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The Martin Resorts Team

Martin Resorts, a California hotel collection, is a family-owned organization on the vineyard covered Central Coast. One of the area’s top 20 employers, Martin Resorts is headquartered in San Luis Obispo (Oprah’s 2011 pick for “America’s Happiest City”). In 2015, the Pacific Coast Business Times honored Martin Resorts in their "50 Fastest-Growing Companies" for top revenue growth for companies that operate in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Shortly after, the Pacific Coast Business Times also voted Martin Resorts one of the "Best Places to Work" on the Central Coast in May 2017. Read all about the people who make this organization work - The Martin Resorts team.

Noreen R. Martin, President and Chairman of the Board

Noreen Martin is the dynamic and energetic President and recently promoted Chairman of the Board of Martin Resorts, a family-owned organization on California's vineyard-covered Central Coast. Noreen and her late husband, Tom Martin, founded Martin Resorts, one of the area’s top 20 employers, in 1998. 

As a widow with a young child, she drove the family business to thrive as one of the top private, woman-owned employers in the county. Noreen succeeded in building a highly respected collection of boutique hotels that specialize in enhancing the experience of its guests, creating a culture where people thrive, and watched the company double in revenues, all while giving back to the community.

Learn more about Noreen and her impressive business and philanthropic endeavors by clicking below. 

From the relaxed seaside atmosphere of the Shore Cliff Hotel, to the luxurious oceanfront privacy of The Inn at the Cove, to the plush all-suite comfort of the Pismo Lighthouse Suites and Avila Lighthouse Suites, to the authentic wine country accommodations of the historic Paso Robles Inn, Martin’s meticulous attention to detail shines in every property.

In June 2015, Noreen assisted in the creation of the first Countywide Tourism Marketing District (TMD), and received the 2015 Tourism Champion Award from San Luis Obispo County.

This year, Noreen has implemented a college scholarship fund through the Community Foundation, for the children of Martin Resorts’ employees and is currently in the process of developing and partnering with the non-profit Peruvian Hearts to further Peruvian girls’ education in Hospitality Management.

Noreen brings her expertise and passion for tourism to the state level as well, serving as a Visit California Commissioner and Chief Fiscal Officer. She now serves as the Vice Chairperson for Visit California, the official State of California tourism board.

In addition to her dedication to the tourism community, Noreen also dedicates her time to many boards and organizations throughout the business community.

  • Past Board Chair President for Visit San Luis Obispo County
  • Hearst Cancer Resource Center Board member
  • CASA Advocate appointed by San Luis Obispo County Superior Judge Linda Hurst
  • Recipient of the 2009 Champions for Children Award

Noreen was also lauded for her efforts on behalf of the children of San Luis Obispo County in initiating and founding the Paso Robles Children’s Museum where she is an honorary chair.

Currently, Noreen and the Martin Hulburd Families are in process with Hearst Cancer Resource Center and Copeland Health Education to develop The Martin Hulburd Family Education Fund. This Fund will be used specifically to sponsor educational classes for those diagnosed with cancer (and their families) on a wide range of topics, such as, nutrition, exercise, stress management, integrative medicine, advances in treatments, clinical case studies, managing personal finances, etc. all FREE OF CHARGE to the participants. These classes will be arranged and hosted by the Hearst Cancer Resource Center and offered at the new Copeland Health Education Pavilion.

Noreen lives in Shell Beach with her daughter Meghan, who is soon to graduate from UC Berkley and her husband Christopher Hulburd, M.D. of Pacific Eye Surgeons. All are active in local community organizations with an emphasis on women, children, and education.


Margaret Johnson, Chief Operating Officer

Margaret is the strength and creativity behind the operations of Martin Resorts. She is the acting liaison between the hotel managers and staff and has refined innovative management techniques while overseeing the management of five General Managers, five hotels, and a steakhouse restaurant, implementing new and fresh looks to the hotels and maintaining their unique, boutique qualities.

Since joining Martin Resorts in 2003, Margaret has moved up in the company in various roles. Due to her vast knowledge of the hospitality industry in sales, project development, management and customer service, she was offered the Director of Operations position in the corporate office in the year of 2007. A year later, due to her continued excellence in these areas, she moved into the role of COO.

