Joanie Burns

Joan Burns grew up in Queens with 55 families on her street. In the sixth grade, she moved to Purchase where she dropped her accent “in a hurry” and fell in love with Trusty Red Rusty. “All of the sudden we had a couple of acres, and I was a horseback rider. The local Pony Club would let you adopt a horse, and we had a paddock! I made a friend who lived five miles away; down the road, and over the hill… and Trusty Red Rusty would take me there and back. It was wild.”

After high school, she studied art and art history at Marymount Manhattan.  She worked at the Muppets (yes, the Muppets) until her husband got an unexpected offer. Side note: For one year, when she was sixteen, her family lived in Iran. It was an adventure that would inspire a lifetime of travel. “I’ve clocked twenty-two countries to date,” she continued. “And while I was at the Muppets, Duncan got an offer to manage a small hotel in the Virgin Islands. How could I refuse?! So we did that for a season and all of the sudden we were in the hotel business!”