Ever notice how it seems that the biggest voices (and perhaps the biggest hearts) come from people small in stature? Tracy Kelly is one of those people. Originally from Hawaii, Tracy’s life journey brought her east until eventually she settled in Michigan. A background in business administration helped prepare her for a number of commercial sales positions. But quotas and corporate life took its toll. When Tracy joined the team at Castle Farms in April of 2015 as a Tour Guide and Gift Shop Associate, her heart found a new song to sing.
“I’d driven by Castle Farms many times before, but I had no idea of its history.” Once Tracy did her research, it was easy falling in love with the Castle. Still, Tracy figured there was a catch. Her background in sales had taught her to expect to meet daily quotas. But since she’s been at the Castle, Tracy has discovered that no such rule exists. “Working at the Castle is the perfect job for me,” she says. “I’m not trying to sell people a product. Rather, I’m trying to show people how amazing this place is.” Her time in the Gift Shop is also well spent. “Not only is it fun,” she says, “it’s the perfect opportunity to greet people. I love being the face of the Castle when people first walk in. My favorite thing about being at the Castle is getting to meet new people all the time.”
And plenty of new people show up on a regular basis. Escorting guests on a charter bus coach on tour is now a routine part of Tracy’s day. She loves the opportunity to laugh and smile, and to share her knowledge with people on tour. “I love what I do,” she says, “and I try to have a lot of fun with tours.” They, likewise, have a lot of fun with Tracy. Her voice is filled with passion, and her laughter contagious as she guides groups around the Castle, showcasing the beautiful stone buildings, the gardens, the collections, and most of all, the stories.
During off hours, Tracy can be found curled up with a good book, or indulging in her love of music. Voice lessons and training enabled Tracy to perform on a semi-professional level throughout her career. Groups escorted by Tracy around the buildings and grounds easily sense her passion for the Castle. It’s something that comes from deep within. We look forward to Tracy being with us for many years to come, singing her stories of the Castle in a voice that comes directly from the heart.