Grand Traverse County Joint Operations Center Celebrates 2 Years, Recognizes Nate Alger for Leadership

"As any good team has, you need that key quarterback -- Nate Alger was it." Michigan Senator Wayne Schmidt

Governmental CenterOn Monday, board members and state leaders celebrated the two year anniversary of the Grand Traverse County Joint Operation Center (JOC).

They also recognized Grand Traverse County Administrator Nate Alger for the leadership he showed throughout the pandemic.

The JOC formed in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit. The committee assisted the community throughout the pandemic with setting up testing locations and vaccine centers. Board members say Alger’s quick thinking helped the community greatly. Chairman for the Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners, Rob Hentschel, says Alger stepped up.

“As it [COVID] appeared in Grand Traverse County, Nate Alger did not hesitate to put together a group of leaders to address what we can do in our community,” Hentschel says.

The CEO and President of Traverse Connect, Warren Call, says because of Alger they will be ready for any future situations.

“This has been a great example of community collaboration that can be used for other things in the future other crisis’ or other issues that come up.Nate Alger We’ve got this plan together that we can use to work together,” Call said.

State Senator Wayne Schmidt says JOC set the standard for the rest of Michigan.

“We were the first to be put up into action. It made a difference so that when they were talking to me, I knew that everyone in Grand Traverse County was coming together,” Schmidt said.  “When we were speaking about Grand traverse County, we came in with a unified voice down in Lansing. And it made a difference.”

Board members are still unsure of the future of JOC. However, they say they’ll be ready for the next pandemic.

“To see this group today in 2022, being able to shake hands and give hugs and not wear a mask. It’s evidence that our system worked,” said Alger.