Michael D. Shea was born and raised in Traverse City, Michigan. He graduated in 1982 from Traverse City Central High School and attended Michigan State University, graduating in 1987 with a BS degree in Ag Engineering Technology (AET). He worked in the private sector for 17 years where he was responsible for the daily operations and management of a fruit processing plant that employed over 100 employees during peak season. He also sat on the Board of Directors and acted as Secretary of the Corporation.

After years of challenges and struggles within the local cherry industry, Mike made the decision to fulfill his lifelong dream and enrolled in the police academy at Northwestern Michigan College. This chapter has since proven to be the most rewarding.  He has worked for the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office since 2005 in many roles, to include Patrol Deputy, Field Training Officer, Union Steward, Community Police Officer, Dive Rescue Team Member, Mission Investigator, Detective and Undersheriff.  Mike was awarded ‘Employee of the Year’ in 2011.  In August of 2023 Mike was appointed as Sheriff of Grand Traverse County to fulfill the remaining term of retired Sheriff Tom Bensley.  Mike believes firmly in leading by example, not only in the Sheriff’s Office but in the Community that he serves.