Family owned and operated, Sandpiper Vacation Rentals was created in 2008 by father-daughter team, Mark Mitchell and Shannon Turner. Mark’s property management skills combined with Shannon’s online marketing knowledge gave way to an innovative vacation rental experience for owners and guests alike. Over the years, Sandpiper has taken measured steps to grow intentionally and organically all the while maintaining a personalized boutique vacation environment. We are a full-service management company including concierge guest assistance, on-site operations, and full-service maintenance and housekeeping services with 24/7 after hours emergency assistance. When you stay with us, you become a part of the Sandpiper family. We love welcoming guests back year after year and enjoy making your stay along 30A the best it can be!
Mark Mitchell, Co-Founder
As Co-Founder of Sandpiper Vacation Rentals, Mark Mitchell is a skilled real estate agent and broker with 20+ years’ experience managing 12 of his own properties, one of which is his Sandpiper cottage in Seaside.
A side job at first, Mark managed his time between his rental properties and his insurance corporation. As president and owner of US Benefit Consultants, Mark specialized in employee benefits, with a concentration in sports insurance; with clients including the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Thrashers, and Atlanta Hawks. For 25 years Mark excelled at both his consulting corporation and property rentals.
In 2008, Mark teamed up with his daughter, Shannon, and decided to turn his attention to property management in hopes of sharing his knowledge and expertise exclusively with Seaside cottage owners! Mark and his wife Kathleen have two daughters, Shannon and Hayley and a son, Trevor. All of whom have had a hand in the business over the years. Mark enjoys building the family business and sharing his passion for Seaside with others. In his spare time, Mark is an avid golfer, skier, and runner and participates in the Seaside Half Marathon/5K annually.
Shannon Turner, Co-Founder
As Co-Founder of Sandpiper Vacation Rentals, Shannon is Mark’s eldest daughter and a graduate of Auburn University with a background in Mass Communications and Political Science. Shannon has enjoyed several exciting careers in television production taking her from New York to Jamaica. As a news production associate for the Today Show, she worked alongside some of the best in the business. Following her time in New York, Shannon moved back to Atlanta to work with Turner Broadcasting Systems as a producer. It was there that she earned an Emmy Award for her excellence in television production.
In addition to her media experience, Shannon also has extensive interactive marketing knowledge and website design skills gained from working with a top international consulting firm in Atlanta. In 2008, this expertise made her an invaluable resource to Sandpiper Vacation Rentals as she and her father, Mark, created a company designed with 21st Century marketing in mind. Today, the company utilizes the latest property management technology paired with social media expertise to drive rental success.
Shannon and her husband, Matt, have two children, Anderson and Sutton. Some of their favorite beach time activities include biking around town, paddle boarding, nighttime movies on the Seaside lawn, and long afternoons at the beach. Shannon is also an avid tennis player and enjoys teaching her kids how to play as well.
Brenda Bauhan, Director of Guest Services
A childhood friend of the Sandpiper family, Brenda is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance. Brenda worked as a sales professional for the Nation’s largest homebuilder, Pulte Homes for 10 years at which time she gained her real estate license in the state of Georgia.
Brenda has won numerous awards for sales excellence and offers proven customer service skills that make her a natural fit to lead Sandpiper’s Guest Services team. Her upbeat attitude and problem-solving abilities make her a pleasure to work with and a refreshing voice on the other end of the phone as guests plan their favorite beach vacation. Brenda and the guests services team love working with guests to find the cottage that best suits their needs. In 2020, Brenda expanded her role to include owner relations. Keeping owners apprised of the happenings in their vacation home is a key component that contributes to the overall satisfaction of Sandpiper’s management services.
Brenda has two little boys, Oliver and Wesley. Both are beach bums already! In her spare time, Brenda enjoys playing the piano, hiking with her kids, and relaxing by the beach at the end of the day with a glass of rosé and a beautiful sunset.
Casey Ellis, Guest Services
Casey came to Sandpiper in 2016 with 11 years property management experience and the most cheerful disposition we’ve seen along the panhandle. She’s a born people person and we have yet to see her without a smile on her face. She truly loves the beach life and all the guests that visit and it shows in all that she does. It was only fitting she take on a customer service role under Brenda, ensuring guests are happy and well taken care of before, during, and after they stay with Sandpiper.
