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A Family Tradition – Stafford's Announces New Leadership

June 22,2021

Hospitality is an opportunity for us to show love and care for the people who matter most to us. Throughout the last six decades, Stafford’s has achieved that; and as one chapter ends, another begins.

Stafford’s Hospitality announces the retirement and leadership change of both Stafford Smith and Dudley Marvin.

“We are in the business to create memories for other people,” Smith states. “And we have achieved that for 60 years. It is time to hand over the keys to the next generation of owners.”

Reginald (Reg) Smith, Stafford’s eldest son, has been named the new Chairman of Stafford’s Hospitality, and he learned from the best. Starting his career at a young age, Smith has worked in nearly every capacity of the business. He will continue to lead the hotels, including the Sales Department, that have continually been awarded The Best Of Weddings Award, by The Knot for 10 consecutive years. The generational ties continue; Reg’s son & Stafford’s grandson, Stafford Andrew (Drew) Smith, the third generation of management, is currently the Rooms Manager at Stafford’s Perry Hotel.

“I look forward to continuing the family legacy of hospitality and now sharing that with my son,” Reg says.

Dudley Marvin, Stafford’s long time business partner and President of the company, is also handing over the reins.

Brian Ewbank has been named President & C.E.O. of Stafford’s Hospitality. 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, and has since worked in all aspects of food & beverage. Ewbank became a partner of Stafford’s in 2005. He will oversee all company operations including lodging, dining, sales and administration.

“I am very fortunate to have pursued a career in hospitality, while residing in northern Michigan with my wife, Jody,” Ewbank notes. “Every day is a new challenge and I know this is what I was always meant to do.”

In addition, long-time managing partner, Butch Paulsen, has been named Vice President. Paulsen began his career at a young age 46 years ago, as part of the Commercial Foods Program during high school – and he never looked back! He has held every position at the Bay View Inn and most recently was the Vice President of Facility Management. Paulsen became a managing partner in 1995. He and his wife, Shelley, reside in Petoskey

This will not be the last that you see both Stafford Smith and Dudley Marvin. While not active partners in the company, they both reside in Petoskey and will continue to offer mentorship.

“The Stafford’s brand is dedicated to providing unparalleled service and experiences,” Ewbank says. “A change in leadership simply is just that, our values remain & mission will continue to remain the same.”

“We do look forward to celebrating both of their accomplishments when the appropriate time to gather resumes,” Reg notes.

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