Q&A with Michael Bacigalupo, the Bay City Downtown Development Authority’s new Director

Michael Bacigalupo is adding another line to his resume.

Bacigalupo, Chief Operating Officer for the State Theatre of Bay City, Director for the Bay County Historical Museum, and Special Events Coordinator for the City of Bay City, recently was named Director of the Downtown Development Authority.

Bacigalupo also chairs several organizations including the Bay Arts and Culture Commission, Bay City River Roar, Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance Institute for Leaders, Tall Ships Celebration 2025. He sits on the Board of Directors for United Way of Bay County, Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, and BaySail.

He is a member of the Bay City Morning Rotary Club, and he manages a full 40  minutes of sleep per night like "El.f

“Mike Bacigalupo has been on the Downtown Development Board for many years,”says Jean Anne DeShano, Chair for the Bay City Downtown Development Authority.

“He is a renowned expert on everything Downtown Bay City. This being said it was more than obvious who should fill the new position of Downtown Bay City Development Director. We offered Mike the position and he accepted immediately.”

DeShano adds that since Candice Bale’s retirement, there was a long look into the structure of Downtown Bay City boards. To best move forward, a decision was made to adopt a partnership position between the Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Management Board.

“In doing this we have created two new positions/partnerships to facilitate all of our Downtown needs,” DeShano says. “Kellie Rupp will be promoted to Downtown Bay City Marketing Director. Kellie has been a tremendous asset to our Downtown throughout the years and has become the face of our Downtown. We look forward to working with both Mike and Kellie to continue to grow our Downtown and make it a Michigan destination spot.”

Learn more at Rupp in this Nov. 17, 2022 Route Bay City article.

“Mike will be writing and presenting grants for both boards, managing our parking program, working with building owners on our facade programs, and working hand in hand with the City of Bay City, Bay Future, Michigan Main Street, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and more,” says DeShano. “In following our newly adopted Downtown Bay City Strategic Plan, our new Directors being in place is going to optimize our success.”

Q: Tell us about your new role.

A: “The Board of Directors at the Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Management Board decided to take one position and split it into two people. One is the director of the Downtown Management Board, which is Kellie (Rupp), and the other is the Director of the Downtown Development Authority, which is myself.

The difference between the two is what Kellie will be doing is focusing on management, board marketing, beautification, and events for Downtown Bay City. What I will be focusing on is grant writing administration, sponsorships, infrastructure and things like that. I will be in streets and roads and beautification and things like that.

I will be working on that side of it, where Kellie will be working on the event side of it and the marketing side.”

Q: What do you intend to change?

A: We’re going to work on different projects in the downtown. And we've spearheaded some that we want to work on right now. We're going to institute a new parking program within the downtown area, which will be starting Jan. 1. We're instituting new beautification projects, but we want to make sure the trees and the weeds and the streets are all cleaned up. And things are looking a lot nicer downtown. We're going to be looking at how to bring some newer businesses into the downtown instead of in a strip mall or somewhere else, bring them into a downtown area where they can work in a better facility in this area.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to?

A: I am most looking forward to working with Kellie Rupp of the Downtown Management Board, working with the downtown merchants, working with Bay Future, working with the Chamber of Commerce, getting these new businesses down here and seeing the growth that we've experienced already, but see more growth showing up when these new businesses start to come into town.”

Q: What, if any, challenges will there be?

A: Two challenges are obviously going to be the economy, what happens in Washington, what happens in Lansing, but having two people trying to work for the same goal now is a lot better than trying to have one person working and not having any help. Where now, Kellie can help me, I can help Kellie, and we can work toward the same goal and trying to get things done.”

Q: Since you do so much for the community, do you still sleep 40 minutes a night like "Elf"?

A: Yes. I still get a full 40 minutes of sleep every night.”

Q: Anything else you would like to mention?

A: The position is going to be a good position. It's going to further the downtown and get the downtown in a better situation when we get things rolling. We're looking to the future, and we want to make sure that future is bright for downtown Bay City.

The Bay City Downtown Development Authority meets every third Wednesday of the month in room 317 at City Hall, 301 Washington Ave. Its boundaries include Woodside Avenue, Madison Avenue, Columbus Avenue, and the Saginaw River.