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Get to know Novi

Local travel show explores area highlights and hidden gems

Created date

March 14th, 2017
Geri Angel (left) and Tom Hollinshead interview Michigan State Representative Kathy Crawford (right) for a segment of Tom & Geri’s Travels.

Geri Angel (left) and Tom Hollinshead interview Michigan State Representative Kathy Crawford (right) for a segment of Tom & Geri’s Travels.

A retired school administrator, Geri Angel never did any television or broadcasting work in her professional life, but since moving to Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., a few years ago, she has spent much of her free time in the community’s on-site television studio. 

Geri, who once described herself as “shy and quiet” is now a familiar face on Fox Run’s in-house TV channel and can often be spotted around campus toting a video camera and interviewing neighbors and staff. 

Exploring Novi

For a couple of years now, Geri has hosted a show called Out and About, where she creates segments that give in-depth glimpses into life at Fox Run. Past episodes have profiled Fox Run’s garden club and the flower committee that arranges fresh flowers for the tables in the community’s on-site restaurant. 

For her latest project, Geri has teamed up with staff member Tom Hollinshead, a community resources coordinator in the resident life department, to produce a show that takes residents off the beaten path to explore the City of Novi and surrounding areas. 

Geri and Hollinshead share a knack for finding unusual human-interest stories, and they entertain viewers with their quirky on-air chemistry. They have given their new show the clever name Tom & Geri’s Travels.

On a recent episode, Geri and Hollinshead took a tour of the Novi Cemetery, along with special guest Michigan State Representative Kathy Crawford, to see some of the unique and obscure tombstone epitaphs. Another show gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the Michigan War Dog Memorial, a nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing the sacrifices of our nation’s four-legged warriors.

Future segments of Tom & Geri’s Travels will explore the Novi Recycling Center, Twelve Oaks Mall, Erwin Apple Orchard, the Culinary School at Schoolcraft Community College, the marching band at Catholic Central High School, and a veterinary hospital in Orion Township, with a side trip to a barn to see newborn goats and lambs. 

Entertaining and educational

“We want our show to be entertaining as well as educational,” Geri says. “Additionally, we want to form a stronger bond between our campus and the City of Novi.”

Geri and Hollinshead research film locations, discuss what to emphasize in each show, and plan how they want the episode to flow. But they don’t work off a written script. 

“We practice good listening skills and use what our guests say to carry on conversations with them,” Geri says. 

Fox Run TV Station Manager Richard Coulter says the taping of Tom & Geri’s Travels is always fun, and he enjoys producing the show. “We want to encourage residents to get out and explore the surrounding community,” he says.

Geri says she and Hollinshead appreciate feedback from their viewers. 

“It is gratifying when residents tell us they learned something or they enjoyed what we have presented,” she says. “When they ask us to do more shows, we know we are doing the right thing.”