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Who’s Where: Top Executive Appointments in the Travel IndustryFebruary 19, 2014 By: Adam Leposa
With the close of the old year and the start of the new, the travel industry has seen a flurry of executive moves and appointments. To help keep track of who’s where in the industry, Travel Agent has rounded up a list of executive appointments from the past six months, September 2013 through February 2014.
Jack Anderson, vice chairman, Crystal Cruises
Jack Anderson was promoted to vice chairman of Crystal Cruises October 16, 2013, following the promotion of Edie Bornstein to president and COO of the cruise line. Anderson reports to Crystal chairman and CEO Nobuyoshi Kuzuya.
Jack Anderson joined Crystal in 2011 as SVP, marketing and sales. His cruise industry pedigree includes senior management positions at The Yachts of Seabourn, Carnival Corporation, Holland America and Windstar. At Crystal, he initiated successful “Book Now” pricing strategies and spearheaded the earlier-than-ever development and launch of the line’s worldwide itineraries, as well as the materials, communications and sales efforts that have supported these initiatives.
Kristian Anderson, GM, Fort Lauderdale office and SVP, sales, North America
Silversea Cruises promoted Kristian Anderson to GM of the Fort Lauderdale office and SVP of sales for North America, effective December 16, 2013.
Anderson, who joined Silversea in June 2012 as VP of sales for North America, is a travel industry veteran with over 25 years of sales and management experience. He was recently a participant in our customer service roundtable.
Ellen Bettridge, president, Unique Vacations, Inc.
Ellen Bettridge left Silversea to become president of Unique Vacations, Inc., exclusive representatives of Sandals Resorts International in the Americas, effective January 6.
Bettridge had been president of the Americas for Silversea. Before working for the cruise line, she had been with American Express for 20 years, working her way up from travel counselor to vice president of the American Express U.S. Retail Travel Network.
Jill Birkett, event director, Luxury Travel Exchange International
Questex Hospitality + Travel named Jill Birkett event director, responsible for the company’s leisure events portfolio including Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX). During the last five years, Birkett was business director of the Beauty & Wellness Industry division of UBM plc, a global events marketing and communications services company based in London, responsible for managing a business-to-business event that connects global suppliers with major global brands including Revlon, Estee Lauder and Chanel, among others.
Edie Bornstein, president and COO, Crystal Cruises
Edie Bornstein became president and COO of Crystal Cruises effective October 16, 2013, replacing former president Gregg Michel.
With more than 30 years in the cruise industry, Bornstein was senior vice president of marketing and sales at Azamara Club Cruises, the upscale division of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL), where she worked from 2009 until recently. It was under her leadership that she and her team re-launched the young brand as Azamara Club Cruises. Previously, she was vice president of business development and strategic partnerships for Carnival Cruise Lines, and has also served as a senior officer at Cunard and Seabourn Cruise Lines, where she developed strategic plans and led partnerships with several respected luxury brands. Prior to her in-house positions with the cruise lines, Bornstein was vice president of cruise and specialty sales, marketing and customer support for Amadeus Global Distribution System. At Amadeus, she was instrumental in the implementation of automation solutions for the cruise industry and numerous other projects.
Sarina Bratton, head, local Australasian operations, Compagnie du Ponant
Copagnie du Ponant appointed Sarina Bratton the head of its local Australasian in late November of 2013 to develop the line’s presence in the Australian and Asian markets.
Bratton created market-leading five-star Orion Expedition Cruises a decade ago, and has been named Compagnie du Ponant's Australasian chairman and special advisor to the company's Marseilles-headquartered executive team. She sold her remaining shares in Orion earlier in 2013.
Alan Buckelew, COO, Carnival Corporation
Alan Buckelew was appointed to the newly-created role of COO of Carnival Corporation as part of a series of personnel shifts at the company that took effect December 1, 2013.
Buckelew, who had been president and CEO of Princess Cruises, reports to Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation’s CEO.
Buckelew will have oversight of all maritime and port operations around the world and our group collaborative functions, including information technology; group strategy and global operations; ship retrofits; newbuilds; research and development; risk advisory; and quality assurance. Additionally, Buckelew will have oversight of Carnival Asia, with responsibility for coordinating all our brand and related activities in that part of the world.
