BEST SUPPLIER
Liz Andre-Stotz

Owner; Parsonage Events; Clarkston

On Her Role: “It’s one part manager, one part designer and one part ‘Aunt Liz.’ I run my studio with as much structure as I can in a business that is known for being chaotic and ever-evolving. The designing aspect of my business is what consumes my mind much of the time. I’m constantly looking for inspiration in art, pop culture and nature. I enjoy the process of getting to know my client’s design needs, but also getting to know them. This is when I become Aunt Liz.”

Valuable Skills: “I find my ability to work in stress - ful situations to be my most valuable skill. You can be an amazing designer and business person, but if you can’t execute the plan during most-high pres - sure situations, you’ll fail. I like to unwind after a big event with a large Diet Coke from McDonald’s and the company of my coworkers. We like to discuss the event like a game day wrap-up.”

Most Memorable Moment: “My work was published in Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, and one of my bouquets was in Martha Stewart Wedding Top 22 Most Liked on Instagram. If Martha says it’s good, I believe her.”

What Sets Her Apart: “I started my business with my family in mind. My business allows my staff and me to have the flexibility to make it to base - ball games and dance recitals. I move forward in an event with the intention of ‘wowing’ my client. I always put the designs and client experience ahead of profit. I’m not a millionaire, but I’m always proud of my business at the end of the day.”

Career Path: “I’ve enjoyed the event atmosphere for as long as I can remember. One of my first jobs in college was at Palace Sports and Entertainment where I really caught the bug. I loved the crowds, the excitement of the performances and sporting events. I knew then that I wanted to work in the events industry. I spent several years coordinat - ing the guest experience at the Detroit Institute of Arts during exhibitions, including the Splendors of Ancient Egypt and Angels of the Vatican. These experiences led me to begin my own business in event design. I am able to couple my love for action and art in one amazing career.”

Future Plans: “I want to offer custom-event struc - tures (chuppahs, arbors, stands, hanging implemen - tations, custom pieces) to my fellow designers for purchase and/or rental in the near future. I’m fortu - nate to have a husband who can build anything.”

After 36 years as director of the CVB, Peter Fitzsimons is retiring. By Shelley Levitt

In 1985, Peter Fitzsimons, a former hotel general manager, became the executive director of the newly formed Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau. He never left. In June, the 73-year-old Detroit native announced that he’d be stepping down from the role at the end of the year. 

MIM+E: When did you begin your career in hospitality?

 

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 

 

Dorothy Hecht was just 16 years old in 1937 when she waited on her first table at what was then Fischer’s Restaurant in downtown Frankenmuth, and ecstatically earned her first 25-cent tip. When she met and eventually married William “Tiny” Zehnder, whose family owned Zehnder’s Restaurant across the street, her happiness continued, and a legacy began.