President & CEO
Jay has been in organizational management and leadership since his high school and college days. He began his career at the international headquarters of a fraternal organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, working to improve the operations and direction of chapters on campuses all over the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. For ten years thereafter, Jay worked in various capacities at the National Golf Course Owners Association, headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina. Jay has extensive experience in membership recruitment and retention, the development of research, educational and operations programs, the creation and empowerment of new domestic and international associations, and representation on legislative and regulatory matters. He was instrumental in the founding and development of the European and Asian Golf Course Owners Associations. During Jay's tenure, worldwide membership in NGCOA increased from 4,000 golf courses to over 6,000.
Hired as PAII's chief staff officer in June 2007, Jay oversees the direction and management of the association and its initiatives. His favorite parts of the job include traveling for PAII to all the various local, state and regional conferences, staying at dozens of B&Bs throughout the year doing "primary research” for PAII, and helping members solve their problems. Jay is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) by the American Society of Association Executives, sits on ASAE's Executive Management Section Council and has been a speaker and author for ASAE's conferences and publications. Jay also sits on the board of directors of the United States Travel Association and the advisory board for the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at the College of Charleston.
The third of four boys in the Karen family, Jay was born in Oyster Bay, New York, but grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated from Winthrop University with a degree in History and his certification to teach social studies, and went on to get his Masters in American History from the College of Charleston. He sits on the executive board of the Winthrop University Alumni Association and the marketing committee for the Charleston Ronald McDonald House. Jay is married to Carrie Lyndrup, and they have two children, Marley (their "Carolina Girl”) and Jonah (their "Jersey Boy”). Jay's been playing golf since the age of 9 and enjoys running, food that's bad for him, online social networking, traveling, but nothing more than enjoying Charleston with his family. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Membership Sales Coordinator
Isabel Abreu joined PAII in March 2008 as the Membership Coordinator where she manages member recruitment, retention and most importantly customer service. Isabel handles member inquiries, requests for information and research and always has a sympathetic ear to members who are sometimes overwhelmed by all they do on a daily basis as innkeepers, a profession we all know never stops. Her favorite part of the job is finding solutions for members and the annual conference when she gets to meet all the great people she assists every day.
Isabel was born in Lisbon Portugal, but has lived in the United States for 30 years and became a US citizen in 1990. She attended Temple University in Philadelphia where she majored in business administration and then went on to work in the healthcare staffing industry for many years. She lives in Marlton, New Jersey with her husband of 25 years, her two sons who are 17 and 10 and her 3 spoiled cats. She is a history geek who loves to read about past civilizations and cultures.
When not working or reading, Isabel can be found either in her kitchen whipping up gourmet meals ( she owned and managed a catering business some years back) or in her garden planting flowers, veggies and tending to the pond and water features she and her husband designed. You can reach her at email@example.com.
#Sam HymasDirector of Marketing and Development
Sam Hymas is PAII’s newest staff member and the youngest. He came on board in December of 2012 when a new position was created at PAII, the Marketing and Development Director. Sam’s primary responsibility is to fund and manage the Better Way to Stay national marketing campaign and manage all things related to it. He’s very excited about taking on this new marketing challenge and helping people of his generation see Inns and B&Bs as a very attractive alternative when traveling.
Sam got his start in PR/marketing in 2004 with the U.S. Air Force where he worked as a public relations specialist. He had the opportunity to travel all over the world handling public affairs projects for both the Air Force and the Army. He finished up his degree in Public Relations from Wilmington University in 2010 shortly after ending his service with the military. He then moved in to internet marketing, working for a company providing online marketing services, graphic and website design, and social media services in Albuquerque, NM.
When not promoting the Better Way to Stay you’ll find Sam either creating blanket forts with his kids, singing a soulful song with his Tacoma Chief guitar or hanging from a tree or laying in gravel to get that perfect shot with his Nikon camera. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Education
Donna was hired in April 2013 as the Education Director
for PAII. Donna’s experience goes back
to growing up in an Inn/Restaurant on the Brookville Lake, Indiana. Many years of working for corporate folks
such as Marriott and Sodexo helped her go gain an immense knowledge base of
front and back of the house operations.
The last years at Sodexo, Donna worked to install new food court
operations in College Dining Services.
As Executive Director for the Berea Chamber of Commerce in Berea,
Kentucky, Donna was able to collaborate with working artists and
craftsmen/women to heighten the awareness of their rich community and build relationships
with state and local groups across the Bluegrass.
For the past 8 years, Donna has taught in the
Culinary Program at Sullivan University in Lexington Kentucky. Soon to complete her Masters in Education
from Indiana University in Adult Education.
Enjoying her children and grandchildren is the favorite
past time for Donna. Their family has
been fortunate to be Foster parents in the Commonwealth of Kentucky sharing
their home with over 20 Special Needs children in the last few years. She also enjoys everything from Big Band
music to Bob Dylan and hunting for antiques.
