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Judy Zehnder

November 1, 2019

President of Bavarian Inn Lodge

Judy Zehnder Keller is the president and owner of the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, Michigan, which she designed and built in 1986. Now in its 4th generation of active management, the Bavarian Inn Corporation is something Judy has been a part of since childhood.

Judy attended Michigan State University where she received a B.A. in Hotel, Restaurant & Institutional Management and a M.A. in Educational Psychology (and a Ph.D. in 4 handed pinochle while at Michigan State).

Judy is married to Don Keller and resides in Frankenmuth, MI. They have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

Judy is proud of her German Heritage serving on numerous committees. As Chair Woman for the Frankenmuth Sister City Committee for 22 years, she led over 700 students with friends and family on 10 tours to Germany. In addition to her active engagement and leadership within the Frankenmuth community, Judy currently serves on the Frankenmuth DDA Board, Michigan Tourism Hospitality Committee, Michigan Hotel/Motel Board of Directors and Concordia University Ann Arbor Board of Overseers.

Judy has a long line of “firsts”: First female Frankenmuth City Council Member serving for 12 years; First female Rotary Club member in 1991 and then president in 2007-08.

Her numerous Frankenmuth, Saginaw County and State of Michigan recognitions and awards include an Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” and from Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association “Hotelier of the Year”. Judy was ranked 10th out of 200 national finalists in Start Up Nation’s Leading Mothers in Business competition. In 2012 she received from Michigan State University the prestigious “Industry LEADER of the Year” presented by The School of Hospitality Business. In 2017, she received the Child Advocate of the Year from the Great Lakes Bay Region, Child Abuse and Neglect (CAN Council). These are just a few.

Currently the Bavarian Inn Lodge & Conference Center has 360 guest rooms, meeting/banquet space for 2-500 guests, four indoor pools, two water slides, three whirlpools, an indoor 18 hole mini golf, expansive Family Fun Center with over 150 arcade games and redemption area, weekly Sunday Brunch in the poolside courtyard, two restaurants, lounges, gift shops, tennis courts, exercise facilities, and is adjacent to Heritage Park and running trails.

When asked about her profession, Judy proudly says “I fry chicken and make beds for a living”.