Haworth Center Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
With Open House on Thursday, Jan. 17
Posted January 15, 2002
HOLLAND -- The Haworth Inn and Conference Center
at Hope College is celebrating its fifth anniversary with an
event that matches the hotel's philosophy since the
beginning: an open house for the college and Holland
The open house will be held on Thursday, Jan. 17,
from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the "pre-function" area just
inside the main floor lobby of the hotel, which opened in
1997. The event will include tours, cake and refreshments,
and a power point presentation chronicling the building's
construction, staff and events from the past five years.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
The Haworth Center faces College Avenue between
Ninth and 10th streets. The location and direction are
important both practically and symbolically given the
building's role as a link between the main Hope campus and
downtown Holland immediately to the north.
"That was the intent even from the onset--to
provide something that the college and the community could
use," said Chuck Melchiori, who helped plan the facility and
is vice president of operations with Creative Dining
Services of Zeeland, which manages the Haworth Center. "The
arms of the building reach out to embrace both the college
and the community."
"It's fulfilled that vision, linking the two,"
agreed the facility's general manager, Sandy Harmon. "It's
used by the community, it's used by businesses, and for
social functions. The college hosts conferences here.
People's relatives stay here..."
College events at the center have ranged from the
annual Winter Happening (this year scheduled for Saturday,
Feb. 2), to class reunions, to academic conferences, to the
"Presidential Ball" during Homecoming. Community use has
ranged from simply booking one of the guest rooms, to
wedding receptions, to corporate meetings and training.
Guests often take advantage of the center's
proximity to college and downtown alike. Melchiori noted,
for example, that prospective Hope students and their
families staying at the center while visiting the college
often make downtown one of their destinations as well.
The Haworth Center's corporate clients include USF
Holland, which this past year has conducted its region-wide
corporate training at the center, running 20 week-long
sessions for a total of nearly 400 supervisors and managers
"The people here treat us like family and show us
that our business is important to them," said Brian M.
Ludera, who is director of training and development with USF
Holland. "It's the friendliness of every employee."
While he emphasized that glitches are rare, Ludera
noted that the staff's responsiveness has earned the center
itself a place in the company's training, as an example of a
positive customer service model.
The building is named in recognition of a combined
corporate-family donation to Hope College by Haworth Inc.
and the Haworth family. The Haworth Center has 50 hotel
rooms, each featuring work stations and computer
connections. The meeting and banquet facilities total
approximately 10,000 square feet and can accommodate groups
of up to 400 people.
Site preparation for the center, including the
moving of several college-owned houses to elsewhere on
campus, began in May of 1995 and ground was broken in August
of 1995. The building opened with a ribbon-cutting on Jan.
21, 1997, and was dedicated on May 21 of that year.