Another Shvo defection

Elana Friedman, a 15-year industry veteran, has been named the marketing director of AKA, an extended-stay luxury hotels company with four Manhattan locations — including in Midtown North, Times Square, Sutton Place and a spot near the United Nations. She had been the vice president of marketing for Shvo, the eponymous luxury real estate marketing firm and brainchild of one-time branding hotshot Michael Shvo.

Friedman’s commercial clients have included Godiva Chocolatier, American Express and Mercedes Benz, according to a news release sent last month.

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In a written statement, MJ Paschall, president of the AKA brand, said that Friedman’s background in both real estate and consumer products marketing was integral to her joining the team. “Utilizing her diversified background of agency life and real estate marketing expertise” was key, Paschall said.

AKA, which also maintains offices in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va., plans to open two new locations in Los Angeles and London in 2010.