Ann Garvey is just as comfortable in coveralls as she is in business clothes. As executive director of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and (as if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy) construction manager with Eaton Area Habitat for Humanity, Garvey works to build community in all she does.
Garvey wears the coveralls when she works with her husband on their 400 acre beef and cash crop farm. Driving the tractor disking a field or helping with new born calves, Garvey is at truly at home on the farm.
“I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life,” Garvey said.
Garvey seems to have more than 24 hours in a day; she has also been involved with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for more than 17 years. NAHB is a passion of hers, and she has achieved numerous national, state, local and community awards in her NAHB work.
When Garvey is involved in community organizations, she brings all of these passions with her. Charlotte Area Networking for Development and Opportunity (CAN DO!) has been lucky to have Garvey on the executive board since it started. She helps ground this community development organization as its treasurer.
The organization initiated a new community event called Celebrate Charlotte, and after several years of the event, Garvey and the Chamber volunteered to take it over and build it into an regional celebration that continues to grow.
She also make sure to take time away from her jobs and community work to spend time with family. During the summer, she especially enjoys taking time away on the lake on her farm to go fishing.
“I usually take a grandson or two and maybe a cool beverage … but you don’t think about the heat when you are catching largemouth bass,” Garvey said.
Living in Mid-Michigan, Garvey likes to tell people that she attended both Michigan State University and University of Michigan to acquire her degree in business management. This way, she doesn’t have to take sides when the college competition rises.
“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle five things: a rainy day, the elderly, a bad hair day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights,” Garvey said.