In Holt, John Hayhoe is a community superstar

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John Hayhoe is everywhere when it comes to Holt.

From morning coffee shops to new business’ ribbon-cuttings, Hayhoe’s got a reputation for being a community man — and he’s not just in it for the title. He’s a member of the Holt Business Alliance, The Holt Kiwanis Club, and the Holt Lions Club.

“John Hayhoe will always have my vote,” owner of local business The Coffee Barrel Shawn Brenner said. “He stops in once and awhile and he’s always friendly. I will always appreciate what he does for this community because he really invests in the businesses here in the township.”

Hayhoe’s a father and grandparent, and for a long time, he served on the Holt Board of Trustees. Today, he serves as township supervisor, a role he’s only recently acquired in the past year.

A display case inside the Holt Community Center.

A display case inside the Holt Community Center.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to me,” Hayhoe said. “That’s one of the big reasons I ran for supervisor.”

The history of the Hayhoes in Holt starts in 1969 when John’s father moved to Holt to start an asphalt business. His mother worked as the secretary. When John graduated from MSU in 1980, he became the family business’ first partner. In 1990, his father retired and he took over completely.

It took him “about 10 years to finally graduate from MSU” with a degree in marketing, Hayhoe said, but he ended up happily at his dad’s business home in Holt, MI.

“I would work 60 to 70 hours at a time,” Hayhoe said. “I worked a lot with the crew, doing the dirty work. It was fun, but you can’t do that forever.”

John suffered a heart attack a “while ago now,” he said. He was 63. His daughter, Amanda (or “Mandy”), was graduating from MSU for the second time with her masters in business and told him to slow down.

“Like a lot of kids who grew up in a family business, I always though I wouldn’t end up in it,” Mandy Hayhoe said of her years immediately after college. “After I worked for a big nonprofit in Chicago, I decided that it wasn’t for me, and so I asked my dad if I could buy him out.”

Amanda "Mandy" Hayhoe at Hayhoe Asphalt. Recently, the company donated $250 to Holt High School's Prom committee, an effort that is being recorded all on Hayhoe's facebook.

Amanda “Mandy” Hayhoe at Hayhoe Asphalt. Recently, the company donated $250 to Holt High School’s Prom committee, an effort that is being recorded all on Hayhoe’s facebook.

She did, and the business has only grown since. Amanda said John still pops in every once in awhile, but it’s handy for her.

“We always know what’s going on around here,” Amanda said.

It was after Hayhoe’s official retirement that becoming township supervisor entered his radar. He knew after his father had retired that he was unhappy because he had nothing to do—so John set his sights on something he knew wouldn’t bore him: community.

He’s known best for his Facebook, which chronicles both his family and professional life ranging from the weekly podcast with Holt Superintendent, David Hornak, and posts about his grandchildren.

“I love what he does,” Brenner said. “He’s always been so good at keeping us all in the know.”

What keeps John Hayhoe going? The people, he said.

“You really can’t find another community quite like this one,” John said. “The people all care about one another and what’s going on in the world together.”

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