The Rammys Honoree: Business Person Of The Year – Julie Oliff

February 09, 2024

The Rammys is the Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Awards & Installation Dinner where we honor our outstanding local businesses, non profit organizations and dignitaries. Also at this event we will be installing our new board of directors and recognizing our outgoing board. Please RSVP and register online at:

Julie grew up in Lausanne, Switzerland and graduated at University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. She moved to the Valley and joined Sensei Porcupine Creek in August of 2022, just three months prior opening its doors to the public. Julie has a long history in luxury hospitality, she worked at the St. Regis brand for 10 years, serving as general manager of The St. Regis Residences in Rye, New York, as well as director of operations and spa director in Aspen, Colorado. Prior to her tenure with St. Regis, she served as spa director and director of recreation for The Ritz-Carlton Club, Aspen Highlands, and St. Thomas.

Sensei Porcupine Creek opened its doors to resort guests for the first time on November 1st, 2022, having been transformed from a private estate. Julie joined our team during the hottest month of the year in the Coachella Valley, and with only a tight 75-day countdown to the grand opening. Being the very first standalone retreat in the brand, this meant every SOP had to be written from scratch and the physical construction of the property was the first the company had led. She hit the ground running from day one, working tirelessly through the 10 weeks straight, to ensure our guests and employees had a fantastic opening experience.

In just 10 short months since we opened, the property had been led through multiple construction and materials delays, 5 hiring fairs, 2 dozen employee orientations, multiple property buyouts, multiple groups and events, wild animals in guest spaces, HVAC issues in 120 degrees heat, storms, and floods – and just about everything else a newly opened hotel can experience. In the midst of that, Julie never lost her positive attitude and her willingness to serve our team and our community.

With the majority of hiring efforts starting just a week after Julie began her journey with Sensei Porcupine Creek, she pushed for hiring talent from the local community in the peak of season instead of outsourcing from third parties. Julie has always been an advocate for doing what is right rather than what is easy, focusing on developing our own team members and even creating 12 internal promotions in just one year’s time.

Since even pre-opening, Julie has brought learning opportunities to our team by inviting the community for teaching lectures – from the history of our local Native American tribes to conservation of the Bighorn Sheep. She has also taken the expertise and skill sets of our internal team to offer further learning that’s available to all our team members – from weekly hikes and yoga or stretching classes, to home budgeting with the Director of Finance, or basic home repairs with the Director of Engineering, and even a Grass 101 with the Director of Agronomy and Landscaping.

With 150 employees, Julie still encourages every day for the 150 voices to be heard and to feel seen. She created town hall meetings, coffee with the GM, and the ability for any team member to turn a crazy idea into a Jam Sesh where we play a song and throw out our idea like “spaghetti against the wall”. We couldn’t record 150 of these voices today, but we were able to capture a few! Please see the video attached made by the Sensei Porcupine Creek team members for our General Manager of the Year.