40UNDER40: THE 2015 MOST INFLUENTIAL PROFESSIONALS UNDER 40

Meet this year’s 40Under40 –  40 unique professionals from a wide range of industries with one thing in common: impact. They hold positions of leadership and influence at for-profits and nonprofits, spark the region’s economy and give endless energy to community projects.

After receiving more than 100 nominations from the community, a panel of judges reviewed the submissions and chose the 40 whose professional and community efforts over the past year rose to the top. The panel included Marguerite Cotto, vice president for lifelong and professional learning at Northwestern Michigan College; Connie Deneweth, CEO of Traverse City State Bank; Kevin Endres, co-owner of Three West, LLC; Lynn Geiger, editor of the Traverse City Business News; and Luke Haase, publisher of the Traverse City Business News.

The community should feel proud to have these 40 hard-working, forward-thinking go-getters living here. A collective cheers to the 2015 40Under40 honorees!

Also, many thanks to our signature sponsor of this annual recognition, Northwestern Michigan College.

DEAN ADAMS, GENERAL CONTRACTOR, OWNER OF BAY AREA CONTRACTING, BAC DESIGN GROUP AND EAST SHORE DEVELOPING, 34

MILESTONES

Launch of Lakemore Retreat, People’s Choice Winner for 2015 Parade of Homes

Organized the building of Traverse City’s new Santa House

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

Executive board member and treasurer of Grand Traverse Area Home Builders Association

Consistent supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

The launch of Lakemore Retreat; its entry in the Parade of Homes

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Watching our community come together in the days after the August storm. I’m proud to work with many of the businesses that dropped everything to help those in need.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

Since 2007 we have built or overseen 170 projects and we work with more 650 local contractors, vendors, suppliers and agencies.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Receiving no texts, emails or phone calls and enjoying the beauty of northern Michigan, perhaps behind a boat, on a slalom ski.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

iCal: the ability to share calendars and schedules with my home owners is priceless.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Lone Survivor” and “American Sniper.” I am in awe and am so thankful for the work our service men and women do.

LEAH BAGDON-MCCALLUM, NORTHERN MI REGIONAL DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SEN. GARY PETERS, 33

MILESTONES

Accepted a new position with Sen. Gary Peters in June. Michigan is a big state, and I feel lucky to be serving the folks living in all of the best places (the 26 counties that make up the top half of The Mitten). Senator Peters is a pragmatic, commonsense decisionmaker, and it’s been exciting to help out my community in such a big picture way.

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

Traverse City Downtown Development Association, Farmer’s Market Steering Committee, Elk Rapids Harbor Days

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The guacamole at Spanglish.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

In high school, I played the BIG bass drum in the marching band. My freshman year I tripped over it, into two complete somersaults in front of the entire band standing at attention. One of my more embarrassing moments!

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Floating in the middle of Elk Lake with my family, eating Chef Charles pizza.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Sutton,” by J.R. Moehringer

ALLISON BEERS, OWNER, EVENTS NORTH, 36

MILESTONES

We were honored to help open Kirkbride Hall at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons, hire the staff and get them up and running, as well as be involved with the new Cathedral Barn event venue at Historic Barns Park. It was so amazing to bring back to life two such historic venues.

My other big milestone was being appointed to fill a vacancy again on the board of Rotary Charities.

Events North was named the Readers Choice for Best Meeting Planner this year by Michigan Meetings + Events Magazine.

Chairing the Young Professionals Program at the Chamber this year.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Watching one of my best friends (and employee) be inducted into the Hall of Fame as the best up and coming event planner for Michigan Meetings + Events magazine. It’s like watching your kid win a trophy at a game. I was so proud of her and I’m so blessed to have her on my team!

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Beth Guntzviller’s (Miner’s North) retirement sale!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I did play lacrosse in college and I hope my daughter picks up the sport one day.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Boating with my husband and kids ,or going for a hike.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I love my dual monitors in the office. I don’t know how I got work done before without them and when I leave the office and bring my laptop, I just can’t get anything done!!

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Art of Racing in the Rain.” It was recommended to me and I rolled my eyes when I heard it was from a dog’s point of view, but I was very surprised how much I loved it.

JIM BRUCKBAUER, POLICY SPECIALIST, GROUNDWORK CENTER FOR RESILIENT COMMUNITIES, 33

MILESTONES

Launched a statewide campaign to re-establish passenger rail service between Traverse City and Ann Arbor; raised nearly $20,000 for that campaign in less than two weeks through crowdfunding.

Presented on modern rail development and regional transit solutions at several events, including a major national transportation conference.

Secured grant funding to improve transportation options in the region.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR:

Launching the Ann Arbor to Traverse City passenger rail project at the State Theatre with nearly 250 people and rail experts from around Michigan.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

It’s a three-way tie between BLK MRKT Coffee, Harvest restaurant and Rare Bird Brewery.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSEL

I am a living 80s and 90s pop music encyclopedia.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A day out in Frankfort: Beach, Dinghy’s, Stormcloud Brewing, and then maybe catch a movie at the Cherry Bowl on the way back home.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

Seth Godin’s “Linchpin”

MATT BULLOCH, PRESIDENT, TENTCRAFT, INC. AND GEMBA MARKETING, 35

MILESTONES

Nominated to the board of TraverseCONNECT

TentCraft a finalist for TC Chamber Small Business of the Year

Created Gemba Marketing

TentCraft hired its 50th full-time employee and began manufacturing its own line of medium-duty tent frames (so it is producing some frames domestically along with all the printing and custom fabrication).

Actively involved in GTA Manufacturing Council & Lean Learning Consortium, Northern Michigan Angels and Stanford GSB Alumni Association.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

I’m really excited about what the Chamber is doing with TraverseConnect. And there are just so many great places to grab a bite to eat or a drink. Our family especially loves Little Fleet, which has added a lot of quirky, family-friendly character and fun to that east side of Front Street.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

For my first “real” job after college, I applied to be a smokejumper with the U.S. Forest Service after three years of fighting fire out west. I wasn’t hired, so I accepted my second choice at an investment bank in New York.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

My wife and I love to travel … and I really love when you first land in an unfamiliar place, especially if English isn’t the primary language, and you have to quickly figure out the lay of the land and where to eat/sleep/drink. Some people find it stressful, but it really energizes me.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Salesforce.com and the Salesforce1 app, which keeps me connected to everything and everyone at work.

