#PeopleOfStaffords is a new blog series featuring employees from our 7 Landmark Locations. We will feature one individual, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at the people leading our day-to-day operations.
- Tell us, David, how did you end up in northern Michigan? I grew up here! I was a 1993 graduate of Harbor Springs High School, went off to obtain my degree at Albion College, and returned to the Perry Hotel in the summer of 1995 for a summer internship and fell in love with the Hotel. I followed that up with another internship in South Carolina and fell in love with the industry! It was then I realized Hospitality was my passion and I was meant to be here. I am very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work in various departments, and so many wonderful people over the years. I couldn’t imagine living or working anyplace else!
- What do you do for Stafford’s Hospitality? I serve in the capacity of Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and have been an operating partner since 2005.
- What do you love about your job? Every day is a different adventure! I love our people, our places, and the stories we share. I love our guests! I love the fact that that every one of our team members has the ability to make a difference, and has the opportunity to brighten a day. I love that our people want to work and want to take care of other people – that’s what it’s all about!
- In your “free time” what do you do? Spend time with my wife Audrey and our four kids, Reese, Devin, Kendal and Jayden. When we aren’t working, we spend most of our time with the kids – camping, scouting, sports and boating.
- How would you describe northern Michigan to our guests? Our Northern Michigan is one of the best places ever! Water, Nature, History, Shopping, Dining, Hotels and True Hospitality! If you can dream it, we can probably make it happen. Whether you can visit for a day, a weekend, a month, or forever, it’s worth the trip, and Stafford’s will be happy to help you!
- Favorite memory of working for Stafford’s? There are so many, it’s tough to choose. Most of them undoubtedly have to do with our guests, and hearing some of their ‘first impressions’ of our properties. But I have to say, one of my favorites was the year that Fran Woods, one of our housekeepers (who started working at the Perry Hotel before I was born) was selected as the Michigan Hotel Lodging Association Housekeeper of the Year. We took two carloads down to Lansing with us for the Awards Dinner and the entire convention gave her a Standing Ovation when she received her award. I will never forget the smile on her face that day, or those from the rest of the team as the celebration continued. That was definitely one of my favorites!