About Preston Woodall House
This grand home, one-of-five, large-scale homes in a similar stylistic mode built by Benson's prosperous merchants between 1900 and 1920, was constructed for Preston Woodall (1874-1945). Woodall operated a large department store in Benson, which he organized in 1899, as well as twenty farms and five saw mills in the Benson vicinity. In addition, he served as vice-president of the Farmers Commercial Bank for five years, as president of the Citizens Bank and Trust Company for six years, and as alderman of Benson for ten years. He was also secretary to the Board of Elders of the Presbyterian Church and was active in community affairs.
The Preston Woodall House also provides Wedding Coordination packages to assist in wedding planning, such as selection of clergy, photographers, florists, wedding coordinators and wedding cake bakers. These services again make the Preston Woodall House stand above the competition for weddings, corporate and social events in the Triangle region.
Joel Hurley, Owner and General Manager of Preston Woodall House, is a seasoned veteran in hospitality, weddings and event services. Opening the Preston Woodall House in 2000, Joel leads the team at Preston Woodall, including overseeing the day-to-day management and operations of the bed & breakfast. He has played an instrumental role in the venue earning prestigious accolades, such as inclusion in the Best of Weddings – TheKnot, as well as WeddingWire.com's Brides Choice Award. He has designed, directed and helped plan hundreds of events at Preston Woodall, as well as across North Carolina, and his passion for design and attention to details continue to make this venue a leading event facility and bed & breakfast in the Triangle and Raleigh area.
Joel, a North Carolina native, has spent over 17 years in Benson, NC after serving 7 years as a Durham police officer. He also has served as General Manager of the Mansions on Fifth Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA. Joel has consulted with numerous hotels and historic properties throughout the East Coast.
Joel has one daughter, Kaitlyn Upchurch, and resides in Raleigh, NC with his family.
Dion Joe Matthis - Executive Chef / General Manager
Dion Joe Matthis is the Executive Chef and General Manager at The Preston Woodall House Bed & Breakfast. He has been cooking for the public since the age of 15. Once he began working, cooking became a passion in the food and hospitality industry.
Throughout his career, Dion has received training and gained the desire to obtain knowledge and execution tactics of different cuisines. He has received culinary training from one of the most sought after Executive Chefs in the Triad Region. Dion began to develop and share his passion for creating succulent dishes that would serve as his resume and deem him a coveted chef. He has prepared meals from different food cultures for people of Germany, Puerto Rico, Asia and the United States. Even though he thoroughly enjoyed the previous nuances of previous culinary experiences, his passion for sharing the delights of his own cuisine still burned in his heart. This is what brought him here to the Preston Woodall House. The Preston Woodall House allows him to cater to the specific needs of our clients and allows him to tantalize the taste buds and provide a culinary experience like no other.
Nicholas Ammons - Events and Operations Manager
Nicholas is a native of Sampson County born and raised in the small town of Roseboro. After graduating from high school, Nicholas went on to obtain his Business Administration degree from NC State with a strong focus in Hospitality, and a minor is Pre-Social work. After several years in the mental health and medical office field, Nicholas came back to his first love of the hospitality industry by joining the Preston Woodall House family in April of 2016. Nicholas works tirelessly to ensure every bride and groom, as well as, their families and guest have a phenominal experience from the moment they book their event. As a wedding coordinator, he ensures that each ceremony is everything the happy couple could hope for and more with personal guidance one and one attention.
Nicholas had his greatest moment of his life, to date, right here at the Preston Woodall House when he married the love of his life on February 25th, 2017. The two of them, along with the entire staff, make an unbeatable team here at Preston Woodall House.
Kaitlyn Upchurch - Sales and Office Administration
Kaitlyn Upchurch, the daughter of owner Joel Hurley, has grown up in the family business since the young age of seven. Having a keen eye for detail and a creative mind for events, the Preston Woodall House was a natural fit for Kaitlyn to use her talents. Over the past four years, Kaitlyn has transitioned from working the actual events, to managing the administrative side of Preston Woodall House. Her passion for sales and meeting face-to-face with clients enables Kaitlyn to continuously evolve in the hospitality and event industry.
Kaitlyn is married to Taylor Upchurch and the couple has two daughters, Mia Grey who is 2 years old, and Natalie Mae who is 1 year old.