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Aerial view of The Pearl Hotel on Sunset

Our Team

The staff at The Pearl Hotel in the Florida Panhandle is perfectly in tune with each guest’s desires, whims and requirements. We know how precious your vacation time is and we want you to leave us with a rejuvenated spirit and life-long memories. More than just a brand of service, hospitality is an art that we practice with passion and pride in gratitude for honoring us with your stay.

David Merryman is a seasoned hospitality leader, who works with owners, guests, and staff to create a hospitality culture of excellence and provide lifetime memories. Passionate about travel and unique experiences that come from those opportunities, David believes in a holistic approach to hospitality, where the location of the property, the values of the local community, and the unique talents of the staff combine to create an experience for guests that will last for a lifetime. A strong believer in the Quality Sciences, he and his team work tirelessly to ensure that they consistently deliver gracious, enthusiastic, and flawless service to all who enter.


David comes to The Pearl Hotel with over 25 years of wide-ranging hospitality leadership experience. He began his hotel career in Charleston, South Carolina, widely regarded as one of the most gracious and hospitable places in the country. Since that time, he has honed his craft in some of the finest properties from New Orleans and the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the mountains of Sochi, Russia, the beaches of St. Martin, and the Pacific coast of Mexico. He has also had the unique privilege of working, teaching, and sharing his experience and knowledge with students through his association with the Hospitality & Restaurant Management program at Auburn University for more than four years. He holds a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in communications from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Lucas graduated from Northwest Florida State College. Prior to this position, he served as the Director of Operations at the Atlanta Marriott in Alpharetta, GA and Director of Operations at the Sheraton Hotel in Atlanta, GA. Lucas brings experience and a proven track record of success in the Lodging Industry, which will be invaluable in meeting the departmental goals and objectives.   

Kevin Dixon has more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, specifically related to food and beverage operations. He is a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and an honors graduate of Johnson & Wales University with dual degrees in Culinary Arts as well as a bachelor’s degree of Science in Foodservice Management. Through his previous management positions in Virginia at the Omni Richmond Hotel and The Williamsburg Hospitality House, Kevin successfully oversaw multi-faceted departments which included full-service restaurants, room service, and banquets. Kevin enjoys being able to create memorable dining experiences for guests, drawing upon his knowledge of both culinary offerings as well as front-of-the-house operations. His passion for guest interaction has led him to roles where he is able to engage with guests on a daily basis and uphold positive guest satisfaction. As the Director of Food and Beverage at The Pearl Hotel, Kevin will oversee all food and beverage operations for the hotel, including Havana Beach Bar & Grill, its scenic rooftop and lounge, as well as in-room dining and banquet services.

Chef Matthew Rolens began his career in hospitality in 1988 in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in 2000. Throughout his career he has worked in private clubs, high-end restaurants, and luxury hotels. Chef Matthew has worked with St. Joe Hospitality since 2017 as sous chef, chef de cuisine, executive sous chef, before taking on his current role as executive chef in 2021. Providing consistency in both cuisine and service that the guests of the hotel have come to expect, Chef Matthew also places a high priority on the continuing education of his cooks, taking pride in helping his staff members achieve professional growth.

Tracy graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with degrees in Production/Operations & Organizational Management and recently relocated to Florida.  With more than 25 years of wide-ranging hospitality and operations leadership experience, she has honed her skills working in fine dining establishments in New Orleans, LA & Biloxi, MS.   As the Director of Restaurants, she will be bringing her experience with employee and guest relations to Havana Beach Bar & Grill, as well as its Rooftop and Lounge venues.  Tracy is strong believer in training her staff to provide positive, gracious, enthusiastic, and exceptional service to all patrons who walk through the door.