The Umstead Team


Plan your events and meetings at the Umstead Hotel and Spa and enjoy the individual attention and personalized service only a five star and five diamond property can provide. Whether you are planning an intimate gathering or a large corporate event, our dedicated and experienced staff works closely with you every step of the way.

Director of Sales

Bryn Nicholson

Originally from Richmond VA, Bryn came to NC in the fall of 1998 to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating with a B.A. in Communications & Journalism, Bryn spent the next four years in Sales and Marketing for sports radio. Bryn joined the team at The Umstead Hotel and Spa during its preopening phase, and it was there that she began her career in hospitality. For the past nine years, Bryn has worked throughout the hotel as Food and Beverage Manager, Senior Conference Services Manager and now as Director of Sales. Bryn is an avid yogi as well as a lover of the outdoors and her Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.

Group Sales Manager

Sarah Cunningham

Originally from Bel Air, Maryland, Sarah moved to North Carolina in 2004 to attend East Carolina University. After graduating in 2009 with both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications & Public Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management Conventions & Special Events, she began her hospitality career as the Event and Sales Coordinator for Scarborough Fare in Raleigh. Sarah joined The Umstead Hotel and Spa in 2011, working her way from Catering Sales Manager to Senior Catering Sales Manager before moving into her current role as Group Sales Manager in the fall of 2016. In her free time, she enjoys attending events in the area, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her family.

Group Sales Manager

Hallie Farrell

Hallie is originally from Wake Forest, North Carolina. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, she began working in Conference Services at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. With experience in both the Healthcare and Technology industries, Hallie joined The Umstead Hotel & Spa in the fall of 2016 as a Group Sales Manager. She is an avid animal lover with two rescue dogs, and loves anything on the water, reading a good book, and cooking without recipes.

Conference Services Manager

Ashley Whittington

Ashley is a rare Cary, North Carolina native! After growing up in Cary she attended East Carolina University to pursue a degree in Psychology. Ashley’s experience in hospitality spans 15 years in various capacities. Most recently she spent 7 years at the Angus Barn planning events from large scale weddings to private wine dinners and corporate events. In January of 2015 she joined the Umstead Sales team as a Conference Services Manager Ashley holds her scuba diving certification and enjoys anything related to food, fun, and the beach!

Conference Services Manager

Alexandra Bentzon

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Alex attended Florida Atlantic University as a member of the Women’s Division 1 Soccer Team where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Public Communications and Hospitality Management as well as an International Business Certificate. Alex began her career in hospitality planning events at FAU followed by catering and event management at The Polo Club of Boca Raton. Alex moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and joined The Umstead Hotel & Spa team as a Conference Services Manager in fall of 2017. In addition to her passion for food and creating new dishes at home, she loves spending time outdoors and immersing herself in new cultures while traveling.

 

Director of Catering

Carey Jaquez

Beginning her career at The Umstead Hotel and Spa as part of the pre-opening team in 2006, Carey has worked throughout the hotel, both in the front office and the catering department. She has spent the past eight years in Conference Services, primarily as the Senior Conference Services Manager before moving into her current role as Director of Catering in the summer of 2017. Raised in Cary, NC and earning her Bachelors of Science degree at Meredith College in Raleigh, Carey’s vast knowledge of the area is extremely helpful to guests planning their stay. Carey is a lover of local entertainment, trying out new healthy recipes, and all things Taylor Swift!

Catering Sales Manager

Andrea Coakley

Born and raised in a small town outside of Rochester, NY, Andrea moved to Raleigh in 2006 before attending the University of South Carolina where she received her B.S. in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism management. She then joined the Umstead in the May of 2012 as a Reception Agent and was most recently the Front Office Manager before her promotion to Catering Sales Manager in the fall of 2016. Andrea enjoys being at the beach, traveling, spending time with her family, and broadening her wine palate.

Social Catering Manager

Amanda Colfer

A graduate of Cornell University, where she obtained her B.S. in Hospitality Administration and Management, Amanda joined the Umstead Team in the fall of 2015 with her focus on weddings. Coming to us with over 10 years of customer service experience, she has a strong background in Food and Beverage, but found her love of event planning while working at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. Amanda enjoys being outdoors, getting lost in a book, summer BBQs, and a great cheese plate.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa