AKA, Global Luxury Hospitality Brand, Appoints T. Blake Danner as Chief Operating Officer

Posted in News, People on 18 July, 2023

Danner to Play a Key Role in Fueling AKA’s Strategic Growth Initiatives.

AKA, a global leader and innovator in luxury hospitality, is pleased to announce the appointment of T. Blake Danner as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Danner’s extensive background in sales and management will be instrumental in continuing to develop and grow the reputable AKA brand, which pioneered the luxury hotel residence sector and is now evolving the hotel category to deliver the World’s Most Livable Hotels®.

Danner’s appointment is part of AKA’s brand expansion strategy, as it recently opened two hotels, Hotel AKA NoMad and Hotel AKA Alexandria, both designed by world-renowned Italian architect and designer, Piero Lissoni. Additionally, in South Florida, Hotel AKA Brickell and AKA West Palm are newly renovated and are unveiling their finished design enhancements later this month. Hotel AKA Brickell’s completion is following a $16 million design project by the esteemed architecture firm, Gabellini Sheppard Associates. Transformations in Boston at Hotel AKA Back Bay, by Annabelle Selldorf and Hotel AKA Boston Common, by Rafael De Cardenas begin this year. In addition to exquisite design, AKA aims to elevate the hotel dining experience in partnership with award-winning Chef Greg Vernick who leads Atelier AKA F+B, introducing new food and beverage concepts in collaboration with the world’s most distinguished chefs, sommeliers and restauranters across the AKA portfolio. Danner’s knowledge of the luxury hospitality industry will be an added value as AKA continues to evolve its key pillars.

“As AKA looks to the future of the brand and we continue to redefine hospitality, it is important for us to add an exceptional leader such as Blake,” states Larry Korman, President and CEO of AKA. “With properties in different markets that each have their own unique offering and style, Blake will be an esteemed asset to our team, bringing his established hotel expertise to provide new breadth and depth to our team all while ensuring the customer experience remains unified and memorable. We look forward to building on AKA’s success together.”

As a distinguished hospitality expert in sales and operations, Danner will focus on elevating and maintaining continuity across AKA’s growing portfolio by providing guided support to AKA’s managing directors and staff; ensuring the guest experience remains consistent via day-to-day operations at the properties and working with the entire team to deliver to AKA’s brand standards. Led by Larry Korman, Danner is joining an established team of executives and will complement and work alongside Ryan Dougherty, Chief Financial Officer; and Elana Friedman, Chief Marketing + Strategy Officer.

“As I step into the role of COO at AKA, I look forward to working with the brand and its remarkable team,” says Danner. “With a strong focus on productivity and working with the property teams, I am committed to maintaining the excellence that AKA is known for. Together, we will build upon the brand’s impressive offerings, drive more innovation and propel AKA’s growth to new heights.”

Over his 25-year career, Danner has worked with some of the foremost hospitality and lifestyle visionaries. Prior to Danner’s tenure at Proper Hospitality, where he led business strategy, growth, and development, he was the founding COO for Sydell Group, where he opened 11 hotels in seven years. There, he played a pivotal role in shaping well-respected hotel brands such as NoMad, The Line, Sagauro and Freehand. Additional career highlights include nearly a decade of work with Ian Schrager Hotels and Morgan’s Hotel Group, where Danner served as the Senior Vice President of Sales and opened iconic hotels such as Sanderson, The Clift and Mondrian SOBE.

AKA’s portfolio growth is a result of the brand’s partnership with Electra America, which formed Electra Hospitality Group (EAHG) in 2021. Since the $750 million opportunistic hotel fund launched, AKA added an additional seven properties for a total of 16 properties in the collection across the U.S., and Marylebone, U.K. As AKA expands their extended stay offering and evolves into the traditional hotel space, it brings its core residential philosophies to each property, creating a high-quality living experience in some of the most sought-after metropolitan cities in the world.

About AKA
AKA, a global leader in hospitality, offers design-driven, sophisticated accommodations with exceptional wellness, dynamic dining, business services, and first-class lifestyle amenities in iconic neighborhoods. As a pioneer in luxury long-stay living, AKA has leveraged its core residential philosophies to evolve the hotel category into a high-quality experience that is more livable. While each property is unique, they all reflect a tranquil and bespoke design that strikes the perfect balance between the privacy and contentment of a fully appointed residence and the hospitality of an intimate hotel. AKA is a division of Korman Communities, a five-generation residential real estate company, with properties in premium destinations in major metropolitan markets, including, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, West Palm Beach, D.C., Alexandria, Boston, and London neighborhoods.

For more information, visit https://www.stayaka.com.

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