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Terranea_Interior_FrontEntrance_Profiles

Key Executive Profiles

Terri A. Haack

President

Terri A. Haack’s distinguished career spans more than 35 years in hotel and resort operations management. In her current role as president of Terranea Resort, she is responsible for the overall operating performance of the 102-acre, luxury resort. Terri spearheaded pre-construction operations for the $480 million property beginning in 2007, guiding start-up through Terranea Resort’s acclaimed debut in June 2009. Under her leadership, the resort employs more than 1,250 associates and continues to thrive as a top property – renowned for its natural beauty and stewardship, award-winning cuisine, unique enrichment programs and unrivaled guest service.

As a successful business leader, Terri blends her effective business vision with a passionate commitment to positively make a difference, both in the world of business and the community she serves. Terri continues to support local causes, spearheading numerous initiatives that preserve the natural, cultural and historic integrity of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, which is home to Terranea. The resulting business and community programs and efforts have been repeatedly acknowledged, garnering dozens of awards and accolades over the years. Her service culture of ‘seeking moments to be extraordinary’ has led to national recognition by Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure as a top resort, and Los Angeles’ Top Places to Work.

Terri’s exceptional career has garnered numerous accolades and awards of distinction for her service and leadership from across the lodging industry and the communities in which she has lived. She was named ‘Best Boss’ by the Los Angeles News Group's Winning Workplaces Reader’s Choice Awards, and a finalist in the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women Making a Difference Awards. She is also the recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA) national award for General Manager of the Year, Large Property, and was selected as the General Manager of the Year for large properties by the California Hotel and Lodging Association (CH&LA). In addition, she was named one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Revenue by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), and received the Daily Breeze People of Distinction Award for the Business/Innovation Category and the Palos Verdes Chamber of Commerce Matt Brunning Award for Business Excellence. In 2007, Terri became the first woman to receive AH&LA’s coveted Resort Executive of the Year award.

A longtime contributor to AH&LA, Terri currently serves on the organization’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and is Chairman of the Educational Foundation Scholarship Committee and Resort Committee; she is also the past Chairman of the CH&LA; and a founding Board Member and President of the Women In Lodging Executive Council. Terri is also a member of the Board of Directors for Habitat For Humanity and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

Prior to Terranea, Terri joined Destination Hotels in June 2002 to oversee redevelopment of the 1,600-acre Wild Dunes Resort, located on Isle of Palms near Charleston, South Carolina. She was instrumental in the launch of Wild Dunes’ $200 million master plan, which featured a state-of-the-art conference center, expansive spa and fitness facility, and more than 115 condo hotel units in a village retail setting. Additional duties spanned business development and acquisition, as well as regional operations responsibilities. Today, Terri is a shareholder with Lowe Enterprises, the parent company of Coral Tree Hospitality. Earlier in her career, Terri directed the repositioning of Kingsmill Resort as executive vice president and managing director for the luxury golf and spa resort, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., located in Williamsburg, Virginia. She jointly served on the board of directors for Busch Properties, Inc., the real estate division of Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

 

Agnelo A. Fernandes

Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President



Agnelo Fernandes serves as Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President Revenue for the 102-acre oceanfront Terranea Resort. Agnelo provides leadership as brand champion at Terranea, overseeing business strategy, enterprise development initiatives and revenue optimization for the iconic southern California destination. He actively serves on Terranea's Strategy Committee, providing input on growth strategies. Agnelo also provides support to Coral Tree Hospitality as the field leader for the marketing and innovation initiatives projects, sharing best practices and concepts.

An industry veteran, specializing in hospitality and lifestyle brand leadership, with more than 25 years of experience, Agnelo has led the development, launch and repositioning of resorts and hotels in North America, Caribbean, Asia and Central America. He has held senior executive positions within the hospitality industry with recognized brands such as Canyon Ranch, Sonesta Hotels International, and Rex Resorts.

Most recently, Agnelo served as a strategic advisor and independent brand and growth strategy consultant on projects related to luxury brands in hospitality, spa and wellness, real estate, travel & tourism and food services. He helped his clients grow their brand footprint by forging strategic partnerships with organizations, including American Airlines, Miami Dolphins, Miami Heat, Zumba Fitness, Disney and Warner Brothers.

Agnelo was selected by Lodging Magazine as one of the best and brightest hotel innovators and visionaries within the hospitality sector; he was also the recipient of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Resort Marketer of the Year Award and named one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales, Marketing and Revenue. Additionally, he was named the Leader of the Year and awarded Destination Marketing Professional of the Year by Destination Hotels, and was nominated for the prestigious Spirit of Lowe award.

Agnelo currently serves as the chair of the HSMAI Foundation with a focus on talent acquisition and leadership development for the hospitality industry, as well as serves on the HSMAI Board of Directors for the Americas and is an active member of the Marketing Advisory Council. In addition, he is the vice chair of the Brand & Content/Editorial committee and the past chair of the Brand Sponsorship and Cooperative Marketing Committee for Visit California. A thought leader within the hospitality industry and luxury lifestyle segment, Agnelo frequently participates in speaking engagements on marketing & sales leadership, brand strategy, revenue, social media and digital strategy at forums including Google, YPO, Icelandic Glacial, HSMAI Global Dubai and The Luxury Marketing Council. Agnelo has also served as guest lecturer on Global Marketing and Hospitality topics, while mentoring students pursuing their education in the hospitality industry.

