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.
Arabella Denvir is the owner of Premier Sailing, the resort’s on-property sailing school, and a US Sailing Keelboat and Powerboat instructor. A lifelong sailor, Denvir’s passion lies in teaching lessons to children, hoping to instill in them the thrill of sailing from a young age.
Born into a family of sailors and boat designers dating back four generations, Denvir grew up in the coastal town of Kinsale, Ireland and quickly followed in her family’s footsteps. Her sailing years have included many wins in collegiate sailing in Ireland and England, ownership of two classic boats, founding Malta Sailing School and the Malta Young Sailors Club. Her years of racing in the US took her to 30th position in the women’s World Match Race ranking list. In 1998 she and her husband Philip arrived in Irvington and established Premier Sailing at the Tides Inn.
While the sailing school owns over 25 boats, Denvir’s favorite boat is a J24 racing boat named “High Hopes.”
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.
Jessica Teague, horticulturist at the Tides Inn, has extensive experience and love for in all things nature. Born in the mountains in Shenandoah Valley, VA, Jessica always had a love for plants, growing up hiking and farming with her parents. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Science in horticulture from Virginia Tech University, she established her career working in private estates, mastering the art and expanding her realm of expertise. Interested in being around more people, something her work at the private estates lacked, she landed the role as on-site horticulturist at the Tides Inn in 2017.
With each year, Jessica’s skillset has expanded, first by starting an herb garden. From there she also began developing an on-site beekeeping experience, managing the one-acre wildflower garden and cultivated a mushroom lined nature trail. In addition, she leads tours of the nature trails, bringing guests along for an interactive experience beekeeping, honey tasting, foraging for mushrooms, and expanding their knowledge of herb and plant life. In her free time, Jessica also bee keeps at home and loves hiking and the outdoors.
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.
Executive Chef & Director of Food & Beverage
As Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage for the Tides Inn-a beloved waterfront resort distinctively located where the Virginia Wine Trail and Virginia Oyster Trail meet-Truman Jones helms the resort’s four multifaceted culinary operations, bringing over 20 years of industry expertise and a passion for supporting local and coastal purveyors. Jones’ style is described as regional, seasonal, and artisanal while echoing Virginia’s rich culinary culture.
“My vision for the resort is to give the Tides Inn a sense of place by playing up the access the resort has to Virginia’s remarkable farming traditions and close proximity to the Chesapeake Bay-the nursery of the Atlantic Ocean,” he says.
Joining the Tides Inn team in fall 2020, Jones elevates guests’ epicurean experiences by creating thoughtful dishes inspired by the resort’s unique location and timeless heritage. He oversees menu development, culinary programming and day-to-day operations for the resort’s coastal eatery, Fish Hawk Oyster Bar, which offers a selection of coastal classics, outdoor oyster roasts, and a raw bar featuring a rotation of locally sourced oysters; recently revitalized Chesapeake Restaurant and outdoor terrace, a private Overlook Dining experience boasting stunning views of Carter’s Creek; and an all-new Chef’s Kitchen concept, presenting interactive programming and cooking classes. Focusing on maintaining relationships with the local community, Jones works with chefs, farmers, fishermen and vintners along the Virginia Wine Trail to not only elevate the culinary programming at the resort, but to put Irvington, Virginia on the map as a culinary destination with the Tides Inn as a thought leader.
Before joining the team at Tides Inn, Jones held the title of executive chef at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa where he also used local ingredients, including the Ojai pixie to elevate his signature regional, seasonal, and artisanal style. Prior to his time at Ojai Valley Inn, Jones held the role as executive chef at Lake Placid Lodge (NY) and Ventana Inn & Spa (CA), respectively. When he is not in the kitchen, Jones enjoys fitness and outdoor activities with his wife, playing both acoustic and electric guitars, and grilling with a glass of Virginia bourbon in hand-a family tradition.
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 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.
Wellness Guide, Esthetician
Wellness Guide Rochelle Townsend approaches her yoga classes at the Tides Inn with a focus on the individual. “Each guest comes to class for a different reason,” she says, in hopes that in return she helps them meet their goal and they leave “a bit more relaxed, very refreshed and ready for their day.”
Originally from South Jersey, Townsend began teaching yoga in the early 2000s, a career that eventually evolved into owning and operating three successful yoga studios in Colorado and New Jersey. Focused on yoga’s healing power, Townsend attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and holds certificates in Vinyasa Yoga, Power Yoga, Yoga for Scoliosis, Energy Anatomy, and Reiki Master, among many others.
Along the way, she expanded her wellness training, pursuing a career in esthetics. “Yogic self-care is a key component to a healthy lifestyle,” she says. “Those things include spa services not as just a ‘guilty pleasure’ but as a key to a healthy self.” Upon studying at Rizzieri Aveda School, she is dually licensed in Virginia and New Jersey.
Townsend resides with her boyfriend and two dogs, a deaf, blind, black lab and a blonde Pomeranian.