Oregon Coast Hotel Hospitality & Service
The Team at Salishan Spa & Golf Resort
Gregg Harper - General Manager
Gregg Harper, a native Oregonian with a degree in hotel management from Oregon State, is new to Salishan, but he comes to the central Oregon Coast with a wealth of experience in managing resorts all over the country. He served as the Director of Operations at Sunriver Resort, the General Manager of Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, WA, and ran multiple Florida properties before making his way to the Oregon coast.
“A stay at Salishan is about creating memories,” he says. “We want to pass on the tremendous tradition and legacy that is Salishan, but also introduce a new, fresh look and feel. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to family traditions and that Northwest feeling you get as soon as you walk in the door.” An avid hunter and fisherman, Gregg particularly loves the outdoor feel to Salishan.
Mark Swift - Director of Golf
Mark is now in his 16th season as Salishan’s Director of Golf. He came to the resort with a range of amateur and professional experience in competitive golf, ranging from the golf team at Cal State, Chico to competing in Nike and Spalding golf tour events. His prior resort experience includes time at Sun Valley, Idaho’s Elkhorn Resort. Mark was elected to be a member of the PGA of America in 1995, and he has served as the Taft High School (Lincoln City) boys’ head golf coach. He provides lessons at Salishan as well as serving as the director of the golf program.
“My goal is to lead a fully dedicated team of people to help guests have a great golf experience,” he says. “From the moment guests walk into the clubhouse, they’re going to be greeted by a knowledgeable person, ready to help.”
Kirsten Hanson - Director of Catering
Kirsten grew up in nearby Lincoln City, staring her career in the hospitality industry at the Shilo Inn there. She went on to hold jobs at hotels in Portland and Hawaii before making her way back to the central Oregon Coast, where she has been with Salishan Spa & Golf Resort for nine years. Kirsten’s boundless energy and creativity help clients create “Salishan stories” every day, whether she is planning menus for a 200-guest wedding, a 50-person corporate retreat, or an intimate dinner for eight. She can arrange catering for any of Salishan’s many event spaces, for nearly any budget, for the perfect event on the Oregon Coast.
Her favorite event space is the Cedar Tree dining room, with its cedar beams, wrought-iron chandelier, and spectacular view. “Successful events are my favorite thing. I can tell when we’ve been successful from the smiles on guests’ faces,” she said. “I love making our event clients look good – that’s my reward.”
Joemel Panisa - Banquet Manager
Joemel has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, having served in various management positions at three hotels in the Sacramento area before joining the Salishan family about a year ago. He holds responsibility for running banquet and convention catering for all special events at the resort, and he loves making his clients happy. “My goal is to leave guests longing to come back,” he says. “Their experience must put a smile on their face, and become a lasting memory.”
Joemel is looking forward to the many special events in store for the resort’s 50th anniversary, but he also loves the rare moments of quiet reflection he is able to snatch at the end of a long day. You can sometimes find him refueling with a hot dog and a diet Pepsi in his favorite spot at the resort: the bottom tier of Gray’s, Salishan’s main dining room.
Sadie Buring - Spa Manager
Sadie Buring has been on the central Oregon Coast longer than the spa she manages: she grew up just to the north of the resort, in Lincoln City, OR. She started at Salishan Spa as a locker room attendant at the age of 16, and then worked at the front desk before being promoted to Spa Manager. She loves the Salishan atmosphere so much that she held her wedding at the resort three years ago.
“The Salishan Spa team aims to make each guest’s experience the most relaxing it can be – we do everything we can to make them feel special, from the moment they walk in the door,” she says. It helps that she has such a wonderful team to work with. “We’re all friends here, and it really feels like a family.” Sadie’s favorite things about living at the coast are walking the beach and living in a small, supportive community.
Nicole Ball - Group Sales Manager
Having years of experience in the hospitality industry, Nicole feels privileged to be part of the Salishan family. Growing up in Sisters, OR, Nicole’s own family had a beach house just south of Salishan, so she understands the magic of the Oregon Coast as well as anyone. “Salishan is a truly special place to escape and relax” she raves, “and the recent renovation is nothing short of spectacular. We’re honoring Salishan’s history while introducing new vision and energy.” She continues, “It is so exciting to see how far Salishan has come over the past 50 years and to be a part of where Salishan going.” Nicole helps facilitate groups ranging from school trips to professional organizations to religious institutions and nonprofit organizations. When booking a meeting or retreat at Salishan, she loves getting creative to help clients plan that perfect event. Want fun and unique team-building activities to break out of the four walls of your meeting? Nicole can arrange that. Think a beach party would be a cool way to wrap up your corporate board meeting? She can make that happen. Nicole has a BS in Merchandising Management from Oregon State University with a minor in Business Entrepreneurship and Marketing. When she escapes to Salishan for fun, you will probably find her on the golf course strengthening her game.
Lindsey Youngren - Director of Sales & Marketing
An Oregon native, Lindsey graduated from University of Oregon and has over 20 years’ experience in group and convention business development and building client relationships in various markets. She wants guests to treat Salishan as their personal sanctuary: “Our lives are so busy with little time for escape. I want guests here to unplug, recharge, and reconnect with what’s important.” How does Lindsey know when a guest’s stay has been successful? “When they want to come back,” she says. “Return guests are our most important guests.” Lindsey and the whole Salishan team will work hard to ensure that you will want to return, again and again.
“I want guests here to unplug, recharge, and reconnect with what’s important.”
Lee Boles - Director of Tennis
A native to the Pacific Northwest (Chehalis, WA to be exact), Lee Boles has been with Salishan for about eight years, serving as the director of the tennis program and the resident tennis pro. Lee has had a passion for tennis since the age of twelve, which he loves to pass on to guests and clients, visitors as well as locals. He holds the highest level of certification from the U.S. Pro Tennis Association, and has a special gift for working with clients with particularly tough tennis problems to solve. “If something is preventing a player from reaching the next level, I can find it and take it on – I’m persistent!” he says.
Having benefited from an inspirational tennis mentor as a teenager, Lee wants to serve in that role for others: “I always thought, if one person thought of me the way I thought of that teacher, life would be complete.” Lee considers his job at Salishan a dream come true, as he used to work at tennis camps here many years ago, a “working vacation” that has now become his workplace. “I always had a big grin on my face when we pulled in here,” he said. “I now have that big grin every day.” Contact Lee if you’d like info about tennis lessons for any level player.
Bill Barnes - Golf Superintendent
While he’s also worked in cranberry bogs and an Alaskan fishing resort, Golf Superintendent Bill Barnes has had a passion for golf for most of his life. He grew up near Bandon, OR, now home to the legendary Bandon Dunes Golf Course, and became hooked on the game at the age of eight. Now he gets to spend time on the Salishan Golf Course nearly every day, supervising the crew that mows, waters, trims, rakes, weeds, and generally keeps the golf course in shape. Bill has a degree in horticulture and turf management from Oregon State University, but his feel for the course, developed over his thirteen years at Salishan, is what really keeps the greens green.
He is particularly proud that Salishan’s golf course is designated as a Cooperative Bird Sanctuary by Audubon International. Bill loves his work. “There are not many jobs where you can put your stamp on a 200-acre landscape every day,” he says. “I pride myself on our greens, which are among the best in the Northwest.”