The Salt Water Hawaii Crew

Meet our Friendly Vacation Rental Staff!


Salt Water Vacations is our full service short-term-vacation-rental division.  Staffed with professionals with over 50 years of combined experience in hospitality, no other local company exceeds our talents.  


Shawna Nyberg, Guest Relations Manager


Born and raised in the East Bay area, Shawna relocated to Mendocino County in 1995, where she had the privilege of raising two children. Through her work for several well-known wineries, she acquired invaluable management and hospitality experience, overseeing tasting rooms and coordinating dinners, release parties, holiday celebrations, and festivals. In 2011, she jumped at the chance to move to Hawaii to create a new life in paradise. From 2012 through 2018, Shawna successfully managed a bed and breakfast in Leilani Estates. Handling not only the reservations process and concierge services, but the cooking and cleaning, she went above and beyond for every guest to ensure the perfect Hawaiian vacation experience. Her work in this quaint, intimate setting gave her an opportunity to share the beauty of her island home and create relationships with her clients. Shawna’s life took a dramatic turn in May 2018, when she and her family were evacuated from their neighborhood because of lava activity. Although she eventually lost both her home and her place of business, this series of events led her to a new property management position with Jessica Gauthier in June 2018. She has since also purchased a new home, and she feels grateful and excited about what her future holds with Salt Water Vacations on her beloved Big Island.


Tara Frazier, Reservations Manager 

Licensed Real Estate Agent Tara Marcotte Frazier began her involvement with east Hawaii vacation rentals in 1994, through her father Steve’s Kapoho-based management company. A pioneer in vacation rentals, Steve was the first person on the Big Island (and possibly in the state of Hawaii) to offer his clients the convenience of internet bookings. Tara developed a wealth of knowledge and experience through her work as reservationist and operations manager in this innovative setting. Tara remained at the same company through a merger in 2006, as well as several subsequent changes of ownership. She had plans in motion to buy the company in 2019, when it was unexpectedly sold to a multinational vacation rental corporation. Choosing to remain true to a more personalized, locally based client experience, she joined her friend and former coworker Jessica Gauthier at Salt Water Vacations. She is thrilled at the opportunity to be part of this new “dream team,” and to put her skills and expertise to work for someone she so admires.


Jessica Gauthier, Property Manager, RB-18796

Jessica became enamored with Vacation Rental Property Management in 2010 whn she oversaw over 40 properties mostly in East Hawaii.  Then, the Kapoho tidepools beckoned visitors from all corners of the world and Jessica greeted them with some Southern Hospitality and Aloha.  It was a winning combination for guests and Jessica alike.  Her passion is sharing her island home with guests who share her desire to maintain this beautiful place and to leave it better than we found it.  E Komo Mai!


Paul Ellenberg and Dennis McFerrin, Property Care Managers

Salt Water Vacations’ properties are cleaned and maintained by the staff at Puna PD with their reliable and meticulous service. Paul Ellenburg and Dennis McFerrin started their property maintenance business in 2005 soon after they moved to Hawai’i Island. As owners of their own vacation rental, they have a unique perspective on the business and care for vacation homes. Puna PD employs local housekeepers and maintenance personnel and is proud to pay living wages per the tenets of Responsible Tourism. They and their employees take pleasure in preparing and maintaining the properties in a way that ensures guests and property owners are wowed by the cleanliness and little touches provided, with the goal that everyone has a positive and memorable experience. Paul and Dennis love the raw natural beauty of the Hawaiian landscape and the overwhelming aloha that is shared within our communities and enjoy sharing this place with others!