Travel Impressions reports it is restructuring its top management and has named Susan Black, formerly Executive Vice President, Global E-Commerce, as its new Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, according to Steve Gorga, President and CEO of Travel Impressions.
At the same time, John Hanratty, currently Chief Marketing Officer has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Travel Impressions.
"Travel Impressions is all about our travel agent partners and we want to provide them with the products, services and tools available in mobile and social media so they can compete in the global marketplace," said Gorga."Having Susan Black in the digital space with her significant digital marketing background gives us an advantage which we are using to benefit the agency community," he added.
"I am asking Susan to help take us into the future to help Travel Impressions assist travel agents to embrace the tools available and help supplier partners further their business in the digital space," Gorga said.
The new position of CMO expands on the work that Black has already been doing for the past two years in the digital arena, Travel Impressions said. She will continue with her global eCommerce responsibilities in an integrated marketing role that encompasses all marketing and promotion.
John Hanratty, as CMO of Travel Impressions over the past eight years has guided the company's product marketing and expansion into the global arena. He has won numerous awards and gaining recognition among peers and last year was elected Chairman of the U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA).
"John's crowning achievement has been helping to propel Travel Impressions to seven consecutive years of winning top honors for travel agent sales and service," Gorga said.
As Chief Operating Officer, Hanratty will have responsibility for Travel Impressions' global sales, and destination teams. In addition he is adding all "customer facing" departments of the organization including call centers and customer service.
"This is a strategic reorganization to help both travel agents and suppliers in this new digital age," said Gorga.
Gorga noted that Travel Impressions has recently launched Social U, a series of travel agent education programs about social media. Other programs are in the works for travel agents over the next few months in what will be an ongoing series of efforts to strengthen the retailers' knowledge and use of digital marketing and social media skills.
In addition, Travel Impressions reports it has hired and will continue to employ additional personnel with digital skills that can be used to further assist the travel agent community with new technology. "We have people who know the industry as marketing experts and we will continue to bring in new people with today's new technologies," Gorga said.
"I can remember when first working with Sabre and there were many travel agents that were quick to embrace what was new technology at that time," said Gorga. "Those that did were the most successful. Today's smart agents need to embrace the digital, mobile and social tools that are available. This is another point in time and a great opportunity for those travel agents that use these tools."
Black's previous posts included serving as chief marketing officer of CheapCaribbean.com; executive vice president, marketing for Liberty Travel/GOGO Worldwide Vacations; founder, TravelCom Conference & Expo; general manager and publisher of Thomas Publishing's Travel Group; and associate publisher of Corporate Travel Magazine.
Prior to joining Travel Impressions in late 2004, Hanratty spent seven years at Certified Vacations Group, Inc. (CVG), where he held two major roles - president and general manager of Future Vacations and vice president of corporate marketing for CVG. Before CVG, Hanratty held the post of vice president of marketing and sales at Haverfield Corporation, where he grew its sales base by 400 percent over his five-year tenure at the company.
Founded in 1974, Travel Impressions is one of the nation's largest leisure tour operators and a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express.