In January of 1999, CEO Tim Bogott formed an investment group to acquire Fortune Hotels, Inc., parent company of the TradeWinds Island Resorts. Since acquiring TradeWinds, Bogott has directed a capital improvement program totaling over $60 million at TradeWinds Island Resorts, including the addition of the Grand Palm Colonnade – an 8,000 square foot pre-conference garden atrium and over 10,000 square feet of new meeting space in the fully air conditioned and carpeted Pavilion. In addition, a total top to bottom renovation of all 585 rooms at the Island Grand property was completed in March 2012.
In 2004, the company launched a condominium conversion project of 288 units in its Jacaranda building, which achieved sell out by August 2005. All units then joined TradeWinds Rental Management Program. In addition, numerous other improvements to that resort have been made.
Over the next few months, the Guy Harvey Outpost will be transformed into the United States’ first Guy Harvey Outpost. At an estimated cost of $3M, the rebranding of the 211-room beachfront property is slated to begin immediately, with an estimated completion date of 2013.
Today, the management team oversees each of our 800 guest rooms and suites, 13 food and beverage venues, seven pools and endless activity options to provide our guests with the perfect vacation, meeting or event.
Find out more about our involvement in the community.
Learn more about our management team below:
Timothy R. Bogott, CEO
A veteran of both the real estate and hospitality industries, Bogott previously worked as president and chief operating officer for the South Seas Resorts Company until its sale to MeriStar Hospitality in October 1998. South Seas Resorts consisted of eight beachfront resorts, a spa, conference center and golf course, with more than 2,200 employees, 1,500 rooms and $125 million in annual revenues. From 1984 to 1993, Bogott served as president and chief executive officer, and as director of Mariner Capital Management Inc. and Mariner Capital Investment Corporation. During this period, he was responsible for raising both public and private equity for the acquisition of resort and commercial real estate properties in southwest and central Florida, as well as the day-to-day supervision and operation of those properties. Bogott currently serves as a director for Academy Prep Center for Education in St. Petersburg, on the Board of Governors for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, and is a St. Petersburg Suncoaster. He also serves on the board of the Dali Museum, the Pier Advisory Task Force, as Chairman of the Eckerd College Presidents Associates and is chairman of the budget committee for the Pinellas County Tourist Development Council, which oversees the marketing and public relations efforts of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Convention & Visitors Bureau. A native of Sterling, Illinois and a graduate of the University of Colorado, Bogott currently lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Anje, and their two children.
Keith Overton, CHA, President
Keith Overton is President and COO overseeing both TradeWinds Island Resorts – the TradeWinds Island Grand and Guy Harvey Outpost, a TradeWinds Beach Resort. Overton oversees the company’s operations, sales and marketing efforts, accounting functions, and capital improvements projects at the resorts, as well as ensuring the resorts uphold the standard of service consistent with the TradeWinds name. Overton has led the TradeWinds family since 1995 and served as general manager for the Guy Harvey Outpost, Island Grand and formerly managed the Sirata Beach Resort. A 24-year veteran of Florida's hospitality industry, Overton previously held positions as general manager for Karena Hotels in Orlando where he served under Joe Kane, who is past President and CEO of Lodging for the Cendant Corporation past chairman for the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Overton has also worked for such reputable hotel companies as The Ritz-Carlton and Walt Disney World in numerous director and operating positions. Overton served as the president of the Pinellas County Hotel & Motel Association from 2000 to 2003 and served on the Florida Hotel & Motel Association’s board of directors from 1999-2005. He was the 2010 chairman for the board of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Overton is currently a board member of the Visit Florida Board of Directors and a Resort Committee Member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. He served as the 2004 and 2008 chairman for the Hospitality Alliance Scholarship Foundation of Tampa Bay and has been a director on the foundation’s board since 1998 as well. Overton is also a member of the Tampa Bay Watch’s Board of Advisors, the Mahaffey Theater Board of Directors and the Palms of Pasadena Hospital Board of Directors. Overton is actively involved with many charities in the Tampa Bay area. He founded Athletes for Hearts, Inc., which raises money for families with children with life threatening heart conditions - www.athletesforhearts.com. A native of Orlando, Florida, Overton is a graduate of Concord University, West Virginia, and the University of Central Florida, Orlando. He received his MBA in International Hospitality and Tourism from Schiller International University and has been designated as a Certificated Hotel Administer (CHA) since 2001.
