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Maria Purvis

Meet Maria

When I think about Traverse City, I think about home. I think of sunshine-drenched days on the shores of Old Mission Peninsula, swimming and eating sandy sandwiches. I think about wandering around downtown, poking around the shops and anticipating a delicious lunch with a glass of local wine. It was this feeling of connection that drew me back after living in the Deep South for decades.

After making the move back north and starting a job at 20Fathoms, our local startup incubator and co-working space, I was pleasantly surprised at the spirit of entrepreneurship and community engagement that exists in the region. TC has always been a town that rewards hard work; my grandfather owned a steel company in Traverse and I can still point to buildings that he helped construct.

I have thrived in this environment. My background in liberal arts and law fits in perfectly with the entrepreneurship ecosystem, as I host events that promote growth in our community, creating connections between people and connecting entrepreneurs with the resources available through 20Fathoms. Returning to Traverse City has provided me with that ineffable feeling of being part of something larger than oneself – a supportive community.

Manager of Events & Special Programs
traverse city
hidden gem
boardman valley nature preserve


  • Remote work
  • Food & Drinks
  • Community
  • Moving a business here
  • Career opportunities/job hunting
  • Financial services
  • Office space


Traverse City really has one of the most welcoming communities in the Midwest. I joke with coworkers that when someone asks for help, we tend to overwhelm them with offers. I love going to a Fresh Coast Quarterly Club event and making introductions between people when they have business or community questions. It makes them feel connected to – and rooted in – this place, which is what we want as our area grows.


You need to invest in snow-ready outdoor apparel! It can be easy to hunker down indoors during the winter, but the key to strong mental health in the overcast winter months is to go outside, and a good jacket and winter hiking boots are the answer!