SPARTANBURG – Corry Oakes III, co-founder and CEO of Spartanburg-based OTO Development, died August 7.
Oakes moved upstate in 1985 and quickly became a business leader. He was instrumental in the development of OTO, a Spartanburg-based hotel development and hotel management company that owns and operates 70 hotels. Founded in 2004, OTO Development is part of the Johnson Group, which has partnered with the Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott brands.
Oakes was a native of Lawrenceville, Georgia, who attended Wofford College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics, according to a press release from OTO Development. Oakes then held roles with Johnson’s WJB Blockbuster Video and then Extended Stay America.
He remained active at Wofford after graduation, serving on its board for 12 years and as chairman from 2019 to 2021.
“Corry was a beloved leader and dear friend to so many in our community and industry,” said Todd Turner, co-founder and vice president of real estate at OTO Development, in a company statement. . “His impact on our lives is as immeasurable as the grief we feel and the love for him and his family.”
Oakes, 55, is survived by his wife, Amy, and their three daughters, Ashley, Elizabeth and Lauren.
Oakes’ mentor and business partner, George Dean Johnson Jr., was among several business leaders who released statements upon news of his death.
“Corry was more than just a consummate professional and a leader in the hospitality industry,” read a statement released on behalf of the Johnson Group and the Johnson family. “He was a tremendous servant to the community, a mentor to everyone he worked with, a loving father and family man, and a most trusted advisor on so many different levels to our family. Words cannot describe to how deeply we will miss him.”
According to OTO Development, Oakes, Turner and Jim Ovenden provided their initials to name the hotel development and hotel management company they founded with George Dean Johnson Jr. and the late H. Wayne Huizenga in 2004.
“Corry was an industry titan, but the true measure of his success was his care and concern for people and the community,” OneSpartanburg President and CEO Allen Smith said in the release. lotto. “He was an encouraging and compassionate leader and a lover of all things Spartanburg. His example calls us all to strive to do better.”
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