With a career spanning more than 36 years in the cruise industry, Buckelew has served as chief executive officer of Princess Cruises since June 2007 and as the line's president since February 2004. In addition he also served as chief operating officer for Cunard Line from 2004 to 2007.
Philip Cappelli, president, Insight Vacations
Phillip Cappelli was promoted from vice president of sales to president at Insight when former president Marc Kazlauskas departed the company in late January.
When Travel Agent interviewed Cappelli about the transition, he said, “I’ve worked with Marc Kazlauskas for two-and-a-half years. He’s been a great friend and mentor and he’s positioned me well to take this opportunity.”
Bill St. Clair, regional sales director, Abercrombie & Kent
Abercrombie & Kent USA appointed Bill St. Clair regional sales director for Connections by Abercrombie & Kent in the Western U.S. and Canada, effective February 2.
St. Clair has extensive industry experience, including over 20 years at Tauck World Discovery and most recently as western regional manager for Kensington Tours.
Angela Composto, VP marketing for the Americas, Silversea Cruises
Silversea Cruises appointed Angela Composto as its new VP of marketing for the Americas, reporting to Kristian Anderson, SVP of sales and general manager for North America.
With 20 years of experience in marketing management and promotion, Composto is responsible for overseeing day-to-day marketing activities for the Americas, including the development, implementation and management of advertising, collateral, direct marketing and e-marketing programs.
Florian Connert, director of sales and marketing, Melia Caribe Tropical
In February Connert was appointed the new director of sales and marketing at the Melia Caribe Tropical in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic. His past positions include regional director of sales and marketing for the BlueBay Group in Cancun, Mexico and regional director of sales for the Caribbean for AM Resorts in Punta Cana, among others.
Caren Cotto, business development manager, Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX) and Young Travel Leaders Conference (YTLC)
Questex Hospitality + Travel named Caren Cotto business development manager, responsible for the sales and promotion of the company’s travel events including Luxury Travel Exchange International (LTX) and Young Travel Leaders Conference (YTLC).
Cotto most recently served as international sales director for MSE Management, selling exhibit space and multimedia sponsorships for the largest travel consumer events in the nation – The New York Times Travel Show and Los Angeles Times Travel Show – where she connected thousands of travel suppliers with travel trade and consumer audiences.
Kim Dinsmoor, LWH Hotels, VP hotel representation development
LWH Hotels appointed Kim Dinsmoor VP hotel representation development as part of three new additions to its team in early January.
Dinsmoor has 23 years of hospitality experience, most recently serving as managing director of Maverick Hospitality Management where he consulted many premiere hotel groups and resorts with development, financial, and marketing services. Dinsmoor worked with numerous four and five-star properties throughout his career, including The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C., The Drake in Chicago, IL, and The Peabody in Memphis, TN.
Mark Dzerowycz, sales manger, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection named Mark Dzerowycz one of its two new sales mangers in early January. Dzerowycz will cover eastern Canada.
As a business development manager for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line, Dzerowycz spent nine years developing and implementing strategic sales plans for both organizations. Before that he served as a District Sales Manager for Princess for eight years, where his many duties included developing and administering marketing programs, coordinating educational and training programs, and servicing individual and national accounts.
Oscar Abel Rivero Estrada, general manager, Las Alamandas
Mexico hotel Las Alamandas named Oscar Abel Rivero Estrada its new GM in late January. Rivero is a veteran hotelier with 28 years of hospitality industry experience in Mexico, including serving in various positions with Hyatt Hotels in Acapulco, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta.
Howard Frank, chairman, Costa Crociere S.p.A.
Carnival Corporation & plc announced in late January the appointment of Howard Frank as the chairman of Costa Crociere S.p.A, which operates the Costa Cruises, AIDA and Iberocruceros brands in Europe, Asia and South America.
In this role, Frank will support Michael Thamm, CEO of Costa Crociere S.p.A.
When Frank joined Carnival, the company had 785,000 guests sailing on 14 ships, supported by fewer than 7,000 employees generating $1.1 billion in revenue and a market capitalization of $2.7 billion.
Today, Carnival's 10 brands annually welcome over 10 million guests on more than 100 ships supported by over 90,000 employees generating more than $15 billion in revenue with a market capitalization of $27 billion.
