Meet the Owners
Three generations of the Rembe Family have owned and operated Los Poblanos. In 1976, Penny and Armin Rembe purchased one-half of the property from Albert and Barbara Simms, where they raised their four children and maintained the property as gentlemen farmers. In 1999, the second half of the property, which included La Quinta Cultural Center, came up for sale and was under threat of being developed. Together with their four children, they decided to reunite the properties and undertake a preservation plan to maintain the architecture, gardens, and open farmland in perpetuity. In their retirement, Penny and Armin ran the inn for five years. In 2004, their son Matthew Rembe became Executive Director, and has developed all areas of the business, from expanding the lavender spa product business to the addition of guest rooms, fine dining, and cultural programming.
Matthew Rembe, Executive Director
Matt grew up at Los Poblanos and now oversees all aspects of the business on behalf of the Rembe Family. He worked as Director of Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art in New York City, where he became a specialist in the field of 20th Century Latin American Masters. Matt attended Syracuse University, where he obtained a BA in Spanish and received his MBA from the prestigious Thunderbird School of Global Management. His wife Teresa, and sons Mateo and Max have had a significant influence on Los Poblanos’s dedication to quality food and can often be found enjoying the myriad sights, sounds, and tastes of the Inn and Organic Farm.
Nancy Kinyanjui, General Manager
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Nancy’s love for hospitality, agritourism and design have been constant themes throughout her life. After graduating with a degree in graphic design from Northern Illinois University, she served as a Guest Relations Manager at the InterContinental Hotel in Chicago. Nancy joined the Los Poblanos team in 2005 and she currently oversees the daily operations of the Historic Inn, Restaurant, and Events. She plays a key role in shaping the unique and authentic guest experience at Los Poblanos, from helping to develop high level of exemplary service standards to implementing our green hospitality program.
Jonathan Perno, Executive Chef
A native New Mexican, Jonathan trained at the California Culinary Academy and spent time at Postrio under Wolfgang Puck, Splendido and Alain Rondelli in San Francisco, Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado, Splendido at The Château in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Metropolitan in Salt Lake City, Utah. His résumé also includes the requisite European culinary tour, a return visit to work at La Tante Claire in London. In addition, he spent a year in Berkley, California at an organic farm learning raised bed farming.
Daniel Garcia, Sous Chef
Daniel brings over 20 years of experience to the Los Poblanos kitchen team and cites Chef Jonathan Perno as one of his greatest culinary inspirations. He was drawn here by his love for organic ingredients and classic flavors. Daniel believes in doing things the right way and can often be found curing bacon, hand-crafting bitters, or tending to the kitchen’s assortment of pickling fruits and vegetables. His boundless creativity and unbreakable work ethic have earned Daniel the place of Sous Chef and make him an invaluable member of the Los Poblanos family.
Ann Therese Manzanares, Event Sales Director
Ann Therese has a family history rooted in New Mexico that includes both farmers and craftsman. Her grandfather, a stonemason, helped build the Santa Fe Cathedral. Ann Therese graduated from New Mexico State, before traveling the world as a flight attendant. When the pull of New Mexico was too overwhelming to ignore, she returned and started her hospitality career in Santa Fe where she realized hospitality was her passion. After working in Santa Fe, she moved to California and worked at the Fairmont Hotels in Sonoma and Santa Monica, as well as the St. Regis in Los Angeles. Since her return to New Mexico, she worked at Tamaya Resort & Spa for eight years. Ann Therese is happy to be part of the team at Los Poblanos, ensuring that all events are seamless, and a true reflection of the Los Poblanos mission.
Amy Jones, Marketing Manager
Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Amy moved to Albuquerque to attend UNM. She earned a degree in Environmental Planning & Design with a minor in Sustainability Studies. During her studies, she became entrapped by New Mexico’s strong food culture planted in tradition and sustainability. Gardening and farming was always a central focus in Amy’s family growing up. That has influenced her to seek out a path rooted in food systems and sustainability, that allows for creativity and community focus. Los Poblanos was a perfect fit.
Melissa Shepard, Design Assistant
Born and raised in New Mexico, Melissa has a deep appreciation for nature, preservation, and the arts. She was drawn to Los Poblanos not only by it’s inherent natural beauty but also by the design elements – architectural, graphic, and otherwise – present across the property. She relishes the opportunity to be able to use her background in graphic design and journalism to help the world learn more about Los Poblanos.
Mauro Bettini, Banquet Events Manager
Mauro was born and raised on the picturesque shores of Lake Como in northern Italy. He honed his skills and built his career in some of the finest restaurants and hotels across Europe. Mauro came to the United States some 30 years ago to work as the General Manager of the historic Palace Hotel in Santa Fe. It was at the Palace that he met and married his wife, a native New Mexican, and together they built a family. Mauro left the Palace to establish his own restaurant in Taos, New Mexico – the critically acclaimed Stakeout Grill & Bar. Mauro attributes his success in business as well as in life to commitment, consistency, and personal attention to detail. Mauro’s diverse background and along with over forty years of experience in the industry, make him a valued and respected member of the Los Poblanos family.
