Jay Canning grew up in Topsfield, Massachusetts and Westport Island, Maine where he spent summers with his grandfather. He has lived in such diverse places as Nantucket, Merida Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands. His travels in the U.S., Caribbean, South America, and Europe have provided him with a passion and appreciation for diverse cultures that he brings to his work with Westport associates and guests.
Jay founded Westport Hospitality in 1998. Since college, he has worked in hotels in various capacities in both resort and business class settings as a bartender, maitre d’, food and beverage director, assistant manager, hotel resident manager, hotel general manager (Jay was named general manager of the year with Marriott), regional manager, and now developer and owner. This wide-ranging experience has shaped Jay’s view of the hospitality industry and Westport itself. Throughout his career his approach and business philosophy has been to stay as close to the guest experience as possible, and to serve the associates and guests with respect and warmth. He has been known to say, “All we have to sell is the way people feel when they walk out our doors.”
Jay and his wife, Caroline, live in nearby Shelburne, Vermont and at their home on Westport Island as often as they can get there. Jay and Caroline share a passion for nature and outdoor sports of all kinds. They also participate actively in the lives and adventures of their seven grown children. Jay holds a BA in English literature from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Joe Carton, a native of Houlton, Maine, has worked in the Vermont hospitality field for 30 years. He is committed to providing the utmost in service and care for each guest. Joe feels strongly that Vermont is a singular place and works to share the Vermont experience with all guests throughout the state’s unfolding four seasons. “I strongly believe if we collectively do the little things right every day; thank our guests for staying with us; and invite them back with a warm genuine smile, they will become loyal, frequent guests who tell others about their positive experience with us,” says Carton.
Joe spent the first 8 years of his hospitality experience working in the Vermont ski industry as a sales manager and then director of sales. Since 1990, Joe has worked in the Burlington hospitality industry as a sales manager, assistant general manager and general manager of two prominent Burlington hotel properties — the now Hilton Burlington and the Courtyard by Marriott Burlington Harbor, which he assisted in opening. Joe and his wife Bonnie have three grown children.
Michell Langlais, a native of Vermont, has been in leadership positions with Westport Hospitality for over 12 years. She has worked as both a General Manager and Director of Sales and was awarded Marriott’s General Manager of the Year Award in 2005. Michell is directly responsible for leading the sales for Westport Hospitality’s hotel portfolio. Her primary responsibilities include achieving top line sales, market share growth, revenue management, sales creation and implementation, and strategic positioning of hotels. She is driven by her desire to succeed and is committed to obtain financial results for associates and investors.
Prior to hospitality, Michell was Vice President Corporate Relocation Director at Vermont’s largest Coldwell Banker Real Estate Firm. She is a graduate of Trinity College of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Psychology. She also holds a Certificate of Gerontology.
Michell is a community advocate and volunteer. She is extremely active in the Community and currently serves on the United Way of Chittenden County’s Board as chair of the Women’s Leadership Council. She resides in Milton with her fiancé, Tony, and their children.
An accomplished leader and strategic thinker in the hospitality industry, Hans has senior leadership experience in large, branded hotels in Europe and the Caribbean as well as general management of unique Vermont hospitality properties including the Trapp Family Lodge.
Following his officer’s training in the Dutch army, Hans started his career in the Netherlands with Sonesta International Hotels and Resorts, transferred to Bermuda and finally to the United States. As general manager of the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, Hans gained extensive experience with matters unique to managing an independent business in the hospitality industry. He has provided consulting services to a variety of businesses in New England, including Jay Peak Resort, where he led the opening activities of the Tram Haus Lodge, a boutique hotel that is part of the resort’s recent $200 million expansion program.
Hans is passionate about sustainable development and operating practices in the hospitality industry and is a speaker on the subject at conferences worldwide. He has served as chairman of the Vermont Hospitality Council, and is an adjunct professor at Johnson State College where he teaches in the Business Department.
A native of the Netherlands, Hans studied Hospitality Management at one of Europe’s top Hotel Schools and obtained an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is fluent in English and Dutch and has a solid knowledge of German and French. Hans and his wife Karen live in Burlington, Vermont where they both enjoy sailing on Lake Champlain as well as biking, hiking and cross country skiing throughout Vermont.
Remo Valgoi was born in Switzerland where hospitality is the gold standard. While growing up in Vermont his parents owned a motel where he fell in love with hospitality. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Remo started working in the hotel business at a national chain for years and advanced his way up from the night auditor to the Controller. He has experience with large managed franchise companies to locally controlled resorts. He has over 30 over years finance experience.
Remo met his wife Janice at the Radisson Hotel and now have two lovely children. He enjoys skiing with his kids and likes biking to work from his house in South Burlington, Vermont.