What is your day job?
Branch Manager at Honor Bank in Traverse City on Garfield Rd. Wow, that’s a mouthful.
How long have you lived in the Grand Traverse area?
For 14 years, I moved here from Nashville, TN in 2008.
What is your favorite thing about living/working in the Traverse City area?
I’d have to say the people, the local community. Love the feel of a big city but in a small town. Small enough to know everyone but also big enough to meet new people.
What do you do for fun?
Networking is fun to me. I just like being around people and trying new things. I enjoy visiting breweries and, in the summertime, I try to get on the water as much as I can. I’ve also found that camping with friends/family is such a relief being in the great outdoors. Watching my kids (Dante and Makenna) grow and explore different things in and around the TC area.
How do you get involved in the community?
I try to volunteer as much as possible and help by being an inspiration to others to get out and get involved. Being a black man in Traverse City, I help educate those around me about differences from our upbringings or day-to-day lives. I am on a board committee for United Way, and we are currently just trying to raise awareness of all the help that they offer to those in need. I’m also participating in 2022-2023 Leadership Grand Traverse and that has been such an eye opener. I don’t want to spoil the program for anyone who participates in the future. It’s a great program and my group has been amazing!
What is your favorite local business (restaurant, shop, service, etc.) and why?
My favorite local restaurants are tied between Poppycock’s and Peegeo’s I mean the food and service speak for themselves.
I love shopping at Maxbauers Meat – what won me over is the service first and then the quality of the groceries that I receive. I’ve never had a bad experience there; my kids also love going to visit the staff just to say hello.
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
I didn’t really have any weird jobs. I worked at a dipping dots concession stand at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. While working there I was able to watch concerts and eat a ridiculous amount of dipping dots. I did work in North Dakota during the big oilfield boom, and I made a lot of money, but I was so disgusting. I’m the kind of guy that normally grooms and maintains cleanliness. While there I was constantly dirty. It was work, eat, sleep, and shower every 3 days. YIKES!
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I own a sunglass company that has a unique Michigan twist on your everyday shades.
I met a handful of celebrities back when I used to rap and host events. (Ying Yang Twins, Lil Flip, The Dayton Family, T-Pain, Machine Gun Kelly, Royce Da 5’9, Flipp Dinero, and Waka Flocka Flame.)
What is something you learned in the last week?
I learned about some of the local non-profits in the area and how much they do to help those in need. I also heard a metaphor for keys. What does having keys mean to someone who doesn’t have a home/car? It’s something we may take for granted but just having those keys that we use every day would make someone’s world. So, we should be thankful and remind ourselves every day of just that.
How can other TCYP members support you (personally or professionally)?
I just ask that we continue to stay in touch and if there’s an opportunity or a referral you can send my way or one that you need from me that we come together and help. I’d like for us all to win and be successful and continue to grow beautiful Traverse City and surrounding areas.