Our Team

MICHAEL FREED Managing Member

Mike Freed is co-founder and Managing Director of Passport Resorts LLC. In the late 1980s, Mike had the vision to create Post Ranch Inn and was primarily responsible for overseeing it from construction to completion. He also managed the acquisition and renovation of Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort. More recently, he was responsible for the Fort Baker project's development related to Passport Resorts, then the launch and management of Cavallo Point Lodge – the result of a unique private/public/non-profit alliance – which opened in July 2008.

Currently, Mike oversees marketing for Passport Resorts and operations at Post Ranch Inn. He brings to the company and each resort a visionary, non-traditional approach to marketing. This has helped establish a unique 'sense of place' for each property and led to their worldwide recognition. In addition, Mike enjoys close working relationships with environmental groups, the California Coastal Commission and various local governmental officials responsible for land use matters in diverse California locations.

Mike earned his law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley in 1977 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara.


Peter Heinemann is co-founder and Managing Director of Passport Resorts LLC. Peter supervises all financial matters for the properties managed by Passport Resorts or its affiliates. His responsibilities include overseeing the resorts' controllers and outside accountants, overseeing cash and financial management matters, arranging project financing, and structuring various business and real estate transactions. Peter was primarily responsible for supervising the acquisition and renovation of Hotel Hana-Maui, a former project of Passport Resorts. He also had the lead role for supervising the acquisition of The Sea Ranch Lodge and was responsible for financial oversight of Cavallo Point – a project created by of a unique private/public/non-profit alliance, which opened in July 2008 – and currently oversees its operations.

Peter received his law degree from the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley in 1977 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in 1973.


Michael Higgins is a career hospitality professional and as Vice President for Passport Resorts, he focuses his passion for hospitality on guaranteeing guest satisfaction is exceeded on each visit. As part of the original management team of Post Ranch Inn, Mike is committed to assuring the Passport Resorts culture is instilled in all employees as we share these beautiful resorts with our guests. Positive Stewardship of the properties and their stunning natural settings along with world-class service and amenities are the core values Mike uses to guide his management and service styles.

Mike is a graduate of Lincoln Technical Institute in Philadelphia with more than 25 years of luxury operations experience in hospitality in a career that has spanned internationally – including his own Inn and managing the famed Skywalker Ranch.

STEPHEN ANDREWS Vice President of Marketing & Sales

Stephen Andrews works in concert with hotel marketing, sales, reservations, revenue, media relations, and key executive team members to establish or enhance a dynamic marketing and sales culture within each organization. His core responsibilities include building, managing and motivating hotel marketing and sales teams, strategic identification of market segments and audiences unique to the successful positioning of each hotel, and tactical implementation of media relations, e-marketing, social media, and direct sales for every Passport Resorts' portfolio property.

A graduate of the California State University at Northridge, Stephen brings more than twenty years of travel and tourism marketing experience to Passport Resorts. Stephen also produces and hosts a weekly syndicated lifestyle radio program that regularly features properties from the Passport Resorts' collection.

DANA KUEFFNER Environmental Director

Dana Kueffner is Passport Resorts' Environmental Consultant. She also serves as Project Design Director on many of the company's projects. A design professional for over 20 years, Dana is an American Society of Interior Designers Industry Partner. She is also certified as a Green Building Professional and received a specialty credential in Green Building Remodeling and Retrofitting.

Consulting Partners

EDNA NAKAMOTO Corporate Director of Human Resources

As Corporate Director of Human Resources, Edna Nakamoto works with each resort to provide leadership, strategic planning, policy development and regulatory compliance for HR functions for Passport Resorts' hotels, restaurants and spas. With over 25 years in Human Resources, her extensive experience includes boutique hotels and restaurants in California, Texas and Hawaii; and as Chief HR Officer in a broad range of industries. A graduate of California State University East Bay, Edna is certified as a Senior HR Professional and is a member of the prestigious SHRM Measures and Metrics Task-force.

KEN BARASCH Consulting Wine Director

Ken Barasch works closely with our Restaurant Managers and Wine Directors, providing recommendations and access to sources of fine and rare wines, and consulting on pricing strategies, wine list formats, food/wine pairings and staff training. Since before its opening in 2008, Ken helped to create the award winning wine list at Murray Circle, the restaurant at the Cavallo Point Lodge. In addition Ken supervises the Murray Circle wine program, including the purchase of the fine and rare wines. Prior to Ken’s appointment as Consulting Wine Director for Passport Resorts, Ken consulted for Post Ranch Inn on the acquisition of its wine list. A long-time marketing consultant, travel and restaurant radio correspondent and writer, Ken has consulted with dozens of award-wining restaurants over the past 25 years. He received his B.A. and M.B.A. from California State University at Fullerton.

COLETTE CUCCIA Director of Weddings and Special Events

Colette Cuccia has over 25 years' experience in planning, designing and implementing special events and weddings. She works closely with our Catering Directors and Chefs to orchestrate the finest weddings. Based on the Monterey Peninsula, Colette is the owner of the most highly regarded event design company in the area. She personally plans and oversees the most memorable events at resort hotels and specialty venues for clients from around the world.

MIKE CASEY Operations Consultant

Mike Casey has over 30 years experience in the industry and has launched multiple multi-million-dollar hotels for leading hospitality companies, from construction through market. Combining an entrepreneurial style with strategic thinking, Mike creates systems, processes and procedures that repeatedly produce the highest industry ratings for revenue, quality, guest and travel media accolades for such award-winning properties and brands as Rosewood Sand Hill, the Palomar San Francisco, Omni and Hyatt Hotels. Mike has a history of consistently increasing revenue and profit through innovative programs and service expansions, and has led numerous hundred-plus person teams, delivering market-leading levels of customer service.

MIKE NIEMANN Planning & Design

Mike is a senior conceptual and architectural designer with a diverse range of project types to his credit. For over 17 years he has provided creative direction, design and sustainable development consulting at an international level for a host of leading companies and individuals. Well versed in many architectural traditions and passionate about design, his association with Passport Resorts encompasses both planning and architecture. Mike graduated from Kansas State University where he is on the Dean's Advisory Council for the College of Architecture, Planning and Design.


GEELA (Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award) – Cavallo Point

Environmental and Economic Partnerships category 2009

#1 U.S. Hideaway (Eight years in a row) – Post Ranch Inn

Andrew Harper September 2015