Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant
Jeff Sprecksell, General Manager
Jeff grew up in Lapeer, Michigan. He graduated from Lapeer East High School in 1992. He studied Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management at Michigan State University.
Jeff grew up working in the hospitality industry since the age of 12. While in college, he completed his first internship at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs. He was hired by Dudley Marvin and admired his passion for hospitality, the local business community and for northern Michigan.
After completing college, Jeff worked for Paragon Restaurant’s in Lansing, Detroit, and Cleveland for about three years. He still remembered his first internship and always wanted to work and live in northwestern Michigan. Jeff applied for a position with Stafford’s in 1999 and arrived back with a smile and determination. He was hired by Brian Ewbank and worked under him as his assistant for about three years until being promoted to general manager.
He has been an active member of the Charlevoix Area Chamber of Commerce, serving as Vice-Chairman, is a current board member of Stafford’s Hospitality Inc., and a proud member of the Charlevoix Lions Club.
Jeff loves northern Michigan, especially his Norman Rockwell town of Charlevoix. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his two children, Acacia and Grayce.
Rob LeFurge, Executive Chef
Rob was born and raised in Lansing, Michigan and graduated from Capital High School in 1987. At the age of 16, he started working at Kewpees Hamburgers in Lansing. He worked there for one year and got a job at Jims Tiffany Place in Lansing as a pantry cook and worked up to sous chef over a six year period.
After, he moved as executive chef to a new fine dining restaurant in Okemos - The Golden Rose. He was there for 14 years and entered many competitions with the Golden Rose. He put seven 1st place awards on there wall and opened three restaurants with the Golden Rose.
He also worked for Double JJ Resorts as Executive Chef for a few years. After leaving, he received a call from David Marvin who found him through Snelling Group. He then came and interviewed with Gerald Gramzay, David Marvin and Jeff Sprecksell. The rest is a love story because he loves northern Michigan and Stafford’s.
In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and spending time with his wife Kerri and two daughters, Kristen and Brianna.
Tim May, Dining Room Manager
Tim is a resident of Charlevoix. He graduated from Charlevoix High School in 1982 and attended Michigan State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Art in Telecommunications.
He started working for Stafford’s Perry Hotel in 1989 and helped to open the Noggin Room as Bar Manager. He also assisted with the famous ‘Hall of Foam’ - a round the world tour of beers.
Tim currently serves as the Dining Room Manager at Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant. He received his first level Sommelier in the fall of 2009, and has extensive training in beer and spirits.
He enjoys spending time with his wife of 20 years and his two daughters (who also work for Stafford’s)! He has also been actively involved the Boy Scouts for 25 years.
Jennifer Donker, Banquet Coordinator
Many would say that when Stafford's purchased the Weathervane Restaurant, Jennifer came with it! She started working there in 1984 as a dishwasher. At that time, the restaurant was called Riccardi’s, an Italian Restaurant. Shortly after starting, she moved to the dining room to bus and serve tables. As Jennifer says, “I rocked that dining room!”
When Stafford’s took over the Weathervane in 1988, Jennifer stayed on and has since worn many different hats.
Today, she is the event coordinator. She not only helps out in the dining room, but also plans special events for guests of the Weathervane and handles many other day-to-day duties. She enjoys the hospitality business, as "no day is ever the same." Together with Jeff, Tim and Chef Rob - the 4 of them make up the management team of Stafford’s Weathervane, where memories are made.
In her spare time, she enjoys finding interesting things to read to her family and spending time with her husband Mark and two sons, John and Max.