Nicki Polan’s job truly floats her boat.
Parsonage Events’ Sara Conklin blossoms into a truly creative floral designer.
Treetops GM appreciates the hospitality industry’s alwaysinteresting challenges.
A sharp card in the “convention services” deck, this Soaring Eagle veteran plays with a winning hand.
Scott Stinebaugh is a spartan. But as an MSU student, his focus was business, not the university’s well reputed hospitality program.
“I never had any idea I would wind up in hospitality,” says Stinebaugh, director of sales and marketing for the Westin Book Cadillac in Detroit. “But I wound up in a Hilton training program right out of college. It wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but I was intrigued by it. And that was the beginning, in 1987. So I’ve been doing this for a long time.”
For Lotoya Vongrechin, a career in mechanical engineering was the perfect preparation for leadership in the events industry
You know someone is destined for a career in hospitality if she loves waiting tables.
Susan Keels, director of sales and marketing at Royal Park Hotel in Rochester, started her career as a waitress at Shield’s while studying accounting and merchandising in college. Soon she was offered a promotion to manager, and then joined Bill Robert’s highly respected group of restaurants (which includes Beverly Hills Grill).
Craig Erlich, senior vice president and general manager at George P. Johnson Experience Marketing (GPJ), got his start in a family-owned marketing company that specialized in direct mail and database management.
Jessica Brooks has lots of updates for her LinkedIn page. Now all she has to do is find the time to make them.
Brooks, vice president of operations for the Crystal Gardens Banquet Center, in Howell, was already overseeing general operations as well as advertising and marketing for five sister banquet centers when, in 2007, she launched a new offpremise catering service for the business. “I actually started that program as part of my master’s program,” says Brooks, who earned a Master of Science degree in general administration from Central Michigan University, also in 2007.
RACHEL TOROK thought she’d spend her life in the health field, not running nationally prominent companies serving the events industry.
After earning a master’s degree in exercise physiology in 1998, Torok received an offer from her brother, Todd Lloyd, to work for his company, which had evolved from a retail flower shop to specializing in wedding flowers and décor.