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Sensei expands leadership team in preparation for new retreat opening 2022

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As Sensei expands, it was crucial to us to find talent that complements our property leadership teams

Sensei, the wellness brand owned by tech billionaire Larry Ellison, has appointed Annika Jackson as general manager and Michael Conte as retreat director of the brand’s upcoming second outpost Sensei Porcupine Creek.

Sensei has also appointed Catherine Phillips as retreat director at Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort, the brand’s first destination.

“As Sensei expands with the upcoming opening of Sensei Porcupine Creek later this year, it was crucial to us to find talent that complements our property leadership teams,” said Kevin Kelly, CEO of Sensei.

“Annika, Michael and Catherine provide a fresh perspective, numerous years of relevant professional experience, knowledge and passion for health and wellness that align with our brand ethos.”

Annika Jackson

Jackson’s new role as Sensei Porcupine Creek general manager will see her heading up the pre-opening efforts. Once the resort is open, she’ll lead the management team at the property.

Jackson brings both domestic and international luxury hospitality experience, having previously served as general manager at L’Auberge de Sedona and served as vice-president and managing director at Enchantment Group.

She first became involved with spa development in 2000 when joining Enchantment in Arizona to develop award-winning destination spa resort Mii amo at Enchantment in Sedona.

More recently, Jackson has been based in her native country, Sweden, where she was formerly the managing director at Raison d'Etre wellness consultancy, based in Stockholm.

Raison d'Etre has created global spa and wellness brands around the world with a client list such as Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and its sister company Six Senses Resorts & Spas.

Michael ConteConte brings more than 15 years of industry experience to his new role at Sensei Porcupine Creek, where he’ll manage a team of Sensei Guides and wellness practitioners.

Prior to joining the executive team at Sensei, Conte’s career in the California hospitality industry included serving as the director of spa and wellness for Meadowood Napa Valley, director of spa at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, as well as opening the Spa at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach.

In his early career, Conte followed his passion for wellness to Mueller College of Holistic Studies in San Diego where he graduated as a holistic health practitioner.

In addition to his professional work, Conte partners with the non-profit organisation Greet the Day that provides free spa treatments to individuals fighting cancer as well as other organisations including ISPA, Global Mentorship Organization and has served on the Forbes Travel Guide Standards Advisory Board.

Catherine Phillips

At Sensei Lāna'i, A Four Seasons Resort, Phillips is the new retreat director and brings more than 25 years of luxury and wellness experience to the property.

Phillips has managed luxury operations for large-scale hotel groups including Marriott International and its Ritz-Carlton brand, as well as various independent hoteliers in California, England and the Caribbean.

She holds qualifications in hospitality management, holistic health, meditation, massage therapy, cosmetology and aesthetics, including luxury skincare training in Switzerland.

Having grown up visiting family on Moloka’i, Phillips has a strong tie to the Hawaiian islands offering a unique perspective that is pertinent to leading the retreat on Lāna’i.

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Sensei, the wellness brand owned by tech billionaire Larry Ellison, has appointed Annika Jackson as general manager and Michael Conte as retreat director of the brand’s upcoming second outpost Sensei Porcupine Creek.
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