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Rockbridge Hires John Lapins To Serve As President Of RBHD

January 21, 2021

COLUMBUS, OH– Rockbridge’s hotel development company, RBHD, today announced the hiring of John Lapins as President. John will report to CEO, Jim Merkel. John has more than 30 years of design and development experience with the last 15 years focused on the hospitality industry.

“John’s experience leading teams and working on the exact type of projects we invest in make him a unique candidate for the role,” said CEO, Jim Merkel. “John will bring experience, relationships, and a passion for hospitality development that will strengthen the team and help us grow.”

RBHD, a hotel development and construction management company established in 2011 by Merkel, has completed over $1.8 Billion in renovation and ground-up construction in 51 hotels nationwide and currently has 22 active projects worth over $900 Million. RBHD delivers results for its owners by creating and building unique, independent lifestyle and full-service destinations for hotel, restaurant, and retail brand experiences. The team executes complex projects from conception to completion, identifying and mitigating risks to create sustainable value for investors.

“I am excited to join Rockbridge to lead such a talented and focused group of development professionals at RBHD,” stated John Lapins. “I have known Jim and Rockbridge for over 10 years dating back to their first Starwood deal, which eventually grew to over a dozen. I have always been impressed by the quality of their work, professionalism and attention to detail. As we all look forward to 2021 and a return to travel and hospitality, I am eager to join such an innovative team.”

Prior to joining RBHD, John led Auro Hotel’s Design & Construction team and was a partner at Geolo Capital where he led design and oversaw renovation and new build hotel construction.  Prior to Geolo, he spent 10 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts leading their North American Divisional Architecture & Construction team on over 300 new build, conversion, and renovation projects annually. John began his development career at the NYC office of Hines working on large scale commercial developments for almost 10 years. A registered architect, John holds a B.S. and master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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