HarborStone Hospitality, an entrepreneurial venture to develop and own hotels and provide general consulting in the hospitality industry, was established in 2005 by Joseph Lavin. Through Green Visions, LLC, Lavin purchased and is majority and operating partner of the historic Norwich Inn, located in Norwich, Vermont. The Inn, located about 1 mile from Dartmouth College, features 38 rooms, a fine dining restaurant, pub, wine cellar and on-site micro brewery.
From 2002 through 2004, Lavin was Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Marriott International’s Marriott ExecuStay, the company’s corporate housing division. During his tenure at ExecuStay, Lavin successfully introduced the corporate housing industry’s first franchise program. He was an active board member of the Corporate Housing Providers’ Association (CHPA).
From 1997 through 2001, Lavin served as Senior Vice President, Franchising, for Marriott’s five limited-service brands. Under his leadership, Marriott’s franchising business achieved substantial growth and currently comprises 70 percent of Marriott’s limited-service portfolio. In addition, Lavin spearheaded the creation of the company’s newest lodging brand, SpringHill Suites, which has grown to nearly 200 hotels in only seven years. He was instrumental in the development and roll-out of the Fairfield Inn “New Blue” revitalization strategy, including introduction of the Fairfield Inn & Suites prototype, which today comprises nearly the entire development pipeline of the brand.
Lavin formerly served at Choice Hotels International in a number of roles from 1984 to 1997. This included the responsibilities of Senior Vice President of New Products, where he oversaw the creation and direction of Choice’s new and emerging brands. Lavin also served as Senior Vice President of Development, where managing a franchise sales force of 40 people, he helped build Choice into one of the world’s largest and fastest growing hotel systems.
Before joining Choice in 1984, Lavin was Director of Hotel Development Planning for Marriott Corporation. As part of his 30 over years of experience in the hospitality industry, Lavin also served as an associate with Laventhol and Horwath Hospitality Consulting, and has held sales and operations positions with Westin Hotels in New York and San Francisco.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from Cornell University. Lavin is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Cornell Hotel Society Foundation, serves on the Advisory Board of the recently created Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell Hotel School and is a past President of the Cornell Hotel Society. A member of Cayuga Hospitality Advisors, he served as Executive in Residence at the Cornell Hotel School during the fall semester of 2005 and is currently serving a second term. In the Spring Semester of 2007, Lavin joined the Hotel School faculty, teaching “Franchising in the Hospitality Industry.” In connection with his ownership in the Country Inn lodging segment, Lavin is a member of the Board of Directors of the New England Inns and Resorts Association (NEIRA) and is vice president for the state of Vermont. He recently become Co-Chairman of the Norwich (VT) Business Council and has joined the Board of the Hanover (NH) Area Chamber of Commerce.