Stephen Humphry, Farm Shop Manager
Stephen and his family would drive 40 miles every weekend to work on the family Christmas tree farm on the bluffs of the Mississippi. It took a lot of weekends, but this family of four planted over 20,000 trees. Stephen graduated from the Harrington Institute in Chicago, specializing in art, architecture and design, and worked for Gallery 37 co-instructing sculpture and design classes for adults. He moved to New Mexico in 2005 to work with modern southwestern adobe architecture. Since completing several projects with a small local architects office, Stephen has worked on renovating the old dairy processing room at Los Poblanos into what is now the Farm Shop.
Aimee Conlee, Wholesale Lavender Sales Manager
From the moment she first experienced Los Poblanos eight years ago, Aimee Conlee has been entranced. Her love for lavender started when she spent time in the farm fields. Aimee’s family was in the business of manufacturing gourmet foods for national distribution, giving her a solid foundation for servicing wholesale partnerships. Holding a degree in International Business from Texas A&M University and certifications in Sound Healing from California Institute of Integral Studies, Aimee is proud of the thoughtful growth of Los Poblanos products. She looks forward to building the brand’s domestic and international partnerships and presence in the marketplace.
Karen Converse, Wholesale Lavender Operations Manager
Karen is a proud New Mexican and is native to the Albuquerque area. Her passion for the beauty, culture, and food of New Mexico drew her to Los Poblanos. She grew up in a local family business and left Albuquerque after high school to study Industrial Engineering at New Mexico State University. Karen has 20 years of extensive manufacturing and consulting experience. The better part of her career has been spent helping small manufacturers in New Mexico grow and strengthen their businesses. Karen recently earned her Masters in Engineering Management from New Mexico Tech. Karen is excited to join the wholesale lavender team where she can use her experience to help bring Los Poblanos Lavender to new markets.
Dylan Storment, Dining Manager & Wine Director
Born and raised in Santa Fe, Dylan began working in restaurants in his early teens and quickly felt at home in the industry. Dylan’s passion for food, wine, and fine dining brought him to Los Poblanos in 2009. Dylan started out as a server but quickly climbed the ladder to management. He has overseen the front of house dining staff and beverage programs for events at Los Poblanos and has moved on to our restaurant. With over 10 years experience in hospitality and dining, Dylan was instrumental in the development of our beverage program. Dylan is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, and will sit for the Advanced Sommelier Exam in 2016. As we open a new chapter with our restaurant relocation, we are happy to have Dylan as our new Dining Manager.
Shaelyn Hesch, Event Specialist
Shaelyn recently returned to her native New Mexico after a long stint in San Francisco. While living in the City by the Bay, she worked in several acclaimed restaurants such as Jardiniére, Farallon and Globe, and honed her skills as an event coordinator at a boutique catering company, Fork & Spoon Productions. In 2012, she started a floral design company called Fig & Twine, which featured creative, artistic designs for special events. Shaelyn is thrilled to be part of the Los Poblanos events team and to be creating beautiful, unforgettable events on such a special property.
Kayla Wolf, Inn Manager
Kayla was born and raised in Albuquerque, and graduated from UNM with an Anthropology degree. She started at Los Poblanos in 2013 as a breakfast server and quickly realized that it was the perfect place to combine her love of history, nature, and service. She honed her skills and gained valuable experience first at the Front Desk and then as Assistant Inn Manger before becoming Inn Manager in early 2016. When she is not enjoying the beauty of Los Poblanos, Kayla spends her free time camping and hiking with her dog, Chuck.
Carlos McCord, Head Organic Farmer
Carlos loves growing fresh food and has come to us from a 30-acre organic farm in Socorro, with a focus on food production. When he isn’t farming, he can be found selling pickles, making music, and brewing beer with native hops. In addition to being a passionate and positive team member, Carlos managed a family farm for 3 years and brings a great deal of experience and knowledge to Los Poblanos.
Travis Jones, Head Lavender Farmer
Travis hails from Juneau, Alaska where he developed his appreciation for organic gardening, community, and environmental sustainability. He came to Los Poblanos in January of 2015 to work with Wholesale Lavender. When spring arrived he moved out into the fields to learn all there is to know about farming and growing lavender in the hot, dry New Mexican climate. His experience, knowledge, and ability to adapt and learn quickly make him an integral part of the Los Poblanos family.
Kevin Shanks, Head Gardner
Though he is a California native, Kevin feels as though New Mexico is truly his home. His love of gardening was cultivated at an early age watching and working with his mother in their family gardens. At Los Poblanos he cares for over five acres of gardens and lawns, including his personal favorite, the beautiful and historic Rose Greely Garden. Kevin is proud to be a part of our historic property’s preservation efforts so that the land can be enjoyed for generations to come.