Say Hello To Our Team

Our Mission Statement:

“To be the best hospitality business in northern Michigan; offering exemplary service, superior quality food, beverage, and lodging while inspiring responsible community presence.

At Stafford’s, we believe in our values. We believe in treating every guest and employee as a member of our family. We believe in developing every member of our team to reach his or her fullest potential. We believe that good enough, is not good enough. You will never hear, “It’s not my job.” You will always hear, “How may I help you.”

Stafford & Janice Smith

Founders

Originally from Albion, Michigan, Stafford was born in Petoskey in the summer months of August as quite a surprise to his mother who was vacationing in the area.

Stafford is a graduate from Albion High School in 1956 and was graduated from Northwestern University School of Management with a degree in Labor Relations in 1960.

Shortly after, he purchased the Bay View Inn in April of 1961, just prior to his marriage to Janice in June. Stafford had worked several summers at the Bay View Inn (1957-1960) and made arrangements to purchase the Inn from Dr. Roy Heath in 1961 at 22 years of age.

From that time, Stafford’s Hospitality grew. The Pier Restaurant was purchased in 1970, the Weathervane Restaurant in 1986, the Perry Hotel in 1989, the Gallery in 2007 and most recently Stafford’s Crooked River Lodge in 2011.

Stafford was the Founding President of Independent Innkeepers Association which is now Select Registry and was the first recipient of its Stafford Smith Award, an award for outstanding contribution to the Association and Hospitality Industry.

In 1995, Stafford received the Hotelier of the Year from the Michigan Lodging Association.

His contributions to the local community and tourism industry include: Past President of the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce; Past President of Rotary in Petoskey; Past Chairman of West Michigan Tourist Association; Past member of the Downtown Development/Management Board; Served on the Northern Michigan Hospital Board of Directors for 20 years and the Advisory Board; and Served on the Board of Directors of Crystal Mountain Resort in Benzie County.

Stafford is the Chairman of Stafford’s Hospitality. He spends his summers in Petoskey with his wife of 51 years, Janice. Together, they have three children: Stafford Reginald Smith and wife Lori, Mary Kathryn and husband Todd, and Dean M. Smith. They enjoy spending time with their three grand children: Andrew, Jessica and Kaitlyn.

Dudley Marvin

President

Dudley graduated from Grosse Pointe High School in 1962, graduated with B.A. degree Hotel and Restaurant Business Management from Michigan State University in 1967 and served two years as a Commissioned Officer- United States Naval Reserve, 1967-69 with active duty in Vietnam and Port Hueneme, California.

He first worked for Stafford and Janice Smith at the Bay View Inn in 1964, and joined the company full time in 1970 as General Manager of The Pier Restaurant. Marvin was appointed President of Stafford’s Hospitality, Inc. in 1980; and retired from operational management in 2010. Marvin continues to function part-time in an advisory and legal capacity to the corporation.

Dudley and his wife Darlene, have three children: Dudley F. Marvin (spouse Jodie), Debra M. Burkhardt (spouse Daniel) and David P. Marvin (spouse Audrey). Dudley and Darlene seasonally look after the Pointer Boat and schedule complementary and historical cruises aboard this 68 year old vessel, located at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs. Dudley has previously been active with volunteer positions in the resort communities where Stafford’s businesses have been located, and is currently involved with Emmet County Zoning Board of Appeals, the Springvale Township Planning Committee and the Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Association. Darlene stays busy tending and loving their eight grandchildren.

Brian Ewbank

Chief Operating Officer

Brian grew up in Albion, Michigan and attended Ferris State, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. Brian’s career in hospitality began over 35 years ago, catering with Stafford in the summer seasons.

For over ten years, Brian managed Mountain Jack’s, in the Detroit area and Southwest Michigan. He rejoined Stafford’s Hospitality in 1998, managing the Weathervane Restaurant, and became General Manager at Stafford’s Pier in 2001.

In 2005, Brian entered into partnership at Stafford’s Hospitality and is currently Vice President of Food & Beverage.

He enjoys time with his three German Shepherds, reading about history and the Civil War and collecting antique firearms.

