grows it market research firm in Southfield

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Lisa Drew and Mohammed Hamid are the founders of, one of the newest businesses in the Southfield DDA which moved into The Southfield Center on Nine Mile Road at the start of 2014. A second office is located in Washington, DC. Their market research firm focuses on finding consumer sentiment on a wide variety of issues from public affairs to energy to consumer goods.

“We tackle a lot of big issues and identify issues that matter to consumers so that our clients can make smarter marketing and business decisions,” Drew said.

The company features public opinion researchers, data scientists and engineers committed to leveraging technology, the richness of big data and human intelligence. provides the most complete understanding of what consumers are reading, hearing, seeing and saying about the topics and issues they care most about.

Drew has a background in market research and Hamid is knowledgeable in all things high-tech. Their client base includes Fortune 500 firms and individual, local or statewide political campaigns. They provide opinion research, digital media monitoring, online research and brand research. They also have a comprehensive IT platform that can help aggregate mediums to measure consumer perceptions through online, social media, traditional media and other communications channels.

Drew has almost 20 years of global market research experience working for organizations, including The Gallup Organization, Starcom Mediavest Group and Market Strategies in Livonia. She has supported clients in the financial services, hospitality, energy, and public affairs sectors.

Hamid is a technology entrepreneur residing in the Detroit area. He has started several fast-growth technology companies utilizing his background in systems integration, large-scale data processing and artificial intelligence.

“One of the terms you hear a lot is ‘big data,’ and we deal with that,” Hamid said. “We help clients understand where they or their products stand on certain issues and with consumer feedback.”

The research firm works with lobbyists, clients in the energy and utilities sectors and public affairs research.

“What we are trying to do with our work is understand what consumers think and how to manage their reputations in branding, online and more,” Drew said.

Call at 734-555-5555 or visit for more information.

Wellness Center Study Aims to Measure Feasibility of this New Development

You may have seen the article about the wellness center feasibility study that the Southfield DDA is undertaking along with our partners in dBusiness late last week.

As part of the first phase of this study we need to determine if the local market, both residents and employees of businesses in and around the Southfield DDA, would be able to support such a wellness center. If so, our next step would be to determine the scope, size and services that a wellness center would offer.

This study is important for two reasons. First, it fits with the healthcare growth and emphasis that has been a part of our strategy for the last few years. With more physician practices, healthcare services, and the continued growth at Providence Hospital in Southfield, a wellness center available to the public would only further enhance our healthcare footprint.

Second, a wellness center would add to the tax base of the Southfield DDA and give us a new development to feature. It, or other large-scale developments like it, can serve as a magnet for opening the door to conversations with developers on new retail, commercial and residential opportunities.

Many thanks to our partners who have helped to invest in this feasibility study. The cost of the phase one study is being shared by the Southfield DDA, Providence Hospital, Health Alliance Plan, Medical Main Street powered by Oakland County, Farbman Group and Solo Development.

These partners share our vision for what the DDA will be in a few years, and the continued opportunities that exist here. Whatever the results of the study bring, we are committed to finding new development options that best meet the needs of our stakeholders who work and live in the DDA.

Providence Hospital’s impact is significant on the DDA and the City of Southfield

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Michael Wiemann, president of St. John Providence Hospital, who I have known for some time. My conversation with him reminded me of why Providence continues to have such success in the local healthcare market.

Simply put it is truly a proactive organization focused on patient care and services. As you walk in to the main entrance, flat screen monitors greet you with information about a convenient app for patients and family members to learn more about Providence’s services. Everyone who works there goes out of their way to be friendly and helpful.

The campus is always brimming with energy and activity. There is a genuine level of enjoyment that employees, physicians and volunteers display in coming to work every day. And that starts with Dr. Weimann’s down-to-earth personality.

No wonder Providence has won several healthcare awards and recently earned a prestigious “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group. The Leapfrog Hospital Survey is the gold standard for comparing hospitals’ performance on the national standards of safety, quality, and efficiency, which are most relevant to consumers and purchasers of care.

