Our team

Mike Freed
  • Michael FreedManaging 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 the entitlement process through construction process and hotel opening. Mike also managed the acquisition and renovation of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort and the Lodge at Skylonda (both former Passport Resorts’ projects). Also, he had a lead role in Passport Resorts work with its developer partner on the development and initial hotel launch in July 2008 of Cavallo Point – the Lodge at the Golden Gate.

    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 sits on the Preferred Hotel Advisory Board, is a member of the Virtuoso Sustainability Council, and is a former Commissioner to Visit California and San Francisco Travel. Mike also co-chairs the Visit California Luxury Initiative and the Task Force for Sustainable Tourism. He enjoys a close working relationship with environmental groups, and various local governmental officials responsible for land use matters in diverse California locations.

    Mike earned his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1977 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Santa Barbara.

Peter Heinemann
  • Peter HeinemannManaging Member

    Peter Heinemann is co-founder and Managing Director of Passport Resorts. Currently, Peter oversees the operations at Cavallo Point Lodge and all financial matters for the properties managed by Passport Resorts. His responsibilities include overseeing investor reporting, overseeing the resorts’ controllers and outside accountants, overseeing cash and financial management matters, arranging project financing, and structuring various business and real estate transactions.

    During 2001 to 2009, Peter was primarily responsible for supervising the acquisition, renovation, re-positioning and operation of Hotel Hana-Maui. From 2005 to 2013, he also had the lead role for supervising the acquisition, renovation and operation of The Sea Ranch Lodge and shepherding it through the entitlement process and design of an expansion project.

    Peter received his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 1977 and his Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley in 1973.

Stephen Andrews
  • Stephen AndrewsVice 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 25 years of travel and tourism marketing experience to Passport Resorts. He is highly active with Visit California, the State tourism body, as a member of both the International Marketing and Public Relations committees, the latter which he co-chairs. Stephen also produces and hosts a weekly syndicated lifestyle radio program that regularly features properties from the Passport Resorts’ collection.

Mike Higgins
  • Michael HigginsVice President of Operations and Development

    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, his career has spanned internationally – including his own Inn and managing the famed Skywalker Ranch.

Jeff Rubenstein
  • Jeff RubensteinDirector of Marketing

    Jeff Rubenstein is the Director of Marketing for Passport Resorts LLC. Jeff is responsible for the development and deployment of marketing programs that are designed to successfully drive revenue and build brand awareness for the current portfolio of hotels including Cavallo Point Lodge and the renowned Post Ranch Inn. These programs include brand development, email and digital marketing campaigns, website development, social media, public relations and more.

    Prior to Passport Resorts, Jeff was with Larkspur Hotels & Restaurants, where he built the marketing department from the ground up, driving marketing initiatives for each of its 23 hotels.  Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, Jeff brings over 16 years of successful hospitality experience to Passport Resorts.

Dana Kueffner
  • Dana KueffnerEnvironmental Project & Design Director

    Dana Kueffner is Passport Resorts’ Environmental Consultant. She also serves as Project Design Director on many of the company’s projects. At Cavallo Point Lodge, Dana works closely with design professionals and project team members on renovation and refurbishing projects. She also played a lead role in the design and renovation of Hotel Hana-Maui and Sea Ranch Lodge. 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.

  • Tony DawsonDevelopment & Operations Consultant

    Tony Dawson is a seasoned hospitality and development professional, bringing over 40 years of luxury experience to Passport Resorts. Most recently, Tony has been the Managing Partner for Carefree Hospitality, a multi-property management company. Tony also served as CEO of The Santa Lucia Preserve, a master-planned community in Carmel, California. His diverse background includes on-property experience as the General Manager of the Boulders Resort and Spa in Carefree, Arizona as well as the Vice President and General Manager at Carmel Valley Ranch in Carmel, California. Tony has also held senior management positions with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Jack Tar Village Caribbean Resort, Cordillera Group and Regent International Hotels and Resorts.

Edna Nakomoto
  • Edna NakamotoCorporate 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.

Mike Niemann
  • Mike NiemannPlanning & 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.

Ken Barasch
  • Ken BaraschConsulting 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.