Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
Charles Crellin has been with the Boutique Hotel Collection and King Ventures since 2006, serving as Corporate Marketing Director. In March 2008, he took on the additional role of General Manager of Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort in Avila Beach.
Before King Ventures, Charles was the Marketing and Public Relations Director for a variety of businesses, including Rancho Arroyo Grande Winery, the Santa Monica-based International Aviation Network—A Jet Charter and Leasing Company, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. He has written essays, travel articles, and profiles, as well as conducted interviews, for a variety of publications, including the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Weekly, the San Francisco Review of Books, Westways magazine, the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Tribune, and New Times. Additionally, he published “Curvilinear,” a book of poetry.
He is also an instructor of Aikido, a Japanese martial art, and has co-managed a local dojo (training hall) since 1988.
Chief Operating Officer
The Cliffs Resort
Mike Casola has been on the central coast for the last eight years, working for the Boutique
Hotel Collection. The Collection is comprised of 7 hotels located throughout California.
Mike is the Chief Operating Officer and works with the hotels to optimize customer, colleague and owner satisfaction. In his 30 year career in the hospitality business, Mike has held senior executive positions with-in the hotels managed by Hyatt, Fairmont and Ritz-Carlton in such cities as New York, San Francisco, Palm Beach, Boston and Charleston S.C. In his last two positions prior to joining Boutique, Mike assisted in the re-branding of two of America’s grand hotels, The Ritz Carlton Kansas City and The Copley Plaza in Boston(both were branded Fairmont).
Mike has been a Rotary Club member, and held board positions for the chamber of commerce in Pismo Beach and Morro Bay. He is a member of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Advisory Council for Cal Poly, and currently sits on the board of the Business Improvement District for Morro Bay. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickenson University, in Teaneck N.J.
Peachy Canyon & Chronic Cellars
When Josh Beckett left the vineyards of Paso Robles and headed for college, wine was the last thing on his mind. He had set his sights on San Diego, the sun, the surf, and the pursuit of a career in education. Having spent his childhood at his parent's winery, Peachy Canyon, working alongside winemaking greats like Robert Nadeau (Nadeau Cellars) and Toby Shumrich (Tobin James Cellars), men who have earned fame and credit for bringing Paso Robles to wine greatness, these were not novelties of life, but common place experiences of his past. Perhaps this can begin to explain why Josh walked away from the beautiful rolling hills of the Central Coast over ten years ago.
It is an age old truth that we never realize what we have until it is gone. Josh grew up in the wine business, working harvests, crushing grapes and learning from the very best winemakers about wine and how it was made. Taking this experience for granted, he chose a different path after high school and spent the next few years applying himself to a new study, a new focus, all the while growing to appreciate the complex and valuable training he'd already received in the wineries of Paso Robles. Upon earning his Bachelor's degree in English from The University of San Diego, he turned to face his future and found himself staring at a fork in the road. Forge ahead to additional coursework and take his place alongside the millions of other classroom teachers, or return to Peachy Canyon "for one harvest", as his father had offered. Needless to say, Josh took the path less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Now 35 years old, he has earned the title of Winemaker at Peachy Canyon Winery. Overseeing production of 85,000 cases, managing 65 acres of Estate grapes and working with 25 local growers keeps him pretty busy these days.
As head winemaker, Josh says his favorite time of year is harvest, keeping a watchful eye on the endless bins arriving full of new grapes, imagining the future of his wines and how they will be created. He's made some changes in the wine program at Peachy since returning to the cellar after college. Observing, practicing, developing his knowledge and understanding for winemaking, he worked his way up the ladder before earning the title of head winemaker in 2003. Over the past six years, he has steered the wines along a path he feels is reminiscent of "our (Peachy Canyon's) original roots" in both production and style. His focus on quality has paid off with critical acclaim and a loyal following. Despite the growth of the winery's production, Josh has made it his priority to maintain the best possible quality with a true "hands-on" approach as often as possible.
The year 2009 marked the official opening of Chronic Cellars, a wine endevour created and executed by both Josh and his brother, Jake Beckett, in their spare time. Chronic Cellars is representative of the many tools and talents Josh has gleaned from his years at Peachy Canyon. The 2500 cases of wine are carefully constructed with all the hands-on techniques Josh applies to Peachy Canyon’s wines. But there is nothing conservative about Chronic Cellars. Conjuring skeletons and devils in rough ink blocks painted in electric colors, Chronic Cellars wines offer unexpected blends in unexpected bottles. Josh considers Chronic Cellars the liberal side of his winemaking, a place to apply experimental enology processes, to push the envelope with uncharacteristic blends and think outside the box in terms of winemaking, packaging and marketing.
Paso Robles is home to a new school of winemakers intent on producing world class wines to keep Paso a leader in the wine industry and Josh makes a point to collaborate and meet regularly with many of these local vintners to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. Experimenting with native yeasts, concrete fermenters and large format barrels are just a few of the ways Josh exemplifies his efforts to return to handcrafted, hands-on wine production. The results are self-evident in wine made carefully and joyfully by this second generation Beckett winemaker.
