Terry Terry is president, CEO and founder of MessageMakers, as well as president and co-founder of Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA) and an artist in his own right.
He was born in Detroit and received his bachelor of arts degree in policy sciences from James Madison College at Michigan State University, also receiving his master of arts degree in instructional development & technology from MSU’s College of Education.
An award-winning producer of videos, Terry has served as a producer and cameraperson on five continents for organizations including Nightline, WNET-13, NBC Sportsworld, CNN, and PBS; has been a communications futurist/consultant for the formation of Michigan Government Television; and has developed, from concept to completion, myriad programs that have helped organizations grow, promote their initiatives and manage change. In the course of this work, Terry has traveled to over 70 countries.
As a businessperson, artist, and co-founder of MICA, Terry has served as a catalytic force encouraging the renaissance of Lansing’s “Old Town,” historic commercial district. Terry and MessageMakers moved to Old Town in the early 1980s, when it was a “ghost town,” according to Terry. He renovated the building that became MessageMakers’ headquarters. During that period, Terry facilitated creative forums that spawned the vision for what has become Old Town—a shift from its former rough-and-tumble image. One day, in an interview, Terry used the term “Old Town” for the first time—coining the term that would help to change the future of North Lansing. MessageMakers served as the PR force behind this revitalization effort, and MICA developed festivals (such as regional favorites Lansing JazzFest and Old Town BluesFest) that helped to change Old Town’s image.
Terry has received awards including:
- 2011 Greater Lansing Catalyst for Change-Individual Award
- 2011 Michigan 50 Companies to Watch
- 2008 Outstanding Small Business Award, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
- A special tribute from Governor Granholm and the State of Michigan in 2003, recognizing him as someone who “...possesses social awareness and civic pride ... and has worked diligently to help guide Old Town along the road to revitalization ... and is precisely the type of citizen that this city and country needs.”
- 1999 Small Business Advocate of the Year Award, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
He has also served on the board of directors of the Old Town Commercial Association, the Principal Shopping District, and Lansing’s Rotary Club. In his free time, he participates in The CEO Group.