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10 Cast Members Who Have Grown Their Careers at Aulani Resort

Jill Radke

by , Public Affairs Manager, Aulani Resort

As we look back on ten spectacular years of making magical memories here at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, we can’t help but notice how so many cast members have taken advantage of the growth opportunities available through a Disney career. Let’s take a closer look at ten of our own ‘ohana Aulani — Aulani cast family — and learn about how their careers have developed as part of their Disney journey.

Photo of Stephanie at Aulani
“If you had asked me in 2011 where I would be today, I would not have imagined this journey.” – Stephanie

Since joining Aulani Resort in 2011 as a server in ʻAMAʻAMA, Stephanie Say has held several roles, including Workforce Management scheduler, guest service manager, administrative assistant, and now executive assistant.

“I get excited about my future because the possibilities are endless,” Stephanie said. “I am eager to discover what else I can do.”

Photo of Pua at Aulani
“There’s always something new when you are a part of the Front Office.” – Pua

Pua Valdez joined Aulani Resort in 2011 as a Front Office guest service manager and recently took on a new role as the Recreation area manager.

“After working in the Front Office for thirty years, I knew that change would help me on my journey and to reach my goals,” Pua said. “So, I challenged myself to make that significant change to Recreation this year.”

Photo of Amanda at Aulani
“I loved creating ‘magical moments’ and those ‘only-at-Disney’ memories.” – Amanda

Amanda Gaviria joined the Aulani Resort cast in 2015 as a Recreation host.

Since 2015, she’s grown her career through several roles: guest service manager in Quick Service restaurants, guest service manager in Banquets, and will soon start the next chapter of her career as a festivals stage manager with Disneyland Resort.

“It has been a thrilling adventure,” Amanda said of her role in Banquets at Aulani Resort. “I have created magic for all sorts of guests through weddings, corporate meetings, KA WA’A Lū‘au, American Idol, and everything in between. No two events are the same, and I can still create those ‘only-at-Disney’ memories for our guests.”

Photo of Kanoa at Aulani
“I was able to perform at dance parties, teach ‘ukulele, give hula lessons, and share stories and adventures with our guests.” – Kanoa

Since Kanoa Kawai joined the cast of Aulani Resort in 2014 as an MC host, he’s grown his career through roles such as activities manager in Aunty’s Beach House and now as a guest service manager in Food and Beverage. In January, Kanoa will also become the next Aulani Ambassador.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside the most outstanding performers and leaders. Aulani Resort is a unique Disney experience because of the mixture of Hawaiian culture and the aloha spirit,” Kanoa said. “It has been an honor to be a cast member at Aulani Resort.”

Photo of Lendenly at Aulani
“The relationships that I gained and the lessons that I learned during my time as a Front Office manager developed me into the leader that I am today.” – Lendenly

Lendenly Lorenzo joined the cast of Aulani Resort in 2011 as a Front Office lead and trainer. In 2015, Lendenly became a Front Office guest service manager — a role she calls the “foundation of my career at Aulani Resort.”

“Every new situation was a gift of a challenge, which allowed me to celebrate all wins in life, big or small,” Lendenly said.

In 2018, Lendenly moved to her current role as sales experience manager with Disney Vacation Club.

“I have learned and gained so much in my two and half years as a sales experience manager,” Lendenly said, “The cast members are my motivation. And with them, I am inspired to be my very best every day while never losing sight of the magic.”

Photo of Charles at Aulani
“I had a great time talking with guests as I drove them from Waikīkī to Ko Olina.” – Charles

After serving 31 years in the military, Charles Pieters joined the cast of Aulani Resort in 2010 as a Disney Vacation Club service associate and driver. He then took on the role of Disney Vacation Club sales coordinator. In 2013, he became the Disney Vacation Club operations manager, and today he is a planning project associate with Disney Vacation Club.

“I wanted to be in a role that would be fun and challenging, and my role as Disney Vacation Club planning project associate gives me that,” Charles said. “I get to work on future projects and initiatives for Disney Vacation Club at Aulani Resort and globally as part of the Planning and Integration team based in Orlando.”

Photo of Jessa at Aulani
“We were magic makers.” – Jessa

Jessa Brown joined the cast of Aulani Resort in 2011 as an entertainment performer and greeter.

“I thought it would be a fun summer job before I headed back to reality. But then I realized how important we were,” Jessa said of her role as a character performer and greeter. “It was then that I knew I wanted to create happiness for as long as I could.”

In 2018, Jessa became an entertainment and activities manager — a role she continues in today.

“Ultimately, my heart and soul are with the cast. After working beside them for so many years, I wanted to help in a new way, which meant going into leadership,” Jessa said.

Photo of Raffy at Aulani
“I loved getting to work with the advanced aquarium system for Rainbow Reef as a water science operator and dive technician.” – Raffy

Raffy Jacinto joined the Aulani Resort cast in 2011 as a water science operator and dive technician. Today he leads Aulani Resort’s Animal Programs team as water sciences operations manager.

“I got to come back home to Hawai’i and continue working in marine science at a beautiful ocean-side resort,” Raffy said about joining the cast at Aulani Resort in 2011.

“The Animal Programs team is part of the Entertainment department here at Aulani Resort,” Raffy said, “So I’ve had the opportunity to learn facets of entertainment that most marine scientists never get.”

Photo of Angel at Aulani
“My Disney story started when I was selected to be a part of Aulani Resort in 2012.” – Angel

Angel Samson joined the cast at Aulani Resort as a front desk agent in 2012, went on to be a core trainer for all new Front Office cast members, and in 2015 she became a Disney Traditions facilitator. In 2016, she took on a role in the Entertainment department as a youth activities manager. In 2018 she returned to the Front Office as a guest service manager — the role she continues today.

“Being a Front Office leader allows me to use my love for service and my spirit of aloha to create magic for our cast members and guests, and myself,” Angel said. “I get to be a part of long-lasting memories that bring our guests back every year, and I get to represent a fantastic brand.”

Photo of Daniel at Aulani
“I loved getting to learn the hospitality operations and getting to know the cast members who make the magic in each department. After all, technology exists to help people.” – Daniel

Daniel Hee joined Aulani Resort’s cast in 2011 as a telecommunications coordinator on the IT team. In 2013, he moved to the Entertainment department and began his current role as Adult and Family Programs manager.

“I get to see the smiles of our guests all day as we bring them together as a family in the Pau Hana Room with activities like Menehune Adventure Trail, Kāpala Kī’i (T-Shirt stamping), and ‘ukulele lessons,” Daniel said. “For me, there is no more significant accomplishment than doing something that makes another person smile.”

Comments

  • Thank you to each one of these Aulani Disney cast members, and to all the wonderful cast members at Aulani– You help make our family trips to Aulani so very special, wholeheartedly combining Disney’s magic together with our islands’ spirit of Aloha in the very best of ways. Happy 10 year anniversary Aulani, and here’s to many more!