But Providence also cares about its immediate community. Dr. Weimann is always quick to ask about DDA activities and any new investments. Providence certainly has a profound impact on the DDA’s success. It represents the largest influx of new investments into the DDA in the last three years. It has more than 21,000 admissions and 67,000 visitors to the Emergency Department each year. Several thousand people work, intern or volunteer at the Southfield campus.

So the impact of Providence is far greater than the DDA. It is just as significant to the City of Southfield as a whole. Its 1,400 physicians live all over Metro Detroit, from Southfield to the far-reaching suburbs. The hospital is contributing to one of the largest concentrations of healthcare professionals in the Midwest, many of whom play significant roles in the renowned medical teaching institutions in Southeastern Michigan.

We are fortunate at the DDA to have a partner like St. John Providence – but in reality, the entire city benefits. So if you haven’t been to Providence recently, I encourage you to stop in and check it out. Chances are you will be amazed at the vibrancy it brings to Southfield.

Southfield DDA launches its new website

Promoting the Southfield DDA today has changed over the last few years. There are new ways to use technology to promote what we have to offer, and stakeholders are receiving their information from more sources that ever before.

So we’re changing along with the expectations of developers and investors who may be interested in commercial properties within our district. One of those changes is greater and more immediate access to information about the DDA – the ability to view images of properties, and a wealth of additional reference information.

With that in mind we’re happy to introduce our brand-new website, which offers you more insight into our available commercial and residential properties, more insight into our partners and board and the ability to provide more frequent news updates. In addition, our new website also is “dynamic” in nature, allowing you to conveniently view our web pages on mobile devices, such as tablets and smart phones.

I encourage you to take a look through our new website and learn about our properties, activities and partners. There are many links that allow you to easily get additional information, and an ability to sign up for our free quarterly email updates.

Obviously our URL has stayed the same – I invite you to take a look at the rest of the website and welcome your comments and suggestions. We are always looking for events and activities occurring in the district as well to help populate our calendar. Any and all feedback is appreciated.

Detroit Bankruptcy Process Impacts all of us

In my previous role as a site location economic developer, I experienced the perception that outsiders had of Detroit and the impact of that on cities like Southfield.

There is little doubt that Detroit and neighboring cities are viewed as one – particularly when it concerns economic development. This is why Detroit bankruptcy needs to be resolved as quick as possible.

Here at the Southfield DDA we are in contact regularly with developers and investors, often individuals located from outside of Michigan, and questions about Detroit’s role and indirect impact on the DDA are common.

Even beyond the development end, we have residents who live in the DDA that work in the city of Detroit, and Detroit residents that work in the DDA. Tens of thousands of vehicles travel on the Lodge Freeway from Southfield to Detroit, or vice-versa, each weekday. Our communities will be forever linked.

A healthy Detroit helps attract new talent, employers, retailers and developers to the Southfield DDA. Our hope is that the bankruptcy process gets resolved quickly so we can add to the more than $100 million in investments that have been poured into the Southfield DDA in the last three years. The potential is even greater with a healthier Detroit. Let’s ban together so Detroit’s solutions have positive impacts on the SDDA.


Al Aceves
Executive Director
Southfield DDA

‘Meds and Eds’ help to define the present and future of Southfield DDA

It could be the name of a new business, or a cable television show. But for the Southfield DDA it is a simple phrase that gives stakeholders some idea of our focus and vision.

You see, we continue to see growth in the healthcare sector and as we work with developers, investors and business owners, healthcare will remain a focus of growth moving forward. That’s the “meds.” Consider just some of our recent activities:

  • Providence Expansion of its Cancer Center and emergency rooms
  • Phoenix Group expansion in the district
  • Retention of Health Alliance Plan SDDA office/ with close to 700 employees

As for the “eds” – Oakland Community College is continuing to expand its presence in the DDA, with the purchase a couple of months ago of more than 10 acres where the old Ramada Inn previously sat. And with Lawrence Technological University right down the street, and even Wayne State University just a few miles down the Lodge Freeway, the DDA is centrally located to some of the top institutions of higher learning in the Midwest.

Certainly “meds and eds” don’t cover all of the wonderful businesses and associations that are part of the DDA. We continue to look for other retailers and professional service providers, and market our district wide and far. But if someone asks you to describe what the DDA is, “meds and eds” is a good start.