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At Your Service

These Six Men are Forces in Shaping the Valley's Hospitality Industry

Patrick Brophy

General Manager

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia

 

New Jersey native Patrick Brophy planned to go into hospitality early on.

“Well, except for my dream to be in a Bon Jovi-style band back in the day,” says Brophy, noting he knew early on his passion for being in a hair band far outweighed his musical prowess.

Beyond fantasizing about being a rock star, Brophy spent his free time exploring hotels in Jersey’s famed Atlantic City.

“My pastime turned into what would become my career at 16 when I started at Trump Taj Mahal,” says Brophy.

Eager to pursue hospitality full-time, Brophy studied the industry at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas while working at The Mirage and Caesar’s Palace in the early 2000s. One of his more unique assignments? Dressing in a toga to accompany the Caesar’s Cleopatra character to bestow casino winners with gold medallions, a marketing program at the time.

After graduating, Brophy began a storied career with Hyatt Hotels, living in nine different cities over the course of the next decade. He would also serve in leadership roles with The Ritz-Carlton, and Don CeSar Beach Resort at Postcard Inn before making his way to Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia.

“My wife, son and I joke that we need to stop going on vacations because when we do, we move to the destination,” says Brophy, who visited the Valley and fell in love with it less than a year before making the move to Scottsdale.

Now settled in, Brophy is excited to show guests several enhancements, including extensive updates to the adult pool, Joya Spa, and the culinary program at the resort.

Jason Caballero

Wine Director

Maple & Ash

Jason Caballero’s father was an engineer. Initially, Caballero planned to follow in his footsteps, double majoring in electrical engineering and physics in college.

“By year five into my studies, I was questioning my path,” says Caballero, who worked as a server to supplement his income. “Here I was studying engineering, yet I was having the time of my life serving, primarily because I just love people,” he says.

He hit a crossroads as he inched toward his degrees, knowing he had to make a choice before it was too late. 

Hospitality won out, with Caballero earning a position with Olive + Ivy in 2006, eventually mentoring under its advanced sommelier.

“There was so much more to wine than red and white; I wanted to learn it all,” he says. “I was ready to drink the ocean a cup at a time”

The passion brought him—by then a father to two boys—to Bourbon Steak in 2015, where he served as the award-winning fine dining restaurant’s lead sommelier for several years.

“Turns out, studying science for as long as I did helped me to understand wine, so it was kismet,” Caballero says.

In 2019, now an advanced sommelier working toward his master designation with the court of Master Sommeliers, Caballero took on the role of wine director at Maple & Ash.

“Today, I continue to study and teach, as well. There’s always something to learn,” he says.

Jason Adler

Director of Operations

Spellbound Entertainment Group

Almost 20 years ago, Jason Adler’s life was headed in a very different direction.

“In 2002, I was a newly enlisted member of the U.S. Air Force doing basic training in Texas,” he shares. “But I spent many weekends driving 13 hours each way to see my sister, then an ASU student, in the Valley.”

Scottsdale quickly had Adler under its spell. So much so that he put in for a transfer to a local base so he could serve in a reserve capacity while making Arizona home. Once here, he began down the hospitality road at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, briefly detouring to California for a few years.

“Then 2008 came, and with it the recession,” says Adler. “Hospitality was hit hard, so much so that the only job I could find once back home in the Valley was as an entry level bar back position at the new W Scottsdale.”

What—at the time—seemed a move backward changed the trajectory of his life. Adler would soon serve as the resort’s bar manager, and got more involved with the hotel’s parent company, Spellbound Entertainment Group. Spellbound eventually promoted him to general manager of its Maya Day + Night Club in 2013. He would then help to open Dakota, The District, and Aloft Scottsdale for the brand, earning the role of Spellbound’s director of operations in 2015.

For the past five years, he’s not only grown each of the brands, but launched Clubhouse at Maya, Flint by Baltaire, Upstairs at Flint, and more with Spellbound, always eyeing ways to produce viable experiential entertainment options in the Valley.

Up next is assisting in the build of a new boutique Scottsdale hotel, The Edition, and helping launch select brands in Texas—truly bringing life full circle.

