company profile

The Colwen Hotels Story

“High-quality service for guests and good value for owners.”

This goal has guided Colwen Hotels since its inception to its position today as a team of over 1,500 and one of the most successful hotel management companies in the northeastern United States.

Our objective has always been to employ management teams for our properties that will provide extraordinary service to our guests and exceptional value and return on investment to the property owners. We strive to continuously deliver products that exceed guests' expectations as well as deliver on our stewardship in the community in which we do business.

Our commitment to building new properties to meet LEED® certification standards is an excellent representation of our minimalist footprint philosophy.

Our current and future development portfolio speaks to our strength and our continued growth. Colwen develops and manages exceptional brands including Renaissance, Courtyard, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Homewood Suites, and Holiday Inn properties in a variety of competitive markets. We oversee hotel properties and direct all activities within while maintaining standards set by Marriott, Hilton and Holiday Inn. Colwen also manages a number of highly successful independent and boutique properties.

Even though our core values and goals have always remained the cornerstone of our achievements, it’s evident that a lot has evolved since Colwen’s beginning in 1998 with the opening of the Residence Inn in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Colwen’s original namesakes Colin Nadeau and Wendell Butcher founded Colwen Lodging, LLC in order to develop and manage the 108-room property. Over time, the growing success of Colwen’s management expertise quickly earning Colwen additional hotel brands, a growing team of outstanding employees and a name shift to Colwen Management and later Colwen Hotels, to reflect its new management team, continued principles and solid philosophies. 

The organization has realized tremendous growth in its managed property portfolio and has continued to employ the most highly experienced executives and staff to move forward with full momentum and expertise to accomplish – and surpass - every goal we put forth for our properties. Today, Colwen has evolved into one of the largest franchisee of the Marriott brand in the United States

“Our standard of excellence is defined by an empowered team that constantly works to improve guest, associate, and owner satisfaction. Our experienced leaders and well-trained associates are dedicated to exceeding guest expectations.”

Core Values

"First you cannot "set" organizational values, you can only discover them." - Jim Collins, Built to Last

Our Core Values are the DNA of Colwen Management. At Colwen, we wake up, make decisions and live each day by our Core Values. Our Core Values define us. So, who are we? 

We are Engaged and Passionate 

We work hard, and we take pride in it. We work smart and we celebrate our successes. We also have "stick-to-itiveness" and a strong sense of urgency. Once we start something, we finish it and finish it quickly. We are confident, yet humble. We know that we're only as good as our last interaction with our guests each day. Lastly, we care about our communities. We support our communities by supporting our associates. 

We Work to Win; Make a Difference 

To win at Colwen Hotels, we believe that each associate makes a difference in our guests' experience and our fellow associates' success. We have a positive, "can do" attitude that our guests see, hear, feel and have come to expect. We start with "Yes". However, if "Yes" is impossible, we provide alternatives and options. Finally, at Colwen, everyone has jobs; not just titles. 

We See What the Guest Sees 

Our guests are first and foremost in our approach to work. We anticipate what our guests need and appreciate their business. We keep our properties clean and well maintained. Simply put, we see through the customer's lens, earn the customer's business, and strive to be above brand standards.

Leadership Team

Leo Xarras, Chairman

Leo Xarras is a hospitality industry veteran with more than 20 years of diverse hotel management and development experience including full oversight of lodging, food and beverage and resort retail in both the United States and the Caribbean. Past projects in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the Dominican Republic have afforded extensive experience in lodging acquisition, construction, renovation, construction management and historic restoration with a track record of establishing profitable performance combined with community good will.

Since 2009, Leo has been a partner in Colwen Management, Inc. and serves as Chairman and CEO directly overseeing the lodging portfolio.

Leo is President and Controller of Oleo Corporation, a lodging development and holding company formed in 1995 to develop the Castle Hill Resort and Spa in Cavendish Vermont affiliated with Small Luxury Hotels and Historic Hotels of America. 

