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Sam Ward is the general manager of the new Town Place Suites by Marriott hotel at 7191 Sleepy Hollow Drive in Southaven. Ward brings 13 years experience in the hospitality industry to the four-month old extended-stay property, which was opened in early December.

There are many reasons, or drivers, behind why people choose the profession they are in. For Sam Ward, new general manager for Town Place Suites by Marriott’s extended-stay property at 7191 Sleepy Hollow Drive in Southaven, it had as much to do with fragrance as it did a drive to serve customers.

“I was a manager at McDonald’s and I wanted to not be coming home smelling like burgers and onions every day,” said Ward. “So some friends of mine told me to come over to the hospitality business and I wouldn’t have to come home smelling like a burger, onions or pickles. I’ve been in the hotel industry ever since.”

Ward has been in his new position for just a couple of months, but he is well versed in the hospitality industry, having come to Southaven from a similar post with a Hyatt Place property in Germantown, Tennessee.

Ward was a general manager for Wilson Hotel Management Co. and came to Southaven after a nearly three-year stint as a general manager with Wilson Hotel Management Co.

A Holiday Inn Express in Jackson, Tennessee stop as general manager and an assistant general manager for a Hampton Inn in Memphis completes Ward’s hotel experience.

“I’m originally from Detroit, Michigan, but I’ve been in the Memphis-Southaven area for 13 years,” Ward said. “This opportunity came up. It was a new property, it was in the Southaven area and I like this area, so it was a no-brainer for me to come here.”

Ward now looks forward to treating his guests to the best experience possible, as he pointed out several of the special amenities of the new Town Place Suites by Marriott.

“We have a full fitness center like no other hotel here in this area,” said Ward. ”We have washers and dryers for our extended-stay guests because we are geared toward the extended-stay guests that are staying five or more nights. We have full kitchens in all of our rooms and we have corner suites at both ends of the hallway that will be a little bit bigger with two-room suites.”

The new hotel looks forward to being a part of the DeSoto County business community, and Southaven in particular.

“Southaven is a bustling area and it’s growing by leaps and bounds as you can see with all of the businesses that are coming into the area and we wanted to be a part of that,” Ward said.

Bob Bakken is Staff Writer for the DeSoto Times-Tribune.

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