Grand Hotel exterior
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Mich. Credit: Grand Hotel

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — Ken Hayward, executive vice president and managing director of Michigan’s historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has been awarded Hotelier of the Year by Historic Hotels of America®. Hayward was one of six nominees from historic properties around the country.

“Ken Hayward’s commitment to preserving our property’s rich history, while delivering an all-inclusive hotel experience to our guests makes him a true asset to our team and we commend him on this outstanding achievement,” said Dan Musser III, chairman of Grand Hotel. “We are proud to receive national recognition of our operations, especially when it comes to the passion, leadership and unique abilities of the person behind the day-to-day success of this extensive hospitality operation.”

Ken Hayward Grand Hotel
Ken Hayward
Credit: Grand Hotel

The honor was presented on Thursday, Nov. 7 at the 2019 Historic Awards of Excellence and Gala Dinner at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Award categories include Historic Hotels of America New Member of the Year, Best Social Media of a Historic Hotel and Sustainability Champion. Award finalists are selected from nominations received from historic hotels and industry leaders across the country. The Historic Hotelier of the Year award is presented to the recipient demonstrating the highest contribution of furthering the celebration of history at a historic hotel as well as leadership innovations.

Ken Hayward is executive vice president and managing director of Grand Hotel and oversees the overall operation of the hotel. In addition, he manages various departments such as sales, marketing, conventions and finance. 

Hayward began his career at Grand Hotel in 1985 as a sales representative. He was soon promoted to sales manager and then director of sales. Haywarfd was appointed vice president in 1993.

Active in the hotel industry, Hayward was appointed to the Michigan Travel Commission by Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2005 and reappointed in 2008 and served as its chairman from 2008 – 2010 before being term limited in 2012. During his tenure as chairman, Travel Michigan secured funding and developed the Pure Michigan advertising campaign. Hayward was involved in selecting the agency, developing that brand, and has continued to fight for state dollars to fund the campaign.

Hayward is also a board member and executive committee member of Historic Hotels of America. He is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association Resort Committee, serves on the board of Michigan Retailers Association and Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, and is an active member of Meeting Professionals International, Michigan Society of Association Executives, and Letterwinners M-Club, a University of Michigan alumni organization.

Hayward earned a bachelor of general studies degree from the University of Michigan in 1985. Hayward was a decorated athlete during his time at the University of Michigan, recognized as the 1984 Baseball MVP and was awarded the 1985 Bob Ufer Athlete of the Year Award and the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

Grand Hotel is currently closed for the winter and will reopen in May 2020. For more information visit or contact Grand Hotel directly at 800-334-7263.

About Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America. It has been one of America’s premier summer vacation spots since it opened on July 10, 1887. Throughout its history, Grand Hotel has hosted worldwide dignitaries and five US presidents. For 26 consecutive years it has earned the AAA Four Diamond rating, and has been honored with a number of awards including most recently being named Best All-Inclusive Resort in the country and One of the Top 10 Best Historic Hotels by the readers of USA Today in the 2019 10Best Awards, Travel + Leisure Top 5 Best Resort Hotels in Michigan and Best Hotel in Michigan by Condé Nast Traveler. Grand Hotel scored in the top 10 percent of the Best Hotels in the United States, earning the Gold badge from US News and World Report and was also named a Top 10 All-Inclusive Resort for 2019, as well as the 2018 Platinum Choice award by Smart Meetings. Grand Hotel, along with five on-site restaurants, were recognized with the 2019 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.

About Pivot Hotels & Resorts

Pivot Hotels & Resorts, the lifestyle and luxury division of Davidson Hotels & Resorts operates with a deep-rooted passion for continuous innovation, exceptional service delivery, revenue generation, inspired marketing and financial responsibility. Constituted by some of the most accomplished leaders in lifestyle hospitality, Pivot caters to today’s experience-, adventure-minded traveler through inspiring design, thoughtful service and one-of-a-kind experiences at each of its hotels and resorts. The Pivot Hotels & Resorts portfolio encompasses a number of hotels and resorts across the U.S. with more in development. More information may be found at