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 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.
In her free time, Michelle takes the opportunity to travel whenever possible, always seeking out the best local vacation rentals!
Heidi Stuber – Strategic Director
Heidi comes to Sea to Sky Rentals with over 12 years’ experience in Small Business Leadership with a focus on Organizational Change. She is a strategic leader known for her ability to collaborate with a team to build sustained growth and profitability. Heidi has a MBA from Seattle University with a focus on Leadership Development. 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 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. When not working at her homemade treadmill desk; you can find Heidi writing about Redheads and raising awareness about Neurodiversity. Her favorite business maxim is from Henry Ford: “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Erika Keenan – Guest Care Manager
Erika Keenan, our Guest Care Manager, joined the team back 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. 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!
Ariana Navarro – Office Manager
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 of Office Manager. 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 gracefully.
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!
Louisa Cranston Jacobs – Area Manager, Sales and Accounts
Louisa is a creative and dedicated problem-solver, with a BFA in Design from Cornish College of the Arts, and 10 years’ experience in the hospitality world. She began working for Mysty Mountain Properties as a Reservations and Marketing Assistant in August 2013. In June of 2014, Mysty Mountain merged offices as well as reservations & marketing departments with Sea to Sky Rentals, starting an exciting new chapter for both companies, and she was named Guest Care Lead and Brand Manager.
Once Sea to Sky Rentals officially acquired Mysty Mountain in 2016, Louisa has transitioned to the role of Marketing Manager. In this capacity, she helped 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. As of January 2018, she has transitioned to the role of Area Manager, Owner Sales & Accounts for Seattle & the North Cascades. As Area Manager, she ensures a professional, friendly, and mutually beneficial relationship with our valued owners.
Louisa grew up in Seattle and now happily resides in Mountlake Terrace, just north of Seattle, with her husband, toddler son and infant daughter. In her free time she enjoys cooking, crafting, freelance family photography, and spending quality time with loved ones.
Travis Cittell – Property Care Manager, North Cascades
Travis comes to Mysty Mountain Properties with an Associate’s degree in Interior Design. This really gives him that keen eye and attention to detail that is needed in this business. He was President of his Homeowner’s Association for 8 years and was in charge of a $1.3 million dollar remediation project. He has over 20 years of account management, sales and customer service in the furniture industry,and owned a vintage furniture store in Seattle for a little while. He also has a knack for troubleshooting computer, internet and TV problems/issues as well. Really a true Renaissance Man!
He’s been with Mysty Mountain Properties for over 2 and a half years now. Recently, he moved to the mountains from Seattle to better service the cabins. He is a jack-of-all trades and can almost fix anything or figure out who can if he can’t. He is the go-to guy when there are property-specific questions, concerns and problems. His favorite job-related quote is: “I solve problems that you don’t even know you have, in ways you can’t understand.”
In his free time he enjoys hiking, biking, photography, architecture/design, art, going to rock concerts and just really enjoying all that Western Washington has to offer.
Tony Willis – Property Care Supervisor, Seattle
Tony Willis joined the team in 2014, initially as the Property Care Inspector, and was then more recently promoted to the Property Care Supervisor. His professional background 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 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!
Guin Shabo – Quality Assurance Coordinator, North Cascades
Guin joined the Mysty Mountain team in October of 2017 as our Quality Assurance Coordinator. With her she brought a wide skill-set, having previously worked in the technology and residential property industries. She is our resident “Jill of All Trades,” being able and willing to solve just about any problem thrown her way. We know her to be detail-oriented, with strong customer service skills.
On the weekends, you can find Guin spending time with her wonderful family and enjoying the beautiful PNW scenery. Having grown up in Southeast Alaska, she says that she feels right at home in the North Cascades!
Joelle Segovia – Administrative Assistant
Originally hailing from sunny California, Joelle traded in her sunglasses for a Northface jacket and moved to the Emerald City, joining Sea to Sky as an administrative assistant in September of 2017. Prior to coming to the Sea to Sky team, she worked in the spa industry for a number of years while attending college. She strives to be detail-oriented, positive, and friendly. As a lifelong-learner, Joelle spends the bulk of her time studying for ever looming midterms. When she can find a free minute, she can be found giving her adorable chinchillas some love or playing video games and enjoying a quiet night at home.
Kerri O’Donnell – Guest Care Coordinator
Kerri is a new Washingtonian, originally coming from Pennsylvania. She has been with Sea to Sky since November of 2017. Kerri joined our team with a number of years in the hospitality industry under her belt, having worked for Hilton as a Sales Manager as well as a number of hostels during her world travels. She’s also worked as an AuPair in Australia during this time.
Kerri loves being in the ocean as much possible, which ultimately brought her to the PNW. She’s recently picked up hiking through the Cascades, and says she loves putting her energy into her feet as she explores her new backyard! She is an indefinite traveler and loves finding new, exciting places to practice her yoga.