Show 271, April 28, 2018: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Resort

Tom CrossTom Cross is the Hotel Manager (since 2013) for our host, the Hapuna Beach Resort, which just completed a $50 million dollar renovation. By late June it will emerge as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s part of the magnificent Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii.

The renovation’s highlights include new dining concepts/restaurants Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill, ‘Ikena Landing and Piko Coffee+Bar; an adults-only pool; and wellness-inspired guest experiences, including a CrossFit studio, Westin Workout, Westin Kids’ Club and Hapuna Spa.

The resort’s indoor/outdoor lobby features a Living Wall vertical garden and interactive guest check-in pods, and its 232 guestrooms and 17 suites will be refurbished with Westin-brand signature room furnishings and fixtures.

Tom Cross joined Hapuna in 2013 and in his role as Hotel Manager, he is responsible for all operating departments within the hotel including rooms, and food and beverage and their overall financial performance.

Prior to his position at Hapuna, Cross served as Resort Manager at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore where he began as Director of Conference Services and Food and Beverage. He was promoted to Director of Operations in 2006 with expanded responsibilities and was named Resort Manager in 2009. Cross has also held management positions at Kona Village Resort, Hawaii Regent Hotel and the Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel.

Show 271, April 28, 2018: Wendle Lesher, Director of Food and Beverage, Mauna Kea Resort

Wendle LesherWendle Lesher is the Director of Food and Beverage for Mauna Kea Resort, encompassing all restaurant and banquet staff and food and beverage operations at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection and Hapuna Beach Resort, (emerging in late June as The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort).

In his role as Mauna Kea Resort Director of Food and Beverage, Lesher is responsible operationally and fiscally for nearly a dozen food and beverage outlets. We’ll chat with Wendle about the intriguing new restaurants at Hapuna including Meridia, Naupaka Beach Grill and Ikena Landing.

Meridia is Hapuna’s new signature dining experience featuring distinctive Mediterranean inspired cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. The personable Chef there is Chris Galinda who we met last year at BICF when he was cooking next door at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Hau Tree located adjacent to the sand.

Lesher joined Mauna Kea Resort in 2017 having worked since 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, first as Director of Outlets, then Director of Food and Beverage and later as Director of Operations. Lesher also worked as Restaurant General Manager at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.