Meet the Owners
Three generations of the Rembe Family have owned and operated 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 has developed all areas of the business, from expanding the lavender spa product business to the addition of guest rooms, fine dining, and cultural programming.
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.
Kerissa Dakini, General Manager
Kerissa has dedicated 16 years to the hotel and hospitality industry. Previously, Kerissa worked in Santa Fe New Mexico at some of the top-rated properties New Mexico has to offer such as, Inn of the Five Graces a Relais & Chateaux, Four Seasons Rancho Encantado, Starwood’s La Posada de Santa Fe and The Historical Bishop’s Lodge Resort and Spa. Kerissa brings excellence in operations and customer service property wide and most importantly, a true love for people, guests and staff alike.
Jonathan Perno, Executive Chef
A native New Mexican, Jonathan trained at the California Culinary Academy and spent time at Postrio under Wolfgang Puck, Splendido and Alain Rondelli in San Francisco, Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado, Splendido at The Château in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Metropolitan in Salt Lake City, Utah. His résumé also includes the requisite European culinary tour, a return visit to stage at La Tante Claire in London. In addition, he spent a year in Berkeley, California at an organic farm learning raised bed farming.
Daniel Garcia, Sous Chef
Daniel brings over 20 years of experience to the Los Poblanos kitchen team and cites Chef Jonathan Perno as one of his greatest culinary inspirations. He was drawn here by his love for organic ingredients and classic flavors. Daniel believes in doing things the right way and can often be found curing bacon, hand-crafting bitters, or tending to the kitchen’s assortment of pickling fruits and vegetables. His boundless creativity and unbreakable work ethic have earned Daniel the place of Sous Chef and make him an invaluable member of the Los Poblanos family.
Mauro Bettini, Director of Food & Beverage
Mauro was born and raised on the picturesque shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. He honed his skills and built his career in some of the finest restaurants and hotels across Europe. Mauro came to the United States some 30 years ago to work as the General Manager of the historic Palace Hotel in Santa Fe. It was at the Palace that he met and married his wife, a native New Mexican, and together they built a family. Mauro left the Palace to establish his own restaurant in Taos, New Mexico – the critically acclaimed Stakeout Grill & Bar. Mauro attributes his success in business as well as in life to commitment, consistency, and personal attention to detail. Mauro’s diverse background and along with over forty years of experience in the industry, make him a valued and respected member of the Los Poblanos family.
Shaelyn Hesch, Senior Event Specialist
Shaelyn recently returned to her native New Mexico after a long stint in San Francisco. While living in the City by the Bay, she worked in several acclaimed restaurants such as Jardiniére, Farallon and Globe, and honed her skills as an event coordinator at a boutique catering company, Fork & Spoon Productions. In 2012, she started a floral design company called Fig & Twine, which featured creative, artistic designs for special events. Shaelyn is thrilled to be part of the Los Poblanos events team and to be creating beautiful, unforgettable events on such a special property.
Dylan Storment, Beverage Director
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 2009. Dylan started out as a server but quickly climbed the ladder to management. He has overseen the front of house dining staff and beverage programs for events at Los Poblanos and has moved on to our restaurant. With over 10 years experience in hospitality and dining, Dylan was instrumental in the development of our beverage program. Dylan is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. As we open a new chapter with our restaurant relocation, we are happy to have Dylan as our Beverage Director.
Bill Stimmel, Farm Shop Manager
An East coast native who fell in love with New Mexico after his first visit many years ago, Bill brings over three decades of retail leadership experience to Los Poblanos, with a particular focus on specialty foods. Before joining the Los Poblanos family, Bill spent the past five years at Whole Foods Market in store leadership, and previously owned a specialty food store in Ohio. Bill studied business and cultural geography at Bowling Green State University, and his passion for local product foraging and strong belief in the virtues of conscious leadership make him uniquely equipped to serve our guests at Farm Shop.
Aimee Conlee, Wholesale Lavender Sales Manager
From the moment she first experienced Los Poblanos eight years ago, Aimee Conlee has been entranced. Her love for lavender started when she spent time in the farm fields. Aimee’s family was in the business of manufacturing gourmet foods for national distribution, giving her a solid foundation for servicing wholesale partnerships. Holding a degree in International Business from Texas A&M University and certifications in Sound Healing from California Institute of Integral Studies, Aimee is proud of the thoughtful growth of Los Poblanos products. She looks forward to building the brand’s domestic and international partnerships and presence in the marketplace.
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 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 recently earned her Masters in Engineering Management from New Mexico Tech. Karen is excited to join the wholesale lavender team where she can use her experience to help bring Los Poblanos Lavender to new markets.
Wes Brittenham, Garden & 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.
Travis Jones, Head Lavender Farmer
Travis hails from Juneau, Alaska where he developed his appreciation for organic gardening, community, and environmental sustainability. He came to Los Poblanos in January of 2015 to work with Wholesale Lavender. When spring arrived he moved out into the fields to learn all there is to know about farming and growing lavender in the hot, dry New Mexican climate. His experience, knowledge, and ability to adapt and learn quickly make him an integral part of the Los Poblanos family.
Juliet Montaño, Human Resources Manager
Juliet is a native New Mexican whose ancestors were among the earliest Spanish settlers of her hometown, Taos, New Mexico in the 1600s. Growing up in Taos, Juliet has a love for the arts, landscapes, and culture of our beautiful state. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Business with an emphasis in Management Information Systems and is certified by the Society of Human Resources Management. She has 15 years of experience in Business Management, nine of which were directly focused in Human Resources disciplines. Juliet has a solid understanding of and passion for the hospitality and tourism industry. She is thrilled to be part of the Los Poblanos Family.