Jack Miller

General Manager

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

Jack Miller, who grew up in Florida, was captain of his football team in high school and recruited by colleges nationwide until an injury in the final game his senior year sidelined him from playing competitively ever again.

Down but never out, enterprising Miller soon focused his competitive energy in another direction: the Holiday Inn.

“I got a reputation for two things—helping in every department, and coming up with big ideas,” says Miller, who at 22 became the youngest-ever person to be named general manager for the brand.

For the next 30 years, innovating at hotels across North America became his life’s work.

By the late 1990s, Miller was regional vice president of Intercontinental Hotels. He also married a fellow hospitality professional, Shea, and was busy raising four children. In 2009, he was named general manager of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

“I set out to make the resort the center of the community, despite the recession,” says Miller, who helped re-imagine the Princess as a culinary mecca, signing on nationally regarded chefs Michael Mina and Richard Sandoval to open concepts Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda ,and Toro Latin Rum Bar on-site, as well as developing their own concepts, such as casual eatery Ironwood American Kitchen and Plaza Bar.

He also founded Christmas at the Princess, and during summers, developed a similar program focused on fireworks and pool activities. Miller even spearheaded the resort’s ongoing relationship with the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and has poured nearly $100 million into improvements and renovations over the past decade.

The result? The Princess has grown from 400 employees to 1,200, and is currently the best-performing Fairmont resort worldwide.

Ronen Aviram

Vice President & General Manager

Hotel Valley Ho

Ronen Aviram grew up exploring the world. His father’s career required travel, and so as a child, Aviram was able join him on numerous road trips around the country, and then later, cities all over Europe and the Middle East.

“I was always enamored with the different hotels around the world and the unique experiences they offered,” he says.

This led him to take a summer job at the Clarion Hotel in New Jersey one summer while home from college. He started as a bellman/van driver, but jumped in to help out wherever he could. Within two weeks on the job, he was promoted to front desk agent.

That work ethic and drive would define his career.

After receiving his master’s degree in hotel and food service management, he was immediately recruited by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts—and he’s been in demand ever since.

Aviram has worked in every continental U.S. time zone, with his career taking him to the Regent  Beverly Wilshire, Four Seasons Resort Aviara, Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Fairmont Dallas, and Swissotel Chicago.

After a stint away, since being part of the opening team, Aviram was recruited back to Hotel Valley Ho in 2016.

Under his watch the hotel has thrived, winning awards such as the 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards // No. 8 Top Hotels in the Southwest and West from Condè Nast Traveler. He’s worked with his team to develop unique and exciting experiences, whether through the spa, culinary offerings, events, summer chefs and farmers’ market, working with the local arts community, and more.

“We want this to be a place where visitors can hang out where the locals go—that’s what we want people to say about Hotel Valley Ho,” he says. “And we aim to show everyone that we appreciate that they came through our doors.”

Brian Johnson

General Manager

Great Wolf Lodge Arizona

Brian Johnson fell into the hospitality industry by accident, when a friend of his father’s thought he would make an excellent candidate for a management trainee position with Friendly’s.

“And the rest is history now, 43 years later,” he says.

He put himself through school—majoring in hospitality—as a night auditor and front desk clerk before being accepted by Sheraton into their general manager training program.

“Over the years, I opened four hotels: Sheraton Grande Torrey Pines (now Hilton), Resort at Squaw Creek, Regent Las Vegas (now Marriott), and Great Wolf Lodge Arizona,” he says.

He’s worked for Sheraton, Benchmark, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, and Loews Hotels, and during his time at Loews Ventana Canyon, was general manager and received the General Manager of the Year award. 

While he’s been a general manager for 23 years, his background includes working a variety of roles within the industry, from front desk clerk to dishwasher to engineer to front office manager, and more.

Two years ago, Johnson joined Great Wolf Lodge at its first property in Wisconsin, and then headed back to Arizona to open Great Wolf Lodge Arizona in late 2019.

“I view my role now as a mentor and it is my job, my duty, and my privilege to work with the talented managers and pack of Great Wolf Lodge to hopefully impart some wisdom, and learnings from my failures that will assist them as they journey down the road of their hospitality career. There are many twists, turns, and crossroads that one faces on their journey and maybe I can help one individual take the right path. That would be the perfect ending to the rewarding career I have had in hospitality.”

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