Judy Harrison

 Tell us a little bit about your family. 

We are a family of five humans and two furry pups. My husband Brad is a missionary and runs the nonprofit Good Gaali serving (on bamboo bicycles) in hospitals in Uganda. We have identical twin boys that are almost 30. They have lived and worked in NYC for the past ten years and are returning to this region to open Twinlight Productions video and photographic studio. We are so excited to have them back!!! Our 19-year-old daughter is attending cosmetology school and perfecting her skills as a barista. Cosmo and Newman are a Yorkie-poo and miniature Schnoodle respectively 


Please tell us about your current, past or future career. What do you love most about what you do? 

I am the founder of the nonprofit, Community Impact Partners (SwingShift and the Stars). We help nonprofits across our region raise funds and awareness in a most unique way. For 13 years, we have worked with 116 nonprofits that have brought in over $4.1 million for their important missions. I also own a business called HIP – Events & Entertainment. We book 3 bands that I also perform in; ReBooted – an 8piece country/classic rock band, Remembering Patsy Cline – a 10piece tribute show in honor of the legendary Patsy Cline, and SwingShift – a 10piece swing band. We have a family business located in Grand Haven, MI that is a world class supplier of advanced antennsystems and accessories. Our newest venture is a recently purchased building here in TC that we are renovating for multipurpose use. Stay tuned!!! love that I am blessed to work with amazingly talented, caring and wonderful people!  


What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community? 

Modes Bum Steer and Harrington’s By The Bay! We love these two, but honestly, we have amazing restaurants all over this region!!! 


How long have you lived or worked in our community? What brought you to Grand Traverse County? 

After many trips to my parent’s cottage on Lake Charlevoix, we caught the “fever” to live in northern MI! When both of our jobs were changing, the opportunity for my husband to work in Traverse City arose and we jumped on it. We moved here from Cincinnati, OH during a record-breaking winter storm in 1992 when our twins were not quite 2 years old. We lived at the Days Inn for many (long, toddler-filled) weeks before we purchased a home in Holiday Hills.  


Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community? 

Glen Petersen, the owner of Petersen Productions is someone I find very interesting and greatly admire. Many who have worked with him know he is a talented writer and video production expert, but so much more lies beneath his humble and kind demeanor. Glens’ life has been filled with joy, loss, overwhelming struggle and triumph. His positivity amongst overwhelming circumstances is truly inspirational! I’m honored to have worked closely with Glen and to call him friend.    


If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why? 

Brad and I just took a whirlwind road trip in our small RV for our 37th anniversary. We had such a great time! I see more travel like that, exploring our great nation with our very own bathroom always at our disposal (pun intended)!!  


What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows? 

I love sappy, silly romances! I’m not sure I have a favorite, but Miss Congeniality is a fun one! The TV series Heartland and Jane the Virgin are also two of my favorites. I am a long-standing fan of Seinfeld and The Andy Griffith Show! In fact, we were such Seinfeld fans that our puppies over the years have been named Shmoopy, Cosmo and Newman!  


What advice would you give people who want to visit our community? 

Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!!!!!! Eat, drink, walk, hike, relax, take in the beauty of all the seasons!!!! There is something for everyone!!!!! 

What is something on your bucket list? 

I would LOVE to take our Remembering Patsy Cline show on the road for a short stint in FL. I think the demographic in FL would connect with this beautiful tribute!  

 What current or former local business makes you feel the most nostalgic about our community?  

For me, it would have to be the City Opera House. Performing in their amazing theater for our SwingShift and the Stars events, as well as, having them as a featured nonprofit in our 2018 season of SwingShift and the Stars, has given me an appreciation of it’s history and the importance of cherishing our region’s heritage.  


If you could choose anyone today with whom you would love to have lunch? Why and where locally would you go for this lunch?  

I would have lunch with my incredible mom and dad. My dad passed in 2013 and my mom recently during the height of the COVID lockdown. I would cherish a lunch together. I think I would take them to The Dish. They both loved soup and The Dish has wonderful owners, great atmosphere and primo soup offerings!    


What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community? 

I know there are a lot of nonprofits in every community, but I believe our region’s nonprofits to be exceptional! I think a big reason for this is because of the caring and generous people in northern MI.  


Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years? 

Remaining a positive force in our region is always at the forefront of my thoughts for the future 

(Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that people don’t know about you? 

I’m a fierce patriot of the USA! I was born in Windsor, Ontario Canada and became a citizen of this great country when I was 8 years old.  

 What is the most beautiful place you have ever been? 

It is hard to name just one place. Sitting on our dock on Platte Lake watching a July sunset ranks right up there! And what a treat that’s it’s right here in our own backyard! 

Favorite month? Favorite holiday? The best single day on the calendar? 

My favorite month is probably June. It’s my birthday month! J My favorite holiday is Christmas because the family is almost always able to be together. The best single day on the calendar would be October 22nd, 1983 when I married Brad. Sappy…but true!  

 Who inspires you to do better? 

Bar none, my biggest supporter and inspiration is my husband Brad.  


What is your favorite season in Northern MI? What is your favorite activity to do in those seasons? 

That’s a tough one. Part of the reason we love this region is because of the changing seasons. I love the smell and newness of Spring, the long days and star-filled nights of summer, the spectacular colors of fall and the snow globe winters. Hiking, biking, boating and crosscountry skiing are a few of my favorite activities.  


Finally, what three words or phrase come to mind when you think of the word HOME? 

Family, cozy, blessed! 





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