Southern Hospitality Leaders 2.0

Barry Bukstein

Barry Bukstein
Facilitator
Senior Concierge, Renaissance Riverview Hotel

Barry Bukstein hails from the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri that is often mentioned by Mark Twain in his travels on the Mississippi River. His life's journey has taken him to all points of our great nation and the experiences of the people he had the pleasure of meeting. The course of his educational travels started at McGill Toolen High School in Mobile, Alabama, followed by a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Education at the University of South Alabama. The resume of his work experiences included an internship with Public Citizen in Washington D.C., professional sales at Swank Motion Pictures, management with California Theater Management, owner of the Azalea Grill and the well-known Hello Deli, agent at the Alabama Cruise Terminal, and teaching 6th grade American History. Barry is currently the Senior Concierge at the Renaissance Riverview Hotel in Mobile, Alabama.  A recipient of the Alabama Hospitality All Star 2014 award and other service awards, Barry is widely recognized as a “people person”. He has never met a stranger in his life and when Barry served as a trainer for last summer’s Y.E.S. to Hospitality program, he shared his gift and knowledge of Southern Hospitality with the participants.

Allen Merryman

Allen Merryman 
Panelist
Career and Technical Education Supervisor over Agriscience, Human Services and Technical Education programs, Mobile County Public Schools

Mr. Allen Merryman is a graduate of Murphy High School.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama. After working in operations management in the retail industry for a number of years he decided to make a career change. Mr. Merryman received his master’s degree in special education from the University of South Alabama and taught at Blount High School for nine years. He taught Algebra and Business Management/Marketing while at Blount. After receiving his masters in Educational Leadership from USA, he became the Career and Technical Education Supervisor over Agriscience, Human Services and Technical Education programs for Mobile County Public Schools. 

Joseph Quilio

Joseph Quilio
Panelist
Director of Operations, InterContinental New Orleans

Joseph Quilio has served as a hospitality leader since 2004, and is currently the Director of Operations for the InterContinental New Orleans. The majority of his career has been spent at a host of New Orleans hotels including the large-scale convention environment of the Sheraton New Orleans, the upscale and lifestyle brands of W New Orleans, W French Quarter, and Le Meridien New Orleans.  Joseph also spent over two years at the Westin St. John Resort and Villas in the United States Virgin Islands where he also oversaw a unique marine transportation operation. 

Joseph was a vital member of the Sheraton New Orleans Hurricane Emergency Response Team.  He, along with a select few hotel leaders, remained at the property during Hurricane Katrina. Their efforts ensured the Sheraton New Orleans was the only hotel to not close its doors during and after the storm. 

While at Louisiana State University, Joseph was a member of two national championship teams, serving with the athletic equipment staff. Joseph watched and learned from coaches Nick Saban and Skip Bertman as they built and sustained championship programs built on effective communication, clearly defined expectations, and leadership from both students and coaches. 

Joseph and his wife Melissa have three children: Caleb, Emma, and Mason.

Peggy Wilson

Peggy Wilson
Panelist
Director of Human Resources, Spectrum Resorts manages Turquoise Place

Peggy Wilson grew up in a family grocery business and she believes this is where her hospitality training began.  After selling the family business in 1987, she went to work as a Server at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Point Clear, AL.  Peggy knew that taking care of people is what she loved to do and was able to move into Human Resources to accomplish that goal.  During her tenure at the Grand, she worked every role in Human Resources and was promoted to the Director position in 2002.  In 2005, she moved into the Corporate Director of Human Resources role with the PCH Resorts and Hotels, Inc. management company.  During the next few years, Retirement Systems of Alabama was building new properties and renovating existing properties to add to their portfolio.  She worked closely with Marriott to implement training and standards for the eight RSA Marriott and Renaissance properties throughout the state.  During her tenure there, she oversaw payroll, benefits, standards, and training for 1,900 employees and was the point of contact for the Human Resources Managers/Directors of the eight properties.  In 2013, she had an opportunity to join Spectrum Resorts and is currently the Director of Human Resources.  Spectrum Resorts manages Turquoise Place in Orange Beach, Alabama and The Beach Club in Gulf Shores, Alabama and employs 250 employees year round with an addition of 150 employees during Spring/Summer season. 

Shemeika Brock

Shemeika Brock
Panelist
Human Resource Manager, LuLu’s

Shemeika Brock is the Human Resource Manager at one of the best restaurants along the Gulf Coast - Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s located in Gulf Shores, AL. LuLu’s also operates another restaurant in Destin, FL and will soon be opening a third location in Myrtle Beach, SC.  Shemeika has been HR Manager since 2008. She has had a love for Human Resource Management since stumbling upon it during her undergraduate career at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business and started immediately in the field upon graduation.

Shemeika has served on the Baldwin County Society for Human Resource Management for several years and has recently completed her two-year term as Chapter President.  She has gained considerable happiness knowing that she has had a role in developing young adults and “seasoned” adults for workplaces within the communities she served as well as instilling in them the principles of professionalism, hard work and fun can go hand-in-hand within the work environment.