Who’s Where in Travel: New Houston Agency, SAA Sales Contact

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From expedition cruises to hotels to air travel, it’s been another busy week for executive appointments in the travel industry. 

In agency news, two Houston-area travel agencies announced plans to join forces this week. West University Travel and CSB Travel are combining to form River Oaks Travel. The two agencies’ owners, Dasha Westerfield and Cristina Buass, will serve as co-owners of the newly combined agency. 

In air travel news, South African Airways named Danielle Manegio its director, sales development for the Northeast Region of the United States. She will be based in New York City, where she was previously involved in sales management positions with Norwegian

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In hotel news, Premier Worldwide Marketing, the exclusive worldwide representatives for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, promoted Kelly Poling to CEO. Poling had served as the company’s executive vice president of marketing for two years, during which time she oversaw a number of creative campaigns, introduced a data-driven approach to decision-making and grew the resort company’s Millennial clientele. 

Playa Hotels & Resorts named Dean Sullivan its new vice president of marketing and public relations. Based out of the company’s Fort Lauderdale office, he will report to Kevin Froemming, who was recently promoted from executive vice president and chief marketing officer to executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Sullivan’s previous leadership roles include chief marketing officer for Couples Resorts and vice president of sales and digital marketing for Kerzner International, the owner and operator of One&Only and Atlantis Resorts.

Tara D’Agostino, formerly the managing director of Wegner Associates, has acquired that company and announced plans to rebrand it as WanderLuxe Destinations. She will serve as owner and managing director of the newly rebranded venture. 

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) named Julienne Smith its senior vice president of development for the Americas region. Smith brings more than 17 years of development experience to IHG, previously serving in leadership roles at Hyatt Hotels Corporation after starting her career at Marriott International.

OYO Hotels & Homes named two top executives to its leadership team: Chris Nowak as vice president of legal and Leslie Danford as Midwest regional head. Nowak, an attorney and the former executive VP and general counsel for Wyndham Hotel Group, will be based in OYO’s Southwest Hub of Operations in Dallas. Danford brings more than 12 years of experience to OYO, having just spent close to four years at Beam Suntory where she led national brand planning and collaboration.

Teneo Hospitality Group named Jon Clark its director of sales for two key West Coast markets: Seattle and San Francisco. Most recently, he was national sales assistant director at Disney Meetings Events, and, prior to that, he served in various roles at Hilton

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

  • The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs hired Curtis Robinson to the new role of director of national sales – tradeshows and exhibits in order to oversee over 125,000 square feet of new event space that is slated to debut in spring 2020. 
  • The Pacific Beachcomber retained Pam Rotshtein, CEO of The Collection, to oversee sales consulting for its portfolio of luxury resorts: the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa, InterContinental Bora Bora Le Moana Resort, InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa and The Brando, a private island resort on Tetiaroa. The move is effective September 1. 
  • The Hyatt Regency Austin announced Jeff Donahoe as general manager.
  • The Marquis Los Cabos announced Miguel Torres I. as its new general manager.
  • UNNA Resorts named Joerg Roterberg as group general manager of two resorts in Barbados, Saint Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort and Residences and Port Ferdinand Yacht and Beach Club Residences.
  • The W South Beach named Zachary Felter as its new director of sales and marketing.
  • The Queen Kapi‘olani Hotel, Waikiki Beach announced the appointment of Jak Hu as general manager. 

In destination news, Ski Utah announced a new director of communications this week: Anelise Bergin. She has nine years of experience in marketing and the ski industry, most recently serving as the marketing manager at Mt. Bachelor in her hometown of Bend, Oregon

Finally, in cruise news, polar adventure company Quark Expeditions appointed Mario Pires to the position of senior manager of fleet hotel operations. He has 29 years of experience managing hotel operations on large cruise ships and small expedition vessels, working with brands including Ponant and Crystal Cruises.

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