It’s been another busy week for leadership changes in the travel industry. Here’s what you need to know.
This week All Star Travel Group (ASTG), which is a branch of Travel Leaders Group, announced that Susan Duffy will serve as the director of ASTG’s Elite Advisor (IC) division and oversee VIP client development. The move follows the launch of an “incubator” earlier this year by Duffy and ASTG Founder and President David Odaka aimed at creating what the company describes as a new breed of innovative travel advisors. The project will aim to develop new ideas, as well as to act as a talent scout for the organization. Duffy has a background in marketing and business development, and has worked for Fortune 500 clients at agencies including Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Hudson Global, which was ultimately acquired by FCB.
Also this week Jeff Vahle was named president of Disney Signature Experiences, which includes Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, Adventures by Disney and Aulani, a Disney Resort in Hawaii. A 28-year Disney veteran, Vahle will also continue to lead the global facilities operations and sourcing and procurement teams.
In hotel news, this week Hawaii hospitality company Aqua-Aston Hospitality appointed Chris Port to the role of chief development officer, reporting to company CEO Kelvin Bloom. Port most recently served as development leader for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, and prior to that, he launched Caesars Global Living, an entertainment hospitality division in China and India, with the senior leadership team at Caesars Entertainment. He also spent nine years at Starwood.
The Kessler Collection of boutique luxury hotels also appointed a new chief operations officer this week: John Luckett. Luckett has been with the company since 2008, leading the Brand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, and he has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
A number of hotels made senior management and sales appointments this week:
- The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort named Tomo Kuriyama its new general manager.
- The Liaison Capitol Hill, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, appointed Joy J. Kosmela as its new director of sales and marketing.
- Eric Bates was named the new general manager of the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Illinois.
Finally, this week the W San Francisco named Leila Reyes its new “director of style.”