As Director of Operations and President of Venerts Hotel Management, Connie Ward is responsible for the daily operations of all properties managed by the firm. She joined Venerts in 1993, bringing with her experience in hotel management at various levels. She holds an A.A.S. Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and is a Certified Hotel Administrator. Ward works with general managers to ensure optimal profitability for ownership and dependable, high quality service levels that exceed guest expectations and demands.
Ward is responsible for recruiting, hiring, supervising and training of general managers and the purchasing of operating supplies, furniture, fixtures and equipment. She also develops and manages operating budgets, compensation and benefits, and management development.
Connie is a member of the Owners’ Advisory Forum for Country Inns & Suites by Carlson and a Founding Member of the former Rate Center focus group for Choice Hotels International. She is also a member of the Visitor Industry Alliance for SD, the Watertown BID Board, the Mayor’s Joint Supervisory Board for Watertown, Board of Directors for South Dakota Opportunity Group, and Women in Lodging.
Jodi Penrod is the Director of Financial Operations and Treasurer of Venerts Hotel Management, Inc. Penrod, who holds a Master of Business Administration and a B.A. degree in both Business Administration and Accounting, heads up the financial and accounting functions for Venerts and its managed hotel properties. She also prepares monthly financial statements and files the various tax forms required by state and federal law.
In addition to the financial operations, Penrod also handles employee benefits, insurance, and IRA’s. In this capacity, Penrod serves as the key financial link between Venerts Hotel Management Inc., property owners and managers. She is also a member of Women in Lodging and serves on the Watertown Convention and Visitors Bureau Board.
Penrod is relentless in her search for cost savings and opportunities for effective allocation of financial resources. However, she also understands the importance of exceeding guest expectations. This blend of tough financial discipline and insistence on delivering a quality experience makes Jodi a rare find in the financial arena.
Susan Dolney is the Director of Marketing and Training and Vice President of Venerts Hotel Management. She holds a B.S. degree in Travel Industry Management and CLM certification, and has 10 years of experience as a hotel General Manager.
Dolney is responsible for leading the hotel’s Sales & Marketing initiatives by providing marketing assistance and property support in an effort to help the properties increase room night production. She develops and helps implement marketing plans, advertising and promotional campaigns, social media, and targeted local and internet sales efforts. Dolney also works closely with general managers to create a total team effort approach to operations and sales and marketing at each property. She ensures maximum utilization of franchise marketing services to secure a property’s position within a market and tracks results from sales and marketing efforts.
Among Dolney’s strengths is her ability to build relationships at all levels and facilitate positive, on-going training between managers, associates, and departments. She commands respect and inspires those in training to take lessons to heart, strive to meet goals and exceed customer expectations. Susan is a member of the Women in Networking Group, Women in Lodging, and serves as a member for the Black Hills State University Alumni board.