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Fulfillament Stories

Fulfillament Stories

By Fulfillament Stories
Fulfillment through work. Challenges to COME ALIVE.
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Joe Sanok, Practice of the Practice
Joe Sanok is the author of Thursday is the New Friday, which examines the history and implementation of the four-day workweek. Joe is a writer for Harvard Business Review and has been featured on MSNBC, Forbes, Money, Entrepreneur, and over 200 podcasts. His Practice of the Practice Podcast is a top 100 business podcast and helps therapists and coaches to start, grow, and scale their private practices. He is trained as a psychologist and counselor. Joe is the father of two bold girls and in the summer you'll usually find him standup paddle boarding on the Bay. Joe helps counselors to grow their businesses because he believes the world needs more mental health access. He loves the creative, engaging, and ever-changing nature of what he gets to do. Here is Joe's story from the May 2022 event in Traverse City, Michigan
June 21, 2022
Michael Wills, Water Entrepreneur
"My interests and passions have driven all my endeavors, particularly my love for water and the desire to inspire others to enjoy it so they will protect it. I attribute most of my passions and successes to my father: From him, I learned to love the outdoors: Scouting, swimming, fishing, canoeing, camping, hunting (marksmanship), sports, plus other interests: model airplanes, flying, drumming, art and science. He also encouraged me to excel in all that I do, to work hard and pay attention to details." After earning a degree in Architecture in 1971, he moved to Traverse City and founded Scuba North, then Sail North, Sail Plan and eventually Harbor Boat Shop and Traverse Area Community Sailing, culminating with the creation of the Discovery Center~Great Lakes, which is his current labor of love and retirement project. He has also played key roles in notable Traverse City developments: Harbor West Marina, River’s Edge, Midtown Centre, Cambria Suites Hotel, and Uptown. Retired as of July 2021 and can be found fly fishing on the river. Here is Mike's story from the May 2022 event.
June 06, 2022
Brent Whitney, Traverse City Dance Project
Brent Whitney currently resides in his two favorite places in the world, New York City and Traverse City, Michigan. He is the Co-Founder and director of the Traverse City Dance Project, a not-for-profit company that brings professional dance to Northern Michigan communities. Brent recently wrapped up a 20 year career as a professional dancer with some of the top ballet companies, contemporary companies, and opera companies in the country. He is also a freelance choreographer for dance and theater. In addition to his career in the arts, Brent is also an entrepreneur in the wellness/massage industry. His massage practice specializes in injury rehabilitation and prevention for dancers and everyday people. His clients include New York City Ballet, Ballet Hispanico, Martha Graham Dance Company, Phantom of the Opera, among others. "I was lucky to discover my passion at the age of 9 and turn it into a career and life that has brought me an incredible amount of happiness and gratitude." Here is Brents story from the May 2022 event in Traverse City, Michigan
May 31, 2022
Dana Frost, Forced Joy Project
Dana Frost is Grief Advocate, Cancer Survivor, & Writer. She is the founder of the Forced Joy Project, an organization that provides support, resources, and community to those experiencing grief and loss. She is also the creator of Book of Stories, a custom keepsake book that memorializes the lives of loved ones who have passed away. When Dana’s not forcing joy, she’s facilitating retreats for young adults with cancer, hiking with her pups, or taking daily dips in Lake Michigan. She is a big believer in sharing our stories - of both grief and joy - and an even bigger believer of kitchen dance parties. Her biggest word of advice? FEEL all your feeling, be where you are, and F%!# Fine. You can follow her story @forcedjoyproject or at Here is Dana's story from the may 2022 event in Traverse City, Michigan
May 25, 2022
Sakura Takano, Rotary Charities
Sakura is a mom and the CEO of Rotary Charities of Traverse City. The daughter of Japanese and Taiwanese immigrants, she grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and made Traverse City her home ten years ago. After earning a BS in Finance and Economics from Boston College and an early career in investment banking, she pivoted to the nonprofit sector after earning an MBA in Social Enterprise from Columbia Business School. These days, she applies her knowledge and experience in leveraging financial tools to support community development. Sakura believes in a holistic, open-listening approach to creating positive change and brings non-conventional minds together to build partnerships and drive solutions to our region’s most complex problems. Here is Saku's story from the January 2022 event.