Read more about Margaret and her important community roles by clicking below. 

In addition, Margaret currently serves on the advisory board for TPRA (Travel Paso Robles Alliance), Vice Chair of Finance for the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and a member for the San Luis Obispo County Economic Forecast Committee. She consistently supports community service in the county, encouraging participation among staff members of the Martin Resorts hotels, and oversees the company’s “Adopt a Family” program every year throughout the holiday season.

Margaret resides in Paso Robles with her husband, Ken, Emergency Services Chief of Paso Robles, has three daughters and is a “Nana” to 4 beautiful grandchildren who keep her “happily” busy, but she always makes time to enjoy the outdoors and gardening.

Margaret proudly holds near and dear to her heart her 5 years of service in the United States Marine Corps.


Sara Kennedy, Director of People and Culture

Sara Kennedy was hand selected by our former Director of Human Resources, Thomas Wood, to fill the role of Martin Resorts' first Director of People and Culture. Sara brings 21 years of expertise in Human Resources and Management to Martin Resorts, with a wealth of experience at local companies like Miner’s Ace Hardware and Adelaida Vineyards & Winery, as well as international experience with Scientific Drilling/Applied Technologies. Click below to continue learning more about Sara. 

She is an active participant on several San Luis Obispo County boards, serving as the Vice President of Professional Development on the Human Resources Association of the Central Coast and succeeding Thomas as Chair of the SLO County Employer Advisory Council. It was through these organizations that Sara and Thomas became connected in 2011. Since then, Sara’s approachable, compassionate, and very authentic disposition proved that she was the perfect candidate for the Director of People and Culture role, according to Thomas.

As Martin Resorts continues to develop a people-centric culture, Sara stood out as the best person to lead the initiative. The decision to change Sara’s title from Director of Human Resources to Director of People and Culture supports the company’s mission to promote a contagious spirit of hospitality that enriches the lives of employees, one experience at a time.

A Central Coast native, Sara was born and raised in Atascadero. She and her husband live in Atascadero with their two daughters, where they enjoy splitting firewood and doing yard work together on the weekends.

Joe Ruiz, Director of Finance

Joe Ruiz serves as the Director of Finance for Martin Resorts. Serving as the financial leader of the organization, Joe oversees all accounting, financial reporting, analysis, risk management, financial efficiencies and banker relations.

Click below to learn more about Joe's extensive experience and personal endeavors. 

Joe is a licensed California Certified Public Accountant and has held series 7 and 24 securities licenses. Joe brings a unique blend of entrepreneurial and Fortune 500 background to Martin Resorts from his many years in senior management roles. Joe spent six years at Price Waterhouse, where he was an audit manager, then started his own CPA firm, growing it substantially before selling it to join Pacific Life Insurance Company in Newport Beach, CA. He served in progressive roles at Pacific Life, for several years, as AVP, General Auditor, Vice President and Division CFO before joining Edison International in Los Angeles where he served as Vice President & General Auditor of worldwide operations. Joe has held CFO positions in both large public companies as well as in small privately held companies and has also worked extensively with some of the leading wineries on the Central Coast. Much of Joe’s success comes from his approach to running an efficient company by focusing on service to both internal and external customers, and by partnering with both to achieve the best possible experience for each of our guests. He focuses on sustained growth fueled by unusually high customer satisfaction. Joe was originally trained by the best when he was a ride operator at Disneyland during his college years.

Joe grew up in Los Angeles/Orange County. He attended California State University, Fullerton and obtained a B.A. in Business Administration/Accounting. Joe has served on the Board of Directors of the OC American Diabetes Assoc., California City Bank (Chairman-Audit Committee), Orange Chamber of Commerce, Orange Rotary Club, and St. Joseph Hospital support group (President).

Joe and his wife, Karen raised 6 children in a blended family, including their youngest, Tommy, who is Down Syndrome, and the epicenter of their whole family. Once the kids got through college, in 2010, Joe & Karen relocated from Irvine to the beautiful central coast and wine country in Paso Robles. The entire family enjoys wine, except for Tommy, who likes beer.