Her new love is riding around Daniel Island on her woopty bike with a
big pink basket. You can reach Donna at email@example.com
Director of Events
Michele is PAII’s Director of Events,
bringing a wealth of experience as PAII's former Vice President and Director of
Education and Events.
Michele was born and raised in
Massachusetts and Connecticut, and after graduating high school made the very
unlikely decision to break out of her comfort zone and attend the University of Alabama --"Roll
Tide"! Although Alabama was
a huge move for her, she fully embraced the experience and maintains strong
connections to the area and a love of the south.
After graduating with a degree
in Communications — and brief stop working in radio in Chattanooga,
Tennessee — armed with only a suitcase, a little money in her pocket (emphasis
on little) and a desire to start a new career, she headed back north, this time
settling in Washington, DC. Her first position was working
in the Catering and Sales Office at the Sheraton Crystal City in Northern Virginia.Her experience here was the start of an 18 years and counting career in meeting
management and planning.
In the late 90’s Michele left
the hotel industry, crossed the Key Bridge, and joined Georgetown University,
where she moved up through the ranks ultimately becoming the Director of
Academic Events. In 2006, Michele headed north on I-95, landing in New
Jersey and ultimately beginning her career with PAII in 2008.
Michele lives with her husband George Arnold and
her two rambunctious sons, Caden (5) and Aaron (2), in their 130 year old home
in Moorestown, NJ. In her spare time she participates in the Special
Education Advisory Council, the parent PTA for children with special needs, and
therapy for her son Caden who has ASD. You can reach Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Vendor Services
Brook Patterson is PAII’s Director of Vendor Services. She is responsible for the vendor sales aspects of the organization, including memberships, Key Supporters, trade show sales, as well as advertising efforts in IN magazine, Member's Minute monthly newsletter, innsales.com and innkeeping.org.
After receiving her degree in Advertising from the University of Florida (Go Gators!), Brook began her career in advertising sales with Naylor Publications selling into association trade publications in Gainesville, Florida. She moved to Charleston, South Carolina and put her association knowledge to use at the National Golf Course Owners Association working for Jay Karen in membership sales. Brook also contributed to advertising sales in their national trade publication, Golf Business. She moved back to Tampa, Florida, further enhancing her career as a sales professional creating print and digital marketing initiatives for clients with The Tampa Tribune, The Robb Report, Tampa Bay Homebuyer and The Wall Street Journal.
Jay was right – he said they’d work together again someday. In January 2010, the timing was perfect, and Brook came to work for PAII. She feels like she has found a home here, as it encompasses all the things she is passionate about – relationship building, event planning, advertising, food and hospitality.
Outside of the office, this native Floridian loves to spend time with friends and family, soak in the sun and surf in the Gulf, and spend time with her pup, Blue. Some of Brook’s favorite things to do are hang out in her grandparent’s orange grove, cook up a good southern meal, plan a party, shop for bargains, pretend she has a green thumb and organize any closet she can get her hands on. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Bookkeeper and Executive Assistant
Bookkeeping has enabled Susan to work in a variety of industries - everything from sanitation to oil to a department store. When re-entering the workforce after being a stay-at-home mom, Susan started a "seasonal” job at Kohl’s that turned into 7 years. After Kohls, Susan did bookkeeping for the sanitation company, then moved to Wilmington, NC and worked in Human Resources/Accounting at an oil company and now in Charleston with PAII.
Susan has a 20-year-old daughter going to Kennesaw State and three stepchildren. Having spent the majority of her life in Atlanta, Susan, her husband and three dogs are new to the Charleston area. Susan loves Disney, jogging, the beach and hot weather. Looks like Charleston is a perfect fit! You can reach Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Ingrid Thorson is PAII's Communications and Marketing Manager. She is charged with ensuring that Innkeeping Now magazine serves as the industry's lead trade publication by developing an editorial schedule that serves the membership needs. Aside from the magazine, Ingrid also handles the design communications for PAII. This includes conference brochures, emails, advertisements, and all three of PAII's websites.
Ingrid just moved back to the east coast after living in the Indianapolis area for 8 years. After graduating with a degree in Communications from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, PA – Ingrid was set on taking the television news reporting field by storm. After a 6-month stint at the Harrisburg ABC television station, she decided news reporting wasn't her cup of tea.
She headed to the Midwest for her first job. Ingrid spent nearly 8 years as the creative communications director at the Roller Skating Association. Now at PAII, Ingrid uses the skills she learned to provide top-rate editorial for PAII's innkeeping publications and helps give PAII's design look a facelift.
She has been a die-hard Philadelphia Phillies fan since childhood. So, when she isn't working you can usually find her watching a Phils game or exploring Charleston with her two Shiba Inu rescue dogs, Nikko and Kobe. You can reach her at email@example.com.