WHEN MODERATION IS SUCCESS

Mike Marshall's notion of management is modest and functional, like Marshall Management, the company he runs. Promoted to CEO and president at the end of August, Marshall wants the company to top out at 40 to 45 hotels; since his father, Charles, launched it in 1980, its portfolio has come to include brands by Sheraton, Hilton, InterContinental Hotel Group, Choice and Cendant. Charles Marshall has been elevated to chairman and founder. Marshall Management specializes in three- and four-star properties of 100 to 400 rooms.

This summer, the privately held Salisbury, MD-based company launched a series of initiatives and internal enhancements including purchase of M3 Innquire, an Internet-based accounting system designed to improve revenue management. It also contracted with Guest Supply for Internet-based purchasing of bathroom amenities, room accessories, housekeeping supplies and paper products. And it improved its insurance package.

“We were gearing up for growth and knew we needed to use technology to properly serve our clients,” Mike says. “Our goal is to be somewhere in the 40-45 hotel range. We're around 30 right now. What's appealing is I can still know what's going on with all the properties.

“Because we have grown to a medium-sized company, we have some buying power that can offer our ownership groups better equity return,” he says. As for insurance, Marshall wanted “a national program that was portable to every property.”

He expects Marshall Management to reach 45 properties within the next two years. “We want to do the right deals,” he says. “Who's the ownership? Is our corporate philosophy compatible with theirs? A management contract is really a partnership agreement. If the ownership makes money, the management company makes money. If the owners don't make money, they're less than happy.”

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