Butch Paulsen

Vice President of Purchasing

Butch was born and raised in Petoskey, Michigan. He was a 1976 graduate of Petoskey High School. He first became involved with Stafford’s Hospitality as part of the Commercial Foods program as a junior in high school. Butch never looked back; he has worked full time for Stafford’s since graduation!

He started as a dishwasher, and then expanded to cooking, catering, and commissary management. He currently is Vice President of Purchasing and Facility Management; he has also held the position of General Manager at the Bay View Inn. Butch became a Partner with Stafford’s Hospitality in 1995.

Butch met his life partner, Shelley, in 1982 while interning at the Bay View Inn. They live in Petoskey with their 2 children, Josi and Gabriel, both of whom worked for Stafford’s over the years. In his spare time, Butch enjoys sports, camping, and music.

Reginald Smith

Vice President of Hotels

Stafford R. “Reg” Smith is the eldest son of our founders, Stafford and Janice Smith. He grew up in the business at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, having worked nearly every capacity at the Inn including summer assignments while in high school and college.

Reg graduated from Cornell University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration. Following college, he worked in various hospitality management positions at Pfister Hotel, Stouffer Hotels in Chicago, White Plains, and spent a number of years with the Comisar Restaurant Group in Cincinnati, Ohio.

He met his wife, Lori, at Stafford’s Perry Hotel in 1990, and they were married in Petoskey in August 1991. Together, they worked as Innkeepers at Stafford’s Bay View Inn during the 1990s.

Reg and Lori lived outside of northern Michigan for approximately 11 years, during which time Reg again held various management positions with Charming Inns in Charleston, South Carolina, WHI Hotels and Belvedere Hotels in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Good Hospitality Services in Indiana.

Reg, Lori and their two children (Stafford A. “Drew” and Jessica), are happy to have returned to Petoskey and Stafford’s in the spring of 2008. Today, Reg fills the position of Vice President of Hotels for Stafford’s Hospitality.

DJ Flynn

C.E.C. Corporate Chef

DJ joined our team in 2016 and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in northern Michigan. Prior to joining Stafford’s, he graduated from Culinary School at Grand Rapids Community College. After graduation, he worked at Tapiwingo as Chef de’ Cuisine for 5 years, held the Executive Chef position at Bay Harbor Yacht Club, spent some time in New Orleans and most recently, was the Executive Chef at Barrel Back and Walloon Lake Inn.

Coming full circle, DJ is very happy to be “back” to the Stafford’s family. His first job at the age of 14, was a dishwasher at Stafford’s Bay View Inn. He is excited to be a part of a great team with incredible experience and hopes to continue to carry-on our long standing tradition of excellent hospitality in northern Michigan.

DJ will oversee and maintain the culinary programs at our landmark properties; Stafford’s Bay View Inn, Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Stafford’s Pier Restaurant and Stafford’s Weathervane Restaurant in Charlevoix. DJ’s take on food: Anything edible is good and our job is to make it great! When he’s not in the kitchen, you will find DJ skiing as much as he can (he was a former ski & snowboarding instructor) and enjoying the Great Lakes in the summer months.

Judy Honor

Vice President of Brand Standards

Judy grew up in Chicago and received her degree in Hotel Management at Michigan State University.Judy H

She was offered positions at some of the chain hotels, but wanted to start her career in smaller, boutique type hotels or private clubs. Her first job was assistant auditor at the LaSalle Hotel in Chicago’s financial district. She made it known to her colleagues that she was more interested in a management position in a resort. And, one day a fellow employee advised her that a position as Administrative Assistant (back in those days it was Secretary to the Manager) at the Grand Hotel was open. She applied for the position and worked for Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island for six years.

The General Manager of the Grand Hotel bought his own hotel in Harbor Springs in 1962 and asked her to be the General Manager of the Harbour Inn. She held that position until 1981 when the property was sold and was offered a position with Stafford’s Bay View Inn.

After serving in several management positions with Stafford’s Hospitality including: Innkeeper at Stafford’s Bay View Inn, General Manager at Stafford’s Perry Hotel, and Vice President of Hotels, she now enjoys her semi-retirement (only about 35 hours a week) decorating and marketing the properties. Being with young enthusiastic people keeps her young in spirit, too.

She has served on both the Harbor Springs and Petoskey Chamber of Commerce Boards, was secretary of the Little Traverse Bay Historic Society, served in several positions on the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, held board positions in the Zonta Club of Petoskey, and the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Petoskey.

