When it comes to weddings, engagement parties, bridal showers, baby showers, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Sweet 16s, Quinceaneras, milestone anniversaries, graduations, and every other once-in-a-lifetime celebration in between, Joanie Sams has not only seen them all, she’s planned them all. That’s of course when she’s not busy hosting some of the world’s most preeminent business and athletic special events, like the four-and-a-half years she spent preparing and executing the hospitality for the 2012 Ryder Cup.
One of the handful of staff that has been with The Townsend Hotel since practically its inception, Sams, the property’s director of catering, has earned a reputation across the last 25 years for creating some of the most exquisite banquet settings in one of Michigan’s premier special event destinations. She also is well-known for her ability to “make it work”…if a client has dreamt it, Sams has made it a reality (in some cases that has even included flying out of state for a very specific hot dog tasting!).
A graduate of Central Michigan University and career-long hospitality industry veteran, Sams would remind anyone seeking her career advice that you are never too old to learn. And when asked what has made her so successful in her career to date? “I am passionate about the hotel and our clients. I take the time to listen. And most importantly, I love what I do.” It’s likely that her thousands of clients from across the decades would agree.
Sams is a Detroit-area native and resides in West Bloomfield, Mich.