About the Blue Water Young Professionals
The Blue Water Young Professionals (BWYP) is a nonprofit community group that prides itself on enhancing the Blue Water Area. Started in the fall of 2009, we’ve continued to grow and prosper in both membership and involvement in our community. In the spring of 2011, through our “I Will Stay If…” initiative, the BWYP identified two areas of focus with the help of area residents. Our two main focus areas are downtown & nightlife enhancement and arts appreciation and growth. It is our belief that placemaking is one of, if not the key element in today’s economy. Developing an attractive place draws the type of young, creative people who in turn create jobs and stability for the future.
The BWYP mission is to be a catalyst of community enhancement for the Blue Water Area by collaborating with fellow forward-thinking, community-oriented individuals who are active in the civic, social and business activities of our region. We plan all of our activities around making the Blue Water Area a place where young professionals want to stay, play, shop and give back! The two main focus areas of the BWYP is downtown & nightlife enhancement and arts appreciation and growth.
Board of Directors
Mallory Michaluk, president
As an on air personality, it is Mallory’s job to promote positive things happening in the area as news director and reporter for EBW.tv, which stands for Everything Blue Water Television.
She loves being part of a group of young, talented individuals who can get together to have fun and leave a positive impact in the
community. After moving to Port Huron from Minnesota, joining the BWYP “just clicked” for Mallory and she has been a part of the group since she moved here after graduation in May of 2017.
Being a part of the group also allows her to develop friendships and connections with other community members.
Mallory serves on the Chilly Fest Bed Races committee. When she’s not involved with that, she loves to watch sports, especially the Olympics! The world’s best athletes only get together every four years, so the rest of the time she’s an avid reality TV watcher. In her spare time, Mallory also likes heading to the beach, taking causal sails on the Great Lakes, and indulging in her obsession of everything Disney.
She earned a bachelor’s in communications advertising from University of North Dakota. She minored in sports business.
Audrey Sochor, vice president
Audrey joined the BWYP after she moved back from Grand Rapids in 2014, and believes you get the most out of the group by being an active member. She has served on the board since 2016.
She serves on the St. Clair, Bed Races and Volleygrass committees and occasionally the social committee as well. She also publishes the quarterly YP newsletter.
Her passion for community involvement carries over into her day job. She works as the office coordinator for the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. She earned her degree in journalism from Grand Valley State University.
In her free time, Audrey likes to read, garden, spend time with her dog and binge watch shows on Netflix while she takes sabbaticals from working out. She also suffers from a severe case of wanderlust and travels to places near and far as often as she can.
Matthew Gregor, treasurer
A transplant from Sterling Heights, Matt has spent the past two years working hard to establish roots in the Port Huron community.
To help with those roots he joined the group in early 2015 and then the board in 2017 as treasurer. He wants to aid the group to continue to be a force of change in the community.
Matt works as a financial consultant for investments and insurance at his Axa Advisors office in downtown Port Huron with his business partner.
When he isn’t working, Matt spends time playing with his cat, Holly, and indulging in his passion for music. He frequently travels the country to hear his favorite bands like Phish, Umphrey’s McGee and the Grateful Dead live in concert.
Matt is studying for his Certified Financial Planner designation on top of building up his business. He earned his bachelor’s from Michigan State University in 2010 for Supply Chain Management.
A longtime member, Korissa first joined the BWYP when she moved back to Port Huron from Chicago. She has been on the board since 2011.
Meeting with fellow YPs re-energizes Korissa as they all have the same goal: to make our community a better place to live, work and play.
She believes it is important our group exists because it not only benefits the community, but provides a sense of being that there are other young professionals that care about the future of the area.
An active member from the start, she has been involved with Real Estate Roam, Chilly Fest Bed Races, the Art Hop Committee, “If I Stay…” and the SC4 hockey game among other things.
Outside of the BWYP, Korissa works as an associate broker at Kramer Commercial Realty. She also serves on the McMorran Civic Center Authority Commission. She holds a bachelor’s in Business Administration and Marketing from Western Michigan University.
When not busy with her other duties, she loves traveling, cooking and entertaining , and spending time with friends and family like her husband Evan, a former board member, and their dog Radar.
Kendra has been in the BWYP for a number of years and has served on the board since November 2014.
She currently acts as part of the media team. She also helps with Chilly Fest Bed Races, Volleygrass, and has worked Art Hop committees and volunteered at the Gus Macker.
Kendra feels that the organization provides a collective voice in our community for the young professional. Being a member means she gets the chance to play a small part in many projects and events she would not be exposed to otherwise.
