MEET OUR STAFF
BETH MERTZDirector of Conference Services
Beth started in hospitality as a front desk clerk at a San Diego, CA hotel in 1980 and used her knowledge, customer service abilities and genuine love of people to grow and succeed in the hospitality field. After moving back to the St. Louis area, she worked her way up the hospitality ladder – from Front Desk Clerk, Reservations, Sales and Catering, Banquet Manager, Catering Manager, Director of Catering and finally, as the Director of Conference Service and Sales at the Regency Conference Center. Beth uses her 38 years of experience to ensure a smooth, successful event with awesome customer service from beginning to end!
MELODY FRANCISBanquet & Beverage Manager
Melody has worked in the food and beverage industry for 19 years, starting as a prep cook because she was too young to wait tables! Through the years, she has worked as a cook, server, and bartender, before she was promoted into the position of Banquet Captain. After working as the banquet captain for a few years, Melody accepted the position of Banquet and Beverage manager here at the Regency and has sharpened her expertise and attention to detail to ensure our client’s satisfaction once they have arrived on property. She enjoys meeting new people from all walks of life and enjoys working with them in conjunction with the sales office to ensure their event is executed perfectly. Making a positive impact on their lives while they are here is paramount to her success!
ANGELA DORRISCatering & Sales Manager
Angela has dedicated 20 years in the hospitality industry, building her professional career in the downtown St. Louis market as a Catering Salesperson and worked her way up as a Meeting Professional, Convention Services Specialist, and Wedding Coordinator as well as booking Entertainment for a well-known casino. She is versatile, outgoing and an expert in detailing your event to be a success, all while making it as least stressful as possible. Her knowledge, professionalism and genuine friendliness will make your experience a blast and will have you coming back to ensure all your events are successful!
MICHELLE JENSWedding Specialist
Michelle decided early on in life that she loves the wedding industry! Obsessing over Pinterest for new and exciting ideas and working 13 years with weddings, from banquet captain to banquet manager and now as The Regency’s Wedding Specialist, she uses all her knowledge and experience to help you create your perfect day! Besides her love for her beagle Sam, (who would make you a great ring bearer, by the way), Michelle’s passion for success, whether weddings, social or corporate, will ensure your event is your vision!
ART PHETSADASACKExecutive Chef
Art, an Executive Chef since 2001, began his early years in Laos, before moving to the United States at the age of 11 years old. He grew up in Florida, surrounded in tradition and the culture of his Laos heritage, with his parents, siblings and extended family. Upon graduating from high school, Art joined the US Navy for 7 years, where he cooked for his fellow servicemen and recognized his passion for cooking. After leaving the Navy, he and his family moved to the Collinsville area where he continued pursuing the culinary arts and began his formal education at Forest Park Community college. While working at a local steakhouse and attending college, he moved up in the ranks, gaining valuable experience and knowledge for the food industry. Throughout his 30 years of cooking and culinary and at different venues, he used his passion for cooking to create wonderfully inspired and delicious dishes for his clients. Award-winning and accomplished, Chef Art enjoys carving ice sculptures and using his abilities to benefit others through his volunteer work and the Knights of Columbus. He loves to make his clients happy and see the smile on people’s faces when they try his food – “To serve people good food and see them smile – THAT is what it is all about!”
TIM HAYSSous Chef
Tim’s culinary career started when he was just fourteen years old, outside the kitchen of a hotel near his house. He saw a cook cleaning a trash receptacle and went up to ask him if he needed any help. The cook let Tim help him, and paid him out of his own pocket. After they were done, the cook told Tim that when he turned fifteen to get a work permit, and he would see what he could do to help me get a job. True to his word, the cook helped Tim land a job washing dishes at the hotel. Tim didn’t care much for washing dishes and scrubbing floors, but he really enjoyed watching the chefs perform their magic, creating the delicious aromas and the plates with the beautiful garnish. The smells and the excitement of a bustling kitchen, the chattering of happy guests always seemed to put a smile on his face. It seemed as though the food always brought happiness to the guests and that is when Tim discovered his desire to be a Chef. After leaving the hotel, Tim worked as a Potatoe Cook at a Steak House in Springfield, IL, where he eventually progressed to Sauté Cook, Broiler Cook, and Banquet Cook. He worked with a Chef at a hotel who taught him about soups, stocks, and sauces and loved all the dishes he created. He later discovered the Chef was a member of the American Culinary Federation and had taken a pledge to share his professional knowledge and skill with all culinarians. Tim really admired this man, and after several years in the culinary field, he decided to go to culinary school and become a Certified Culinarian, a member of the ACF, and to make the same pledge as the man who inspired him had done. Tim has worked at the Regency for over 8 years and is honored to work with the Regency team. “It puts a smile on my face to know they, too, will go to any lengths to provide the services that bring happiness to our guests!”
KAREN SHANDSPastry Chef
Karen was born and raised in Belleville, IL and with her husband Mark and son Scott. Before beginning her career in baking, Karen has always enjoyed baking, decorating cakes, and creating delicious pastries with her Mom for their family gatherings. Karen has worked in the baking industry for over 40 years, beginning in the bakery department at Scott Air Force Base, under the management of Mallo’s Pastries and 32 of those years as the department manager. For the last two years, under the tutelage of Executive Chef Art, she has learned even more about planning and preparing a five-star meal! Her passion, ability to think outside the box and her positive attitude is an asset to the Regency kitchens! “You can’t ask for anything more gratifying than to hear “MMMMMM” when someone is eating one of your creations”, says Karen, who is very passionate about her baking – “That is what it is all about – I am such a foodie!!”