PAUL BUSSEY, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER FOR THE GRAND TRAVERSE BAND, LLC, 33

MILESTONES

Appointed to the Grand Traverse Band, LLC board of directors

Joined Grand Traverse Band, LLC fulltime

Acquired RCA, PC (formerly R. Clark Associates, Inc.) and formed RCA, LLC

Invited to serve on GVSU Geography and Planning Department’s newly-formed advisory board

Opened The Ridge Microbrewery & Restaurant in Peshawbestown

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Being asked to serve my Tribe in advancing our economic development and business diversification efforts.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I was a Rotary exchange student through the Leelanau County Rotary Club back in 2002. I lived in France for a year and was able to travel across Western Europe including Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Monaco. I’ve been back to Europe a handful of times and have also visited Spain, England, Scotland, and The Netherlands.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

My dream day off would involve sailing, swimming and camping.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I’d say the Acorns app. It is a fun and easy way to save and learn more about investing. I linked the app to my debit and credit cards and it rounds up all of my purchases to the nearest dollar. The pocket change accumulates, and then a few times a month it moves the money into an investment account.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Building the next Berkshire Hathaway” by Daniel Braem

WARREN CALL, VICE PRESIDENT, SENIOR PORTFOLIO MANAGER, HUNTINGTON NATIONAL BANK PRIVATE CLIENT GROUP, 37

MILESTONES

Moved into senior position overseeing Huntington’s Private Client Portfolio

Led Huntington’s West Michigan region in new business revenue in 2014 and 2015

Helped to start family business, Eden Hill Vines, LLC

Joined Rotary Camps & Services finance committee

Elected to National Cherry Festival Foundation Board

Appointed to Rotary Community Harbor Committee

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

The Michigan Legacy Art Park board of directors (Call is treasurer) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the new ADA-compliant barrier-free trail, education center, and performance venue for the park (the centerpiece of a huge capital campaign redevelopment). The venue is now much more accessible to people of all abilities.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The downtown infrastructure and building developments. The city is booming!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I’ve been in two avalanches. The first happened while skiing with my brother in Austria – we were OK, but it took two hours to find my skis several hundred yards down the hill under a few feet of snow. The second took place while I was working at a ski resort in Utah. The lodge was knocked off its foundation and the first two floors were packed full of snow. I eventually found my truck 50 yards from my parking spot under 15 feet of snow and two other cars.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

Barry Schwartz, “The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less.” Basically, the plethora of choice that we now have in every aspect of our lives is really a detriment to our happiness and success. The solution is to eliminate unneeded options, limit ourselves to a manageable number of choices, and only focus on the really important decisions in life.

TODD CIOLEK, COO & PARTNER, CHERRY REPUBLIC, 38

MILESTONES

Opening our 15,000 square-foot food facility this summer in Empire took several years of planning and was a total team effort to finally finish. It really supports our deep value in community when the best economic choice would have been to build in an urban setting.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

The recent storm in Glen Arbor showcased how this community and our team here at Cherry Republi rose to meet a major challenge. There were so many people that put the greater good before their own needs.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

I’m a little biased on this one … but I’d have to say the expansion of our store! This project was more than seven years in the making. It’s really fun and fulfilling to see the positive results of so many people putting their ideas and energy together to make it happen.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Probably boating on Glen Lake with friends and family.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I’m really liking my Fitbit. It reminds me that I’m not as active as I should be and to get up and move. (Although, FanDuel does pull me away for a few weekends in the fall during football season!)

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

The last great business-related book I’ve read is “Traction.” It provides the basics of growing a business but, unlike most business books, the practical steps to get there are transferable. The last vacation book I read was by Carl Hiasson, “Skink No Surrender.” It’s just a fun and easy read for pure entertainment.

MATT CLASSENS, ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY WITH BISHOP & HEINTZ, P.C., 37

MILESTONES

Outgoing Past President of United Way of Northern Michigan

Vice President/Secretary of Grand Traverse Hockey Association

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Handed off the reigns of the United Way of Northwest Michigan, following two years as president, to Tim Hinkley and Executive Director Ranae McCauley. United Way has had, and continues to have, a huge impact on those most in need in our community. This year, the United Way of Northwest Michigan will celebrate 50 years of giving, advocating and volunteering. In that time, more than $28 million has been invested into our community.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Ongoing efforts to provide pediatric oncology, endocrinology and other pediatric specialty medical services to children here in Traverse City.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

Way too hard to pick one: Born in the great winter storm of 1978, married my high school sweetheart despite me going to MSU and her going to U of M. I have five kids, and I virtually pass out at the sight of blood from someone I know, but not a stranger.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Floating on a boat on East Bay or pontoon on Silver Lake with my family and friends.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Simply and easy, Dierks Bentley Radio on Pandora with any Bluetooth speaker . . .

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Killing Lincoln,” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard

TROY DAILY, SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR; OWNER, DAILY MEDIAS, 28

MILESTONES

Opened a food truck (Daily Blend) at The Little Fleet

19 dates for Paddle For Pints (more than 4,000 people) down the river and to TC breweries

Alcohol approved on board the TC Cycle Pub

Became executive director of Suds N Snow

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Selling out 19 Paddle For Pints dates to more than 4,000 people, 95 percent of whom are tourists spending money in our town.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

All the construction and the fixing of the roads. Change is uncomfortable but it’s necessary for growth and we have some pretty awesome stuff going on here right now. I am excited for the new pier and downtown projects.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOUSELF

My parents have owned Kilwins Chocolate Shoppe in downtown TC for more than 21 years and I still have zero cavities. I owned my own Kilwins Chocolate Shoppe in Williamsburg, Virginia for two years before moving back to Traverse City in early 2012.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

80-degree day, on a boat, anchored at Power Island sipping on a growler of local TC brew.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

App: Google Calendar. Without it my world would be chaos and confusion.

Piece of Technology: I just got an Apple Watch; it’s pretty awesome. I don’t have to be on my phone as much anymore, which is always a good thing.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ:

“Creativity, Inc.” by Ed Catmull. “Don’t wait for things to be perfect before you share them with others. Show early and show often. It’ll be pretty when we get there, but it won’t be pretty along the way.”

