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Hotel takes visit in stride

So what do you do when it’s the governor who’s coming to dinner?

Brad Kendrick knows exactly what to do.

You polish the silver. You make sure the tablecloths are cleaned and starched. You go over the menu. You sweep up those darned mayflies one more time.

And you check the security arrangements. Again. If Bob Riley takes a pie in the face from some disgruntled opponent of the governor’s proposed tax reform package, Kendrick wants to make absolutely sure it doesn’t happen on his watch.

Kendrick is sales and catering director for the St. James Hotel. While the hundred or so guests who gathered at the hotel Thursday to hear Riley speak enjoyed a leisurely lunch, Kendrick orchestrated the hectic behind-the-scenes activity that made it all possible.

From housekeeping to the kitchen to security, it was Kendrick’s job to see that everything came off without a hitch &045;&045; and that it all appeared effortless to the casual observer.

Off to one side, Joyce Rutledge and Camelia Effinger are preparing salads. In the back, kitchen manager Joann Lewis is fixing a batch of the hotel’s famous bread pudding with rum sauce. Christine Sturdivant is preparing the vegetables that will go with the main course of roast beef with garlic mashed potatoes.

Satisfied that all is well in the kitchen, Kendrick hurries off to attend to one of the countless other last-minute details that demand his attention.

The menu was chosen by the Selma Rotary Club, which officially hosted the whole affair.

Dawkins explains that while hotels are most often associated with out-of-town guests, it is the amount of local business a hotel gets that determines whether or not it will be profitable.

She singles out the Rotary Club for special thanks.