Bucking Things Up: Putting Meridian on the Map

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You may be wondering why is there a man on the cover of this women’s magazine? Just wait, bear with me for a minute.

For 11 months out of the year, we celebrate women empowering women. With that being said, we thought why not celebrate dads for a month, right? We all know the important role mothers play in our lives, so let’s give dads a little credit – but just a little.

When we think back on memories we have of our fathers, we remember them picking us up, teaching us to ride a bike and maybe to drive. But what about all of those other things Dad helps us out with that we never really give him credit for? The long nights and early mornings at the office, missing a game or school event because he had to work late, the list goes on and on.

For Chris Buck, father, economic development director for Meridian Township and owner/principal consultant at CJ Buck Consulting, being a dad is one of the most important roles he’s ever known. He’s a man who wears many hats, but it’s safe to say his favorite is his “Dad hat.”

 

“Being present is more than half the battle,” Buck explained. “Be patient. You have to let them make decisions and mistakes that won’t break them. It’s important to model behavior so they don’t do anything to derail their life.”

When not working to put Meridian Township on the map or helping other small businesses in the area, Buck spends time with his wife and two children enjoying life. The Seattle natives enjoy taking weekend day trips to adventures around the state of Michigan and find themselves spending a lot of their summertime at their cottage in Plainwell.

“Those memories, pictures, vacations and planned weekend day trips create the memories that make us a stronger family,” Buck explained. “In order to have the bandwidth to do this, one of the lessons I’ve learned in the last few years is how to do fewer things better.”

Having two teenagers is a challenge for any parent, but Buck finds common interests to have fun and make memories with his boys. He is quick to pick up a guitar for an improv jam session or check out the latest car or boat show in town.

“Try to live a balanced life,” Buck said. “There is a way to be the best employee/employer that you can be and find productive hobbies that fulfill your life. Let your family time recharge your batteries to make you a good employee. Be present where you are.”

Before coming to mid-Michigan, Buck spent 25 years in corporate America traveling around the country. It’s actually what landed him in Meridian Township. Soon after moving to the area, Buck noticed a dire need to bring some attractions to the area. He started his own business and volunteering with the township to get to know the community.

“Landing in mid-Michigan in 2008 from Seattle and prior from Philadelphia, I was underwhelmed with the fun factor,” Buck said. “There just wasn’t a lot to do – shopping, dining and entertainment options were limited.”

Frustrated with his options, Buck decided to stop complaining and start helping. In 2017, he became the first economic development director for Meridian Township, and since then has never stopped working to bring more to the township.

“Meridian Township, has a role to play,” Buck explained. “With 42,000 residents in Meridian Township, and 30% of Michigan State University employees living in Meridian, we have to give them what they want.”

The addition of Launch Trampoline Park in the Meridian Mall is just the beginning for Meridian Township. Residents can soon enjoy a permanent farmers market outside the mall. Plus, High Caliber Karting and Entertainment is set to open this summer and will offer ax-throwing, state-of-the-art racing simulators, two indoor go-kart tracks featuring European racing karts, and a bar and bistro.

Buck is dedicated to bringing vibrancy back to Meridian Township and making it a district that the Lansing region wants to visit. He is helping Meridian play the role it was meant to play.


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