Conference Center Is High-Tech With Traditional Touch
By KEN BAUMEL For the Pike County Dispatch, Inc.
(Photo By Ken Baumel) The Pike County Chamber of Commerce (PCC) celebrated a ribbon-cutting dedication of the Fauchere Meeting Facility Powered By Convene last week at the Emerson House on Broad Street in Milford Borough. From the left were PCC directors Jack Boyle and DeWayne Haygood, PCC Vice President Simone Palmer, Pike County Commissioner/PCC Director Matt Osterberg, PCC Arlene Quirk, Hotel Fauchere Maitre d’Hotel Xavier Morales, Hotel Fauchere Chief Operating Office Sean Durden, PCC Office Manager Lee Ann Camarero, Hotel Fauchere/Meeting Facility owner Sean Strub, PCC Honorary Director/facility renovator Ed Nikles, PCC Treasurer Jody Welsh, Kelly Gaughan and PCC Honorary Director Beth Nikles.
MILFORD — In Milford Borough, Hotel Fauchere owner Sean Strub and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce celebrated a business card-exchange/networking event capped by a ribbon-cutting dedication of Strub’s state-of-the-art boutique-conference center.
The events were held at the center, located on the second floor of the Emerson House, next to the Hotel Fauchere on Broad and East Catharine Street. Strub said, “The center is unique in this area. No one else is doing an intimate and upscale corporate meeting center. We brand it as the Fauchere Meeting Facility Powered by Convene.
“Convene is a global company. As our partners, they would drive clients to our facility. Our midweek business was slow, so we decided to attract new business through this center.
“We already had some corporate clients, such as lawyers and pharmaceutical companies. The center allows us to expand our existing client base.” Strub said that his facility is now part of Convene’s global network (which now includes Milford). Convene is pushing the envelope of conference technology.
The company’s Milford presence is part of an expanding network that will include centers in Asia and Europe. Food, ambiance, and technological support are Convene’s calling card, and Strub’s center is totally wired for the most demanding teleconferencing needs.
Each training facility room in Convene’s network is outfitted with a technology services package that covers potential audiovisual applications and teleconferencing.
(Contributed photos) Hotel Fauchere owner Sean Strub celebrated a Pike County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting of his Fauchere Meeting Facility Powered by Convene, a state-of-the-art boutique meeting/convention/ conference center renovated by Ed Nikles Custom Builder. The center is located upstairs from the Patisserie, in the historic Emerson House, located on Broad Street in Milford Borough. Above is the conference boardroom.
Convene provides complementary pre-booking advisory to facilitate the integration of technology uses, conference plans, and budget planning.
All Convene facilities and partners, such as the Fauchere venue, have on-site event-catering services that enable clients to be more productive, allow them to stay longer hours at the event, and eliminate the need for additional catering. Strub said that virtually all food at his center follows farm-to-table principles.
Strub said, “The business is a boutique because the conference center is intimate. We are gearing the center for small corporate and business meetings, accommodating up to 35 corporate or business people who want a high-end meeting venue, but even non-business people could enjoy the facility for holiday parties.”
Strub and Dick Snyder renovated the historic Hotel Fauchere and Emerson House complex in 2006.
Strub said, “Ed Nikles did this [conference center] renovation… we wanted to provide work for locals. Our two architects on this project were Joe Jaludi and Anthony Barrale. Both worked on Dick’s farm when they were students at Delaware Valley. Ed Nikles Custom Builders was one of three contracting companies we considered before awarding the bid.”
Strub said that Joyce Brumberg (one of the few people on the project who was not local) designed the interior. Even the artworks decorating the walls of the center, from Strub’s personal collection, are by local artists, such as Jennifer Doherty, Jimmy Sheehan, Alastair Gordon, and Kulvinder Kaur Dhew.
Nikles said that the challenge was to make the Emerson House’s upstairs space, which had an attic and low ceilings in the room below the attic, much more spacious and inviting for high-end business meetings.
The conference main room.
Nikles accomplished that by knocking out the attic and rooms below it, transforming the space. Those entering the building go through a historic, warm, and inviting lobby area, decorated in wood and the darker palette suitable for a restored 19th century venue. Then going upstairs, a visitor is treated to a wonderful vista of glass paneled walls and doors leading to an inviting high-tech conference boardroom and a retreat that would likely make even the nation’s president comfortable holding a business meeting with top corporate honchos or entertaining heads of state.
The retreat is modern, but Nikles recycled wood window frames that he found stored in the attic. The refinished and stained window frames provide the connection with the building’s historic past. Another connection with the past is a brick wall and a fireplace. Nikles moved a wall so that the great room could have the working fireplace. Strub said that conference center clients can lodge at the Fauchere and have a choice of menus at Bar Louis, the Fauchere, or have food catered at the conference center, prepared by the Hotel chefs.
Jack Boyle, a Chamber Director, and Senior Manager for Development at the Middletown Community Health Center in Milford, said, “This facility is a great resource for the community. It addresses the historic legacy of the building, but brings a modern, utilitarian, and gorgeous ambiance.
“I like the layout of the breakout rooms, the conference room, and the retreat. It could be used in so many ways. I can foresee many ways to use the space: for corporate and local meetings, educational programs, food entertaining, and conferences.”
Pike County Prothonotary Denise Fitzpatrick said, “Having the chamber business card exchange at the facility was a good way to show it off. The designers and builders did a wonderful job. Bette Eagan, Nikles’ bookkeeper, told Strub, “I saw the plans in the office, but this is way above what I expected.”
At the Card Exchange and ribbon cutting, attendees tasted the following upscale hors d’oeuvres, a sample of what conference clients might be served: pork and pistachio terrine, Hawaiian tuna poke, wasabi espuma (a nitro-blown custard), a spiced apple chutney, butternut squash soup, and smoked lamb carpaccio (with couscous and apricot gel), all prepared by Hotel Fauchere’s Chef de Cuisine Scott Myers.