Business

Noreen Martin steps down as CEO of Martin Resorts; new CEO named

Noreen Martin
Noreen Martin

Noreen Martin, the longtime CEO of Martin Resorts, who built a respected collection of boutique hotels, has stepped down from her day-to-day responsibilities to become chairman of the board. Replacing her as CEO is Lori Keller, who joined the company in 2013, according to a news release.

Martin Resorts, founded in 1999, is a leader in San Luis Obispo County’s hospitality industry. It owns five hotel properties — the Paso Robles Inn, Avila Lighthouse Suites, Pismo Lighthouse Suites, Inn at the Cove and the recently renovated Shore Cliff Hotel.

Martin also has been instrumental in increasing tourism countywide. She has served as both the board president of SLO CAL, a countywide group that promotes tourism, and in key roles at the state level as a commissioner of Visit California, including her current role as chief operations officer.

Martin will continue to advise the Martin Resorts board as chairman.

The move comes as the company develops Martin Hospitality Management and plans to expand its hotel management services to other hotel owners, the release said.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with the most talented employees and senior leadership team in the industry, and I am proud to be able to handpick my successor,” Martin said in the release.

“Lori is a proven leader with a lengthy hotel management resume and has the unique ability to bring people enthusiastically together,” Martin said, adding that Keller’s vision is exactly what Martin Resorts “needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded growth.”

Keller has successfully overseen several major strategy shifts in the company, including rebranding its two Best Western PLUS hotels to successful independent hotels, Inn at the Cove and Shore Cliff Hotel. She will lead an executive team that includes Margaret Johnson as chief operating officer, Joe Ruiz as director of finance, Thomas Wood as director of human resources and Sandy Wirick as director of sales.

“Martin Resorts is one of those rare companies that truly believes in a vision and empowers their people to pursue excellence,” Keller said in the release. “I couldn’t be more honored.”

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