Teddy Miller, General Manager
Teddy grew up on Hawaii Island and then made a move to Las Vegas where he landed his first job – a server at The Olive Garden – in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Teddy eventually made his way back home, working as General Manager at Huli Sues restaurant in Waimea and then as Restaurant Manager for Allen’s Table, also in Waimea.
After a short stint as a Certified Sales Representative/Territorial Manager for Anhueser Busch, Teddy concluded his heart was in the hospitality industry and found just the right spot at Lava Lava Beach Club.
At Lava Lava Beach Club, Teddy, who believes the heart of hospitality is the “Aloha Spirit”, extends his aloha with a warm welcome and a genuine smile. When it’s pau hana (after work) time Teddy enjoys spending time with his wife Mikilani and son, Jonah. Most often you’ll find him in the kitchen doing cook-off “competitions” with Mikilani or playing volleyball on the beach with son Jonah.
At the age of 17 Teri convinced her manager to create a Head Hostess position that she took control of. Throughout the years and many serving positions she gain much knowledge and found herself among award winning chefs such as Gorgon Naccarato, and Mark Wambold. Teri was part of the team that opened the very successful restaurant Brix 25* and became assistant manager working under the General Manager Jason Winniford.
As luck would have it they were reunited when Teri joined the team at Lava Lava Beach club in 2014 when she found her new home. When Teri isn’t at Lava Lava she can often be found with her two amazing keiki, Bailee and Van, surfing, hiking and enjoying the outdoors. Her family and career are her life and Lava Lava lets her live it!
James was born in Monterey, CA and spent the early years of his life traveling the world with his military family. He was fortunate to have an introduction to different cultures and beliefs.
As a teenager, James and his family moved back to California where he remained until he graduated from San Francisco State University. After school, James spent ten years as a manager of a survey team for an oil company in Texas. He and his wife Ginger decided to leave Texas in order to be closer to his father who lives on Big Island.
Working as a server at Lava Lava Beach Club he soon fell in love with the company. His ability to demonstrate management skills and contagious personality caught the eyes of everyone and was quickly promoted to Club Manager.
Christi Serpa hails from the beautiful Bay Area of California. Christi has been working in the restaurant industry sine the age of 15, climbing up the ladder from dishwasher. Christi, moved to Hawaii Island in 2014 to continue her education at Hawaii Community College.
While in school, Christi was hired at Lava Lava Beach Club, Waikoloa as a restaurant server. She worked in that position for about 2 years before taking a short hiatus to assist her boyfriend with an upstart of a local boat tour company. Once established, Christi returned to Lava Lava Beach Club as a manager in 2016.
Christi’s eye for detail and dedication to our staff and guests make her a great fit for our Waikoloa team.
Deano Zappia was born and raised in sunny Southern California, then decided to continue his career in Las Vegas, opening the Hard Rock Café and Casino as the Bell Captain, over his 12 year span, he managed to work himself into the position of Director of Hotel Operations.
After that, Deano took his talents to a few other Las Vegas establishments, positions include Food and Beverage Manager at the Wynn Resort, and Manager at Drai’s Nightclub, Ultra Lounge & Restaurant.
Over the years Deano also embraced his inner entrepreneur by starting a handful of his own businesses in the Las Vegas area. After meeting his beautiful wife and Hilo native, Jessica, they decided to up and move to the Island of Hawaii in 2016. Deano brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team.
Beth started cooking at the early age of 13 and by 18 was already a sous chef at an elegant French restaurant. Add to that experience, a stint with the United States Marine Corps, an executive chef position or two and even General Manager of a restaurant and you have a well rounded Culinary Professional.
Chef Beth, who recently moved to the Big Island with her partner, wisely takes a moment each day before work to gaze out at the beauty we are all fortunate to experience while dining and working at Lava Lava Beach Club. In her free time, Beth is a certified master gardener and enjoys raising edible flowers.
Eric Ramos, Sous Chef
Eric Ramos was born in Philippines and came to Hawaii in 1989. After working at numerous restaurants and hotels, he came to LLBC and found his home. Starting off as a line cook, supervisor and now sous chef, Eric has a unique understanding of the high volume production that comes from the kitchen.
He particularly enjoys creating many of the nightly seafood specials. His grandfather taught him to cook with love and if you ask anyone who orders his “Hook Line and Sinker” you will understand how the passion comes thru.
Cottage and Special Events
Family, food, and adventure, these are my passions. My love for delicious food was inspired by my parents. My father prepared the most amazing island cuisine with me by his side. My mother who is from New Orleans gave our home a Cajun flair. My passion for cooking came at a young age. Today I enjoy cooking for my family and friends. Although I was born and raised in South Carolina, my Hawaii roots were planted by my father who is an Oahu native.
Each time I visited the islands it became clearer and clearer that I would make Hawaii home. I moved to Hawaii Island in January 2014 and joined Paradise Gourmet Catering shortly after. In my free time, my husband Eric, my beautiful daughter Bailey, our two dogs and I love exploring every inch of our incredible island.
Our Leadership Team
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 with Tommy Bahamas and fell in love with the island! 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.
After successfully opening Lava Lava Beach Club, Nick now oversees the operations of not only Lava Lava Beach Club but also Huggo’s, On The Rocks, Paradise Gourmet Catering and Grass Shack Parties.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Chef Ken brings nearly thirty-five 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 as culinary inspirations.
Chef Ken works directly with the Chef de Cuisine and sous chefs 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.