Kevin Froemming, EVP and chief marketing officer, Playa Resorts Management
Kevin Froemming resigned from his position of president of Unique Vacations, the worldwide representatives of Sandals and Beaches Resorts in November 2013. He joined Playa Resorts Management as EVP and chief marketing officer in December 2013.
Prior to his 10 year tenure as President of Unique Vacations, he rose to the position of Chief Operating Officer of The Mark Travel Corporation's owned brands. In this capacity, he was responsible for bottom line profitability, and led the acquisition and integration team that was responsible for the addition of several major travel companies that were successfully integrated into The Mark Travel Corporation's portfolio of brands. He has also held senior positions at Wyndham Hotels and Renaissance Cruise lines.
The announcement followed Playa's recent agreement with an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels to own and manage Hyatt's two new all-inclusive brands: Hyatt Ziva and Hyatt Zilara, throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Playa also recently acquired Real Resorts.
Randy Garfield, retired, Disney
Randy Garfield, president of the Walt Disney Travel Company and executive vice president, worldwide sales and travel operations at Disney Destinations, announced his retirement in early February, effective April 1.
Garfield has spent 20 years with Disney, where he has been responsible for sales and distribution marketing for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and Disney Vacation Club. He leads the Disney Institute, Disney Event Group, central reservations and special event/group sales for the Resorts, and works with Disney's Sports Enterprises. The U.S. Travel Association inducted Garfield into the U.S. Hall of Travel Leaders this past November.
Yana Gutierrez, VP, strategic partnerships, American Express Representative Network
Yana Gutierrez, VP, strategic partnerships, American Express Representative Network, assumed direct responsibility over the Representative Network in early December 2013.
Tony Gonchar, who remained as vice president, focused his attention on identifying key linkages between the Rep Network and other business units within American Express.
Bill Hanbury, CEO, Bermuda Tourism Authority
The Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA) announced the appointment of Bill Hanbury as CEO in late January. From 2009-2013, Hanbury was the CEO of the United Way of the National Capital Area. During his tenure, he rebuilt the internal operating structure, implemented a development strategy that improved financial stability and rebuilt the organisation’s marketing, communications and digital capabilities.
Prior to that, Hanbury served as president and CEO of Destination DC and the American Experience Foundation from 2001-2009. While there he oversaw domestic and international marketing and sales for one of the world’s top tourism destinations. The organization was responsible for selling the Washington Convention Center and positioning the U.S. Capital as a first-tier convention, tourism and events location.
Marilyn Hiris, retired, Travel Agent magazine
Longtime Travel Agent magazine production chief Marilyn Hiris retired in October of 2013 after nearly 40 years with our publication. Managing editor David Moseder profiled Hiris in a piece in the October issue of our magazine.
Nicole Hunter, sales manager, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection named Nicole Hunter one of its two new sales mangers in early January. Hunter will cover 10 states in Uniworld’s new Rocky Mountain territory, including Colorado.
Prior to joining Uniworld, Hunter worked for a number of travel companies including Pleasant Holidays, Globus and Cosmos and Polk Travel.
Don Jones, EVP sales and marketing, Cadence Travel Management
Don Jones, former vice president of sales for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, left the luxury hotel company to become executive vice president of sales and marketing at La Jolla-based Cadence Travel Management in early February.
A 1982 graduate of the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Don has held a number of sales and marketing roles in his 25 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. In January 2012, Don was promoted to his current role of vice president of sales, overseeing the sales efforts in the Americas on behalf of all business segments.
Marc Kazlauskas, president, leisure division, Frosch Travel
Marc Kazlauskas moved from Insight Vacations to become the president of the leisure division of Frosch Travel in late January. The move will be effective March 3.
Kazlauskas joins FROSCH from Insight Vacations, where he was president for the last 12 years. While at Insight, Kazlauskas was responsible for growing the business over 200 percent, winning several industry awards and accolades, and playing a central role as Insight grew and expanded its leadership in the Premium and Luxury escorted tour business.
Andrew Kidde, director of global group and incentive sales, LWH Hotels
LWH Hotels appointed Andrew Kidde director of global group and incentive sales as part of three new additions to its team in early January.
Kidde is a top sales and marketing director in the hospitality field, with over 20 years of experience with Walt Disney Resorts, Starwood and Hilton Hotels, and 15 years of experience with large convention group hotels. Most recently, Kidde was director of sales and marketing with Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown, where he successfully increased group revenue production for the property.
