Chairman of the Board
A nearly lifelong resident of Lancaster, Ken Mann was first elected to the City Council in April 2008, and then re-elected in April 2012 and April 2016.
As a Council Member, Mann sits as a Board Member of the Lancaster Successor Agency as well as the City’s Housing, Financing and Power Authorities. Currently, he is also a Member of the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District’s Governing Board, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Los Angeles County Sanitation District No. 14 and Chairman of the Lancaster Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, better know as Destination Lancaster.
Prior to his election to the council, Mann served on the Lancaster Planning Commission for nearly two decades. He was initially appointed to a four-year term in 1992, serving until its completion in 1996. He was then re-appointed in 1997 and served five consecutive two-year terms as the Mayor’s appointment. He would be appointed a final time in April of 2006 to fill a 2-year vacancy on the commission.
With more than forty years of experience in the hospitality industry, Mann has worked his way from part-time kitchen staff to restaurant executive. He currently serves as a restaurant business consultant for Denny’s Corporation. In addition, he and his wife, Rosemary, own Cali Café (formerly Camille’s Sidewalk Café) in Lancaster.
Mann’s record of community involvement is a testament to his unwavering commitment to helping the people of the Antelope Valley, particularly those in his hometown of Lancaster. Through his efforts, millions of dollars have been raised to aid children, families and the developmentally disabled in receiving quality care and assistance.
From 1988 until 1996, Mann sat on the Board of Directors of the Antelope Valley United Way, where he served as Campaign Chairman in 1992 and as Board Chairman in 1993. During this same period, he also served as a board member of the Children’s Center of Antelope Valley and twice as Campaign Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America.
In 1996, Mann joined the Board of Directors for Desert Haven Enterprises where he served three years as Chairman of the Desert Haven Auction and two years as Board Treasurer. He is also a past Chairman of the Board of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.
Born in 1952 in Hawthorne, California, Mann has been a resident of Lancaster since 1956. He met his wife here in Lancaster where they raised three children
Ron Emard moved to the Antelope Valley in 1984 and commuted to North Hollywood serving as General Manager of Robertson Honda until 1992 when he became General Managing Partner of Robertson Palmdale Honda. In April of 2004, Ron added a new challenge to his list of accomplishments and became the Dealer/Principal Partner of the Harley Davidson dealership in Lancaster, successfully managing the auto and motorcycle dealership simultaneously for 9 years. After an illustrious 47-year career in the automotive industry, he retired in 2012 and turned his focus on the Harley Davidson dealership as dealer principal.
In the past, Ron has been involved with numerous organizations such as; Member of the Honda Dealer 20 Group, Member of the Harley Davidson Performance Group, President of Palmdale Sheriff Boosters, Board Member of Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley, Founder of Thunder on the Lot Fundraiser, Antelope Valley Board of Trade Director, Founder of Dollars from Heaven in-store fundraiser, Founder of the Kid’s Charities of the Antelope Valley, Co-founder of GraceFest AV, Founding Member of the Antelope Valley Fair’s Animal House Auction, three time AV Press Business Man of the Year finalist, Honorary lifetime member of 4H of the Antelope Valley, twice past Chairman of the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, past Chairman of Heart Sounds charity event, past Chairman for American Cancer Societies Society’s Relay for Life, and United Way Telethon host and contributor.
Presently he is serving on the following boards; the Antelope Valley Sheriff Boosters, 50th District Agricultural Association, Antelope Valley Fair Association, Destination Lancaster, Community Lay Director for High Desert Emmaus Board, Communities for Christ board and he is a deacon at his church, Westside Christian Fellowship.
Although he is still deeply committed to serving in civic organizations, his joy has been the collaborative fundraising work of his non-profit organization, called The Kid’s Charities and Christian music festival GraceFest. Over the years he’s led the way to raising over 5 million dollars for the kids in the Antelope Valley that need it most.
Ron’s personal interests are riding motorcycles, traveling abroad with his wife, serving in his church, and actively serving with the High Desert West Walk to Emmaus.
Bio Coming Soon
Susan Brooks is the General Manager of the Springhill Suites by Marriott in Lancaster. Her Hospitality experience spans over 34 years working in both branded and independent hotels in the Antelope Valley. She has been an active board member of Destination Lancaster since 2017. She is a life- long resident of Lancaster.
Mark Hemstreet is currently the Chief Executive Officer for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to joining the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Mark has enjoyed a long history in the hospitality industry, starting with his undergraduate degree in Hospitality/Restaurant Management from University of Las Vegas, Nevada. Mark worked for various large Hotel companies like Hyatt, Hilton and Best Western before he and his family purchased the Antelope Valley Inn in 1990. When they sold the Hotel in 2000, Mark used his vast knowledge in lodging to enjoy a successful career as a commercial real estate hotel broker. During this time he was also sought out to help hotels and restaurants as a consultant, rebuilding management teams and turning businesses around.
Growing up in a family who believed in helping their community, Mark has spent the past 29 years volunteering here in the Antelope Valley. Over this time span Mr. Hemstreet has been actively involved at the Board level with the YMCA, American Cancer Society, and United Way, and currently holds positions at the Board level in Destination Lancaster, the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, Lancaster West Rotary, Boy Scouts of America and The BLVD Association.
A solid believer and advocate of the Antelope Valley, with a vision to build a better community encouraging local businesses, youth leadership development, education and a healthy life style.
Bio Coming Soon
Michelle Manning is the General Manager at TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Lancaster, CA. She has been in the hospitality field for seven years and got her start at the front desk. She worked her way up at her present property from front desk associate to Assistant General Manager then onto General Manager in a little less than a year and a half. Before that, she was a stay at home mom for 14 years and was actively involved in the PTA and a board member of their School Site Council. Michelle is passionate about driving tourism to the Antelope Valley and is proud to be a board member for Destination Lancaster.
Board Member | General Manager HomeWood Suites and Hampton Inn
Andrea is the Area General Manager for the Hampton Inn and Suites and Homewood Suites in Lancaster. She has served in this role since the hotels opened in 2008. She has been in the Antelope Valley since 2002, and has been in the hospitality industry for 23 years. She has worked in both sales and operations for multiple properties in AZ, NM and CA. She loves the hospitality industry and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. In he spare time, she operates a non profit horse rescue for hard to place animals. She has been married for 19 years and currently resides in Mojave.
Sydney Yeseta has been a Destination Lancaster board member since 2018. She works in the Innovation and Economic Development Division for the City of Lancaster. In her role, Sydney works with various business owners and community leaders to help new and existing businesses be successful. The City works hand-in-hand with Destination Lancaster to create a community ripe for tourism.
Sydney has been with the City of Lancaster for three years, and prior to that, she worked for the City of Santa Clarita. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from California State University, Los Angeles. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, going to concerts, and completing obstacle course mud runs.