Get to know the team at The Whaler's Inn

With over 100 years of hospitality experience in our Downtown Mystic location, our staff is here 24 hours to make your getaway memorable. Get to know the team at The Whaler’s Inn.

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To me, The Whaler’s Inn is the place where guests and colleagues become friends and friends become family. I find it heartwarming to interact with so many people, both visitors, and co-workers, who find Mystic as magical a place as myself. - Amy Wagner, Revenue Coordinator

Amanda Arling

Meet the President

A New England native, Amanda joined The Whaler’s Inn after a long career in the travel and tourism industry. For the past six-years she has worked for Backroads, an active travel company, providing customized adventure experiences throughout the United States and around the world. Through her work designing, developing, and launching premiere biking and hiking adventures, she has worked extensively with hotels, inns, and B&Bs throughout the U.S., Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Amanda brings a wealth of hospitality experience and knowledge to the Inn, along with a passion for people and travel. Having spent the last half-decade working and traveling around the world, she is very excited to unpack her suitcase and call Mystic home! When not at The Whaler’s Inn, you can find Amanda kayaking along Mystic’s rocky shoreline, exploring one of the region’s many State Parks, or cycling the scenic roads and byways of southeastern Connecticut.

Dan Balceniuk

Meet the General Manager

We are excited to have our General Manager, Dan Balceniuk, at the helm of the ship! While Dan grew up in Doylestown PA (about an hour north of Philadelphia), his wife is a Mystic native. In 2017 the growing family moved to the area knowing that this is where they would want to raise their children. With a degree in Hospitality Management from Syracuse University, Dan brings an abundance of knowledge in the hotel field.  He has been in the Hospitality field since he was 16 and managed properties in Denver CO, Seattle WA, and Syracuse NY.

Dan enjoys taking walks along the Mystic River & Willow point with his family, which now includes his two sons, Oliver (4) and Owen (2), and their tripod dog, Oso.  He loves taking in all that Mystic has to offer including the excellent shops and restaurants.

Kerri Barber

Meet the Controller

Kerri Barber, comes to us as the former Financial Manager for Patrick Gallagher Decoratives & Design in Stonington, CT, New York City, and Rome. Throughout her 16 years with the Design firm she also assisted in the coordination of projects in the U.S., London, and throughout Europe. She became a member of the Whaler’s Inn team in February 2015 as an outside contractor, eventually taking on the full-time role as Controller and HR Assistant to the President in June 2018.

With experience in a multitude of fields, Kerri has also helped in the operation of a family-run restaurant and retail establishment while also working in the education field. She currently operates her own bookkeeping service serving numerous small businesses and non-profit organizations.

Kerri spends her time outside of work volunteering in the local community, boating, entertaining, and spending time with family and friends.

Kari Kelly

Meet the Sales and Catering Manager

Our Sales and Catering Manager, Kari Kelly, began as a Front Desk Agent with us in 2019. A CT Shoreline native, Kari attended college in New Hampshire and most recently assisted with the management of her family’s restaurant in Niantic, CT. This lends to her passion for the local restaurant scene and love of new dining experiences in her free time.

Locally, she enjoys visiting the Olde Mistick Village and Mystic River Park. “I really love working with guests to create a unique experience for their special occasion. Mystic has a great small-town community feel with businesses supporting each other and working together. Everyone is always so welcoming and willing to help!” Outside of work Kari enjoys skiing and traveling. Contact Kari to help plan your next Conference here in Mystic!

Amy Wagner

Meet the Revenue Coordinator

Born and raised in Gloucester MA, Amy moved to Connecticut in 2000.  She quickly grew to love her adopted hometown. In 2004 Amy accepted a Front Desk position at The Whaler’s Inn and has grown along with the property ever since, being promoted to Front Desk Manager, Assistant General Manager in 2015, Director of Sales and Operations in 2017. After taking a step back to concentrate on her growing family, Amy took on the role of Revenue Coordinator. In her free time, Amy is the treasurer for the Downtown Mystic Merchants, working with the organization to plan events such as Mystic Eats – A Riverside Food Festival and Pirate Invasion. Working with and fostering strong relationships within the community is a passion of Amy’s and has enabled The Whaler’s Inn to forge partnerships with many local businesses.

