We were excited to have Sonesta Irvine – Orange County Airport join the Sonesta family late in 2019. This centrally located hotel is close to all of the attractions travelers love about Orange County. With decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Diane Blake leads the team there as general manager. In addition to her GM role at Sonesta Irvine, Diane is Vice President for the Irvine Concourse Owners’ Association, representing all 23 hotels/hoteliers as a board member for the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.
Read below for the latest in our Meet the GM series to learn a little about Diane.
What do you like most about working within and leading a hotel?
The diversity of my job is what fills my soul each day! I love being responsible for creating and communicating the vision and inspiring our team to create the magic.
Since joining the hospitality industry – what role/opportunity have you enjoyed, or do you look forward to most?
I get great joy serving as a mentor. There is nothing more satisfying than working with aspiring and talented people and helping ready them to assume new responsibilities and to be promoted. It’s something I try to always make time for.
In your opinion, what has been your hotel’s most successful Amazing Moment?
Past. . . The achievement of record-breaking results in market share, revenues and profit.
Future. . . Stay tuned. . . because the best is yet to come!
If you weren’t a hotelier – what would you be?
I love children and animals and I would create and run a business that enhances the lives of children in some grand way.
What do you enjoy most about living in Irvine?
What’s not to like? Consistently named as one of the top USA cities in which to live, Irvine has fabulous weather, gorgeous beaches and mountains, and schools that rank at the top of the heap. Irvine is one of America’s safest cities and also features a strong and diverse economy.
Name your favorite place to visit – any destination in the world.
Anywhere tropical with water/ocean/sea where I get to spend time with the people I love and get to give up the reins.
Name three items you absolutely don’t travel without.
Water, lipstick, phone
What is something your team and guests would be surprised to learn about you?
I really DO relax sometimes!
Read more about our hotel GMs in our Meet the GM series.