The RentaVilla.com Family
As the saying goes "Don't cry over spilt milk!" That's exactly what Hilde Freeman did! As an Austrian living in the
United States, Hilde traveled a great deal with her son. Staying in hotels was particularly challenging with a small
child. When her son spilled a glass of milk in a hotel restaurant and she was then asked not to return with her child,
Hilde decided she had had enough and was going to find a better way, so for her masters degree in business, she
chose to write her thesis on a new "family friendly" way of travel. Thus, in 1983 Rent a Home International was born.
She ran the business until 1999 when she retired after a skiing accident. During her career, Hilde helped many families
avoid the frustrations she had endured!
The business was taken over by present owner Emmanuel de Ricard. Being a Frenchman from the Cote d'Azur, and
father of two, Emmanuel thought this would be a golden opportunity to keep his European ties and help people do
the thing he loves most...travel! The company name was changed to RentaVilla.com, and for the past eight years
Emmanuel and his staff have dedicated themselves to finding just the right places for people to spend their precious
vacation time. Since we at RentaVilla.com believe in representing only the best, we make regular trips to France, Italy,
Portugal, Mexico and elsewhere to inspect properties and meet with owners. In the past twenty years we've sent
thousands of satisfied travellers abroad! On a regular basis we find new properties to meet your changing needs so we
can better serve you. We try to be sensitive to what travelers like and need, and strive to satisfy. We have recently
changed our name to RentaVilla.com to match our web address. The RentaVilla.com family believes in family vacations
and making them just what they should be...fun, relaxing, and full of discovery!
Member of the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA)
RentaVilla.com USA Office
1251 NW, 116th Street
Seattle, Washington 98177
Telephone: (800) 964-1891 (toll free) or (206) 417-3444
Fax: (206) 417-1832
RentaVillaEurope.com Europe Office
204 Rue Saint Martin
Emmanuel de Ricard, President
Emmanuel is the heart and soul of RentaVilla.com. Born and raised in Southern France, he has a deep-seated love of
travel that makes him perfect to lead the company. When he was just 13 years old he spent a month in West Virginia
in the U.S.A. as an exchange student. When his friend Michael reciprocated the following summer, the two boys
backpacked for an entire month. After camping and staying in youth hostels in Paris, Germany, the French Alps, Italy,
and Corsica, he was forever hooked on traveling the world!
He came back to the United States in 1989 to study business for two years at the University of Eau Claire in Wisconsin
where he met his wife Cori. After school the two of them spent a year in France, a year and a half in Japan teaching
languages, and then took the opportunity to get an "Around the world ticket" which took them for five months to
Asia, the U.S., and Central America. They then moved back to Toulon where he joined the family flag making business
as the Production Manager. But after four years both he and Cori were ready to go again. They decided to take their
year old son Yohan and move to the States. They had never been to Seattle, but had heard great things about the
area. So when they arrived in 1998 they rented a camper for two weeks and toured the Pacific Northwest, finally
deciding to make Seattle their home. Immediately he found a job as a Sales Agent at a company called Rent A Home
International (which later became RentaVilla.com). It was a perfect fit with his language skills, travel and business
experience. The rest is history!
Emmanuel has always been excited about linking people with other cultures by sending them to properties that
immerse them in local culture. He sees this as an emerging, growing trend not just for Americans but for an
international market. His vision is to increase property choices, expand to other popular regions of the world, and yet
keep the hands-on quality control of a small family business. Travel is a big part of our future, previewing properties
and meeting owners and managers. We want to continue to cater to individuals but also accommodate corporate
groups for conferences, seminars, and team building excursions. Since our website is our greatest connection with the
public, we will continue to stay abreast of the latest technology to keep it user friendly, thorough, and fun. Even
though Emmanuel is working very hard to lead the company, he does enjoy tennis (even received the CSTA Tennis
Championship 2008 Singles trophy), soccer both for himself and his daughter's team, and spending time with friends.
Raising two kids keeps any other free time occupied.
Kathy Hayes, Sales Director and Editor
Kathy is a valuable asset to RentaVilla.com! Just give us a call and you'll see! She is an important Sales Agent and
Editor of Doorways, our monthly newsletter. Kathy's cheerful attitude and fresh ideas benefit all who work with her.
She's a people person and has tried her hand at many different careers, including day care director, fashion designer,
and registered nurse (which she still is).