MARIE-CHANTAL DALESE, PRESIDENT & CEO, CHATEAU CHANTAL, 37

MILESTONES

Successfully transitioned to CEO at Chateau Chantal

Chateau Chantal named Best Winery in three reader’s choice awards in 2015

Founder’s Committee Chair, National Cherry Festival Foundation Board

Working for first level Sommelier exam in October

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

I’ve been very proud to work with the staff at the winery during this transition year as CEO. Early in the year we worked together to renew our strategy and direction, building the team and working through any related issues. I have the honor of being supported by highly dedicated and talented wine and hospitality industry professionals.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The establishments focused on making the TC area a real culinary destination. We’ve always been a successful tourist location, but building on value-added agriculture-related industries with wineries, breweries, distilleries and local-focused restaurants has landed us on the map as an exemplary destination.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m a big fan of some very polar opposites in this world: ballet & opera – heavy metal & techno.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Reading up on new recipes and enjoying a meal with friends and family. The more wine from different parts of the world, the better.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Like most folks, I can’t function without a smartphone. I don’t find myself using too may apps, but as a new mom, I got a lot of use out of an “ibaby” app that allowed you to keep track of feedings and naps, something my “mom brain” wasn’t able to recall without help.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

As a newly-minted member of the sandwich generation, books have become somewhat of a luxury. Reading wine and food publications are my usual go-to, but I’ve always been a big fan of Bill Bryson. I read his “In a Sunburned Country” prior to studying in Australia and it proved to be a beneficial preparation for the large-scale, eight-legged interactions that came my way!

CHELSEA BAY DENNIS: OWNER/PRESIDENT, C. BAY DESIGN AND THE CONSCIOUS ENTREPRENEUR, 33

MILESTONES

Co-created the documentary “Connected By Coffee” with my husband about fair trade farmers from Central America.

Created and launched Fulfillament: A storytelling event featuring local community leaders who share their journey towards fulfillment through vocation.

Launched The Conscious Entrepreneur my coaching and consulting business for individuals with a passion for good-for-the-world ideas and meaningful work aligned with your values, strengths and what makes you come alive.

Branded Food For Thought, Remedy, Neahtawanta Inn, the May Farm, Dance Your Yoga, Browndog Creamery, Harbor Springs Festival of The Book, and continued design partnerships with Goodwill’s Farm to Freezer, The Redheads, Left Foot Charley, The Workshop and more.

Created Awesome Job Alert FB page, a free service for the community to find meaningful work.

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

Oryana board member

Speak Up Street Magazine advisory committee

Sponsor of students from a Kilimanjaro Orphanage in Tanzania

International Coach Federation member

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Oryana will be expanding to an additional location=more positive impact on our community!

SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I love to canoe. When I was 16, I paddled 400 miles in 12 days with a group of gals along the Missinaibi River up to the mouth of the James Bay to Moosonee.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Hiking somewhere near Pyramid Point and swimming in Lake Michigan with my husband Aaron or a good friend.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Trello for keeping priorities and getting things done and Toggl for keeping track of time.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday and “Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky

NATE ELKINS, OWNER/FOUNDER, INFLUENCE DESIGN FORUM & SPACE, 36

MILESTONES

Have been collaborating with Traverse City Planning and Engineering Departments and the Downtown Development Authority as an urban design consultant – working on street revitalization projects and researching innovative ways to improve how bicyclists and vehicles interact on the street, developing design ideas for public spaces and pedestrian bridges and, most importantly, connecting the best local independent planning and design consultants with Traverse City officials.

Also founded SPACE almost three years ago, which is a co-working office in downtown Traverse City. It’s not a nonprofit organization on paper, but functions a lot like one in that it operates similar to a business incubator, provides business resources and connections for independent workers and small businesses, and relies on its membership to sustain operations.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Making 40 Under 40, of course!

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Little Fleet. Gary and Allison have created a remarkable quasi-public space that attracts just about everyone – bringing family and friends together while enjoying local food and drink.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

There is one entire shelf in my fridge dedicated to hot sauce.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A leisurely morning on the terrace abusing coffee and a good design mag followed by an afternoon of boating with my wife and kids at Power Island.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Strava. What a cool way to connect and compete against others while enjoying the outdoors.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

I’m currently re-reading Jane Jacobs’ “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”

CINDY EVANS, DIRECTOR OF SERVICES, GRAND TRAVERSE INDUSTRIES, 37

MILESTONES

Grand Traverse Industries (GTI) was selected to host the MI Hidden Talent tour with Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein to showcase the skills of Michiganders with disabilities who are often overlooked.

Leadership Grand Traverse graduate

Being a 40under40 nominee, of course!!

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

I had the great opportunity to participate in a panel discussion at the State Theatre and speak about independence and issues that people with disabilities face in the workplace.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Many community leaders along with GTI have come to the table to discuss options to protect adults with disabilities and the possibilities of developing an ID bracelet system to help local EMS and police identify and know who to contact in an emergency situation. This is Traverse City at its best when highest-level leadership comes together to work on solutions and discuss ways to improve our response and safety for individuals with disabilities, who are just as much a part of this great community.

A SUPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I love antiques; items that have a story behind them, that lived in a different time and place. I like to create glass mosaics out of old broken items and repurpose old furniture.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A day at the beach … I love art; I love trails, bike rides, kayaking … that’s why I live here!

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

The Bible, of course … it’s the living word, always new each time. It’s the light unto my path.

BILL FROEHLICH, ANCHOR/REPORTER, HOST OF “THE AFTERNOON DRIVE” ON WTCM NEWSTALK 580, 37

MILESTONES

Past winner of Michigan Association of Broadcasters Awards in News CoverageNews Writing, Feature Story, and Breaking News; and Edward R. Murrow Award for Breaking News Coverage.

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

Local chapter of the March of Dimes, board president; also March for Babies event chair

Bethlehem Lutheran Church Council

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

I’m very active with our local chapter of the March of Dimes because of my own two kids. Our March for Babies is held every spring, and the Signature Chef’s Auction in the fall is a premiere “foodie” event for the region. Thanks to the generosity of fund-raisers, walkers, family team, local restaurants and supporters in attendance, we’ve raised almost $250,000 from the community to make a difference for babies and their parents!

