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Newly Renovated Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel And Conference Center
Adds Key Appointments to its Executive Team

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (September 2012) – The new Minneapolis Marriott Northwest (formerly the Northland Inn) today announced additions to its executive team, including a new executive chef, director of catering, events manager and event planner.

According to General Manager Mike Brunkow, the new team is helping lead the transition as the all-suite hotel moves to become a cornerstone property in the Marriott Hotels family. The hotel, located in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Park, Minn., recently completed a $24 million renovation before becoming the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest in July.

“We sought the best of the best as we built our new leadership for the hotel,” said Brunkow. “Our new executive team is second to none with depth of experience, proven success and a dedication to make the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest the best conference hotel in the Midwest.”

The new executive team is on the front line to lead the hotel as it reclaims its position as one of the most sought-after conference hotels in the region. With more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space, the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest is one of the largest meetings hotels in Minnesota. The facility hosts more than 800 events annually for local and national corporations and associations, community organizations and family events, such as weddings. The hotel has space and capabilities for handling events for up to 850 guests.
Award-winning Executive Chef Michael Harper
Leads Food and Beverage Operations

New Executive Chef Michael Harper leads all food and beverage operations, including the hotel’s conference and banqueting operations and two full-service restaurants.
Harper most recently served as executive chef at the Lexington, one of St. Paul’s oldest and most traditional restaurants. He also spent nearly a decade as corporate executive chef for Wildside Caterers, the food service provider for Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is home to the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild and annually hosts a multitude of premier sports and entertainment events. Harper has garnered numerous recognitions over the years, including being recognized as one of the top 25 chefs in the Twin Cities in 2008.


Director of Catering, Wendy Gustafson
Years of Proven Success

As director of catering, Wendy Gustafson provides leadership and guidance to the hotel’s catering and events team. Gustafson and her team are responsible for selling the hotel conference and banqueting rooms, planning corporate and association events, individual receptions, weddings and social celebrations.
She brings more than 20 years of catering experience to the position, having worked at a number of Twin Cities hotels. Most recently she served as director of catering and special events at the Sofitel Minneapolis Hotel where she led the catering department to its highest grossing revenues since the hotel’s opening in 1976.
Allen Plante, Events Manager
More than 20 Years of Experience

Allen Plante, events manager, brings more than 20 years of hotel operations experience to his position. He has managed multi-million dollar hotel operations and provided leadership that resulted in record-setting profitability and service recognition. Plante spent more than 15 years in the Radisson hotel organization, working at hotels in St. Paul and Bloomington, Minn.
As events manager, Plante has overall responsibility for the more than 800 events held annually at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, including working with clients and suppliers, overseeing staff and catering requirements, and ensuring that all events run smoothly and exceed client expectations.  

Lisa Medici, Experienced Event Planner

As event planner at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest, Lisa Medici assists clients to ensure success for the more than 800 events that take place at the hotel each year.
Medici has worked in the hospitality industry in the Twin Cities for more than 15 years, including holding management positions at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, the Medina Golf & Country Club and the Wayzata Country Club. Prior to joining the Marriott team, she worked for Unitron Hearing where she successfully coordinated more than 400 local and regional trainings, conventions and trade shows during her tenure.
About the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest
Conveniently situated at the intersection of Interstate 94 and Boone Avenue, the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest is just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. The hotel has 230 two-room and three-room suites featuring some of the most spacious guestrooms in the Upper Midwest.

Media Contact: 

Kristi Arndt, Peridot Group
Phone: 763-782-0265, Cell: 612-803-0861

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Also See: Twin Cities Hotel and Conference Center in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota Converts to Minneapolis Marriott Northwest; Completing an Extensive $24 Million Renovation for the 230-room Property, Managed by Stepstone Hospitality / July 2012

Sunrise, Florida Hotel Completes Renovation and Re-flagging, Opening as the 250-room DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Sunrise - Sawgrass Mills; The Former Crowne Plaza is Owned by Long Wharf Real Estate Partners and Managed by StepStone Hospitality / April 2012

The Northland Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Completes Exterior Renovations and Launches Second Phase of its $24 Million Renovation; Managed by StepStone Hospitality, to Become Minneapolis Marriott Northwest During Summer 2012 / January 2012

The Northland Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Managed by StepStone Hospitality, to Become Marriott Minneapolis Northwest Following a $24 Million Renovation / October 2011

Mike Brunkow Named General Manager of the Northland Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota / January 2011

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