Kathy began working with RentaVilla.com back when Hilde was the owner. Her husband Lee and Hilde's husband
worked together for over 20 years. Kathy believed in what Hilde was doing and became part of the team and has had
her heart in the business since! Kathy began traveling abroad in 1999 when she visited Paris for the first time. Since
then she has returned twice to inspect properties in France and Italy. Kathy brings her own personal travel experiences
to the business as she talks to you with sincere appreciation for the places she has seen and stayed at. Besides
working at RentaVilla.com, Kathy is a mother of two sons and now has seven grandchildren.
Cori de Ricard, Property Manager
Corinn (Cori) is our new Marketing Director. She and Emmanuel have been married for almost 15years and have two
adorable children, Yohan (eleven) and Tatiana (nine). Raised in Wisconsin, the two of them met as students at the
University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire) when he was an exchange student from France. She has traveled extensively and
speaks Spanish and French fluently. Her experience as a school volunteer (PTA, Room Parent, etc.) has advanced her
gifts of organization. Her present hobbies are travel, cooking, entertaining, yoga, and hiking in the beautiful Pacific
Northwest. She's very excited to become more involved in the everyday business of RentaVilla.com and has lots of
fresh ideas to help inform the public about the quality rentals we offer.
Hilde Freeman, Founder
As we celebrate our 20th anniversary this year at RentaVilla.com, it is appropriate to introduce founder of the business, our close friend and adviser Hilde Freeman. It was in 1983 when she received her Master's degree in Business and chose to write her thesis on a new concept for travel. Even though she always loved travel, she found it especially frustrating to "hotel it" with small children. Strict rules and minimal accommodations simply didn't meet the needs of families. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to rent a home or apartment when you went on a holiday? This would promote comfort, cultural exchange, and self catering. And so "Rent A Home International" was born. Even though the name has changed to RentaVilla.com, the business has been thriving ever since. Hilde retired from the business in 1999 after a skiing accident and has since taken up painting where once again she has succeeded. She has sold many paintings and was recently featured in the Women's University Art Show in Seattle.
Cory, Database Specialist
Cory is a key support staff at RentaVilla.com. A personal friend of Emmanuel's family, they met in 1986 as foreign exchange students. Still single, Cory has spent his time and energy securing a degree in architecture and developing his own business in the same. He's also a computer expert and fantastic web advisor (www.wellbuiltweb.com). Always itching to travel, he takes every opportunity to zip to London or Florida or Texas to see relatives or lead tours. Recently he traveled to London and Ireland for RentaVilla.com to interview owners and photograph villas and apartments. His recent RentaVilla.com accomplishments have brought videos to our website and the publishing of our popular electronic newsletter.
Jean Michel de Ricard, Property Previewer
Jean Michel is one of the key elements of the RentaVilla.com family. Born and raised in France; not only is he a very successful business man but he is also a world traveler, has tons of experience and has very high standards. He's been instrumental to the success of RentaVilla.com over the last three years since he's taken numerous inspections trip to Italy, France and Portugal where he has met with owners, picked the best properties and has brought back some wonderful descriptions and images we are so proud to feature on our website. The assistance and advice of his wife Christine has enhanced the wonderful job they keep doing for us! Thank you! Besides his professional skills, Jean Michel is also a top-notch gardener, a fine tennis player, a bon vivant and above all a wise and sincere human being.
Lee Hayes, Photographer
Lee is our resident photographer. A valued member of the RentaVilla.com family, he accompanies Kathy (since he's her husband) on inspection trips to preview villas and apartments. With digital cameras it's easy to weed out the not-so-good shots and select only the ones with good lighting and subject matter. Nightly he downloads what was taken that day onto a laptop, labeling each photo to match the property seen. One of the hardest things to do is lug all the equipment to the locations, but once he's loaded Kathy can easily spot him in a crowd with his full daypack and tripod hanging from a loop. Lee is a mechanical engineer by trade, designing cranes, bridge maintenance trolleys, and other heavy equipment. His favorite hobby is boating, especially kayaking and sailing, but traveling to Europe is a blast!
Perrine, Paris Manager
Perrine is our resident staff member in Paris and also personally manages several apartments there. Having lived in the City of Lights since her marriage to Yves many years ago, she's a great resource for RentaVilla.com and our clients. Her familiarity with the sites of Paris and her interest in art, design, and fashion, make it fun to visit with her. She and her husband often entertain in their lovely apartment in the city, and their two grown daughters drop in often to sample their Mom's good cooking.
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