Angela Trainor – The Corner Manager

- filed under Meet The Staff.

Executive PortraitAngela Trainor, 29, has joined The Townsend Hotel as manager of its nightlife hot spot, The Corner.  Trainor’s responsibilities include oversight of all promotions, events, staff, menus and customer experiences, as well as day-to-day operational management of the intimate bar and lounge.

Prior to her role at The Corner, Trainor most recently tended bar at Rockwells Republic in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Before that, she spent nearly five years as beverage manager for Louis Benton Steakhouse, also in Grand Rapids.

A Troy, Mich. resident, Trainor, who was born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in several areas throughout Michigan, attended Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant.

Shari Sako-Bojan – Director of Banquet Operations

- filed under Meet The Staff.

Executive PortraitShari Sako-Bojan joined The Townsend Hotel team as director of banquet operations in early 2013.  In this role, she is responsible for managing the wedding, meeting and catering events of the hotel.

A hospitality industry veteran, Sako-Bojan joined The Townsend from her role as club house manager with Great Oaks Country Club in Rochester, Mich.  Additionally, her career includes food and beverage management roles with such notable Michigan hotels as The Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn and the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, as well as with prestigious local country clubs including Shenandoah in West Bloomfield and Franklin Hills in Farmington Hills.

Sako-Bojan, a Royal Oak, Mich. resident, attended Eastern Michigan University studying communications.  She is a member of Club Managers Association of America, and is active with the Michigan Humane Society.

Drew Sayes – Executive Chef

- filed under Meet The Staff.

500.750.IMG_7743rIn 2007, Drew Sayes, The Townsend Hotel’s executive chef since December 2012, earned the title of youngest ever executive chef with his then employer, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.  During his tenure with Ritz Carlton, Sayes’ served at various property locations throughout the U.S., including Dearborn, Mich., Marina del Rey, Calif., New Orleans, La. and Buckhead, Ga.  Just prior to joining The Townsend team, Sayes most recently served as executive chef at the prestigious Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.

So how did Sayes get so far up the “food chain” so quickly?  “Arrive early, stay late, be humble and clean!” he advises.  He also encourages young up-and-coming chefs to never take any experience for granted.  “Everything you see, touch, smell, taste and experience makes you a stronger culinarian.”

Sayes, who has had the privilege of working for some of the luxury dining industry’s best American chefs in classic foodie cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and Atlanta, brings to The Townsend a focus on local, sustainable, fresh, quality, and most importantly, approachable foods.

“Fine dining doesn’t have to mean pretentious dining,” says Sayes.  “I want diners at The Rugby Grille to fully enjoy the sights, smells and delicious tastes of our menu, not be intimidated or overwhelmed by it.  This is simple yet delectable food prepared with passion and integrity.”

A native of the metro Detroit area, Chef Sayes received his formal training at the Culinary Studies Institute located at Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Mich.  In August 2012, he became a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation.


Steven Kalczynski – Managing Director

- filed under Meet The Staff.

Executive PortraitSteven Kalczynski, now a hospitality industry veteran, didn’t know a single soul in all of Asia when he hopped a flight to spend a month there looking for work to bolster his burgeoning resume with international experience.  He ultimately landed in Shanghai, serving as resident manager of the Portman Shangri-La.  Since then, Kalczynski, who has called The Townsend Hotel home since September 2012, added professional pins to Xian, Beijing, Mumbai, Grenada, W.I., Toronto and Doha, Qatar on his world map of global experience.  Stateside, Kalczynski’s more than 30-year-career also has included property management roles in Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta, Charlotte, NC and Los Angeles.

Kalczynski’s on-the-job globetrotting taught him a valuable career lesson that he carries with him throughout his daily work at The Townsend Hotel, whether hosting a neighborhood couple for a little luxury staycation, or a foreign diplomat visiting on official business.  “After years of working in many different cultures around the world, I understand that everyone is different and needs to be treated uniquely.”

Kalczynski also finds great professional guidance in the form of Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000-hour rule.”  Gladwell surmises that the key to success in any field, to a large extent, is a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of approximately 10,000 hours.  With that in mind, Kalczynski, a results-focused executive with a proven track record in successful operations management, commits each day to maintaining The Townsend’s traditions of unparalleled customer service and four-star experiences.

Prior to embarking on a career devoted to “unprecedented graciousness and thoughtful and personalized service,” Kalczynski completed his undergraduate work at Northeastern University in Boston, and earned his M.B.A. degree in international business and marketing from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Adrienne Cousins – Business Travel Sales Manager

- filed under Meet The Staff.

500.545.AU5The Townsend Hotel, a AAA 4-Diamond luxury property known for its exceptional service and amenities, today announced the recent addition of Adrienne Cousins to its sales team in the role of business travel sales manager. Tracy Fashing, The Townsend’s director of sales and marketing, made the announcement.

As the business travel sales manager, Cousins connects with local and national businesses to establish relationships and negotiate corporate rate structures. While providing an unparalleled level of service, she also creates a welcoming environment to all clients on a consistent basis.

In her five years spent with the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., prior to joining The Townsend team, Utter added the titles Assistant Front Office Manager, Assistant Executive Housekeeper and Front Office Manager to her resume. Throughout her time with Hyatt, she received two Manager of the Quarter awards (2009 & 2011) and Manager of the Year for 2011.

“Adding Adrienne to the team further strengthens our ability to meet our clients’ needs and exceed their expectations,” said Fashing. “We are pleased to welcome her aboard and look forward to putting Adrienne’s years of hospitality industry experience to work for us and The Townsend Hotel’s clientele.”

Adrienne, a Canton, Mich. resident, graduated from Bowling Green University with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration and a specialization in Hospitality Management.

Adrienne Cousins is the Business Travel Sales Manager at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.