Laura Klein – Tea Director...

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Executive Portrait

A proper daily Afternoon Tea service is a rare find these days, so of course The Townsend Hotel chose only the most qualified and dedicated leader to orchestrate its gem of an amenity.  Laura Klein, tea director, joined The Townsend Hotel in 1999 (as an assistant manager for the award-winning Rugby Grille) and has served in her current role since 2006.

As tea director, Klein is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Afternoon Tea service – from managing reservations to selecting the menu of finger sandwiches and pastries to supervising guest service – and ensuring nothing less than a remarkable experience for every guest, every time.

Klein knows more than a few secrets to success in her line of work:  Keep the tea hot, the tea cups full and smile, smile, smile!

Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel team, Klein worked for a number of area hotels, most notably the Novi Hilton, [...]

Kitty Adler – Senior Sales Manager...

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As a member of The Townsend Hotel’s group of “Founding Fathers,” Kitty Adler has been with the property since before it even opened its doors, serving on the pre-opening team in 1987.  Adler, now senior sales manager, helped to develop and implement The Townsend’s mission statement, marketing strategy, sales procedures and service standards from the ground up.

Although for Adler, perhaps that may seem like a small professional milestone…Early in her career, at just age 25 and a “Yankee” transplant living in Texas, Adler helped to oversee the Houston Rodeo’s largest cattle auction and black-tie affair at her then-employer, Marriott.  Says Adler, “We had to have the ability to sell cattle, serve food, keep the liquor flowing, keep Reba McEntire happy and be sure the Zebu rancher earned his profits for the night – it was a tall order!”

As senior sales manager at The Townsend Hotel, Adler deals less with Zebu [...]

Jason McGrew – Director of Facilities...

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Since 1988, The Townsend Hotel has been renowned for its elegance and stateliness.  Since 2003, it has maintained that grandeur under the care and expertise of Jason McGrew, the property’s director of facilities.  Formerly known as director of engineering, McGrew manages the maintenance and upkeep of the hotel’s physical assets.  In 2014, McGrew was promoted and given the additional responsibilities of overseeing The Townsend’s housekeeping department, adding cleanliness of the property to his daily management responsibilities.

Keys to McGrew’s longevity and success with the luxury property are his passion and problem-solving abilities.  “The knowledge to solve any technical issue is out there, but the ability to get people who have that knowledge to feel as passionately about solving the problem as you do is the key,” McGrew once waxed poetic.

Prior to his role “catching issues before they become problems and solving them efficiently” at The Townsend Hotel, McGrew worked as a [...]

Taylor Brockenshire – Executive Pastry Chef...

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Executive Pastry Chef Taylor Brockenshire, who would encourage young culinary professionals, “Not to be scared to try new things,” certainly benefitted from his own advice, when in 1997, he transferred to his first ever pastry position as an entry-level baker at The Townsend Hotel.  He had spent the previous few years working as a savory cook at two Windsor, Ontario-area county clubs, and originally came to The Townsend intending to cook, not bake.  His leap of faith to “the sweet side” soon paid off, with Brockenshire being promoted to bakery sous chef in 1999, and then in 2002, earning him his current title as executive pastry chef for the award-winning luxury hotel.

Brockenshire long ago lost count of the number of wedding cakes, anniversary tortes and Valentine’s Day iced cookies that he’s prepared for Townsend guests over the years, but what sticks with him are the memories of their reactions, and [...]

Marsha Clark – Director of Human Resources...

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Executive Portrait

When asked for her best piece of professional advice, Marsha Clark responded just the way you would hope a director of human resources would.  She counseled, “People are always first – keeping to that philosophy, everything will fall into its proper place.”

Clark has been putting people first at The Townsend Hotel since 2001.  As director of human resources, she is responsible for managing the property’s employee recruitment and retention efforts, as well as safety, wages and benefits, payroll administration and employee relations.

In her years with The Townsend, Clark has been a true trailblazer.  She is credited with creating and implementing from 2003 to 2008 the hotel’s community-based vocational instruction program.  The program established The Townsend as an approved training worksite for students with disabilities from the Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills public school districts.  In addition, Clark holds the honor as the first-ever female Executive Committee Member at The Townsend Hotel.  [...]