John Pritzker, principal of Geolo Capital, the San Francisco-based owner and operator of Carmel Valley Ranch, is pleased to announce the appointment of Anna Olson as General Manager. Olson joins the resort after a long and successful career at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, where she has served as General Manager since 2001.
"We are thrilled that Anna was so enticed by our vision and plans for Carmel Valley Ranch," said Pritzker. "The new Carmel Valley Ranch will be something very special - a new kind of resort experience - and we wanted to ensure we found the right leader for our team."
Pritzker continues, "We are transforming Carmel Valley Ranch, into a place that goes beyond what people imagine a resort can be. We'll have all of the traditional resort amenities - a great spa, tennis courts, swimming pools, a Pete Dye golf course - but what sets us apart will be our sense of play. We view it as our job to create experiences that tap into that powerful elixir of life, encouraging connection, self-discovery, the rekindling of romances, the rethinking of companies, and the reuniting of friends and families."
Because of the unique proposition of this resort, Pritzker and his team went about searching for the ideal General Manager in a slightly different way. The team polled the resort's employees and club members, seeking insights into characteristics that would be critical to a General Manager's success. What emerged was a list of 25 qualities, some of them expected, such as "clear thinker" and "genuinely hospitable," and others a bit more unique, such as "someone who possesses a sense of joy" and "sparkle in their eye." Olson scored well on all fronts.
No stranger to resort reinvention, Ms. Olson led Ojai Valley Inn & Spa through a $120 million renovation, including the addition of a state of the art spa facility, and introduced market-leading wellness activities, instruction and programs. Under her stewardship, the resort earned a rare AAA Five Diamond award, was recognized as the "#1 Spa in the World" by TripAdvisor.com, and was included on the "Gold List of Best Places to Stay" and "Top 100 Golf Resorts" by Conde Nast Traveler. Prior to being named General Manager at Ojai, Olson served as Assistant General Manager and Director of Human Resources.
Olson holds a B.A. from Azusa Pacific University, and earned a certificate in Industrial Relations from Loyola Marymount University.