Who’s Where in Travel: Promotions at Tzell, Hire at Windstar

Top travel agencies, cruise lines and hotel companies all made new executive appointments this week. 

At Tzell Travel Group, two senior-level executives, Awilda Gonzalez and Karen Magee, were promoted this week. Gonzalez, a retired U.S. Army reservist, has been promoted to senior vice president of operations and engagement, overseeing travel advisor relations, company culture, major events and special projects. Magee, meanwhile, has been promoted to vice president, partnerships and leisure services. She will oversee the company’s industry partnerships and leisure department, as well as take on responsibility for facilitating and strengthening preferred supplier relationships and agreements within the Tzell network. Both executives will report to Cindy Schlansky and Monty Swaney, co-presidents of Tzell Travel Group.

In cruise news, this week Windstar Cruises hired a new vice president of human resources: Toby Skey. Skey, who has more than 20 years of experience, was most recently the director of human resources at commercial vehicle manufacturing company PACCAR Inc. He has also worked as managing director for human resources operations and in other positions for Alaska Airlines

In hotel news, this week RLH Corporation, formerly Red Lion Hotels, appointed Vinod Sankar as senior vice president and chief digital officer. In his new role Sankar will be responsible for the company’s digital strategy, technology innovation and online customer experiences. He joins RLH from MSG Ventures, a subsidiary of The Madison Square Garden Company, where he was vice president of product development and partnerships. 

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

  • The Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral tapped Rubel Miah as its new general manager.
  • The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica made two senior appointments to its newly reimagined spa: Arnaud Dieutegard as spa director and Heriberto “Beto” Peña as health and wellness ambassador. 
  • The Thompson Playa del Carmen named Hugo Corrales its director of sales and marketing. 
  • Al Manara, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Saraya Aqaba, appointed Pedro Rodriguez as its hotel manager. 
  • Matt Bailey was named the managing director of Carmel Valley Ranch.
  • Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa hired Brooke Grant as its marketing manager.
  • The Wigwam appointed Archie Von Wigwam as its general manager.
  • Jonathan Kay was named the general manager of the Connemara Coast Hotel.

In destination news, this week Glenn Jones was promoted to the role of chief experience development officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority (BTA). Jones, who has been with the BTA since 2015, will work with entrepreneurs, small businesses and other stakeholders to develop experiences aligned with the destination’s national tourism plan. His appointment marks the first time the BTA has promoted an internal candidate to a C-Suite position, noted Kevin Dallas, the organization’s CEO. 

In Florida, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau hired Tracy Vaughan as its new senior vice president of tourism and travel industry sales. Starting April 22, she will be responsible for the organization's domestic and international transient sales efforts. Prior to joining the bureau, Vaughan served as director of global market development for the tourism division at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and she has also spent time in several positions at Visit Florida

Finally, this week Visit Phoenix promoted Lorne Edwards to senior vice president of convention sales and services. Edwards joined Visit Phoenix in 2012 after a 16-year stint in sales at Hyatt Hotels Corporation, where he served as director of sales and marketing at two Boston-area hotels, among other roles.

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