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Big Rapids Hotel Group Makes $25,000 Donation to the University

Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center

Jerry Scoby, vice president for Administration and Finance at Ferris State University, accepted a check for $25,000 from the Big Rapids Hotel Group. Joining Scoby (left) in the photo are (middle) Fredrick Kindel, senior vice president for American Hospitality Management, and (right) Donald Schappacher, president and CEO of AHM. AHM is the parent company of the Big Rapids Hotel Group. (Photo/Bill Bitzinger)


The new owners of the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Big Rapids were welcomed to the community with open arms by Ferris State University, and several area business and community leaders during a luncheon at the facility on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Representatives for the Big Rapids Hotel Group reciprocated with a $25,000 donation to the university. The presented check was the first installment of five unrestricted gifts from BRHG. Jerry Scoby, vice president for Administration and Finance, accepted the check and expressed appreciation for the generous donation to the university.

Tuesday’s luncheon, hosted by the university, was an opportunity to introduce Donald Schappacher, president and CEO of American Hospitality Management, Inc., and Fredrick Kindell, senior vice president of AHM, the parent company of Big Rapids Hotel Group.

The event was attended by Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba, City Manager Steve Sobers, City Commissioner Lynn Anderson, County Administrator Paul Bullock and Bill Stanek of Big Rapids Township as well as Jerome Schwind and Keith Kenney, both of Isabella Bank; Lisa Szynkowsky, of Chemical Bank; Carlleen Rose, of the Old Pioneer Store and Emporium; and Tim Zehr and Danette Doyle, of the Pioneer Group.

Also attending the luncheon were Michelle Rasmussen, of Michigan Works; Jennifer Heinzman and Randy Ostrander, from the Mecosta County Chamber of Commerce; and Connie Koepke, of the Big Rapids Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Other university representatives in attendance included David Nicol, dean of the College of Business; Jeremy Mishler, director of Alumni Relations; and Bill Bitzinger, university photographer.

Ferris’ Board of Trustees in July approved an agreement for Cheboygan, Mich.-based AHM to purchase the 118-room Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center, owned by the university since 1990.

The Big Rapids property is located on Perry Street on the west edge of the Ferris campus and next to the university-owned Katke Golf Course.

AHM, formed in 1999 and based in Cheboygan, has 25 properties in nine states, including eight in Michigan. The company is a nationwide, award-winning, hospitality management group that services limited and full-service hotels, extended stay and resort properties.