US/UK: Luxury hotel and residence brand AKA has named T. Blake Danner as the group’s chief operating officer.
Danner joins AKA from Proper Hospitality where he led the company’s business strategy, growth and development. Prior to this he was the founding COO of Sydell Group and opened 11 hotels in seven years, working with brands such as The NoMad, The Line, Saguaro and Freehand.
Additional experience includes nearly a a decade with Ian Schrager Hotels and Morgan’s Hotel Group.
“As I step into the role of COO at AKA, I look forward to working with the brand and its remarkable team,” said 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.”
In his new role with AKA, Danner will work alongside Ryan Dougherty, chief financial officer, Elana Friedman, chief marketing and strategy officer, and Larry Korman, president and CEO.
Korman said: “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. 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.”
Danner’s appointment follows the recent opening of Hotel AKA NoMad and Hotel AKA Alexandria, both designed by Italian architect and designer, Piero Lissoni.
In South Florida, Hotel AKA Brickell has undergone a £16 million renovation led by architecture firm Gabellini Sheppard Associates. Transformations will kickstart this year at Hotel AKA Back Bay (led by Annabelle Selldorf) and Hotel AKA Boston Common (led by Rafael De Cardenas).
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 has added seven new properties with a current total of 16 assets across the US and the UK.