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New England Hospitality is dedicated to excellence in service, helping you to create the perfect getaway in the beautiful New England states.
New England Hospitality is a family-owned and operated collection of hotels throughout New England. NEH was founded in 2002 with the purchase of our first hotel, the Essex Street Inn, located in Newburyport, MA.
Over the years, our vision has not changed: it is our desire to serve our valued guests and our community with pride and a dedication to service. From eclectic downtown Newburyport to the White Mountains of New Hampshire to the stunning scenery of central Maine, we have your lodging needs covered.
Meet Our Team
Find Out Who’s Who at New England Hospitality
John & Lori Guertin
John Guertin knows what it means to build a business from the ground up. His experience has included such divergent aspects of the real estate industry as hands-on building construction and management of hotels, resorts, and marinas.
Along with his wife Lori, John has pursued a life of giving back to the community. For example, in gratitude to the physicians and staff at Massachusetts General Hospital who helped him regain the ability to walk as a child, John and Lori have lent generous support to the MGH fund. In 2007, the pediatric orthopedic waiting room at MGH was named in their honor. Further, John starts each week by climbing the 294 steps of Boston’s Bunker Hill Monument. Why? Once, he could not take even one step; he’s now determined to use the gift he’s been given.
John and Lori have also joined forces with the Veterans Northeast Outreach Center to sponsor the “Mattress a Month for Vets” program, which provides comfortable bedding for the families of veterans in need.
Driven by a passion for the Hospitality business, Stephen Leonard has been with New England Hospitality since 2016.
Stephen began his career in hospitality as a dishwasher at a family restaurant at the age of 14. He attended Newbury College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to study Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Administration.
Stephen resides in Billerica, MA with his wife Michelle and two sons, Conor and Cameron. Stephen enjoys volunteering, coaching youth sports, sitting on the Little League Board of Directors, and working closely with numerous Veterans groups.
Giving back to the community is an ethos he shares with John and Lori. These core values are what make our hotels a special place to stay and work.
Bud Nelson - General Manager, Auburn ME
Bud joined New England Hospitality in February 2018 as their General Manager. With over 43 years of experience in the hospitality field, he knows what it takes to run a successful hotel and how to make sure every guest stay is a pleasant one.
While attending a travel tourism school in Pittsburgh, PA, Bud landed a part time job at a Hilton Hotel. It was the beginning of a career that he knew he wanted to pursue. After returning home to Maine, Bud started his hotel career as a Front Desk clerk and never looked back.
Bud is married to Cindy Lou, who he met 43 years ago at his first Hotel job in Maine. They have been married for 39 years and have 2 children, Eric and Amy. Bud and Cindy Lou are also the proud grandparents of Bradley, Brynn and Hallie.
In his spare time, Bud enjoys following his Grandkids in their sports activities, cooking, reading, walking, landscaping, bird watching and listening to music. Rumor has it he goes by the call letters “WBUD” and can name any tune and any artist at any time. He is also an avid Boston Red Sox fan, and even has a Red Sox themed back porch to watch the games on.
Being in the hospitality business is like no other. Every day you go to work and meet people from all walks of life. No day is ever the same and with the ever-changing world that exists today, it drives Bud day in and day out to make his hotel the very best that it can be
Jeff Vassallo - Task Force GM
Jeff has had a passion for the hospitality industry since he was a teenager attending Franklin County Technical school where he majored in culinary arts.
From there, he attended the University of Massachusetts where he majored in Hospitality and Tourism Management. While attending UMass he took a job at the UMass Hotel at the Campus Center. He worked at the front desk there for eleven years. Starting as a student employee then later being promoted to front desk supervisor and eventually night auditor. In 2015 Jeff decided to move to New Hampshire and became a department manager with the Omni Mount Washington Resort.
Jeff and his wife Theresa love living in the North Country. They live with their dog and two cats. They enjoy spending time with family, camping, reading and fishing. They are both avid New England sports fans. Especially the New England Patriots.
Kathy Hitchings - General Manager, Newburyport, MA
Kathy began working for Essex Street Inn and New England Hospitality as a part–time front desk clerk and single mother in the spring of 2005. At the time the property consisted of only 2 buildings and 19 total guest rooms. Over the years she has had the pleasure of growing with the Inn, into what is now a 3 building establishment with 37 Rooms, known as Essex Street Inn & Suites, Ascend Hotel Collection by Choice Hotels.
Kathy has 3 adult children and 2 cats names Cammie Lou and Sasha Lee. Over the years she has studied Business Management at Northern Essex Community College and taken Classes through the Newburyport Adult Education program for Marketing and Social Media.
In her free time Kathy enjoys making homemade jewelry, attending concerts, camping and spending time with family.
Day in and day out over the last 16 years it has been her drive and pleasure to continue to be a part of Essex Street Inn & Suites, Ascend Hotel Collection’s growth, as well as welcoming our new and repeat guests to the beautiful area Newburyport, Massachusetts has to offer.