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The community response to the August 2 storm has been very impressive. From the Emergency Management crew and the First Responders … to power crews, road crews and friendly neighbors … I’m so proud to call Traverse City home! Sharing these great stories on the radio with the community at large is one reason I love my job!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I also work as the stadium announcer for the Traverse City Beach Bums, I freelance for 9&10 News and host a weekly news show on UpNorthTV (Public Access).

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Spent with those I love. That includes taking my kids to the beach or the pool, grabbing a pizza for dinner and laughing together – capping off the night with a great family movie.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I love the Experience 231 app that guides you to some of the great destinations in the 231 area code. You can search by category, destination, or the length of time you have to fill in your day. I’m also a music lover. My Shazam app is very busy.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

I’m always picking up books on politics and leadership, but one I keep returning to is “Loving Each Other” by Leo Buscaglia. It’s all about the dynamics of our personal relationships with the many people in our lives.

CHRISTAL FROST, HOST OF THE CHRISTAL FROST SHOW, NEWSTALK 580 WTCM, 36

MILESTONES

This year, we added two fundraisers as a part of the CherryT Ball Drop in an effort to donate more to the charities who benefit from our New Year’s Eve event.

Joined the board of directors for Parallel 45, a professional northern Michigan theatre group.

Celebrated the one-year anniversary of The Christal Frost Show in March 2015.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center organized an incredible “Shine On!” event. I was able to speak at this event. The entire evening was incredibly moving.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

World-class magician Ben Whiting moved here and performs locally. I saw him eat razor blades. Seriously. He’s so good it’s scary.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I binge watch Ancient Aliens.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

An M-22 Leelanau Co. road trip with plenty of beach and brewery stops. And, no cell phone service!

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I still think Google is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari. It’s a detailed examination of addiction and the War on Drugs. My eleven-year-old son and I just finished Kate Klise’s “Dying to Meet You (43 Old Cemetery Road).” It’s a great bedtime read for a tween.

NATE GRISWOLD, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER OF INHABITECT, LLC, 36

MILESTONES

Installed Green Roof at Cherry Capital Foods, The Botanic Gardens, Old Town Corners, Greenspire School, and many others in NW Michigan.

Contracted to install Green Roofs at Munson’s Cowell Family Cancer Center and the Uptown Townhouse development in TC, among many others.

Grew Inhabitect by over 200 percent; hired four employees.

Working to draft a policy based program that focuses on Green Infrastructure development in the Traverse City region.

Nominated as Environmentalist of the Year by NMEAC

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Being selected as one of three “People to Watch” 2015 by the TCBN in its annual “People, Places and Products” to watch.

Being awarded the contract to build the green roof at Munson’s Cowell Family Cancer Center

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TC LATELY

The focus on smart and longer-term technologies on new developments. Embracing technologies like green roofs, which provide triple bottom line benefits, is a good sign for a more resilient and sustainable future.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A long float down a river during a major hatch with a fly rod in hand, listening to nature and enjoying the place I call home.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

My smart phone helps make my career possible. I can be in many places at the same time and cover all of my bases.

GARY JONAS, OWNER, THE LITTLE FLEET AND EZ CHEESY, 36

MILESTONES

We celebrated two years at The Little Fleet. I’m proud to have contributed to a thriving food truck scene and making The Little Fleet a place where the entire community gathers.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

The Up North Pride Event that took place at The Little Fleet made me so proud of bring part of this community. Everyone came out to celebrate and the joy was infectious. The vibe was amazing at The Little Fleet.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TC LATELY

Witnessing small business owners take a leap in this town and thrive. Most recently … BLK MKT. Chuck is the most passionate business owner I have ever met. We are so lucky to have him in Traverse City.

A SUPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m a South African Jew, and I dance a mean horah. La Chaim!

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Spending the entire day with my wife and my two girls.   If it involves Haserot Beach at sundown, it’s an extra special dream day.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Well, I don’t love technology, but I don’t know what I would do without my iPhone and I have a mild guilty obsession with Instagram.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel

JEFF JOUBRAN, OWNER/FOUNDER, SWEET PEA; OWNER, HICKORY CORNERS, 36

MILESTONES

Sweet Pea just became a Tea™Ambassador store and we are going into our seventh year of business. I was named president of the DTCA (Downtown Traverse City Association).

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

I purchased Hickory Corners on Fourteenth Street. My team and I have been working on rebranding and giving the property a facelift.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

I would have to say that all of the new buildings and redevelopment in downtown TC.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOUSELF

I love Bourbon. I like to research them, buy them, collect and drink them.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Going out on my boat with my wife and four children.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

iPhone

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Curious George Gets a Job”

LARS KELTO, PRESIDENT, LARS KELTO TECHNOLOGY SERVICES; TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR & MEDIA AUTHORING DIRECTOR, TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL; TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR, TRAVERSE AREA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, 38

MILESTONES

Designed a computer cluster and work-flow that doubled the Film Festival’s capability to prepare content for on-screen presentation, allowing us to author a record 400+ pieces of content.

Directed the TEDx Traverse City 2015 live event, improving the connection between stage and broadcast elements

Implemented an innovative program at TAAR to automate member political donations upon a real estate transaction closing

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

City wireless infrastructure is going to modernize city services and widen potential for commercial ideas, not just improve the tourist experience. I’m glad the momentum that began 12 years ago continued until a viable solution came into being.

My five-year-old votes for the splash pad, and given how much daily joy that thing dishes out, I think we can call it a tie.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I don’t use Twitter –  its lack of capability for thoughtful or effective dialog have been overlooked in favor of its one-way marketing power, ability for instant spectacle, and faux intimacy. It’s rarely the best tool for a job. Instead, it’s a room full of people at a fourth cousin’s funeral: nobody wants to be there, they just all feel obligated to be.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

I’m going to give you what I’m sure is the most honest answer in this whole issue: pajamas, hot wings delivered, 10-hour binge of a new real-time strategy video game.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Pebble continues to produce refined smart watches that do everything a watch can and should do with data, and nothing superfluous that it needn’t.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

If we count plays, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” the Tony winner that weaves together themes of mystery, subjectivity, and autism. If we count comics, I just caught up on “East of West,” the fantastic dystopian sci-fi western.

