Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort cannot continue its legacy of service without those who are in the trenches making sure that guests are tended to with immaculate attention to detail and hospitality. Director of Sales and Marketing Sherrie Fitzgerald is one of the front runners for the resort traveling near and far to promote the unique and special features of the ranch. Through her intimate knowledge of our special ranch, she puts together custom “experiences” for corporations, private entities, retreats and more which involve overnight stays, custom culinary menus by Executive Chef Pascal Gode and activities – both at the ranch and off-property. But just booking these special guests doesn’t mean her job is done. Ms. Fitzgerald continues to oversee each group as if she is welcoming them into her own home while they are at the ranch, helping to ensure all details planned are executed seamlessly.
While many of you may have had the opportunity to meet or work with Ms. Fitzgerald in a professional setting, we wanted to introduce you to her through an interview, revealing some professional – and personal – highlights you may not have known.
Where were you born and raised? I was born in California, raised in the Santa Ynez Valley since I was very young. Not many people can say they were raised and lived in this beautiful Valley.
How did you get started in the hospitality industry? I did an unpaid internship during my sophomore year in college at Hilton. Best training ever. They trained us at the Beverly Hilton, Beverly Hills. Conrad taught me that each property is different, unique. I then went on to work in the sales and food and beverage departments at Hilton. I was hooked.
Where have you lived/worked in your career? I’ve lived most of my life in the Santa Ynez Valley, but San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Salt Lake City were my training grounds.
What brought you to Alisal? Long story, they needed a sales person and I was available. Living here locally and having connections with some of the Executive Management Team also gave me an entree to working here.
What do you love most about your position with Alisal Guest Ranch? The ability to share the Alisal Experience to the “group”. Individuals come back to the Alisal from the group experience. But most of all, I have loved directing the Marketing Department the last 10 years. Updating the brand and infusing the arena of social media by keeping things fresh keeps me on my toes and l love this.
What do you love most about Alisal Guest Ranch? Our guest loyalty. You will never find more loyalty at any resort!
What is your favorite area or activity at Alisal and why? I love theRanch Room for dinner in the middle of summer. Families who have continued to return for 40-50 years (generations) love the Ranch Room and all have their favorite spots. I love watching family traditions for our loyal customers. When I dine as an employee, I feel like a guest when I’m in the room for dinner, it’s just a really special place.
I also have enjoyed rediscovering horseback riding with Tony from my youth growing up in the Valley. Then there’s the golf & fishing… honestly who doesn’t want to be here and take advantage of all the activities? It’s hard to choose just “one” area or activity!
What is your favorite Alisal menu item that you enjoy ? Besides the Saturday night BBQ, BBQ Bootcamp and Cowgirl Bootcamp, all have been my favorites at the ranch. Pascal sharing his secrets of his famous BBQ and sharing the grill was the best.
Where did you travel to that you loved and would love to return ?New York City, of course. The first time I went to NYC, I felt I was born on the wrong coast. I love the city and the arts, museums and just walking the streets of Manhattan.
When not working, what do you love to do most? I love spending time with my family. I have three astonishing sons (each different in their pursuits) as well as their family. My beautiful two granddaughters Danielle and Peyton take every moment outside my working life. What a joy!
To book your Alisal Guest Ranch Group, Corporate Event or Retreat, contact Sherrie Fitzgerald at : firstname.lastname@example.org