March 23, 2022
Jason Gollan, Common Good Bakery
Gollan began his culinary career cooking and baking his way through his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado to support himself. After several years’ experience in the food industry, he enrolled at the San Francisco Baking Institute and later earned a masters in hospitality from MSU. As the founder of Common Good Bakery, he wants to make the world a better place, and better the lives of everyone they encounter. He believes that optimism and purposeful action should be a part of everything he does. Yes, Common Good makes killer bread and pastries, but he also aspires to be a leading positive influence. Here is Jason's story from the January 2022 event
March 15, 2022
Josh Stoltz, Grow Benzie
Josh Stoltz was born in Traverse City, Michigan and raised in the nearby woods, waters, and dunes of Benzie County. After opening several companies throughout Arizona and Florida before turning age 30, Josh spent a short “retirement” traveling and living in his school bus named "The Future," eventually planting himself back in Benzie when he married the love of his life. In October of 2014 he was hired as Grow Benzie's first, full-time Executive Director where he continues developing the non-profit as a thriving community center with event center, commercial kitchen, incubator farm, bee apiary, co-working office space, a farmers market, makerspace, sewing studio, edible trail system, and community gardens. He has also transformed Grow Benzie into a backbone organization supporting dozens of local clubs, collaborative bodies, and non-profits with program space, administrative support, marketing resources, and volunteer recruitment. In 2018, Josh was awarded the Systems Changemaker Fellowship by Rotary Charities of Traverse City, accepted into Forum for the Future’s School of Systems Change based in London and traveling to England and Russia. He was also the recipient of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange program in 2019 and spent time studying food systems in Mozambique and South Africa. Here is Josh's story from the January 2022 event in Traverse City, MI
March 09, 2022
Jennifer Finnegan Pool, Single MOMM
Jennifer Finnegan Pool is an innovative humanitarian, a value driven entrepreneur, and a social reformer. Her faith, authentic story of resilience, and nontraditional academic experiences have led her to a career in growing healthy communities one family at a time. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Single MOMM, headquartered in Traverse City, MI. Started as a grassroots nonprofit in 2008, Single MOMM now serves over 2,000 families a year throughout Northern Michigan. In 2019, she was recognized as a national expert in her field. Here is Jennifer's story from the January 2022 event in Traverse City, MI
February 28, 2022
Bob Brick, Real Estate
A true local, Bob graduated from St. Francis high school continuing on to St. John’s University, Bachelor of Science in Economics, Post Graduate Studies in Organizational Development. He entered the real estate business in l973 as a chosen career with one goal: “To be the best, most respected Realtor anyone would ever meet”. He is diligent in the pursuit of excellence through continuing education and master planning seminars. He was voted one of the top 1500 Realtors in North America by Real Trends Magazine, is listed in the RE/MAX International Hall of Fame, Chairman’s Club & Platinum Club (to name a few!) and continues to operate as Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Bayshore Properties Ltd., engaging the support of 54 agents, plus 14 assistants and 5 offices transacting over $1.3 billion in average sales volume per year. Bob enjoys serving the community at NMC Board, the Economic Club, Brickways Community Living Center Foundation, Traverse Area Association of Realtors, Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools, Basketball, Golf, Little League and Golf Coach, Eagle Scout Scenic Trails Council, Traverse Area Foundation, and Grand Traverse Area YMCA.
February 24, 2022
Matt Bulloch, TentCraft
Originally from Baltimore and one of five children, Matt took the scenic route through college from the University of Virginia, and later earned his MBA from Stanford. He spent time as a ski bum in Utah, a wildland firefighter in Idaho, and soldier in the National Guard, where he spent a year in Guantanamo Bay. After a few years on Wall Street, Matt started TentCraft, Inc. after a chance meeting with Paul Britten and has since grown it to 85 employees. Here is Matt , live from the October 2021 Fulfillment event in Traverse City, Mi.
November 29, 2021
Jon Timm, Musician and ABA Professional
Jon has played violin professionally, started countless bands, and released several albums. He lived in Nashville, TN where he cut his teeth as both a professional in ABA (applied behavioral anylysis) and in music. His career is also his passion where he serves those on the Autism Spectrum and their families. Nature and family called him back to Northern Michigan in 2017, where he founded North Arrow ABA and recently released his sophomore record, "Grayman." Here is Jon, live from the October 2021 Fulfillment event in Traverse City, MI
November 23, 2021
Anne Bonney, Motivational Speaker
Anne is a fun, energetic international motivational keynote speaker and influence ignitor. She is an authority on Change Management, author, podcast host and a virtual, in-person and hybrid workshop facilitator. After 20 years in highly successful corporate and non-profit leadership positions, Anne now uses her experience, education, and expertise to ignite YOUR ability to influence others by harnessing emotional intelligence, courageously communicating and effectively dealing with change. Here is Anne, live from the October 2021 Fulfillment event in Traverse City, MI
November 15, 2021
David Leith, Three Tree Tent
As a student of the Leelanau School in the 1980’s, David Leith fell in love with the beauty of the landscape of northern Michigan. Some 30 years later, the universe conspired for his return here, and he reconnected with his high school crush who he married. He then started Three Tree Tent to help people rediscover their playful, adventurous spirit by camping in a portable treehouse in the forest. His dream is to get get the first tree-tent Experience Camp in the USA “off the ground." Here is David, live from the October 2021 Fulfillment event in Traverse City, Mi.
