The Townsend Hotel, a AAA 4-Diamond luxury property known for its exceptional service and amenities, today announced the recent addition of Jason Hawkins to its leadership team in the role of director of front office operations. The announcement was made by Peter Wilde, The Townsend’s managing director.
In his role as director of front office operations, Hawkins is responsible for management of all aspects of guest services, including front desk, reservations, bellmen, concierge and valet staff. In addition, he is the lead point of contact for all in-house guests, as well as ensuring the highest level of service for all of the hotel’s VIPs, sports teams and entertainment group guests.
Hawkins brings a variety of experience to his new role at The Townsend Hotel. Most recently, he served as task force general manager for American Hospitality Management Inc., traveling the Midwest region on several assignments, including serving as general manager at six hotels and administering task force projects at five additional properties. Prior to that, Hawkins served as front office manager for Staybridge Suites in Okemos, Mich.
“Jason exemplifies The Townsend’s commitment to exemplary guest services, and thrives on the challenge of exceeding our customers’ expectations,” said Wilde. “We are fortunate to add Jason to The Townsend team, and are confident that our guests will appreciate his dedication and attentiveness to all of their needs.”
Hawkins, a St. Clair Shores resident, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Business from Michigan State University, and currently serves as his graduating class’ liaison for the Evans Scholars of MSU.
Lizz Smith is a new addition to the sales team at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich.
Smith joined the hotel in November 2010 as one of two social catering sales managers. Her market consists of social events including weddings, bar mitzvahs, showers and non-profit functions.
As a catering sales manager, Smith meets with existing and potential clients to introduce them to the hotel, its banquet facilities and all of the possibilities for a memorable event. She is also designated the exciting task of creating the “magic” in every celebration. It is this magic and creativity that has distinguished The Townsend Hotel as the place to host an event that’s destined to be unforgettable.
Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel, she was the director of catering for the Matt Prentice Restaurant Group. With her experience in catered events ranging from 20 to 5,000 people, Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to every event. With 22 years in the industry, she knows that placing importance on the small details has a great effect on the success of the event.
According to Smith, the best part of her position is getting to know her clients and making sure that their events are a reflection of their personalities, hopes and expectations. Each celebration is a unique experience.
She previously attended Oakland County Community College with a focus on general studies.
Stephanie Ripple is new to the catering team at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich.
Ripple holds the position of catering sales manager and works with the corporate markets including hospitals, law and pharmaceutical, among others. Ripple is responsible for selling and servicing The Townsend Hotel’s banquet space. She helps ensure the each client has the “Townsend” experience that they are known for. In order to do this, she works to make sure all crucial information is communicated to the appropriate departments so that everything is properly executed.
Ripple joined The Townsend Hotel after spending two years at the Embassy Suites Chicago-Downtown</a> as the convention services manager. During her time at the Embassy, she earned the title of Manager of the first quarter 2009, which led to a Manager of the Year nomination.
Ripple has expressed that her favorite part of her new role is that no day is ever the same. She enjoys the fast-paced environment and loves having the opportunity to work with such a diverse clientele. Moreover, she feels that she has a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow at The Townsend Hotel and is excited to be a part of the team.
Ripple graduated from Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services. She served as President of Alpha Sigma Tau sorority in her junior year.
Kelly Clement is a senior sales manager at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.
In her role, Clement manages meetings, conferences and all aspects of travel for the entertainment, sports, film, media, financial and insurance sectors of the corporate market. In addition, Clement uses innovative strategies and builds relationships to expand The Townsend Hotel’s business and revenue in these markets.
Clement first joined The Townsend Hotel in 2004 as an executive assistant and social rooms coordinator, where she coordinated wedding travel arrangements for guests desiring the ultimate luxury experience.
Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel, Clement taught sixth grade at Holy Name Elementary School in Birmingham, Michigan where she instituted programs involving current events studies and stock market analysis.
Clement is a member of the Detroit Economic Club. She also actively volunteers in the Metro Detroit community for organizations including Habitat for Humanity of Detroit, New Horizons and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit.
Clement is a graduate of Michigan State University.
In her role, Zebrowski serves as the hotel’s point person and contact for celebrities, entertainers, dignitaries and VIPs requiring additional security and consideration. In addition, Zebrowski is the source of getting the impossible done for hotel guests before they arrive and long after they depart. Zebrowski also supervises the concierge and bell staff and leads vendor relations on behalf of hotel guests.
Zebrowski has developed strong working relationships with Birmingham business owners and has phenomenal knowledge of Birmingham and the surrounding areas, all of which allow her to provide guests with information and advice to make their visit memorable. She attributes much of The Townsend Hotel’s success to its ideal location in the center of it all.
Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel in 2006, Zebrowski was the Front Desk Agent at The Omni Riverfront Hotel in Detroit.
She says that the best part of her job is the interaction with people from all walks of life, and knowing that she helped in making their experience memorable.
A graduate of Michigan State University and an avid sports fan, Zebrowski can be found walking her dog Sparty or cheering on the Tigers at Comerica Park.