Nick Roschi, General Manager
Nick hails from Erie, Pennsylvania and has been a lifer in the hospitality industry. He started his career at Jr’s On The Bay in Erie, then bounced around the Great Lakes region with the popular steakhouse concept Texas Roadhouse. Nick moved to Hawaii in 2006 and managed the popular Waikiki restaurants Tikis Grill and Bar and The Cheesecake Factory. Nick moved to the Big Island in 2010 and fell in love! He enjoys time with his wife Venus and his kids in his off time and finds the waters of the big island as a necessary balance to a stressful week.
Jeff Readman, Executive Chef
Chef Jeff Readman literally fell in love and moved to Hawaii Island in 2010. He and wife Emilie honeymooned here years earlier and found themselves returning year after year, while operating their own restaurant, Higgin’s Alley, with Jeff’s brother in Montana from 2002-2010. They finally gave into the strong pull Hawaii had on them, sold the restaurant and took a leap of faith – and a leap over the pacific – to set up roots, “while we were both young enough to start over,” he says. Before joining Lava Lava Beach Club in June 2012, just in time to be involved with the opening and menu finalization, he spent time as a chef at Daniel Thiebaut’s in Waimea and as sous chef at Monettes restaurant at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. “I consider myself the luckiest guy on the Island to be involved with this venture. I’ve been part of a lot of restaurants over my 20-year career but have never been this excited about one as I am here. It’s not a bad little office. If you’ve joined us down here you know what I mean and if you haven’t you’ll just have to stop on by to see what I mean,” Chef Jeff says. When not preparing our delicious fresh food, “Cheffery” enjoys spending time with his wife, two bull mastifs scuba diving and playing golf….poorly.
Jason Winniford, Assistant General Manager
Jason joins the Lava Lava Beach Club team with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from the Le Cordon Bleu affiliated Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon and more than 18 years of dining expertise in the Seattle area. His background includes positions with El Gaucho, Salty’s and Brix 25 restaurants in that region. A certified sommelier, Jason has spent many fall days at Pacific Northwest wineries during harvest and crush. He’s an avid golfer, and loves new adventures and travel. In 2011, Jason opened up his very own restaurant “JW Restaurant” in Gig Harbor, WA – a dream-come true! Currently, JW operates under Jason’s family direction so he can build a future with his partner here on Hawaii Island.
Lea Uloa, Club Manager
Born on the island of Oahu and raised on both Oahu and Hawaii Island, Lea has 22 years of experience in restaurants here in the islands, California and Oregon. Over the years, she worked her way up from the trenches, starting out as a busser, hostess and server. She attended bartending school in California and moved into management about 10 years ago. Joining Lava Lava Beach Club is like returning home for Lea who literally grew up on this beach celebrating holidays and camping here with her family “on the exact spot where the cottages are now,” she says. As a result, not only is she very familiar with the land, the ponds and beach here, but she’s passionate about sharing her knowledge and aloha with Lava Lava Beach Club guests. Away from the job, Lea loves deep sea fishing, hunting, soccer and traveling with her husband and best friend, Jason, and their two children.
Drew Watson, Club Manager
Drew, who joined the Lava Lava Beach Club ohana (family) in late 2012, brings more than 10 years of hospitality and customer service industry experience to his position as Club Manager for the restaurant, guest hales and event venues. A graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder, Drew worked with the Monette family for years at their iconic Flagstaff House Restaurant perched above Boulder and at their restaurant here on Hawaii Island, Monettes at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel (now closed). When not charming guests and inspiring staff at Lava Lava Beach Club, Drew volunteers with the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii and spends time simply enjoying life on the Big Island!
Brytt Kirihara, Cottage Specialist
Brytt is a native of Hawaii Island and is passionate about working with and meeting new people. With more than 10 years of experience working in Hawaii’s tourism industry, Brytt brings skill perfectly suited to her post at Lava Lava Beach Club. Her specialty is connecting with our guests, and assisting them in planning a vacation to remember! The most rewarding part of her work, she says, is seeing the satisfaction and “wow” on guests’ faces when they arrive and check- in at Lava Lava Beach Club. When she’s pau hana (finished with work) she enjoys spending time with her son, running and hitting the beach.
Ken Schloss, Corporate Chef
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chef Ken brings nearly twenty years of experience to Lava Lava Beach Club
Born and raised in wine country, Chef Ken worked in Napa Valley for most of his career. He also took five years and explored the cuisine of the Caribbean, gathering new ideas of parallel tropical latitude culinary inspirations. Chef Ken works directly with Executive Chef Jeff to create our menu items as well as work with our vendors to ensure our family of restaurants get the best possible products from local farmers and fishermen.