November 04, 2021
Yana Dee, Ethical Apparel
Yana Dee creates clothing and accessories from organic, natural, and salvaged materials. She is the owner of the Downtown Traverse Cityshop, "Yana Dee - Ethical Apparel ." She describes herself as, "A maker, mastermind and mama.  I choreograph my days to balance creating, nurturing and taking care of business.  I'm rarely late and nearly always inspired.  My purpose is to cultivate creativity and compassion." Here is Yana, live from the October 2021 Fulfillment event in Traverse City, Mi.
October 29, 2021
Julie Clark: Fulfillment through Covid
Our last live event was January 2020. We dont know when we can gather in person again for sharing stories. But we are interviewing a few of our past storytellers about their response to this global pandemic within thier vocation. How has the corona pandemic affected their passion for their work? What things are they […]
July 29, 2020
Angie Morgan, Lead Star
Angie learned how to lead during her time in the Marine Corps.  She’s since shared her experiences in her books, Leading from the Front and the New York Times Best-Selling SPARK.  She’s the co-founder of Lead Star and has been designing and delivering leadership programs for the world’s best businesses for 15+ years.  She holds a BA and MBA […]
February 27, 2020
Marc Alderman, Drummer and Educator
Marc is a musician and educator who grew up in the woods of NW Lower Michigan.  He lives in Interlochen on property that his great grandfather settled in the early 1900s with his wife Amber, his toddler son Abraham, a couple of miniature pinschers, and two cats that showed up on the deck and never […]
February 20, 2020
Nate Griswold, Inhabitect
Nathan considers himself to be an “boomerang entrepreneur” and he moved home in May 2013 to launch Inhabitect, LLC. This company serves as an independent resource for designing, building and growing living architecture. He has worked throughout North America as well as internationally focusing on architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, engineering, construction and manufacturing clientele. During […]
February 12, 2020
Temple Florip, Yen Yoga & Fitness
Temple is a yin yoga instructor at Yen Yoga & Fitness. She is passionate about sharing with her students the knowledge she has gained, but knows that there is always more to learn. She is also the manager at Yen, where she strives to give back to the community which has given so much to […]
February 05, 2020
Stephanie Witala, 3.5 years after her story
Stephanie Witala told her Fulfillament story in January 2019. This was her bio at the time: “Stephanie has helped build the events program over the past few years at Black Star Farms as the Events Manager and Chef. She is and energetic mother of three, and a highly motivated and passionate professional in the culinary arts […]
December 12, 2019
Krista Cain, Sweetwater Doula
Founder/Director of Traverse City-based Sweetwater Doula, Krista Cain, provides skillful guidance in birth and death experiences, empowering her clients through rights of passage. Utilizing a heart-centered approach, Krista offers birth classes, workshops and hands-on support, tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. With contagious authenticity and generous laughter, Krista balances the contradictions that arise […]
November 09, 2019
Seth Bernard, Earthwork Music, Title Track
Seth Bernard was born and raised on the Earthwork farm in Lake City, and he was never farther than a stone’s throw away from learning how to steward the earth and his own talents. He has grown from a potent young Interlochen idealist into a black-bearded, surprise-eyed, psych-rocker singing the woods and water, souls and […]
November 04, 2019
Casey Cowell, Boomerang-Catapult
Casey Cowell graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics. In 1976, at the age of 23, he co-founded U.S. Robotics and served as Chairman and CEO throughout the company’s history culminating in its merger into 3COM Corporation.  Cowell is an active investor, advisor, and board member for many companies with an emphasis on […]
October 23, 2019
Gladys Muñoz, Justice and Peace Advocacy Center
Gladys Muñoz was born in Puerto Rico and holds a bachelor degree in Home Economics and Child Development from the University of Puerto Rico and a Masters in Science Administration from Central Michigan University. Gladys lived in Japan for three years and has traveled extensively in Ghana, Peru, Bolivia, Nicaragüa, Mexico and Europe. She moved to […]
October 23, 2019
Jennifer Lyon, Pure Health
Dr. Jennifer Lyon, DO is a board certified family medicine and sports medicine osteopathic physician. Prior to studying medicine, she was a dance major at Butler University and performed professionally as a dancer with Dance Kaleidoscope in Indianapolis, and finished her undergraduate degree at Michigan State University. Jennifer attended Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine […]
October 23, 2019
GOOD IDEA WINNER #15: Cathy and Paul Fialon
Cathy and Paul Fialon What is your GOOD IDEA?: To create a vibrant online community of support, resources, social connection for grandparents raising their grandchildren. These families are called, Grand Families. The community we are creating is called: Grand Family Today, which we just launched this summer. How would your idea make you COME ALIVE?  […]
October 04, 2019
Julie Clark, TART Trails ED
Julie is the executive director with TART Trails, and is responsible for day-to-day administration, trail planning and development, maintenance, and fundraising efforts. She most recently led Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s Greenway Planning & Development Division in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was responsible for the design and development of over 35 miles of urban trail.