She’s also gotten to meet some wonderful people through the YPs. And she likes that while we are making a difference in our community, we have a lot of fun doing it!
She works as Dean of Library Services & Academic Technology at St. Clair County Community College. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Kendall College of Art & Design and a Master of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University.
In her free time Kendra likes to kayak, run, bike, hike and play with her mutts. Reading, ceramics, cooking, gardening and DIY house projects are her other hobbies.
Sarah believes anyone who is capable to do so should give back to their community and the people living in it.
That belief led her to joining the BWYP in 2012 and our board in 2014. She likes that the group focuses on creating enthusiasm and a drive to stay, play, shop and give back right to the Blue Water Area.
Sarah actively assists with the St. Clair group because it’s her hometown and feels it’s important. She has helped organize Bike and Burger Night, the Pine River Poker Paddle and Make An Impression. She also used to lead Chilly Fest Bed Races
She is an avid runner and has completed 235 racing miles in 2014 alone with over 25 races including her first ultra-marathon. Her goal is to do a race in every state. She also loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.
Sarah works as a teacher at Memphis High School and earned a degree in Mathematics and Psychology from Grand Valley State University.
Rafe MacKenzie, membership chair
Although one of the newest board members, Rafe doesn’t hold back when it comes to being part of the BWYP. A familiar face at socials and morning meetings, he’s also involved with the social, Volleygrass and Bed Races committees.
Originally from Houghton Lake, MI, Rafe has been a member for three years. He works as a research chemist for Cargill Salt in St. Clair.
Community enrichment is his main goal. He also believes it’s important for small towns to try to lure the young professional age group because an aging or stagnate community is hard for growth.
Rafe is a huge fan of all sports, so in his free time he tries to get out to games when he’s not traveling for work. He also likes to hunt and fish.
He previously worked for Dow Chemical as a lab technician. He graduated from Saginaw Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a minor in business.
Grant Moore, media specialist
A product of Port Huron schools, Grant left the area for a higher education and to pursue his passion for business. He returned to the Blue Water Area after graduation and joined the BWYP in the spring of 2017.
He enjoys being involved with younger, like-minded individuals within the community who share a passion for making our area the best it can be, as well as networking with other individuals in the community he wouldn't normally have the opportunity to.
Grant looks forward to generating opportunities for the next generation and being a liaison for younger individuals to find their place within the community. He currently serves on the Chilly Fest Bed Races committee.
He earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Western Michigan University, where he majored in sales and business marketing. Grant utilizes what he learned during his time spent in Kalamazoo in his role of business development at Eleven19 and program advisor at The Marriage Group. He is also part of the team who manages the family of other businesses started by Matt Brooks, including Continue Marketing, and coworking spaces Loft 912 and The Roost.
As an active member at Port Huron Yacht Club. he enjoys sailing and competitively racing boats throughout the Great Lakes, along with participating in the Mackinac races every summer.
Demiree Potter, board chair
One of the youngest members of the group, Demiree can be found working at one of downtown Port Huron’s newest additions - her shop Ruboo Boutique.
Demiree moved out of the area because her husband joined the Marine Corps, and they traveled the country moving from base to base. They recently moved back because she always wanted open a business in her hometown and contribute to its economic prosperity.
When she’s not busy with her business or caring for her family, Demiree helps plan fun activities for the group as co-chair of the social committee. She herself only joined the BWYP in the spring of 2017, but dived right into a leadership role when she found out the committee was looking for help.
Her favorite aspect of the BWYP is the members’ willingness to help. It’s a diverse group that comes up with ideas on how to make the community better.
In her free time, Demiree loves to spend time with her daughter, thrift shop and refurbish furniture for fun, and travel.
Sara first joined the group in February 2017 and quickly became active in almost everything we do.
So far she has brought her vivacious personality and sense of humor to the ChillyFest Bed Races committee as a co-lead. She has also been involved with the Community Tour and Volleygrass committees. Sara was the lead planner for our Cros-Lex tour stop.
A Croswell native, Sara thinks the BWYP has had a great impact on the Port Huron community and would like to see it expand to other communities in the area.
Sara works as an attorney at Touma, Watson, Whaling, Coury, Stremers & Thomas P.C. in downtown Port Huron. She earned a BS in Business Administration for marketing from Wayne State University and a Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University.
In her free time Sara likes to bake, read and eat. Being raised on a farm, she also keeps active out of doors by boating and traveling in the summer, and snowmobiling in winter.