Damon Lawrence

Damon’s experience in hospitality stretches among some of the best brands in the world. A graduate of Howard University, Damon first began his hospitality journey in the nations capital as a front desk agent for the Thompson Hotel Group’s Donovan House Hotel in Midtown DC. From there, Damon moved within management ranks at companies such as Ritz Carlton, Intercontinental Hotel Group & Dusit Thani International for a career than spans over a decade.  After witnessing a lack of African American representation in brand ownership and leadership, Damon created the Homage Hospitality brand and oversees operations and creative direction.

Aliya Khan

With degrees in Architecture and Industrial Design, Aliya Khan brings 20 years of experience and her passion for furniture design and travel to her current position as the Vice President of Design Strategies.  With a focus on AC Hotels, Aloft, Element and Moxy, she drives the effort to define the design strategy for the brands, and position each with a distinct personality.

As a part of her responsibilities, Aliya is charged with the next generation development of both Aloft and Element – in addition to continually refining the position of AC Hotels and Moxy – to support a growing global pipeline.

Prior to joining Marriott International, Aliya worked in numerous roles with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.  She was the driving force behind several award-winning projects, including the opening of the W Montreal, renovations of the W Mexico City and the Le Meridien properties in French Polynesia, in addition to leading the design partnership effort between St. Regis Hotels and Bentley Motors. In addition to these notable projects, she led the renovation of the iconic St. Regis New York.

Most recently, before joining Marriot, Aliya took a break from the hotel industry to lead Design and Development for NeueHouse, including the opening of their award-winning location in Hollywood.

Having lived in six cities of the world, Aliya has now made her way to her new home in Washington, D.C.

Larry Traxler

Larry Traxler is celebrating his 10th year as Global Head of Design at Hilton overseeing the architecture, design, construction and renovation for all 17 of Hilton’s Luxury, Lifestyle, Full and Focused-Service hotel brands. In addition, he also leads the design efforts behind each new brand launch and design refresh initiative for these brands.


Larry and his talented global design team work closely with Developers, Owners, Operators, Architects and Designers to ensure that the brand ethos and unique style of each Hilton branded property is successfully realized within the global portfolio. Larry and team also lead the design efforts for Hilton’s newest brand launches & rollouts, such as the recently announced LXR, Signia Hilton, and Motto by Hilton.


Larry’s professional career began in the architectural design studio of Jordan Mozer & Associates and he holds a six-year professional Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. Larry has amassed more than 29 years of international hospitality design experience at world-renowned design studios HBA and Wilson Associates; as well as leading the design functions for Hyatt Hotels and Ian Schrager prior to joining Hilton. Larry serves as the driving force behind the considerable successes of the Architecture Design & Construction / Global Design Services team at Hilton.