Our Team at the Tides Inn
Wedding Sales Manager
Allie Hobbs, Wedding Sales Manager at the Tides Inn, dedicates her career to organizing and executing one of the most special days in a couple’s relationship. Hobbs works with couples from start to finish by providing vendors, setting up tastings and site visits, finalizing food and beverage details, and more to make their perfect day come true.
Born and raised in Virginia Beach, VA, Hobbs grew up fascinated by the weddings that took place at the oceanfront and knew she’d someday turn it into a career. As a natural leader, Hobbs’ worth ethic is driven by leadership and respect; “I believe that in order to get respect, you must give respect.”
After graduating from Christopher Newport University in 2016, she joined the team at Westmoreland State Park as their Special Events Coordinator. Two years later, she joined the Tides Inn team as their Catering and Conference Services Manager before switching to wedding sales a year later.
“I think the Tides Inn is such a special location with so much to offer,” she says. “We have so many incredible couples who I form relationships with and see them throughout their journeys. I see them have kids. I see them buy homes. It’s such a special thing to be a part of, and it makes me feel like I have extended family everywhere.
Hobbs currently resides in Farnham, VA with her husband, Justin, her son, Bryson, and their two cats, beagle, and betta fish.
Jason Trollip, joining the Tides Inn in 2020, was formerly Managing Director of The Cove, Eleuthera, part of the Enchantment Group portfolio. Prior to his work with Enchantment, he managed Nihi Hotels & Resorts on Sumba Island, Indonesia, where he led the team to being named “#1 Best Hotel in the World” in 2016 and 2017 by Travel + Leisure. From 2003 to 2016 he oversaw three of Singita’s African Safari properties, leading them to earn top World’s Best Hotels rankings for several years running.
Before beginning his career in hospitality, Trollip attended UNISA University in South Africa where he studied a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in Business Management and Public Administration. He also served proudly in the South African Air Force (SAAF) during his National Military Service.
Trollip then began to follow his boyhood dream of working with African wildlife, protecting and preserving wildlife areas across Southern Africa. Over the next eight years Trollip managed teams of Game Rangers on several of the best wildlife conservancies in Africa.
Trollip speaks several languages including East African Swahili, Indonesian Bahasa and Afrikaans. When not leading hospitality teams to greatness, his interests include hiking, diving, sailing and world travel. On a community engagement level, he has dedicated himself to being a leader in the areas of conservation, sustainability and community development programs with a particular emphasis on water provision, early child development and school meal programs.
Director of Development
Marston Smith, Director of Development at the Tides Inn, is currently overseeing the resort’s $3.6 million shoreline restoration project. Smith grew up in Richmond, VA, and attended undergrad at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA. He also received a Master’s in Real Estate and Infrastructure from Johns Hopkins University.
In his previous position, Smith was Director of Development for Dalian Development, a Washington, DC-based company focused luxury apartment development. During his tenure, Dalian built, owned and operated over 1,000 units across the country, including the flagship Dalian on the Park in the arts district of Philadelphia, which also included the third-largest Whole Foods Market in the country. In this office Smith was also a founding member of CloudHQ, an international data center hyperscale builder and owner.
Prior to Dalian, Marston served in many capacities for Clark Construction Group in Bethesda, Maryland. Highlight construction projects include the Department of Homeland Security/ Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the Camp Pendleton Hospital in Carlsbad, CA. With Clark, Smith was also integral in the creation of two operations groups (CFSG Energy & Structured Finance, and Clark Facility Solutions) as the company sought to provide a full turnkey building life-cycle relationship with clients.
Here at the Tides Inn, Smith enjoys the feeling he gets from being at such an inspiring place. Having developed so many different product types in his career, this resort is his favorite to date. He hopes the resort guests look out over the beautiful water vista and feel the inspiration he does every day coming to work.
In his spare time, Smith enjoys taking advantage of the waterfront, from kayaking to sunset cruises to our oyster experience-the beautiful water element is part of what makes the Tides Inn so special.
