Q&A: United Way of Bay County Interim President & CEO Michael Bacigalupo

Michael Bacigalupo has been formally involved with the Bay City non-profit community since he started his role as chief operating officer of the State Theatre in 2006. Since then, his roles have grown to include director of the Historical Museum of Bay County, special events coordinator for the City of Bay City, managing Wenonah Park, helping to manage the Drydock Beer Garden, and between 2013-2016 he simultaneously managed the Temple Theatre in Saginaw along with the State Theatre.

Bacigalupo also serves as the chairman of the Bay City Downtown Management Board, Rockin’ the River Boat Races, the Bay Arts Council, is vice chair of the Bay City Downtown Development Authority, is a board member of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, and is a member of the Bay City Morning Rotary.

As of Jan. 1, Bacigalupo added interim president & CEO of the United Way of Bay County to his resume. He’s excited to fill this role as the United Way Board of Directors searches for a permanent CEO.

Route: Tell us about your new role with the United Way of Bay County and what you will be doing.

The interim CEO and president’s position is basically going to mean that I come in and I look over financials, I look over budgets, I look over all of the policies and things that the United Way and the staff has been doing and I try to build on those, change some things for the better, and try to build the budget up to where it should be and try to make it so it’s more sustainable.

How did you get the position?

What happened was I’m on the Board of Directors. And the Board of Directors knew that this is what I’ve done in the past. So they basically are tapping me to use my skills and skill sets to see what I can do to help out in the interim process while they find a new CEO.

What are you most looking forward to?

Serving the United Way community in Bay County and making sure that they stay self-sufficient and making sure that the community is well-taken care of.

I know you have a lot of roles and positions within the community. How do you balance all of them out?

It’s called creative scheduling (chuckles). So with creative scheduling you make sure that you schedule far in advance, you make sure that you schedule enough time for it, you schedule a full 40 minutes of sleep (Elf reference), and you make sure that all of your priorities are taken care of during the work time and if you have to do some after that’s fine. You balance it with your family, your work, and anything else you can do—with that full forty minutes of sleep in there.

If you have a high-sugar diet like Elf, you’ll be awake.


Do you get time to de-compress or re-charge?

All the time, when I sleep.

What do you expect to happen with non-profits in 2021? Pre-pandemic, non-profits were doing great. Because of the pandemic, there’s been a lot of pressure on non-profits to come up with additional funding and to help a lot more people than usual.

I will say for the first two quarters of 2021, I don’t see much of a change as what we’re doing in the pandemic phase right now. I don’t see much of a change going on there because the non-profits still have to sustain themselves and they all have to survive. With that being said, Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2021 are still going to all be fighting for the all-mighty dollar in order to survive.

Do you see non-profits doing better in Quarter 3 and Quarter 4 of 2021?

They should be doing better by then unless we have another surge in the virus.

During your tenure as interim CEO & president, are there any community issues that you’d like to see the United Way of Bay County tackle?

I want to make sure that the ALICE Programs stay alive and we help those people. I want to make sure that the people that are in dire, dire need are getting help right away and don’t have to wait around for any support whatsoever.

Do you have an idea of how long you will be interim president & CEO?

Until they find a replacement. I left it open ended with them, I am here to help.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?

I look forward to serving this position and making sure that everything goes on as planned, and hopefully get the United Way back to where it needs to be.

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