Who’s Where in Travel: Big Changes at CLIA, AMResorts

Hiring sign
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This week Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) President and CEO Cindy D’Aoust announced plans to step down at the end of the year in order to focus on family priorities. Hailing from Martiz Travel, Maxvantage and Meeting Professionals International, D’Aoust had been with CLIA since 2014, taking over for previous CEO Tom Ostebo in 2015. In her time with the organization she inked partnerships with a number of travel organizations, including Meeting Professionals International.

Jordi de las Moras, MD of Apple Leisure Group’s Europe resorts
Jordi de las Moras

In resort news, this week Apple Leisure Group (ALG) announced the addition of a new executive role to its AMResorts subsidiary to support that company’s expansion into Europe. ALG hired Jordi de las Moras as managing director of the company’s resort segment in Europe, a newly created position that will see Moras leading the company’s European division across the continent. Based in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Moras will report directly to ALG EVP and Chief Strategy Officer Javier Coll. De las Moras joins ALG from Valtur Milan, where he held the positions of chief commercial officer and chief marketing officer.

In cruise line news, this week Celestyal Cruises announced the appointment of Josh Hepp as business development manager, western USA and western Canada, which was effective July 9. Based in Denver, Hepp most recently served as national sales manager at Contiki Holidays, where he started as a regional sales manager in 2013. Before joining Contiki, he spent over a year as a travel expert with STA Travel. 


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In air travel, this week American Airlines made two operations appointments. The airline named Kimball Stone its senior vice president – flight operations and integrated operations center and Ralph Lopez Massas its vice president – integrated operations center. In the new role, Stone will continue to lead America’s pilots and flight department, as well as the airline’s integrated operations center. Lopez Massas, who is currently the airline’s vice president – Miami hub operations, will report to Stone and will lead the integrated operations center team.

In hotel news, this week Almanac Hotels, a new company aimed at developing properties in landmark locations, named Stefan Ludwig its executive director of sales and marketing. Ludwig will also serve as the pre-opening director of sales and marketing for the Almanac Vienna. Ludwig has more than 15 years of luxury hospitality experience, most recently from the Ritz-Carlton in Vienna.

Also this week, a number of hotels made new senior leadership appointments:

  • JW Marriott Grand Rapids promoted Nicholas Remes from assistant general manager to general manager
  • Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid appointed Elissa Fornasiero as its director of sales and marketing
  • Reunion Resort in central Florida named Darin Riggio as director of sales and marketing
  • Grand Isle Resort & Spa in Great Exuma hired Lester Scott as its managing director
  • El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort, named Michael K. Platt its new general manager

Finally, this week W Hotels named Christian Metzner as general manager of the W Kuala Lumpur, which is set to debut this summer.

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