Who’s Where in Travel: New VP of F&B at MSC Cruises

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A number of hotels and travel management companies, as well as a major cruise line, made new executive appointments this week. 

MSC Cruises announced that Jacques Van Staden has joined up as its vice president, food and beverage. He will be based at the cruise line’s global headquarters in Geneva, leading all food and beverage activities for the company worldwide and reporting to Andrea Gangale, SVP product development and guest experience. Van Staden has more than 28 years of experience in fine dining establishments, casual restaurants and the hotel and cruise space, most recently as president and CEO of Miami-based JVS Culinary Group, providing food and beverage consulting services for a wide range of hospitality entities. 

In TMC news, this week Brickell Travel Management hired a Four Seasons executive, Miguel Carrillo, as its vice president, global sales and marketing. Carrillo, who spent the past 19 years with Four Seasons, will be based in the company’s headquarters in Miami. 


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Also this week, group travel brand Aventura World named John Smith to the role of vice president of business development. Smith, who has spent time with companies such as The Globus Family of Brands, MSC Cruises USA, The Walt Disney Travel Company, and Carnival Corporation, will work with group planners, organizations, and businesses in the planning and delivery of all kinds of group travel programs. 

In destination news, this week the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) appointed Debra Lee as director of sales for the Southeast, Southwest, West and Caribbean markets. She has 20 years of experience in sales, marketing and public relations, with a specific concentration on the Caribbean and Latin American markets, having held roles with companies such as American Airlines, AA Vacations, Travelport and, most recently, the Jamaica Tourist Board

Also this week, Destination Niagara USA made two key appointments. The organization named Lindsey Bowman its convention and meeting sales manager, putting her in charge of marketing and selling all convention and meeting business for the destination. She has been with Destination Niagara for more than six years, previously serving as its leisure group sales manager. 

Destination Niagara USA also contracted Alfredo Gonzalez of AG Hospitality Group to represent the destination in international travel trade markets. Alfredo has worked in the travel industry for over three decades and will focus on growing international visitation from the destination’s top markets. He founded AG Hospitality Group in 2017.

In hotel news this week, Teneo Hospitality Group named April Egloff its director of sales, Midwest. Egloff began her hospitality career in 2006 at Chicago’s historic Ambassador East Hotel; after that, she held sales roles with the Hotel Palomar, a Kimpton Hotel, and at Lake Lawn Resort on Lake Delevan near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. 

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

  • The Confidante Miami Beach named Amy Johnson its new general manager.
  • La Quinta Resort & Club appointed Marco Foelske as its resort manager. 
  • Six Senses New York named Rebecca Soloff its director of sales and marketing. 
  • The San Francisco Marriott Marquis welcomed Shawn Pace as its new senior sales executive. 
  • The Plantation on Crystal River in Florida appointed Laura Dorner as its director of sales and marketing. 
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain hired Steven Szenasi as its general manager. 
  • Finally, the Hilton Short Hills named Christopher Akoury its general manager, and Duygu Magnisalis its director of catering and events. 

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