Like many hoteliers, he grew to love hospitality as he rose through the ranks. Damon was a front desk agent at the Donovan House Hotel in Washington, DC, while attending Howard University. He then moved into management at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton, InterContinental Hotels Group, and Dusit International. After seeing a lack of African American brand ownership and leadership in higher management ranks Damon created the Homage Hospitality brand in 2014 and currently oversees operations and creative direction. In July of 2018 Homage Hospitality opened their first property “The Moor” in New Orleans, LA. The small property stands out with an emphasis on the culture of the North African Moors in its design and architecture. The nearly 100-year-old facade sports Spanish Colonial features, while inside, the four suites have rustic elements of exposed brick and hardwood floors softened with Moroccan-patterned textiles. Homage will follow up their opening with a second New Orleans location called “The Freeman” that will pay homage to New Orleans as the birthplace of Jazz and the Treme, the oldest African-American neighborhood in the U.S. Under Damon’s leadership Homage looks to open 10 more locations across the country while paying homage to African American culture along the way.
Favorite place to stay when traveling:
I love going home to LA honestly. I've learned to appreciate Los Angeles more as an adult and I'm excited to see my family each time.
MUST have travel item:
My headphones are a must. I am either listening to music or on a phone call and my headphones are essential.
Who would play you in a movie?
I hope fellow Howard Alumni Lance Gross would play my character in a movie.
Favorite ILC Memory?
After coming of the stage at ILC in Los Angeles I ran into Chip Conley. Chip has been a mentor and thought leader in this industry so to come off the stage and have him ready to go up right after me was amazing and really showed how far my journey has come full circle. We took a quick selfie just so I could remember that moment.
My first job was a front desk agent at the Donovan House hotel in DC which at the time was a Thompson Hotel. I learned so much about the hotel industry and was hooked at that point.