Melanie Thompson

Melanie Thompson is the General Manager for the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown/Haymarket. She has several years of experience in bank management and over 7 years of Hilton Garden Inn experience. After taking a break from banking to start a family she joined Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg, Ohio as a part time night auditor. After a year of balancing the day and working overnight, she took a position as a front desk agent.  

She joined the Lincoln Hotel Group team shortly after the Grand Opening of Hilton Garden Inn in 2013 as Sales Coordinator. She has worked as Bookkeeper, Front Office Manager and General Manager. Her knowledge of Hilton programs and products is great and loves learning new and different ways to honor every guest.

For many years Melanie has volunteered through several local clubs and charities, holding the Treasurer position on two PTO boards, Chairperson of Philanthropy committee and Chairperson of Fundraising. Melanie is focused on her family, loves watching basketball and interior design. 

Emily Gifford

EMILY GIFFORD is the Director of Sales, and a part of the opening team, for the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown/Haymarket. Emily is responsible for proactively creating and implementing strategies to enhance profitability and revenue generation for the hotel as well as developing relationships with clients and promoting guest satisfaction.

With over 25 years of experience in Sales and Marketing management, 15 of those years in management positions in the hospitality industry, Emily possesses the unique ability to quickly identify key demand generators in a variety of markets and prides herself on building solid client relationships. In addition to opening the Hilton Garden Inn she opened the Staybridge Suites Northeast and the Comfort Suites East, both located in Lincoln. Prior to working for Lincoln Hotel Group Management Company, Emily was the Director of Sales for the Hilton Garden Inn Las Colinas/Dallas, Texas; Business Travel Manager for the Adams Mark Hotel, Dallas, Texas; and Director of Sales for the Wyndham Las Colinas/Dallas, Texas.

Emily is a member of LIBA and The Lincoln Haymarket Development Corporation/Board of Directors. She has served as an Ambassador for the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and a member of Meeting Planners International and Business Networking International.

Emily is dedicated to her family and friends and loves being back in Nebraska. Her passions are traveling, music, and spending time with family.

Donna Baker

DONNA BAKER joined the Lincoln Hotel Group in the Summer of 2014 as the Food and Beverage Director at our Hilton Garden Inn Haymarket.  Donna has a vast Food and Beverage background working in cities down the coast of California such as San Francisco, Monterey/ Carmel, San Diego, and then most notably abroad in Paris, France before settling with her husband in Lincoln.  She has experience in the Restaurant, Catering and Retail side of the business but also, extensive wine and spirits pairing and presentation expertise. Donna has had the privilege of learning from renowned Chef Roy Yamaguchi during her 2 year tenure at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in downtown San Diego.  Donna spent her first 4 years in Lincoln at Venue Restaurant and Lounge as the Assistant General Manager; assisting in every aspect of the operation.

On a personal note Donna is a passionate foodie, who spends hours perusing restaurant menus and cooking websites. She loves to cook, her morning coffee, reading, and spending her free time with her husband Tom and her sister Christy.  

Anne Chan

ANNE CHAN was part of the 2013 opening team for the Hilton Garden Inn in Lincoln, Nebraska which won the 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award. Anne has professional experience and hospitality leadership in customer service, front office, reservations, housekeeping, transportation, banquets, conferences, sales and revenue management.

Anne is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She is highly motivated and has a strong organizational background with experience managing and operating two self-owned businesses. She is proficient in On Q and Hotel Sales Pro and has fostered steady sales growth at the Hilton Garden Inn as Sales Manager.

Anne is a rising member of the Lincoln Hotel Group and serves as the Front Office Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn - Downtown/Haymarket. She balances her professional life with her family and has enjoyed the benefits of running and fitness.

Mike Vlassakis

Mike Vlassakis is currently the General Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn Omaha Aksarben Village and has over 12 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He has been instrumental in the development and new build process for IHG and Hilton properties.  Mike Has shown a consistent track record in improving assigned property portfolios in revenue, guest satisfaction, on line integrity and overall quality & profitability. Further related work includes closely consulting with REIT’s (Real-estate Investment Trusts) in order to produce a positive NOI, RGI, track capital spending and payroll as well as all other budgeted line items. Mike also has experience and has assisted in the sale of four economy and limited service properties in the local market.

Prior to the Hospitality industry Mike was a City of Omaha Administrator in the Parks, Recreation and Public Property  Department as Director of the City of Omaha Arenas, Recreation Division Community centers and summer programs. Nature of work included administrative, supervisory and professional work in the direction of these municipal city government facilities, and all programs therein. He developed and managed a budget of over 3.5 million dollars, and supervised 40-80 full and part-time employees.

Mike has vast experience in the local sports and entertainment culture for over 25 years, including board member of the Omaha Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Omaha convention and visitor’s bureau Sports Committee. Was co-chair and instrumental in securing the winning bid proposal for the 2014 USA Hockey National High School tournament held in Omaha March 2014 at the Ralston Arena. Current USA Hockey Tri-State affiliate Director of Adult Hockey and STAR arena management association. Current chairman, Omaha Junior Lancer’s Steering committee and coaching liaison.  Mike also spent 7 seasons as a staff member of the Omaha Lancers, USHL Tier 1 Hockey Club.

