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Statement from Traverse Connect and the Business Community

Traverse Connect is the lead economic development organization for the Grand Traverse Region, which supports area businesses by combining business attraction and retention strategies, talent development efforts, and strategic coordination among partner agencies.
In pursuit of our mission to advance the economic vitality of the Grand Traverse Region through the growth of family-sustaining careers, we issue the following statement in response to the Grand Traverse County Commission meeting held on January 20, 2021.


To the Citizens of Grand Traverse County:

Our community has worked hard to build an inclusive, welcoming environment for residents and visitors alike. Over the last year, we have all joined together in the continued fight against COVID-19. Unfortunately, the behaviors displayed at the Grand Traverse County Commission’s meeting last week undermine these collective efforts and go against everything for which our community stands.

The display of a firearm during a public meeting, while a community member was expressing their opinion, runs counter to the civil discourse central to the functioning of local, state, and federal government. Our community must embrace civil public discourse and the sharing of diverse opinions with elected officials.

Let it be known that business and community leaders from across this great community of ours do not support actions or behaviors that undermine our work to foster a community where we all want to live, work, and play, as well as one that welcomes and attracts the best and brightest talent to our region.


Steve Perdue
Traverse Connect
Russ Knopp
Traverse Connect 
Sara Harding
Traverse Connect
Matt Wille
Traverse Connect
Dave Mengebier
Traverse Connect Government Relations Committee
Warren M. Call
President & CEO
Traverse Connect
McKeel Hagerty
Chief Executive Officer
Jim Carruthers
City of Traverse City  
Dr. Nicholas E. Ceglarek
Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District
Jean Derenzy
Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Gabe Schneider
Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Scott Hardy
Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Steve Constantin
Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Debbie Hershey
Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Kelly Ignace
Board President
Jennifer Szunko
Executive Director 
Michael R. Brown
Burdco Incorporated
Fernando Meza
Kate Glancy Jordan J. Lindberg, Ph.D.
President, Stardust Memorials &
Executive Vice-President, eFulfillment Service, Inc.
Bonnie Alfonso
Alfie Logo Gear
Joanne Robb
Christie Minervini
City Commissioner
City of Traverse City
Heidi Lovy
L. Eric Ranieri
Ranieri Hanley & Hodek, PLC
Bruce Moore
Kristin W. Moore Andrew Belanger
Marcia Metzen Dawn Atkins
Robert Atkins Nathan & Amy Cox
Cox Machine LLC
June Harmsen George Heydlauff
QT Nails LLC
Coryn Briggs Marc McKellar
Lauren Harris Patricia Raven
Carolyn M. Greenman Ruthanne Kladder
Fern Spence Amy Branco
Elisabeth Urban Tobi Karch
Julia Crandall Cathy Thayer
Micheal Vickery Barb Corbett
Steve Shuckra Carol Shuckra
Linda Koebert Donna Hornberger
Lori Brickman Donna Moore
Kathy Tuckerman Sean Goheen
Ann McPhail T. Michael Jackson
Board Member
Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Marsha Wheaton Richard I. Lewis
Former City Manger, Traverse City; former City Commissioner; and Board Member, Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
Rita Jacobs Margaret Tipsword
Roberta Meserve Sabrina Newton
Old Town Manors, LLC
Lillian Adler Ostendorf Darlene Doorlag
Leelanau Indivisible
Leslie South Gray Seaman PC
Cynthia Chartrand Jennifer Archibald
Eden Song
Nick Beadleston
Good Impacts
Anne Montgomery
Lila Kroupa Araby
retired TCAPS teacher
June Thaden
Sylvia McCullough Kathryn Mead
Retired educator
S. Leonard
Self Employed small business
Jean Larson
Laurie Larson Debbie Winicki
Brian Winicki MaryLee Pakieser MSN,RN,FNP-BC
Ted Wendling Jan Rygwelski
Sam Shore
TriWest Group. LLC
Linda B Pepper
Retired veterinarian, teacher and principal
Denise Busley
Grand Traverse Pie Company
Pam Amundsen
Stewart Grudzien
Stewart E. Grudzien Consulting
Marcy P. Grudzien
Owner MECCA-Benzie County
Kevin Marquardt Kate Dahlstrom
Nick Viox
Up North Pride, Programming/Events Chair

Please click HERE  if you would like to sign the statement.