Our Staff

Resort Staff

Sean Verney, Area General Manager

Sean Verney

Area General Manager at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel

Sean Verney is the Area General Manager for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, the iconic property located in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

With a more than 35-year career in the hospitality industry started during his youth in his family’s upstate New York restaurant, Verney is a highly experienced executive who prides himself on leading diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success. He oversees all aspects of the three-hotel complex comprised of 2,619 rooms and 348,000 square feet of meeting space. It was under his leadership in 2021 that the resort opened its third property, the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, to rave reviews.

With a proven record of driving associate engagement, customer satisfaction and profitability, Verney is a true team player who has a passion for developing and growing future leaders and a firm commitment to investing in his hotel team. Verney attributes his success to a leadership philosophy that focuses on teamwork, strategy and hard work to obtain a winning result.

Verney’s efforts have been recognized by many professional organizations including Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International and Marriott International as Eastern Regional General Manager of the Year in 2017.

He is an active leader within the tourism community, currently serving as a board member for both Visit Orlando and the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association. He has previously served as an executive board member of the Hotel Association of New York City, on the hotel advisory committee of NYC & Company, the city’s marketing and tourism organization, and as a member of Marriott’s New York City Business Council.

Bill Fink - Hotel Manager

Bill Fink

Hotel Manager

Bill Fink is the accomplished Hotel Manager of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, a prestigious three-hotel complex renowned for its expansive facilities and exceptional service. With a career spanning over 30 years in the hospitality industry, Bill has honed his expertise through pivotal roles, including 17 years in management with Marriott International.

He is noted for his acumen in team leadership to manage large resort operations, having successful tenures at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando, Marriott Marquis in Times Square and the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington D.C. His deep understanding of the dynamic hospitality market and his ability to lead large teams are foundational to his role, where he oversees the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin’s 2,619 rooms and a substantial 348,000 square feet of meeting space.

Jim Curtis - Complex Director Of Sales & Marketing

Jim Curtis

Complex Director of Sales & Marketing

Jim Curtis serves as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, where he leads a dynamic team in driving revenue and enhancing the visibility of the resort’s extensive offerings. With a rich background of more than three decades in sales within the hospitality industry, Jim has represented convention hotels and resorts across the United States and the Caribbean, showcasing a robust ability to boost sales and foster team success in diverse markets.

Curtis’s leadership prowess has been consistently recognized throughout his career, earning him multiple accolades including Sales Leader of the Year and Sales Team of the Year. His strategic vision and comprehensive industry knowledge make him a respected leader in the field.

Kathleen Bernesby - Complex Director Of Sales

Kathleen Bernesby

Complex Director of Sales

Kathleen Bernesby is the Director of Sales at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, where she oversees the sales team and contributes to the resort’s strategic initiatives.

With over 30 years of experience in hospitality sales and marketing, Bernesby is a proven leader with the ability to drive sales and exceed goals. She has previously held positions with several national hotel and restaurant brands. Her exemplary work has earned her numerous awards including the 2023 Eastern Region Sales Leader of the Year for Marriott International.

Ed DiAntonio, Director Of Catering And Convention Services

Ed DiAntonio

Director of Catering and Convention Services

Ed DiAntonio is the Director of Catering and Convention Services at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. A hospitality industry veteran, DiAntonio has dedicated more than a decade to his role at this iconic resort, where he oversees the operations of both catering and convention services for the property.

His leadership and exceptional skills in the events and catering industry have earned him numerous accolades, including being named Caterer of the Year by the Orlando Chapter of the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Further solidifying his reputation, Ed was honored as NACE’s National Caterer of the Year in 2008. A committed member of the professional community, Ed has served on the National Board of NACE. He holds certifications as a Certified Meeting Planner and Certified Professional Catering Executive.

Vanessa Kells - Director Of Event Planning

Vanessa Kells

Director of Event Planning

Vanessa Kells is the Director of Event Planning at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. A Cast Member since opening day at the Swan in 1989, Kells boasts an impressive journey at the resort, from starting at the front desk to currently leading the resort’s catering and events teams.

During her tenure she has helped spearhead several of the property’s most iconic developments including launching the annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic event as well as the opening of the Swan Reserve. Her leadership has garnered accolades including Leader of the Year for the complex in 2022 and Top Performer in Event Management for Marriott in 2023. Kells is a Certified Meeting Planner and wine sommelier with a passion for creating unforgettable experiences, which helps ensure every event at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is nothing short of magical.

Chef Daniel Herman

Daniel Herman

Executive Chef

Chef Daniel “Dan” Herman is the visionary Executive Chef behind the culinary excellence at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. With a deep-rooted commitment to farm-to-table principles, he brings a wealth of experience and a personal touch to his craft, including raising his own livestock on his farm. Leading an award-winning culinary team responsible for 23 restaurants and lounges, as well as a bustling banquet operation, Herman’s talent shines through in his sophisticated menus that have redefined dining experiences at the resort.

Under his leadership the resort expanded its offerings to include the likes of Amare, Tangerine, and Rosa Mexicano. Annually, he orchestrates the resort’s acclaimed Food & Wine Classic, a two-night extravaganza that showcases the resort’s culinary prowess to thousands of attendees. With Herman at the helm, culinary innovation and excellence are at the heart of every dish served at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin.

One of the Best Places to Work!

The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin was recognized by Orlando Business Journal as one of the “Best Places to Work” and was also honored as the top placing company for our size ( 1,000+ employees).

In addition, we were recognized by the Orlando Sentinel’s Top 100 for Working Families, where we placed in the Top 25! This award honors those companies who make family a priority and offer benefits both traditional (medical, dental, 401k etc) and unique (anniversary recognition, holiday parties etc).

 

Attention

To utilize the My Disney Experience app, the number of people on the room reservation MUST show the exact same number of people that you will have in the app. Please make sure to click on the “Rooms & Guests” dropdown on the following screen, and update the number of Adults and the number of Children that will be in the selected room.