Mike is the father of 5 children, 4 grandchildren and is active in the Greek Orthodox Community in the Omaha and surrounding areas. Also, very active in hockey as a coach and administrator in the central district of USA Hockey. Mike’s youngest son Mark has received a congressional appointment and is currently a 1st class Senior Cadet at the US Air force Academy in Colorado Springs. 

Lucas Arias

LUCAS ARIAS serves as the General Manager of the Staybridge Suites Lincoln Northeast. He is new to Lincoln Hotel Group, but not to hospitality. With 11 years of experience in restaurants and hotels with positions ranging from serving and cooking to being a General Manager and Director of Sales. In 2013, the hotel he managed won "The Best Place to Work," in the small business category in a Lincoln Journal Star contest.

In his free time Lucas likes to play sports, workout, ice fish, and is a diehard Chicago Cubs fan. 

Dominic Arellano

DOMINIC ARELLANO is the General Manger for the Fairfield Inn & Suites, by Marriott, Lincoln Southeast, which was recently awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2017.  Dom is a customer-centric, team oriented manager with professional experience working in many aspects of the hospitality industry.

With over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing, food and beverage, and operational management, Dom offers leadership within many roles.  He started out as a Front Desk Agent at the Embassy Suites Kansas City Country Club Plaza, where he attended school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.  After moving home to Omaha accepted a position as Sales Coordinator for Brandeis Catering, the largest caterer in the city.  This position led him to becoming the Outlets Manager for the Crowne Plaza Hotel – Omaha, where he was able to expand and hone his skills and knowledge of the food and beverage side of the industry.  He moved on to become the Group Sales Manager for the DoubleTree Guest Suites in Omaha and eventually transferred to Lincoln.  He served as the Director of Sales for the Country Inn & Suites, by Carlson, and was eventually promoted to General Manager.  He joined Lincoln Hotel Group to serve as the General Manager of their latest venture, Fairfield Inn & Suites, by Marriott, Lincoln Southeast, which opened their doors in March 2016.

Dominic has served as the President of the Lincoln Lodging Association and has volunteered for the Lincoln Marathon for the past six years.  He regularly represents the Lincoln Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as an Ambassador to Nebraska High School Athletic Teams that compete in Lincoln for Championship Finals including Girls and Boys State Basketball and Volleyball.

In his free time Dom enjoys playing golf, tennis, pickle ball and cheering for the Huskers.  He likes traveling, cooking, and has studied and played piano for over 30 years.

Tracy Crockett

TRACY CROCKETT serves as Director of Sales for the Fairfield Inn & Suites, By Marriott, Lincoln Southeast.

Her professional experience of more than 20 years includes the diversity of business development, business to business sales, marketing, and state wide project coordination.  In all of these, Tracy attributes her history of meeting and surpassing extreme objectives to building loyalty in relationships, as well as her ability to see the end from the beginning followed by creatively pursuing and negotiating a “Win” for all parties. 

Tracy began her career in Real Estate, including Real Estate Appraisal in Missouri, Real Estate Sales in Missouri and Kentucky, and Real Estate closings in Missouri and Kansas.  After landing in Kansas she took an Audio Video company near collapse from surviving to thriving during the economic recession.  She then assisted in orchestrating a Disaster Preparedness project designed to bring the public, private and faith-based sectors together in preparedness.  With youth on her heart, she gratefully accepted the assignment of spearheading two state-wide projects, one promoting adoption, the second gathering sponsorship for older youth without families, as well as bringing mentorship opportunity awareness.

Tracy enjoys time with her four sons and two “grands”, biking on Lincoln’s trails, international travel, and the sweetness of friendships. She is excited to step into the hospitality industry, and particularly with Lincoln Hotel Group. 

Kaoru Scarlett

Kaoru Scarlett is the General Manager for the Hampton Inn Lincoln Airport.  She has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Kaoru has held various positions in the hospitality business.  She has been a front desk agent, a front desk supervisor, an Accounting and Human Resources manager, and an Assistant General Manager.  In August 2017, Kaoru left Omaha, after 19 years, for the position in Lincoln and joined Lincoln Hotel Group.

Kaoru was born and raised in Kurashiki City, Okayama prefecture, Japan.  

Her parents owned and ran a coffee shop in her hometown for nearly 40 years.  At age 5, Kaoru was already involved helping her parents in the family’s coffee shop. 

 After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Communication from Sanyo Gakuen University in Japan, Kaoru came to Omaha to attend the Intensive Language program at UNO.  Kaoru then studied and completed an associate degree in Computer Networking.  

Kaoru enjoys researching recipes and cooking at home with her husband.   



Lincoln Hotel Group
9240 Andermatt Dr Ste 1
Lincoln, NE 68526

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