Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat announces new leadership appointments

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Canyon Ranch today announced new hires for its forthcoming brand extension – Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat, opening in Woodside, California, in 2019. The new team consists of deeply-connected and wellness-minded local Bay Area talent, coupled with leaders bringing global luxury hospitality experience to the first California outpost for Canyon Ranch. These six leaders demonstrate the brand’s commitment to sustained progress and development after four decades in the industry.

Debbie Gisonni – General Manager

Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside welcomes Debbie Gisonni as General Manager, bringing with her a strong familiarity with the property and the wellness industry. From 2010 to 2014, she served as President and CEO at the Stillheart Institute which previously occupied the space. Debbie also formerly worked as Publishing Director for CMP Media, CEO of the Professional Business Women of California organization, Interim Executive Director of the Midpen Media Center, and Acting CEO of She Living. At Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside, Debbie will primarily oversee all operations of the property, day-to-day staff, and guest experience. With a passion for all things fitness, Debbie is the perfect addition to the Canyon Ranch team.

Jennifer Tarkiainen – Director of Operations

With more than two decades of international business management experience and seven years in the wellness industry, Jennifer Tarkiainen joins Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside as Director of Operations. Prior to joining Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside, Jennifer worked at some of the world’s top companies including Nokia, Microsoft, and Tellabs. Jennifer also serves as an executive performance coach for Hintsa Performance and a certified fitness trainer for Stanford University. Jennifer’s primary responsibilities will be overseeing the day-to-day operations of the retreat, ensuring superior service and transformative guest experiences.

DeAnn Teixeria – Director of Programming

Director of Programming DeAnn Teixeira has worked for more than 20 years as a personal trainer and wellness coach in the Bay Area. DeAnn is also the creator of many weight loss and fitness programs in Northern California, focused on clean eating, outdoor programming, goal setting, and encouraging overall wellbeing – making Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside a perfect fit. In her new role, DeAnn is responsible for the development and curation of all retreat programming. She will cultivate relationships with outside experts and facilities in order to provide unique experiential retreats and offerings for guests.

Isabelle Jackson Nunes – Executive Chef

Canyon Ranch welcomes Isabelle Jackson Nunes to serve as Executive Chef. Isabelle joins the team with 10 years of culinary experience in various kitchens across Northern California, including a role as Head Cook/Chef de Partie at Apple. Isabelle brings an ecological consciousness to her cooking and menu design, and is a passionate locavore, honoring the tenets of local, earth-centered, and sustainable cuisine. She is an avid supporter of CSAs, Slow Food, and only works with the top producers to deliver Canyon Ranch’s signature plant-forward cuisine. Isabelle will be overseeing all food and beverage elements of the Woodside property, driving innovation with local, seasonal and balanced menus that nourish body, mind, and soul.

Melda Erbatur – Sous Chef

A native of Turkey, Melda Erbatur grew up in the food-obsessed culture of the Mediterranean. Seven years ago, after spending more than a decade in the airline industry, she decided to follow her lifelong dream of creating great food and moved to California. She received her culinary arts degree from City College of San Francisco and found herself immersed in the fast-paced life of fine catering. She then sharpened her skills as a sous chef at a popular San Francisco restaurant before joining the team at Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside. As Sous Chef, Melda will be working alongside Chef Isabelle on all facets of the culinary program at Woodside. In her role, she will focus on day-to-day kitchen operations and support the development and execution of an ever-evolving menu.

Tim De Voe – Facilities Manager

With more than 17 years of experience in project management and facility maintenance, Canyon Ranch welcomes Tim De Voe to the Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside team. Prior to joining Canyon Ranch, Tim was Facilities Director for Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, CA, managing projects in plumbing, masonry, electrical, and building repairs. With his local experience, he is not only familiar with the environmental needs of Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat – Woodside, but also regional and national test standards, ensuring a safe atmosphere for the property. As Facilities Manager, Tim will ensure that all the facilities run efficiently, maintaining an impeccable environment for guests to immerse themselves in nature.

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