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Hotel exterior surrounded by lush greenery at The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Meet Our Event Team

Enjoy Individual Attention & Personalized Service

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 sixteen years, Bryn has worked throughout the hotel as Food and Beverage Manager, Senior Conference Services Manager, Senior Group Sales Manager and now as Director of Sales.  Bryn graduated in May 2022 with her Masters of Science, Sustainable Tourism & Hospitality Management from East Carolina University.  She and her husband live in Cary with their three children and three rescue dogs.

Portrait of an Event Team member at Umstead Hotel and Spa

Senior Sales Manager

Rachael McGinnis

Originally from Madison, VA, Rachael graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. After graduation she moved to southern California where she worked as an Event Coordinator for California Center for the Arts. In 2018 she was introduced to and began her career in the Luxury Travel Industry, where she was able to work closely with luxury hoteliers across the globe. Upon relocating to North Carolina, Rachael joined The Umstead Hotel and Spa as the Group Sales Manager. In her free time she enjoys escaping to the beach, reading a mystery novel and drinking a spicy margarita! She currently resides in Raleigh with her husband and German Shorthaired Pointer puppy.

Group Sales Manager

Maddy Mize

Raleigh native, Maddy is a proud pirate graduate from East Carolina University and received a B.S. in Hospitality Management in 2020. Through her passion for travel and new experiences, Maddy quickly found her niche in the luxury industry while studying sustainable tourism in Ireland. Maddy joined The Umstead team following graduation and has worked in the Spa, Reservations, and most recently, as the Sales and Catering Coordinator before accepting her role as Group Sales Manager. Outside of the office, you can often find Maddy spending time with friends and family, exploring local businesses, and enjoying sunny days on the golf course!

Portrait of Hannah, Event Team member at Umstead Hotel and Spa

Conference Services Manager

Hannah Benjock

Originally from Concord, NC, Hannah moved to Raleigh to attend North Carolina State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. She joined The Umstead as Rooms Division intern in January 2019, and moved up through the Front Office department in several roles, most recently as Front Office Assistant Manager. In her role as Conference Services Manager, Hannah uses her attention to detail and thorough communication to create successful events. Outside of work, you can find Hannah outdoors staying active or enjoying live music.

Portrait of a staff member on the lobby lounge at Umstead Hotel and Spa

Conference Services Manager

Kate Finlayson

Originally from New Bern, NC, Kate graduated from Appalachian State University where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. In 2018, Kate joined the Umstead as a member of the Front Office team and later was promoted to Guest Relations Coordinator. In her new role as Conference Services Manager, she uses the skills she’s learned through her time here, along with her attention to detail, to plan and execute successful events. In her free time, Kate enjoys spending time on the water, activities with family and friends, and exploring new local restaurants around the Triangle.  

Portrait of Kayla, Event Team member at Umstead Hotel and Spa

Director of Catering

Kayla Turner

Kayla began her career in the mountains of North Carolina after attending Appalachian State University. Kayla served as the Food & Beverage Director of Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC as well as the Director of Catering and Special Events for Linville Ridge Country Club in Linville, NC. In January of 2018, Kayla joined The Umstead and has worked throughout the hotel as a Herons Server, Assistant Bar and Lounge Manager, and more than three years as the Social Catering Manager before accepting her new role as Director of Catering in June of 2022. As a native of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Kayla enjoys splitting her time between beach and mountain trips with her husband and senior rescue dog, as well as finding new spots for live music around the triangle.

Corporate Catering Manager

Madison Hamilton

Madison began her career in hospitality industry at her parent’s business creating vacation memories for families in Panama City Beach, Florida. Madison found her home in North Carolina when she enrolled as a student athlete at Meredith College, where she obtained her B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2021 as well as her Master of Business Administration in 2022. She began her time here with an internship in the Rooms division, gaining experience with the Front Desk and Housekeeping departments. After her internship, Madison joined our team full time as a Front Office Reception Agent before her move into Sales and Catering Coordinator in 2022 and Corporate Catering Sales Manager in 2023. Outside of filling her spare time with True Crime podcasts, Madison finds joy in family time, exercising, reading with a good cup of coffee, or gathering with friends and great wine.

Social Catering Manager

Haley Meinholz

Haley was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from California State University, Fullerton. She earned her degree in Entertainment & Hospitality Management and started her career in Wedding Planning. Prior to moving to North Carolina, she worked at The Atlanta Country Club as a Member Events Coordinator. She had always wanted to pursue a career in the hotel industry and knew this role at The Umstead Hotel & Spa would be a great fit! In her spare time, Haley enjoys attending sporting events, concerts, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family.