June 07, 2019
Aaron Dye, Musician / Glass blower
Singer/songwriter Aaron Dye has been leading the band Turbo Pup since 2015. Residing somewhere between genres, their music hops around within their band arrangements, making stops at rock, funk, jazz, folk and gypsy swing-fueled stew for which Turbo Pup is known. Almost 100% their original music. Most folks don’t know that Aaron I also a skilled glass blower.
June 07, 2019
Lindsay Sea Wills, Live True Counseling
An authenticity advocate and mother of two, Lindsay is a therapist, singer, writer and speaker.  She is a lover of the outdoors and an essential oils enthusiast. Lindsay’s counseling practice, Live True Counseling, offers individual counseling services in Traverse City, MI. A recent TEDx Traverse City Pitch finalist, Lindsay’s writing appeared in Jan/Feb 2019 issue of Grand Traverse Woman Magazine […]
June 07, 2019
Jim Tuller, Fire Chief
Chief Tuller grew up in Mayfield as the son of a Firefighter on 100 acres of family property. Graduated in 1979 from Kingsley High School with 39 other students. Volunteered with Kingsley Fire Department from 1980 – 1990. Hired by the City of Traverse City Fire Department in April of 1990. He worked his way […]
June 07, 2019
Erica Heller, Massage Therapist
Erica has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since 2002. She has since completed coursework to become certified in myofascial release, oncology massage and scar tissue mobilization, trigger point therapy, and lymphatic drainage. Erica roots her practice in a knowledge and understanding of anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology. A deeper intuition often helps in guiding her to […]
June 07, 2019
Casey Petz, Leadership Coach
Casey works with Entrepreneurs, Leadership Teams, and Family Businesses as a Leadership Coach. He helps leaders get clarity on their unique abilities and then get focused on putting their talents to use while also creating more freedom in their personal life. He is also a recovering elementary school teacher, but is also known to friends and […]
April 17, 2019
Dan Fuller, Pathways Preschool
Dan is a teacher and co-owner at Pathways Preschool with his wife Brittni. A northern Michigan native, Dan has been working with young children in the community for over 17 years. He brings his expertise as a meditator, martial artist and musician to the classroom, but more than anything he is a master of play. […]
March 01, 2019
Courtney Lorenz, Cultured Kombucha
As a left-minded creative soul in a right-minded body, the eccentricities of kombucha brought joy into Courtney’s life. Founder of Northern Michigan’s first kombucha tea brewery, Courtney desires to share the health benefits reaped from living foods. She believes that each body is unique, deserving to be happy, healthy, and filled with joy. Courtney’s background […]
March 01, 2019
Troy Daily, Create TC
Troy Daily grew up in Traverse City, whos parents have owned Kilwins Chocolate Shop since 1994. A hospitality business major graduating from MSU in 2008, always the dream since age 9 to open his own Kilwins. After meeting his wife, Whitney his senior year at MSU, they moved to Williamsburg, VA to own and operate […]
March 01, 2019
Jeff Haas, Jazz Musician
Jeff the son of German Jewish immigrants, grew up in Detroit in a home rich with music in the Judaic and classical traditions. He has been a social worker, music teacher, radio show host, composer, and jazz piano performer. He is the founder of Building Bridges with Music Program using his original music as a springboard […]
March 01, 2019
Sue Kurta, Boss Mouse Cheese
Sue took up cheese making as a hobby while working in corporate finance in New York City. That hobby became a passion, and she furthered her education in cheese making by studying with artisanal cheese makers in Vermont, and an apprenticeship on an organic goat farm in rural Maine. Upon returning to her home state […]
March 01, 2019
Todd Oosterhouse, Bonobo Winery
Todd is a Traverse City native started his career in sales and marketing which took him to Detroit, Long Island and Texas. It was in the south that he discovered his interest in contracting and opened his own business.  He moved back to Traverse City bringing both his business and family.  In 2012 all of […]
February 18, 2019
Matt Myers, M22
After college, Matt and his brother Keegan would kiteboard as much as possible, they taught it, owned a kiteboarding school, edited for a kiteboarding magazine, competed, photographed, were sponsored, and traveled, all for kiteboarding. Together, they started Broneah Kiteboarding. In 2004, M22 was established when the Myers brothers sought to bring life to a passion […]
December 27, 2018
Elizabeth Landry grew up in Cheboygan and Leelanau county MI. She has been writing songs since she was a child. Surrounded by music as a kid, it has been said that she has been singing since the day she was born. With sweet and smokey melodies, Elizabeth has an unmistakable folk flavor with a hint of an […]
December 13, 2018
Angela Macke, Light of Day Organics
Michigan native and Traverse area local since 1998, Angela Mary Macke RN, BS, has over 20 years of experience as a holistic nurse and horticulturalist. In 2004, she established Light of Day Organics, a popular small batch certified organic tea farm in Leelanau County.  Angela is committed to igniting inspiration and hope in our individual […]
November 21, 2018
Elizabeth Kirkwood, FLOW (For Love of Water)
Liz Kirkwood is a passionate protector of water and the environment.  Inspired by the complex interaction between water, health, community, and conservation, she is an international water law expert and is executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water) – a Great Lakes water law and policy center based here in Traverse City. “Water runs through […]
November 12, 2018
Jeremy Reisig, brotha James
brotha James, a Michigander, is a marketing and sales entrepreneur turned musician who left the business world to pursue his destiny of creating inspirational music. Armed with a passion for making music and connecting people through his live performances, Jeremy (brotha James) Reisig brings non-stop enthusiasm and endless energy that leaves his audiences asking for more.  Combining […]
July 09, 2018
Andrea grew up in Kansas City. She wasn’t interested in cooking as a child, she fell in love with it after college and made it into her career. It took her first to Chicago and then up to northern Michigan. Currently she is butcher, charcutière, and co-owner at Raduno, a small delicatessen establishing itself in […]
June 05, 2018
Lindy Bishop, Artist
Lindy is an artist at heart with a head for writing and business. She ran her own art gallery, Seed Studio in Elk Rapids and was the town’s Economic Development Director at the same time. She went on to expand into non-profit management, community development, marketing consulting and graphic recording. Today, driven with a passion for […]
May 23, 2018
Fred Sitkins grew up in Wyandotte, MI but moved to Traverse City at the age of 21 to attend college at NMC. It was at that time he began working on the schooner Malabar and was first introduced to Inland Seas. After being inspired by Inland Seas to enter a career in teaching Fred received his […]
April 26, 2018
Ben Davila, The Rock Stop
Ben Davila is a co-founder of the Rock Stop and serves as the lead teacher. Prior to moving to Traverse City in 2014, he spent nearly a decade teaching at the Bird School of Music in San Francisco.  Ben is a prolific song-writer and multi-instrumentalist, having written and recorded a song every week for five years. […]
March 06, 2018
Christal  grew up in Benzie County and began her career locally at Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Traverse, after completing a year of service with Americorps National Service. She started in radio in 2007, and feels as though she has finally found her broadcasting home with WTCM NewsTalk 580. Christal is involved with many community […]
February 21, 2018
Pete Kirkwood is The Workshop Brewing Co founder which stands for the motto: Nature, Community, Craft. Pete says he is not an investment banker, roofer, developer, disaster response specialist, farmer, dot-com guy, copywriter, barista, or lawyer (although he has been all of these things). He’s not even a brewer (although he has started two breweries). He’s a […]
February 15, 2018
Fernando Meza, OneUpWeb CEO
FERNANDO MEZA is a first generation Mexican-American born in East Los Angeles, an advertising whiz who cut his teeth in Manhattan, Meza purchased the innovative digital marketing agency OneUpWeb in 2014 and moved it to a revitalized warehouse in the Grand Traverse Commons. Meza says he feels more proud of his Latino heritage here than he would in LA […]
November 08, 2017
Anne Hoyt, Leelanau Cheese founder
ANNE HOYT is the cheesemaker and co-owner of Leelanau Cheese.  Anne was born in the north of France and moved to the Roquefort region to work in agriculture as a chicken and turkey farmer, vegetable grower and also worked with goats and goat cheese. After that Anne was a Shepard in Switzerland. After years of training and hands-on experience […]
November 06, 2017
Diana Ladio, fiddler, violinist, teacher
DIANA LADIO is a studied Americana fiddler, 5-string violinist, and classical violist. After receiving degrees in music performance and music education from the University of Michigan, she co-founded the instrumental fusion trio and educational ensemble, The Moxie Strings, which she also manages and promotes. In 2015 she joined the ranks of Irish super-group, The Elders, and […]
November 01, 2017
Norm Wheeler, teacher, poet, trumpet player
NORM WHEELER is the co-creator and host of Beach Bards Bonfire (by heart storytelling around a bonfire), a retired Astronomy and English teacher at the Leelanau School after 32 years, and a trumpet/flugelhorn player for Jazz North, The Wild Sullys, Goodboy!, and Luunappi around the area for 20 years. While hitchhiking around Europe in the 1970s, […]