In his spare time, Agnelo enjoys his family and travel. He also lends his vocals and plays guitar in a recreational band and is an avid sports fan.

 

Bernard Ibarra

Vice President of Culinary Experiences & Executive Chef

As Vice President of Culinary Experiences & Executive Chef of the resort’s food and beverage operations, Bernard Ibarra oversees Terranea’s nine dining venues, in-room dining department, banquets division, and Farm-to-Terranea offerings, crafting a culinary culture that respects tradition while embracing innovation, sustainability, and the resort’s natural setting.

Since joining the team in 2013, he launched the resort’s Sea Salt Conservatory that produces Terranea’s own signature sea salt used not only in the kitchens, but also for spa treatments, alongside the kelp harvesting program and on-site honey program. Introduced to beekeeping in his native Basque Country, the chef now maintains an apiary with nearly 200,000 honeybees for the resort. Additionally, he tends to the on-site garden and a dozen chickens.

Born and raised on the French side of the Basque Country close to the Spanish border, Ibarra grew up on a farm, sparking his interest in food. As a young boy, he would tag along to the village market with his mother, at which he found its sights, sounds, tastes, and smells—and its sense of community—exhilarating. After graduating from culinary school in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and apprenticing at Michelin-starred Les Pyrénées, Ibarra went to work for the Four Seasons organization. For 15 years, he held lead chef positions at luxury hotels in Calgary, Toronto, Seattle, Houston, Singapore, and Tokyo. In 1997, Ibarra joined the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong as executive chef, and was present during the city’s historic transfer from British to Chinese sovereignty. When the Asian financial crisis intensified the following year, he accepted the position of executive chef at The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, before becoming the opening executive chef at MGM Resorts International’s sister property, the Aria, in 2009.

Bernard was largely attracted to Terranea because of a nostalgia for the resort’s idyllic oceanfront setting. “I’m from the coast, and I need the ocean to breathe,” he says. While pioneering sustainability initiatives throughout the property, he applies his distinct culinary approach, informed by a 35-year career that has taken him around the globe to countless disparate cuisines and cultures. Bernard’s cooking philosophy is that, “one must respect the ingredients and the cultures, feel the passion, and live your life like you are cooking a great dish.”

Even away from work, Ibarra never puts away his knives— “I love to cook at home, with my wife and son next to me,” he says—except to go surfing. Through the resort and individually, the chef devotes himself to charities supporting breast cancer research, feeding disadvantaged families, and championing environmental causes.

 

Anita Kwok

Senior Director of People Strategy & Alignment

As Senior Director of People Strategy & Alignment for Terranea Resort, Anita Kwok oversees more than 1,250 associates for the 102-acre, luxury destination. She specializes in establishing effective human resource process and procedures, California human resource laws, labor relations, workers compensation and recruitment strategies. Anita also serves as a member of the resort’s strategy committee, Women In Lodging planning committee, and is actively involved in the community outreach program development for associates and management.

Prior to joining Terranea, Anita served as the Director of Human Resources for Mission Inn & Spa, a national historic landmark and member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America. In addition to the resort, she also oversaw all human resources operations for Casey's Cupcakes with six retail locations in southern California. She brings nearly 15 years of human resources expertise having worked for large and small organizations such as The Ritz-Carlton, Marcus Hotels & Resorts, Dolce Hotels, and The St Regis brand. She has opened three properties within Starwood, with the most recent property with Dolce Hotels & Resorts.

 

Kevin McKee

Senior Vice President of Finance

Kevin McKee, Senior Vice President of Finance, brings more than 25 years of finance and accounting experience in the hospitality industry to Terranea Resort.

Most recently, Kevin served as the Vice President of Finance for the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he directed financial growth of the 3,000-acre ski resort with 26 food and beverage venues, 13 retail shops, a condo hotel, and other resort amenities. In addition, he served as Regional Vice President of Finance for Sage Hospitality’s Lifestyle Division, Chief Financial Officer for the iconic Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, FL., and served as the financial leader of several Ritz-Carlton properties throughout the United States, Caribbean, and Australia. Kevin holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia, as well as an MBA from the University of Miami.

 

Mitch Mehr

Senior Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations and Strategic Planning

 

Mitch Mehr serves as Senior Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations and Strategic Planning for Terranea Resort. He is committed to providing high-quality, approachable cuisine in a welcoming atmosphere for guests, while enhancing the guest experience by offering a variety of dining venues and cuisines that reflect the resort’s California heritage.

Mitch joined Terranea in 2016, bringing more than 30 years of experience in food and beverage industry operations. Prior to joining Terranea, Mitch served as Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations for Destination Hotels, overseeing more than 35 full-service hotels and resorts globally. Mitch also served as Vice President of Restaurant Operations for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants’ West Coast division, Vice President of Food & Beverage Operations worldwide for Kor Hotel Group, and was West Coast Regional Director of Operations for China Grill Management.

Mitch is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Food & Beverage Committee, Ambassador for the Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) program, and a member of Terranea Resort’s Strategy Committee.