Ever since she was a six-year-old managing the cherry pickers on her grandparents’ farm, Rita Santillanes and her family have known she was “a natural born boss.”
Now, Rita and her husband John are the owners of four Peppertree Inns – a part of the Best Western Plus franchise – in Spokane, Liberty Lake, Omak and Auburn. The hotels collectively employ approximately 85 people in Washington state including their oldest son, daughter-in-law and John’s sister.
“I love coming to work. This business is always exciting to me. Each day is different and I enjoy working with our employees and seeing them learn, grow and improve their lives.” Rita said. “We have focused on keeping and growing our own talent and have several long-term employees who are key to running a successful multi-location business.”
Following her early cherry picking days on her family farm, Rita had her first experience in the hospitality industry working in her mother’s restaurant. When Rita’s... Read More