TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City native with extensive legislative experience in Lansing and northern Michigan will serve as the new director of government relations for the Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce.
Kent Wood, the legislative director for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs since 2011, will take over as the lead government liaison and lobbyist for the Traverse City Area Chamber and the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. Wood replaces Doug DeYoung, who accepted a position last month with Consumers Energy.
"Growing up in Traverse City, it's going to be such a thrill to advocate for small businesses and economic development in this region," Wood said. "I got started out in small business and took an interest in development issues…it’s a dream and a great opportunity for me to do this and work for the chamber."
Wood, 29, served as the conservation organization’s chief lobbyist and contact with state and federal lawmakers, and developed and organized MUCC’s policy strategy. Before that he served as a legislative director for state Rep. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle) and as a director of constituent services for state Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City). Wood also served as Schmidt’s campaign manager for his successful state House bid in 2008.
“We’re excited to bring Kent’s energy and experience to the team at the Chamber and the Alliance,” Traverse City Area Chamber President Doug Luciani said.