Lara Hardcastle

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Lara’s versatility, creativity, and dedication are just a few of the qualities that make her one of our powerhouse players.

Overseeing our clients’ multimillion-dollar new unit concepts, Lara works tirelessly to get results. Working side by side with contractors, in-house client teams, architects, designers, engineers, and local building officials, all while managing budgets, timelines, resources, and bidding, Lara has also found time to raise the bar on her commitment to sustainability and provide our clients with unmatched green best practices by obtaining her U.S. Green Building Council certification as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.

Her restaurant and hospitality industry journey began after graduating cum laude from New York University in 1992. A move to Los Angeles led to joining a successful, high-volume restaurant group, where she helped open 10 new restaurants and participated in the development of an integrated management development program.

In 1997, Lara was recruited by Mike V and Dan to open an upscale market & bakery concept where she was responsible for all facets of new unit openings, quickly becoming the go-to person for everything from construction layout and equipment selection to specialty goods purchasing. After a promotion to manage facilities, Lara acted as the key decision-maker for local and national contract negotiations and her duties expanded to include, overseeing store remodels, spearheading a $2 million systems and network infrastructure implementation, and supporting profitability by streamlining operations through technology. Dan and Mike V then brought her onto their VSAG team.

Lara is both a top-notch project manager and utility player, with the research skills, tenacity, and flexibility to take on and master any new process, program, or task with a true can-do spirit and unshakable determination. More than a seasoned industry expert, Lara is a role model and inspiration to all those who work with her.