40 Under 40 The Class of 2016

Beth DeGray

Managing Partner and Director of Sales, the Log Cabin and Delaney House; Age 38

Beth DeGray

Beth DeGray

It was the spring of 1997, and Beth DeGray, then a 19-year-old student at Holyoke Community College, was looking for some part-time employment. She heard about the upcoming opening of the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House, and applied for a server’s job.

She never imagined that, 19 years later, she would still be driving up Route 141 to get to work. But that’s exactly what she does, primarily because the man who hired her all those years ago, Peter Rosskothen, has given her several opportunities for advancement, and she’s taken advantage of every one.

While the titles on the business card (managing partner is the latest) have certainly changed, as have the job descriptions, the basic assignment has not. Indeed, then, as now, DeGray’s job has been about taking care of the client. In 1997, that meant getting dinner in front of the guest while it was still hot. Now, it means selling the Log Cabin’s various facilities to clients ranging from brides to area bank presidents to regional nonprofit managers, and then making sure their events come off without a hitch.

It’s a challenging but supremely rewarding role, one she approaches with a distinct philosophy. “My main goal is making it so the client can totally check out mentally, in terms of what they’ve planned, by the time they walk in the door on the day of the party,” she explained. “And we handle the rest.”

When not facilitating such efforts, DeGray is active in the community, especially with the Ronald McDonald House and the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau and its Howdy Committee.

She’s also committed to finding time within a sometimes grueling schedule for her family — her husband, Christopher, and sons Adam, 9, and Jack, 7. DeGray credits them with helping her rediscover a childhood obsession — skiing.

“My parents were both ski instructors — I lived on the mountain,” she said, adding that she put the pastime down as career and family responsibilities mounted. “A few years ago, I picked it up again, and I’m very passionate about it, because I can do it with my family.”

DeGray is no stranger to the 40 Under Forty Gala — the Log Cabin is hosting it for the eighth time this year. This time, though, she’ll see it from a much different light. Yes, she’s given herself the night off — with definitive plans to check out mentally.

— George O’Brien

Photography by Leah Martin Photography