server delivering dish to seated dining guest
Our Philosophy

Who We Are

Our Philosophy

We are inspired professionals that believe profitability is the result of deep passion, a positive culture, and effective storytelling.

Male hotel guest enters elevator with leather briefcase
man and woman posing either side of a painting

“We want every guest’s experience to be so remarkable they pause and say, ‘This place is different.’”

Jon signature

Jon Weitz, Founder & President

Our Team

Our strength lies in the vision of our leadership, the diverse experiences of our team, and our history of sustained financial growth.

Leadership

smiling man in suit leaning against a chair

Jon Weitz

FOUNDER & PRESIDENT
Jon Weitz and his wife Lisa started Avocet in 2006 with a vision to create a hospitality company that was dedicated to providing unique guest experiences.

smiling man in a suit leaning on a railing

Ken Merkel

REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Ken has more than 30 years in hospitality and joined Avocet Hospitality in January 2009. He has extensive experience in high-end luxury hotels.

Pietro Giardini

Pietro Giardini

REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Pietro has spent his entire life in the hospitality industry, his family has a hotel where he began washing dishes at the age of 10.

Dale Huggins

Dale Huggins

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE
Dale has been in the hospitality industry for over 25 years, with past positions at Homegrown Hospitality Group and DataSpring Inc.

man sitting in an armchair with a painting behind him

Adam Donevant

VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE
Adam is a CPA from Myrtle Beach, SC. He moved to Charleston in September 2013 to make a shift from public accounting to the hospitality industry.

smiling woman looking out of a window

Valerie Ross

VICE PRESIDENT OF REVENUE
Valerie has a background in hospitality management and comes to AH with 11 years of revenue management experience.

smiling bearded man in suit standing with crossed arms

Kris Altman

VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
Kris Altman joined Avocet Hospitality in 2019 with over 10 years of experience with hospitality management companies, independent and branded hotels.

bald smiling man seated in armchair

Rod Gerber

VICE PRESIDENT OF DEVELOPMENT & CONSTRUCTION
Rod began working for Avocet in 2010 and has been instrumental in the development, construction, and design of numerous Avocet projects.

smiling woman standing with arms crossed

Amber Hultgren Topping

VICE PRESIDENT OF PEOPLE & CULTURE
With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Amber Hultgren joined Avocet in 2019 after a previous role with Belmond.

Wesley Sang

Wesley Bloomfield Sang

VICE PRESIDENT OF INVESTMENTS & ACQUISITIONS
Wesley joined Avocet Hospitality in 2015 as Director of Marketing, and in 2019 she transitioned into a role to help further grow the Avocet portfolio.

Team

smiling blond woman standing in hallway

Caitlin Corrigan

CORPORATE SALES DIRECTOR
Caitlin Corrigan joined Avocet Hospitality in 2015, as a Sales Manager for Tides Folly Beach.

smiling woman sitting in a high-backed chair

Dixie Hemingway

CREATIVE LEAD
Dixie comes to AH with a variety of design experiences ranging from hospitality to political campaigns.

Headshot of Anna Burgess

Anna Burgess

RECRUITMENT & RETENTION MANAGER
Anna Burgess joined Avocet Hospitality as a Human Resources Administrative Assistant in 2019. She was born and raised in Charleston.

Leah Burns

Leah Burns

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT MANAGER
Leah joined Avocet in 2007 where she is now part of the people & culture team.

smiling woman standing and resting her hand on the back of a chair

Pam Sousa

PAYROLL MANAGER
Pam Sousa joined Avocet Hospitality as Payroll Manager in September 2019.

Tarleton McManus

Tarleton McManus

ASSET MANAGER
Tarleton joined Avocet in 2018 with over 20+ years of experience in hospitality operations. With stops at Tides and Vendue, he now oversees asset management for the portfolio.

Ashley Arnoldy

Ashley Arnoldy

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER

Ashley joined AH in 2022 as a Digital Marketing Manager. She previously held roles in digital marketing and social media strategy for the entertainment and F&B industry.

Headshot of Anne Effenberger

Anne Effenberger

STAFF ACCOUNTANT

Anne joined Avocet Hospitality in 2022 as a Staff Accountant. She previously held roles in accounting in the homebuilding and marina industries along with retail management operations.

Will Haslam

Will Haslam

STAFF ACCOUNTANT II

Will joined Avocet Hospitality in 2022 as a Staff Accountant II. He previously held roles in accounting in the law and non-profit industries.

Our History

Founded in 2006, Avocet continues to evolve and grow.