Michael van Akkeren
A creative and high performing business leader with over 25 years of global hotel & hospitality experience. A proven expert in all aspects of hotel & brand operations, customer experience & service model design, project and initiative development
& execution, brand & hotel design development and stakeholder satisfaction (guest, associate, owner/franchisee & above- property). Multi-lingual and culturally diverse, energetic influencer, motivator and leader, team player & builder, with strong beliefs in professional integrity and loyalty.
2006 - present MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
Senior Director, Design & Development – Premium Brand Operations (Global) 2018 – Present
• Key interface between brand organization, global operations, owners & franchisees and operating hotels.
• Drive communication and alignment of key initiatives, standards, policies and best practices across 6 brands, 5 continents, 100+ owners & franchisees and over 1000+ hotels.
• Manage, identify and develop the customer experience, the service model and the core brand proof points for multiple brands across the premium classic and distinctive brand portfolio, whilst providing perspective on the long-range planning and brand strategies for both franchised and managed hotels.
• Lead complex, organization-wide projects developing insights, strategies and innovations for Marriott’s premium classic & distinctive brands. Lead & manage guest centered design & development process from ideation to proof of concept to deployment, driving deliverables at varying levels. Senior
Director, Brand Advocate –Distinctive Brand Operations (Americas) 2015 – 2018
• In charge of the brand advocate team, supporting all franchise & managed hotels within the select and premium distinctive branded segment in the Americas.
• Provide operational support & guidance (both virtual and in-person) for both opening and existing Distinctive hotels, through preopening, opening, and sustainment support, assisting hotel teams with alignment between Brand Strategy and lifestyle operational execution, ensuring delivery of an on-strategy and on-brand experience.
• Assist with pull-through of branded core values, with specific focus on service delivery, sensory experiences, and on-brand product.
• Act as the key liaison & interface between all main stakeholders, identifying and reporting out on observations, trends & opportunities, while providing operational recommendations and solutions.
Director of Hotel Operations, Rooms (Renaissance Chicago Downtown) 2012 – 2015
• Strategic and day-to-day operational leader, responsible for all non-F&B related departments in a 550 room downtown hotel.
• Managed annual revenues of $55 million, and a team comprised of approx. 200 employees (including department heads, managers, supervisors and hourly associates).
• Main responsible party for all matters related to customer satisfaction.
• Main POC for all branded operational activations and programming.
Director of Event Management (Doral Golf Resort & Spa – a Marriott Resort) 2010 - 2012
• Strategic and day-to-day operational leader, responsible for all event/catering/banquets related departments (event planning, event/banquet operations and audio visual) in an 800 room resort hotel.
• Managed annual revenues of $20-23 million, and a team comprised of approx. 175 employees (including department heads, managers, supervisors and hourly associates).
• Responsible for successfully operating & servicing approx. 100,000 sq.ft. of indoor space, & an additional 100,000 sq.ft. of outdoor space, hosting upwards of 3000-4000 events (group & local catering) annually 2004 - 2006
Director of Event Management (Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center) 2008 - 2010
• Strategic and day-to-day operational leader, responsible for all event/catering/banquets related departments (event planning, event/banquet operations and audio visual) in a 1300 room downtown hotel.
• Managed annual revenues of $10-12 million, and a team comprised of approx. 150 employees (including department heads, managers, supervisors and hourly associates).
• Responsible for successfully operating & servicing approx. 100,000 sq.ft. of indoor meeting & event space hosting upwards of 2500 - 3000 events annually (group & local catering)
Director of Event Planning (Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center) 2006 – 2008
2004 - 2006 INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP
Director of Conference Services (InterContinental Hotel Houston) 2005 – 2006
Assistant Director of Conference Services (InterContinental Hotel Chicago) 2004 - 2005
1997 - 2004 MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL
Senior Event Manager (Renaissance Chicago Downtown) 2003 - 2004 Event Manager (Marriott Chicago O’Hare) 2000 – 2003
Various Leadership Positions (Chateau Elan Winery & Resort) 1997 - 2000
1996 – 1997 Diamond Dunes Hotel & Beach Resort (Isla de Margarita, Venezuela) – F&B Management Intern
1992 – 1997 NHL Stenden Hogeschool– Hotel Management School (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands) Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel & Hospitality Management
1986 – 1992 RSG Schagen (Schagen, the Netherlands) – VWO Pre-University Education
• Dutch (Native)
• English (fluent)
• Spanish (working knowledge)
• German (beginner)
• French (beginner)
Guest Lecturer at Michigan State University
Multiple Leadership Training programs, to include:
• Lifestyle University 101 + 201 (attendee & facilitator)
• Lifestyle Brand Immersions (attendee & facilitator)
• Impact Leadership
• Leadership Excellence Program
Recipient of multiple awards, including (but not limited to):
• 2003 Event Management Team of the Year for Renaissance Hotels (global)
• 2007 Event Management Team of the Year for Renaissance Hotels (global)