William Knight Smiley IV
Born and raised in the mountains of Lynchburg, VA, Smiley attended Washington College in Chestertown, MD, where his love of the Chesapeake Bay started while earning his Bachelor of Science in Biology. He went on to attend graduate school at Antioch University in Keene, NH, where he received his Master of Education in Sustainability.
At the Tides Inn, Smiley lends his expertise to working on the water and informing guests of the living aspects of Carter’s Creek and the Rappahannock River, including growing more oysters to create better water quality and educating guests on their key role in the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Smiley believes the Tides Inn is at the center of the Chesapeake Bay’s oyster industry and that oysters are an icon of sustainability-balancing people, profit, and planet.
Smiley’s goal as the Tides Inn Ecologist is to have guests leave the resort with a better sense of stewardship and the desire to help waterways near their hometown. “We all live downstream from someone else, and we all need to do our part to protect water as a valuable resource.”
Smiley currently resides in Hartfield, VA with his three children, Abigail, Owen and Walker.
Director of Quality Assurance
An experienced resort executive who has held a variety of positions – from culinary to operations, Trollip oversees the resort’s implementation of five-star service standards, assisting in training, inspections and more.
Her career has taken her all over the world – across four continents. Starting in 2018, Trollip was previously Resort Manager at The Cove Eleuthera, starting in October 2018. Prior to this position in the Bahamas, she was General Manager of Nihiwatu Resort on Sumba Island, Indonesia. At Singita, with its luxury safari lodges and wildlife reserves in Serengeti, Tanzania, she began as Head Chef de Cuisine in 2008 and ended as Operations Manager in 2016. Living in Europe prior to Tanzania, she was a Pastry Chef in Prague and Chef de Partie in London – both for Gordon Ramsay Group. One of her fondest memories in hospitality was in her home country of South Africa, where she was Head Chef for the historic Belvidere Manor Hotel in the seaside town of Knysna.
After these diverse experiences across the globe, Trollip is thrilled to establish roots in Virginia’s Northern Neck region.
“The Tides Inn has been a revered vacation destination for seven decades,” said Trollip. “I’m excited to cultivate future leaders and help our staff develop their skills to offer world-class service.”
Director of Rooms
Susan Williamson began her Tides Inn journey in 1985 as a “bread and butter” girl and never left. Thirty years later, she is now the Director of Rooms for the resort.
This long legacy began with Susan’s mother, Kathleen, who worked in housekeeping for 43 years. Kathleen was hired by the original owners, the Stephen’s family. With her father working at the local oyster and seafood institution, W.E. Kellum Seafood, Williamson was destined for a career in hospitality.
Williamson’s parents were not the only ones to influence her in joining the hospitality industry. Inspired by the TV show The Love Boat, she wanted to be Julie McCoy and now gets to play the role everyday by helping celebrate guest’s special milestones – from weddings to anniversaries. Determined to make the Tides Inn the best resort on the East Coast, she wants to treat each guest like they are the only thing in the world that matters.
Williamson resides in Weems, VA. In her free time, she enjoys spending the day on the water with her husband William, son Billy and two dogs, Maggie and Willow.
Marina Director Stormy Pearson has been working at the Tides Inn since 1993. Throughout those nearly 30 years, Stormy greatly enjoys the daily interactions with guests from all walks of life which have led to long lasting relationships and generations of repeat guests.
Growing up in the Northern Neck of Virginia, Captain Pearson has been called Stormy since birth; a great engagement topic with new guests. In 1986, he became co-manager of Buzzard’s Point Marina, home of Tangier and Rappahannock Cruises, Inc., where he worked towards his captain’s license.
Since beginning at the Tides Inn, the marina is often nominated in Best of the Chesapeake Bay surveys and voted Best Resort Marina in the lower bay, priding themselves on their “unblemished safety record and professionalism while underway or onshore,” Pearson says. “Over the years, both hotel and marina guests enjoy the personal recognition when returning, which goes both ways – we are a part of their family, and they sincerely feel like they are ‘coming home’ when visiting.”
