Oak Hills Staff Headshots 2021_Jessie an

About Us

Oak Hills Staff Headshots 2021_Jessie an

Quality Experience from Beginning to End

I grew up in a family that owned an event based business, and I LOVED working there. By the time I was 20, I was managing all the sales and marketing for my parent's business.

After taking a break from work to start a family, the opportunity to purchase a wedding venue miraculously appeared, so I jumped at the chance to get back into business. When I bought Oak Hills, I had no idea that it would become like a second home to me. The people I work with have become like family!


I also had no idea that my husband would like the venue as much as I do. Shortly after purchasing Oak Hills, my husband Adam quit his job to come work with me full time. I love working with my best friend. We truly enjoy finding ways to improve the venue as well as our customer's experience!  We sincerely want every person that walks through our doors to have a quality experience with us from beginning to end.

Adam Benard 
Co-Owner & CFO
Shirelle Benard 
Co-Owner & CEO

Sincerely Caring About You

When I turn 101 years old, I want to look back and be able to say, "I did it all."  That goal in life has opened so many doors that have made me who I am today.  


Aside from working at Oak Hills, I love spending time with my husband & 4 kids, with my cornhole league, and with my cheerleaders that I coach (Go Sundevils!).  The people in my life are the best!


There is nothing like working at Oak Hills.  It has given me such fun and fulfilling opportunities.  I feel so fortunate to work at a place that allows creativity and for me to express and cultivate my unique talents.  I also love that I get to work with the most wonderful people that have become like family to me. We truly have each other's backs! And not only do I get to work with amazing newfound friends, but I get to work alongside my lifelong BFF, Shaury. Being around her is like home to me.  


I truly and sincerely care about every single client that I work with. When you book at Oak Hills, you become a part of our family, and being a part of the Oak Hills family is the best!

Aleesha Merrill
Venue Director
Oak Hills Staff Headshots 2021_Jessie an

Food is a part of all great memories

I joined the Oak Hills Team in 2019 and established the In-House Catering Menus. Prior to Oak Hills, I was the chef at a top-rated Bed and Breakfast in Salt Lake City and cooked in several local restaurants in Utah.


I obtained a bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University in Theatre and Dance, which enabled me to travel around the United States and Europe, inspiring my passion for cuisine. To me, food is a part of all great memories and I'm honored to be a part of the special moments at Oak Hills. 


I married Marshall (Oak Hills Event Manager) in 2017 and we have a beautiful boy together. We love being outdoors together and going out to restaurants. We hope to own our own restaurant someday. 

Shawnee Ruiz
Executive Chef

The Beauty is Magical

I came to Oak Hills after spending most of my work life at a desk.  I wanted to do something I loved & have a job that I could exercise my creativity. 


I love nature, not so much the camping life, I'm talking about the sunshine, flowers, clouds, & the smell of rain.  I am fueled by Dr Pepper, puppies have my heart, & nothing feels better than organizing stuff. 

Working at Oak Hills has been one of my most favorite jobs.  One of the reasons is because I get to work with my partner in crime, Aleesha.  We've been besties since birth, literally.  Our mothers were best friends, we were born 5 days apart, and we have always been close.  We love this chapter of our lives where we can work everyday side by side. 

There are so many fun aspects of working at Oak Hills.  One of my favorite responsibilities is picking up the flower orders. The beauty is magical!  Another thing I love doing is meeting with our engaged couples & feeling the love between them. It warms my heart.

Shaury Rice
Wedding Coordinator
Oak Hills Staff Headshots 2021_Jessie an
Oak Hills Staff Headshots 2021_Jessie an

Ensuring exceptional service

I have been in the hospitality industry since I was 18 years old.  For most of my career I have been a Bartender. I have been a  Bartender for Gastropubs, Breweries, Hotels and Dive Bars. At all of these places I have had such amazing experiences and worked with so many wonderful people.


A year ago I brought my skills to Oak Hills Reception and Event Center.  Oak Hills has given me the opportunity to put systems in place to ensure exceptional service from beginning to end. I have never worked for someone that has had so much trust in my abilities, and for this I am so grateful. I love my job!


My hobbies include hiking, camping, and pretty much anything outside. My wife and I have an amazing son that is our world. 

I also love going to restaurants, bars and breweries.

My wife Shawnee (Executive Chef) and I met 6 years ago at the Radisson in Salt Lake City. She worked as a Barista and I in the Bar. Since then we have always wanted to work with each other again. It has been so wonderful sharing the same passion in life and our careers. 


Marshall Ruiz
Event Manager

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