Ensemble Travel Group on Tuesday announced the selection of Lindsay Pearlman and Elizabeth "Libbie" Rice to the newly created position of co-presidents of the consortium of nearly 850 member agencies in the U.S. and Canada.
They succeed former CEO and President Jack Mannix, who left the organization in July 2010. Pearlman, executive vice president and general manager of Ensemble Travel Group Canada, has been overseeing both U.S. and Canadian operations since Mannix’s departure.
The new executive structure is intended to enhance the strategic focus and agility of the organization by helping its members swiftly respond to the ever-changing travel marketplace while maintaining a focus on profitability.
"Consumers’ needs and preferences are changing at lightning speed,” said David Harris, president of Orion Travelinx/Charrisma Travel Group and a member of the Ensemble Travel Group Executive Selection Committee. “It’s critical that we have the right leadership in place to spot those trends early to then equip Ensemble Travel Group members with the right tools that will continue to build client loyalty and also create new revenue streams for their business.
"We are confident that the combined strengths of Lindsay and Libbie are unmatched in the industry today, benefiting Ensemble Travel Group members, suppliers, and staff."
Although Rice will be located in New York City and Pearlman will work in Toronto, their responsibilities are on equal footing cross-border in a move to create a truly North American organization. This strategy allows Ensemble Travel Group to leverage the synergies between the two countries while still having a senior executive in each to represent the specific needs and interests of members and suppliers in that country. It’s a concept that focuses on thinking globally while acting locally, Ensemble said.
Rice brings more than 15 years of travel industry experience to the role of co-president, including key positions with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide; American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eos Airlines; and GetThere (a Sabre company). A graduate of Cornell’s MBA program, her most recent position was vice president of marketing for Voyage.tv.
"I’m extremely excited about working with Lindsay and the entire Ensemble staff as we focus on the opportunities – both short and long term – to help members grow their business," said Rice. "During the hiring process, I was so impressed with the passion and excitement of the Ensemble Travel Group board. I’m looking forward to reaching out to members and suppliers in the coming months."
Pearlman is a well-respected leader in the travel industry with a proven track record of delivering results, Ensemble said. With a reputation for fostering solid relationships with members and suppliers alike, Pearlman is also known for his strategic business development and financial prowess.
Since joining the organization in 2007, Ensemble has been recognized in several industry awards of merit, including Agency Chain of the Year (Canada) in 2009. Prior to joining Ensemble Travel Group, Pearlman held progressive positions at American Express, including director and general manager, Travel Services Network, Canada, and at General Electric in Calgary where he was responsible for Western Canada’s Fleet Services division, the largest fleet agency nationally.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Ensemble," said Pearlman. "During the last six months as interim, I have seen the opportunity of evolving our consortium into a North American organization. Libbie comes from a diverse travel industry background, bringing a fresh perspective to our line of business and organization. While we share similar strengths, we each bring certain complementary skill sets to the table. In this case, the sum is greater than its parts.”