Today we’d like to introduce you to Michael Hardy.
Hi Michael, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started Thumbwind.com in 2009 when utility companies’ installation of industrial wind turbines was underway in Michigan’s Thumb. The entire three-county region is designated as the Wind Energy Capital of the Great Lakes. My family had a farm near Bad Axe, and since I was born, I’ve come to the area. I see Michigan’s Upper Thumb as a fascinating farming region with renewable energy production and tourism.
Every chance I get, I come to Michigan’s Thumb. It offers a playground of festivals, art galleries, fairs, campgrounds, parks, beaches, agricultural exhibits, and the ability to boat and play in the lake with its sugar sand beaches along beautiful Saginaw Bay. It’s only a two-hour drive from the Detroit area and three hours from Toledo, yet it’s ignored as a prime travel destination. However, it’s still a great place to get an affordable cottage on the shore, a cabin in the woods, or a bit of land to hunt.
Starting in 2015, I established Thumbwind Publications with the goal is to exploring and finding fun all around Michigan. As a result, I tend to focus on the Upper Thumb and from Caseville’s famous Cheeseburger Festival, sailing on Saginaw Bay, discovering the art studios in Port Austin, kayaking to Turnip Rock, antiquing in Sebewaing, finding fresh farm-to-table foods, and marveling at expansive wind farms.
I’m a history nut which minored at Michigan State University. I research and look back on the fascinating history and key events that shaped the area. My research on the 1860s Ora Labora Colony allowed me to see what this area was like while it was wild. I’ve also met some interesting folks.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like many folks, I started Thumbwind to address a political and economic issue for the debate of installing industrial wind turbines in Huron County, Michigan. When the county issued a moratorium on further wind farm development, I started to write small stories about places to see and things to do in the Thumb. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and I was encouraged to keep adding more stories.
It took about a year to get Thumbwind.com to a point where it could compete with more prominent travel sights and rank well in search results. Today the site averages 60,000 views a month. Not bad for a niche site.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I started in telecommunications working at General Motors and EDS just as the Internet boom was getting started.
I am a retired sales & marketing IT systems manager at Chrysler, now called Stellantus, a small truck and automotive manufacturer. Over my 32 years at Chrysler, I held positions ranging from managing projects in Chrysler Financial, Dealership Systems, and Sales & Marketing. I worked on technology platforms such as Content Delivery Networks, Search Engine management, and ChatBot development. In addition, I was responsible for the Brand website infrastructure, Owner’s Sites, Mobile Applications, Software as a Service, gTLD (ICANN), Cloud Computing, and offshore development with various environments.
I am also a network management software application patent holder and have authored publications in the network management field.
I look forward to continuing to grow Thumbwind Publications in the coming year. Last year I expanded content coverage beyond the Upper Thumb to focus on Sanilac, Tuscola, and Lapeer counties and began to offer more mid-west focused content. For example, we recently visited Cinncinatti. As a result, I will be drafting stories on Ohio’s role with the Underground Railroad into Michigan, supporting the exodus of formerly enslaved people in the 1850s to Canada.
I want to continue to partner with like-minded content providers to offer more stories on our portfolio of websites. For example, I established a content share partnership with the Minden City Herald in 2020 and recently discussed a new endeavor with a gaming site called D&D Cooperative.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: thumbwind.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thumbwind/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Thumbwind
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/thumbwind
- Other: twoverbs.com, outdoordskillz.com, michigan4you.com