LongWater Opportunities, an operationally focused Dallas-based private equity firm, has acquired hospitality art company Kalisher from its founders for an undisclosed price.
Kalisher is the fifth investment in LongWater’s second equity fund. “We are very excited to partner with the Kalisher team to continue the legacy of creativity, quality, and unmatched customer service that the company has built over the last 15 years,” Will Dobbs, a partner at LongWater, said in a statement. “The team’s passion for art and unique culture has brought the company to where it is today. Kalisher’s quality product and diverse, loyal customers have positioned Kalisher as a dominant player in the hospitality art market, and we’re confident that this team will succeed in entering new markets and driving further growth.”
“We are very excited to partner with LongWater as our company enters a new phase,” David Winton, president of Kalisher, added. “LongWater’s vision for the company is consistent with our culture of creativity and service that we’ve worked so hard to build. We are excited to work together and benefit from LongWater’s impressive experience as we bring our creative engine to new roads across the world.”
Kalisher also promoted Jon Cochran to VP of business development this month. A designer in his own right, Cochran had been the senior director of business development since 2014. “It’s been my privilege to work with and for my colleagues and clients at Kalisher,” he said in a statement when his new role was announced. “The moments of creative collaboration and teamwork that drive our process are also the moments that are most fulfilling and exhilarating.”
Along with Winton and COO Sarah Elder, Cochran created and developed the company’s business development department for North America. During that time, Cochran has been actively involved in the training and development of Kalisher’s Account Team, as well as the opening of offices in London, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Charleston, and Cleveland.
“Jon...has proven both great leadership and keen understanding of our clients’ needs,” Winton said. “We are thrilled with how Jon has taken the reins and made us stronger.”
Cochran, a Georgia native, graduated from Vanderbilt University with an MA in sociology in 2008 before starting his career in visual merchandising. He started working with Kalisher in 2013 when he was hired as the director of business development, and was promoted to senior director of business development nine months later.
Kalisher creates, commissions, and curates artwork for hospitality, corporate, and healthcare projects worldwide and is a preferred art provider for several global hospitality brands, including Marriott, Starwood, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Four Seasons, Hard Rock Hotel, Wynn, Royal Caribbean, and Fairmont. The company has created and produced story-driven art collections for branded and boutique projects such as Conrad Fort Lauderdale, Hard Rock Davos, Fairmont Chicago, Omni Frisco, and Renaissance Atlanta Gateway. Fourteen years after Jesse and Helen Kalisher launched the company in their garage, Kalisher has more than 100 employees across three continents. Founder Jesse Kalisher died last summer in Chapel Hill, N.C.