| Miramar Beach, Florida

Our Team

Our Team

Karen McNevin

Vice President Howard Hospitality

Karen McNevin is responsible for the property management and operations of all hospitality projects for Howard Group, including the two Marriott hotels in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin®. Karen has over seventeen years of experience in the hospitality industry across major and independent hotels to include the Marriott Corporation, The Peabody Hotel Group, Hilton Corporation and The Park Hotel in Charlotte, NC. Since her start with Howard Group in 2002, Karen has been promoted various times, most recently to the position of Director of Human Resources and Special Projects, including work on projects such as Grand Boulevard's Marriott hotels. Karen is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Charlotte Area Society of Human Resources Management (CASHRM), and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Other services include former member of the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) where she served as the Public Relations Chair for the Central Florida Chapter and on NAPM trade show and golf tournament committees.

Tania Koehler

Director of Hotels Howard Hospitality

Born and raised in Ecuador, Tania came to the United States at 21 years of age to study Hospitality. Her career began with the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, and she continued to work for the Ritz Carlton brand for over 10 years. Her time with Ritz Carlton moved her to many exciting opportunities across the country in a variety of positions and departments. She began working for the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in 2009 and in 2010 was asked to lead the teams at the Courtyard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard. While Tania was General Manager for both Marriott properties on Grand Boulevard, the hotels have undergone major room and lobby renovations; all while improving Guest Satisfaction scores and revenues. Tania was awarded two 2014 Diamond General Manager awards for the Courtyard and Residence Inn brands, an unprecedented achievement in Marriott history. In 2016, Tania was promoted to Director of Hotel Operations for all of Howard Hospitality. Tania's philosophy on success in the hospitality industry is to prioritize taking care of employees.

John Sallman

General Manager at the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

The son of an Air Force pilot, John lived in a few states but calls Florida his home. Real Estate & hotel management has become a passion for John, but prior Sallman was a professional Chef for 17 years. In 2014 John was recognized as a top 500 chef in the country by Best Chefs America. John was the Executive Chef of Beach Walk Cafe located in the Henderson Park Inn, and Sallman was the Food & Beverage Supervisor of the Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott; a world known hotel for the family and business traveler, located at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. During his tenure at the Marriotts he upheld the standards of Marriotts, managed the food & beverage staff for both properties, and won second place in Sandestin’s annual gumbo competition. Sallman worked with the Westin Grand Bohemian located in Orlando, Florida starting as a line cook and was promoted to his first restaurant management position.  At the Westin he was the Sous Chef of the Boheme, the luxury boutique hotel’s fine dining restaurant.  While at the Boheme he was recognized with a certificate of appreciation for being a part of the team that brought the desired AAA Four Diamond rating to the restaurant and property in its first year.
            John became a member of the National Association of Realtors in 2013.  He received a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University located in Miami, Florida in 2001. Sallman, his wife Ashley, two daughters and Chihuahua reside in Santa Rosa Beach.

Jeff League

Revenue Manager

Hailing from Kansas City, MO, Jeff began his career in customer service working with AT&T for 5 years before moving to Florida. He moved to Destin in 2006 and joined the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard team in its opening year. Jeff started his journey in the Front Office and Food & Beverage departments and was promoted to the Front Office Supervisor in 2006. He came to the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard in 2012 as Operations Manager and was promoted to the Assistant General Manager in 2013. Jeff is incredibly excited to begin his career as the Revenue Manager for Howard Hospitality this year.

Ron Couget

Director of Sales for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Ron graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989. He quickly followed his father’s footsteps in the hospitality industry and began his career in New Orleans, LA with the Monteleone Hotel in front office operations. His sales career followed with properties such as Clarion, Le Meridien and Fairmont Hotels in New Orleans. He later joined Mirage Resorts as part of the pre-opening sales team for Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi managing their satellite sales office in Atlanta, GA. Ron relocated to Destin, FL in 2000 and joined Hilton Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort where he was promoted to Assistant Director of Sales in 2002 and Director of Group Sales in 2006. Ron joined Howard Hospitality in 2010 accepting the role of Director of Sales and Marketing for both properties and where he oversees the sales and marketing team, which includes revenue management, marketing execution, and total revenue and yield strategies.

Melissa Oropesa

Director of Experience & Marketing for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Born and raised in New York and Florida jointly, Melissa began her Hospitality career as a front desk agent at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan. After attending New York University and later graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Theatre and a minor in Anthropology, Melissa felt that a career in hotel media and guest relations was the next logical step. Joining Howard Hospitality in 2013 was the best thing that ever happened to her. Melissa began the intensive study of the company'€™s Guest Experience in 2013 and both the Residence Inn and Courtyard Sandestin have seen exponential improvement in Guest Satisfaction scores since her involvement began. In 2014 the Courtyard won the Platinum Circle Award for Guest Satisfaction as well as the 3rd place overall Arrival Experience in the brand. The Residence Inn won the Gold Circle Award for Guest Satisfaction in 2014 as well. The Social Media reach of the properties has increased ten-fold year over year with her efforts and she plans on continuing the growth and development of how Howard Hospitality communicates with its current and potential guests.