Today, Judy serves as Vice President of Brand Standards.

Becky Babcock

Marketing Director

Becky grew up in Marshall, Michigan and was a 2002 graduate of Marshall High School. She attended Central Michigan University and obtained a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Integrative Public Relations with a minor in Recreation in 2007.

She fell in love with northern Michigan and the tourism industry at the young age of 19 as she spent her summers working for Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry (where she met her husband).

She began working as a Front Desk Clerk for Stafford’s Bay View Inn in the summer of 2007. Shortly after, she moved into the Marketing Department as a Marketing Assistant. She now holds the position as Marketing Director for Stafford’s Hospitality, Inc.

Becky is a 2009 graduate of Leadership Little Traverse and currently serves on the Board of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau and is a Trustee on the Board of Education for Alanson Public Schools. You will often find her with a camera in hand, she has a passion for photography and loves to capture the beauty of northern Michigan and the wonderful staff at Stafford’s.

In her spare time, she loves traveling, baking, boating, reading and spending time with her husband Greg and daughter.

Tim Dutt

Accounting Manager

Tim grew up in Benzie County before entering the Air Force in 1977.While in the Air Force he was assigned to US Air Forces Europe, Air Forces Iceland, Little Rock AFB, AR, Wurtsmith AFB, MI and Lowry AFB, CO.During this time he attended the Community College of the Air Force majoring in government accounting.Tim’s Air Force career was nearly 15 years.He was honorably discharged in 1992 after the end of Operation Desert Storm.

While stationed at Wurtsmith he met his wife Debbie and began a journey which has led them to Petoskey after leaving the Air Force. After 31 years together they have 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren.

He has worked at Stafford’s since 2007 in the Accounting Department.He assumed the Corporate Auditor position in 2009 and added the position of Accounting Supervisor in 2011.

Tim loves spending time with his wife Debbie, his children Pamela and Thomas and his grandchildren. He enjoys working with wood and building as well as hunting and fishing.

Corey Ernst

Innkeeper - Stafford's Bay View Inn

A northern Michigan native, Corey knew Petoskey would always be home. After attending North Central Michigan College and Davenport University, Corey graduated with a degree in Business Management.

He joined the Bay View Inn in 1999 as Dining Room Manager. Five years later he changed positions to Rooms Manager. Corey was named Innkeeper in 2011. As Innkeeper, Corey is in charge of daily operations including: front desk, housekeeping, maintenance, guest relations and the dining room.

Corey looks forward to being able to continue to offer guests the best hospitality services in northern Michigan. In his spare time, he enjoys golfing, fishing and spending time with his wife, Wendy.

Winston Finlayson

Assistant General Manager - Stafford's Perry Hotel

Winston’s first job in the hotel business at the age of 12 working as a part-time bellhop in the hotel his father managed. His childhood was spent in Petoskey, and growing up around hotels, until the age of 16. At that time, his father took the position of Vice-President of Operations for Win Schuler’s Restaurants, based in Marshall, Michigan. It was at the Marshall Win Schuler’s that Winston learned the fundamentals of the restaurant business, working in every position from line-cook to bartender.

In 1982, Winston was hired by Boyne USA Resorts as Dining Room Manager at Boyne Highlands. He was promoted to Assistant Hotel Manager in his first year and managed all of Boyne Highlands convention operations for the next eight years. In addition to those, duties, he managed the opening of the Country Club of Boyne and handled property management for Boyne Highlands first condominium hotel property.

His work with Boyne USA took him to Boyne Mountain Resort in the 90’s, where Winston continued to work in hotel, convention and property management. When Boyne USA became involved with the Bay Harbor development, Winston served as opening manager for the Bay Harbor Golf Club and the Inn at Bay Harbor.

Winston met his wife, Carolyn, while working together at Boyne Highlands. Winston came to work for Stafford’s Perry Hotel in the spring of 2008.

Winston thoroughly enjoys working to insure the high standards of service and hospitality represented by the Stafford’s name.