In his free time, Pearson travels to the Caribbean in the offseason and enjoys spending time on the water.
PGA Head Golf Professional
As PGA Head Golf Professional at the Tides Inn for the past decade, Don Nelson’s expertise has developed over the nearly forty years he’s been in the golf business.
Born and raised in Kilmarnock, Virginia as one of seven children, Nelson attended the Virginia Commonwealth University earning a degree in Mass Communications while playing collegiate and soon professional golf. In 1983 he began working at The Crossing in Richmond, VA as a PGA First Assistant before moving on to be the Head Golf Professional at Hanover Country Club in Ashland, VA and the General Manager at Tartan Golf Club in Irvington, VA.
At the Tides Inn, Nelson values the interactions and relationships he builds with guests. The resort’s goal, he says, “is to create a friendly and stress-free atmosphere that the guest can enjoy a casual round of golf.” Most recently, Nelson received the Quarter Century Award from the PGA of America.
Nelson resides in Weems, VA with his wife, Gayle, and his three kids and enjoys playing a round of golf with his family, friends, or members.
In his free time, Pearson travels to the Caribbean in the offseason and enjoys spending time on the water.
As Activities Coordinator at the Tides Inn, Tania has spent the past three seasons working closely with the Tides Inn guests to ensure they have a relaxing, fun, and memorable experience. Tania leads an array of activities including bike book tours and crabbing experiences with kids. Born and raised in Colombia by her grandparents, Tania traveled solo to the United States at age 22. Prior to working at the Tides Inn, she worked at local winery, Good Luck Cellars, doing tastings. She currently lives with her husband and enjoys traveling, dancing and working out in her free time.
Art Program Manager
Joining the Tides Inn as the resort’s Art Program Manager, Theresa Schneveis brings years of experience in the artistic landscape to her position. Inspired by her upbringing in Medford, WI, Schneveis quickly discovered her love for nature that has translated into her artwork today, finding herself drawing, painting, and sculpting anything from the natural world. With a focus on illustrative art, Schneveis creates with no main story or background, often times taking inspiration from other illustrators, folk tales, books, and pre-Columbian art. Most of all, Schneveis enjoys listening to the viewer’s interpretation and having open discussions about possible meanings.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in River Falls, Schneveis traveled to multiple international destinations, where she was exposed to artists and cultures that have been carrying the tradition of making for decades. In 2011 and 2012, she studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile at the Caraumilla Center of the Arts working in ceramics with various artists from around the world. In 2014, she studied in Zalapa, Mexico, visiting historical ruins and the Museo de Antropologia de Xalapa. On these trips, she learned the importance of illustration and the impact that drawing and hieroglyphics played in the retelling of daily life in those civilizations.
To date, Schneveis’ favorite artists include Beth Cavener Stichter, whose use of clay to sculpt animals appear soft and life-like with an animated quality, as well as illustrator Carson Ellis, whose use of watercolors and color theory create a somber, yet playful feeling. At the Tides Inn, she will bring her talent and expertise to the art program for guests and visitors to enjoy.
Assistant Director of Food & Beverage
Tori Kersch, Assistant Director of Food & Beverage, joined the Tides Inn team after working as an operations manager for a wedding venue company in Texas. Although new to Irvington, VA, she’s a seasoned Enchantment Group employee, previously holding positions at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ and The Cove Eleuthera, where she was awarded Most Helpful Manager.
Her favorite part of the job is the talented culinarians she works alongside and the memorable experiences her guests leave with. “My goal is to motivate and work with my team to make sure each guests experience is unique and memorable,” Kersch says. “We have won if our guests leave thinking, ‘I’ve never seen/done/experienced that before, I want to go back!’”
Kersch currently resides with her husband and soon-to-be newborn. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, spending time outdoors with her dogs and traveling.
Natasha Soloff SHRM-CP
Director of Human Resources
As the Director of Human Resources, Natasha Soloff’s passion lies in giving her team members the opportunities to grow and develop while making a positive impact on their lives.
