Tag Archives: Meet our team

Taking Care of the Details

Meet Emily Dusky, Sales Manager for the Emerald Event Center

Meet Emily Dusky, Sales Manager at the Residence Inn and the Emerald Event Center. Emily began her career here in February of 2017 as Sales Coordinator and was quickly promoted. Now that she is Sales Manager, she is more intimately involved in planning events — her favorite part of the job!

Prior to her current position, Emily assisted in planning events at a Senior Living community. She received her degree in Communication from Kent State University. She and her new husband, Jared are currently getting ready to head to London and Paris on a much anticipated honeymoon!

Taking Care of the Details

Meet Shannon Besenfelder, Catering Sales Manager for the Emerald Event Center.

Shannon pauses for a photo during event setup

In working with her numerous clients, Shannon brings over 11 years of hospitality experience. She specializes in both the logistics and space of an event but also selling and working with clients. “It’s the best of both worlds,” said Shannon; “I enjoy meeting new groups and people every day. The best thing for me is seeing a plan come into action and the client’s face on their big day.”

Shannon lives in North Ridgeville with her husband and two miniature dachshunds Baxter and Bentley.

Taking Care of the Details

Meet Mindy Naylor, Banquet Manager

The Emerald Event Center is known for fabulous and detailed events, weddings, fundraisers and meetings. One face you will generally see for all of them is that of Mindy Naylor, the Emerald Event Center’s Banquet Manager. She can be found hustling before most events making sure every detail of presentation is on point, cutlery polished, champagne poured, every seat in its proper place. It is Mindy’s job to make sure each event shines with Emerald polish and expectations are always exceeded. “There is no better reward than when a bride and groom are happy with the service  food and atmosphere we’ve provided for their special day,” says Mindy.

Mindy has a long career in food service, hospitality and banquet management in and around Lorain County. She is known for her kindness and love of people and says “I’ve never met a stranger.” Mindy and her husband, Rick have been married for 36 years and together have raised their son Justin who has just recently married.

Whether hosting or attending an event at the Emerald Event Center, you are bound to cross paths with Mindy – another friendly face behind our Emerald magic!

At your service…

Meet Craft Bar Bartender Sally Keating

Sally has been working in the food and beverage industry for 35 years. Many remember her as the friendly face behind the bar and the great food at Sally’s West Shore Pub in Avon Lake, a well-regarded business she owned and operated.

In her eight months tending the Craft Bar, Sally has discovered her favorite part of the job is the people she meets. She shared that “many guests are traveling in from all over. For instance, I recently met with a member of the native American Navajo population who lives on a reservation. His grandmother is a medicine woman. There are always so many interesting people here to talk to!” Of course, many regulars are local folks who’ve brought a local flavor to the Craft Bar— they’ve followed Sally from her days at her own pub. Sally also mentioned another favorite part of the job is working with Chef Bernie Berhent who, she says with a smile,  “he is amazing—such a professional! Everyone raves about his food and it makes my customers happy.”

Originally from Lakewood, Sally now calls Avon Lake home. “I love being close to the water-I’ve always lived by the water—it is soothing to the soul.” In her free time, Sally likes to make soup in cooler months. She even won third place in the Cleveland Souper Bowl for her Pizza Soup!

At Your Service…Director of Sales, Kelly Arthur

Kelly Arthur, new Director of Sales for the Residence Inn/Emerald Event Center, is a native northeast Ohioan as she was born and raised in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. Growing up she grew to love the hospitality industry from her parent’s restaurant Grum’s Sub Shoppe located on Coventry Road in Cleveland Heights. This experience working with the public pushed her to pursue a degree in Hospitality Management from The Ohio State University in Columbus. Kelly started her career as a Sales Coordinator in downtown Cleveland and soon learned the ropes in hotel sales as a Sales Manager, Catering Manager and Senior Sales Manager.

 When asked what she loves the hospitality business, without hesitation, Kelly’s response was…“I love working with people and groups. Whether it is a corporate meeting or a class reunion, each person is unique and has a story to tell. The fact that I am able to help them make their experience unforgettable is what drives me everyday!”

 Kelly lives in Bay Village with her husband Mike and Golden Retriever, Freya. She enjoys spending time with her family as much as possible especially her niece, Charlotte! Welcome Kelly! If you need assistance for your own sales needs, you can contact Kelly via email or phone at 440.937.0909

Chef Bernie Berhent – The Face Behind the Flavor and Flair

If you’ve been to any of Emerald signature events, a wedding, business conference or a Workday Wednesday lunch you know why we’re well-known for our fresh flavors and dining flair. Executive Chef Bernie Berhent is the face behind the flavor.

With training at Johnson & Wales College in Providence, Rhode Island and almost 40 years experience in the culinary arts, Chef Bernie manages his kitchen team with excellence that makes our events shine. Chef specializes in a wide range of items and is well-known in theChef Bernie wedding industry for his focus on customer satisfaction and high quality. He is particularly skilled in Central European, German and Austrian cuisines, taking classical favorites and enhancing them with a skilled twist that delights customers and satisfies a wide range of palates. This is particularly important when serving large events with a diverse clientele. The Emerald Event Center can accommodate events with up to 400 diners. Food is often locally sourced when in season and Chef Bernie often adds these for a local spin to his dishes.

Throughout his career, Chef Bernie has mentored cooks who’ve advanced to Sous Chef and onto Executive Chef positions. His passion and skills have enhanced his kitchen team at the Emerald Event Center and allows events, large and small to run smoothly and appear effortless. Their attention to detail and added flair have satisfied brides and grooms, event planners and companies throughout the region who have been able to delight their event guests for over a year now.

Chef Bernie, his wife Lori and family reside in the Cleveland area with one child still at home and one working as a software engineer in Cleveland.

Oh What a First Year!

It’s been an exciting first year for the Residence Inn and The Emerald Event Center. Management and staff have brought the hotel and event center to life with passion, creativity and a love of community.

Leading the Way

Rex Engle, General Manager

New to the hotel and event center is General Manager Rex Engle. Rex has logged over 30 years in the hospitality industry having most recently spent almost 25 years as the General Manager of the former Oberlin Inn. He is a well-known leader in the local community, serving on the school boards of Amherst City and the Lorain County Joint Vocational School. He also served as President of the Board of Visit Lorain County for many years under whose leadership won many state and national marketing awards. Additionally, Rex is a very active Rotary member and previously served as the District 6600 Governor for the 2014/15 year.

Rex now brings his skills to Avon where his commitment to the hospitality industry and the local community continues to grow. Rex and his growing staff are ready to share their creativity and forward-thinking approach to event planning, hospitality and cuisine.

A Year of Spectacular Events

The Emerald Event Center has had many successful events this year, delighting event planners, business leaders and guests. New, signature events have been added such as the upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration. The event promises to be another gala success to cap off a beautiful and festive holiday season at the Residence Inn and Emerald Event Center! Tickets are still available to this spectacular event.