Michelle Acquavella – Owner & Founder
As the owner and founder of Sea to Sky Rentals, 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 Seattle vacation rentals and built Sea to Sky Rentals into the successful and respected company it is today.
It all started in 2001, when Michelle had furnished her Phinney Ridge mother-in-law apartment for visiting grandparents. While the grandparents weren’t in town, she rented out the room 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.
15 years later, Michelle has become a pace-setter in this emerging powerhouse industry. In addition to growing a niche business and co-founding the Vacation Rental Managers Association of Washington, 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.
In 2016, Sea to Sky Rentals officially acquired Mysty Mountain Properties and added 30+ boutique cabin rentals in the North Cascades, near beautiful Stevens Pass! Michelle also finds time to serve on the board of VRMAWA as well as the national Vacation Rental Managers Association, and participates in the Washington State Hotel and Lodging Association, and Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. Sea to Sky Rentals, as always, maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
In her free time, Michelle takes the opportunity to travel whenever possible, always seeking out the best local vacation rentals!
Favorite Sea to Sky property: Olympus Penthouse – “Besides the amazing amount of space, wrap around fireplace and traditional styling, my favorite part about the Olympus Penthouse is stepping out onto the rooftop patio and taking advantage of the stunning Puget Sound, Olympic Sculpture Park and Space Needle views!”
Heidi Stuber – Business Director
Heidi comes to Sea to Sky with 12 years’ experience in Small Business Management. She is a strategic leader known for her ability to work with a team to build sustained growth and profitability. In addition to her working experience, Heidi has a MBA, Master of Business Administration, from Seattle University with a focus on Leadership Development. Heidi brings to Sea to Sky her commitment to excellent customer service for owners, guests, neighbors, and vendors. Her favorite part of the job is helping owners find the perfect property and then helping guests pick the perfect unit for their vacation.
Before joining the Sea to Sky team, Heidi worked in several different leadership roles in small business and non-profit organizations. She has led two small business turnarounds, managed well over a hundred people, and supported tens of thousands of customers. Her approach to leadership is to unite a clear vision of the future with innovation, respect, and accountability.
Heidi has been managing people for over ten years and works to build effective teams by communicating openly and directly, empowering shared leadership, and solving problems creatively. She is passionate about developing operational efficiencies, moving organizations forward, and getting people involved in the process. She is committed to her staff, her customers, and her owners.
When not working at her homemade treadmill desk; you can find Heidi enjoying a glass of wine, reading about business strategy or leadership in bits of borrowed time, and chasing her dog or son or both. Her favorite business maxim is from Henry Ford: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Favorite Sea to Sky property: Fremont Jet City Townhome. “I can’t decide what I like more about this property: its location or its funky aesthetic! I love that it is within walking distance to Woodland Park Zoo, Greenlake and Fremont – the Center of the Universe while still offering easy access to downtown. The unique and quirky design makes it fun for a group of friends and the top floor master suite is a real treat.”
Erika Keenan – Guest Care Manager
Erika Keenan, our Office Manager, joined the Sea to Sky Rentals team in 2012. Erika has an extensive background in hospitality. Before she made the switch to vacation rentals, she worked in the hotel industry for several years. She was first hired on as a Reservationist and then promoted to Office Manager a year later. In 2016, she accepted the brand new position of Guest Care Manager!
In the office, Erika is known for her positivity and patience. When an owner has questions about their rental statements or payment, they can contact Erika directly. She’s also a great first contact for any miscellaneous question about policies or procedures, since she has been with the company for four years!
Erika has a huge passion for travel. She just recently returned in June 2016 from a year abroad where she biked through 13 countries in Europe. When she’s not traveling, she’s exploring Seattle and working for a company she loves!
Kylie Russell – Guest Care Coordinator
Hi, my name is Kylie! I am originally from New York, and I live for outdoor exploration. The East Coast has offered me some great adventures, but the Pacific Northwest is the place I call home. From the mountains to the city to the beautiful Puget Sound, it’s a total dream. Working for Sea to Sky is a real treat. We have the most hilarious, loveable, hard-working team I could ever ask for! I am so glad that we are able to offer the full PNW experience at a click of a mouse to anyone who wants to come & experience the Emerald City!
