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Names Tonya Graham as Director of Sales & Communication & Bryan Johns as Operations Manager

October 14, 2013 - Georgia's first Aloft hotel continues to progress towards an opening during the first quarter of 2014 with Banyan Investment Group filling three of the hotel's key executive positions -- Terry Hitt as General Manager; Tonya Graham as Director of Sales & Communication; and Bryan Johns as Operations Manager.   

More than $25 million in renovations are proceeding on the 10-story, 254-room property, which is located in downtown Atlanta on Baker Street adjacent to the Atlanta Merchandise Mart.

Hitt has more than 15 years of experience as a general manager, most recently at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, a 405-room convention hotel in Norfolk, Virginia.  He has also managed the Omaha Marriott, the Richmond (Virginia) Marriott, the Sheraton West Palm Beach, the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Crowne Plaza, and the Jacksonville Marriott.  He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration at Berry College in Georgia.  

Graham joins the Aloft with almost 15 years of hospitality sales experience, including with Mills Marketing Group , Callaway Gardens Resort, and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.  She is bi-lingual in Spanish and earned her undergraduate degree in communications at Auburn University.

Johns has most recently managed food and beverage operations at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta.  Previously, he held a similar position at the W Atlanta Midtown.  He earned a degree in hospitality administration at the University of Phoenix.    

Banyan and DeBartolo Development purchased the hotel in July of 2012 as a former Days Inn.  The Aloft will feature more than 2,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, as well as amenities such as a fitness center, swimming pool, and bar with live musical performers. 

"We are designing and staffing this property so we can provide an exceptionally amazing experience for every guest during every stay," explains Rakesh Chauhan, president and CEO of Banyan Investment Group.  "Terry as General Manager, Tonya as Director of Sales, and Bryan as Operations Manager will lead that effort, and will be vital in helping us launch downtown Atlanta's newest, most dramatic landmark hotel."      

Currently, Banyan owns and operates a portfolio of 18 hotels located in Georgia and Florida.   

Contact: Peter G. Mathon - P. R. Counsel for Banyan Investment Group


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