Salamander Hotels & Resorts Builds Winning Sales Team at The Henderson, A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort
Gary Griggs Appointed Director of Sales & Marketing; Greg Whitacre named Director of Group Sales; Kelly M. Galloway and Cathy Jones Selected as Senior Sales Managers
DESTIN, FLORIDA (Jan. 9, 2017) — Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel management company founded by Sheila C. Johnson, has assembled a winning sales team at The Henderson, A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort, in Destin, Florida.
The Henderson, which opened its doors on the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast in November, is one the finest beach resorts built on Florida’s Gulf Coast in a generation.
Gary Griggs is appointed to the role of director of sales & marketing. Greg Whitacre is the director of group sales; and Kelly M. Galloway and Cathy Jones round out the sales team as senior sales managers.
Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. and a graduate of Benedictine College, Gary Griggs has 31 years of hotel sales and marketing experience, with specific knowledge of marketing independent, destination resorts in Palm Springs, Calif., Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and the Gulf Coast of Florida. He has held leadership roles at the Westin Atlanta North, Callaway Gardens Resort, was vice-president of sales for the Resort Collection in Panama City Beach, Fla., and most recently led two historic hotels in Fort Worth, Texas: the Hilton Fort Worth (where JFK spent his last night and gave his last formal speech back in November 1963) and the historic Ashton Hotel, built in 1907.
Gary and his wife, Sharon, enjoy golfing, the great outdoors, travelling and nature hiking with their 4-legged (K-9) “son,” Maxx.
Greg Whitacre brings to his sales role more than 20 years of results-driven sales leadership and a track record of success in both hotel group sales as well as with third-party agencies. Prior to joining The Henderson, Whitacre was area vice president of sales (South Central U.S.) for Marriot International, Inc. On the third-party full-service agency side, he was the regional vice president in Chicago and New York with Martiz, Inc. He also owned and operated, G-FORCE Incentives, Meetings & Events, which he founded in 1997.
A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Whitacre and his wife, Ann, and their two “canine boys” Wrigley and Cooper live in Destin.
Kelly M. Galloway, a native of Foley, Alabama, is a senior sales manager. She has 29 years of experience in the hospitality industry. She refined her skills at The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans while opening the hotel, earning her the position of Director of Travel Industry and Entertainment Sales. She carried this experience with her to Four Seasons, Atlanta, and continued on to open The Mansion on Peachtree. After five years Galloway then relocated to Seagrove, Florida in 2011 and continued her pattern of exceeding her revenue goals at St. Joe Club & Resorts, where she was director of sales, responsible for the sales and catering team, selling multiple properties including, The Pearl and WaterColor Inn & Resort.
She attended the University of New Orleans, majoring in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism. She has recently relocated to Destin from Seagrove and will work on property at The Henderson and then transition into a home office in Mobile, Alabama in the spring.
With more than 35 years of experience in the hospitality/golf industry leading companies through startup, turnaround and growth modes, senior sales manager Cathy Jones is known for consistently producing results that surpass corporate revenue and profit objectives. Her hospitality experience includes executive leadership roles with Renaissance World Golf Village, Lajitas Golf Resort, Convention Planning services, WSB Resorts & Clubs LLC, Tradewinds Island Resort, Laquinta Resort and Club, Meadowbrook Golf Group, Blue Shark Golf Course, Championsgate Golf Course, the Kissimmee-St. Cloud Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Linkscorp, Inc. Rymark and Suncoast Destination Management.
Jones is a member of Society of Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE) and served as president of SITE Florida. Jones has been an active member of Meeting Planners International, Central Florida Convention Services Association, the National Association of Golf Tournament Directors, Meetings Industry Ladies Organization and Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International. Originally from New Jersey, she is relocating to Destin from Orlando for this senior sales manager position with a territory of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Destin is a burgeoning destination within a one-day drive of Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, and also easily accessible by air. Its three area airports have seen a surge in expanded service, especially from the Midwest and Northeast, with more than 200 daily departures and arrivals from cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa and Washington, D.C.
Dunavant Enterprises, Inc., which owns the resort hotel, has engaged Sheila C. Johnson’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts, one of the country’s top luxury hotel companies, to manage operations.
Located along one of America’s top rated beaches and also adjacent to a 200-acre, coastal nature preserve, Henderson Beach Resort will be one of the first luxury resorts to open along Florida’s Gulf Coast in a generation. It will feature more than 30,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor flexible meeting space, authentic Gulf-to-Table cuisine and a spectacular beach experience.
The Henderson is the anchor hotel of still-developing Henderson Beach Resort: future phases of which include condominiums and villa-style resort accommodations. The existing beachfront Henderson Park Inn, also owned by Dunavant Enterprises and one of the most acclaimed small hotels in the country, continues to service guests.
“I’m excited to have such a seasoned Henderson sales team working in conjunction with the support of our corporate Salamander sales experts,” said Henderson Beach Resort General Manager Douglas Hustad. “With a strong focus on ensuring an effective meeting combined with seamless service, our 30,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor flexible space makes us an ideal option for any corporate or social gathering.”