When I’m not bragging about all the wonderful vacation rentals we have to offer, I’m usually at home playing with my cats, finding a new hiking trail, or indulging at one of the many, MANY craft breweries that Washington State has to offer.
Ariana Navarro – Guest Care Administrator
Ariana joined the Sea to Sky team in 2016 as our Guest Care Admin! Her unfailing attention to detail makes her the perfect candidate for the position. She’s been in the customer service industry for over 10 years, and her extensive experience allows her to jump into any guest care situation and handle it graciously.
When she’s not at work, Ariana enjoys reading, playing ultimate frisbee, going on hikes, or just hanging out with friends. She likes to venture into the city and just walk around taking in all the sights, exploring new areas and trying new things!
Favorite Sea to Sky property: “I absolutely fell in love with the Cascade Jewel Cabin. The view is gorgeous and the cabin is right on the water. Absolutely stunning! The cabin itself is beautifully decorated in a retro style that makes you feel right at home.”
Louisa Cranston Jacobs – Marketing Manager
Louisa is a creative and dedicated problem-solver, with a BFA in Design from Cornish College of the Arts, and 10 years of experience in the hospitality world. She began working for Mysty Mountain Properties, a vacation rental company specializing in Stevens Pass-area cabins, as a Reservations and Marketing Assistant in 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. At that time, Louisa was named Guest Care Lead and Brand Integration Manager, working to streamline company policies and procedures, align the two guest care philosophies, and integrate company branding into every aspect of the guest experience.
Now that Sea to Sky Rentals has officially acquired Mysty Mountain, Louisa has transitioned to the role of Marketing Manager. In this capacity, she helps guests find and learn to love our brand with regular email newsletters and social media posts, through popular vacation rental listing websites like VRBO and Airbnb, web design and SEO/PPC management, branded product design, and frequent seasonal promotions. At Sea to Sky, she is able to use her extensive customer service and hospitality knowledge, her graphic design training, her talent for branding and marketing, and gift for strategic planning to help grow Sea to Sky Rentals and empower our guests to have the best vacation rexperience possible!
Louisa grew up in Seattle and now happily resides in Mountlake Terrace, just north of Seattle, with her husband, son, and their three cats. In her free time she enjoys cooking, crafting, freelance family photography, and spending quality time with loved ones.
Favorite Sea to Sky Property: Olympus Penthouse! You just can’t beat that breathtaking view.
Matt Szymanowicz – Owner Account Manager
Jennifer Egaas – Property Care Manager, Seattle
A strong compassionate leader with a knack for details, Jen thrives in her role as Property Care Manager. In addition to overseeing the Property Care team, she oversees the onboarding process for new properties, and ensures high standards and the perfect stay for each guest. Since joining the Sea to Sky team in 2011, Jennifer has enjoyed watching the company grow and being a part of a bigger picture. Learning as much of the company as she can, she thrives knowing that she supports owners and helps make each guest’s stay a pleasant one.
A lifelong resident of Ballard, Jennifer is passionate about her family, photography, cooking and repairing things. On the weekends, you can find her gardening or watching one of her three daughter’s soccer games.
Favorite Sea to Sky property: Centennial Tower Penthouse. “It’s so centrally located in Seattle and I love the view. I also love the way it’s decorated.”
Tony Willis – Property Care Assistant Manager, Seattle
Tony Willis joined the Sea to Sky team in 2014, initially as the Property Care Inspector, and was then more recently promoted to the Property Care Assistant Manager. His professional background also includes 18 years in the retail industry, many in the Visual Merchandising arena. He now utilizes many of those same skills, ensuring the maintenance and décor standards of our properties for the enjoyment of our guests and owners alike. When he’s not hard at work engineering a fantastic vacation experience for our guests, he likes to unwind with friends over drinks, and travel whenever he gets a chance!
Travis Cittell – Property Care Manager, North Cascades