Tracy Fashing, The Townsend Hotel’s director of sales and marketing, began her hospitality career with a coveted internship at the Michigan-based National Sales Office of Marriott International. It was that internship, and the mentoring from supervisor Bill Underdown, that Fashing credits as her defining career moment, sending her forth on a path that ultimately would lead her to the luxury hotel where she’s now worked for more than a decade.
As director, Fashing provides leadership and direction for the property’s sales team, and oversees all marketing and sales functions. To “pay it forward,” Fashing makes it a priority to regularly mentor her own young sales interns, a full-circle moment which she describes as, “rewarding and invigorating.” And what one piece of advice does Fashing always share? Two simple words…“ask questions.”
Fashing has nearly 20 years of experience in the sales and hospitality industry. Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel, she worked as the senior sales manager for the Troy Marriott Hotel in Troy, Mich., where her efforts 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, a native of southeast Michigan and long-time resident of Pleasant Ridge, serves on the board of directors for the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit. She holds a degree in Commercial Recreation and Business Administration from Central Michigan University.
When asked for her best piece of professional advice, Marsha Clark responded just the way you would hope a director of human resources would. She counseled, “People are always first – keeping to that philosophy, everything will fall into its proper place.”
Clark has been putting people first at The Townsend Hotel since 2001. As director of human resources, she is responsible for managing the property’s employee recruitment and retention efforts, as well as safety, wages and benefits, payroll administration and employee relations.
In her years with The Townsend, Clark has been a true trailblazer. She is credited with creating and implementing from 2003 to 2008 the hotel’s community-based vocational instruction program. The program established The Townsend as an approved training worksite for students with disabilities from the Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills public school districts. In addition, Clark holds the honor as the first-ever female Executive Committee Member at The Townsend Hotel. Also, Clark’s benefit expertise, in combination with financial management, has resulted in The Townsend Hotel being named a “Health Care TrendBender” for three consecutive years.
Committed to the principle of life-long learning, Clark challenges herself to learn something new every day. A resident of Grand Blanc, Mich., she volunteers as a Patient Visitor at Genesys Regional Medical Center and has educational affiliations with Central and Eastern Michigan Universities. Clark is a professional member of the Society of Human Resources Management. She received a human resource generalist certification from the American Society of Employers.
Steve Roth has been the CFO of The Townsend Hotel since September 1999. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from Auburn University in 1990, Steve earned his CPA certificate and spent 9 years in public accounting before joining The Townsend. Steve started his public accounting career in a small accounting firm outside Atlanta, Georgia. After 4 years, Steve moved his family to Michigan and started working for the large local firm of Kleiman, Carney & Greenbaum. The Townsend Hotel became Steve’s client at KCG, and for three years he handled special projects for the hotel’s owners and prepared all of the entities tax returns.
Steve manages all aspects of the financial side of the hotel’s operation. These duties include financial reporting, budgeting, cash management, financial analysis, labor/expense controls, contract negotiations, cash collection and cash disbursement.
In addition to the financial aspects, Steve also oversees the IT functionality of the hotel. This includes ensuring that the hotel’s PMS, POS, Website, Delphi and Office programs are supported and updated. Steve also maintains the hotel’s network, servers and hardware to ensure optimum operational output.
Finally, Steve is a key element of the hotel’s executive management team that provides leadership, direction and business strategies for the hotel, owners and its employees.
When Steve is not working, he is actively involved in the Canton Soccer Club. Steve is currently
the Treasurer of the Canton Cup, a soccer tournament that hosts over 700 soccer teams over
the Memorial Day weekend. He enjoys coaching his two sons’ soccer teams, skiing during the
winter months and boating during the summer.
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.