Hotel Equities, AKA & Best Western promote, appoint executives

NHS, HE promote a new president while AKA appoints a new COO and BWH Hotels appoints a SVP and CMO. 

National Hospitality Services 

National Hospitality Services, an affiliate of Hotel Equities, promoted Sarah Koustrup as president of NHS. Koustrup previously was the company's chief strategy officer where she helped form the alliance between the two businesses announced earlier this year.

With more than a decade of experience in the hospitality industry and in her previous role as chief strategy officer, she was pivotal in driving the company’s growth, spearheading innovative strategies and ensuring operational excellence across all departments.

As president, Koustrup will continue to lead NHS. Moving forward, NHS will focus on a new, strategic vision with the goal of expanding its portfolio of managed and owned properties alongside HE while strengthening relationships with key stakeholders.

Earlier this year, NHS allied with Hotel Equities, strengthening corporate support functions and leveraging HE’s experience in hotel management to maximize operational efficiency. The partnership has helped NHS focus on developing and expanding its hotel portfolio in key markets across the Unites States.


AKA appointed T. Blake Danner as the company's new chief operating officer. Danner’s appointment is part of AKA’s brand expansion strategy, as the company recently opened two hotels, Hotel AKA NoMad and Hotel AKA Alexandria, both designed by 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. 

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. Danner will work alongside CFO Ryan Dougherty and Elana Friedman, chief marketing and strategy officer.

Before 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 helped shape 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 was the senior vice president of sales and opened hotels such as Sanderson, The Clift and Mondrian SOBE.

BWH Hotels  

BWH Hotels appointed Joelle Park senior vice president and chief marketing officer, reporting to President and CEO Larry Cuculic. As a member of the executive team, Park will lead the company’s global marketing, brand strategy and communications, including oversight of the company’s loyalty programs. 

With more than two decades of marketing experience, Park most recently was vice president, global enterprise and cross brand marketing at Hilton, overseeing strategy, branding and messaging for the Hilton portfolio of brands. Her work at Hilton included the recent launch of a global brand platform and campaign. Throughout her career, she has held various marketing leadership positions spanning brand management, digital strategy, customer experience and product development. Park specializes in launching integrated, go-to-market plans with consistent messaging across marketing, sales and communications.