SARAH LUCAS, REGIONAL PLANNING DEPARTMENT MANAGER, NETWORKS NORTHWEST, 37

MILESTONES

Completing the region’s first Regional Prosperity Plan; beginning an important new collaborative economic development project along the US-131 corridor; bringing diverse partners together at the 2015 housing summit to make connections; taking a fresh look at planning in Benzie County through the perspective of the County master plan update.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

It wasn’t a single moment, but a composite of many: watching all of our work on housing initiate game-changing conversations and action around affordable housing.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

All the proposed (and under construction) new downtown development. That, and the BBQ sundae at Sparks BBQ food truck.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m learning Russian. Slooowwllly…

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A day with no plans whatsoever. Even a dream agenda would be too much pressure. Just let me go wherever the day takes me (even if it’s nowhere), to do whatever strikes me (even if it’s nothing), at whatever pace I like.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Spotify.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

Lower-case “G” great – “Dance Me Outside,” by W.P. Kinsella. Upper-case “G” Great – “Lady With a Lapdog,” by Anton Chekhov.

BENJAMIN MARENTETTE, CITY CLERK, CITY OF TRAVERSE CITY, 35

MILESTONES

Awarded the Master Municipal Clerk designation by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, the highest-level professional designation for City Clerk’s in the world.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The grand opening of the Historic Barns Park and Botanic Garden. There’s something at the Historic Barns Park for everyone and less than ten years ago, the vision seemed like a pipe dream to so many. I’ve personally witnessed hundreds of volunteers rolling up their sleeves over the past decade, literally cultivating the vision to make it happen – and it has!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

Having a Diet Coke hops me up as much as speed probably hops up some people – so, I take it – or any small amount of caffeine – like it’s a drug, only when I need to be ‘powered’ for about 24 hours straight.

MY DREAM DAY OF

Going for a long, hilly run, hitting Arcadia Dunes Trail on my mountain bike, then enjoying a late evening dinner under sail on West Bay, all while enjoying robust conversation with my partner Matt (although, it’s hard to have robust conversation while running)!

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

As a member of the focused panel in Michigan that is assisting the Department of State with selecting Michigan’s next voting system for the next 10 years, there’s some fantastic technology that will be deployed in the coming year to year and a half. On a lighter note, I always have music in the background, so Songza ranks pretty high.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ:

“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell. While this book focuses on business application, it’s also an important reminder that rings true in our personal lives: we just need to tap our courage and make the sometimes nerve-wracking, but sometimes revolutionary, first move.

BRADLEY MATSON, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, THE KITCHEN DIGITAL; FOUNDER AND COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, THINK TC AND THE GRAND TRAVERSE MILLENNIALS COUNCIL; PARTNER, BOARDMAN RIVER ASSOCIATES, 31

MILESTONES

Within the last year we founded the Grand Traverse Millennials Council, which seeks to revitalize local communities by focusing on the issues most important to millennials. We also purchased the 415 E. Front property, which now houses our apartment and offices. Plans are underway to develop the site into a showcase of modern architecture and new urban living. We are also hosting food trucks this summer in our parking lot turned “Pop-up Park.”

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Through our efforts with Think TC and the Millennials Council we have continued to bring awareness to Traverse City’s need to attract young creatives to the area and diversify the economy beyond seasonal agriculture and tourism.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The continued boom of food, beverage, and culture in our downtown. Traverse City is fast becoming a small city that not only offers natural beauty, but also the amenities of a larger city within a walkable footprint.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

People would be surprised to learn that in high school I was once hustled out of 200 euro by a dancer in Paris’ red light district.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

When we take an afternoon off, I like to take our boat out to Power Island and hike the trails with my wife, Kirsten, and our dog, Scout. My wife and I got engaged on the island, and we continue to enjoy it as a beautiful natural and historical asset of the area.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I’d have to say my current favorite piece of tech, that I use daily, is my Pebble Watch. It’s simple and the battery lasts the entire week, which is great when I forget to charge it.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson. It details the stories behind the founders of the digital age such as Alan Turing, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, etc.

ALISON METIVA, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RELATIONS, GRAND TRAVERSE REGIONAL COMMUNITY FOUNDATION, 33

MILESTONES

Our Community Foundation was recently re-accredited by National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

Served on the program planning committee and co-facilitated a breakout session for communications staff at the Council of Michigan Foundations Annual Conference held in TC last fall.

Helped lead our Community Foundation strategic visioning process last year, which resulted in an organization-wide, intentional commitment to our role as a local giving partner for lasting community impact.

Our Community Foundation reached $50 million in endowment assets – these are permanent resources that create opportunities for us to partner with and support nonprofits for community impact

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Earlier this year, I visited the Central Lake Community Playgroup, which was started with support from the Community Foundation through an Endowment created with a planned gift from Cleo Purdy – a woman with a heart for supporting young children and their families. One of the things we know about new moms is one of their greatest needs is each other – to connect with and share experiences with each other. As I left that day, I saw two moms exchanging phone numbers and planning to get together again. And it struck me, gosh, this is what it’s all about – connecting donor passion with purpose and making a difference in the lives of people like those two moms, navigating parenthood together.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The completion of the New Y and the projects at Historic Barns Park. These are great assets for our community and I love that they reflect the payoff of an ambitious vision, committed volunteers and leadership, and generous donors coming alongside to help make it happen.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I know the pitcher that gave up Mark McGwire’s 62nd home run in 1998 to break Roger Maris’ long standing record. My brother and I followed the chase closely that summer between McGwire and Sammy Sosa. We watched the game when he broke the record and vowed to always remember the pitcher who gave up that record-breaking homerun – sure that someday it would be the answer to a trivia question. It was Steve Trachsel. Now you can get that trivia question right, too.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Start the day with great coffee and play tourist in our own communities with my husband and kiddos… then cap the night off with board games or a competitive round of euchre… add in a glass of local wine or hard cider and I’d call it a pretty dreamy day.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

With an (almost) kindergartner and toddler at home, most of my reading takes place before their bedtime. “Little Owl Lost,” by Chris Haughton, and “Can I Play Too,” by Mo Willems, are two favorites in our house right now.

LEE MICHAELS, OPERATIONS MANAGER, CHERRY CAPITAL FOODS, 35

MILESTONES

Successfully moving into our new facility and launching a new enterprise-wide software platform.

