Mr. William D. Stafford was the first chairman of the Hotel, Restaurant & Resort Management Department at Northwood Institute. Northwood then became a university in 1993. From 1969 to 1972, Mr. Stafford shared his expertise from his years in the hospitality industry and incorporated it into the curriculum.
Mr. Stafford introduced his students to the idea of a dinner with a theme in which the students prepared special dishes and dinner festivities for leaders of the hospitality industry.
William Stafford and his contribution to the program deserve to be saluted on this special evening. Our thanks extend to Mr. Stafford for his educational direction for Northwood's program. We also want to thank Mrs. Ethel Stafford who has given us her guidance and support and shared wonderful memories with us over the years.
Bill began his career as a dish worker at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth while attending high school in 1975. He has worked his way through the organization over the last forty years to his current position as President and C.O.O. which he has held since 2000. He sits on Zehnder’s Board of Directors and chairs the Executive Committee. As President, he oversees the operations of Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth Restaurant, which has 1500 seats and is America’s largest independent family restaurant, along with Zehnder’s Splash Village Hotel & Waterpark, the Fortress 18-Hole Resort Golf Course and Zehnder’s Retail Division. Zehnder’s is a top tourist Michigan family destination and proudly serves nearly one million meals annually.
Bill received his BBA from Northwood University in 1979 and was Salutatorian of his graduating class. In 1991, he received the Northwood Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award and continues his involvement with Northwood as Chair of the Michigan Campus Board of Governors, is a Trustee of Northwood University and is a member of the Hospitality Management Advisory Board. In 2000 he received his MBA from Northwood’s DeVos Graduate School of Management. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Northwood University in 2009. Bill was Past President of St. John’s Lutheran Church and co-chaired its new Building Committee. He has served as a board member and Chair of the Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce in 2010. He is the immediate past Chairperson for the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, serving on its board for seven years.
He is active in Rotary International and has been a member of the Frankenmuth Noon Rotary Club. He and his wife Lynne are Paul Harris Fellows and are major donors to the Paul Harris Society. Bill has served as Frankenmuth Noon Club President, Assistant District Governor and as District Governor for District 6310, encompassing thirty-two clubs with nearly 1400 Rotarians. He subscribes to Rotary International’s motto of “SERVICE ABOVE SELF” in all his career and personal endeavors. In 2013, Bill was appointed by Governor Snyder to serve as a Michigan Travel Commissioner. MTC’s are composed of hospitality operators and owners who help promote tourism, advise the Governor on tourism strategies and help administer the Pure Michigan marketing campaign.
Caprese Salad Bite
A mozzarella wedge paired with a fresh grape tomato and basil, topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
A classic crispy crostini painted with an artichoke and sun dried tomato spread, garnished with a fried artichoke.
Spring Kale Cup
Cabbage and carrot salad married with soy sauce and fresh ginger, neatly settled into in a delicate kale vessel.
Arborio rice mixed with panko, shredded parmesan, and red and yellow peppers, deep fried and served with a balsamic drizzle.
Crisp Boston bibb lettuce, topped with dried cherries, oranges, fennel, red onion and shaved parmesan cheese. Salad is complemented by Dijon mustard champagne vinaigrette.
A chilled Pinot Noir sangria sorbet to serve as a mid-meal pallet cleanser
Surf and Turf Entree
A grilled tenderloin medallion served with a demi glaze; vanilla rum seared scallops served with a buerre blanc; asparagus and carrot bundle; and an apricot rice pilaf.
Chocolate mousse layered with a Melba sauce and topped with raspberries.
For dietary specific or allergy concerns, please refer to the RSVP card, or online registration website.