The Big Reach: Mansour Ghalibaf

 In Blog

Note: With this piece, I introduce a new blog series that will post on occasion and be interspersed with Beetle Press’ more usual posts. I’m calling this series, “The Big Reach.” It will offer snapshots of leaders in the Pioneer Valley who are shaping and influencing Western Massachusetts – and beyond.

Determined to succeed

For a month in 1980, Mansour Ghalibaf was a wanted man.

He was living in this country on a student visa, which he had violated by working to make ends meet. He’d ignored a series of warning letters received over five months from the U.S. government, hoping the problem would go away. Instead it escalated, and he was threatened with deportment.

When he called on Ted Kennedy to intervene on his behalf one afternoon at his office at Government Center in Boston, there was nothing the U.S. senator could do to help. Mansour was told, in fact, that he was to be deported to Tehran – that afternoon.

He did the only thing that made sense to him at the time. He fled and went into hiding.

The story of how Mansour triumphed with immigration – and throughout his impressive career – is a story of perseverance, good ethics and hard work.

A partner in the company that owns the $18 million Hotel Northampton, Mansour is also developing a new hotel on his own on Conz Street in Northampton.

He has come a long way – geographically, personally, financially.

A modest Iranian family

Mansour was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1953, the middle son in a family of seven.

After high school, he joined the Iranian Army, where he learned discipline and a sense of self. Then, he took a job in the statistics department of the Bank of Iran and Holland, but shortly thereafter, on a whim, Mansour applied to Worcester Junior College and was accepted.

He sold his car and came to Massachusetts with $4,250. He was 23.

Mansour’s money didn’t last long, so he took on the employment that led to his difficulties with immigration officials, and he worked hard. He learned English. He earned an associate’s degree in accounting at Quinsigamond Community College in the Worcester area, and when immigration caught up to him, he was working toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

He spent a difficult month, hiding from everyone, including his girlfriend, Diane, and then a good immigration lawyer brought an end to his problems. He was allowed to graduate from Southeastern University – now UMass Dartmouth – in 1981, and he married Diane shortly thereafter. They are still married and have two children.

Succeeding in business

Mansour worked in hotels in the Boston area straight out of college and learned about a job as manager of the Hotel Northampton through a newspaper ad.

The hotel was rundown at the time, he says, and needed upgrades and amenities, but he had a vision in his head. He knew he could restore the hotel and make it a sought-after centerpiece in Northampton once again.

He saw the hotel through a sale to an overseas owner, and then, in 2006, he partnered with Tony Murkett of London, creating Mananto Holdings. In a sophisticated international deal, the two bought the hotel and all its holdings for almost $12 million.

Mansour is 60 now. He and Tony continue to own the hotel together, and Mansour is also investing his share of profits in a new hotel, for which he will serve as full owner. He’s developing a four-story Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites on Conz Street in Northampton, and he has a plan for how the two hotels can co-exist.

Mansour says it’s honesty and integrity that have served him well.

“Do the right thing,” he says. “That goes a long way.”

To suggest a subject for The Big Reach, email Janice at [email protected] or post a comment!

To learn more about Hotel Northampton, visit

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text.