September marks a change of pace for Mackinac Island and we want to recognize what a great season we have had thus far. While guests of the Chippewa Hotel enjoy our location, views and amenities, we have had an overwhelming response this year about our great staff! The Chippewa Hotel and Pink Pony combined employ over approximately 200 people every year, and each staff member has contributed to creating a pleasant experience for our visitors. It is our honor to introduce some of these individuals to you!
Current Position: Chippewa Hotel Housekeeper
Number of seasons on Mackinac Island: 11
Number of seasons at the Chippewa Hotel: 10
What is your favorite thing about Mackinac Island? Lilacs. The Lilac Festival is my favorite time of year on Mackinac.
Where do you go/what do you do in the off-season? I go home to Jamaica and spend time with my family and friends.
If you could be any animal what would you be? A Lion
What is something on your bucket list? I would love to go visit the White House.
Fun fact: I love to dance!
Jason Kladiva, “Gypsy”
Current position: Night Auditor
Number of seasons working on Mackinac Island: The last 10 consecutively, but 13 total. This is my first season at the Chippewa.
What is your favorite annual event or time of year on Mackinac? Nothing beats a Mackinac autumn. The leaves, the smells, the crisp breeze—and everybody is just so darn happy!
What do you like to do when you aren’t working? I am an avid collector of original 19th century Mackinac photography. I am always on the lookout for a new piece for my collection.
Where is your favorite spot on Mackinac Island? “The Corner”, Fort and Main Streets. From there I can people watch, say hi to friends, watch freighters, grab lunch, etc. That corner is better than cable TV.
Where do you go/what do you do in the off season? I stay on the Island. I am a member of the Mackinac Island Fire Department. We do a lot of training during the winter. I also write, hike and take photographs of the Island.
If you could be any animal what would you be? One of the otters in the marina. They just seem to have a lot of fun out there.
Fun facts: I was a stunt double for Tom Wilson (Biff, Back to the Future) in the 1996 TNT miniseries “Andersonville”. I’m the guy on the high wheel bicycle in the Lilac Parade every year.
Huan Hsiang-Yu, AKA “Shawn”
Current position: Busser at Pink Pony
Number of seasons working on Mackinac Island: First season
What is your favorite thing about Mackinac Island? Everybody is really kind. Here is so beautiful and peaceful. Everywhere is without gas vehicles which makes very fresh air.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be? Warren Edward Buffet
Tell us a special memory you have had while working on Mackinac. Riding a bike around the island at midnight, and looking up at a shooting star at the highest area of the island.
What is your favorite spot on Mackinac Island? The airport. I want to be an airline pilot.
Fun fact: I was voted Favorite to Work and Pony Up Awardwith at the annual Pink Pony Awards.
Current Position: Libation consultant (AKA, Bar tender) at the Pink Pony
Number of seasons on Mackinac Island: This is my first!
What is your favorite thing about Mackinac Island? Many things- the beautiful scenery and lake views, the people who visit from all over the world, and of course the amazing island workers that I’ve become friends with.
What do you like to do when you’re not working? Any hobbies or interests? I’m an adrenaline junkie, and I like to do anything that excites me. Roller coasters are my favorite thing in the world. I’m most relaxed when going very fast. I also like to golf and be on the water.
Least favorite food? Olives, gross
Do you have a favorite quote? “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible” -Frank Zappa
Fun facts: I love working seasonally, and I’ve been doing it for 14 years. I thoroughly enjoy learning anything new. I love making people smile and laugh.
Current position: Front Desk at Lilac Tree Suites & Spa [Chippewa Hotel sister property], part time Hostess at Pink Pony
Number of seasons on Mackinac Island: First season
Tell us a special memory you have had while working on Mackinac. Even though being sick is horrible, I will always remember how every one of my coworkers came through like family!
What is something you are very proud of? Owning my own home.
What is something on your bucket list? Go to Costa Rica and volunteer at the Sloth Sanctuary.
Favorite quote? “Nothing you do can change the past. Everything you do can change the future.”
What is one of the weirdest things you have seen on Mackinac Island? While enjoying the sunset on the lakeshore, BAM! I saw a seagull eat a bat! Animal Planet live.
Current position: Pink Pony prep cook
Number of seasons working on Mackinac Island: This is my seventh year on Mackinac and sixth at the Pink Pony.
Favorite thing about Mackinac? My friends and the beauty of the island itself!
What is your favorite time of year on Mackinac? I stay on Mackinac during the winter, work for the company a bit and take time to relax after a busy season.December and January are for sure my favorite months here. The Christmas Bazaar is always great and New Years on the island is an experience you have to try for yourself!
Favorite Spot on Mackinac? The beaver dam [at Dennis O. Cawthorne Shoreline Trail]
If you could be any animal what would you be? A Macaroni Penguin
Weirdest thing you’ve seen on Mackinac: The alarming amount of dogs in strollers and children on leashes.
Current position: Cosmetologist at Lilac Tree Spa
Number of seasons working on Mackinac Island: 5
What is something on your bucket list? Ride in a hot air balloon.
What do you do in the off-season? I stay home in Cheboygan and spend time with my 3 year old son, Lincoln.
What is your favorite thing about Mackinac Island? Going for bike rides and hikes and seeing different part of the island.
Fun fact: I’m a twin!
Next time you visit the Chippewa Hotel, stop and say hello to one of these guys! We are so proud of this crew and our entire team who has worked hard to accommodate guests this year.
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