Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Michelle D. Hare is a proud graduate of the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, where she majored in dance and played the violin. She earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY at Buffalo with a major in urban and public policy studies. As a Schomburg Fellow, she obtained a master’s degree in applied public affairs with a specialization in urban management, also from SUNY at Buffalo. Additionally, she completed a second bachelor’s degree, with honors, in nutrition and exercise sciences from Queens College of CUNY.
Michelle enjoys an exciting 20-year career with State Farm® that started with a summer internship at the company’s Ballston Spa, NY operations center. She first served as an auto claim representative, then transitioned into the Public Affairs Department, where she managed media, legislative and community affairs for the Western and Central NY regions. Michelle returned to auto claims in a management capacity in Rochester, NY, before relocating to New York City as an agency recruiter in the New York and New Jersey markets. Later, she moved into the Multicultural Business Development and Marketing Departments. Currently, she leads financial services brand content strategy and experiential engagements across the United States. Michelle’s many roles have afforded opportunities to share the stage with numerous celebrities, talk on the Path to Power and main stage at the Essence Festival®, produce video series, meet with legislators to discuss insurance issues, help Hispanic beauty salon owners protect their salons and even handle media relations and assist customers in Louisiana immediately following Hurricane Katrina.
Recently relocated to Atlanta, GA, Michelle is presently an adjunct dance instructor with the I Am Arts Community Partnership and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., The Links, Inc., American College of Sports Medicine and American College on Exercise. She is a current board member of the Georgia Diabetes Coalition and past board member of the New Jersey-New York Chapter of the National Sales Network and Run2Live. As a former board member of the Urban League of Rochester, she chaired its highly successful annual black-tie fundraising galas. She was also corporate sponsorship chair of the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball, as well as Media and Public Relations Sub-board Committee member for Wilson Commencement Park in Rochester, NY. Six years ago, Michelle established the Michelle D. Hare-BAVPA Legacy Scholarship Award, given to senior dance majors at her former high school.
Michelle has received special recognition from several organizations, including: The Network Journal 40 Under Forty, Rochester Business Journal Forty Under 40, Rochester Women’s Network 25 Up & Coming Businesswomen, NV Magazine Movers & Shakers, Urban League of Rochester, NY and New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
Also, Michelle was an award-winning first-ever field public affairs specialist in Western and Central New York State. As an agency recruiter, she built a legacy of opportunity and entrepreneurship for multicultural agents in metro New York and New Jersey. Most recently, Michelle received acknowledgement for industry excellence, accepting her marketing department’s first-ever national Reggie, Ex and Pro Awards for an outstanding campaign, Color Full Lives, which brought financial wellness to African American women.
Along with her devotion to fitness and nutrition, Michelle has a strong passion for the arts. She is the former principal dancer and assistant dance director of the African-American Cultural Center’s Dance and Drum Performing Troupe. While attending the State University of NY at Buffalo, Michelle was the dance captain and instructor for the University’s African Dance Troupe. Her list of live performances includes works with the Irish Classical Theatre, Buffalo Contemporary Dance and Frances Hare’s Dance Ensemble.
In 2005, Michelle co-founded, M.A.J.E.S.T.I.C. Workout, with a mission to inspire individuals to honor their bodies and reign over their lives through exercise and healthy living. Accomplished and certified in group exercise, personal training, Zumba® and Spinning®, it’s not unusual to see Michelle lead exercise, nutrition and wellness seminars at notable events, such as: the National Sales Network and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conferences, as well as community organizations and churches across the country. Last year, M.A.J.E.S.T.I.C. Workout released its second exercise video, “Ngoma Jam n’ Tone,” consisting of African-inspired workouts accompanied by live drumming. Partial proceeds benefit an Atlanta-based program that exposes Black youth to the arts.
After receiving rave reviews for her baking talents for a number of years, SheddyCakes was born in 2018. Through SheddyCakes, Michelle the cupcaketeer, lovingly creates unique cakes and cupcakes to satisfy the gourmet sweet tooth.
Finally in 2019, Michelle co-created, The Other Side of Business, a company that helps entrepreneurs cultivate the “other” skills and experiences needed to expand their business and connect with their community, including: networking, event management, board training, philanthropy, recruiting, story-telling, media training and self-care.