Bartender, food and beverage supervisor, and whatever else her boss Ross Jones needs at the Quechee Club, Mariah Stearns Cilley comes through with grace and beauty. She is a Vermont girl through and through. Born and raised in Bethel, Vermont, she is the oldest of three children. Mariah shined as a student, valedictorian of her high school class; she managed to accrue enough college credits during her senior year in to skip her first year of college. (Vermont funds a program that allows high school students to attend classes at state and some private colleges at no cost to the student. About one in seven high school students take advantage of this opportunity.)
In 2014, Mariah graduated from Castleton State with a degree. Deciding her next step, her younger sister Madison, who worked a few summers as a server at the Quechee Club, introduced Mariah to club management and she began bartending right after her graduation. While Mariah worked as a server in other restaurants through college, it was Quechee Club’s longtime bartender Clay Hillgrove who taught Mariah the bartending trade.
While bartending, Mariah got her real estate license. She joined Sotheby’s working in several Upper Valley offices. She soon realized that real estate was not for her and started fulltime with the Quechee Club. “I love my job,” she says and adds, “And I have the best boss I ever.”
Her many roles at the Quechee Club
As Food and Beverage Supervisor, Mariah supervises many aspects of Davidson’s Restaurant and Dewey’s Deck, which includes training new staff, taking reservations, checking food quality, and focusing on customer satisfaction, as well as handling the details of the many events the club orchestrates.
Since Quechee Club bartender Kevin McDonough left this summer to run a restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island with his new in-laws, Mariah bartends more.
Food and Beverage takes center stage at most events the club offers: Seafood Extravaganza, Wine Dinners, Italian Nights, members Christmas Party, Sunday brunches, and holiday dinners are among the varied club offerings.
During her time off
When Mariah isn’t working, she’s enjoying home in Tunbridge, Vermont, with her husband, Devin, her high school sweetheart. Married in January of 2017, the couple live in the town where many generations of the Cilleys reside.
Devin’s grandparents own a funeral home, called Boardway and Cilley Funeral Home in Chelsea. Devin is employed there and is working on the credentials he needs to perform all aspects of the funeral business. “The whole family is involved in this business,” Mariah says. And she knows she’ll be involved down the line, as well. Devin graduated from Norwich University thinking he would be doing some form of police/protection work; however, he ruled that out and joined the family business.
“I love that so many family members – his and mine – get along so well and love getting together,” Mariah says. The Cilley family are shareholders in the Tunbridge World’s Fair and every September Mariah takes the week of the fair off to work with extended family including, her husband, in-laws, siblings, aunts, and uncles. Antique Hill, a living history exhibit, is one of the family’s concessions at the fair.
With Mariah’s schedule, whole days together with Devin are sparse. Yet they find time for their interests. In the fall they hunt. One chilly day after a day of work, Mariah was quiet in a deer blind for three hours with her bow at the ready. Bow season had just begun. Hiking, gardening, hanging out with Winnie, their dachshund, gathering for barbeques at home with friends and family even playing cornhole in the yard are some of Mariah’s pleasures. “I love this whole family closeness,” Mariah says. “I don’t think about living any other place.”