In late 2019, after more than 20 years with the company, Sue Damron has acquired full ownership of the iconic restaurant in downtown Marshall as President and CEO. She joined Schuler’s in November of 1998 as Executive Assistant to the Chairman, Hans Schuler. Over the years, she worked her way up the management chain—in 2002 was named General Manager and in 2010 was named the restaurant’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2014, she acquired a minority ownership share and was named President and Managing Partner.
“I felt it was time to complete handing over the reins of our successful business to someone who has consistently shown herself to be a capable and innovative leader in our industry and in our community,” says Hans Schuler, whose grandfather Albert founded the company in 1909. “I’m pleased to say that we are now able to successfully complete that transition, handing over a successful, established business to a proven partner and someone who will be an excellent steward of our family’s legacy.”
Through periods of dynamic change and transition—including major upgrades to the restaurant, an evolving industry and guest demographics, and catering challenges like the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill crisis—she has proven to be up to the task. Hans Schuler and the entire Schuler’s team has learned to count on her, and she has taken the lead role in managing and directing Schuler’s continued success in the marketplace.
A lifelong Calhoun County resident who grew up 20 miles northeast of Marshall at Duck Lake, Damron attended Kellogg Community College and Olivet College, studying business and accounting. Before joining Schuler’s, she worked at Starr Commonwealth for nearly 10 years in Starr’s Michigan community-based programs. As a result, she developed effective “people skills” and learned to promote teamwork and collaboration – approaches that have served her well in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Sue is also civically involved, currently serving as a board member for the Marshall Area Economic Development Authority, Vice Chair of the Marshall DDA/LDFA Board, Marshall Tourism Committee Member and Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation.
Much like the Schulers, the Damrons are a family affair. Husband Shannon has been a constant support, and her children, Josh and Elizabeth, have both had jobs at the restaurant. Elizabeth currently serves on the Schuler’s management team and has chosen the industry for her career.
“The Schuler’s brand remains dedicated to providing an unparalleled experience,” says Damron. “We have the benefit of generations of experience behind us that will continue to guide us toward the future as one of Michigan’s longest-established restaurants. Every day is a new challenge in the restaurant…and I love that.”