals and has evolved to supplying the largest consumer products healthcare, automotive, and general manufacturing companies with a broad spectrum of custom-developed product solutions."

Dunamis Clean Energy Partners
Founder and CEO: Natalie King
Environmental Solutions Company in Southfield, MI

"Dunamis Clean Energy Partners is a technology, manufacturing, and engineering firm focused on energy efficiency and environmental service solutions. Dunamis’s founder and CEO, Natalie King, led the company to become a multimillion-dollar corporation with over 150 employees throughout Southeastern Michigan."

VMX International
Founder, President, and CEO: Vickie Lewis
Environmental Services Company in Detroit, MI

"As an environmental services company, VMX International provides solid waste collection, recycling, regulatory, and project management services to government, commercial, industrial, and construction customers across the US and Canada. Since it was founded in 2001, VMX International has grown and diversified to a staff of over 50 full-time employees stationed across the nation."

Vickie Lewis is the Founder and CEO of VMX International. She founded the company in 2001 and since then it's grown to 50 full-time employees.

Vickie says was happy to get the news from Apple, "I just can't wait for us to start working and digging in and partnering with Apple," said Lewis.

Right now, VMXI working on a big project right here in the motor city involving electric cars and the batteries that power them.

"Recycling lithium-ion batteries and how to do single-source management and how to divert waste from the landfills. Those are the things we specialize in and have been for years," added Vickie.

RFG-MPW Environmental & Facility Services
Chairman and CEO: Roderick Rickman
Industrial Clean and Environmental Service Firm in Detroit, MI

"RFG-MPW is the leading provider of integrated, technology-based industrial cleaning, facility management, water purification, container management, and environmental services in North America. The company assists in enhancing operational efficiencies, improving reliability, and minimizing costs to ensure their clients have a safer and cleaner work environment to deliver high-quality products."

Roderick Rickman is the president and CEO of Rickman enterprises environmental and facility services and says like VXMI, they have been working on this deal with Apple for a while.

"It's a business growth opportunity to get development and training skills and our services not only to Apple but to their network of suppliers," said CEO Roderick Rickman.

He's been in business for 30 years and providing training and opportunities for metro Detroiters like the other companies selected here in Metro Detroit, Roderick is very thankful for the opportunity.

The companies will participate in customized training and have access to Apple experts, according to the company.

“We are thrilled to welcome our first Impact Accelerator class, and look forward to seeing how these innovative businesses will expand their work to protect the planet and our communities,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives. “On our journey to our 2030 carbon neutral goal for our supply chain and products, we’re determined to help create a greener and more equitable future for all people. The businesses we’re partnering with today are poised to become tomorrow’s diverse and innovative industry leaders, creating ripples of change to help communities everywhere adapt to the urgent challenges posed by climate change.”