October 23, 2017
Jackie Kaschel, Peace Ranch
JACKIE KASCHEL, Founder and ED of PEACE Ranch, serving horses and humans suffering the effects of abuse, neglect, conflict grief and pain. The ranch serves a broad population with EAGALA Model equine assisted activities and specializes with at risk youth, trauma based issues for children and Veterans and difficult to treat issues like addiction and autism.   […]
October 11, 2017
BEN WHITING, Magician & Entertainer
Ben Whiting is an award winning Professional Speaker and Corporate Entertainer. He co-founded MagicMouth Theatre, a company that combined Magic and theatre while educating communities in both art forms. As a speaker, actor and entertainer, Ben performs at sales conferences, award banquets, and private events across the country for clients such as American Express, GE, […]
July 04, 2017
Jetty Rae, singer/songwriter
Jetty Rae is a singer and songwriter originally from Northern Michigan. She has been singing, touring, and recording since 2004. Jetty garnered the attention of JetBlue when she played at the opening of their new Terminal at JFK International Airport. featured Jetty on their up-and-coming artist blog, and she has shared the stage with […]
June 22, 2017
Julie Green was born in Metro Detroit. After nursing school, she worked on a cardiac unit in an urban hospital as a RN. From there, she volunteered in Kenya for six months at a refugee camp working to empower women affected by HIV. Upon coming home, she moved to Traverse city with her friends and […]
June 15, 2017
CHRIS HINDBAUGH, Addiction Treatment Services
Chris Hindbaugh has worked in the behavioral health field for over 20 years. He has worked in a variety of hospital based programs, and has also ran a youth crisis center and shelter. In 2009, Hindbaugh moved to Traverse City where he is the current CEO of Addiction Treatment Services, an organization that has completely recreated itself […]
May 25, 2017
RICH BRAUER, Filmmaker
Rich Brauer is president of Brauer Productions, Inc., an independent film and video production company he founded in 1977. After many years of making films for a wide variety of clients, Brauer received the Michigan Filmmaker of the Year award at the 2009 Traverse City Film Festival, presented by filmmaker Michael Moore. Brauer has directed […]
May 17, 2017
Troy DeShano, Illustrator and Designer
Troy is an artist and designer based out of Traverse City, Michigan. After spending much of his twenties battling cancer, Troy found himself sharing stories of his personal trials through art and design via his blog Strong Odors. As a result Troy launched his freelance design and illustration business Ten Point Studio in 2009, has […]
April 11, 2017
Leah is a waitress, turned grant writer, turned proud government employee. She charted her career path based on her mission to improve the quality of life for all around her. –A goal that may sound a little vanilla, but that is absolutely her truth.  Leah has channeled her entrepreneurial spirit into whatever makes people and places […]
April 05, 2017
Erin Anderson Whiting, Parallel 45 Theatre
Erin grew up surrounded by cherry farms near Elk Rapids, but left to pursue an adventure at Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in Creative Writing and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her journey continued in New York City, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree focused in Middle Eastern History from Sarah Lawrence College and […]
March 29, 2017
Brad Kik, Crosshatch
Brad Kik is the co-founder and co-director of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology. Brad’s varied background—film study, environmental activism, graphic design, community organizing, traditional music, ecology and permaculture—plays a key role in directing the intention behind Crosshatch’s work in the community. Brad also serves on a number of boards reflecting Crosshatch’s diverse approach to […]
March 22, 2017
Betsy Coffia, Change Maker
Betsy is the Director of Alumni Relations at NMC and has also recently run for State Representative in Michigan. She grew up in rural Kalkaska County and over the years has served as a journalist, social worker and change maker to Northern Michigan communities. “I can’t explain exactly why I do what I do, only […]
December 08, 2016
Glenn Wolff, Bassist and Illustrator
Glenn grew up in Traverse City. He studied Printmaking at Northwestern Michigan College, and received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. His career began in New York as an illustrator where he also played music in several clubs. In 1987 he returned to Northern Michigan concentrating on fine art and book […]
November 12, 2016
KATE PEARSON, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
KATE PEARSON is the fundraiser for Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy. A lifelong resident of Traverse City, Kate brings to her position a deep love of the region and appreciation for the wonderful people who make up our community. Before joining GTRLC, she was the Visitor Center Manager for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, […]
