Don’t Stop Believing:
Your Journey to Innkeeping


Dan, Jen and baby Jacob Hinderer at Lamplighter B&B in fall 2017.
Dan, Jen and baby Jacob Hinderer culminated their journey to innkeeping at the start of the 2017 summer season with purchase of The Lamplighter Bed & Breakfast in Ludington. Click the photo to discover how they and the new owners of Hexagon House both realized their dreams at exactly the same time, in towns just a few miles apart.


Planning your roadmap to innkeeping

Planning is an important step toward reaching your dest-inn-ation.
To avoid unnecessary detours and breakdowns, join us in interacting with and learning from
the experienced innkeepers of the Michigan Bed & Breakfast Association.
Representing a broad range of knowledge, geography and markets,
our presenters will engage you in a fast-paced and comprehensive
journey into the wonderful world of innkeeping.


Workshop Schedule      

DATE:                    Sunday, October 28, 2018

TIME:                    10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

LOCATION:           Doubletree By Hilton Grand Rapids

Cost:                     $110 per person or $200 total for two attending as partners

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
GETTING STARTED: Introductions and Session Overview

  • Welcome and introductions
    Cathy Russell, White Swan Inn, Whitehall
  • Purpose and program outline
    Patrice Martin, Hart House B&B, Hart


  • Patrice Martin facilitates this interactive session, focused to help you identify your learning goals. What are your burning questions? What are your assumptions and beliefs about innkeeping? What does a successful B&B look like? This will help all subsequent panelists focus on presenting what is most important to you.

11 – 11:10 a.m.

11:10 a.m. – Noon
Three professional innkeepers, each representing a broad base of experience (15 years, 5 years and less than 2 years) and a range of markets (urban, small town/rural and resort town) share the stories of their journeys. The session will end with an open Q&A.

Jennifer Hinderer, Lamplighter B&B, Ludington
Steve Gibson, Kalamazoo House, Kalamazoo
Mike Venturini, Munro House, Jonesville

Noon – 12:45 p.m.
Enjoy lunch while meeting, networking and sharing stories with the presenter innkeepers of the MBBA.

12:45 – 1:15 p.m.
THE ESSENTIAL INNKEEPER: Are you up for the job?
Is there a written  job description that highlights the basic duties of innkeeping? Patrice Martin will share detailed information on the nine duties that are most important. In a peer-to-peer environment, you will explore and discuss the skills and knowledge required of innkeepers.

  • Financial and Administrative
  • Ambiance and Décor
  • Food Service
  • Customer Service
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Technology
  • Housekeeping and Maintenance
  • Human Resources
  • Lifelong Learning

1:15 – 2 p.m.
Sandy Werner of Innkeepers’ Coach, a former innkeeper and  a Quality Assurance reviewer for MBBA, will facilitate an exercise designed to help you develop your own “Innkeeper Resume.” The activity will help you identify and celebrate your own strengths as a potential innkeeper and discover where you might need to acquire additional skills or plan for outside assistance. No one can do it all.

2 – 2:10 p.m.

2:10 – 2:50 p.m.
Similar to speed dating, you’ll have the opportunity to revolve from one time-specific discussion with an experienced innkeeper to another. The “vets” will be stationed around the room, each holding signs that correspond with two of the nine basic innkeeping duties. Get your questions answered in depth and one on one.

The Speed Innkeeping Team:
Cheri Antozak, Prairieside Suites Luxury B&B, Grandville
Cindi McPherson, Bear Lake B&B, Bear Lake
Sandy White, Adventure Inn, Burtchville Twp.
Noelene Wilson, Sherwood Forest B&B, Saugatuck/Douglas
Linda Singer, MBBA

2:50 – 3:40 p.m.
For each innkeeper “duty,” there are corresponding “best practices.” The Speed Innkeeping team will reassemble as a panel of experts to discuss the “best practices” related to their basic duties topics. You will receive copies of all the “best practices” materials presented. A brief Q&A will follow each presentation.

3:40 – 4:10 p.m.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? The original three morning panelists will each share a short personal story that reflects the rewards and benefits of innkeeping, not the least of which is their pride of ownership.


For those of you staying on for the 31st annual MBBA Innkeeper Conference
(did we mention deep discounts on rates for those who attended today’s workshop?),
today was just the beginning. See you Monday morning!

This evening, Sunday, October 28, we hope you’ve planned to join us for great time networking over
“Dinner at Pietro’s.” The event is optional and at an additional cost. Advance registration is necessary.

Become an MBBA Aspiring Innkeeper Member for shadowing and mentoring opportunities
that exist only with MBBA.