Who’s Where in Travel: New at Intrepid, Insight and Conrad

It’s been a busy week for tour operators and hotel companies in terms of executive appointments. 

This week Intrepid Group hired a new chief financial officer – its first since the company’s return to private ownership in 2015 – and has made a number of other changes to its executive lineup. Michael Burnett will serve as the company’s new CFO as of this January, joining from Helloworld. Other recent moves include the promotion of Brett Mitchell from managing director APAC to chief commercial officer; the expansion of Natalie Kidd’s role from director of PEAK DMC to the company’s chief operating officer; and Chief Purpose Officer Leigh Barnes' move to the new role of chief customer officer. The company also plans to begin recruiting for the new role of chief people officer by the end of the year. 

Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold, meanwhile, appointed Michelle Suker as their new director of field sales east for the United States. She has held multiple leadership, training and development roles in her 22-year career at AAA The Auto Club Group, and she will report to Kristina Miranda, vice president of sales for Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. 

In hotel news, this week Hilton appointed Dino Michael to global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, effective January 1, 2020. Previously, he had only been head of the Waldorf Astoria brand, a position he has held since June 2018. Prior to that, Michael oversaw global brand development as vice president for Hilton’s luxury portfolio.

Corinthia Hotels named Christian Renz its chief commercial officer. He will be based in London and oversee the sales, marketing and revenue operations for all hotels in the existing portfolio, including five upcoming openings. Prior to assuming this new role November 1, Renz was senior vice president of sales and revenue management at Rocco Forte Hotels. He has also held senior management roles at Kempinski Hotels, The Walt Disney Company and Starwood Hotels in Europe and the United States.

A number of individual properties also made new leadership appointments this week:

  • The Portofino Hotel & Marina named Jeff Perkins general manager, Darin Matsuda hotel manager and Riley Eastman as director of food and beverage outlets.
  • Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa announced the appointment of Andrew Falter as director of group sales.
  • Grant Dipman was named managing director at Canyon Ranch Tucson.
  • Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection, named Israël Benyaïr general manager.
  • Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington DC hired Abe Liao as its new general manager.

Finally, a pair of tourism boards named new leaders this week. The Hong Kong Tourism Board appointed Dane Cheng as its new executive director. Prior to joining the HKTB, Cheng was an executive director of Hang Lung Properties overseeing the group’s service delivery, including property services, customer experience and digital transformation. He has also held various roles at Cathay Pacific Airways

The Cologne Tourism Board announced that, at the beginning of 2020, Dr. Jürgen Martin Amann will become its new CEO. Amann is currently the managing director of Dresden Marketing GmbH, and he was the procurator and head of Ingolstadt Tourismus und Kongress GmbH until 2018. He will succeed Josef Sommer, who will be retiring after working at the city-owned company for almost 20 years.

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