She was named one of Southeastern Connecticut’s “40 Under 40” in January 2016. Amy is also a four-time Gala Committee member for Always Home, an organization that helps prevent family homelessness.  This organization became near and dear to Amy’s heart after starting a family of her own in 2018.  When not working, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and immersing her young son Landry in all that Mystic has to offer for little ones and adults alike. 

Melanie Phillips

Meet the Housekeeping Department Manager

Melanie has been with the Inn for almost 2 decades, first as a Front Desk Associate, then Shift Supervisor, and now as the Manager of the Housekeeping and Laundry Departments. If you’ve had a chance to visit us, we are sure you’ve noticed our housekeeping staff’s attention to detail and cleanliness.

Melanie brings out the best in her team and takes pride in ensuring that all guestrooms are spotless and comfortable. Under Melanie’s leadership, The Whaler’s Inn was designated “AAA’s Best of Housekeeping” in 2020, putting us in the top 25% of 27,000 annually inspected hotels. When not here at the Inn, she enjoys spending time with her family and especially, of course, her two lovely grandchildren!

Steve Mobley

Meet the Director of Engineering

Steve is the go-to guy to make sure things stay in tip-top shape at The Whaler’s Inn on the maintenance side. He began his work with The Whaler’s Inn in June 2021…Having formerly worked for Hilton International in Mystic, he already had extensive knowledge of keeping up maintenance for the hospitality industry.

Prior to that, he had experience down south at the Grove Park Inn Hotel and Resort in Asheville, North Carolina, and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Steve has been married to his wife for 34 years and loves spending time with his family: 6 children 3 boys, 3 girls ages 14-35yrs, and 3 Grandchildren. When not working, you can find him fishing, traveling, and working in his shop.

Dina Cashman

Meet the Brand Manager of The Whaler's Inn & The Shipwright's Daughter

Dina Cashman originally embarked on her career journey in journalism as a freelance writer for local television stations. She later took those creative skills to foster the growth of small businesses through social media marketing campaigns, photography, graphic design, website building, copywriting, and strategic consultation for a wide range of industries and audiences. She’s new to the area, but having grown up in Milford Connecticut, she’s no stranger to coastal communities full of dedicated entrepreneurial passion…Cashman quickly began to realize that Mystic is a must-visit hidden gem and advocates travelers to visit any time of the year.

As an avid world traveler from China to Australia, she’s noted that The Whaler’s Inn is the most one-of-a-kind place to stay that she’s ever seen! When not at work, Dina loves exploring new areas and capturing picturesque scenery on her Nikon. During her spare time, you can find her writing fiction, reading a great book with a cup of coffee, and watching the latest superhero action flicks with her fiancé and two cats, Moxie and Leo.


Madeline Baldwin

Meet the Guest Relations Manager of The Whaler's Inn

Born and raised in the Bar Harbor, Maine area, Madeline has always been fond of the small, coastal town vibes of New England.  Ever since her first job at a bed & breakfast as a teenager, she has developed 22 years of experience in various forms of the hospitality and service industry.  In early 2021 she started as a Front Desk Associate here at The Whaler’s Inn, then became the Front Desk Supervisor, and now the Guest Relations Manager.

Throughout her adult life she has lived in Portland, ME; Boston, MA; Las Vegas, NV; and has now lived in two different towns in Connecticut for the past 5 years.  Ever since moving to this state with her long-term boyfriend, they have both enjoyed the magical charm of Mystic the most.  They have completed a couple different cross-country road trips together, visiting as many national parks, state parks, and casinos as they could. Now that they have settled in CT with their two cats, in their spare time they enjoy trying new restaurants, wineries, and breweries, and love exploring new walking trails and areas that they have never seen before.