Michelle Sandman - General Manager, South Portland ME
Michelle has been in the hospitality industry for many years and has worked every end of the hotel from front of the house to back of the house. She began in the industry waiting on tables working banquets. After completing College, she worked her way up to management. Once of her greatest enjoyments in the hotel industry is meeting people from all over the world and all walks of life. Whether it was meeting new faces while waiting on tables, greeting them at the front desk or interaction with hotel guests at events.
Michelle has travelled to many different countries and stayed in many different hotels. This has given her an excellent perspective on the service level hotel guests expect and require from top rated properties. I think we can honestly say that it’s in Michelle’s blood.
With Michelle, family is extremely important, whether it is snowmobiling, going to the beach, camping or just hanging out, she understands the importance of having a supportive family and being a support for others.
When asked about her career choice, Michelle had these words, “The hotel business can be a little crazy at times but that’s what makes it fun and interesting. Meeting new people and listening to them is a great opportunity to get to know people and make new relationships. For me, the life of a hotel manager… I wouldn’t change it for anything!” “
Michael Sandman - General Manager, Freeport Maine
Michael began his career in the concrete business, owning & operating his own company for over 30 years before joining the hospitality industry. In his spare time, he and his wife worked for the Fireworks by Grucci production. They traveled and helped create amazing firework productions all over the world in locations such as Dubai, Hong Kong, Bahamas, Shanghai and many more!
After retirement, Michael sought an opportunity in hospitality, joining the team at our Quality Inn property in South Portland Maine. He quickly became an integral component in the day to day operations of the hotel. Michael was recognized for his contribution, by being promoted to the role of Assistant General Manager.
His ability to oversee profitable operations & a commitment to service levels has become an invaluable asset to our New England Hospitality. When the opportunity arose at our newest property, Casco Bay Inn in Freeport Maine, Michael was an obvious choice. Michael graciously accepted this promotion to lead this beautiful property, creating a culture consistent with the New England Hospitality business model.
Michael continues to enjoy camping, snowmobiling and most important time with his family.
Shelley Murphy - Regional Bench General Manager
Shelley grew up in small town New Hampshire, and started her hospitality career as a front desk clerk at a Marriott hotel while a student in Orlando, Florida. The experience introduced her to a whole new world. Something about hospitality clicked, and she’s been passionate about it ever since. Shelley has worked for Marriott, Radisson, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and independent hotels. In 2001, after a decade away, she returned to New England.
Shelley lives in Wakefield, New Hampshire with her husband Alijah, her stepson Asher, and two English Mastiffs Beorn and Astrid. She loves dogs, exploring New Hampshire’s beautiful forests, mushroom foraging, live music, and reading both fiction and non-fiction.
Samantha Berry - Business Administrative Manager
With over 15 years in the hospitality industry, Samantha has always had the ability to make genuine connections with clients and colleagues and finds happiness through making guest experiences enjoyable. She prides herself on her continuously growing knowledge of the hospitality industry through her “on the job” experiences in many different departments of hotel and restaurant operations.
Samantha found her love of hospitality studying hospitality and tourism management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst at the age of 18. Fresh out of college, she traveled the East Coast working for private country clubs as a luggage attendant, front desk agent, hostess, waitress, bartender and more, before settling down as a Catering & Banquets Coordinator in Western Massachusetts.
After a few years in her hometown, she moved to the big city of Boston to work as a Catering Sales Manager/Wedding Planner for a luxury hotel in the downtown area and then as a Conference Services Manager for a major law firm in the Seaport of Boston.
Samantha now resides in Seabrook, NH with her husband John and two beloved Wheaton Terriers. She loves to travel and spend time with family. Samantha shares the love for military Veterans and community outreach with the other members of the New England Hospitality team.
Michelle Berry - GM at the Comfort Inn in Ellsworth, ME.
I have worked in Choice Hotels for 20 years now. I am an avid fan of Choice Hotels. I started out as a Housekeeper and worked my way up to Front Office Manager at Econo Lodge Inn & Suites. In 2016 I became Hotel Manager for Quality Inn. Both hotels are located in Bangor, Maine.
I have a blended family with 6 children and 16 Grandchildren. I love to spend as much time with them as I can whether it’s in Florida, at Campgrounds, home, etc.
I also enjoy owning Mother and Son American Bulldogs, Isabella and Ollie. I adore the Bully Breeds as they are such characters.
A Great Time!
“We had a great time at the Razor fest 2017. Royalty Inn was very accommodating for this huge event. Thank you.”
Brad Fortin – Barton VT
“Beautiful place, great staff, I would recommend this place to anyone who has a love for the mountains!.”
A Great Time!
“I left my car in the lot and didn’t have to use it again until I was leaving for home! We walked to lovely restaurants and shops”“
Very Well Kept
“The suite was very well kept. Nice furnishings. And a well setup kitchenette.”
107 US Route 1
1777 Washington St N, Building B, Auburn, ME, 04210-3847, US