Zehnder’s Welcomes Fourth Generation Family Members

Aug 30, 2013

Chris Zehnder - back row, third from the right; Nick Shelton - back row, second from the right

Zehnder’s has been run by third generation family members since 1972. Much to Eddie and Marion’s delight, Albert, Susan and Martha decided to return to Zehnder’s shortly after returning home from college. Under their direction, Zehnder’s has blossomed into a world-class business that continues to grow and exceed expectations of its guests and competitors. The addition of leadership development trainees Nick Shelton and Christopher Zehnder brings the fourth generation to the management team.

Nick Shelton, who started on July 1st of this year, just received his undergraduate and graduate degree from Valparaiso University. Nick played four years of college basketball while he attended Valparaiso. Participating in the leadership management training program, Nick will be working in all areas of the Fortress golf course.

“Growing up, I always loved the company and took great pride in knowing my family ran such an awesome and successful business. With that said, I never expected to come back this early in my career, but I am happy to be back. Growing up in the business it seems as though I have worked in about every different department from hotline to drumstick to golf course maintenance. All in all, I’m glad to be back and I really appreciate all the excitement and sincere joy for me being back from my family and others within the company!”

We’re happy to have him back. Oh, and if you see Nick around, tell him congratulations because he’s getting married next year!

Chris Zehnder, who also joined the leadership training program, had his first day on August 27th of this year. Chris graduated from Northwood University in 2008.  During his time at Northwood, Chris embarked on a 3-month study-abroad trip throughout 12 countries in Western Europe with 25 other college students. Chris wishes to keep most of the trip details private for legal reasons, but says he learned “A LOT.” After Chris graduated, he moved to Nashville, TN to work and write music. Chris wrote two albums during his three and a half year stint in Nashville and is currently working on his fourth album here in Michigan. He has yet to title it, so any and all suggestions are welcome in guest services.  “It doesn’t feel like I’ve ever really left the business. I started picking up cigarette butts in the parking lot on my rollerblades when I was 12. My first real job was on dishes at 14.  I was a dish dog, and still am at heart. Gary Huber saw the best in me and hired me to mow lawns one summer.  I’ve worked at the Fortress, the Food Store, the Tap Room, Snowfest, and I’ve even animated drumstick. Zehnder’s has always been a very influential and important part of my life. The memories I’ve made here are priceless and I wouldn’t replace them for anything. I’m happy and privileged to be aboard.”

Chris will start in a management position at Elf Hollow Café in Zehnder’s Splash Village.

So, if you see Nick or Chris walking around, either tell them to get to work, or pat them on the back for being the first two family members to return of the fourth generation.

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