Jeffrey Fredrickson, Food & Beverage Director
Jeff Fredrickson, TradeWinds food & beverage director, has been with the properties for 18 years. Fredrickson oversees all aspects of food and beverage service at the Island Grand and Guy Harvey Outposts, which includes 14 dining and entertainment venues. With more than 34 years experience in the hospitality industry, Fredrickson is a graduate of the esteemed Culinary Institute of America. Before joining the TradeWinds, he worked as the Executive Chef for several prestigious venues including Trump Taj Mahal Casino & Resort, the Hotel Condado Beach in San Juan, PR and the Grand Bay Hotel in Miami. In conjunction with his culinary team, Frederickson helped launch the first-ever TradeWinds Island Resorts cookbook titled, “Flavors of the Beach.” A Boston native, Chef Jeff currently resides in St. Petersburg with his wife, Ella, and their three children.
James Metro, Director of the Rooms Division
James Metro is the director of the rooms division for the TradeWinds Island Grand Resort. In this position, Metro oversees the properties daily operations of all front-of-the-house guest services, housekeeping, laundry, engineering, security and all recreational services. In addition to these duties, he currently holds the distinction of project manager for all TradeWinds Island Resorts renovations. Metro has worked for the TradeWinds family for 20 years and has held numerous positions at the TradeWinds including Guy Harvey Outpost general manager, Island Grand assistant general manager, director of safety and security and executive housekeeper. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Metro is a graduate of Florida State University, with degrees in hospitality administration and golf management. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Cheree, and two children.
Terry Popelka, VP of Sales
Terry Popelka, vice president of sales, is the most recent addition to the TradeWinds executive team, coming on board in 2009. In this position, Popelka leads the group sales team along with the conference services and catering programs for both TradeWinds Island Resorts. A 20-year hospitality industry veteran, Popelka spent five years with the TradeWinds from 1995 to 2000. He left as national sales manager to continue his career with Starwood as director of northeast sales for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin resort in Orlando, Fla. During his nine years with this property, he was named the 2008 Sales Manager of the Year for large hotels. Popelka attended Valencia Community College and the University of Central Florida, and is a member of the New York Society of Association Executives (NYASE) and Financial and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP).
Don Wooldridge, VP of Human Resources
Don Wooldridge joined TradeWinds Resorts as the vice president of human resources and director of training in 2000. Wooldridge’s responsibilities include overall direction and supervision of all human resource functions and implementing a comprehensive training and development initiatives. Wooldridge came from MeriStar Hotels and Resorts where he worked as the corporate director of training. For three years prior to that, he was the director of South Seas Resorts Company University. Wooldridge also previously served as director of human resources for two Westin Hotels and Resorts – the La Paloma in Tucson and the Westin, Hilton Head. Wooldridge is a native of Charleston, West Virginia and a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Linda, and his two children.
Travis Johnson, VP of Marketing
Travis Johnson is the vice president of marketing responsible for all marketing initiatives both inside and outside the company. He oversees the in-house ad agency that handles all aspects of advertising and collateral production for the TradeWinds properties, including concept, graphic design, copywriting, print production, video production and media purchases. In addition, Johnson is responsible for the marketing plan and strategies for leisure market segments and the execution of strategies for the group and commercial market segment. As departmental director, Johnson develops the marketing budget and oversees the marketing services, public relations and promotions staff. He also coordinates all community sponsorships including the Tampa Bay Rays, St. Petersburg Bowl and Finance Park for the Pinellas Education Foundation. Johnson, who has been with the TradeWinds for 11 years, most recently served as the general manager for the TradeWinds Guy Harvey Outpost where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of the 159-room resort. Johnson began his career at the TradeWinds as an intern and moved into several roles in the company including director of recreation/activities, guest service manager and director of resort operations/services. A native of Canada, Johnson attended Bemidji State University and graduated with degrees in mass communication and sport management studies. Johnson, who currently serves on the board of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce, resides in St. Petersburg with his wife and two daughters.
Elda Vaso, Director of Accounting
Elda Vaso, Director of Accounting, has been with the TradeWinds Resort team for almost 17 years. Vaso joined the accounting team in 1998 and has held different positions within the department including accounting assistant, staff accountant, assistant controller and financial controller. Her responsibilities as Director of Accounting include financial reporting, banking, budgeting and leading the accounting team. A native of Albania, she moved to Florida in 1996. Vaso attended University of Tirana, and graduated in 1995 with a degree in Economics, specialty of Financial Accounting. She lives in St. Petersburg with her husband and two children.