Selling out Pigstock ‘15 in 48 hours

Leadership Grand Traverse graduate

Junior Achievement volunteer

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Seeing the continued demand for Michigan made and grown food throughout the state. We are breaking sales records nearly every week this summer. Seeing this turn into growth and success for our vendors and neighbors. Local is not a fad. Restaurants, retailers big and small , and institutions everywhere are making local food and local brands a deliberate business decision.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Improvements in our infrastructure. Not just roads but new buildings, renovated buildings, better trails, expanded green space, etc. It all helps make TC a place for people of different lifestyles to work and play.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I’m obsessed with my precision cooker. Everything can be sous vide. Also, I’m a big tool guy. My wife Maureen measures the success or failure of a project based on how many trips to the hardware store it requires.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A morning at Otter Creek or Elberta Beach with my family. A walk in the woods at the Commons. A household project with my son. Concluded with a night out at a local establishment with my wife.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Google Keep. My notes, ideas and lists with me wherever I go.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Three Ninja Pigs.” I think I’ve read this book at least 30 times this year.

ANGIE MORGAN, Founder, Lead Star, 38

MILESTONES

Signed publishing deal with Houghton Mifflin for second book (due Spring 2016).

Finalized a partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, to better serve current and prospective clients).

Worked directly with the Commandant of the Marine Corps to support transitioning military Veterans.

Underwrote the International School at Bertha Vos hoop house to ensure students experience action-based learning

Volunteered at Vex IQ tournaments to support students interested in computer programming and robotics

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Participating in the National Cherry Festival Grand Parade – it was exciting to walk with my children’s school (and their float!) and see so many smiling faces in our community. I love the Cherry Festival and all the activities that surround it!

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

What I love is all the effort the city has made to be a great place to live – we have it all! Schools, restaurants, a beautiful downtown community, running trails, and amazing beaches. And, of course, let’s not forget the people … since my family and I moved here two years ago, we’ve met the best people!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I served in the Marine Corps. and am actively engaged with the Marines to this day. I serve on the board for the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and work with senior Marine Corps leaders on issues I care deeply about (Veteran transition and diversity).

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Getting lost in the woods. Nothing makes me happier than a run on the VASA trails.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

I love my Garmin watch. If you see me passed out on a trail, please stop my Garmin. (I’m kind of competitive.)

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“A More Beautiful Question,” by Warren Berger

CARLA NICKODEMUS, PRODUCT MANAGER, BORIDE ENGINEERED ABRASIVES, 39

MILESTONES

After wrapping up my work assignment abroad last June, I am now with a new company that’s expanding rapidly and selling products made here in TC all around the world. I am also really proud and excited at how my previous employer has expanded what I started, including a new company coming to Traverse City, DC Norris N. America. It is exciting to see two small businesses in TC gain a global presence.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The recognition we are getting for our food, wine, microbrews and scenery. To see the multiple publications that are carrying stories about our community – even the SKY magazine featured on every Delta flight worldwide – is really exciting and well deserved for all the hard-working small business owners and employees that have sculpted our area into something really special.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I travel a lot for work and with my family, so people may be surprised to learn I am terrified of flying. It’s an exercise of willpower every time I step on a plane. But, I love to travel more than I hate to fly.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

My dream day off would start at Good Harbor for coffee, then a lazy day at the beach with my family, dinner at one of the great TC restaurants and then back to the beach for the sunset. Perfect.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

When traveling, the apps I use most are AroundMe and OpenTable. The UpNorthLive app is my go-to for keeping up at home with news, things to do, school closings and weather.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ:

I just reread “Kite Runner” and “Glass Castle” with my 14-year-old son for his summer reading assignment. It was so interesting to hear a younger perspective on both.

COLLEEN PAVEGLIO, DDA MARKETING & DEPUTY DIRECTOR, 37

MILESTONES/PROUDEST WORK:

Assisted in drafting the Traverse City Public Art Ordinance and establishment of the Traverse City Arts Commission. With a huge passion for public art, I am pleased to be part of a community that sees the importance of investing in art and the impact it has on our everyday lives.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

So many great things happening in TC and we are fortunate to be recognized on a national scale along with other world-class cities. A lot of this is attributed to our community members who are hard-working, passionate, and creative entrepreneurs.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I love to create and one pasttime is painting with oils.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Sunny day, in the middle of the lake with loved ones.

FAVORITE APP OR TECH

Pinterest Junkie

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

I have a two year old. I look forward to picking up a book again someday.

JON PLUMMER, CO-OWNER, MOOMERS HOMEMADE ICE CREAM AND MOOMERS FARM CREAMERY, 36

MILESTONES

Surviving our 18th year in business and 25th year dairy farming! Meanwhile, continuing steady growth while maintaining a premium product.

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

A member of the board of directors for The Children’s House, Great Lakes Ice Cream and Fast Food Association member, National Ice Cream Retailers Association member.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Being able to help the variety of organizations that we do, such as Munson Hospice House, Meals on Wheels, Reining Liberty Ranch, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Down Syndrome Association of NW MI, Port Oneida, 4-H, Girls on the Run, Remembrance Run, to name a few!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

That I actually do eat a lot of ice cream, more so in the winter months.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Swimming at Otter Creek with my beautiful wife, Heidi, and kids, Avery and Jack.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

An iPhone, of course.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell

SAM PORTER, FOUNDER AND CEO, PORTERHOUSE PRESENTS (NEW BRAND LAUNCHING AT ARTPRIZE!), 39

MILESTONES

Expansion of our family of brands, including Porterhouse Presents, Tent Venue, Microbrew & Music Festival, Silent Disco Presents, Man & Pan Paella, and Mitten Fired Pizza Company. Continuation of community-driven events with a less-is-more approach locally. We are now consulting and producing on a national level, preparing for a big 2016.

We announced a collaboration with ArtPrize in Grand Rapids to bring our full event experience to an unused downtown green space. (The “Eddy” tent venue is an art project focused on water and its connection to the urban landscape. The 11-day event will feature live music and other attractions during ArtPrize this fall.)

