Mother: The name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. William Makepeace Thackeray

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Mother Daughter Business Plan

Dorothy Zehnder and Judy Keller

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Dorothy Zehnder is the co-founder of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, the well-known eatery of the Bavarian Inn of Frankenmuth, Mich.

At 88 years, Ms. Zehnder still works in the kitchen six days a week and has been a part of its operations for more than 60 years. The acquisition that would later become the Bavarian Inn dates back to 1950 when Tiny and Dorothy Zehnder purchased Fischer's Hotel. Over the years the couple remodeled every part of the hotel and business and ultimately renamed it to better capture the kind of dining and lodging experience it had become. Annually for more than 50 years the Frankenmuth Bavarian Festival celebrates and honors the opening of this prominent Michigan tourist destination.

Twenty-three years ago Judy Zehnder Keller designed and built the Bavarian Inn Lodge in Frankenmuth, Mich.; she is its president and owner. She received a bachelor of arts in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Michigan State University in 1967; she completed a master of arts there in Educational Psychology in 1973.

Zehnder Keller is active in business and travel industry concerns in the Frankenmuth area. She is the first female Frankenmuth city council member and has served for 12 years. She was also the first female Rotary Club member in 1991 and then president in 2007-2008. She served as chair-woman for the Frankenmuth Sister City Committee for 22 years. In that capacity, she led over 700 students on 10 tours to Germany. She currently serves on the Michigan Travel Commission, Michigan Hotel/Motel Board of Directors, and Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority.

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