October 26, 2016
Gary Jonas, The Little Fleet
Gary Jonas and his wife Allison have been in the restaurant and bar business for over 10 years.  They opened our first restaurant called The Farm on Adderley in Brooklyn, NY in 2006, followed by a bar called Sycamore Bar and Flowershop in 2008, and The Little Fleet in 2013.   They live in Traverse […]
October 17, 2016
Bill Pallidino, Taste The Local Difference
BILL PALLADINO is the project director for Taste the Local Difference, creator of an upcoming independent bookstore “Leeward Books”, and a lover of local food and biking everywhere he can. He has sustained roles as Executive Director, Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Instructional Designer, CEO for Hire, Economic Development Director, and Keynote Speaker with over 25 years […]
October 12, 2016
Bryan Ulbrich, Left Foot Charley
Bryan has been in the wine industry since 1993. The realization that a part-time cellar rat position could develop into a legitimate career path spurred him to pursue a winemaking apprenticeship rather than a Ph.D. in political science (real tough choice, eh?).  The apprenticeship transformed into a winemaking and general management position.  Without pause, 11 years passed.  He was […]
August 07, 2016
Mike Moran, Singer/Songwriter/Podcaster
Mike is a performing singer songwriter who writes songs from his experiences in relationships and working a variety of different jobs in and out of the music industry. He is also the Sales and Marketing Manager for MI Local Hops in Acme, and founded Quarter After Productions, a podcast production business in the fall of 2013. […]
June 07, 2016
Kathi Mulder, Dance of Life Midwifery
Kathi has been a practicing midwife since 1992 and a Certified Professional Midwife since 1997. She is the founder of Dance of Life Midwifery and has served on the board of the Michigan Midwives Association for many years (six years as president) and is a member of the international organization Midwives Alliance. Kathi has 3 grown daughters […]
May 10, 2016
Steve Nance, Oryana Natural Foods
Steve has been in business most all his life, from partnerships in his late teens to his own small businesses in his twenties to working for the largest firms in his thirties through fifties and now filling the role as the General Manager of Oryana, our local food cooperative. “I am an unintentional, intentional grocer!  Though […]
March 24, 2016
Miriam Pico, Singer/Singwriter
Miriam Pico is a singer/songwriter, a wife and a proud mother of three. She is passionate about using her musical gifts to “entertain, educate and empower”. She wholeheartedly believes that musicians have an opportunity to be ambassadors of joy and love wherever they perform. A proud native of Puerto Rico, Miriam is fluent in Spanish and […]
March 05, 2016
Chuck Korson, Blk Mrkt Coffee
Chuck is the creator, owner and chief operator of Blk/Mrkt Coffee. His extensive years in the coffee and hospitality business grew many ideas and passions of the culture he would create if ever owning his own shop. This led to the creation and opening of BMC in January, 2014 “My two favorite things in the […]
February 28, 2016
STEPHANIE LEE WITALA, Events Manager & Chef, Black Star Farms
Stephanie has helped build the events program over the past few years at Black Star Farms as the Events Manager and Chef. She is and energetic mother of three, and a highly motivated and passionate professional in the culinary arts and hospitality industry.  She has always loved working with people and creating experiences that are […]
February 16, 2016
ELON CAMERON, Acupuncturist and Creator of Imagine Health
Elon is the founder of Imagine Health in Traverse City where she practices acupuncture and herbal medicine. She studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago “Energy moves through our body like electricity through a house, Acupuncture is like turning the light on in one room. My favorite thing about my job is […]
February 09, 2016
Jonathan Pool, Leadership Strategist
Jonathan Pool is a leadership  strategist, creative thinker, and guide that brings clarity to organizations and individuals that leads to breakthrough thinking and true alignment. For years Jonathan was the engineer of last resort for clients with seemingly unsolvable problems, however he also experienced the physical pain that occurs when one is misaligned with their true self.  Today […]
November 03, 2015
May Erlewine, Singer Songwriter
May Erlewine is a Michigan based singer songwriter and a member of the Earthwork Music Collective. She plays guitar, fiddle, viola, piano and a few other instruments, but mostly she sings. Her songs are treasured by people of all faiths and politics. May’s songs are sung (and recorded) by other artists, both great and small. May comes from a family of artists and musicians.