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Watching our amazing interns grow has been an amazing experience. A big thing for me is passing down the knowledge, skills, and confidence to create events that the community can enjoy together, and our interns this year have embodied that to a “T,” as well as our current and past team. We are proud to have driven millions to artists, brewers and to our region’s economic fabric during the past eight years, but some of the greatest rewards have been our youth and college empowerment/mentorship work.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

There is a great sense of community bubbling up to be conservative with growth, but also to keep the authentic, weird and small-town values as core models for good growth, along with the best practices that other fast-growing small towns have gone through.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I wasn’t always the indoor office, CEO, full-of-ideas guy. Much of my work comes from my childhood experiences growing up on a historic Kalkaska County gentleman’s farm called Valley Hill Farm. It was a full farm experience and a big part of who I am today.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A day spent enjoying the beauty of northern Michigan with the four beauties of my life: my three daughters and my amazing wife, Abby.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

I tend to get nose deep in my cookbooks or reading my childhood favorite sci-fis or “Zorba the Greek” by Nikos Kazantzakis.

SAKURA RAFTERY, DIRECTOR OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, GOODWILL NORTHERN MICHIGAN, 35

MILESTONES

Completed six-month Goodwill Industries International Senior Leadership Program in Washington D.C.

Expanded Goodwill training opportunities to six stores in northern Michigan.

Expanded work of Poverty Reduction Initiative to further raise awareness of challenges low-income people face when looking for or maintaining employment.

Planned the Supportive Workplace Award with committee members.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

I loved going to Kids Fishing Day to volunteer with Rotary and have my kids there to enjoy the day and meet fellow Rotarians. My kids will introduce me to people by saying, “This is my mommy, Sakura. She volunteers.”

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The intense conversation about affordable housing and the move toward making it more available. If we want people to treat TC like it’s home, we need to create an environment where diversity is embraced on every socio-economic factor, creating room for young people to succeed and take care of TC in the future.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I play a mean game of flip cup.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Every weekend in TC. We are so blessed with intense beauty around us. I love going to the beach with my family and just taking it all in. A delicious packed lunch doesn’t hurt either.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

My iPhone … always.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

I came across a beautiful and poignant book a while back called, “What Do You Do With An Adea?” It’s a children’s book with great simplicity and wisdom that can be appreciated by all.

KATE REDMAN, COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE ATTORNEY AT OLSON, BZDOK & HOWARD, P.C., 34

MILESTONES

Helping launch Common Cents Capital, a local investment club.

Becoming a partner at Olson, Bzdok & Howard, P.C.

Helping clients and community partners to grow social entrepreneurship, crowdfunding and community-based investing, and the food/farm economy, in our region and beyond.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

It is way too hard to pick one. I am continually grateful to work where I work and live where I live and for the opportunities that arise to work personally and professionally with the uniquely thoughtful and committed people of this community and region.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Community spaces, trails, and parks keep getting better and better.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I hope every day that skorts will make a fashion comeback.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Assuming I am in Traverse City and still lack teleportation powers: morning coffee, reading, and VASA run; swim or kayak in a bay; bike ride up a peninsula for dinner.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

OverDrive (to borrow audiobooks from the library), Bandcamp (to listen to music) … or does a bicycle count?

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Holacracy,” by Brian Robertson

TY SCHMIDT, Cofounder at Norte! Youth Cycling (also, physical therapist at Munson and vice president of pile turning and bucket scrubbing at Carter’s Compost), 39

MILESTONES

600+ bikes at 19 different area schools for Norte!’s inaugural Traverse City Bikes To School Day.

Traverse City goes Top 20 worldwide for the 2015 Winter Bike To Work Day competition.

Norte! receives a $25,000 Safe Routes To School grant to fund The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment.

Norte! graduates its first class from the experienced-based after school program, The Bike Mas Project, at Traverse Heights Elementary.

Carter’s Compost helps 7 neighborhood kids in and around Traverse City launch their own bike-powered community composting operation.

Carter’s Compost successfully funds its 2014 Kickstarter project to invest in 5 cargo bike trailers.

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

Norte! Youth Cycling + Carter’s Compost

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Receiving the 2015 League of Michigan Bicyclists’ Encouragement Award. I traveled to Lansing with my son, Jameson, to receive it as part of LMB’s Lucinda Means Advocacy Day.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The push for a more walkable, bikeable, livable, and better connected Traverse City. The small veggie plots in City parks is a killer idea, too.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

Coming out of college I was nearly 200 pounds. And, I’m color blind.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Bike ride. Beach day with my family. Mexican food. A nap.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Stitcher. Feedly. Pocket. Canva. All things Google.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee

GABE SCHNEIDER, PRINCIPAL, NORTHERN STRATEGIES 360, 34

MILESTONES

August 2014, Celebrated my 11-year work anniversary with U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

December 2014, Elected Vice President, Adams Chapter Trout Unlimited

January 2015, Founded Northern Strategies 360, a comprehensive government relations firm specializing in state and federal legislative advocacy and policy services.

February 2015, Northern Strategies 360 client Northwestern Michigan College receives $2 million dollar State of Michigan grant, the largest grant in college history.

April 2015, Raised almost $15,000 for local coldwater protection and restoration work at the 19th Annual Adams Chapter Trout Unlimited Fundraiser Banquet

June 2015, Northern Strategies 360 successfully lobbies on behalf of client, Munson Healthcare for the restoration of $36 million dollars in rural healthcare and rural obstetrics funding once eliminated in the State of Michigan’s annual budget process.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Moving from the public to private sector and founding Northern Strategies 360.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

Strong community support for entrepreneurs including the Chamber of Commerce, SCORE, free downtown WI-FI, Brew, Recess networking events and the business community supporting new business development. Also a healthy and vibrant community that embraces trails, renewed downtown core development and protection of our land and water resources.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I grew up in an old farmhouse in the country with only wood heat and took classical piano lessons for 11 years.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Earning telemark-ski powder turns in the morning; fly fishing for trout in the afternoon, mountain biking and then cooking a big dinner for my family.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

iPhone 6/Strava

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Legends of the Fall,” Jim Harrison

KENNITH SCOTT, TRAINING SPECIALIST, NMC TRAINING SERVICES, 38

MILESTONES

Organized the first Traverse City Manufacturing Day Event.

Organized the Manufacturing Summit.

Facilitated the development of the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturing Council.

