resort-cat

Jason Sheffield

President, Gibbs Christian Education Foundation

Jason Sheffield is the Executive Chairman of Shangri-La Golf Club, Resort & Marina on Grand Lake in Northeast Oklahoma. A native of Owasso, Oklahoma, Jason excelled to the top of his class in the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma where he earned a degree in Management Information Systems. He returned to Owasso where he worked with a diversified operation that handled management of varied enterprises including real estate development, home building, real estate law and title insurance. He managed partnerships for multiple building and real estate operations, while also heading up a home building company of his own.

In January 2010, Jason partnered with Eddy Gibbs to purchase the storied Shangri-La Resort where he took over as General Manager and oversaw the redevelopment of the historic property. Under his supervision, Shangri-La Resort has re-energized the entire Grand Lake tourism and business economy. The resort now includes a 119-room resort hotel and conference center, a 27-hole Top Five golf course, three restaurants, four bar areas, 8,000 square feet of conference space, a full-service marina, and multiple residential real estate developments.

Jason and his wife, Brenda, live near Monkey Island on Grand Lake with their three children, Nora, Isaac and Katie Rae.

Jason.Sheffield@shangrilaok.com

Barry Willingham

Barry Willingham was named President and CEO of Shangri-La Golf Club, Resort & Marina in 2019. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Barry graduated from the University of Memphis with Business Administration Degrees in both Finance and Marketing. After graduation, he worked for Hilti for twenty years before being hired at Tulsa-based Ameristar Fence Products in 2002 with the task of starting a Security Division of the company, owned by Shangri-La owner Eddy Gibbs.

In 2010, he left Ameristar to accept a position as President of Smith & Wesson Security Solutions. He also served as Vice-President of Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation in Franklin, Tennessee. In 2012, after completing his commitment to Smith & Wesson, he returned to Ameristar as Vice President & General Manager.

When Eddy Gibbs sold Ameristar to Assa Abloy in 2013, Barry was named President and CEO of Perimeter Security Group of Assa Abloy, which includes Ameristar. He was directly responsible for more than 800 employees, 650 of them at the Tulsa Ameristar facility.

An in-demand public speaker, Barry is an avid boater and golfer. He and his wife Laura have had a home at Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees since 2005. They now live on Grand Lake’s Monkey Island in the heart of Shangri-La Resort.

Barry.willingham@shangrilaok.com

Michael Williams

Mike Williams is both a longtime Grand Laker, a Shangri-La historical authority and a recognized advertising, communications, public relations and government relations expert. He has a broad base of radio, television and newspaper experience, having served during his career as Assistant News Director for KTOK Radio and the Oklahoma Radio News Network, Managing Editor of KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City and Managing Editor of The Chronicle of Grand Lake.

Williams and his wife, Cari, owned an advertising, public relations, government relations and political consulting firm in Oklahoma City for many years before moving to Grand Lake full time in 1993. Mike and Cari were Grand Lake enthusiasts long before moving to the lake full-time. They have owned boats and weekend Grand Lake residences since the 1970’s and were members of the original Shangri-La Resort.

Having worked as Manager of Cherokee Yacht Club Marina and as Director of Operations for Ugly John’s Custom Boats & RVs, Mike is also a valuable asset in the marketing of the wide variety of facilities at Shangri-La Marina. He supervises all communications, advertising, public relations and government relations efforts for the entire Shangri-La operation. He is Vice-President of the Oklahoma Marinas Association and serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake of the Cherokees Watershed Association and the South Grand Lake Area Chambers of Commerce, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mike and Cari live in the midst of Shangri-La Golf Club’s course, in Vista Towers. They are well known Monkey Islanders, having raised their four grown children, all graduates of Grove High School, on the Island.

mike.williams@shangrilaok.com

Dana Able

Shangri-La’s Director of Sales Dana Able is a native of nearby Welch, Oklahoma. After graduating from Welch High School and Oklahoma State University, Dana moved to the Washington, D.C area, where she worked briefly for real estate development/investment giant Trammell Crow Company. After a year, she joined Bell Atlantic Telephone in a joint venture project with GTE. Dana’s career spanned 26 years from Bell Atlantic through multiple acquisitions which resulted in what is now known as Verizon. During her tenure, Dana held multiple titles and was asked to relocate a few times to facilitate start up organizations, acquisitions or corporate re-organizations. Dana had responsibility for leading top producing sales organizations while in her role as Area Vice President of Enterprise Sales in the Pennsylvania/New York market before retiring in February 2014 as Area Vice President, Regional Strategy and Development for the northern region of the United States.

She returned home to Grand Lake in March, 2014 and spent a couple of years enjoying relaxation and well-deserved time with many members of her family who live in the area. With the development of Shangri-La’s new resort hotel well underway, Dana joined the Shangri-La team as Director of Sales in October, 2016. She lives in the nearby “Vintage” community on the shores of Grand Lake.

dana.able@shangrilaok.com

Gina Holloway

Gina Holloway is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was hired to create the Marketing Department at Shangri-La Resort in 2020. Gina comes to Shangri-La with 20 years of experience in Marketing with a focus on Digital Media. Gina was educated at Northeastern State University and started her career in the fashion industry in Dallas in 1987, a veteran to travel; she relocated several times from Cleveland, Ohio, to Chicago, Illinois’ to Los Angeles, where she created promotions and fundraising for a local theatre group. In 2000 Gina finally landed in Owasso Oklahoma, where she was the Marketing Director at Owasso Medical Spa. Working in a small business made her realize how unique and specialized marketing can be for a small business; this quickly became her passion. She started a consulting firm that educated and guided business owners on increasing their business revenue by using social media tools and online advertising.

In 2008 Gina worked for AcrobatAnt Advertising Agency with Social Media clients Mazzio’s and PennWell Publishing. She made the transition into TV in 2013 and worked in the Digital Department at the NBC affiliate KJRH in Tulsa until her path took her to New Mexico and then back to Tulsa, where she was a Marketing Manager at TMA Systems in Tulsa. She has extensive paid and volunteer experience in fundraising and marketing with Tulsa Young Professionals, Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, California Community Theatre, Women in Recovery, Grace Hospice, KRMG, and the City of Tulsa.

Gina brings a wealth of knowledge in online marketing, brand strategy, and creative concepting. One of her favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou, and it really sums up what she wants to accomplish in her work. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you SAID, people will forget what you DID, but people will NEVER FORGET how you made them FEEL.” – Maya Angelou.

gina.holloway@shangrilaok.com