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  • History of the Retreat

    95 Years of Legendary Hospitality

Meet the Team

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Chef Natasha Zeal

Chef Natasha Zeal

Chef de Partie

 When my husband, Danny, was asked to join the opening team for the Georgian Room restaurant at The Cloister in 2006, I also came along for the adventure. Having grown up with parents in the restaurant business, it was a natural fit for me to attend the Culinary Institute of America. That sparked my passion for pastries, which led to a series of roles for me at Sea Island, including my current role as Chef de Partie for the Bake Shop. No two days are alike there. Each of the restaurants has its own theme and each wedding has its own flair, which gives my team and me a great opportunity to be creative and grow our skill set. If you’re looking for a job with great benefits, great people and great opportunities, Sea Island is the place for you. 

Najla Muhammad

Najla Muhammad

Housekeeping Supervisor, Cottage Rentals

 Throughout my time at Sea Island, what’s been most important to me has been the coaching and development that I have received. When I started at Sea Island over 20 years ago, as a Room Attendant in Cottage Rentals, I never imagined the level of mentorship that this company provides to its team members. I was encouraged to take the ‘Leadership Foundations’ class, which helped me become a certified Learning Specialist for my department. Today, as a Housekeeping Supervisor, I feel empowered in my role and fortunate to be able to train new team members. That is very important to me because I credit much of my success to the training and mentorship that Sea Island provided me. It’s a wonderful way to continue giving back and growing as one team. When we say that Sea Island is a family, we mean it. 

Ken Lambright

Ken Lambright

Retreat Golf Course Superintendent

 When I began my career in golf, I wanted to work somewhere that felt like home. Growing up playing golf at Sea Island, I knew this is where I wanted to be after college. Following a short internship on Amelia Island, I joined the resort’s golf maintenance department. During my 17 years at Sea Island, I moved from being a spray technician to assistant superintendent to my current position of superintendent. Golf is an interesting department to work in, with something different happening every single day. Because my team works outside, once the sun rises, you find out what your day holds, with the weather dictating what we do that day. I have learned during my years at Sea Island that it takes a team to keep our golf courses in top condition. Our team is a fine-tuned machine that must stay on our toes to deal with daily challenges. If you are looking for a job that is interesting every day, Sea Island is the place for you. My team and I are excited to come to work each day and trust you will be too.

Kelsey Blake

Kelsey Blake

Spa Manager

 I began my career at Sea Island in 2017 as a Spa Coordinator and have worked my way up to my current position of Spa Manager. I am excited to come to work each day as I know I have the support of the Sea Island team to bring my vision for the Spa to life. At Sea Island, your voice is heard and you are encouraged to share your ideas. One idea I am now in the process of planning is the first ever retail mart for The Spa at Sea Island. I am thrilled to work with the spa team to create this unique event. I truly think what makes Sea Island so special is the willingness of each team member to work together and the caring attitude of everyone here. If you want to experience true southern hospitality every day at work, Sea Island is the place for you. 

Kelly Cranford

Sales and Information Center Manager

Starting out as a junior staffer on the activities team, what I remember noticing first about Sea Island was the resort’s many opportunities for advancement. Because there are countless facets to our business, team members always have more than one direction for upward growth. I think that is so unique to our industry and really allows team members to discover what brings them the most happiness in a position. After a few years in my initial role, I seized an opportunity to join the reservations team, and today I am the manager of that department. What I love most about this position is the dedicated team that I work with each day. It is an environment where qualities like hard work and taking ownership are appreciated and rewarded. We truly have such an incredible family at Sea Island, that showing up for them is the most rewarding part of it all. If I had to give one piece of advice to a new team member starting out at Sea Island, I would encourage them to learn as much as you can and be open to the opportunities in front of you. 

Karen Basurto

Karen Basurto

Chef de Cuisine, Colt & Alison

 At Sea Island, I have learned an invaluable amount of knowledge from many different people across the organization. Originally a J-1 international student from Mexico City, I began my career at Sea Island as Chef de Partie and have grown over the course of eight years to become the Chef de Cuisine at Colt & Alison. Sea Island has instilled in me that mastering the basics and having the willingness to learn are two very important practices to have in the kitchen. Because each of our restaurants has its own personality, there is always an opportunity to expand your knowledge. As a culinary team, we believe it is important to stay open to suggestions and bounce new ideas off one another – which allows us to come together and create astounding dishes for our guests and members. Whether you are looking to start a new career or an opportunity to grow your current one, Sea Island is the place for you. 

Eric Fullem

Chef Eric Fullem

Executive Chef of Events

I first began working in Food and Beverage because I needed a job. However, I quickly discovered a love for this line of work and was encouraged to attend culinary school. After graduation, I wanted to work at luxury resorts and Sea Island was on my wish list. Since 2015, when my wish came true, I have held several positions including Chef de Cuisine, Executive Sous Chef of the Beach Club, and now Executive Chef of Events. I am so proud to have my mother join me each year at our Mother’s Day Brunch, where our chefs and their mothers serve our members and guests. I am very impressed with the professionalism and caring of my fellow team members. I am so happy to be a part of the Sea Island family and strongly encourage 

Dan Vivirito

Daniel “Dan” Vivirito

Server, Tavola

 One important and surprising thing to me about working at Sea Island is how much your appreciation will grow, not only of your fellow teammates, but also of members and guests. I find it fascinating that I get to meet people not only from all over our country but also the world. One of my favorite parts of my job, though, is seeing the same families return year after year and having them request that I be their server. I have formed connections with them. They often ask about my family which is very meaningful to me and I share special moments with them like watching their kids or grandkids grow up. I believe I make an impact on the enjoyment of their vacation and thus their lives. Working for a resort like Sea Island may seem intimidating if you’re not familiar with the Five-Star service experience. I was not familiar with it when I started even though I had a background in hospitality and restaurants. I viewed learning this new service level as a challenge and am so pleased that I decided to come to Sea Island. I am proud to work for a company with a history and tradition of providing gracious hospitality. Our team feels very accountable for delivering this hospitality and are truly dedicated to their craft. At Sea Island, if you put the extra effort in, it will not go unnoticed. It is my belief that you won’t find a quality workplace like Sea Island anywhere else.

Dawn Eversley

Assistant Manager, Cottage Rentals

Since my first day at Sea Island, I have been pleasantly surprised with the career growth opportunities that are available. I was originally hired as a Turndown Attendant at The Cloister in 2014 and moved to our Cottage Rentals department as a Concierge in 2017. Last year, I was promoted to my current role as Assistant Manager, where I lead a team of concierges in helping plan the visits of our Cottage Rentals guests. I had the pleasure of taking the Sea Island Leadership Foundations course, which helped to grow my confidence in my leadership abilities. During this course, my group was also given the chance to create a new activity for our guests and members, and we formed The Broadfield Experience, which is still an offering for our guests and members today! If you are looking for a unique opportunity in this area, we’d love to have you join our team.