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  • Beautiful photo of America's Summer Place located on Mackinac Island


Pictured left to right, President David Jurcak, Vice President of Rooms Jerry Toney, Mayor of Mackinac Island Margaret Doud, Glendon Bulgin, R.D. Musser III

The Grand Legend Award was created to honor those that have contributed to the betterment of Grand Hotel, or the Mackinac Island community, in a significant way, honoring our history and traditions, team members, and guests. This year we had the privilege to award three Grand Legend Award Winners for 2023, one to represent our past, the community, and our present here at Grand Hotel.

Margaret Kappa, Executive Hotel Consultant for Grand Hotel

Margaret Kappa was a legend in the world of hospitality. She represented the epitome of organization, efficiency, and service.

Margaret was raised in the hospitality business, first working in her family’s hotel in Wabasha, Minnesota, before graduating with Honors from Cornell University in 1944. While at Cornell, she was elected the first female President of Cornell’s Hotelmen’s Association, an accomplishment she held with great pride. Soon after graduation, with help from her mother and sisters, she purchased and successfully ran a large hotel in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Margaret’s time in the Midwest came to a close when she accepted the prestigious position as Executive Housekeeper at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She later met and married Sam Sneed’s assistant golf professional which brought her to The Greenbrier in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. While at The Greenbrier, she became Executive Housekeeper and published several books on the art of housekeeping efficiency.

After retirement, her close friend, Carleton Varney, persuaded her to take some part-time consulting jobs on projects with Dorothy Draper and Company. From her time with Carleton, she was introduced to a small little island in Northern Michigan: Mackinac Island. Margaret immediately fell in love with Mackinac Island and Grand Hotel fell in love with her.

Grand Hotel’s former owner, R.D. Musser, was so impressed with her work, he offered her seasonal employment as an Executive Hotel Consultant. Margaret gladly accepted. She could be seen every day walking the halls, inspecting every room open for cleaning. She would always say, “Follow your left hand around the room, starting with the ceiling, then down the baseboard, leaving no detail unnoticed.” She filled countless yellow legal pads with notes and always had a number two pencil behind her ear. These notes to housekeeping and maintenance were often referred to as “Margaret’s Little Projects” and maintenance had a lot of little projects.

She helped instill hundreds, if not thousands, of employees with an unwavering patience on the best ways to serve our guests. She would often say, “Never scold an employee for something they were not properly trained in.” She greeted guests in the halls, inquiring about their stay, and passed the good suggestions on to the appropriate department heads. She kept a watchful eye on the hotel’s art and antiques and would not rest until everything was in good order and in its proper place.

Margaret possessed a sharp Irish sense of humor and always knew when a quick joke or a warm smile was needed. She never missed a Sunday Mass at Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church and religiously followed the service with a wet burrito and margarita at Horn’s Bar downtown. Margaret sadly passed away while writing her autobiography entitled, “Top Sheet Down.” With her generous acts of service and intentional instruction on gracious living, she has forever raised the bar for all of us in the hospitality business.

Margaret Doud, Mayor of Mackinac Island

You just don’t get any more “Mackinac Island” than Mayor Margaret Doud. Her family arrived on Mackinac Island from Ireland in the mid-1850s and have remained an integral part of the Island to this day. Margaret was raised on Mackinac Island, but left for high school, college, and taught for two years in Petoskey, before returning as a teacher at Mackinac Island Public School. Shortly after returning to the Island, she filled a vacant seat on the City Council and, after two years, was encouraged to run for Mayor. On April 1, 1975, she was elected Mayor of Mackinac Island and has subsequently been reelected every year since. Margaret is the longest serving Mayor in the United States.

Even though Mackinac Island has a long history of strong women who were instrumental in shaping the Island’s future, there were many men not accustomed to taking orders from a woman. Margaret was unflappable. Her leadership was clear, direct, and impartial. Margaret’s father was Mayor of Mackinac in 1939-1940 and served on the City Council for 40 years. She also manages the Windermere Hotel, which has been run by the Doud Family since 1904. This long family history affords Margaret a unique perspective of the delicate balance between historic preservation and commercial growth on the Island.

How is Margaret not exhausted? In her 48 years of service, I cannot think of another person on this Island who has attended more parades, fundraisers, graduations, memorials, VIP receptions, celebrity meet and greets, political fundraisers, school events, dedications, birthday parties, and the list goes on and on. In a recent interview, Margaret was asked about retirement, telling the reporter, “She knows when to hold ‘em and she’ll know when to fold ‘em.”

Margaret has always been a true friend of Grand Hotel. She worked very closely with Grand Hotel’s former owner, R.D. Musser II, consulting and bouncing ideas back and forth about almost every aspect regarding the future of Mackinac Island. They both always referred to the Island as, “The Gem of Michigan.” When Mr. Musser passed away, Margaret commented that the Island had lost its rudder, but we feel that as long as Mayor Doud is at the helm, Mackinac Island is in safe hands.

Glendon Bulgin, waiter #1 in the Main Dining Room for 32 seasons

When we think about Grand Hotel, we don’t just think about a historic building with extravagantly decorated rooms or the countless amenities to be enjoyed. The summer memories we craft for our guests are made possible by the wonderful team members who go above and beyond to provide excellent service and hospitality.

Working at Grand Hotel is unlike any other experience, and it takes a special person to commit their life’s work to a 136-year-old hotel on a small island in Northern Michigan. This Grand Legend recipient is known for his generous spirit, dedicated work ethic, his willingness to always lend a helping hand, and his ability to foster community wherever he is.

As a man of faith, his presence at Sudbury Baptist Church and throughout the Moore Park/Orange community in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has made him a public figure, extending all the way to Mackinac Island and throughout the world with his daily morning tea devotionals. When he first arrived on Mackinac Island, he made a point to get involved with Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church to encourage young people in the faith and support Islanders and employees all over Mackinaw City. Despite working long hours, rising before dawn for his morning breakfast shift and leaving after his evening dinner shift, he still found a way to lead worship services every Wednesday night.

During his first season at Grand Hotel, he worked as a server in the Main Dining Room in Section #1 and has remained there for the last 32 seasons. Glendon Bulgin, known affectionately as “Brother B,” is a well-known and well-loved member of the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island communities. When Glendon enters a room, you are immediately welcomed by his warmth, kindness, and infectious smile. It is impossible to have a bad day when Glendon is in the room. He leads by example, his loyalty knows no bounds, but, most importantly, he encourages us to be the best versions of ourselves.

Glendon is a family man, devoted to his wife, Ivy, their two children, Glendon and Patrice, and four grandchildren. When we asked his wife to describe him, she simply said, “What you see is what you get.” His compassionate heart and unwavering strength of character has not only identified him as a fixture of Grand Hotel and recipient of the most hugs, but as a man we can truly call legendary. Glendon is not just a team member; his life and legacy are woven into the fabric that makes Grand Hotel the place we look forward to returning to year after year. Glendon said it best, “Returning each season is always one big family affair! We are all family at Grand Hotel!”

From all of us at Grand Hotel and the Mackinac Island community, we thank Glendon for the hard work, leadership, and dedication he has given us for 32 seasons. We hope to be blessed with 32 more seasons.

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Grand Hotel Drone over water

Limited Time Offer: Chasing Summer

Our Chasing Summer sale is back in honor of the Memorial Day holiday with new discounted dates to maximize your summer vacation at Grand Hotel. Ends May 28th. Availability is still open for Memorial Day Weekend. Book Now!