For the last six decades, Stafford’s Hospitality has provided waterfront dining and historic lodging throughout Northern Michigan. Now Stafford’s is entering a new chapter with the retirement of both Stafford Smith, the company’s founder, and Dudley Marvin, Stafford’s longtime business partner and former president of the company.
Taking over the reins is Reginald (Reg) Smith, Stafford’s eldest son, who has been named the new chairman. Starting at a young age, Reg has worked in nearly every capacity of the business and he will continue to lead the hotels. The generational ties are being extended, with Andrew Smith, Reg’s son and Stafford’s grandson, currently the rooms manager at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, representing the third generation of management.
“We are in the business to create memories for other people,” Stafford Smith says. “And we have achieved that for 60 years. It is time to hand over the keys to the next generation of owners.”
“I look forward to continuing the family legacy of hospitality and now sharing that with my son,” Reg says.
In further news, Brian Ewbank has been named president and CEO of the company. Ewbank began his career at Stafford’s in 1981, working alongside his cousin – Stafford – in catering. After completing college and managing chain restaurant Mountain Jack’s in both Detroit and Southwest Michigan, he returned to Stafford’s full-time in 1998 to manage Stafford’s Pier Restaurant. He went on to gain deep experience in all aspects of food and beverage, and he became a partner of Stafford’s in 2005. Ewbank will oversee all company operations, including lodging, dining, sales and administration.
In addition, long-time managing partner, Butch Paulsen, has been named vice president. Paulsen began his career 46 years ago, as part of the Commercial Foods Program during high school.
Stafford’s Hospitality has locations in four communities – Alanson, Charlevoix, Harbor Springs and Petoskey. The Perry Hotel, Bay View Inn and Crooked River Lodge can all accommodate group gatherings. The largest meeting space is the Rose Garden Verdana at The Perry Hotel, which as a capacity of 400 guests. Staffords.com