Born in England while her dad was stationed in the Air Force, Casey moved to the panhandle when she was 3 years old. That military transient life landed her in Georgia for most of her childhood, but she longed to get back to the panhandle. In 2011 she made that dream a reality when she and her husband, Josh, came back and made Santa Rosa Beach home! Now the mom of two little ones, Ava, TJ, and fur baby, Rocky, Casey and Josh love raising their “beach babies” along 30A. In her time off, Casey enjoys paddle boarding, fishing, boating, and watching the beautiful sunsets.
Jamie Ekenseair, Guest Services
Jamie started at Sandpiper in the Fall of 2020. A former Arkansas resident, Jamie and her husband, Michael, moved to the 30A area in 2012. After vacationing here for 10 years, they fell in love with the area and wanted to raise their two children, Ella and Graham, in a laid-back beach town environment.
Jamie joins the team with 3 years property management experience at Aqua Properties. Prior to her rental experience, Jamie was a dental assistant. She has a passion for helping others and loves making peoples’ vacation experience as memorable as hers was for those 10 years before it became her home.
Jamie has an eye for design and enjoys fostering her interior design skills and working coastal elements into spaces. In her spare time, she enjoys biking and outdoor time with her family.
Kristin Jensen, Guest Services
Kristin joined the Sandpiper Guest Services team in the spring of 2021 rounding out our “Sandpiper Girl Gang”. Kristin comes to us with several years of sales experience first at Worthington Millwork and then as a vacation reservationist once she moved to the panhandle. Kristin made Santa Rosa Beach home in 2008 and met her husband shortly after. After having her son, Kanon, in 2016, Kristin took some time off work to focus on her family. Kanon turns 5 this year and Kristin was excited to join our family-friendly Sandpiper team where she can work a flexible schedule during the day and take Kanon along in the early evenings to greet some of our guests. Kanon is sure to be the cutest greeter along 30A!
Kristin loves spending time outdoors and hanging out with friends, family, and her 20-year-old mini dachshund, Foxy Roxy.
Jessica Ayers, Reservations
Jessica started at Sandpiper in the Summer of 2022. Born in Georgia, Jessica is truly a Georgia peach. She and her husband Eddie have twin girls, Addison and Rhea, as well as two cats, Crush and Poe.
With over 15 years in customer service, her southern charm and witty personality have helped her excel in the hospitality industry. She has a background in pharmacy and worked in client relations for a veterinary hospital prior to joining the Sandpiper team. She is passionate about helping people and hopes to make everyone’s vacation experience a smooth and stress free process.
When Jessica is not working, she devotes her time to her husband, their girls, and living what she calls, “the twin life.” She also enjoys a little time to herself by going to get a manicure or just finding a quiet place to have a glass of wine and read a good book.
Brittney Ringstad, Operations
Chad Carpenter, Maintenance Manager
Originally from Indiana, Chad made the move to Palm Beach, Florida in 2016. There he was a marine engineer on yachts ranging from 80’ to 165’. He fostered his love of the water by taking care of everything in and around it. In 2019 he moved north to Freeport with his girlfriend and daughter, Emery. In 2020 he joined the Sandpiper maintenance team providing invaluable skills in HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. He recalls visiting Panama City as a child and loves raising his daughter in the same town he grew up visiting.
When Chad isn’t working, he enjoys pursuing various creative outlets like videography, photography, graphic design, and recording music.
Jamie Ponthieux, Maintenance
A family man at heart, Jamie comes from a big Louisiana family with lots of siblings, children, and grandchildren. And he would give his right arm for any of them. With French (Cajun) and Indian ancestry, he is loyal as the day is long. Jamie joined the Sandpiper family in 2020, but truthfully, he has worked for us for years by way of our longtime housekeeper and his sister, Renee. Jamie has an extensive resume including carpentry, painting, roofing, welding and mechanical engineering. He loves getting his hands dirty and figuring things out.
At Jamies’ core, he’s a family man and is quick to tell you that his wife is his best friend. He also has a love of cooking and in his spare time enjoys camping, fishing, hunting and cheering on LSU.
Marissa Ray, Housekeeping
While new to her role as a housekeeping lead in 2022, Marissa has worked as a housekeeper with Sandpiper since 2017. Marissa was born in Berlin and is a self-proclaimed “military brat”. However, she spent most of her childhood in Alabama before moving to Florida in 2012.
Marissa has a history in customer service and hotel cleaning. We noticed her dedication to her work and attention to detail right away and her cleans always earned 5 star reviews. Moving Marissa into a management role within Sandpiper was a natural transition and she works hard to train all Sandpiper housekeepers to shoot for that 5 star review!
In her spare time, Marissa enjoys horseback riding, four wheeling out in nature and spending time with her longtime boyfriend, Matt.