Day in the life of Bad Axe chamber of commerce president


The Bad Axe Chamber of Commerce has made a lot of impact in the city over the last couple of years, but most don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. 

Chamber President Kaitlyn Fay started with the organization in April 2021, and at that same time, the chamber was on a decline. But Fay has continuously worked hard, meeting more people and business owners each year to help continue the growth of the Bad Axe Chamber of Commerce. From planning events for the community to going to ribbon cuttings for new businesses, Fay is always on the move. 

In addition to being the chamber president, Fay is a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Bad Axe. Upon her new career endeavor in 2020, Fay has a goal to meet new people to connect with, and being with the Chamber of Commerce has allowed her to do that. Most recently, the chamber had grown to over 150 businesses. 

Here we take a closer look at what the day in the life of a president of the Chamber of Commerce is like. 

Q: As the president, what are your day-to-day tasks?

A: It kind of depends on what event is going on. A lot of it is phone calls about questions on an upcoming event or becoming a member, wanting to know more. The chamber is a resource for different businesses and getting in touch with those businesses. There’s a ton of communication I go through coordinating with people, giving them information, on top of giving them details for upcoming events. Right now, we’re getting ready for the Christmas parade and getting supplies for ornament decorating. 

Q: What got you into working with the chamber of commerce? And why did you pursue the role of president?

A: When I first came into town, I started with Edward Jones at the beginning of 2020. When I finally was able to go into my office in July 2020, I was looking for ways to meet people and make a name for myself in the community. I have a business coach who mentioned the DDA is in my town, and maybe that was something I could look into. So I reached out to the city manager at the time, and asked him “What is the DDA” and what I was looking for. He mentioned the chamber of commerce might be a better fit, however, it was on the brink of not existing anymore. From there, it’s just been building and reaching out to different people who may have been members before and just getting enough bodies to have on the board. It’s grown a lot since then. 

Q: Over the last couple of years, you and the chamber have grown tremendously and made an impact in Bad Axe. What would you say is the reason for that?

A: The persistence is one but I haven’t done anything on my own. As a group, we’ve been able to get more people as we’ve been going along that have helped us tremendously. Jeremiah is a wonderful vice president, and I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do everything without his help. At the very beginning when I was trying to talk to anyone who was involved with the chamber, find out what went wrong, and prevent it from happening again, there was a lot of doubt and old feelings towards the chamber. We’re trying to overcome that viewpoint of “we’re not going to make it.” I think people are finally starting to take us seriously and see that we’re here.

Q: How important is the chamber of commerce and why should people get involved?

A: It’s tremendously important, not only to business owners who are trying to grow and establish themselves but also just the community in general. A lot of the stuff we do is free to the community, and we do so much advertising. It’s a lot of promotion for not a lot of money. 

Q: What is your favorite with not only being the president but being involved with local businesses and the community?

A: Seeing that growth and seeing new businesses coming in and hoping that we’re kind of contributing to that. When the community is doing better, there are going to be bigger businesses that want to come into Bad Axe and fill these empty stores and spaces that we have to create more competition to be here. Also, just seeing different members of the community come out at these events we put on. Seeing the kids and everyone get excited about those, especially when the world is polarized as it is. Everyone is just having fun and enjoying themselves, and it’s nice to see that after everything we’ve been through these last few years. 

Q: What are some of the challenges you’ve had during your tenure as the president?

A: So, I definitely think trying to get past the viewpoints of people seeing the chamber fail before, was one of the biggest things when I got started. Along with is just trying to balance things between my growing business and the chamber that’s growing. One of the things that’s taken a backseat is my personal life, so trying to get a better balance is something I want to focus on. 

Q: What are some goals that you have for the chamber?

A: We just have 160 members, I’d like to see at least 120 next year, which I definitely think we can do. I definitely think 200 is attainable. 


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