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Jillian Manning


Traverse City has been home my whole life…even in the years I lived in other cities and states. After exploring the Midwest and a first career in book publishing, I returned to Traverse City in 2018. The city is both new and familiar seeing it through 30-something eyes. I love the vibrancy of our arts and culture scene, how we’ve grown into a hub for food and wine, and that new trails are always being created to explore this gorgeous area. 

Before joining the National Writers Series, I worked in PR for Traverse City Tourism. I got to connect with so many businesses and organizations, and I can tell you that this town is one of a kind. It’s big enough that you’ll never get bored, but small enough that we’re all still connected and working together to make it better every day. Today, I’m honored to be part of Traverse Connect’s DEIB Committee and the 2021 Women’s Leadership Cohort.

I can’t wait to welcome more folks to the area. My husband and I are both English majors, so I always cheer for the creatives making their dreams into careers. (Also, if you have cats, we’ll probably be best friends. Dogs are excellent too!)

Welcome to TC!

Executive Director
National Writers series
traverse city
hidden gem
Elk rapids


  • Arts and culture
  • Finding Community
  • Outdoor Activities
  • Food and drink recommendations
  • Career opportunities and job-hunting


Embrace the beauty of nature up north!


I want to be part of creating a diverse, vibrant place to live. When talking with folks who are planning to move or visit here, I always talk up our arts & culture scene, the great ways to explore the outdoors, and what the community feel is like. Having been part of TC for so long, I have the opportunity to make lots of good connections throughout the community. I am a fourth generation resident…my parents met living next door on Washington St, and my great grandfather (A R Jacobs) was actually mayor once! All of that is to say, I love this place and want to keep the things that make it wonderful and find new ways to improve the places we fall short.