OUR VALUE PROPOSITION
No line of business requires competence in as many skill sets as the hospitality industry. Depending on the property and context, one project team may need the best thinking on brand strategy and ways to translate that strategy into physical form and service experiences, while another may need us to provide expert advice on the latest in revenue management strategies, how to design within the confines of a landmark building, or the best maker of walk-in coolers in which to age Kobe beef.
Amongst all these skills, the single skill that is the most important, as any experienced hospitality executive knows, is the ability to build and direct teams in the first place. Having someone who can identify and prioritize client needs, nominate the individuals or agencies with the skills most likely to deliver, and guide the complexities and multiple work-streams of the realization process lies at the heart of success.
This is our role at Craft House.
Collectively, our core team has over 160 years of hospitality experience and 70 years of consulting experience under our belts. We have deep connections in the hospitality community and related categories across the world, at every stage of the hospitality product and service lifecycle. We know the specialists who are otherwise unattainable, those who prefer dynamic project work to full-time work, and we know their strengths and weaknesses. Once we get a chance to know you, we will know which experts will fit best with YOUR team culture. And if we don’t know exactly the right person for your project, we almost certainly know someone who will. Together with our directors, these custom built project teams are assembled with your unique challenge at our hearts and with a realistic assessment of budgets, timing and desired outcomes.
No formulas, no standard deliverables, no me-too ideas, no limitations of the fixed staff agency model. For your inspiring destination, you need creative solutions. And creative solutions require project teams that have been purpose-built with you in mind.
Yvette was born in New York and received her degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Throughout her 19 year career, Yvette experienced inefficiency and expense in executing hospitality projects as companies moved from agency to another. In response, she and her team founded Craft House in 2011 to offer clients a vertically integrated solution - one where Yvette combines the global expertise from trusted consultants and partners to build holistic strategies to meet client goals. Each unique combination of talent works closely with clients to develop strategies that drive business goals in a thoughtful and integrated approach. Her personal experience includes operations in large branded hotels like Sheraton and Hyatt, to smaller boutique properties and private member’s clubs like Soho House New York and High Road House in London. Yvette was also a Senior Consultant with Horwath HTL in Hong Kong where she consulted on more than 45 hospitality projects across Asia focusing on feasibility and concepts for lifestyle and destination projects. Yvette is a LEED® Green Associate, author of the HOTELsMag blog, The good, the bad and the funky, and contributor to Nomad-chic.com.
Megan is a Colorado native with a degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and 19 years of hospitality leadership experience at independent restaurants, luxury hotels, and family-run establishments. She was Managing Director for Larkspur Restaurant prior to joining Starwood for six years as Director of Food and Beverage for St Regis New York and then St Regis in Atlanta which both received numerous accolades for service throughout her tenure. In 2013 Megan left Starwood to return to Colorado where she asset managed multiple properties and opened the BARley in Steamboat, Colorado, a beer garden and bar food destination featured in the New York Times travel section. Megan has worked closely with Craft House since 2015 and joined in a principal role as Director in 2017. In addition, Megan sits on the Board of Directors for The Colorado Restaurant Association and is President of Les Dames d’Escoffier. She is also passionate and active in both the Cornell Rocky Mountain Region Chapter and National Repertory Orchestra events.
Mark is currently the CEO for The Conduit in London and has more than 25 years of hospitality experience. His career began in his native country, Kenya, at the age of sixteen when he led safaris for Abercrombie and Kent. After graduating from Surrey University in England, Mark held positions at the Connaught Hotel in London, The Pierre Hotel in New York City, Four Seasons New York, China Grill Management, and the Hudson Hotel. Mark was also General Manager at Soho House New York and then Director of Operations for Soho House North America responsible for the openings of Soho Beach House in Miami, Soho House West Hollywood, the Soho House Satellite Clubs in Los Angeles, and Cecconi’s restaurant in West Hollywood. Mark also held the General Manager role at The Tribe in Nairobi, Kenya. Mark was a Director at Craft House for five years prior to joining The Conduit, a Craft House client, in the UK as their CEO in 2017. Mark is also the Chair of the Board for FilmAid International, and sits on the Board of the Kenya Education Fund and the Board of the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust.
