NEW TEAM TO HEAD CATALINA ISLAND COMPANY IN 2021
AVALON, CALIF. (SEPTEMBER 30, 2020) — With the upcoming retirement of the Catalina Island Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Randy Herrel, the company announced today that a new executive team will lead it into 2021 and beyond. Filling the position of Chairman will be the former Vice Chair, Alison Wrigley Rusack. Geoffrey C. Rusack will be moving from Executive Chairman to President and Chief Executive Officer and board member Catherine K. Stephens will become Executive Vice President. For over ten years, these three individuals have served on the company’s board of directors, and, along with Randy Herrel, are members of the Executive Committee, who have worked closely with senior management in all aspects of the business.
Alison Wrigley Rusack has been a part of Catalina her entire life and, as many know, her family has been deeply involved with Santa Catalina Island for over a century. After earning a degree in Film & Broadcasting from Stanford University, she worked for a number of years in the entertainment industry, most notably for the Walt Disney Company, before starting a 7,500-case winery and vineyard near Santa Barbara with her husband, Geoff. The couple grows a variety of grapes at that location, as well as at a small vineyard on Catalina. Alison currently chairs the Benefactor Members of the Catalina Island Conservancy and is Co-founder and Chairman of the Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation. She is also on the Advisory Boards of Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment and the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California, as well as an alumni member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution. Previously, Alison was Chairman of the Laguna Blanca School Board of Trustees.
Geoff Rusack is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Pepperdine University School of Law. Prior to establishing RUSACK Vineyards with Alison, he practiced law in Los Angeles in the fields of medical and legal malpractice, after which he went into aviation law, earning his commercial, multi engine instrument pilot’s license along the way. Geoff has served on numerous non-profit boards, including the Catalina Conservancy, the Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation, Bowdoin College and Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation. He was formerly Chairman of the board of the Neighborhood Youth Association and Laguna Blanca School, and also served as Junior Warden of St. Mark’s in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.
Alison and Geoff have three adult boys (two of whom have held several jobs on the island) and four adopted Catalina cats. The couple is actively involved in renovating 90-year old El Rancho Escondido, and is looking forward to sharing its colorful history and beautiful horses with visitors once again.
Catherine Stephens holds a BS in Accounting from Pepperdine University and began her career as an auditor in the entertainment division of KPMG in Los Angeles, later traveling extensively to feature film locations as an internal auditor for Paramount Pictures, before serving eighteen years as an officer of Monte Mar Enterprises, a farming, manufacturing, investment and property management company. Ultimately Catherine started her own consulting firm, CCKS, Inc., where she specializes in financial and project management services. Catherine serves on the board of the Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation and in the position of its Executive Administrator. She has an adult daughter, one grandchild and, with her husband, Jack, divides her time between California and Montana.
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ABOUT CATALINA ISLAND COMPANY
As Catalina Island’s premier resort operator, Catalina Island Company provides exceptional guest experiences, with dining establishments, hotels, a beach club, spa, entertainment venues, and more than a dozen land and sea tours and activities. The debut of the newly renovated Hotel Atwater adds to the company’s other Avalon accommodations at Mt Ada and the Pavilion Hotel. Other notable entities include Island Spa Catalina, the island’s only complete spa destination, and Descanso Beach Club, home of Catalina’s only beachside restaurant & bar, as well as the Zip Line Eco Tour, Catalina Aerial Adventure and Catalina Falconry Experience, all part of Descanso Adventures. Catalina Island Company also has an extensive portfolio of premier meeting and event venues, including oceanfront Catherine’s Terrace at Descanso Beach Club and the Avalon Boardroom in Hotel Atwater. Additionally, Catalina Island Company operates the village of Two Harbors on Catalina’s west end, including Harbor Sands, Banning House Lodge & Villas, Harbor Reef Restaurant, several campgrounds, and more. For additional information, go to VisitCatalinaIsland.com.