This week in executive moves in the travel industry we have a big change at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and a new role for Trafalgar.
This week GBTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Michael W. McCormick announced that he is stepping down from the role, which he has held since 2009, to pursue other opportunities. Scott Solombrino, the president of the GBTA Allied Leadership Council, will take over, with McCormick remaining on in an advisory capacity to ensure a smooth transition as the organization prepares for its 51st annual convention, which takes place this August in Chicago. GBTA Allied Leadership Council Vice President Dorothy Dowling will move up to president of the council.
In tour operator news, Trafalgar created a new role dedicated to independent travel consultants – director of host accounts – and promoted Ashley Vaughan into the new position. Reporting to Trafalgar VP of Sales Whitney Ramirez, Vaughan will expand upon the initiatives she developed to meet the unique needs of independent contractors, ranging from product training to a slate of support skills development on essential topics including social media, sales techniques and digital / dynamic marketing. Her responsibilities will also include sister Trafalgar brands Brendan Vacations and Costsaver.
Also this week Ensemble Travel Group promoted Katy Muyt to general manager, Australia/New Zealand. Muyt, who had served as senior director of sales and supplier relations for the region since 2016, will now focus on enhancements to the Ensemble agent portal.
In hotel news, this week boutique hotel company KASA Hotel Collection named Kai Jockei its area manager for Mexico. He will have responsibility for the overall operation of the company’s five hotels in the country, one of which – Hotel KASA Parota Tulum – is currently open, and four of which are yet to debut.
A number of individual properties also announced leadership appointments this week:
- Erden Kenigelen was appointed multi-property general manager for The St. Regis Amman and Al Manara, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba.
- The Hyatt Regency Tamaya named Claudia Wattenberg its general manager.
- Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, named Onal Kucuk its general manager.
Finally, in air travel news, this week JetBlue promoted Michael Stromer to chief product officer, technology. He will be responsible for strategy and product oversight across all of the airline’s digital and IT products.