Meet Our Agents
James L. Garrow, Realtor/Owner/Broker
After graduation from CMU in 1993, James went straight to work for his families Real Estate firm in the greater Genesee County area. By 1998, James had earned his Broker’s License, relocated to Elk Rapids and opened the doors of Bayside Real Estate. With over twenty years experience as a Realtor and Broker, James has vast knowledge of the real estate market. Community connections are important to James. He volunteers as an active member of the Alden Men’s Club, is a co-chair of the Kalkaska Housing Committee and continuously supports STAA, area schools and other local non-profits.
Bob Bailey, Realtor
Licensed since 1973 and a former independent Broker, Bob specializes in working with buyers and is an excellent negotiator. Bob is a past member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for Clearwater Township, and continues to stay informed of activities affecting the enjoyment of the lakes and township issues. Bob enjoys living in the Torch Lake area, where he can hike, ski, kayak and fish in his free time.
Kevin Ball, Realtor
Kevin is a life long resident of Elk Rapids, where he lives with his wife, Charlotte, and their three children. Kevin is active in the community, serving on the Elk Rapids and Milton Township fire departments for a combined twenty three year career. He is currently a Lieutenant and Extrication Officer with Milton Township department. When Kevin is not putting out fires, he is a sports enthusiast. Whether he is watching, playing or teaching others, Kevin loves the competitive nature and thrill that comes from a big win. Kevin has over ten years of experience coaching youth sports, including three years with the Elk Rapids Girls Varsity Basketball Team. He is currently the Elk Rapids JV Boys Basketball coach. His work ethic and integrity are valued by sellers and buyers alike.
Rollene Girdley, Realtor, Associate Broker
Rollene became a licensed Realtor in the early 70’s in Clarkston, Michigan. Learning her trade at a time when Clarkston was just beginning to grow, Rollene developed a great knowledge and understanding of Real Estate. After relocating to Northern Michigan, Rollene brought her years of Real Estate sales experience to the team at Bayside. Though Rollene has seen many changes in the market throughout her years in Real Estate, one thing remains constant, her clients are her top priority.
Karen Mackenzie, Realtor
Karen joined the Bayside Team in 2015. She originally obtained her Real Estate Sales License in 1988. Her career path took a detour as she pursued a degree as a Legal Assistant and worked in that capacity for 14 years. Karen was also a co-owner of a skilled trades business for a number of years. Born and raised in Pittsburgh (and still an avid Steelers fan), Karen moved to Northern Michigan in 1985. She raised four children in Kalkaska County on the beautiful Rapid River, and feels fortunate that all of her children remain in the area. In her spare time, Karen enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren. In addition to real estate sales, Karen concentrates a large portion of her time on property management.
Jason Merchant, Realtor
Jason Merchant was born and raised in Antrim County. As a young boy, Jason learned the importance of hard work and strong family values by working in his families cherry orchards. After graduating from Elk Rapids High School, Jason went on to marry his high school sweetheart, Mary. Together, they have two children and a successful lawn care and snow removal business. As an avid outdoorsman. Jason stays involved in the whitetail community by volunteering his time and talents to various causes. As a Commemorative Bucks of Michigan certified measurer, Jason has built a vast network of hunting enthusiasts and landowners throughout Michigan. Jason also enjoys coaching softball and basketball. He has coached his daughter’s softball team to two championships, and is serving president of Elk Rapids Little League. Jason has found success in business, coaching and family life by staying focused and committed. He looks forward to bringing that same level of excellence to his Real Estate career.
Mary Merchant, Realtor
Mary has spent most of her life in the greater Elk Rapids area, her love and loyalty to the area runs deep. Mary started working in the service industry at 15, where she developed a love for working with people. After graduating from Elk Rapids High School, Mary attended Grand Valley State University, earning a Bachelors of Science degree in liberal studies. After graduating from GVSU, Mary returned to Elk Rapids, where she immediately began working in management. Mary and her husband Jason have been married for 18 years and have two children. Together, they own and operate a successful lawn care and snow removal business. The combination of Mary’s experience in public relations and customer care, coupled with her love of the area, make her the perfect Realtor for all of your Real Estate needs.
Melanie began her Real Estate career in Genesee County at a small brokerage firm. She quickly earned the attention of several large brokerages and continued her training working for a national franchise. Melanie earned many sales awards both locally and nationally, as well as gaining her Sellers Representative Designation. Melanie enjoyed working as a Children’s Miracle Agent and with each sale, donated generously to the Children’s Miracle Network. When Melanie made the decision to move to Northern Michigan, she knew she wanted to work for a broker that shared her ideals of commitment and integrity to clients, so Bayside was a natural fit. Working in Real Estate allows Melanie to couple her passion for marketing and her strong work ethic into providing her clients the best approach to buying or selling property. Melanie looks forward to enjoying all that Northern Michigan has to offer, especially fishing the fabulous lakes.
Alyssa Stephenson, Realtor
Alyssa is a graduate of Elk Rapids High School. After furthering her education at Central Michigan University and the University of Michigan, her love of Northern Michigan brought her home. Alyssa’s family owned and operated a popular business in Downtown Alden for over 20 years. It was there that Alyssa honed her customer service skills and developed a passion for helping people. Alyssa enjoys volunteering at the Northwood’s Animal Coalition, she fosters pets and helps place them with families. Alyssa’s knowledge and love for the area, combined with her customer service experience and family oriented mindset, make her the perfect Real Estate agent for you and your family.
Tera Garrow, Office Manager & Transaction Coordinator
After helping her husband, James, establish Bayside Real Estate in 1998, Tera became a licensed Real Estate Agent. During that time, she also co-owned and operated The Dance Center. She was an associate teacher at their Traverse City and Kalkaska locations, as well as co-founder of The Dance Center Youth Ensemble and DC Dance Team. Tera stays active in the community by volunteering at her son’s school, where she is secretary of the PTO, and for events such as The Father Fred Foundation Cigar Dinner and Art Rapids.