Craft House combines the global expertise and insights of consultants from the hospitality industry with deep experience in the creation of exclusive hotels, private member’s clubs, restaurants and destinations.
Mark Somen, Strategic Advisor
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, and The Pierre Hotel, Four Seasons, China Grill Management, and the Hudson Hotel in New York. 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 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.
Peter Mack, Brand Strategy
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.
Luke Rinaman, Culinary Strategy
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 Hannig, Spa Strategy
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 Stromberg, Financial Strategy
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 Ting, Creative Strategy
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.