Friday, June 12, 2015

Nick's Notes 6.12.2015--Meet the Team at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast Inn!


Meet the Team at Abbington Green Bed and Breakfast Inn!

In my Retail Career I learned how important a team is to the success of a store. It's no different running a successful Bed and Breakfast. I knew when we began in October the priority was to find the right staff that loved this home and serving our guests as much as I do. I am so proud of the staff and friends that help at Abbington Green. They helped us achieve our #3 Ranking on Trip Advisor out of the 40 Bed and Breakfasts in Asheville. I thought is was important for you to meet them, and hear from them what they love about being here.

To accomplish this, I gave them all a short questionnaire to fill out:
1. What do you like to do outside of work?
2. Where were you born? Where were you raised?
3. Any background information that you'd like to share with our guests/readers?
4. What is your favorite thing about working at the Inn?
5. What is your favorite thing at the Inn?

Let's start with the Lady of the House.......Lady Amber Abbington
I am Lady Amber Abbington, and I love being the lady of the house.  I like chasing squirrels and doing feline control! I was born in Boca Raton, Florida. I was found on the highway...where I ran toward a friendly face in a Lexus to get rescued. (Lucky me!) My favorite thing is meeting new people and getting scraps from breakfast to eat with my dinner! My favorite thing at the Inn is my personal dog run and fire hydrant that I get to share with all of the canine guests at the Inn.



We are very fortunate to have 3 great friends that help us in their spare time. Carey Baldwin, and Ken and Ivy Olson. Carey is our talented Social Media Manager, Ken helps in the beautiful Gardens, and Ivy is multi-talented--she helps in the garden, helps me with paperwork, and makes the delicious Ivy's Jams that we serve with breakfast. 


Carey Baldwin
I love to travel and experience new places and things. I enjoy taking road trips with my husband, and am an avid reader and gardener. I was born and raised in Southeastern Michigan. My husband and I are recently back, living in the States after living in Munich, Germany for 5 years for his work. I had to leave my retail career and start fresh in a new country...and that high school French didn't help me at all! I learned to speak German and loved it when friends and family came to visit. I hoped that we would stay there, but when my husband's assignment was finished, we came back. We are now ex-expats. I have started a new career in Social Media Management and am loving it. My favorite things about the Inn are getting to work with Nick again and having the opportunity to show this beautiful home to the world.  Listening to Nick introduce Abbington Green to our guests while he gives them a tour is a favorite moment of each day. I also love all of the fun and laughter that go on in the kitchen and around the house, from the team and guests alike. It is such a happy, beautiful place. My favorite thing at the Inn? The big front porch, with the fresh air and the beautiful views of the mountain ridge, how it is decorated for every holiday, how it welcomes our guests, and I love how our 5pm Social Hour naturally moves out there when the weather permits.

Ken Olson
I enjoy gardening and bowling. I was born and raised in Framingham, Massachusetts. I always wanted to be a pilot and even got that chance a several years ago. My favorite thing about working at the Inn? All the chocolate M&Ms I can eat, cookies too! My favorite thing at the Inn are the homemade cookies and brownies.

Ivy Olson
Outside of work I like reading and hanging with friends. I was born in Queens, New York. I love Architecture, and especially old and new buildings. My favorite thing about working at the Inn is seeing the smiles on all the happy guests. My favorite thing at the Inn? The owners.
    



The first person I hired was Bradshaw Call. 
Bradshaw is my right hand person and helps with everything from Breakfast, taking Reservations, Checking in Guests, Preparing Social Hour........he is also a great baker and makes an amazing Ginger Pear Bread we serve with breakfast. He continues to learn more of what I do and we help each other get the job done and enjoy working together. I have to admit, his calm personality is a good balance for those of you that know my fast pace.

