Stafford’s Perry Hotel
Winston Finlayson, Assistant General Manager
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. Carolyn was hired in 2009 and is the Dining Room Supervisor in the H.O. Rose Room and assists the sales office with weddings and special events.
Winston and Carolyn thoroughly enjoy working to insure the high standards of service and hospitality represented by the Stafford’s name.
Ken Porosky, Executive Chef
Chef Ken was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He was raised a catholic, attending catholic school his entire life. Furthering his education was not an option so he went into the work force. Having an Italian background on his mothers side, he was always in the kitchen and really enjoyed it. Thus his career started as a line cook – but he was determined to rise to the top. He read, studied, observed every avenue he could get his hands on to further his position. Ever since, he’s always held a position as chef.
Ken has attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) several times to take courses. He has a very extensive library with hundreds of books and has trained with chefs all over the Detroit and Saginaw area and with Cunard Cruises Ships and hotels in the Boston area.
Chef Ken has had the opportunity to serve a few presidents, British Prime Ministers, middle eastern royalty, sports teams, flight venues as well as Fortune 500 Executive from all over the world. Prior to joining Stafford’s Perry Hotel in May 2013 as Executive Chef, Ken held positions at Win Schulers – Ann Arbor, Leather Bottle Inn, Southfield Athletic Club, Dearborn Country Club, Kiernans Steak House, Bavarian Inn Hotel and Apple Mountain Resort.
Chef enjoys spending time with his wife, Colleen. They met on the job years ago, and he still says meeting her was the best thing to ever happen.
Eddie Koehler, Noggin Room Manager
Eddie grew up in Wolverine, Michigan. He is a 1978 graduate of the American Institue of Schools in Chicago.
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, Sales Manager
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 Sales Manager and is responsible for executing weddings, groups, meetings, special events and more. She loves to plan, organize and execute. 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.
In her spare time, Angie enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, downhill skiing and spending time with her husband Matt and children, Cassidy and Cole at their family cottage on Mullet Lake.
Rick Thompson, Front Desk Manager
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 rids and getting into his car for a long drive. He has a fairly extensive coin collection and is a car enthusiast.
Debbie Norris, Sales Associate
Debbie has lived in Harbor Springs for most of her life and graduated from Harbor Springs High School in 1972. Her and her husband Carl lived Virginia for a brief 2 ½ years and decided there was no place like Michigan, so they moved back to Harbor Springs.
She began working for Stafford’s Perry Hotel in 1994 as the H.O. Rose Room Supervisor, and held that position for 6 years. She then became an assistant/support to the General Manager, Chef and Food and Beverage department. Debbie took a few years off and moved to the Dominican Republic with her family and worked at a missionary training institute for one year. When she came back to Harbor Springs, she moved into the Sales Department as Sales Associate booking meetings, weddings and special events.
Debbie loves her job. As she says, “It’s never the same, I meet so many wonderful people and get to plan many memorable events.”
In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her 3 children who live across the country. She enjoys reading, down hill skiing, snowshoeing, kayaking, and actively volunteers in the local communities.
Evan Chestnutt, Event Services Manager
Evan was born in Kailua, Hawaii. Moved to Reno, Nevada, where her brother was born and then onto San Diego, California, which became “home”.
Evan and her brother grew up playing sports and following in their parents foot-steps of living an active and busy lifestyle. Her brother plays ice hockey for the National and American hockey league – hence her love for ice hockey! Evan grew up skating with a synchronized ice-skating team and playing volleyball. Her love of volleyball has continued to grow; she still plays and has had a couple opportunities to coach.
John accepted a job offer to work for Honeywell in Boyne City in October 2013. Evan and her parents came to visit for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2013 and John proposed on the boat dock in downtown Petoskey. Evan moved to Petoskey on New Years 2014 and began working part-time with a local wedding designer, Tableau Events, as well as part-time with the YMCA of Northern Michigan. She quickly fell in love with the community and all it has to offer to locals and tourists alike.
She joined the Stafford’s Sales Department in March 2015 and is thrilled for the opportunity to help brides and grooms bring their special day to life! She enjoys watching sports (especially hockey), cooking, trying new restaurants, beer & wine tasting, crafts, snowboarding and loves the seasons up North!