Key Executive Profiles


Ralph Grippo, President

Ralph Grippo,
President

 

Ralph Grippo’s distinguished career spans more than 30 years within the global luxury hospitality industry. In his role as president of Terranea, he is responsible for the overall operating performance of the 102-acre, iconic destination resort. Under his leadership, the resort employs more than 1,000 associates and continues to evolve as Southern California’s premier oceanfront destination – renowned for its natural beauty, exceptional guest service, award-winning cuisine, unique enrichment programs, and eco-friendly practices.

Prior to joining Terranea, Grippo served as a director of Southern California-based Bellwether Financial Group, where he oversaw the operations, design and development of Dana Point Harbor Partners. He spent much of his career developing superior hotel products for both the Irvine Company and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and is known in the industry for creating exceptional guest experiences at some of the world’s most exclusive hotels.

Grippo spent 11 years with the Newport Beach-based Irvine Company, where he was president of resort operations. He was responsible for the opening of the Resort at Pelican Hill, focusing on the development of ultra-luxury service delivery concepts and consistently delivering both profit and service excellence. While at the Irvine Company, he also oversaw the transition and repositioning of two luxury brand properties into independent hotels. He helped the Irvine Company grow its independently owned and operated collection while leading the market in key performance indicators.

Prior to his role at the Irvine Company, Grippo spent nearly two decades at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where he held various positions from area vice president for China to area vice president for Southern California and Hawaii. He also served as the general manager of several Ritz-Carlton hotels, including the Huntington Hotel and Spa and the Portman Shanghai. During his career at the Ritz-Carlton, he oversaw or supported the opening of eight hotels, including Marina del Rey, Pasadena, Osaka, Beijing, Financial Street and Tokyo, while managing a portfolio of hotels in Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Pudong.

“If you love what you do, you never have to go to work” is a mantra Grippo embraces with the same gusto he lives his life. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree with focus in management and marketing. A transplanted Southern Californian from the East Coast, Grippo was a collegiate athlete and remains extremely active today with running, skiing and an occasional game of beach volleyball. He enjoys spending time with friends and family and supporting organizations that give back to the community and hospitality industry.


Agnelo Ferandes, Chief Strategy Officer & Executive Vice President

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 CoralTree 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, the 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 a 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.


Becky Walnoha, Vice President of People Services

Becky Walnoha,
Vice President of People Services

 

Becky Walnoha serves as Vice President of People Services for Terranea Resort. She is an integral part of the Strategy Committee, committed to enhancing the company’s TerraneaPROUD workplace culture, engaging and developing its talented associates, and empowering the dedicated and diverse team.

Prior to joining Terranea in 2020, Walnoha held the position of Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio of managed properties, leading the human resources function in support of the company’s growing managed hotel organization for approximately 400 hotels in North America. Before joining Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, she served as Vice President of Human Resources Services for Loews Hotels and Resorts. In addition, Walnoha has also held various property-level and corporate-based human resources leadership roles at Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Hotels and Resorts. She is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Business Administration, and is a SHRM Senior Certified Professional.


Brian Javellana, Vice President of Finance

Brian Javellana,
Vice President of Finance

 

Brian Javellana serves as Vice President of Finance for the 102-acre premier luxury destination resort. Javellana joined Terranea in 2020 and his experience, determination, and expertise are instrumental assets in the resort’s ongoing growth and operating performance. He has an extensive finance background within the luxury and hospitality sector. Prior to joining Terranea, he served as Vice President of Finance for Proper Hospitality where he was responsible for all finance operations at eight managed hotels. Before joining Proper Hospitality, Javellana held several finance leadership roles at Ritz Carlton Hotels in Laguna Niguel, Marina del Rey, and Half Moon Bay, as well as the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley. Javellana holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Finance.