Who’s Where in Travel: New at African Travel, ALG and More

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From hotels to travel agencies to cruise lines, there have been a number of important executive appointments across the travel industry this week. 

In tour operator news, African Travel Inc. named Kristen Malaby its new director of marketing, reporting to the brand’s president, Sherwin Banda. Malaby has spent her 16 years in the travel industry with Tourism Australia, most recently as a marketing communications manager for Tourism Australia, the Americas, a position she held for seven years. 

Apple Leisure Group, meanwhile, announced three new appointments to lead its vacation brands as members of its executive committee: Jacqueline Marks, Steve Dumaine and Ray Snisky. Marks is currently executive vice president responsible for the company’s travel agent business; Dumaine is the former president and CEO of CheapCaribbean.com and current executive vice president of ALG’s B2C-focused vacations brands; and Snisky is the current chief commercial officer of ALG Vacations and will continue to serve in this role with expanded oversight. John Hutchinson, formerly the president of ALG, and Lynn Torrent, formerly the company's executive vice president and president, vacations, will leave the company following the transition of the new executive committee members. 

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In cruise news, this week MSC Cruises USA named a new head of U.S. sales: Michelle Lardizabal. As the line’s new senior vice president and commercial sales officer – a new position for the company – she will oversee the brand’s entire U.S. sales organization. Lardizabal most recently led the U.S. sales organization at Club Med, and she has also served at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. in a variety of roles. Within MSC’s U.S. sales organization, Lori Sheller, SVP of strategic accounts, will continue to be responsible for driving the relationships MSC Cruises holds with large travel consortia and key accounts, adding to her portfolio MICE and charters, as well as casino business, critical growth areas for the company.

Crystal Expedition Cruises, meanwhile, announced that naturalists Boris Wise and Eva Molin Westerholm will serve as expedition leader and assistant expedition leader, respectively, onboard the Crystal Endeavor, which is set to launch in August 2020. Both Wise and Westerholm are veteran explorers of the Arctic and Antarctic, Crystal said. 

In hotel news, Kempinski Hotels made a number of new appointments and promotions. Riko van Santen is now the company’s chief information officer and a member of the management board, while Wilhelm K. Weber is now vice president, global revenue and digital strategy. Janin Blaser will serve as vice president, brand development; and, in the Middle East and Africa, Michael Sorgenfrey will serve as vice president, operations and Isidoro Geretto will serve as vice president, finance. 

A number of individual properties also made new leadership appointments:

  • Michele Grosso was named managing director of The Langham, Boston.
  • The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa appointed Derek Ellis to the role of general manager.
  • Carté Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton property, named Michelle Lhota its new catering sales manager and David Presslauer its new group sales manager. 
  • Tonya Scott was named general manager of the Pheasant Run Resort.
  • Shinola Hotel announced the appointment of Mark O’Brien as general manager.

In destination news, VisitBritain made four new appointments to its U.S. business events, trade and communications team. Jonathan Heasman was named travel trade manager, Western Region, while Lisa Sjolund was promoted to senior B2B marketing manager for the U.S. Leila Heller was appointed the organization’s meeting and incentives director for North America, and Julia Gordin was promoted to senior communications manager for the U.S. 

Finally, in travel agency news, American Express Global Business Travel named David Levin its new chief information security officer. Levin brings more than 20 years of experience in the information security and risk management space. Most recently, he served as chief information security officer for Western Union.

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