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This Week in Cruise: Four Big Executive Appointments to Know

July 27, 2015 By: Adam Leposa

Jim Berra
Jim Berra

This week in cruise saw some major new hirings and personnel shifts.

Former SVP and Chief Marketing Officer of Carnival Cruise Line Jim Berra joined Royal Caribbean International as that line's new chief marketing officer

Berra is expected to bolster the company’s marketing, brand strategy, consumer and trade advertising and web initiatives. 

Previously, Berra served as senior vice president and general manager for Rodale Interactive, where he led the development and marketing of the company's online businesses. Rodale is a global media company publishing some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines and books. Prior to that Berra also held various marketing positions at Starwood Hotels & Resorts, including as the senior vice president of customer marketing and strategic alliances, where he oversaw Starwood's loyalty programs, customer relationship management and strategic alliances. Berra began his marketing career at Hyatt Hotels & Resorts.

Carnival Corp.'s new social impact travel brand, Fathom, made a major appointment when it named Michelle Sutter as its new senior sales leader. In this role, Sutter will be responsible for marketing and business development supporting sales of Fathom. 

Sutter joined the company in July reporting to David Drier, vice president, sales for Fathom.

Sutter joins the Fathom team from Holland America Line and Seabourn, where she was business development manager since early 2013, responsible for increasing travel professional sales and market share for the company and exceeding established revenue objectives on a regular basis. In 2014, Holland America Line recognized Sutter with the Rookie of the Year Award. Prior to that, Sutter served in several sales roles of increasing responsibility at Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International, where she was the recipient of numerous sales awards.

Fresh of its announcement of big plans for three new ships plus yacht, river cruise and air travel options, Crystal Cruises named Helen Panagos as vice president of marketing and sales for its new Crystal Yacht Cruises.

In her new role, Panagos will be responsible for driving all marketing and sales efforts for Crystal’s first-ever brand extension as well play a vital role in the marketing direction of other special-branded projects.

Panagos was mostly recently the director of global product development at Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, where she was responsible for the Global Tour Operations team in developing the cruise brands under the corporate portfolio. In addition to a strong cruise product development background, Panagos is well versed in sales, passenger service and partnerships.

The new Crystal Esprit will host 62 guests and begin sailing in December 2015. 

Finally, Star Clippers named Terri Haas vice president of sales for the Americas.

In her new position, based out of Miami, Haas will be responsible for overseeing Star Clippers' sales team, incentive charters, group business and large national accounts. Haas reports to Mirell Reyes, president of Star Clippers Americas, also based in Miami.

Haas has over 25 years experience in the cruise business. Most recently Haas held the position of vice president of sales, North America, for Haimark Ltd., and prior to that she was the chief commercial officer for Compagnie Du Ponant, North America, for five years. Additionally, she held various leadership positions, including the corporate director of sales, for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises for 15 years. Her travel industry experience also includes stints at Jewel River Cruises and Costa Cruises.

Keep visiting for the latest cruise industry news, trends and updates. 

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About the Author

Adam Leposa
Adam Leposa is the Online Managing Editor of He has worked as an Editorial Associate in the Children's Division of Simon & Schuster. He is a graduate of...

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By Adam Leposa | July 27, 2015
This week in cruise saw some major new hirings and personnel shifts. Take a look at who's where.
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