The Highlands Bar & Grille Staff

Claudette Halpern, Food and Beverage Director
Food and Beverage Director – Claudette Halpern
Claudette is a career food and beverage professional, who has been successful wherever she has landed with over 28 years in the industry. She has successfully managed in private clubs and commercial restaurant environments.  She has a wealth of experience as both a dining and catering manager. She also has attained the first level, Court of Masters, Sommeliers Americas, which bring a whole new world of wines to The Highlands.

Billy Brannock, Chef / Kitchen Manager
Chef Billy Brannock has been highlighted in the Arizona Daily Star and in 2008 was recognized as an "aspiring and capable chef." Billy's experience has been in private restaurants as well as the resort and hotel industry including the Hilton El Conquistador and most recently JW Marriott Starr Pass. His expertise leans toward Italian style cooking though his interests extend well beyond that as he continues to experiment with foods and styles of cooking.

Brandon Weaver, Sous Chef

Brandon Weaver moved to Tucson from Jacksonville, Florida in November 2016.  He left a position as Executive Sous Chef at Restaurant Medure, a AAA Four Diamond rated restaurant. He graduated from the Orlando Cordon Blue Culinary Academy with a degree in Culinary Science of Arts. He has been cooking for twelve years throughout Florida starting at the age of 16 and here to showcase his experience and talents.  Brandon was recently married to Jessica Weaver.

LeeAnn Perry, Catering Assistant
LeeAnn brings with her 15 plus years working in the food and beverage industry at various hotels as Director of Catering and Events. Recently LeeAnn decided to take a step back and explore other avenues in her career but never let go of the passion she has for events and operations.  LeeAnn agreed to join our Catering Team sharing her knowledge and experience to the events at The Highlands. 

Mike Kaatz, Dining Services Manager
Mike relocated to Oro Valley in 2010 from the Chicago area, where he and his wife Darlene owned and operated a successful steakhouse for 15 years. The restaurant won many awards and received accolades for cuisine and popularity while maintaining a neighborhood feeling for a "Cheers" bar crowd. Since moving to the area, he served as Food and Beverage Director at Oro Valley Country Club until their recent sale. Mike and his wife share four grown children, four grandkids and two terrific cats. 

Debbie LoebbakaDining Floor Supervisor
Debbie Loebbaka is well known within our community through her continuous employment at The Highlands. She was very successful on the floor as our lead server for several years. Debbie now assists the Dining Services Manager in the Grille and in the Bar.

Donna Black, Banquet Captain
Donna, a Highlands resident, joined the team in Fall 2015. She moved to The Highlands from Leland, Kansas with her husband Doug Black. Donna brings 30-plus years of hotel and catering management. Donna is currently responsible for all training, set up and staffing for banquets at The Highlands.