Meet our Leadership Team! These three women are innovators in the short term vacation rental world, and continue to grow Sea to Sky to new heights year after year.
Michelle Acquavella – Owner & Founder
As the owner and founder of Sea to Sky Rentals, Seattle’s oldest vacation rental company, Michelle Acquavella is known for her guest-centric philosophy, strong business acumen, and warm, friendly demeanor. A leader in the industry, both locally and across the nation, she has paved the way for Pacific Northwest vacation rentals.
It all started in 2001, when Michelle furnished her Phinney Ridge mother-in-law apartment for visiting grandparents. While the grandparents weren’t in town, she rented out the space as a vacation rental to supplement her household income. As only the second listing in Seattle on VRBO.com, it quickly became a popular pick for vacationers visiting Seattle. After noticing the significant shortage of quality vacation home rental options in the area, it didn’t take long for Michelle to see the value in investing in more properties and went to work drafting a business plan.
16 years later, Michelle has become a pace-setter in this emerging powerhouse industry. In addition to growing a niche business and co-founding the Northwest Vacation Rental Professionals and the Seattle Short Term Rental Alliance, Michelle has established herself as a rental rights advocate in the city of Seattle. In 2007, Michelle challenged the city’s proposed ban on short-term vacation rentals. If allowed to go into effect, the law would have taken away a Seattle visitor’s right to choose between a hotel or vacation rental. After two long years of fighting, Michelle won her case and paved the way for all vacation rentals in Seattle. And again in 2016 when the city of Seattle decided to regulate vacation rentals Michelle worked through the political system to effect policy change resulting in a vacation rental friendly regulation in the city of Seattle.
Michelle continues to advocate for the vacation rental industry at the local, state and national levels, is a frequent speaker at industry events, and works hard to elevate women in the vacation rental industry.
In her free time, Michelle can be found in the yoga studio, diving deep into all aspects of yoga, and mothering her two inspiring teenage daughters. On weekends she may be found trapping feral cats to be spayed/neutered and released and often dedicates her spare bedroom to fostering cats and kittens. She also enjoys frequent travel where she gets super curious about vacation rentals around the world and brings those ideas home!
Heidi Stuber – Strategic Director
Heidi is the Strategic Director at Sea to Sky Rentals in Seattle, WA where she oversees Strategic Planning, Team Management, Finance, and Acquisitions. Heidi has over fifteen years’ experience in Business Leadership, with a focus on Organizational Change, and a MBA from Seattle University. Her favorite part of about being at Sea to Sky is working with smart, ambitious employees and making data-based decisions utilizing her dozens of spreadsheets.
Heidi works to build effective teams by communicating openly and directly, empowering shared leadership, and solving problems creatively. She is passionate about shepherding organizations through strategic changes to build sustained growth and profitability and getting people involved in the process. Her approach to leadership is to unite a clear vision of the future with innovation, respect, and accountability.
Heidi speaks regularly at VRMA and NWVRP conferences and for Washington Autism Alliance & Advocacy. Outside of work, you can find Heidi writing about Redheads and raising awareness about Neurodiversity. She has a quote attributed to Joan of Arc painted on her living room wall, “I am not afraid, I was born to do this.”
Louisa Cranston – General Manager
Louisa has been with Sea to Sky Rentals since 2014, and has served as General Manager since June 2018. She has a BFA in Visual Communication from Cornish College of the Arts, and over 10 years’ experience in high-end hospitality. She truly believes in the ability of business to do good in the world and is devoted to finding elegant solutions for operational challenges, while inspiring her team to excellence and resourcefulness. She believes in cultivating a safe, respectful workplace in which thoughtful innovation can flourish.
Louisa began working for Mysty Mountain Properties as a Reservations and Marketing Assistant in August of 2013. In June of 2014, Mysty Mountain merged offices as well as reservations and marketing departments with Sea to Sky Rentals, starting an exciting new chapter for both companies, and Louisa was named Guest Care Lead and Brand Manager. Once Sea to Sky Rentals officially acquired Mysty Mountain in 2016, Louisa transitioned into the role of Marketing Manager. Then in January of 2018, she accepted the position of Owner Sales & Accounts Manager for Seattle and the North Cascades. Having become intimately familiar with nearly all aspects of a thriving vacation rental business, this experience prepared her for her current position as General Manager overseeing operations, and managing field and frontline staff.
Louisa grew up in Seattle and would never live anywhere else. When she’s not working, she can be found chasing after either or both of her kids – Henry is 3, and Alice is 18 months old. In her free time she enjoys singing, reading, writing, exercising, freelance family photography, and spending quality time with loved ones.