We mostly want to meet and learn about you; but we realize trust and confidence are essential for your stay—and we don't want you to feel like you're staying with strangers.
So here's a little about us.
Steve and Stephanie Gibson
Steve Gibson and Stephanie Nelsen-Gibson are thrilled to be the owners and caretakers of your experience at the Kalamazoo House, a role they've quickly adapted to since taking the helm in October of 2014. They've dedicated themselves to elevating the already-high standards set by Terry and Laurel Parrot, and building upon that solid foundation with process innovations, enhanced amenities, and improvements designed to further delight business and leisure travelers alike.
Steve and Stephanie are both born and raised in the Kalamazoo area, have very deep ties here, and are strongly inclined toward careers of serving others. Combined with Steve's business and entrepreneurial experience, the Gibson's love for serving and entertaining has made this career and lifestyle an ideal fit, especially as they transition to a post child-rearing chapter of life.
Steve Gibson credits his late parents with instilling a desire to serve others, which he has tried to live: ten years as a school board member and president; years as flight instructor and corporate pilot—including a long spell of volunteer medical missions (see and support Wings of Mercy); years as a Rotarian; and a long history of advocating for numerous humanist causes. Stephen L. Gibson has authored two books—including a critically acclaimed novel, and is a passionate believer in open-mindedness, diversity, and interbelief tolerance. He also enjoys shaking his head at just how wrong many of his opinions have been over the years.
From a business perspective, Steve's career began early in life when he took over the family's struggling office products dealership after the unexpected death of his parents. With a great team he turned the business around, tripled its size against "big box" competitors, and ultimately sold it to a publicly traded company in 1998. He then began a journey of discovery and introspection that culminated in his book and a popular podcast that featured interviews with some leading thinkers, scientists, economists, scholars and theologians of our day. Most recently Steve created and ran a multimedia company focused on sharing and preserving the stories of real, everyday people, as well as the creation of memorial montages for a chain of funeral homes. For several years before buying the inn Steve had run a boutique limousine service frequently shuttling regular clients in style between Kalamazoo and the airports of Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Chicago. The house still partners with LG Limousine, though a year after purchasing the inn Steve concluded that running two, 24x7 businesses was beyond exhausting. The limousine business was thus sold to Andy Chernoby of White Knight Limousine, a friend and mentor to Steve.
Stephanie Nelsen/Gibson—Is actively engaged at the inn, though perhaps with less visibility since late 2018, when she completed her goal of acquiring a masters degree, to become a Nurse Practitioner (all while helping at the inn, working full time in oncology as a nurse, and transitioning the last kiddo through graduation and out of the nest). Her influence can be seen throughout the inn every day though—you’ll see the warm touches and understand. She is now employed at Bronson Hospital, working with their hospitalist group of physicians. And when she isn't helping her kids, patients, friends, or family, in her precious spare time Stephanie loves to cook, learn and practice photography, listen to live music and host social gatherings.
When asked their biggest surprise to date, they both say the same thing: Their love and appreciation for Kalamazoo has even grown—seeing their city through the eyes of delighted guests who seem genuinely amazed by the theatres, concerts, museums, nightlife, brews, walkability, events, and many other offerings.