January 16, 2020


Meet Tanya Hayes, AF-Midland’s New Chapter Leader

By: AF Editors

Tanya HayesAmerica’s Future Foundation is excited to welcome our new AF-Midland chapter leader, Tanya Hayes! Tanya knew from an early age that she wanted to be part of something that would change lives. Not one for medicine or missionary work, she married a free-market policy wonk and everything fell into place. She is a graphic designer and homeschool parent with a background in sales and a passion for interior design, food, and liberty. She describes Midland, Michigan, as “a community full of vibrant, intelligent, energetic, civic-minded people who work hard to make their community a unique place to live.”

Get to know more about Tanya!

Meet Tanya Hayes, AF-Midland’s New Chapter Leader 2What do you enjoy about your career path so far and why?
As a freelance designer I have the freedom to work from home which is so liberating! I can homeschool my kids, teach at the local co-op, volunteer, and travel with my husband. But my favorite job is being a mom to three kids. I’ve had over 7,000 days as a mom, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

How long have you been in Midland, and what brought you there?
In 2016 my husband was offered a position at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, MI.

What has been your history with AF?
I volunteered with the previous chapter leader.

What helpful skills do you hold that people could ask you for advice about?
I love organizing! From events to closets – I’m in! One of my favorite things to do is rearrange furniture. The best feeling in the world is helping someone refresh their home (by decluttering, reorganizing, “shopping” from other rooms, and shuffling furniture) to create a space that’s beautiful and purposeful.

Meet Tanya Hayes, AF-Midland’s New Chapter Leader 3What are you most excited about for the chapter leader role?
I’m actually mandated to talk to strangers!! This is a dream job!

Book recommendations?
Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky. It’s a book about how Clarence Birdseye developed the frozen food industry and shaped the way we eat food today. Epicures should also read Kurlansky’s book Salt.

If you love old movies try Jimmy Stewart: Bomber Pilot. My love of Jimmy Stewart movies grew substantially after reading about his service to this country during WWII.

The Isabel Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith. Isabel is a Scottish philosopher with a knack for uncovering mysteries while pondering ethical responsibility, moral proximity, and friendship.

Coffee Order?
A cappuccino, served in a cup and saucer so it clinks when you set it down.

Favorite places to travel?
Give me history, architecture, and beautiful grounds over a beach any day! I’ve been to DC a couple times this year as well as Monticello in Virginia, and both places have thrilled! I couldn’t get over the fact that I was walking in the very footprints of the men and women that built this country – it made me appreciate it more than I imagined. I particularly enjoyed Jefferson’s farm and vegetable gardens at Monticello and the lovely grounds at Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown.

What is on your “Top 5 Fun Things To Do in Midland, MI,” list?
1. Dow Gardens — This 120 year-old botanical garden sporting year-round interest is too beautiful to miss.
2. Whiting Forest — Attached to Dow Gardens, Whiting Forest is home to the longest canopy walk in the United States.
3. The Tridge — Midland boasts a three-legged wooden footbridge spanning over the Tittabawassee and Chippewa Rivers out to Chippewassee Park, St. Charles Park, and the Farmer’s Market area. The Chippewa Nature trail also begins at the Tridge.
4. The Loch — A young entrepreneur opened a coffee shop that serves fine coffees, homemade syrups, and gorgeous food. He opens his space to showcase local talent, whether it’s having local musicians play, artists creating murals on the walls, or teaming up with fabulous bakers to offer in-house pastries.
5. Midland Center for the Arts — With performance venues, museums, art studios, lecture halls, and a historical campus, it’s a place where art, science, history, music, theater, dance, films, camps, classes, and professional world-class entertainers all live under one roof. Midland Center for the Arts encourages participation for people of all ages to appreciate, explore, and participate.