Meet the Owners
Three generations of the Rembe Family have owned and help operate Los Poblanos. In 1976, Penny and Armin Rembe purchased one-half of the property from Albert and Barbara Simms, where they raised their four children and maintained the property as gentlemen farmers. In 1999, the second half of the property, which included La Quinta Cultural Center, came up for sale and was under threat of being developed. Together with their four children, they decided to reunite the properties and undertake a preservation plan to maintain the architecture, gardens, and open farmland in perpetuity. In their retirement, Penny and Armin ran the inn for five years. In 2004, their son Matthew Rembe became Executive Director, and continues to develop all areas of the business, including the boutique inn, artisan lavender product line, casual fine dining, event space, retail shop and cultural programming.
Meet the Team
Matthew Rembe, Executive Director
Matt grew up at Los Poblanos and now oversees all aspects of the business on behalf of the Rembe Family. He worked as Director of Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art in New York City, where he became a specialist in the field of 20th Century Latin American Masters. Matt attended Syracuse University, where he obtained a BA in Spanish and received his MBA from the prestigious Thunderbird School of Global Management. His wife Teresa, and sons Mateo and Max have had a significant influence on Los Poblanos’s dedication to quality food and can often be found enjoying the myriad sights, sounds and tastes of the Inn and Organic Farm.
Katherine Trujillo, Executive Assistant
Hailing from England, Katherine has called New Mexico home since 2007. Katherine is Matt Rembe's Executive Assistant, and also provides administrative support to the Leadership Team. Katherine has a passion for Excel PivotTables and a weakness for Los Poblanos House-Made Caramels.
Marietta Crane, Director of Finance
Marietta grew up in Northern Virginia, but moved to San Francisco right after high school. She received her BS in Accounting and Finance from San Francisco State University. Subsequently, she spent almost 20 years in progressively responsible positions in finance in professional service organizations, most recently as the CFO of an international law firm with offices around the world. During that time she visited New Mexico frequently and fell in love with its beauty and diverse culture. Several years ago, she decided to leave the high-pressure San Francisco corporate rat race and move to New Mexico where she then spent over four years leading the finance department at the oldest and largest pistachio ranch in New Mexico. When the opportunity at Los Poblanos arose, she was thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of one her favorite resorts in New Mexico. Marietta is now proud to be a member of the Los Poblanos family and is looking forward to contributing to its success.
Barb Swanson, SPHR, Director of Human Resources
Barb oversees all aspects of human resources for Los Poblanos. She has over 25 years of HR experience and received her Senior Professional in Human Resources certification in 2005. She had served as a VP of HR at an environmental service firm in Houston, Texas. She also was part of the Associate Development team at The Best Small Company to Work for in America as designated by the Best Place to Work Institute. Barb is committed to ensuring every employee is an engaged member of the team by partnering with the managers to provide an encouraging and open work environment. Barb is familiar with employment law and stays abreast of all regulations. She says Los Poblanos has a company culture that truly appreciates and works for the development of its people.
Amy Carrara, Design & Brand Manager
Amy was born and raised in Albuquerque and over three decades, has worked in many areas of design and advertising. Amy worked with the Rembe Family over ten years ago and is so excited that she was able to return and now calls this her work home. With such beauty and inspiration around every corner at Los Poblanos, she feels that luck has fallen upon her and that this might be the most perfect place where a designer can spend her days.
Lauren Kemner, Marketing Manager
Originally from Texas, Lauren joined Los Poblanos in early 2018 after working in the fashion industry in New York City for several years. The storied history, dedication to sustainability and tangible authenticity first drew Lauren to Los Poblanos, and she is thrilled to be part of the dynamic leadership team at the farm. Inspired by the exceptional agricultural and culinary model, vibrant family history and genuine hospitality, Lauren is dedicated to sharing the rich stories of the farm and furthering the beautiful mission of Los Poblanos.
Kim Vollers, Director of Hospitality Operations
Originally from New Jersey, Kim spent 27 years raising her family and working in Vermont. With over 30 years in the hospitality industry, she has developed her craft by working in many aspects of the industry including Food and Beverage, Spa and Guest Services. Her passion is to create a truly authentic and lasting experience for her guests.
Beo Afantodji, Rooms Manager
Born and raised in West Africa, Lomé, Togo, Beo received his master's degree in business administration and management there, and then relocated to Vermont where he fell in love with hospitality. Over a decade, Beo has grown and built his experience in hospitality by working mainly in housekeeping and guest services. Throughout his journey, Beo met his wife, Jaymie, and has two wonderful children, Leo and Adi. Beo's passion for hospitality and the drive for exceptional and authentic service is what led him to Los Poblanos, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the family.
