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Not Done On A Lark

New England Boutique Hotel Company Bolsters Leadership With Addition Of CEO

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Dennis Nessler
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Despite a track record of solid and steady growth within the boutique sector, Lark Hotels has shifted its leadership structure naming industry veteran Peter Twachtman as CEO as part of an effort to further accelerate expansion and help take the company to the next level.

As part of the change, company founder Robert Blood will now assume the role of president with his primary focus on creative development and expansion. Twachtman--who reports to Blood in his new post--joins Lark Hotels from Migis Hotel Group having most recently served as COO of the boutique hotel company.

Twachtman acknowledged Blood immediately got his attention when they first met roughly 8 years ago in Portland, ME. “I just found his work and his brand enticing. He was sort of moving fast and just had this wonderful aggressive nature about him and I mean that in the nicest way. He believes in this brand,” he said.

Twachtman pointed out that he and Blood established something of a “friendly competition” over the next several years and had maintained contact.

“Every once in a while we would talk about how do we work together? I think Rob needed some more scale to allow a more interesting project for me and at the time I had been in a partnership so it wasn’t quite the right time for me to leave either,” he said, later adding that when the two convened last August with their families they said “we think we’re ready to figure out if we can do this.”

The Amesbury, MA-based company--which has been operated solely by Blood since its inception in 2012--has expanded to include some 27 boutique properties, and four restaurants, located primarily, but not exclusively, in the Northeast.

While with Migis, Twachtman--who brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience to Lark Hotels--was responsible for setting policy and practice for the company as a whole and within individual properties. Despite pointing out some obvious differences between the two companies with Lark being more of a “brand-driven company” and Migis being more “management driven,” he emphasized some similarities as well, particularly with regards to culture.

“You really need to take care of people in order to take care of the guest. I think Lark has done a good job with that same general premise. They’re looking to hire good raw talent and teaching and educating those people. From a cultural standpoint I think that they are similar in that way and really if they weren’t I don’t know if I would have joined Lark because I believe we have to focus on the people in order to get everything else done,” he said.

Twachtman elaborated on the leadership transition that will occur.
“Rob will work on creativity, development and really be my liaison, in particular, over the next few months because what I don’t have here is institutional knowledge,” Twachtman noted, adding he will take the operational and departmental lead for the company.

Twachtman detailed some potential areas of improvement for the company from his perspective.
“I think that in general I will do a better job of co-mingling and breaking down silos. People currently work independently, not necessarily in a negative way, but they don’t always know what the next group is doing. I believe that creates inefficiency, miscommunication and issues that don’t need to happen at times...I think I do a pretty good job in terms of my style of just putting everything on the table and being frank and forthright and brutally honest about where our opportunities are, where I think we work well and where we don’t,” he said.

Twachtman stressed that Blood had previously been forced to execute multiple roles by himself. “I think he’s better suited for development, vision and brand design and that’s really where his passion is,” he said.

The new CEO detailed some of his goals for the boutique brand in terms of expansion.
“I think we should look to double [our size] fairly aggressively. We certainly want to move down beyond the eastern seaboard into the middle of the country. It is a strong regional brand and the goal would be to take it to be a national brand,” he said.

Finally, Twachtman detailed what it means for him to be CEO on a personal level.
“For me it’s always been at the forefront of my mind a little bit. I’ve always pushed myself to get better and pushed others to get better. I think there’s a lot of people that can or can’t take on a role like this. I think you have to have a lot of tenacity, you have to have a lot of will and I think you have to be really well balanced. For me it’s about the work it’s not about the position title. It’s about the ability to effect good work; to see that the outcome is people doing better work and to see a brand grow and to be a part of that,” he concluded.

Dennis Nessler    Dennis Nessler
Hotel Interactive®, Inc.
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