After long days in the winery, Josh is proud to call Morro Bay home, where he and his young family spend their time on the beach and in the surf. Taking the path less traveled has led Josh to a great number of successes, and who knows, maybe even a third generation of Beckett family winemakers.
Association of Amputee Surfers
Dana grew up on a farm in rural Maine as the youngest of seven and went on to serve six years in the Marine Corps, including Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He now lives in San Luis Obispo, California. He is a father of four (with a son due early April) and is married to a wonderful woman named Rebecca.
He lost his leg 7 1/2 years ago in August, 2002 due to injuries sustained in a automobile accident. After being laid up for a few weeks he decided that he had to make a choice, he could either let this destroy him, or make him stronger. He chose the latter and started setting goals for what he wanted to do now that he was an amputee. With his faith, and support from friends and relatives, he started back on the road to recovery.
Since losing his leg he has accomplished so many things. In August, 2003, only a year after his accident, he competed in his first surfing competition, winning 4th place, and received his first trophy! He had only learned to surf in January, just 4 months after losing my leg!!! He soon qualified for the U.S. Western Region championships the following year, and participated in his first half iron-man that same year. Since then he has participated & competed in sports such as Surfing, Wakeboarding, Water-skiing, Rock climbing, Snowboarding, and Soccer which were all new sports to him. I will be competing this year in the West coast Championships and the U.S. Championships of surfing as well.
Since my accident he has also accomplished many things outside of sports. He has traveled the world including Africa to set up computer labs and help build schools, opened a coffee & lounge bar, flipped houses, and even acted in his first major motion picture due out this August 2010. He is currently working on the non-profit he co-founded back in 2003 called the Association of Amputee Surfers (Ampsurf) as the Executive Director of the program. They put together “learn to surf” clinics for those with disabilities, and their goal is to help people see their abilities and define themselves by what they can do, and not by their disabilities and what they can’t do.
In his own words, he feels that “…no matter what happens to us in life people can "still do", and do more; you just have to want it. Most everyone has the ability they just need the desire, and help in getting started. I lost my leg not my life, and I realize that I have been given a very precious gift. It is not the gift of life, but the awareness of how precious life is. I don't want to waste a moment of my time. I want to experience everything that is out there in the world. We only get one shot at it here; I plan on giving it my best effort.”
The Cliffs Resort
Brooke grew up in Encinitas, CA but has been a resident of the Central Coast for the last 5 years. She began working at The Cliffs Resort in March of 2008 as a Front Desk Agent. After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Hotel Management in June 2009, she was offered the position of Event Coordinator at The Cliffs Resort.
San Luis Obispo based developer and owner of hotels.
Sea Venture Resort
Chet has been in the hospitality industry for the past 23 years, starting his career at Sycamore Mineral Springs as a gardener and eventually moved up through the ranks to the position of Director of Sales and Marketing. He then accepted the General Manager position at the SeaVenture and has been there for the past 11 years. Chet moved to the Central Coast in 1971 to attend Cal Poly and has made it his home ever since. He is a big fan of the Central Coast lifestyle and thinks it is an ideal place to be whether visiting, or living here. Chet also has a passion for music and you will hear him performing locally in the groups CT and Tommy Lee and also The Soul Sauce Band.
Boutique Hotel Collection
Bio coming soon
Boutique Hotel Collection
Tim and his wife moved to San Luis Obispo twenty years ago to start the mailorder business Mo Hotta – Mo Betta. A graduate of UCSB, Tim moved to SLO to be near the coast and pursue his passion, surfing. Tim has surfed from Nova Scotia to Tonga. He has been the Surf Nite Coordinator for the San Luis International Film Festival for the last four years. Surf Nite brings surfers and surfing filmmakers from all over the world (this year from Ireland and England) to San Luis Obispo to have face-to-face contact with enthusiastic audiences at the Fremont Theater.
Tim is proud to help promote AmpSurf, a non-profit that puts on “learn to surf” clinics for those with disabilities.
Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance
Christopher Taranto holds the position of Communications Manager at the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. He leads the public relations efforts of the Alliance working with local, regional and national media in support of the organization’s mission to market Paso Robles as a wine region to travel to as well as a recognizable American Viticultural Area when making a wine buying decision. His knowledge of the wine industry, combined with 15 years of association management history, and great skill in marketing is a valued asset as a manager with the Alliance. Christopher has been with the Alliance since January 2007.
Prior to working for the Alliance, Christopher served as the Public Relations and Media Manager at the California Space Authority, Inc. (CSA). CSA is a non-profit corporation founded to promote and advocate the continuing development and growth of California's space enterprise industry.
Chris graduated from California State University, Sacramento in 1995 and began working in the California tourism industry as an intern then special projects associate with the California Division of Tourism under the California Trade and Commerce Agency. In 1996 he was hired on as the Assistant Executive Director with the Monterey County Travel and Tourism Alliance (MCTTA). In this start-up, non-profit destination marketing organization, Chris was actively involved with the marketing and public relations of Monterey County's unincorporated region and worked closely with the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association on several projects.