Organized manufacturing tours for TCAPS counselors.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

During the first Traverse City Manufacturing Day event on Oct. 3, 2014, I was informed of a moment that validated all the work our team had put into the event. A young female TCAPS student attending the event and participating in a discussion about welding turned to the student next to her and stated that she “could do that.” She went on to explain how she used a very similar process to make jewelry. It is at the heart of the intention of Manufacturing Day to allow young students the opportunity to identify a skill or passion they have and align that with a manufacturing career. We all need education after high school; some of us are better equipped to learn hands-on skills.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY IS:

The resurgence of manufacturing in the region and the changing perception of manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacturing is the backbone of any a strong economy, continually producing wealth through all seasons and providing career opportunities for all skill sets.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I start every day with at least 30 minutes of meditation and 30 minutes of yoga.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Doing anything or doing nothing on our property in the Upper Peninsula.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

My AM/FM radio.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Evolve Your Brain,” Dr. Joe Dispenza

FRANK SIEPKER, ENGINEERING & OPERATIONS MANAGER, CHERRYLAND ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, 39

MILESTONES

In the last year we implemented local after-hours dispatch service with both TC Light & Power and Wolverine Power Supply Cooperative to improve service for our members’ and our employees’ after hours and increase our ability to publish outage information via our SmartHub App, OutageWeb Map, and automated phone system.

Appointed as the Buildings and Grounds Committee chairperson for the Glen Lake Community Reformed Church.

Appointed to the Glen Lake Fire and Rescue Association board.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Timing is everything and so it was with our recent August storm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to so many people who suffered significant losses. We at Cherryland, with the help of several other utilities and a few contractors, mobilized crews to clear downed trees and rebuilt our electrical distribution system with more than 70 broken poles and many miles of downed wires. We worked around the clock to help everyone’s recovery process by restoring power to all serviceable members in four days without any recordable injuries.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

I think the Hotel Indigo will be a great asset to the vibrant down own we have. It helps make downtown more sustainable year-round with the additional walkable hotel rooms.

ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU

I like water sports … wake boarding and wake surfing and general boating. Good Friday, April 2, we were out wake surfing around the ice burgs on Little Glen in the snow!

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A warm, sunny day with no wind, getting to sleep in and spend the rest of the day on a boat with family and friends wake boarding and wake surfing on mirror-like blue northern Michigan water.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Jump Remote Desktop. Enables me to work like I’m at my office from anywhere, any time!

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“The Go-Giver” by Bob Burg & John Mann

TREVOR TKACH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CHERRY FESTIVAL, AGE 38

MILESTONES

This was my 4th year as executive director, 9th with the National Cherry Festival.

ORGANIZATIONS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN

Rotarian/Chair of Rotary Show ad sales, Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan Committee member, NMC BBQ Board Member, CMU RPL (Recreation, Parks, & Leisure Services) Advisory Board member.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

The 2015 National Cherry Festival in all its glory, the return of the USAF Thunderbirds to Traverse City after 25 years, Rotary ad sales exceeded $90,000 – proceeds of which are used for donations made by the Good Works Committee.

BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The Summer.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A day in the sun with my family.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Kik, a texting app. I like it because my nine-year-old daughter sends me funny messages on it. Her messages always make me smile.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Green Eggs and Ham”

JESSICA SULLIVAN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE HAGERTY GROUP OFFICE, 34

MILESTONES

Serving on The Children’s House Board, an independent Montessori school where we developed a strategic plan to establish a clear and strong vision for both our school’s short and long-term future. The school is such a gem and is evolving. It’s been an honor to be a part of the process.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

The Junior High Program at The Children’s House taking off. Our mission is to create an optimal environment for each learning stage. With the addition of this program it allows the school to expand the developmental stage through adolescence.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

The Warehouse District and West Front Street updates. Yes, the construction has been annoying but the end results will be great.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I am a closet hip hop and rap fanatic. I have to be careful pulling up to car line (to pick kids up from school)!

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Waking up early, going for a run, having breakfast with the family, getting a massage and taking a nap in the afternoon.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

My iPhone Notes. Anything that pops into my head, I put it down.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

From Hagerty’s Book Club, “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration”

LAUREN TRIBLE-LAUCHT, CITY ATTORNEY, CITY OF TRAVERSE CITY, 35

MILESTONES

I was very honored to be chosen by my peers to be Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association president this year.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

I’m proud to be able to help the community reach its goals from safeguarding the health, safety and welfare of our residents to major development in the City. I’m particularly proud to be a part of projects that our residents can really see the benefit of, such as implementing public WiFi or construction of the long-planned pedestrian bridge to connect the Warehouse District to downtown. It takes many people and agencies to make these projects happen and I’m proud to be able to collaborate with them for the benefit of the public.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

There are too many to choose just one!

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I lived in Germany for several years before law school and worked as a translator.

MY DREAM DAY OFF

Spending the day with my family, preferably outside in the sunshine.

FAVORITE APP OR PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY

Those who know me will be surprised to know I use apps at all since I’m known for still carrying my paper calendar. “What’s App” is great for keeping in touch with family here and abroad.

LAST GREAT BOOK YOU READ

“Half Broke Horses” by Jeannette Walls is great, but my all-time favorite is “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende.

KENT WOOD, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, TRAVERSE CITY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, 31

MILESTONES

Professionally oversaw the successful launch of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance’s Speaker Series with State Budget Director John Roberts and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, with a third speaker to be announced for this fall.

Implemented a “Virtual” Candidate Forum online during last year’s elections in place of a traditional candidate debate on the Chamber website.

PROUDEST WORK OR COMMUNITY MOMENT OF THE LAST YEAR

Playing a very small part in the process to deliver a record number of presents to northern Michigan families around Christmas time during the Toys for Tots campaign.

Part of an outstanding team that was awarded the 2014 Chamber of the Year in Michigan and celebrated its 100th Anniversary.

THE BEST THING TO HAPPEN TO TRAVERSE CITY LATELY

All of the development and business expansions over the last few years, bringing a buzz to this area and making it workable and livable to people of all generations. The expansion of the wineries, breweries and distilleries, along with Nolan’s Cigar Bar, are all very fun, unique additions to this area that most places in the state do not have.

A SURPRISING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF

I played college football while also being a vocal performance major for a while, and a semi-professional singer in the summers. I still scratch my head about what an odd combo that was. Also, my wife is a veteran of the Navy and worked on fighter jets, so when it comes to fixing things around the house, I let her take the lead…

MY DREAM DAY OFF

A lazy morning with coffee, maybe some light reading, and a full breakfast; a day of golf with great friends – heck, even great strangers; capped off by an evening barbecue with some kind of meat; throw in at the tail end a bonfire and drinks, and maybe even a nice Nolan’s cigar.

 

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