Chris Zorad

Director of Engineering for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Originally from McCook, Nebraska, Chris served in the U.S. Army from 1986-1989 and has found his way to the Destin area for keeps. Chris’s career in the Construction Industry began in 1990 – after 16 years he began working for the Marriott hotels on Grand Boulevard in 2006. He began as Chief Engineer at the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard when the hotels first opened. He currently holds the position of Director of Engineering for both properties. Chris has implemented a rigorous preventative maintenance program at both properties to ensure that hotel guests experience a flawless stay. He is looking forward to continuing his work with the Howard Hospitality team.

Anita Allen

Financial Controller for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Anita grew up in Pensacola, Florida and has resided here in the Sandestin area for the past 12+ years. She is an alumna of the University of West Florida and Pensacola State College. Over her accounting career of almost 30 years she has managed financials for a wide variety of businesses. In her earlier years she worked with the Air Force Base Exchange as Cashier Cage Manager as well as having worked in the accounting department there. She also worked for 11 years with Sacred Heart Hospital of Pensacola; managing financials for their Doctors’ Residency Program as well as the financials for the Community Clinic in Pensacola. Prior to her current responsibilities with Howard Hospitality she was SE Regional Accounting Controller, working her way up through Intrawest and Sandestin Resort & Club and Sandestin Investments; with accounting of various SE Regional ventures. She has managed successfully all accounting aspects from the ground up of the Howard Hospitality Marriott Hotels since their opening in 2006. Her many years of accounting experience has given her so much knowledge and she looks forward to future growth with Howard Hospitality.

Petar Petrov

Assistant Director of Engineering

Born and raised in Bulgaria, Petar has been curious about how things work since he was a small child repairing his bicycle and building tree houses. His passion, though has always been electronics and electricity. After completing a high school specialization in Electrical Engineering and a college degree in Computer Technology Petar moved to the United States in 2005. He began his career in Hospitality in housekeeping and in 2009 began working for the Marriott hotels on Grand Boulevard in maintenance. He was promoted in 2013 to the Assistant Director of Engineering. Petar looks forward to the future growth of Howard Hospitality.

Kelsey Vaughn

Assistant General Manager at the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Kelsey is from Carbondale, IL and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Administration with a focus on lodging and a minor in Marketing in 2011. She started working in the hospitality industry as soon as she graduated from high school. She began working for Howard Hospitality in 2012. She is happy to be residing in Miramar Beach, as her family took numerous vacations to the Destin area while she was growing up. Kelsey has held numerous positions here at Howard Hospitality, from front desk to Staff Accountant. She is grateful to have the opportunity to be the Operations Manager for the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard and looks forward to growing her career here at Howard Hospitality.

Jessica Hathorn

Sales Manager for the Courtyard and Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Passionate about hospitality, sales and marketing, Jessica has been with Howard Hospitality since 2012 in her role as a Sales Manager. Focused on engaging with potential accounts, Jessica uses '€˜relationship marketing'€™ to bring awareness of the Howard Hospitality properties to her clients. Graduating from the University of West Florida with a degree in Marketing, Jessica began her career in Publishing as an Account Executive before finding her way to the Hospitality industry. An artist and an avid patron of the arts, Jessica currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and is dedicated to being involved in her community.

Kaisha Talley

Assistant General Manager at the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard

Kaisha grew up in a small town outside of Dallas, TX. She began her hospitality career in Springfield, MO while she was attending Missouri State University. She graduated from MSU in 2012 with a BS in Hospitality Administration. After her graduation she joined Howard Hospitality at the Courtyard Sandestin at Grand Boulevard. She has had the privilege of holding many roles in the company and is currently proud to be serving as the Operations Manager for the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard.

RJ Hunt

Food & Beverage Manager at the Courtyard

RJ is a native Floridian born and raised In St. Petersburg, however, his hospitality and restaurant experience really took off while living in NYC for 5 years. Starting in high volume restaurants in midtown and Times Square, RJ rose through the ranks of the service industry, becoming one of the top selling bartenders of 2014 in Manhattan. He performed the duties of mixologist at multiple popular NYC hotspots including: The Dead Rabbit, Ravens Head Pub, Calico Jack’s, Turtle Bay, and McFadden’s on 42nd Street. Upon his departure from the Big Apple, RJ took the position of Lead Mixologist and Bartender for the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel & Golf Club in St. Petersburg. There he received The Marriott R Star award for most valuable Employee, and was a 3-time Nominee for “Best of the Bay” Best mixologist and best cocktails categories for his Post Prohibition style recipes. He also had the honor of personally demonstrating the Renaissance’s weekly “Bar moment” to Bill Marriott Sr. He is thrilled to be making the next big leap in his career with Howard Hospitality and looks forward to many great years with the company.

Megan Suggs

Operations Manager at the Courtyard

Megan is a Florida native born and raised in Sarasota, Fl. She attended the University of West Florida in Pensacola and has a BS in Hospitality, Recreation, and Resort management. Megan started her career working at the Portofino Island Resort on Pensacola Beach while she was a student at UWF. She began working with the Howard Hospitality team in 2016 as a Front of House Supervisor at the Residence Inn. She then journeyed onto becoming the Food & Beverage Manager at the Courtyard and from there was promoted to Operations Manager in 2017. Megan was homeschooled all her life and from there draws her passion for training and educating new associates. She is excited to see what her future holds within Howard Hospitality.

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