Hand-over ceremony officially marks entry of Sonia Tatar as CEO/Director General of Les Roches

After Sonia Tatar entered Les Roches International School of Hotel Management as the new CEO/Director General in January 2011, a hand-over ceremony on Wednesday 20 April 2011 marked her entry as CEO/DG of one of the best hospitality management schools. Under the eyes of almost 100 invitees, Sonia Tatar officially succeeded Arie A. J. van der Spek, who has led Les Roches to success since 2005.


Under the leadership of Dutchman Van der Spek, Les Roches made enormous progress. The number of students grew from 600 to over 1’200 per semester. Laureate Hospitality Education, the owner of Les Roches, invested CHF 60 million over the last five years. Van der Spek will not be away or far from Les Roches, as he has been appointed as Senior Vice-President of Laureate Hospitality Education worldwide.

‘I am happy that after a detailed and careful search, we were able to find Mrs Sonia Tatar to take the position as my successor’, stated Arie van der Spek. ‘Mrs Tatar has a long standing career in the world of hospitality combined with some outstanding experience in executive education. I am pleased to officially handover my responsibilities to her.’

To mark the hand-over, Arie van der Spek offered the new CEO/DG a model of staircase by Michelangelo. ‘Over the years we have taken Les Roches to a higher level. Now, for Sonia to take it to further heights. This staircase if well placed on your desk will remind you every day about this challenge’, explained Arie van der Spek to Sonia Tatar.

‘It has been three months now since I have joined Les Roches, it feels like I have been part of the Canton of Valais, part of Bluche and part of the school for much longer time’, said Sonia Tatar. ‘I like being among our motivated students, among our professional faculty and staff. I am honored to accept the challenge and dedicate myself to building a continuous success for Les Roches in the future. I am confident that all together we can take Les Roches to further heights, further aspirations.’

‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Arie van der Spek for his visionary, successful leadership and for making Les Roches what it is today a way of life’, Sonia Tatar continued.

Les Roches International School of Hotel Management is part of Laureate Hospitality Education and was recently ranked 5-star hotel hiring managers as number 2 among all international hospitality management schools for an international career.


Entry of Sonia Tatar as CEO/Director General of Les Roches