The 2021 Host Committee 

Scott Tripoli
General Manager - The Grand Hotel Golf Club and Spa

Scott joined the Grand Hotel in March of 2016. Under Tripoli’s leadership, the 405-room “Queen of Southern Resorts” completed its two-year multi-million dollar Transformation project in 2018.  Known for the southern hospitality of its staff, and rich history and storied traditions, The Grand Hotel has been totally renovated and now is the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, an Autograph Collection Hotel.  Autograph Collection Hotels are known for exceptional quality, tell a story, and are exactly like nothing else.  A perfect fit for the Grand Hotel.  Additionally, and as an important feature of the resort, the 36-hole Lakewood Golf Club has two championship golf courses that are part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, where guests and members can enjoy an outstanding golf experience.

Prior to his current position, Tripoli was in Orlando, FL for 16 years.  He was the General Manager of the 1100 room Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Sea World.  Before that, Scott worked for Interstate Hotels and Resorts for 19 years in various roles. These include Director of Operations, General Manager and Regional Director of Operations.

In addition to his employment at the Grand Hotel, Tripoli currently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Committee of the Baldwin County Economic Development Association.

Tripoli and his wife Stephanie have two beautiful daughters.  Kayla is a recent graduate of Florida State University Physician Assistant Program and Alexandra is a recent Graduate of the University of Central Florida.

Kevin Hellmich
Director of Sales and Marketing - The Grand Hotel Golf Club and Spa

Kevin, is a native of south-central Indiana and a graduate of Purdue University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Restaurant, Hotel and Institutional Management.

Prior to joining the Grand Hotel & PCH Resorts in 2002 Kevin spent 13 years with Marriott International property based in Chicago, San Antonio, Denver, New Orleans and Houston.  While in New Orleans he oversaw the sales efforts for each managed Marriott branded hotel in NOLA and the North Shore.  During his tenure with Marriott his teams received numerous awards including:  Sales Team of the Quarter, Sales Team of the Year, Sales Leader of the Year, Outstanding Leadership of the Year, Director of Sales & Marketing and created a highly successful & award winning Event Booking Center.  Kevin currently oversees group sales, catering sales, event management, revenue management, marketing, PR, social and digital for the Grand.

Kevin has been married for 25 years, has two grown children and enjoys a wide variety of sporting activities especially tennis & hiking in the mountains.

Michael Herzog
Director of Food & Beverage - The Grand Hotel Golf Club and Spa

Michael Herzog has spent a lifetime working in the Food and Beverage industry. He grew up in Michigan but has worked in multiple locations in his career, first spending time in independent restaurants and then with Hyatt Hotels in 5 different locations. Michael started out bussing tables and washing dishes and held many roles throughout his career including line cook and server. Hospitality is about caring for our guests and associates equally and always having a passion for doing things right. His Hyatt experience was in resorts like Beaver Creek, Scottsdale and Chesapeake. He met his wife in Colorado and they have two children, who have grown up here in Fairhope and the Grand. Michael, with his team, led the building of the Worlds Longest ice Cream sundae, built here and stretching for 1/3 of a mile along the waterfront. This included Grand Family and students from the Fairhope school system. Over 1847 participants worked together to build it.

We are all working towards the same goal, to create experiences that people talk about.

Niall Fraser
Director of Golf - The Grand Hotel Golf Club and Spa

Niall was born in Alberta, Canada and attended Michigan State University. He was hand selected by Robert Trent Jones Senior to travel the world to design golf courses. His work with Robert Trent Jones Sr. had a strong and lasting influence on these prestigious clubs:

  • Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown, PA - Over the past century has hosted many prestigious tournaments most notably the 1962 PGA Championship; 1977 U.S. Amateur Championship; 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship; 2003 Senior PGA Championship; 2010 & 2011 AT&T National Championship; 2018 BMW Championship
  • Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, MO is only the third club in history to host all four men’s Major Championships. 1965 U.S. Open; 1981 Mid-Amateur Championship; 1992 PGA Championship; 2004 U.S Senior Open; 2008 BMW Championship; 2013 Senior PGA Championship; 2018 PGA Championship
  • Valderrama Golf Club in Spain is one of the leading golf courses in Europe and the venue of some of the most important golf competitions in Europe. 1997
  • Ryder Cup; World Golf Championships; 1999 & 2000 American Express Championship; Volvo Masters
  • Adare Manor Golf Club in Ireland - 2014 Irish PGA Championship
  • New courses Niall helped design are: Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, VA; Crumpin-Fox Club in Bernardston, MA; Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson, NY; Playa Grande Golf & Ocean Club in the Dominican Republic; Anglebrook Golf Club in Lincolndale, NY has hosted U.S. Amateur, NY State Open qualifying, Met PGA Section Pro-Am, and 2013 MGA Mid-Amateur

Most recently before joining the Grand Hotel, Niall was Head of Construction, while overseeing the planning and construction from start to finish. The 26 courses, a total of 468 holes, are at 11 locations across the state of Alabama.  Niall was the main catalyst in securing the 2021 USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship for the Grand and Lakewood Golf Club.

Alison Wooten
Director of Human Resources - The Grand Hotel Golf Club and Spa

Alison was born and raised in Loudoun County, Virginia.  She graduated from Radford University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Spanish.