Eddie Koehler

Noggin Room Manager

Eddie grew up in Wolverine, Michigan. He is a 1978 graduate of the American Institute of Schools in Chicago.Eddie K

In 1982, Eddie moved to Phoenix, Arizona and joined Paragon Restaurant Group. Over the next 18 years, he moved through the company profiles (started as a server) and eventually became General Manager in 3 different locations throughout Phoenix Valley. In 2002, Eddie moved back to Wolverine and joined One Water Street as its General Manager.

Eddie spent time as General Manager with Big Buck Brewery in Gaylord and six years with Garfield’s Restaurant & Pub in Petoskey. In September 2011, Eddie joined the Stafford’s Hospitality family as the Noggin Room Manager.

He keeps himself pretty busy between his full time schedule in the Noggin Room and at Salon Nouveau Vous which he owns with his partner Tim. When he gets spare time, he loves to travel, boat and spend as much time possible with his niece Leslie.

Angie Whitener

Director of Sales - Stafford's Hospitality

Angie was born and raised in Iron Mountain, Michigan. After attending Grand Valley State University and graduating with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Angie fell in love with the small town of Petoskey.

She enjoys the hospitality business and has been with Stafford’s since June 2000. Meeting new and different people everyday inspired her as are the relationships she has developed with clients and guests of the hotel.

Angie currently holds the position as Director of Sales and is responsible for executing weddings, groups, meetings, special events and more. She loves to plan, organize and share in the excitement and joy of special celebrations. And since she is so fond of food, creating the menu is her favorite part of the whole process!

She is a 2002 graduate of Leadership Little Traverse, is an active member of the Downtown Petoskey Events Committee and serves on the Steering Committee for the Petoskey Chamber of Commerce Connecting Women in Business Group. She is an active board member of Circle Michigan and the Petoskey Ski Team Boosters.

In her spare time, Angie enjoys traveling, camping, downhill skiing and spending time with her husband Matt and children, Cassidy and Cole at their Bernese Mountain Dog, Luca.

Rick Thompson

Front Desk Manager - Stafford's Perry Hotel

Rick’s father was in the Air Force, and he grew up on different Air Force Bases in the United States and lived in The Phillipines for 2 years. For most of his life, he grew up in Melbourne, Florida. He moved to Michigan in June of 1994.

Rick joined our team in September of 1996 and has been behind the desk ever since! Rick is also Stafford’s “in-house artist,” and has completed many drawings found in Stafford’s logos and painted the well known “Perry Hotel” print (found in our gift shops).

In his spare time, Rick enjoys spending time with his wife Crystal, his kids and grandchildren. He also enjoys cooking, traveling, bike rides and getting into his car for a long drive. He has a fairly extensive coin collection and is a car enthusiast.

Cristen Smith

Assistant General Manager - Stafford's Pier Restaurant

Cristen attended Central Michigan University for Hospitality Management and has over 25 years of experience in various roles in the hospitality business. She has served as a manager, general manager, food & beverage director and director of operations in restaurants, hotel and family entertainment. Today, she holds the role of Assistant General Manager at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant.
She has been married to her husband, Ed, for 17 years and together they have a puppy, Paxton Isaak, who is the love of our life. In her free time, she enjoys spending time her 3 nieces and 2 nephews, and spending time with her dog. She also enjoys walking, reading, watching Bravo TV, working the yard, cooking and entertaining.

Jody Ewbank

General Manager - Stafford's Pier Restaurant

Jody grew up in suburban Detroit, and was a graduate of Lutheran High School North and also graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Psychology and Interpersonal Communications.

Jody has managed at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant since early 1999, and is active on the Chamber Board of Directors, the Harbor Springs Business Committee and various other community committees.

Rob Sargent

Executive Chef - Stafford's Pier Restaurant

Sargent joined our team in April 2016 and brings a tremendous amount of talent & expertise to the table. He attended Culinary School at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT. There, he met his wife (Maria) and they relocated to Petoskey in 2002.

Prior to joining our team, he worked at the Bay Harbor Yacht Club, held the Executive Chef position at Sage, spent time working side by side with his wife at Sweet Maria’s Confections and was the Executive Chef at Barrel Back. He is proud to be a part of our team and hopes to carry-on our long standing tradition of excellent hospitality in northern Michigan.

In his spare time, Rob likes to golf, listen to music, camp, cook (Ribeye is his favorite) and spend time with his wife Maria, their son Riley and two dogs, Ketch and Lenny.

