As part of its ongoing Silver Anniversary celebration, The Townsend Hotel is hosting a second random-drawing entry contest designed to acknowledge and reward local community volunteers. The Townsend, in an effort to recognize and thank its patrons and the community for supporting the property for the last 25 years, and in honor of all of great volunteer work done by so many area residents, is inviting anyone eligible to participate in its “Pay it Forward” volunteer recognition contest.
Eligible contestants will be entered in a random drawing to win a gift certificate for one of several Townsend Hotel experience prizes. Dubbed the “Pay it Forward” Contest, winning entrants may choose to either enjoy the prizes themselves as a “thank you” for their volunteer efforts, or pay it forward by donating the prize back to the non-profit organization for which they volunteer (to be used at a future fundraising event).
Pay It Forward Community Service
As corporate catering sales manager, Esch, 36, is responsible for establishing new relationships among the area’s business community to further grow the property’s corporate catering clientele.
Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel team, Esch most recently served as the off-premise catering sales manager for Epoch Events Catering in Novi, Mich. Prior to that, Esch spent several years in Las Vegas, where she worked as the special events operations manager for TAO Group, and before that as the special events sales manager at B&B Hospitality Group, the joint venture of Chef Mario Batali and Winemaker Joe Bastianich.
A Northville, Mich. resident, Esch also attended school in Las Vegas, earning her bachelor of science degree in hotel administration with a concentration in hospitality management from University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Esch joined the committee for The Charles A. Main M.D. Pediatric Cancer Survivor Scholarship Fund of Beaumont Children’s Hospital in 2012, and also serves as a fundraising teammate for the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life.
As the chef de cuisine at The Townsend Hotel’s Rugby Grille, Chef Andrew works closely with the Hotel’s executive chef on menu concepts, as well as ensuring consistent quality in the daily preparation of all menu items.
Chef Andrew, who joined The Townsend Hotel team in April 2013, previously served as sous chef with Sodexo in Cattletsburg, Ky. Prior to that, he spent nearly 10 years in the kitchens of various high-profile eateries throughout Chicago, including Hubbard Inn, La Tache and Bin 36.
Chef Andrew received his culinary education at the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago.
David Brown, a certified sommelier, is the manager of The Townsend Hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Rugby Grille, and the property’s in-room dining services. He also is one of the industry’s early champions of Michigan wine. In fact, Brown, who joined The Townsend in April 2013, is credited with the original development of the now quarterly Michigan Wine Guide, currently published by the state’s Grape and Wine Industry Council. He also has had more than a dozen articles published in national industry publications, including The Wine Spectator and Wine & Spirits magazine.
As manager of the award-winning Rugby Grille, Brown is responsible for overseeing the restaurant’s daily operations and guest experiences. Prior to joining The Townsend team, Brown most recently served as the marketing director for SOIF de…, a French wine distributor in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich. Since launching his career in the culinary industry in 1997, Brown has served as manager for several well-known and respected area eateries, including 220 Restaurant in Birmingham, Mich. and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Troy, Mich.
Brown, who has more than 30 years of wine and hospitality industry experience, says the best managers have working knowledge of all the various job responsibilities of a restaurant. “You need to know how to cook, serve guests, wash dishes, make a drink, prep for service…all of it,” he says. More importantly though, Brown says the secret to a long career in the culinary world is humility. “Egos kill more businesses than they build,” says Brown.
Jared Chorney, a “foodie” both professionally and personally, is The Townsend Hotel’s food and beverage director. Since winter 2013, Chorney has been responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the hotel’s food and beverage department, including the award-winning Rugby Grille, The Townsend Bakery, The Corner and the property’s banquet operations.
Prior to joining The Townsend, Chorney, a culinary industry veteran, most recently served as the general manager of food and beverage operations for the Baronette Renaissance Detroit-Novi Hotel in Novi, Mich. Prior to that, the Rhode Island native served in the same role at the Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel in Providence, R.I. Chorney also is the former proprietor of Palma Restaurant, a Mediterranean-inspired small plates bistro in New Milford, Conn.
So how does a career gastronome keep himself and The Townsend’s food and beverage program at the top of its class? “Listen to what your guests are saying to you. I have met so many people who think the way they have been doing things for 20 years is the only way…but trends change, and guests’ tastes change,” said Chorney. “You have to be flexible and willing to adapt to what your core group of customers are looking for.”
Chorney also credits his success with the ability to think like an owner. As an entrepreneur who started his own business at 21, Chorney keeps his focus on what is best for the customer and the longevity of the business.
In addition to food and wine, Chorney is a fan of travel and automobiles. He names the opportunity to meet and serve “The Galloping Gourmet” Graham Kerr, as his most memorable career moment to date!
A fan of wine, travel and automobiles, Chorney says his favorite aspect of his job with The Townsend is the opportunity to interact with the hotel’s variety of amazing guests on a daily basis.