Stein Kruse, CEO, Holland America Group
As part of a series of personnel shifts at Carnival Corporation that took effect December 1, 2013, Stein Kruse was promoted from CEO of Holland America Line to CEO of Holland America Group, adding Princess Cruises and Holland America/Princess Tours (which handles land operations in Alaska) to his current responsibilities, which also include Seabourn.
Kruse will report to Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald, and also replaced Micky Arison as chairman of the board of MANCO, the UK-based entity which oversees operations of Carnival Australia including P&O Cruises.
Jane Mackie, VP, Fairmont brand, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Jane Mackie as VP of the Fairmont brand in mid-January.
Mackie will lead the Fairmont brand, developing brand strategy, focusing on refining and articulating the brand positioning and communicating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand messaging. As part of her responsibilities, Mackie will also define strategies to enhance Fairmont's competitive position in the luxury hotel segment.
Thomas Mazloum, EVP, Crystal Cruises
Thomas Mazloum was promoted to EVP of Crystal Cruises October 16, reporting to Edie Bornstein, who had just been promoted to president of the cruise line.
Thomas Mazloum first joined Crystal in 1990. Except for a three-year stint at Disney from 1999-2002, he has held positions at Crystal Cruises including hotel positions on board to VP, hotel operations in 2002, SVP, hotel operations in 2003 and then to expanding his role in 2010 as SVP, operations, overseeing the hotel and nautical operations of the Crystal fleet. In addition to his cruise industry expertise, Mazloum has an extensive European hotel background and completed continuing education at Cornell University, the Hotel School of Lausanne and the Hotel School of Salzburg.
Caitlin Murphy, director of public relations, Cruise Planners
Caitlin Murphy joined Cruise Planners as director of public relations in early November 2013.
Murphy will manages the day-to-day public relations efforts for Cruise Planners and is dedicated full time to media relations, executive visibility, reputation management and franchise development in this newly-created role.
Kellie Newman, general manager, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort
Vail Marriott Mountain Resort named Kellie Newman the property's new general manager. Newman began her career with Marriott in 1991 as a housekeeping intern at Marriott’s Tan-Tar-A Resort. After graduating from Purdue University, Kellie worked at Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, as well as other Marriott hotels in the Chicago area in Room Operations as well as Sales, eventually becoming the Director of Event Booking Center in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2000, Kellie moved to Marriott International Corporate Headquarters, leading to an opportunity to open the London Sales Office in 2003. Kellie returned to the operations side as Director of Rooms Operation at Orlando Marriott World Center Resort and Convention Center. She has served as General Manager for the Renaissance Charleston Hotel Historic District and, currently, Denver Marriott West.
Cherrie Osborne, director tourism for UK and Europe, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority announced the appointment of Cherrie Osborne to director of tourism for the United Kingdom and Europe in late December 2013.
Osborne began her career in the U.K. tourist office in 2006 and was later promoted to sales and marketing Manager in 2009, where she has served with distinction in developing strong links with British tour operators and airline partners. She has ably deputized in the position on numerous occasions and brings to the role a wealth of experience and contacts relevant to promoting Antigua and Barbuda in the U.K.
Michael Schnur, brand manager, U.S. and Canada, Emerald Waterways
New river cruise line Emerald Waterways hired Michael Schnur to serve as brand manager for the company’s US and Canadian markets. He will be based out of the company’s new Boston office and can be reached by email at [email protected]
Prior to joining Emerald Waterways, Schnur was VP of marketing and web operations at Amerasport, a leading sports merchandise branding company, and director of marketing and communications/group publisher for Career Recruitment Media, a division of Alloy Education.
Alex Sharpe, president and CEO, Signature Travel Network
Alex Sharpe was appointed president and CEO of Signature Travel Network in late September 2013. He succeeded president Michelle Morgan, who passed away after a battle with breast cancer.
Alex Sharpe has been a leader in the travel industry for 17 years. He joined Signature in January 2011 as Executive Vice President and most recently served as Chief Operating Officer. In his role, Sharpe directed member recruitment, alliance partnerships and vendor relations for land and cruise, and developed strategic sales, training and marketing initiatives. Previously, Sharpe served as the Senior Vice President of National, Key and International Accounts for Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Sharpe managed consortia partnerships, high volume agencies and international partners across the world. Over his 14 years with Regent, Sharpe served in many capacities and in many departments including Charter & Incentive Sales, Pricing and Planning, Sales and Marketing.