Carol Parker

Dining Room Manager - Stafford's Pier Restaurant

Carol was born and raised in Detroit, and moved to northern Michigan in the early 1970s. She owned a music store in Petoskey, before going into real estate and property management. She then managed a golf club restaurant for 14 years and joined Stafford’s in December 2006.

Carol served as President of the Gaslight Association of Petoskey and President of the Petoskey Business and Professional Women’s Club.

A former international swimming champion, Carol still enjoys the sport, especially in Caribbean waters. Cruising, boating and travel are her primary hobbies.

Music is a lifelong passion, and Carol is now involved in the Northern Michigan Chorale. She is also a dedicated Detroit Red Wings hockey and Tiger baseball fan.

Paul Andrzejewski

General Manager - Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant

Paul grew up in the country setting of Cheboygan, Michigan and Attended Kendall College of Art and Design in the late 80’s with a concentration on Graphic Arts.

Paul has over 25 years of hospitality experience first entering the industry through part time jobs to get through college working at various establishments throughout Michigan. His hospitality background spans from small independently owned restaurants to large franchises and corporate chains. He has held numerous positions in the industry including waitstaff, bartending, catering and banquets, to bar manager and also general manager.

When he is not at the restaurant, Paul enjoys spending his free time outdoors hiking and mountain biking and also being an avid skier. He also enjoys reading and oil painting. Paul resides in Charlevoix, where he has been a resident for over 17 years.

Rob LeFurge

Executive Chef - Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant

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.

Jennifer Donker

Banquet Coordinator - Stafford's Weathervane Restaurant

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.”

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.

Joseph McCarron

Sous Chef - Noggin Room Pub

Born and raised with 5 siblings in East Lansing, MI, Joe started out at a little Italian joint named “Gino’s” which evolved over the years into the MSU legend “Crunchy’s.” USA Café and Hannah Center Ball Room were next on Joe’s journey. This concept meshed the 50’s and 60’s “Rock and Roll Diner” theme with the banquet facility. While opening diners under the Omega Management umbrella in Traverse City, Portage and Grand Rapids, Joe made the transition from the culinary area exclusively to General Manager.

Lone Star Steak House and Saloon presented an opportunity to Joe to be the Line Dance Instructor for the lower portion of Michigan, as well as simultaneously holding the General Manager position of the Farmington Hills facility. This position afforded him the enjoyment of living closer to his family, including his growing niece and nephew.

The last stop before Stafford’s Perry Hotel was a decade with Applebee’s International as a “fast track’ General Manager. Joe opened the facilities in both the Farmington, MI and the Woodhaven, MI locations. He assisted freshly-promoted General Managers with the transition into their new responsibilities. His last stop with Applebee’s landed him at the busiest Corporate Store located in Southgate, MI.

Stafford’s Perry Hotel in Petoskey was an easy choice for Joe since this is where his parents had chosen for their retirement location. Petoskey was a favorite family getaway during Joe’s childhood where the family vacationed and camped. Stafford’s has been renowned as a business steeped in tradition and is well meshed into the community. Joe now holds the position of Sous Chef and it is his goal to maintain a life balance. Working around the house, spending time with family and reading are some ways that Joe enjoys spending his spare time.

Jarod Kirby

Executive Chef, Stafford's Perry Hotel

Kirby joined our team in April of 2020. He is a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College with a degree in business administration and a graduate of Schoolcraft College of Livonia, MI with a Culinary Arts Degree.

“As a beacon of the northern Michigan hospitality industry that offers unique and eclectic dining experience, working for Stafford’s has always been a goal of mine,” Kirby said. “The care the company has for their employees and patrons speaks for volumes about their ethics and culture.”

Prior to joining our team, he has over 10 years of experience cooking professionally at local eateries including: A Matter of Taste at Tapawingo, Pour Kitchen & Bar and Seventeen, and Marais.

“We are happy to have Chef Kirby join the Stafford’s Hospitality Culinary team,” Stafford’s Corporate Chef DJ Flynn said. “We look forward to Chef Kirby continuing the long tradition of serving our guests and community and creating new innovative menus at Stafford’s Perry Hotel.”

Kirby oversees and maintains the culinary and food & beverage programs at Stafford’s Perry Hotel.