She spent majority of her career working at Lansdowne Resort & Spa in Leesburg, VA , growing and developing into a hospitality professional.  She began her career in hospitality at a young age of 16 as a Restaurant Greeter.  She worked her way through High School and College at the resort in various Food & Beverage roles.  Upon graduation from Radford University, it was an easy decision to return to the hotel and company she loved working.  She elevated into a Supervisor role and eventually began leading a Restaurant Team.  A quick 7 years later, she was invited to attend a Career Fair with the Human Resources Team to recruit new team members and fell in love with Human Resources.  She took a step away from Leadership to learn the Human Resources field, beginning in an HR Administrative Assistant role.  She continued to grow back into a Leadership role, this time, in Human Resources, receiving numerous awards including Leader of the Year.  Alison was promoted in 2016 to Human Resources Director at Lansdowne Resort & Spa.  

In 2018, Alison learned of the opportunity to join PCH Hotels & Resorts at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa.  After learning the companies mission, core values and commitment to Southern Hospitality, Alison was excited to be offered a position as the Human Resources Director.  She relocated in September to join the Team.  Alison enjoys living in Fairhope along with her Husband and young Daughter. 

Susan Stein 
Grand Historian

Susan has worked for the Grand Hotel for the last 36 years.  Initially, she was hired to work with the Food & Beverage Director and then in 1995 was promoted to the General Manager’s Executive Administrative Assistant.  While doing her day job for 23 years she spent her free time learning the history of the area and Grand Hotel while collecting historic articles and artifacts on the Grand. The Leadership Team realized that with Susan’s personality, knowledge and passion for history she was the perfect candidate for the Grand Historian during the hotel’s conversion to the Autograph Collection. As much as Susan has to say about the historic Grand, there’s just as much to talk about when it comes to the nearby town of Fairhope.

Susan is a graduate of the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree, Art Teacher Education. She is a 45 year resident of Fairhope, a member of the Grand Hotel’s Quarter Century Club, an active member of the Baldwin County Historical Society, the Baldwin County Genealogical Society, Friends of the Fairhope Library, Friends of the Fairhope Museum and a member of the Eastern Shore Art Association. Susan and Barker (her husband) have been married since 1998 and have 6 children and 11 grandchildren. She is also a practicing local artist.

Margot Gilbert
General Manager - The Renaissance Battle House Hotel & Spa

Margo was born and raised in New Harbor, Maine.  Her first job in the industry was a dishwasher in a small seasonal restaurant.  The hospitality industry was where she saw her future and at a very early age began working at a small Inn during the summer and weekends in the off season as first a bus person, waitress and line/prep cook.

Margo attended the University of Denver, majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management and minored in Business Administration.  Upon graduating from college she was hired by Embassy Suites Hotels as a Manager in Training at the Embassy Suites San Francisco Airport.  Margo spent 15 years with Embassy Suites on the West Coast growing her career in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, San Jose, and finally as General Manager in Anaheim.

A phone call in the fall of 2004 from a friend and former General Manager, triggered the cross country move to Mobile and to open The Battle House Hotel & Spa.  Starting as the Resident Manager of the Riverview Plaza, due to Battle House delay in opening from Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.  She formed the pre-opening team for The Battle House in 2006 and opened in May of 2007.

The Battle House Hotel & Spa underwent a multi-million dollar soft good renovation in mid-2019, finishing shortly before the pandemic in early 2020.  The hotel and one restaurant remained opened throughout the pandemic though had to lay off 80% of its team members.

David Clarke
President & CEO - Visit Mobile

David Clark joined Visit Mobile as President & CEO in of 2017.  He has 35 years of hospitality, lodging and tourism leadership in Coastal Alabama.  His role with Visit Mobile is to promote and sell the City of Mobile as a Tourism Destination by creating an image of leisure to attract tourist from the Leisure, Convention, Business Transient and Government market segments.

Prior to joining the Visit Mobile team, David worked for Spectrum Resorts for 4 years, the management company of The Beach Club and Turquoise Place.  Prior to working with Spectrum Resorts, David worked at The Grand Hotel Marriott, Resort Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear, Alabama for 23 years.  He served in a variety of roles including Head Golf Professional, Director of Golf, Resident Manager, and the last eight years as General Manager. 

David and his teams have won numerous National Industry Awards.

David currently serves as President of the University of South Alabama’s Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board and serves on the boards of the Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors, Alabama Travel Council, the Southern Rail Commission, Coastal Alabama Partnership and The Exploreum.  David has served in Leadership Alabama and Leadership Mobile and is a Lifetime Member of the Professional Golfers Association of America. 

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Western Kentucky University, is married to Melinda and has a daughter, Savannah.

Krista Reiss 
Vice President, Human Resources - PCH Hotels & Resorts 

Krista Reiss is the Vice President of Human Resources with PCH Hotels & Resorts where she is responsible for the
overall strategic planning and direction in the areas of Talent Acquisition, Total Rewards, Associate Relations,
Culture & Engagement, and Talent Development. Krista has more than 25 years of HR experience in the hospitality
industry, serving in leadership roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, MGM Resorts International, Destination
Hotels & Resorts, and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Her passion for enriching people’s lives is at the forefront of
her role, going hand in hand with the PCH promise to “care for people first.” Krista is a graduate of the University
of Maryland and continues to cheer loudly for the Terps. She and her husband Tony are the proud parents of
Alexandra (Ali) and Max, both students at Fairhope High.