2016-12-29 / Life in Leelanau

Anderson named executive director

By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff

MAX ANDERSON has been tabbed as the executive director of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. MAX ANDERSON has been tabbed as the executive director of the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce. The Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce (TCACC) wanted an executive director who could be as “personal as possible” — and it found one in Leelanau County native Max Anderson.

“That’s me in a nutshell,” said Anderson, a Suttons Bay alumnus. “I love developing relationships with people. To me, it’s not ‘thank you for your business.’ It’s ‘how was your Christmas?’ and ‘how’s the family?’”

The 30-year-old membership relations manager for Fifth Third Bank in Traverse City has been a busy guy since his days in Leelanau County.

Prior to his current position, Anderson served as a branch manager for Fifth Third Bank in Petoskey, a banker for JP Morgan Chase Bank and a regional customer service manager for Schwan’s Home Service in Traverse City. He also worked as a teacher’s assistant at Western Michigan University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in university studies.

Additionally, Anderson is a recent graduate of the TCACC’s Leadership Grand Traverse program.

“What made the difference for Max was his unmatched enthusiasm and passion for this position,” said Doug Luciani, chief executive officer of the TCACC’s parent organization, TraverseConnect. “He has the skills, the relevant experience and the drive to be successful right away and to grow into greater roles and responsibilities with our organization.”

Anderson also serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Michigan and volunteers with the local United Way chapter, the American Cancer Society and Habitat for Humanity. He is an Eagle Scout, and serves on the Boy Scouts of America Explorer Advisory Council.

Anderson certainly boasts a full and impressive résumé, but isn’t he a bit too young to direct the TCACC?

“I don’t see it that way,” he said. “Age ain’t nothing but a number. It’s a function of the right person. I’m the guy for the job; you don’t have to be a certain age to develop relationships. I’ve got a fantastic board of directors and a great staff — I just get to be the guy that’s out in the public talking to people and shaking hands. Behind the scenes, I’ve got some of the best and brightest minds in Traverse City working with me.”

Anderson highlighted three key areas when asked how the TCACC will remain as the region’s center of economic growth: workforce development, housing and education.

Improvements in all three areas, he said, start with building relationships.

“I’ve always been interested in public relations and helping people,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to give back, and I think this position is one of the best ways to be able to do that. My career really started in hospitality and customer service. As the director of the chamber, I understand this is a people business, and it’s relationship driven.”

Anderson lives in Kingsley with his wife, Caitlin, and 3-year-old daughter.

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