Matt Felan, the president and CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, laughs when asked about how he met Trevor Keyes, the president and CEO of Bay Future, Inc.
“It doesn’t matter what you do in the community,” he says, “Trevor is there. He is willing to take on the responsibility. He is willing to lead for our community and work to retain and bring jobs to the region. I have extreme confidence he is going to do some amazing things in that role, and I think we are lucky that we can grow talent like that right at home and keep them here.”
Magen Samyn, now Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at McLaren Bay Region, is responsible for recruiting Keyes, and says that his enthusiasm about helping the region grow and develop makes him a valuable asset for Bay County.
“Trevor has always had a passion for Bay County and the Great Lakes Bay Region,” she says. “He was eager to make a difference in the community. And he did. He immediately began to work on business retention and quickly became a rising star in the industry.”
A Bay City native, Keyes sat down with Route Bay City to talk about involvement in the community, his work with Bay Future, Inc., and what he thinks about Bay County.
Route Bay City: You are involved in numerous community organizations now. What are they?
Trevor Keyes: I’ve been involved at Bay City Players, Michigan’s oldest continuously operating community theatre, for over 20 years. I have participated in both musicals and dramas as an actor and director, and also as a board member and vice president. I support as many community events as possible! I have had the opportunity to serve on the boards for the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance (Board and Executive Committee), Great Lakes Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau (Board), Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (Board), Energize Bay Area Young Professionals Network (Steering Committee), and C.C. Advising.
What were some of your early experiences in community involvement that sparked your passion?
I was really involved in athletics, drama, and community service in high school. My mother has been a volunteer coordinator for the Bay County Department on Aging for years, and I think she instilled that in my sister and I at a young age.
How did you learn of Bay Future and how did you come to work there?
I became friends with a woman who worked for Bay Future, Inc. at the time. She would always regale us with stories about the inner workings of announced projects, the efforts the organization was making in marketing our community as a place for investment, and the background behind a myriad of companies from Bay City’s past and present. We would joke with her that she had the best job in Bay City. Fast forward: years later I received a call from that friend (Magen Samyn) who understood I was looking for a new position and recruited me to Bay Future, Inc.
Now I have the best job in Bay City.
What do you believe made you a good fit for the organization?
I am insanely passionate about our community and the opportunities we have to make it even better. I grew up here; I’ve lived here for all of my life; I’m a stakeholder in this community with the energy and desire to see it flourish and grow. I have worked hard to establish and maintain close relationships with people and have thoroughly enjoyed the friendships that have come out of that.
Can you share any projects Bay Future is currently working on?
We just wrapped up a project with a company named Falcon Road Maintenance Equipment who manufactures asphalt hot boxes and tack distributors used to repair potholes. It was a great opportunity to retain a growing manufacturer in a growing industry to the area.
What are some of the things that you love about Bay County?
We are a blue-collar town with white-collar amenities. We have so many things region-wide that make us competitive with every metro in the state of Michigan and throughout the Midwest.
We are centrally located with access to wonderful transportation infrastructure. We have water! And we have great quality of life with great healthcare and access to higher education. Not too big, not too small. But we are a community that cares for one another. What’s not to love?