In 2000 the MCTTA merged with another Monterey destination marketing organization to become the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Chris continued with the corporation, serving as the Program Manager, where he focused on operational management, membership, tour and travel sales, tourism development grants, convention services, visitor centers and direct leadership in all marketing and public relations programs.
In 2003 the destination of Paso Robles, California was seeking a director to lead their marketing efforts and Taranto's talents matched the destination’s needs. As the Director of Tourism for the Paso Robles Visitors and Conference Bureau (a division of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce through a contract with the City of Paso Robles) Chris was instrumental in creating a new brand strategy and corporate identity for the destination. He developed new marketing collateral, web presence, advertisements, and a multitude of national and international press for Paso Robles.
Chris has served on the boards of the Central Coast Tourism Council and the San Luis Obispo County Conference and Visitors Bureau, as well as the California Rural Tourism Advisory Committee, Central Coast Agricultural Tourism Council, the Historic Monterey Collaborative Committee and the CSA staff representative to the Coalition for Space Exploration Public Affairs Committee. Chris is also the newest member to the City of Paso Robles Recreation Advisory Committee. Chris is an avid surfer with 23 years of enjoying the benefits that the ocean provides for the mind, body and soul. Chris, his wife Jenny and son Joe enjoy living, working and playing in Paso Robles Wine Country along California's scenic central coast.
Central Coast native Amber Sandoval has been surrounded by cork dorks, surf nerds, artists, and musicians her whole life. Consequently, she is a product of her environment and the stoke of the SLO life has inspired her to live and develop her career in the place she’s always called home.
A graduate of the University of Hawaii’s Shidler College of Business with a degree in Marketing, Amber has been on board with local company MINDBODY, since 2007. Working with one of the largest companies in SLO, also one of the fastest growing companies in the US, Amber executes marketing campaigns that reach audiences around the globe. She is currently running the communications program, specializing in email marketing, brand management, and new product development. Before MINDBODY, Amber spent many years managing surf retail, jumping up and down in the waves for summer surf camps, and catering events for the who’s who of Honolulu.
When Amber’s not busy marketing away, you can usually find her enjoying the outdoors and teaching yoga at mBODY Yoga SLO. As a wino, surfer, and musician, Amber feels that Wine Waves & Beyond might just be the best thing since sliced bread and is thrilled to be on the board.
Sea Venture Resort
Lauren McIntyre moved from Ventura to the San Luis Obispo area to attend Cal Poly in 1996. After receiving her B.S. in Psychology she took on a series of other sales jobs. There was always something in her heart for the hotel industry, as she worked at the Apple Farm while going through college. Finding her way back to the industry in 2001 as the Sales Manager for the beach front SeaVenture Resort property, she felt like she was back home. In 2006 she was promoted to the Director of Sales and Catering and continues to coordinate weddings, but also wears a lot of other hats for the property, to include marketing, public relations, sales, special events and keeping up on the every changing internet. She loves being part of special projects such as Wine, Waves and Beyond, where she can use her creativity and challenge herself. Living in Paso Robles now, Lauren feels like she is so fortunate to be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, the beach and vineyards and all this area has to offer.
President & Owner
John Sorgenfrei is the owner and president of TJA Advertising. John graduated from the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California and has been involved in the advertising agency business for over thirty years. John has served as a Branch Manager for several national and international advertising agencies in Southern California supervising art, traffic, production and account service teams as well as successfully managing various clients' advertising and public relations. Some of these clients included Ford Motor Company, Beckman Instruments, Litton Industries, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Asics Sports Wear and the U.S. Navy. John started at TJA over eighteen years ago and has been the owner and president since 2002. John has moved the agency from primarily a retail agency to one that specializes in travel and tourism, working with destination marketing accounts such as Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and Avila Beach. These marketing tactics include web site creation, branding and social media.
John is a native of the central coast, and is excited to be a part of such an amazing event in his home town. As the Operations Manager for Martin Resorts Inc. John is responsible for company wide training and development as well as assisting in day to day operations within Martin Resorts five hotel properties. Currently, John can be found at the Best Western Plus Shelter Cove Lodge, one of Martin Resorts spectacular ocean front properties. John returned to the central coast from the Sacramento area with his wife Kara and son John Samuel to continue his career in hospitality and to enjoy the lifestyle and community he experienced growing up in the county. In 2010 John and Kara welcomed a fourth member to their family, Lyla Grace.
After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications at Sacramento State University John went on to manage Hilton properties, and eventually Marriott properties in the Placer County area. While in Placer County John was very active within the community and local schools. John was president of the Business Improvement District of Placer County, and taught part-time forensic speech and debate through Mira Loma High School. John currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Cuesta College Hospitality program, and has been instructing part time over the past several years at the college.