Concurrent with hospitality development projects, Leo has developed over $100M in non-lodging commercial and residential assets.

Julie Scott, President

As President of Colwen Hotels, the tremendous expertise and leadership Julie Scott brings to the company make her a valuable asset to Colwen’s overall mission. With over 25 years of hotel experience and an exceptionally diverse background in Operations, Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management, Julie is a motivated, outside-the-box leader that continues to strive to raise the bar for the Colwen portfolio. Julie oversees the Operations, Sales and Marketing, Revenue Management and Human Resources for Colwen Hotel Management.   Julie leads a team of Sales and Revenue Managers that implement strategies for multiple hotels and markets by constant inventory monitoring, market rate analysis, OTA maximization and vigilantly supporting the sales process with business transient and group evaluation. Julie has strong communication skills with the ability to relate to associates and guests.  Her passion is organizational teambuilding and finding unique ways to motivate associates to exceed professional expectations and goals.  Julie also has intricate knowledge of many brand systems and software including Hilton OnQ, Marriott MARSHA, IHG Merlin, Choice Central and iHotelier.  Julie has earned a number of distinctions during her career including Hilton Director of Sales of the year, Hilton General Manager of the year, Hilton MVP award and Colwen Manager of the year.

When not at work Julie enjoys living on the beautiful Seacoast with her husband, son and 3 dogs.   

Terry Bickhardt, Chief Financial Officer

Terry is a talented leader who oversees the Operations, Sales and Marketing, Engineering, and Accounting services for Colwen Hotel Management. He brings a diverse range of experience to the team plus an in-depth knowledge of all major hotel brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, and Choice. 

Terry developed and successfully opened more than 40 select-service and full-service hotels and convention centers during his career. Before arriving at Colwen in 2011, he was President of Operations and Sales and Marketing for Waterford Hotel Group, and Co- President of HVS Hotel Management.

When not at work, Terry enjoys sports, reading, music and spending time with his two daughters.

Jim Riker, SVP of Operations

Jim Riker oversees the operations of hotels within the Colwen system. He works directly with general managers to ensure quality customer service is delivered, financial goals are met and brand standards are meeting expectations.

Jim has managed full-service hotels and resorts throughout the U.S., including major brands such as Hilton, Marriott, Radisson and Hilton Garden Inn. He has experience with restaurant concept and repositioning development and overseeing hotels with multiple food and beverage outlets. While working as a regional director for nine years, Jim gained valuable experience managing properties in major cities, suburban areas and resorts. He joined Colwen as VP of Operations in 2011.

In his free time, Jim enjoys traveling, golfing and skiing.

Dean Riddle, VP of Human Resources

As Colwen’s Vice President of HR, Dean oversees all facets of the Human Resources function for the organization including associate relations, employment, benefit and compensation plan design, performance management as well as leadership development.  He is a driven and progressive HR leader with 20 years of Human Resources experience.  Prior to joining Colwen, Dean held senior level human resources positions with The Breakers, Palm Beach, DAVIDsTEA and Waterford Hotel Group.  Dean holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Hospitality Management from Widener University.  

Michael Colavecchio, Director of Loss Prevention

Michael is a dedicated manager who has more than 20 years of experience in the hotel industry. As Colwen’s Director of Loss Prevention, he and his team ensure guests are safe, hotel property is secure and effective loss reduction strategies are implemented.

Michael’s commitment to his work is clear. He currently resides on the American Hotel And Lodging Association’s Loss Prevention Executive Committee. In 2006, he received the Colwen Manager of the Year Award for his outstanding performance, and led Colwen Hotels to its achievement of the 2014 MEMIC Safety Award. Michael has been with Colwen since 2004.

Outside of work, Michael is a New York sports junkie who loves to travel, fish and play poker. He’s also a big fan of Disney Land and travels there every year.

Ron Rockelein, VP of Operations