Laura Klein is the tea director at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich., a position she has held since September 2006.
In her role, Klein coordinates all aspects of The Townsend’s renowned afternoon tea service. Choosing the menu of finger sandwiches, desserts and pastries, supervising guest services and taking reservations are only a few of her many responsibilities that ensure a remarkable
afternoon tea experience.
A veteran of the hospitality business for over 20 years, Klein has served at a number of hotels, most notably the Novi Hilton. During her time at The Hilton, she worked as the restaurant, bar and room service manager before being named director of outlets. Klein
joined The Townsend Hotel in 1999 as an assistant manager at Rugby
Grille. Within three months, she was promoted to senior assistant manager, at which time Rugby Grille was awarded “Restaurant of the Year” by Hour Magazine. After the hotel’s expansion in 2000, Klein accepted a position as banquet captain in the hotel’s catering division.
Klein is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s of Science degree.
Kitty Adler is a senior sales manager at The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Michigan.
In her role, Adler is responsible for booking corporate group business for clients including automotive suppliers, government, pharmaceutical, third party planners, retailers, media, technology and the Preferred Hotel Group.
Seasoned in the sales and catering profession, she has worked within all sectors of the market including corporate, entertainment, sports, social and association. Adler joined The Townsend Hotel in 1987 on the pre-opening team, where she worked on grassroots efforts to develop the marketing and sales procedures, operating systems and service standards. After working in both room and catering sales for Marriott inTexas and serving as a director of catering for Pine Lake Country Club and MacRay Harbor, Adler rejoined The Townsend Hotel in 2004.
Adler volunteers her time to fundraising projects at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic School and is a Leadership Oakland Graduate serving on the committee for the Junior Leadership program. She is a member of the German American Chamber of Commerce (GACCMI) and a Leadership Oakland alum.
Adler is a graduate of Central Michigan University.
Jason McGrew, director of engineering at The Townsend Hotel in
Birmingham, Mich., manages the maintenance and upkeep of the hotel’s
physical assets as well as the building’s utility usage and
Before joining the Townsend in 2003, McGrew was facility manager
of a large private estate in Orchard Lake, Mich. During that time,
he was responsible for the care of a 15-acre manicured property as
well as a 10,000 square-foot home.
Prior to his employment with the private estate, McGrew worked
for Marriott International in a variety of engineering capacities.
He began his career as a shift engineer with the Marriott Hotel in
Southfield, Mich., and was later promoted to chief engineer for the
Residence Inn of Southfield, Mich. His final position with Marriott
was as assistant chief engineer for the Southfield properties, where
he assisted in the management of engineering departments of a
Residence Inn, a Courtyard and a full-service Marriott.
McGrew is a 2002 graduate of Wayne State University located in
Detroit, Mich., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business
administration. He also received training in heating and cooling
systems from Henry
Ford Community College, in Dearborn Mich. McGrew holds a
Certified Engineering Operations Executive (CEOE) designation from
the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging
A Michigan native, he resides in Dearborn, Mich.
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 how meaningful a role dessert can play in life’s most significant milestones. He says, “I love watching our customers’ faces light up after biting into one of our pastries. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to create the wedding cake of a bride’s dream, or a rich, unique torte that becomes the centerpiece of a special banquet.”
As executive pastry chef, Brockenshire is responsible for menu design of The Townsend Bakery and specialty pastry creation, as well as oversight of all bakery items for The Townsend Hotel’s Rugby Grille, Afternoon Tea, catering and banquet departments. He is a graduate of Oakland County Community College with an associate’s degree in culinary arts.
Tracy Fashing is the director of sales and marketing for The Townsend Hotel in Birmingham, Mich. In this position, Fashing provides leadership and direction for the sales team, and oversees marketing and sales initiatives, including all Internet sales and marketing functions.
Fashing has been with The Townsend Hotel for over ten years and brings nearly twenty years of exceptional experience in the sales and hospitality industry to her role.
Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel, Fashing worked as the senior sales manager for the Troy Marriott Hotel in Troy, Mich. Her efforts there resulted in a transition from franchised operation to corporate management. In addition to the Troy Marriott, Fashing worked in Marriott Hotels in Michigan and Ohio, holding several positions that included sales coordinator, guest service manager, executive meeting manager, sales manager and senior sales manager. Fashing began her hospitality career with a coveted internship at the Michigan-based National Sales Office of Marriott International serving Ford, Dow Chemical, United Technologies and other key accounts.
In addition to her work at the hotel, Fashing also makes time to support her local community. She serves as a board director for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber and also is a director on the board of the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit. During her time on the board of directors for the Michigan Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, Fashing served as the co-chair for the Camp-Catch-A-Rainbow program – a day camp for children with cancer sponsored by the American Cancer Society.
Fashing holds a degree in Commercial Recreation and Business Administration from Central Michigan University. A native of southeast Michigan, she has been a resident of Pleasant Ridge for the past twelve years.