In the luxury hospitality industry, the real stars are often those behind the scenes. One such celebrity at The Townsend Hotel is Zamira Bardhollari, the property’s assistant director of housekeeping.
In this role, Bardhollari is responsible for ensuring housekeeping standards are not only met, but exceeded, throughout the property, including guest rooms, public areas, meeting spaces and back-of-the-house quarters. Additionally, she delegates and supervises daily duties of The Townsend’s team of housekeepers, turndown and laundry attendants and housemen.
In 1998, Bardhollari arrived in the United States from Albania, where she was born and raised. In 1999, she began her career with The Townsend Hotel as a turndown attendant. By 2004, Bardhollari was made housekeeping supervisor, and in 2014, she was promoted to her current position as assistant director.
A mother of two teenage boys, Bardhollari enjoys spending her down time with family, as well as reading and sightseeing in the area. She is a graduate of Albania’s Institute of Economy with an associate’s degree in accounting.
As executive sous chef, Semak focuses much of his time and talents on managing The Townsend Hotel’s banquet kitchen. Additionally, he assists the hotel’s executive chef with the day-to-day culinary operations, including product ordering, staff scheduling and management, menu development and more. Prior to joining The Townsend team, Semak, who has been working in kitchens for more than 15 years, most recently served as sous chef at The Dearborn Inn in Dearborn, Mich.
A resident of Trenton, Mich., Semak earned his associates degree in applied sciences and culinary certificate from Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia, Mich.
Catch Joseph Heywood, The Townsend Hotel’s front office manager, if you can. A runner in every sense of the word, Heywood spends his professional and personal time on the go – whether it’s racing to exceed a guest’s expectations, dashing between team members to provide motivation and support, jogging for exercise, darting to keep up with his young son or chasing a soccer ball in his down time – Heywood is a man on the move.
Heywood’s professional sprint brought him to The Townsend Hotel in September 2014. As front office manager, he is responsible for managing, motivating, training and leading the hotel’s front office team, serving both the luxury property’s corporate and leisure clients.
Prior to joining the Townsend team, Heywood served as front office manager and executive committee member at Shore Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif. Prior to that, he worked in the front office for two other properties in the San Diego area, Hotel Indigo and Bahia Resort Hotel.
Now a resident of Birmingham, Mich., Heywood was born in Minnesota and raised in California. He is a graduate of California State University, Chico with a bachelor of science degree in resort and lodging management.
A self-described “events zealot,” Alisha Schweiger joined The Townsend Hotel team as catering sales manager in late 2013. She is responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of the property’s special events and catering contracts.
Prior to joining The Townsend Hotel, Schweiger most recently served as executive meetings manager for The Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Downtown. Prior to that, she worked with LiveNation guest services at The Fillmore, also in Detroit, and before that as an operations assistant for S.A.F.E. Management at Ford Field.
Throughout her career, Schweiger has traveled extensively throughout the world, yet admits one of her most memorable professional opportunities took place in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she worked as part of the security/event team for Super Bowl XLVI. “Event management is my passion, and to be able to contribute to an iconic American event like the Super Bowl was extraordinary,” says Schweiger.
A Michigan native and current resident of Auburn Hills, Mich., Schweiger attended Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, where she earned a bachelor of applied arts degree in Recreation, Parks and Leisure with a concentration in Commercial Recreation and Facility Management.
Outside of work, Schweiger volunteers her professional expertise, serving as the events manager for The Alyssa Nolan Foundation, a metro Detroit non-profit organization that supports and educates families affected by Eosinophillic Gastroenteritis, and other uncommon gastrointestinal diseases.