Melissa Rivera, Spa & Wellness Manager
Born and raised in New Mexico, Melissa brings 10 years experience in the hospitality industry with an emphasis on guest services and spa. Intrigued by the beauty and culture of Los Poblanos, Melissa knew this is where she belonged from the moment she first stepped onto the grounds. Passionate about the legacy and impact Los Poblanos has had on the local community, she is dedicated to the preservation and history of the property. Her love for hospitality stems from an inclination to host those from near and far.
Sarah Morrow, Guest Services Manager
As a well-traveled native New Mexican, Sarah has always been attracted to New Mexico's rich culture and natural beauty. She brings a love and passion for the customer experience, guest services and sustainability. Her many years in hospitality and customer service continuously drives her desire to enrich the guest experience. Sarah has two adventurous girls and enjoys exploring and traveling with them. She strives to be a resource for both guests and staff alike, and enjoys creating personalized experiences by helping create memories that will forever be cherished.
Kate Garner, Cultural Coordinator
Born and raised in Toronto, Kate has been living in the Southwest since 2017. The sunshine, mountains and rich history here have captured her heart and imagination. After spending a few years in Phoenix, Kate and her husband relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico. While Kate was working towards her Masters in Sustainable Tourism, she completed a capstone project at Los Poblanos on the subject of transformative travel. When the opportunity arose to bring the ideas in her project to life, Kate jumped at the chance to join the team. In her role as the Cultural Coordinator, Kate enjoys developing creative guest experiences that showcase the property's history, sustainability mission and incredibly talented teams from the farm to the kitchen and beyond.
Camille Gonzalez, Housekeeping Manager
Born and raised on Laguna Pueblo, Camille has over 10 years of industry experience ranging from Housekeeping to Guest Experience, and is a wonderful addition to our hospitality team. Her dedicated leadership, strong work ethic and attention to detail enriches the guest experience as she leads our Housekeeping team in prioritizing safety, health and comfort.
Wes Brittenham, Farm & Landscape Manager
Wes grew up in Albuquerque and has over four decades of horticultural experience. From plant nurseries and flower shops, to residential and large commercial landscape design, installation and maintenance, his background is as diverse as gardens can be. He is a landscape designer and his work ranges from austere contemporary with Asian influences to wild natural gardens. He works with Native and Adaptive plants using elements of water harvesting and conservation, permaculture, edible and medicinal plants, and plants for pollinators and wildlife habitat. He has always been a backyard farmer, growing vegetables, herbs and other plants that are appropriate for our southwestern environment. Here at Los Poblanos, he oversees all growing things, from the Historic Gardens to the newer more xeric and multi-functional landscapes, as well as the Kitchen Garden and our beloved fields of lavender. As an artist and gardener, Wes is right at home with the history, culture, art and architecture that make Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm such a wonderful place to be.
Daniel Gonzales, Maintenance Manager
With over 20 years of maintenance experience across Albuquerque, Danny is a vital addition to the Los Poblanos family. You’ll find him maintaining, repairing and constructing everything from kitchen hoods to hand washing stations. His vast knowledge on all things maintenance make him an essential part of our hardworking team.
Jonathan Perno, Executive Chef
A native New Mexican, Jonathan is now recognized as one of the leading chefs in the Southwest. He has been at Los Poblanos for over 13 years and, with the Rembe family, helped shape its vision of Rio Grande Valley Cuisine. Jonathan has been nominated six times as a semi-finalist for a James Beard award and is a strong advocate of the Farm to Table philosophy. He is a butcher, farmer, beekeeper and has trained many cooks to become great chefs, many who now run kitchens of their own. He collaborates with organizations locally and nationally that are dedicated to improving the quality of food, soil and culinary technique.
Caroline Ballam, Pastry Chef
Caroline joins the award-winning Campo team with over a decade of professional baking and pastry experience working in renowned kitchens and luxury properties across the country. Her interest in baking began at age seven, when she started making cookies for her dad's lunches, and continued as she took culinary classes in high school and enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America, studying Baking and Pastry Arts Management. Caroline and her husband Derek have lived all over the country, and were drawn to the arid climate and seasonal weather of New Mexico. Caroline's genuine love for her craft, paired with her talent and curiosity makes her a wonderful addition to the talented culinary team at Los Poblanos. She says "pastry is lucky to be the last thing a guest experiences, so we get to create the lasting memory for diners and provide the final 'wow' moment."
Mona Purvis, Campo General Manager
After spending many seasons as Banquet Manager for our private events business, Mona's role has grown to oversee all front of house dining operations at Los Poblanos. With extensive hospitality experience, from working in local restaurants and retail to fine dining establishments across the country, Mona's warm hospitality and dedicated work ethic make her a natural asset to our team. Born and raised in Albuquerque, Mona spent a few years working and traveling before settling down back in her hometown. Happily married, she is effusively proud of her three children, and loves to run, hike and volunteer.
