MEET THE TEAM
With nearly 20 years of experience in the service industry, Texas-native Joshua Palmer has had the chance to wear a number of hats throughout his career. Since starting off in the field at 18 years old, he has climbed up the ranks and established a valuable skill set along the way.
Palmer served in the United States Marine Corp where he was a part of Weapons Company, 1 st Battalion, 23 rd Marines. During his service, he gained considerable leadership skills that he continues to utilize today.
Palmer started as a bartender at the historic Driskill Hotel and eventually moved up to food and beverage manager. From there he worked as the restaurant manager at Ranch 616 before moving over to Second Bar + Kitchen where he served as operations manager. Before joining the Stagecoach Inn team, Palmer was a department manager for Delaware North Travel Hospitality at Austin Bergstrom Airport.
Palmer currently resides in Salado with his wife and Stagecoach Inn Operations Manager, Jacqueline Nation, and their cat Kiki. When he’s not busy managing the team, he enjoys watching films, listening to music and traveling.
Over the past 17 years, San Francisco-native Jacqueline Nation has worn a variety of hats in the hospitality industry, including hostess, server, bartender and manager. Throughout her career, she’s gained a strong skill set necessary for any leader in the field.
Nation attended San Francisco State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental sustainability and social justice. Her desire to work in a fast-paced environment eventually led her back to the service industry where she continued to build upon her knowledge base.
Following her time in school, Nation began working as a hostess, bartender and server at 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco. From there, she moved up in the ranks to bar manager at Tee Off Bar & Grill. She then made the leap to Austin where she most recently served as Second Bar + Kitchen’s lead event server and trainer.
Nation’s dedication to the field and love for an ever-changing industry has made her a key member of the Stagecoach Inn team. In her role as operations manager, she is responsible for supervising, hiring and training other employees as well as creating strategies to improve productivity and efficiency.
Nation currently resides in Salado with her husband, Stagecoach Inn General Manager, Josh Palmer and their cat Kiki. When she’s not busy at work, she enjoys reading, swimming and traveling.
Austin-native Jerry “JJ” Maldonado’s passion for cooking began with his love for the outdoors, Southern food and exploring the connection between the two.
To pursue his dream of becoming a chef, Maldonado attended the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin. After graduation, he enrolled in the Restaurant Management Program at the school to learn the financial and operational side of the restaurant industry.
Following his education, Maldonado served as part of the culinary team at several reputable restaurants in Austin including Sway, The Bonneville and Roaring Fork.
In his current role as executive chef at Stagecoach Inn, Maldonado is responsible for curating menus for the entire Stagecoach Inn property while overseeing the culinary staff.
Maldonado’s cuisine is inspired by his love of the outdoors and his hobbies of hunting and fishing.
Maldonado currently resides in Austin with his son Jaiden and dog Thor. When he’s not working in the kitchen, Maldonado can be found hunting in East Texas or fishing on the Texas coast.
Texas-native Topher White’s journey towards a career in the hospitality field began in high school after taking two semesters of culinary arts. From there, he ventured through several positions including busboy, server, caterer, bartender and prep cook. His varied background has allowed him to establish an outstanding knowledge base that’s driven his impressive path.
White attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas where he dabbled in a variety of subjects including pre-medicine and literature before settling on biblical studies. While some would argue his previous education doesn’t play a role in his current profession, White believes, much like science, literature and religion, beverage is a subject that is intrinsically interdisciplinary.
Throughout his time in the service industry, White developed a fascination and passion for wine after speaking with other bartenders he worked alongside. He took it upon himself to become proficient in all things vino-related and has since become a Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, along with several other certifications from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, Society of Wine Educators, Cicerone program and the United States Bartenders Guild.
White’s career in wine began at Spec’s Wines & Spirits where he worked as a wine consultant. He then moved on to become a fine wine specialist at Republic National Distributing Co. Prior to joining the Stagecoach Inn team, White worked as a restaurant manager at Alexander’s Distillery in Salado, Texas. In his role as beverage director, White is responsible for overseeing the beverage program at Stagecoach Inn, including the forecasting, planning and innovating for all things beverage related.
White currently lives in Temple, Texas with his wife Catherine and their two children, Braden and Cormac. When he is not working, White enjoys cooking, reading and shooting pool.
Texas-native Michael Knowles’ knack for numbers has allowed him a career path unlike most others. Over the past 16 years, his quick mind and dedication has earned him a reputation as one of the frontrunner in the industry.
Knowles attended Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas where he studied coursework intended to make him a top-notch high school coach. However, he quickly moved on to a new adventure, embarking on a search that led him to the world of hospitality accounting.
Knowles worked as a site director for StarTek, an outsource call center company, for 10 years. During this time, he gained the mathematical skills necessary to be an outstanding accountant. From there, he joined the La Corsha Hospitality Group on their project Hotel Settles in Big Spring, Texas where he worked as their controller and rooms director.
As a member of Rotary International, Knowles consistently works to improve every brand he is a part of. As Stagecoach Inn’s controller, he is responsible for the entire financial aspect of the property, managing statements, ledgers, payrolls and more.
Knowles currently lives in Morgan’s Point Resort, Texas with his wife Lisa, their two sons and three dogs, Samby, Sasha and Lillie. When he’s not busy crunching numbers, he enjoys fishing, hunting, football, cooking, gardening and writing.