Meghan Melia Photography


Meet Our Wedding Event Specialists

Meet Our Wedding Event Specialists

The Townsend Wedding Way all starts in the Catering Department with Joanie Sams, Lizz Smith and Merritt Rosenthal. At the very heart of this team is the authentic desire to provide anticipatory and impeccable service, seamless planning and inspired weddings. Knowing this day in a couple's life is so very important, Joanie, Lizz and Merritt appreciate and take the calculated steps to ensure a well-orchestrated wedding experience.

Joanie Sams, Director of Catering, has been a principal element of The Townsend for 30 years. From intimate, upscale twenty-person dinner events to grand scale galas, weddings and Mitzvahs, Joanie has seen and done it all. What has been consistent in her years here is the fact that there is an unspoken culture with one goal: and that is to work together toward a grand experience for the guests.

Standing strong in her 22 years or restaurant and catering experience is Lizz Smith. Her favorite part of creating weddings is that each and every event is completely different. She encourages each Bride and Groom to exhibit their own "style and spirit" and to make their wedding uniquely their own. Lizz believes in showcasing those special moments that will help celebrate their love, joy and happiness.

Rounding out the social team is Merritt Rosenthal. Having owned and operated a wedding planning business locally for ten years has enabled her to understand the modern bride and groom. Her career started at the hotel as Concierge where she committed herself to anticipating guests needs and providing exceptional hotel experiences. She quickly found her home in catering as a Convention Services Manager and now as Social Catering Manager. Merritt knows that it is a privilege and honor to work alongside such remarkable ladies as Joanie and Lizz.

Together, the three center themselves on The Townsend Wedding Way by getting to know the client; anticipating the needs of every client; understanding each event; and whole-heartedly believing in a full-service approach.


Wedding Event Service Teams


Banquet Service Team

The finest and most memorable guest experience is at the forefront of every thought and action that the Banquet Team performs before, during and after an event. It is due to this exemplary service that guests praise, acknowledge, and remember our banquet team members by name. Dressed to impress with crisp tuxedos is only the start of their flair. Their warm smiles, kind and generous hearts and willingness to exceed guest expectations solidifies their mark at The Townsend Hotel.

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Culinary Team

At the foundation of any exceptional event is the culinary team behind its inspiring creations. It is with the talent and dedication of Executive Chef Eric Avila, Chef de Tournant Erik Funke, Banquet Chef David Herkelrath and Executive Pastry Chef Taylor Brockenshire that extraordinary tastes and memorable food experiences are imaginable at The Townsend Hotel. With over 30 years of combined industry experience, this gifted team prove their commitment to the industry and to the mastery of their skill set every day. One glint of their delectable food will leave a lasting impression of their aptitude.

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