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TCYP Member Spotlight – Connor Miller

What is your day job?
I work for the Traverse Area Association of REALTORS® as their Government Affairs Director and seasonally I am also the On-Field Host for the championship winning Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball team.

How long have you lived in the Grand Traverse area?
I have lived in the Grand Traverse area for over 9 years.

What is your favorite thing about living/working in the Traverse City area?
The openness and opportunity. I was amazed when I first came to Traverse City as a bright-eyed 22 year-old AmeriCorps VISTA member how helpful people were to make me feel included and how receptive people were to my ideas and input. I have worked in a variety of positions and fields in Traverse City because I believe that this community values proven success more than the credentials that you hold. This supportive nature, the variety of entry level opportunities, and opportunity given to those based on their proven success is what I love most about the Traverse City region. Also, the natural areas and scenic beauty of our parklands and wildlife is pretty great too 🙂

What do you do for fun?
Every Friday I go to the dog park with my dog, where I will meet up with friends (who also have dogs) and catch up on the week.

How do you get involved in the community?
I am involved in the community in a variety of ways. First and foremost, through the Traverse City Young Professionals through our Volunteer Committee and events like our Annual Volunteer Registration Drive. Also, I participate in a variety of community events as the On-Field Host for the Traverse City Pit Spitters. Most recently, I visited schools throughout Northern Michigan to promote National Reading Month (March). Through my day job with TAAR I help to put together a food drive every fall to support the Northwest Food Coalition. I am a member of the Rotary. Also, I have worked on election days in Traverse City as an election inspector and in the March 10th Presidential Primary I served as an Election Precinct Chair.

What is your favorite local business (restaurant, shop, service, etc.) and why?
This is a tough one. I have many favorite restaurants and businesses throughout Traverse City. One restaurant that is currently one of my favorites is Alliance. I appreciate that they collaborate with local farms as much as possible and I have not yet had an entrée from them that I haven’t enjoyed. Also, their staff are very warm and inviting. Pro-tip: I recommend sitting at the bar if possible so you can chat with Jordan the bartender who is very skilled and always willing to put together a special cocktail for you, alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
When I was still in college, I had a summer job working at the Cheryl’s Cookie Factory in my hometown of Westerville, Ohio. My main responsibility was to pull the cookie sheets onto a baking tray which would go onto a large baking rack to go in walk-in ovens. The machines had to run at a certain speed for the cookies to cut right onto the trays, so it was harder than you might think. And really hard on your back. The one plus was every other Friday we could take home 24 of the cookies that were determined to not be good enough/pretty enough to be sold. However, by the end of the summer, my family members were eating most of the free cookies before I could get my hands on any of them.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I went to States in High School in both Choir (my Sophomore year) and Theater (my Senior year).

What is something you learned in the last week?
I have learned that there are a lot of people in Northern Michigan working to help each other and the resiliency of our community. I was particularly impressed with Susan Fisher and the State Theatre’s fast action to seek food, hygiene, and transportation donations to support those in need throughout Northern Michigan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Traverse City and Northern Michigan community continues to impress me with its care and thoughtfulness.

How can other TCYP members support you (personally or professionally)?
Other TCYPs can support me by being a part of the great programming that we put on through the Traverse City Young Professionals and sharing these opportunities with your friends! At this time, we are currently in the COVID-19 pandemic, so we will be on hiatus from our in-person programing, but when we return I hope any young working people in our Traverse City region will feel welcome to attend any of our events whether just on occasion or regularly and joining a committee. All are welcome and I look forward to meeting you!