Dylan Storment, Director of Wine & Spirits
Born and raised in Santa Fe, Dylan began working in restaurants in his early teens and quickly felt at home in the industry. Dylan’s passion for food, wine and fine dining brought him to Los Poblanos in 2008. Dylan started out as a server but quickly climbed the ladder to management. With over 20 years experience in hospitality and dining, he has been an integral part in building the restaurant and events departments at Los Poblanos. Dylan has also been instrumental in the development of our Wine & Spirits program, and was awarded the opportunity to lead the beverage program in 2014. Dylan is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas with a certificate in Foodservice Management from eCornell.
Shaelyn Hesch, Director of Private Dining, Retreats & Celebrations
As a fifth generation Santa Fean, Shaelyn's New Mexican roots run deep. After a 20-year stint in San Francisco, she returned to her beloved desert mountains in 2015 to join the team at Los Poblanos. During her time in the City by the Bay, she honed her skills at Fork & Spoon Productions, a boutique production company, planning, designing and executing distinguished events throughout Northern California. Shaelyn later owned and operated a floral design company where she worked closely with local growers to create custom, artistic arrangements for weddings, local businesses and private clients. With a passion for design, great food and wine, and gracious hospitality, Shaelyn's unique experiences bring a high level of attentiveness to our guests and organization, with a focus of creating exquisite and memorable events.
Teresa Curl, Director of Retail & Brand Strategy
After dedicating decades to the national expansion of a homegrown Albuquerque retail enterprise, Teresa Curl joins the Los Poblanos family as Director of Retail & Brand Strategy. She oversees all retail, ecommerce and production operations, providing fresh industry insight and strong leadership to our growing product business. Teresa’s proven history in successful scaling, supply chain management and bright ingenuity paired with her interest in folk art and southwest collectibles makes her a natural fit in our innovative, entrepreneurial, mission-based culture. We are thrilled to welcome Teresa to Los Poblanos, and know she will prove instrumental as the product business continues to grow.
Karen Converse, Wholesale Lavender Operations Manager
Karen is a proud New Mexican and is native to the Albuquerque area. Her passion for the beauty, culture, and food of New Mexico drew her to Los Poblanos. She grew up in a local family business and left Albuquerque after high school to study Industrial Engineering at New Mexico State University. Karen has over 20 years of extensive manufacturing and consulting experience. The better part of her career has been spent helping small manufacturers in New Mexico grow and strengthen their businesses. Karen also earned her Masters in Engineering Management from New Mexico Tech in 2017. Karen lends her expertise to the wholesale lavender team where she uses her experience to help bring Los Poblanos Lavender to new markets. Along with her work at Los Poblanos, Karen teaches International Management at UNM; sits as the President of the Board for Southwest Creations Collaborative; and can be found piloting her hot air balloon on the weekends in Rio Rancho.
Brandilyn Fagan LE, Director of Lavender Sales
Brandilyn is truly in love with the Land of Enchantment. A New Mexico native, Brandilyn grew up in the Albuquerque area and is a champion for a local and sustainable economy. While managing a boutique spa in Portland, Oregon, she discovered that natural and organic skin care was her calling, so she came back to Albuquerque to attend the New Mexico Aveda Institute to become a licensed Esthetician. For more than 15 years, Brandilyn has worked in the boutique and natural, organic skin care industry and has cultivated her passion for holistic skin care. During this time, Brandilyn co-founded the New Mexico of Skincare Professionals Association, which served to educate and develop skin care professionals in New Mexico. Our artisanal lavender products first drew Brandilyn to the farm and when she learned more about Los Poblanos' commitment to sustainability and drive to elevate skin and body care in New Mexico, she knew this is where she was meant to be. Brandilyn is thrilled to bring her passion for skin care and her deep love of New Mexico and its rich and vibrant culture to Los Poblanos and looks forward to developing innovative and exciting ways to contribute to the health of New Mexicans and their local economy.
Ramona Chesley Montoya, Farm Shop Manager
A native to Albuquerque’s North Valley, Ramona Chesley joined the Los Poblanos family after owning her own knitting business for many years. After six years as the Farm Shop’s Assistant Manager, Ramona’s role has grown to Farm Shop Manager. From handmade jewelry to locally made ceramics, her excellent eye and knack for sourcing is behind the lovely assortment of products you find in the shop, and her dedicated mentorship creates a familial bond among the Farm Shop team. Ramona’s talent doesn’t stop with retail – she’s an excellent cook, avid home gardener and incredibly creative, perpetually working on several inspiring projects at once. When she’s not on the farm, Ramona can be found spending time with her husband and two children.