This year, vote for new leadership on the Eaton County Board of Commissioners.
“We can be more, if we are willing to invest in ourselves.”
— TJ Bucholz
Who is TJ?
Lifelong Michigander, Longtime Eaton County Resident
Born and raised in Frankenmuth, Michigan, TJ attended Central Michigan University, where he earned a degree in journalism and began work as a staff reporter for a daily newspaper.
After working in the industry for more than three years, he chose to transition to positions with two mid-Michigan school districts, where he learned the ropes of public relations within the realm of education at the age of 26.
He was then recruited to join state government in 1999, when Michigan Governor John Engler invited him to serve as Public Information Officer for the Michigan Department of Education. TJ accepted the job, moving his young family to Eaton County, living first in Delta Township, and then moving to the city of Grand Ledge in 2002.
Experienced Public Servant
For 10 years, TJ served in various capacities in state government, working for Republicans and Democrats alike.
In 2003, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm asked him to continue his service as Communications Director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, where he served proudly until 2006, when Lt. Governor John Cherry invited TJ to join his team in the executive office as a senior advisor and communications director.
In 2008, he was recruited to work in Seattle, Washington for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a senior program officer. The Bucholzes lived in the Seattle suburbs for about a year before deciding the Pacific Northwest just wasn’t home for them, so they moved back into their same neighborhood in Grand Ledge, actually choosing to live in the house on the opposite side of their previous neighbors.
After returning from Seattle and finishing graduate school at Western Michigan University, TJ took a job with Lambert, Edwards & Associates, the largest bi-partisan public relations firm in Michigan. As a senior director in the firm’s Lansing office, TJ led more than $1 million in billable work annually, working with clients in the education, health care, transportation, defense, and environmental sectors, gaining experience and learning how these industries work together.
In 2014, after a family trip to the Grand Canyon, TJ was inspired to open his own public affairs firm in Lansing. It was a bold move, but from only one small client, TJ has grown his firm - Vanguard Public Affairs - in six years to now represent nearly 20 clients in three states. Vanguard Public Affairs currently employs more than 12 practitioners in various capacities.
TJ believes strongly in volunteerism and currently serves on several executive boards in the greater Lansing area, including:
The Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America Executive Board as Secretary
Mayoral Appointee, Downtown Lansing Inc. (representing the downtown business community)
The Michigan Political Leadership Program Advisory Board
Central Michigan University's Journalism Hall of Fame Advisory Board
TJ is also a founding member of the S.E.E.D.S. Foundation, a new organization designed to support educators in Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton Counties.
In the past, he has served as a:
City of Grand Ledge Planning Commissioner
Community advisory board member for WKAR, the region’s public television station
Board member of the Red Cedar Youth Basketball League
Husband, Father Of Two
After completing his freshman year at CMU, TJ met his wife, Lori, while working at the Midland K-Mart. They dated throughout their college years and were married in 1994.
Lori has been an educator in the Grand Ledge Public Schools since 2000, working at Greenwood Elementary and Willow Ridge Elementary. She also served for four years as the principal of Delta Center Elementary School. The Bucholzes live in the Candlewood Estates neighborhood of Grand Ledge.
Lori and TJ have two children, both of whom attended Grand Ledge Public Schools. Luke, 20, is a junior at Michigan State University, studying political theory and constitutional democracy at James Madison College, and Grace, 18, is a proud member of GLHS’s Class of 2020 and will attend Central Michigan University in the fall where she will study sports management.