Traverse City News and Events

Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than The Last: Local Leaders Share New Year's Resolutions For 2022

By Craig Manning | Jan. 1, 2022

Oprah Winfrey once said, “Cheers to a New Year, and another chance for us to get it right.” To mark the start of 2022, The Ticker reached out to a variety of local leaders to find out what everyone’s aiming for, looking forward to, and hoping to get right in the coming year. Cheers to 2022!

“There are two items I hope and wish for in 2022. The first is personal for all of us: That we treat each other with respect, dignity, patience, and charity in all of our interactions. The second is city related: That we continue to advance the goals and objectives which allow our city and community to be the best it can be.”
Richard Lewis, mayor, City of Traverse City

“In 2022 I’d like to see people identify one thing in their life that they buy regularly. It can be food – like milk, onions, or eggs – or it can be books, music, or soap. Whatever it is, choose something you regularly buy and currently aren’t buying locally. Then, choose to shift that one frequent purchase to a local source and commit to it for a full year. It can feel overwhelming to consider shifting all your shopping habits, but this is a simple and valuable way to start small and move in that direction. If you’re someone who already does a lot of local sourcing, where else are you spending your money? If it isn’t local – which not everything can be – are the people you’re buying from matching your values in other ways? Ask questions and do some digging, because we all know dollars have power and we get to decide the values we support and the businesses or people we empower.”
Tricia Phelps, CEO, Taste the Local Difference

“I am going to continue my efforts to have more of my food and drink locally sourced, and to keep practicing being in the moment.”
Dr. Christine Nefcy, chief medical officer, Munson Healthcare

“In 2022, we look forward to cultivating contributions for our community funds so that we can be even more flexible to respond to areas of greatest need in our region. Community funds create opportunities, for example, to accelerate action on priorities through our Community Development Strategy – such as school readiness, youth mental health and safety, and attainable housing – and to support an array of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that help build a healthy, resilient, thriving community for all.”
Dave Mengebier, president and CEO, Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation

“My resolution for 2022 is to ensure that 20Fathoms is viewed as a partner, friend, and supporter of our Grand Traverse community. On a personal note, I’m looking forward to the air show coming back [to the National Cherry Festival] and I’m resolving to learn how to make a cherry pie as good as Grand Traverse Pie Company!”
Eric Roberts, executive director, 20Fathoms

“20Fathoms is on FIRE! A key goal of mine for 2022 is to help our outstanding executive director, Eric Roberts, and his terrific team to further 20Fathoms in its mission to create dynamic, growing, sustainable economic value in our great Traverse City community.”
Casey Cowell, principal, Boomerang Catapult

“2021 was...a year. It taught me to find joy and celebration in the smallest moments, because you never know what may happen next. For 2022, my hopes are to continue making space to see those moments and to focus on building relationships with new faces in the region, making folks feel welcome and part of our community.”
Sakura Takano, CEO, Rotary Charities of Traverse City

“A goal for 2022: For our community to understand what ending homelessness means, and to believe it is possible in northern Michigan.”
Ashley Halladay-Schmandt, director, Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness

“Northwest Education Services (North Ed) will enter the new year with a renewed commitment to student success and service to others. We remain focused on working with our community partners to improve youth mental health services and to bolster early childhood supports to increase school readiness. In 2022, North Ed will also extend our commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities and professional development resources to the communities we serve, maintaining the safety and security of our school facilities so everyone feels comfortable on our campuses, and continuing to develop learning and working environments that are focused on respect for all.”
Dr. Nicholas Ceglarek, superintendent, North Ed (formerly Traverse Area Bay Intermediate School District)

“I am looking forward to the many outdoor winter experiences that our students, staff, and families have the opportunity to experience in the Traverse City area.”
Dr. John VanWagoner, superintendent, Traverse City Area Public Schools

“We look forward to welcoming new museum docents, front desk and store volunteers, and concert ushers to the Dennos Museum Center in 2022. Volunteer with a friend and make a difference at your community’s museum! Learn more about how you can build community, spark conversation, and inspire change at”
Craig Hadley, executive director and chief curator, Dennos Museum Center

“In October 2021, Interlochen celebrated the conclusion of the Sasaki campus master plan, with 17 major facility projects completed over the past 30 years. We now look forward to dedicating our total focus to the ambitious people and program goals we've set for the organization as we approach our 100th anniversary in 2028.”
Trey Devey, president, Interlochen Center for the Arts

“In 2022, I have a strong desire to build the pipeline for those who step forward to serve in various volunteer leadership capacities that power city government. I'm talking from elective office on the city commission to appointed board positions. At the core of the good governance and public policy development that shapes this region is [the ability] for city government to have solid leadership in place – as well as a strategy for incubating future leadership. We're going to develop a program for building the bench, with details to be announced in 2022. I'm looking forward to leading that effort and teaming up with great talent to formulate and execute it!”
Benjamin Marentette, city clerk, City of Traverse City

“I consider 2021 a year of transition and 2022 one of possibilities. Having to navigate pandemic-related challenges – business closures, grief, loss, constant change – really tested us. It proved that through the strength of our relationships, we can do anything. I am honored and humbled to have meaningful connections with family, friends, and colleagues that emanate from the enduring generosity of true hospitality. I am confident that with the current leadership and team of Trattoria Stella that 2022 will be a year of growth, exploration, and adventure. Because, why not?”
Amanda Danielson, owner, Trattoria Stella

“The start of a New Year gives us a special opportunity to reflect on the past and set our sights on what lies ahead. In 2022, at TART, we're looking forward to finishing what we started – like the Boardman Lake Loop and Nakwema Acme Connector – and looking up and bringing focus to the opportunities ahead. We believe in making a difference through our work. If we do it right, more people riding bikes and on their feet can improve mental and physical health, strengthen social ties, take on climate change, and support economies. So, cheers to 2022 and the possibilities ahead!”
Julie Clark, executive director, TART Trails

“My goals for our downtown include the implementation of a few long-anticipated and truly exciting community projects, namely Rotary Civic Square and a revamped Lower Boardman River corridor that will better engage visitors with this amazing and important resource. I also look forward to supporting our incredible downtown businesses by cultivating an environment in which they will continue to grow and thrive.”
Jean Derenzy, CEO, Traverse City Downtown Development Authority

“In 2022, it will be exciting to see the impact of [East Bay Township’s] long-term projects and daily commitment to the community. 2022 will see the investment of nearly $1 million in the township by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund; the implementation of an updated master plan shaped by community input; and continued collaboration with partners on multi-modal opportunities, to name a few projects. Difficulties like the pandemic don’t stall our progress, but reinforce our resolve to build on strengths and face challenges with new ideas.”
Beth Friend, Township Supervisor, East Bay Charter Township

“I’ve made a New Year’s resolution to embrace the words of our NMC alumna and outstanding Traverse City citizen, Peg Jonkhoff, who shared with me: ‘If you wish to live in a better place, then better the place in which you live.’ Peg’s words are a sort of New Year’s challenge to us all: If we care about it – whatever it is – then showing up and being helpful are what’s demanded. Let me invite all of us to continue to better this place in which we live.”
Dr. Nick Nissley, president, Northwestern Michigan College


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