As the CEO of Ancient Lore Village, Matthew Cross is the keeper of the company's vision and manages all facets of the themed-resort's business. Cross has a proven executive track record working with corporations nationwide. Prior to joining Ancient Lore Village, he was Vice President at USI and was charged with overseeing client relationships and promoting business development. Cross won the distinguished "USI Peak Award" recognizing the most successful producers three consecutive years (every year he was eligible). Previously, he worked for a real estate development firm in Boston, Mass. and for Caesar’s Entertainment in finance. He is a recognized by his peers as a strong leader with an unyielding focus on detail and success. Cross earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance at the Calloway School of Business at Wake Forest University.
Lewis Frazer - Chief Financial Officer
Lewis Frazer started directly out of college as an auditor at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. By the age of 27, he was leading Regal Cinemas as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. While at Regal Cinemas, Frazer led the financial, accounting and IT functions of the world’s largest and fastest growing theatre company. His roles included pursuing and negotiating mergers and acquisitions, establishing and maintaining relationships with both senior and investment bankers, and all aspects of public equity and debt offerings. Lewis led the company through its initial public offering and was responsible for all financial aspects of the publicly traded company for six years (until the company was sold to two leveraged buyout firms).
Melissa Blettner - General Manager
Melissa Blettner is an experienced senior operations leader with a demonstrated history of working in the hotel and resort industry. During her 20 year career with Great Wolf Resorts, she served a variety of roles including Corporate Operations Manager, Vice President of Business Development and Sr Vice President of Creative Kingdoms.
Her strong background in business development, resort design and construction, project management, branding, sales, team building, systems management, organizational development and training has prepared her for the next story, building the world's first Story Resort, Ancient Lore Village.
Simon Hall - Food & Beverage
Executive Chef, Simon Hall is a Knoxville Native, and a Webb School graduate, who studied at The New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont. He spent time travelling the world and sharpening his culinary skills in restaurants in San Francisco, Charleston, and Denver. For five years he lived in the British Virgin Islands where he worked at SurfSong Villa Resort on Beef Island, Executive Jet Management, and The Dove Restaurant on Tortola. Chef Simon returned home to Knoxville with his expertise in tow. As the Executive Chef of Chef Liberty, he earned himself the title of Knoxville’s top ten Chefs of 2010, and the restaurant the title of Knoxville’s newest hot spot. In 2011, Simon joined forces with Nancy Kendrick, and the two worked together building Creative Catering of Knoxville into Knoxville’s finest catering company, and expanding Mrs. Kendrick’s gourmet chicken salad company into The Coop Cafe, a North Knoxville & Bearden favorite.
Anne Johnson - Office Manager
Anne Johnson began her career in office administration. Her diverse work experience includes hospitality, spa services and healthcare. She operated her own business as a birth doula and childbirth educator. As a female entrepreneur Anne has had the benefit of handling the operational aspects of a business while never losing sight of a service-minded approach. Her experiences and skills, along with her love of helping people relax and unwind, make her a valuable addition to Ancient Lore Village.