Bradshaw Call
I love to cook and look for treasure at antique stores and thrift shops. I love to perform onstage and am very active with local theatre. I was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and was raised in the small town of Morganton, North Carolina at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I studied theatre in college and was pursuing a career as an actor-I'm still very active, but consider it more of a hobby now. I'm very proud to call Asheville home. I love meeting new people and serving as an ambassador for Asheville. I think the best thing you can share between two people is laughter. There is so much joy and laughter here at Abbington Green, and you truly feel like you are part of something wonderful. I love the feeling of family and connection with this wonderful old home. It's grand and glorious--and yet, warm and welcoming.

Next hired was Michelle Malsbury. Michelle is part of our Housekeeping Team that keeps everything detailed and spotlessly clean. Those of you that worked for me in retail know that cleanliness is one of my primary focuses. It is even more a priority for us here at Abbington Green. I expect a lot from my Housekeeping Team and I'm very proud to say they live up to and exceed my expectations. They approach every day with a positive attitude.

Michelle Malsbury
I like to hike, bike, raft/canoe/kayak, spend time with my dog, work in the garden, and read/write. I was born and raised in Champaign, IL. I hold a Master's degree in Business Management with a concentration in Business Efficiency Analysis and three and a half years PhD work in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies concentration in Business Leadership. I am a four-time published author of fiction with over 4.5k articles penned on various topics. I am a top 500 reviewer for Amazon.com and transplant to Asheville, NC.
Favorite thing about working at the Inn? Walking Lady Amber Abbington and spending time with my co-workers who make working at the Inn so much more fun!  My favorite thing at the Inn is the lovely gardens that attract butterflies, squirrels, an array of birds, and the neighborhood kitties who just want a belly rub. 

Also part of the Housekeeping Team is Tina Foor and Greg Austin. Tina is the one with the eye for detail...........maybe that's part of being a Mom. Greg has his own Pet Sitting Business that many guests staying here at the Inn use for their dogs during their stay. Besides being part of the Housekeeping Staff he also helps in the kitchen with breakfast and checks in guests when needed.


Tina Foor
Outside of work? Dancing, hiking, camping, singing, water sports; anything outside or with a beat! I was born in Olympia, WA but raised and stayed here in Asheville NC. I've lived all over these mountains and valleys! I live with three my awesome daughters, ages 15, 14, and 11, my hubby of 16 years, 3 dogs, 3 cats and several fish. They keep me busy and feeling loved. I've been teaching several disciplines of dance for almost 20 years and often choreograph for local musical theater. If you visit Asheville, be sure to check out the theater scene!  Favorite thing about working at the Inn? No question. Hands down. The people I work with. We are a team. We zip around at crunch time, everyone filling gaps to help each other. Then, at lulls, you might hear us laughing or even singing! Guests can expect a greeting and genuine smile every time they walk in the door. It's something I enjoy in the morning :)  Favorite things at the Inn? The warmth and welcoming feel, the gardens (Go Steve!), the guests and hearing them laugh and connect over breakfast, eavesdropping on Nick raving about the region I love, and singing in the kitchen with Bradshaw.

Greg Austin
Outside of work, my time is consumed with my favorite things, animals.  When not pet sitting, I love to create crafts with wood.  Small to large pieces.  Let's Pawty Pet Sitting and Woodlife by Greg Austin are my websites. I was born and raised in Radford, VA where most of my family still reside.  Many years in Tampa, Florida in the Entertainment Industry led me to my husband Dennis, who after 17 years, I married in October.  A move to Asheville for a "Life Change" led us to Asheville, and Abbington Green, where we are "at home".   My favorite moment working is each morning coming in the door and everyone greeting each other, preparing for the day.  Such a warm feeling every day. My favorite thing is saying "Good Morning" and "I love and miss you" as I come and go and pass the Crepe Myrtle in the front yard dedicated to my sister.  Abbington Green is family.

