Specialty Search International’s research and recruitment professionals are led by the following management team with over 35 combined years of recruiting experience:

Ronald D. Folkman – Founder and Chairman

Ron founded SSI in 1989. He received his college degree in Hotel Management from Webber International. For fifteen years prior to 1989, he was in executive leadership positions for both Food and Beverage and the Rooms Divisions. Ron managed Hilton, Hyatt, and Fairmont hotels throughout the country, including numerous openings. He additionally ran independent high volume restaurants as a General Manager. In addition to recruiting, he also manages day-to-day operations, internal training, company marketing, and client relations for all the locations.

To contact Ron directly, please dial toll free (866)789-2673, extension 227 – St. Petersburg, Florida office.

Greg Birkmeier – President

Greg’s experience in hospitality recruiting began with Specialty Search International in 2000. He has proven effective in partnering with clients in creating solutions to their most critical staffing needs and focuses on many of SSI’s top repeat clients, as well as new client development. His ten years of industry experience included operations and sales positions with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and The Renaissance Hotel Company.

He was the Director of Sales and Marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, Kansas City and National Sales Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. Prior, Greg was a National Sales Manager, Catering Sales Manager and Restaurant General Manager at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel. He began at The Renaissance Waverly Hotel as a Management Trainee upon graduation from Purdue University with Honors and Distinction (Summa Cum Laude).

To contact Greg directly, please dial toll free (866)789-2673, extension 222 – Tallahassee, Florida office.

Bryan Drackett – Vice President

Bryan rejoins SSI after several hotel industry Human Resources executive roles focusing on Talent Acquisition and Training.  For the past 8 years he was Director of Recruiting for a hotel management company with an 80+ hotel portfolio.  In his prior role, he was the Training and Recruitment Manager for a large destination golf resort.  Bryan also has hotel operations leadership experience, and he led the iconic Renaissance Vinoy Resort to rank Number 1 in the brand for Guest Service Scores while concurrently acting as a Regional Trainer for the company.

Bryan’s prior recruitment experience with SSI was an impressive 2 year tenure where he developed a loyal clientele within the luxury boutique and destination resort segments.

To contact Bryan directly, please dial toll free (866)789-2673, extension 233 – Tampa, Florida office.

Bosco Saldanha – Senior Recruitment Specialist

Bosco has over 25 years of hospitality industry experience within the luxury hotel and lifestyle hotel segments. He has held leadership roles with Ritz-Carlton, Virgin, W and Edition. Bosco started his hospitality career with Ritz-Carlton in Food and Beverage leadership roles. His passion for people and their career development led to his transition into Human Resources.

Bosco’s Human Resources leadership roles include Director of Human Resources responsibilities in the successful Hotel openings for Virgin Hotel, Nashville, The Post Oak Hotel, Houston and The EDITION Hotel, Miami. He has a developed skill set in the areas of Training & Development, Employee Engagement, Performance Management and Employee Relations with recent expertise in full cycle Executive Recruiting. His combined operations, human resources and recruiting experience help him strategically recruit based on the client’s selection criteria.

To contact Bosco directly, please dial toll free (866)789-2673, extension 232 – Houston, Texas office.


Kevin Kelley, CHME – Emeritus Senior Vice President

Specialty Search International announces the retirement of Senior Vice President, Kevin Kelley. Kevin joined the firm in 2005, and immediately established himself as a leader and innovator in our firm and the hospitality recruitment industry. He has benefited hundreds of industry executives by introducing career development opportunities, and dozens of hospitality companies have engaged him exclusively to help their organizations grow with new executive talent.

Kevin arrived at SSI with an impressive hotel career history. He held leadership roles with organizations including the Boulders Resort and Golden Door Spa, Williams Hospitality’s El San Juan Hotel and Resort and several independent luxury resorts. Some of his industry roles included Vice President of Marketing and Development, Area Director of Sales and Marketing, and Assistant General Manager. Kevin’s hotel career has spanned locations throughout North America and the Caribbean.

Kevin’s passion for Duke University basketball, long distance biking, golf, and collegiate and professional spectator sports have led to many interesting life experiences, which he has shared with us through the years. He has many talents to share, and now with more free time, we look forward to updates on how he chooses to do so. Whether he re-launches his youth basketball coaching career, his PGA golf course reviews, or finds new outlets, his passion for life and sense of humor will benefit many.
He will remain our Emeritus Senior Vice President. We will miss him, and wish him the most enjoyable of retirements.

Juliet Deitz – Senior Recruitment Specialist

Juliet has more than 20 years of hospitality industry experience, focused primarily on upscale hotels and resorts. She held long tenures as Director of Human Resources with companies including Omni Hotels and Resorts and Benchmark Hospitality International, as well as prior operational leadership roles. Juliet’s expertise included on-property leadership responsibilities, and expanded leadership support roles at the regional and national level. With Benchmark Hospitality, she managed several of the company’s properties within the metropolitan New York City area and in Hawaii. She joined Omni’s resort portfolio, supporting numerous locations in the Northeast, and served as a leading member of the resort transition team for Omni’s expansion into the resort segment in 2009. She assisted in brand transitions for the Bedford        Springs Resort, Mt Washington Resort, Amelia Island Resort, and The Homestead. A proven leader and developer of talent. Juliet’s career has spanned locations throughout North America, Hawaii, Bermuda and her native London, UK.

To contact Juliet directly, please dial toll free (866)789-2673, extension 231 – Sarasota, Florida office.

Michelle Ruggiero – Staffing Manager

Michelle joined SSI in 2010. She has extensive experience in luxury retail having worked as a manager for Ralph Lauren in Tampa for many years. She attended the University of South Florida for Business Management and as the Staffing Manager, assists the various SSI office locations in identifying talent globally. Michelle also manages the firm’s website development and postings for Job Openings.