Dean Sullivan, vice president, sales and marketing, Couples Resorts
Dean Sullivan became vice president of Couples Resorts in early February. Sullivan has served as vice president of sales and digital marketing at Atlantis Paradise Island Resorts.
Martha Sullivan, director, global travel industry sales, LWH Hotels
LWH Hotels appointed Martha Sullivan global director of travel industry sales as part of three new additions to its team in early January.
Sullivan works with LWH Hotels’ corporate team focusing on leisure and business travel, corresponding with vacation and corporate travel agents as well as corporate travel managers. Sullivan has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, working in sales and marketing for many iconic Los Angeles hotels, such as Four Seasons Los Angeles in Beverly Hills, Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa Del Mar, and the Mosaic Hotel and Maison.
Jan Swartz, president, Princess Cruises
As part of a series of changes at Carnival Corporation that took effect December 1, 2013, Jan Swartz was promoted from executive vice president, sales, marketing and customer service, Princess Cruises, to president of Princess Cruises.
Swartz reports to Stein Kruse, CEO of Holland America Group.
Danielle Spano, director of marketing, Cruise Planners
Danielle Spano was promoted to director of marketing at Cruise Planners in early November 2013.
Spano's industry experience spans both travel agent and consumer marketing, having worked for cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Voyages to Antiquity.
Randy Russell, senior vice president, social commerce, Unique Vacations Inc.
Unique Vacations Inc., an affiliate of the worldwide representatives for Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, hired Randy Russell to the newly-created position of senior vice president, social commerce, effective January 6.
Cyril Tatar, VP, newbuilding, Holland America Line and technical operations, Seabourn
Holland America Line promoted Cyril Tatar to vice president of newbuilding and Seabourn technical operations in early October 2013.
In this role, Tatar is the principal liaison to the shipyards for design and coordination of current and future newbuilds for both the Holland America Line and Seabourn fleets, including the Holland America Line Pinnacle Class ship due for delivery in February 2016. Additionally, Tatar will continue to lead technical support and services for Seabourn.
Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO, Preferred Hotel Group
Lindsay Ueberroth was promoted to CEO of Preferred Hotel Group while also continuing to serve in her role as company president. The move was part of a planned succession of leadership as the company enters its 10th year of private ownership by the Ueberroth family, the company said. Lindsey launched the company’s new points-based iPrefer loyalty program. Under her leadership, the company also executed the introduction of the Sterling Design and Summit Serviced Residences brands.
Dwain Wall, SVP, agency and trade relations, Cruise Lines International Association
In late January Cruise Lines International Association appointed CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. veteran Dwain Wall to a new, trade-focused executive post: SVP, agency and trade relations. Wall, who had been senior vice president and general manager for World Travel Holdings' CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. brands, departed that position in November.
Wall will work alongside Margaret Murphy, CLIA’s senior vice president of strategic marketing. Murphy will continue to have responsibility for CLIA’s travel agent education and certification programs, the North American Executive Partner program, and strategic marketing relationships and promotional activities for North America.
Frank Weber, VP, product development
Norwegian Cruise Line recently announced that Frank Weber rejoined the company as VP, product development. In this new role, Weber will lead various product development and enhancement projects on the hotel operations team, including the development and implementation of new menus, food upgrades, service and culinary training for Norwegian’s complimentary dining venues; development of new restaurant, bar and entertainment concepts; and expansion of existing brand partner relationships.
Dana Welch, member liaison, Travel Society
Dana Welch was named a member liaison at Travel Society, a full service host travel agency and member of Virtuoso, in late December 2013.
Welch has 21 years of industry experience in owning and managing travel businesses, as well as her 19 years of experience with the Travel Society.
Francis Young, front office manager, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club
The Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club promoted Francis Young to front office manager in early February. Young has been with Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club since October 2012, and previously held the title of assistant front office manager. He was recently selected as an Honorable Mention for Manager of the Year at Hawaii Lodging & Tourism Association’s 2014 Na Po‘e Pa‘ahana Awards in January and has won Manager of the Quarter at Prince Resorts Hawaii twice in 2013.