Born in New Mexico and raised in Texas, Soloff received her bachelor’s in human resources and master’s in business administration from Auburn University in Montgomery, AL. Kicking off her career at resorts in Alabama before heading to the Doubletree by Hilton in Williamsburg, VA, Soloff joined The Tides Inn team in March 2020.
“I hope that our guests find our staff to be extremely hospitable and friendly. If they do, then that means we have done our job to train and care for our associates,” she says. “The culture of care and positivity is contagious.”
Outside of work, Soloff enjoys cycling, reading, playing tee ball with her four-year-old son and facetiming her 11-year-old daughter in Alabama.
For the past five years, Retail Manager Kristy Thomas has brought a one-of-a-kind shopping experience to guests visiting the Tides Inn Boutique. Her favorite parts include connecting with guests, merchandising and building displays, and instilling confidence in her team and watching them grow into their roles.
Prior to this role, Thomas spent five years at a private golf and country club in Portsmouth, VA before working with a government contractor, Military Produce Group in Norfolk, VA, all while receiving her associates degree in applied science in 2014 and raising two children.
Outside of work, Thomas loves spending time on the water, at the beach, boating, riding ATV’s and fishing.
Director of Marketing & Resort Programming
As the newly appointed Director of Marketing & Resort Programming, Richard Keurajian brings over 25 years of experience in hospitality sales and marketing to the Tides Inn. Keurajian joins the resort with an abundance of regional experience, having lead the marketing efforts for Kingsmill Resort and Lansdowne Resort and Spa over the last 11 years. In addition to independent hotels, Keurajian has worked for larger hotel brands during his career, including Hyatt and Wyndham. Born in Old Tappan, New Jersey, Keurajian lives in Williamsburg with his wife and three children.
“At the Tides Inn, our idyllic waterfront setting is the perfect place to discover and engage with nature, while enjoying upscale resort accommodations,” said Keurajian. “I’m excited to share our new river ecology programming and artisanal experiences with guests as we celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2022.”
Bringing over 30 years of culinary experience and over 10 years of Culinary Management to his new role, Doyal joined the Tides Inn team in summer 2021 as a three-month task force Chef de Cuisine and was promoted to Executive Chef in October 2021.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Doyal knew from a young age he wanted to be a chef, inspired by his grandmother’s Southern home cooking. As he progressed through his career, he worked as an Executive Chef for Interstate Hotels and Shamin Hotels. Most of his training was at the five-star rated Williamsburg Inn in Colonial Williamsburg Inn for nine years. Most recently, Terrence held the title of Executive Chef at the Doubletree by Hilton in Williamsburg, VA. He was twice awarded “Best Locally Sourced Chef” at the March of Dimes Chefs events for his culinary presentations.
“I want to involve the local culinary institute and community in an internship program to grow the culinary team from the inside,” Doyal said, “Being able to teach someone the art of creating and eating good food is one of the best things about the job.”
Meet Tides Inn’s Horticulturist: Matt Little. With a BA in Environmental Science and many years of experience in groundskeeping, facility management and commercial landscaping, Matt is creating new educational experiences for guests – in the resort’s new Mushroom Forest, Bee Meadow and more.
“My favorite part of my role is being in nature and sharing my knowledge with guests,” he said. “My hope is that they’ll leave inspired and better appreciate the environment in their own communities.”
Matt’s passion for gardening came from his grandmother who was a Master Gardener; he became a Master Gardener when he was only 16 years old. In his free time, Matt enjoys gardening, fishing and cooking.
Brandon has been a part of the Tides Inn family for 19 years. His favorite part about being a sous chef is interacting with guests, especially when they visit for special occasions. Brandon even leads culinary classes at the Tides Inn, to offer guests a unique experience and skills to bring home with them. He hopes that every guest leaves with a lasting memory.
Outside of his role at the Tides, Brandon enjoys fitness and bodybuilding. He is a father of three boys and a personal trainer.