SVP of Hospitality
Ray Minias started his career bussing room service shortly after graduating from the University of New Orleans with a degree in hospitality management. Within months, he became the sommelier for the property, the Windsor Court Hotel, then ranked the top hotel in the country. Four years later, he was tapped to direct the beverage program as the Palace Hotel in South Africa opened, and quickly became recognized as the number-one hotel in the world.
He came back stateside at the encouragement of a mentor to run food and beverage at the San Ysidro Ranch on the Santa Barbara coast, and later at the acclaimed Bacara Resort and Spa there, now a Ritz-Carlton property. While in California, he also spent a few years at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, long recognized as the jewel of the National Park Service.
Through more than two decades in the business, Minias has been responsible for ensuring the magic happens for guests at a handful of America’s premier destinations – all five-star, independent hotels and resorts held to the standard of their reputation and relentless in their pursuit of perfection. Nashville became home when the historic Hermitage Hotel asked him to oversee operations as general manager and lead the successful effort to earn Forbes five-star and AAA five-diamond status.
As senior vice president of operations at Southall, Ray oversees a staff of more than 200, and the daily leadership of the teams that run the inn, spa, farm and restaurants in a way that honors Southall’s commitment to environmental sustainability and exceeds guest expectations.