Meet the Innkeepers
Dale and Donna Potruski met in the late 80s and were married in May of 1990 in an outdoor ceremony attended by family and friends at Lake Eola Park in Orlando. Donna’s focus was raising her daughters, Andrea and Alison, and furthering her career in the hospitality industry. Dale earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Central Florida while working in area hotels, restaurants and nightclubs.
Collectively, Donna and Dale have over half-a-century of food and beverage/hospitality experience. Their resumes include such recognized “five-star” properties as Walt Disney World and The Peabody, Orlando; The Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Jacksonville; as well as Florida State University in Tallahassee. While living in Palm Beach, Donna worked at the Ritz-Carlton and Dale at The Breakers.
In 1993 they decided to combine their experience and enthusiasm for the service industry and pursue an interest in becoming professional innkeepers. Their initial foray as innkeepers saw them relocate to St. Marys, Ga. As the southern-most village in coastal Georgia, Dale and Donna catered to guests visiting Cumberland Island and King’s Bay navel installation. “We made many friends in those days,” Dale will tell you, “some of which have stayed with us here at The Oaks.”
From there, Donna and Dale continued to hone their skills as innkeepers in the nation’s oldest city, St. Augustine, Fl. Donna remembers; “Our inn was a 13-room home built by Henry Flagler for his personal physician. We worked hard and loved every minute.” Donna’s youngest daughter still lives in St. Augustine with her husband and three children.
Intermittently, the Potruskis would delve back into a corporate existence. “While we were still perpendicular, we talked about doing the inn-thing one more time”, says Dale, “and the search was on.”
“From our previous experience, we knew exactly what we were looking for and what we wanted to offer our guests.” they agreed. “Our search took us from Wilmington to Birmingham and while there was something to like about each place we visited, we fell in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.” In 2006 they moved north to close the deal and open an inn.
As they advance into their fifth year as the owners of The Oaks Bed and Breakfast, Dale and Donna continue to demonstrate the same passion and enthusiasm for inn keeping that they had back in St. Marys all those years ago.
Visit The Oaks Bed and Breakfast and see why 99% of guest reviews praise Dale and Donna and their desire to help YOU create your own mountain memories.