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Meet the Team - See who you know in Sales at TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach


Gala dinners, corporate retreats, conferences, seminars, business meetings and weddings; TradeWinds Island Resorts’ Meetings and Events team has earned an industry reputation for unparalleled service. We specialize in delivering seamless experiences that stay with your guests long after they return home.

At TradeWinds Island Resorts, every group is given executive treatment, and it all starts with our exceptional staff. Every group is assigned its own sales manager, group reservations agent and convention service manager, on call 24/7 during your meeting! Our sales managers are dedicated to helping you understand TradeWinds group offerings. Your sales manager will ensure that your group’s individual needs are met. Please submit a RFP as an initial introduction; one of our sales managers will get back to you within a few hours to begin planning your events.

If you’ve already spoken to a sales manager, please feel free to contact him or her directly using the e-mail and phone numbers listed below. For other inquiries, e-mail  or call 800.345.6461.

Photo of Terry Popelka

Terry Popelka

Terry Popelka, Vice President of Sales, leads the overall group sales team, conference services and catering programs. Before joining TradeWinds Island Resorts in November 2009, Terry was with the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort as the Director of Northeast Sales for just nine years. Terry received numerous awards during his career with Starwood, and in 2008, he was named Starwood sales person of the year for all of North America. A veteran of the hospitality industry, Terry started his career in hospitality sales with TradeWinds back in 1995. 727.363.2245

Photo of Mike Wagner

Mike Wagner

Mike Wagner, Director of Group Sales, is responsible for day-to-day operations of group sales. Mike moved to Colorado in 1993, where he owned and operated a bed and breakfast in a historic mining town. This began his love for the hospitality industry. Mike has served on several Chamber of Commerce Boards and was chairman of the Town Promotion Commission where his bed and breakfast was located. Mike has been with the TradeWinds since 1999 working in the Midwest territory and was named Sales Manager of the Year in 2007. 727.363.2242

Photo of George Bentley

George Bentley, CMP

George Bentley, Director of Convention and Catering Services, leads our catering and convention services teams at both of our resorts. Before returning to TradeWinds Island Resorts in February 2011, George was Director of Catering/Convention Services at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for two years, Director of Event Management at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club in St. Petersburg for three years and most recently served as Director of Food & Beverage for the Clearwater Beach Hilton for three years. 727.363.2331

Photo of Karleen Johnson

Karleen Johnson, CMP

Karleen Johnson, National Sales Manager for the Midwest, joined the TradeWinds Island Resorts in June of 2000. Prior to her promotion in January of 2008, Karleen held previous positions at TradeWinds as Catering Sales Manager and Convention Service Manager. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Florida. Karleen was named TradeWinds’ Catering and Convention Service Manager of the Year in 2005 and obtained her CMP Certification in 2006.

Photo of Katie Cumby

Katie Cumby

Katie Cumby, National Sales Manager for the Southeast, joined TradeWinds after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management and Event Planning from Indiana University. She initially joined the TradeWinds team in January 2010 as an Intern before accepting a full-time position as Catering Sales Manager a few months later. In December 2011, Katie was promoted to Small Meetings Manager. She spent two years in that position before transitioning into her current role as a National Sales Manager. 727.363.2236

Photo of Jenna Arnal

Jenna Arnal

Jenna Arnal, Catering Sales Manager, was born and raised in sunny St. Petersburg and received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management from USF. After working in the hospitality industry in numerous positions for five years, Jenna began her career at TradeWinds in January 2013. Quickly becoming acquainted with nearly every aspect of our beautiful property, she joined the sales team in August 2013. By October 2013, she was quickly promoted to Small Meetings Sales Manager, then to Catering Sales Manager. 727.363.2257

Photo of Adrian Robbins

Adrian Robbins

Adrian Robbins, National Sales Manager, is a former member of the prestigious Les Clef d’Or USA organization. With more than 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Adrian has overseen more than 300 weddings as a planner, ordained minister and notary public. She’s a certified concierge, past President of DECA and the Bay Area Concierge Association. She currently holds the position as Advisory to the Bay Area Concierge Association Board of Directors. Her motto is In Service through Friendship. 727.363.2272

Photo of Ashley Valentine

Ashley Valentine, CMP

Ashley Valentine, National Sales Manager for the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Canada and Sports, grew up in St. Petersburg. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida and obtained her CMP certification in 2014. Ashley is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the MPI Tampa Bay Area Chapter as chapter President and has been a part of the hospitality industry for over 11 years. She joined the TradeWinds team in April 2017.

Photo of Julie Manes

Julie Manes

Julie Manes, Wedding Sales Manager with 40 years of experience, exhibits an uncommon level of personal concern, attention to detail and an aura of calm to make sure her brides have their perfect day. She joined the TradeWinds Island Resorts team back in 1997, working in Convention Services, then took a new direction in 2004. Now she is back, helping brides and their families plan and host their special day on the best beach in America. For more information or to plan a visit to TradeWinds Island Resorts, you can reach Julie at:  727.363.2309

Photo of Maria Slater

Maria Slater

Maria Slater, Wedding Sales Supervisor, graduated from USF Sarasota - Manatee with her bachelors in Hospitality Management. Maria started with TradeWinds in the activities department and was quickly promoted to Lead Birthday Party Coordinator. She began working in Weddings in February 2015 and since then has flourished in her position and was promoted to supervisor in 2017. Her bubbly persona and quick responses to inquires shows just how much she loves working with her wedding couples from the first Congratulations email to their Magical Day. , 727.367.6477

Photo of Karen Lumpkin

Karen Lumpkin

Karen Lumpkin, Tour and Travel Sales Manager, was born and raised in Indiana, where she operated a small catering company with her mother for many years. After working in the local court system in numerous positions, Karen decided to move to the Florida Keys where she spent four years. Karen then migrated to beautiful St. Pete Beach as the Department Coordinator in Tour and Travel for TradeWinds and was promoted to Tour and Travel Sales Manager in early 2009. 727.363.2241