OUR Resources & Consultants
Peter is responsible for strategy for Elephant LLC and is a senior contractor to Landor Associates in Asia. He works with a diverse set of clients including Tesla Motors, Chow Sang Sang Jewelry, Thai Union Group, Jin Jiang International Hotels, Greenland Development and CP Group among many others. Prior to starting Elephant, Peter was Executive VP at Enterprise IG for 6 years working with Caterpillar Inc., Brown-Forman, FujiFilm USA, Nestlé Foods, and AMD. Before that he was with Landor Associates managing strategic brand projects for Deere & Company, Hewlett-Packard, Lincoln-Mercury, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Telecom, Caltex, Singha Beer and Pepsi Foods, among many others. Peter holds a B.A. degree in Political Science and Oriental Languages with honors from the University of California, Berkeley.
Noel graduated from Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and has an extremely strong foundation with hotels and resorts across major markets worldwide. Noel was with Marriott International for eight years, most recently as Vice President for Development Planning & Feasibility working on projects across Marriott brands in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to that he was a Regional Director of Revenue Management for Shangri-La, implementing sales strategies across their portfolio. He is experienced in operations, collaborating with real estate developers and hotel owners and project planning. He is exceptionally knowledgeable of global lodging markets, having worked across 20 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Luke has over 35 years of experience in the hospitality field working for various international companies. He most recently spent seventeen years with China Grill Management, mostly as Corporate Chef and Director of Operations where he utilized a diverse set of skills in concept development and execution. Previously, Luke worked in Miami, Jakarta and New Orleans with Intercontinental Hotels and Four Seasons Hotels. Luke has a wealth of knowledge and experience with independent and hotel restaurants of all sizes and concepts and provides a range of culinary strategies including concept refinement, menu development, repositioning, growth strategy, kitchen design, and training and development, always producing measurable results for clients.
Heather has been a professional in the health and wellness industry for over sixteen years including all aspects of spa management to business strategy consulting. She was Spa Director at Soho House New York, Director of Spa Operations at Plus One, Director of Spa Operations opening spas at premier hotels (Fairmont Chicago, Intercontinental Miami, Loews Santa Monica and Ameristar Black Hawk, CO), Spa Director at Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa at The Plaza Hotel New York City, and Executive Director of Spa at Mandarin Oriental New York.
Chris earned a Bachelors in Economics and MBA in Finance from Westminster College in Salt Lake City and is a venture capital and private equity consultant. He has worked with several start up companies raising capital and establishing their businesses, was interim CFO for Meritech in Golden Colorado and lead Senior Financial Analyst for StoneRiver Software Solutions. He has also overseen the financial strategy of several family owned hospitality projects. Chris's experience, in all facets of accounting and finance, helps Craft House clients streamline financial strategies with business goals.
Phillip has over 20 years of experience in design. Prior to starting Elephant LLC, he ran his own firm, Studio Ting, for three years. For ten years before that, he was creative director at Enterprise IG San Francisco, developing creative solutions for consumer clients including Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Nestlé, Brown-Forman, Pacific Bell, Luxeon, United Way and Motel 6. His work is acknowledged in numerous publications and has won national awards. Phillip helps Craft House clients bring their brand into physical form through identity, collateral and packaging. Phillip is also an adjunct professor at the California College of the Arts (formerly CCAC) and teaches at the Academy of Art.
Like Yvette at Craft House, Peter and Phillip began Elephant LLC because of a frustration with the direction that their particular category seemed to be headed. Beginning in the 90s, graphic design and brand strategy firms began to be swept up in the consolidation tsunami that had swept through the advertising category the decade before. The result were firms that were getting larger and larger and more and more focused on the absolute value of efficiency, a philosophy demanding that client communication needs be broken down into discrete, easily managed and easily analyzed sub-groups, usually aligned along the buying habits and personnel of the clients themselves. This model works very well for meeting the needs of large corporate companies but often fails at meeting needs of small and medium sized companies who haven't reached the scale where communication needs can be efficiently spread across a number of functional departments. On the contrary, these companies usually have a small number of people trying to stay on top of a mounting set of communication challenges and the last thing they need is a baker’s dozen of specialist firms bickering over how to divide up a never-too-generous budget. Instead, Peter and Phillip wanted to offer services of a firm that could offer holistic brand advice ranging from definition of corporate culture to the best way to pitch product to a grocery broker – in short they wanted an agency that could offer the whole elephant rather than disconnected bits and pieces. Elephant provides Craft House clients with senior advice on development of value proposition, corporate culture, the most efficient development and implementation of core identity elements and how best to establish brand training and engagement.