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Kathleen's Behind The Scence

     Well, I haven’t been very behind the scenes this year!  It’s been quite a time.  I grieved with many of you over the loss of our friend, Jim Hubbard, who most of you know, died last year from complications with diabetes.  It was hard for SO many of you to arrive this year missing the greeting of Jim’s smiling face.  September marked the one year anniversary of Jim’s death and, for many of us, the pain is as raw as when he passed.  Many blessings to all of us as we continue to work through our grief.

     We, additionally, felt the absence of our good friend and Resort Manager, Jennifer Cewinski.  Jennifer left the Stardust at the beginning of the summer to manage the Americana Vacation Club.  We had planned to have a very smooth and slow management transition, but it didn’t work out that way.  As abruptly as Jennifer had to leave to handle the demands of the Americana, the replacement manager had to leave and I’ve been managing the Stardust since early-August.  

     Joel Peard, our Front Desk Supervisor, and familiar face to many of you, really helped save the day. Joel’s consistently competent and genuinely caring attitude helped us through many hurdles. As a matter of fact, all our stars shined! Standouts include our ever steady Housekeeping Manager, Maria Zepeda, new reservationist, Tisha Phillips, the loving activities hosts Vivian McCarthy and Lorena Zepeda and Shannon Nolan, our new Activities Director.  Thank goodness for Shannon!  She has tread where few would dare, following up the class act that was Jim Hubbard.  Shannon has brought a tremendous diversity of activities to the Stardust and displayed the personal strength and genuine compassion necessary to help people grieve and still enjoy their vacation time.  Shannon is such an asset to the Stardust!

     I’m in the process of finding us a new Resort Manager, and don’t know how long it will take.  Finding another Jennifer is quite an undertaking!  We’re extending our search and hope to have a worthy replacement by the end of this year. 

     Meantime, you’ll be seeing me at the Stardust more often, like in my beginning days when I shared an office with Ed McCarthy.  Ed tells me I can come back up with him, but I’ve been spending most of my time in the accounting office at the desk next to Georjean Vosburg.  My Administrative Offices companions, Mindy Steen and Linda Hess, tease me that they never see me anymore – but they still manage to track me down at the Stardust… and you can too! 

You should see it here - Arnulfo Jr. and his dad, Arnulfo Sr., have the place looking gorgeous!  I don’t know what’s more heartwarming – their devotion to the Stardust or the tremendous talents they bring to their positions!  We are so fortunate that they are with us.  Arnulfo Jr. used his considerable skill to remodel all the Stardust units this year (the 2 bedroom units in the corner by the Penthouse) and the first time I saw them I was smiling from ear-to-ear.  They’re wonderful.  Of course, Arnulfo Jr. credits Jan’s design, (Jan McCarthy for those of you who haven’t met her) and then Jan then credits Arnulfo’s skill, and back and forth it goes. Point being, between the two of them, the room remodels were completed beautifully!  Remodel season opens this month, beginning with the Penthouse and moving on to the VIP, the Starlites, more Comets and Suns.

     Many new owners joined us this year, 327 since the beginning of January! Whew!   We look forward to meeting you all, so please introduce yourself when you’re here!  And don’t just get to know those of us on staff – most weeks are like big family reunions where all of the owners reconnect with old friends or go around making new ones.  You’re very welcome (and strongly encouraged) to jump right in and be part of the family!

     And that’s what’s happening behind-the-scenes (and in the spotlight, too).  I look forward to seeing you when you’re on property.

Kathleen Shoda