Every old house has a lot of maintenance issues. We were very lucky to find a handyman, Dennis DiPalma, that can help us maintain this beautiful home. His latest project was installing the 90 new lights that highlight the beautiful gardens at Abbington Green. I try to fix things myself at times and I am getting pretty good at unclogging sinks............but I know Dennis is there to help with all the upkeep of the Historic Abbington Green. I know he loves the history and architecture of this home.

Dennis DiPalma
I enjoy biking, hiking, working in the yard.  I appreciate being outside and enjoying the mountain air.  I have always been inclined to fixing things around the house and making improvements.  This led me to hotel management, property management and now providing handyman services and remodeling. I was born and raised in Belrose, NY.  At the age of 14 our family moved to Spring Hill, FL, just an hour north of Tampa. After 17 years of loving the most wonderful person I have ever met, I was finally able to marry him. I appreciate being able to be part of maintaining the beauty, romance and glory of such a wonderful part of Asheville history. One of my favorite things about the Inn is the skill and craftsmanship of the people who created it.  Another favorite thing would be the people who have passed through the doors as owners, service people and guests. And now with Nick at the helm, his passion and attention to detail, will take her to the top and will be part of her history.

Our newest member of the Abbington Green Team is Rebecca MacIntosh. I
looked very hard to find the right person to add to the Kitchen Team to
help serve breakfast and clean up in the kitchen. Rebecca recently graduated from University and will soon be working on her Masters. She is wonderful with guests and a great addition to the team.




Rebecca MacIntosh
I like hiking, music shows, and of course, local Craft Beer. I was born in Asheville, raised in Black Mountain. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Disorders. My favorite thing about working at the Inn is the staff and all of the fun dishware and crystal. My favorite thing at the Inn is the gardens.




Then, there is Steve and I..........I dare not begin to track the number of hours we work. Owning Abbington Green is a part of our life and it is not about the hours. It is what we do and really enjoy doing. The priority is and will always be on the guest. Steve supported me in living my dream and I am very thankful for this. I could not ask for a better partner in this than Steve. His meticulousness in the Garden, matches my meticulousness in the House. We make a great team to provide the best to our guests and our staff inside and outside. 

Steve Donahue
Gardening now takes up most of my available time! I also enjoy golf, bowling and hiking. I was born in LaSalle, Illinois, where I lived for 19 years. I moved to South Florida and lived there until we bought the Inn last year. I am currently employed by the US Postal Service and have been a Letter Carrier for the past 15 years. Besides getting to do the gardening at the Inn, at the top of my list of favorite things about working at the Inn is getting to know our guests. Living in a historic home and sharing it with Nick and our guests is my favorite thing about Abbington Green.

Nick Poulos
I enjoy cooking and entertaining, kayaking, hiking, bowling...I am a dog lover and I love to spend time with Amber. I was born in Cleveland, Ohio...and graduated from the University of Akron. I wanted to be a Veterinarian and often wish that I continued on that path. I am currently living my dream of owning a Bed & Breakfast, as my 35 year career in Retail has allowed me to afford my dream. My favorite thing about working at the Inn is meeting the guests. It's like making new friends every day. I love checking a guest in and sharing the history of this beautiful home with them! My favorite thing at the Inn? The "History, Style and Romance" of Abbington Green. Every time I pull in the drive or walk up the front walk, I say to myself..."I can't believe how beautiful our home is"!

In closing, I know that I can count on my team for anything that needs to be done. We may all have our individual roles at the Inn, but when something needs to be done, everyone pitches in to complete the task.  We work well together and it feels like a family here that genuinely cares and respects each other. I am very thankful for our team and appreciate what we are accomplishing at Abbington Green together! 

PS: Thank you to Tom Roselli, Brian Donahue, Kathleen Donahue, Wendy Langley, Don and Ginger Marsh, Maryann Fitzgibbon, and Carey Baldwin.  All of these friends and family came to Abbington Green in October and November 2014 to help before the Abbington Green Staff was hired. We had a very successful October and November and we could not have done it without you. Thank you for being a part of my dream!!

All the Best, Nick

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