October 27, 2015
Holly Wren Spaulding, STORYhouse Partners
Holly Wren Spaulding is a passionate writer, collaborator, teacher, editor and creative consultant who lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts where she founded Poetry Forge, an incubator for writers and their work, mentors clients through LIFE/form, and co-directs STORYhouse Partners, a communications consultancy. Because Leelanau County remains her home, she returns often to teach at Interlochen College of […]
October 20, 2015
Ty Schmidt, Carter’s Compost
A Canadian import, Ty grew up in small town Manitoba. After receiving his Masters degree in Physical Therapy from The University of North Dakota and an 7 year stint in Tucson, Ty moved to Traverse City in 2006. He is married to the lovely Johanna, a Leelanau County girl, and is currently a part time […]
October 12, 2015
Margaret Alexander, Grand Traverse Pie Company
Margaret was born and raised in the Detroit area and is married and has three beautiful (adult) children.   She earned her bachelor’s degree in Food Systems Economic and Management at Michigan State University and enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, playing Frisbee and practicing yoga.   Margaret is a proud member of the Grand Traverse […]
October 06, 2015
Jody Hayden, Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate
Jody is the co-owner of Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate along with her husband, DC Hayden. GDC: Handcrafted chocolates with many organic, naturally grown and local michigan ingredients. Jody is also the co-founder of Higher Grounds Trading Company, and has extensive experience working with indigenous and fair trade farmers all around the world. “My greatest loves are my […]
September 22, 2015
Timothy Fitzgerald Young, Food For Thought
Timothy Fitzgerald Young is founder, President and Chef of Food For Thought, Inc., creators of organic and wild-harvested gourmet specialty foods. An extensive background in travel and human relief work in the developing world inspired Timothy’s creation of Food For Thought in 1995 with the mission of creating and raising awareness around just and sustainable […]
September 22, 2015
Nik Carmen, 9 year old bluegrass genius
Nik Carman is a nine-year-old bluegrass musical genius from Suttons Bay, Michigan. He started his music career at age 7 by learning the basics of piano, violin, recorder and guitar and then took up the banjo and mandolin.  Nik’s musical influences include the likes of The Accidentals, Billy Strings and Don Julin, Chris Thile and […]
September 22, 2015
Evan Smith, Cherry Capital Foods
Evan is the CEO of Cherry Capital Foods: a unique food distributor based in Traverse City, MI that is building a resilient and socially just food system. They work with farmers, growers and producers both locally and regionally but only from the state of Michigan. Evan has over 35 years experience in international and domestic food distribution. […]
September 22, 2015
Allison Moore Beers, Events North
Allison Beers started Events North in 2008 after working for two of the largest event planning agencies in the world. Events North is a full service event management agency specializing in corporate, social and nonprofit events. They strive for zero-waste events and try to incorporate as much local food as possible. Beers is currently on […]
September 19, 2015
ERIC PATTERSON, The Cook’s House
Eric Patterson is the co-chef and co-owner of The Cooks’ House, Local sustainable cuisine skillfully prepared and served in Traverse City. He spent close to fifteen years at Andre’s, Las Vegas’ 5 star French restaurant, including a three-year apprenticeship under Andre. At the end of his Vegas tenure, Patterson was Andre’s head chef. He has […]
September 14, 2015
Sarah Landry Ryder is the owner and founder of The Redheads, ” Naturally Sassy.” Her business practices emphasize the importance of being part of a sustainable cycle. The Redheads, located in lake leelanau, MI produce healthy, fresh, and sassy foods (mostly know for their amazing hummus) using local and organic ingredients. This talk was from January 2015 […]
September 10, 2015
PETE FARMER, Farmer Foot Drums
Originally a teacher and historian by trade, Pete Farmer is a self-taught musician, craftsman, and businessman, following his passions for music, design, and working with his hands. He started Farmer Footdrums in 2005, working by day as a high school teacher, and working by night in a rented single car garage to work on designs […]
September 10, 2015
JEFF JOUBRAN, Sweet Pea and Downtown Association
“Why do I do what I do? I have learned that I can actually make a difference with my passions and strengths” – JEFF JOUBRAN- Sweet Pea & Downtown TC president, January 2015 Fulfillament speaker This talk was from January 2015 Fulfillament. in Traverse City, MI Fulfillament is a storytelling event featuring local community leaders & […]
September 10, 2015
DON COE, Black Star Farms
A graduate of Cornell Hotel School, Don Coe served 5 years in the US Navy and then managed restaurants and clubs before getting into the wines and spirits business. During his 23-year career with Allied Domecq Spirits & Wine, formerly Hiram Walker, Don was responsible for marketing and sales of group wines and spirits in […]
September 08, 2015
JERRY DENNIS, Big Maple Press
Jerry Dennis has been professionally writing books and essays about the places where nature and human culture meet since 1986. His essays and short fiction have appeared in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon, Orion, American Way, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and Michigan Quarterly Review. Last year, Jerry teamed with artist Glenn […]
September 05, 2015
ELLEN FRED, Elf & Conservation Partners
“I went to law school later in life after I had spent many years following my heart – traveling, volunteering on organic farms, saving ancient redwoods, and founding nonprofit organizations. When I finally decided to go back to school, I knew exactly what I wanted to do – land conservation law – and I sought […]
September 05, 2015