Just when you thought Travel Leaders Group was ready to rest, CEO Barry Liben is already in position for his next big move. The latest big news streaming out of Travel Leaders Group is that as of April 12, industry veteran John Lovell assumed the position of President of Vacation.com, replacing long-time former president Steve Tracas who has gone off to pursue different endeavors.
“John was an attractive guy to us for a lot of reasons,” Liben tells Travel Agent. “I was totally blown away by his passion for the business. I’ve been doing this for 34 years and when I meet someone like John after that amount of time that can get me excited, then that is really something for me. Tracas did a great job with Vacation.com, and it is in good hands with Lovell. He has a passion for what he does and I think that it will be contagious now that he has taken over.”
In addition to this promotion, Stephen McGillivray has been named to the role of Chief Marketing Officer of Travel Leaders Group, which he will take on in addition to maintaining his role as Vice President of Marketing of Vacation.com. “We were blessed with an abundance of talent between Steve and John Lovell,” says Liben. “Either one of them could be president of Vacation.com to be honest, but we felt that Steve is such a fabulous marketing person that we wanted to expose his talent to the entire Travel Leaders world.”
Travel Leaders Group is committed to making these transitions as seamless for their agents and employees as possible. Liben confirmed that no one is being asked to move physically. Vacation.com will remain based in Alexandria, VA, and Travel Leaders in Minneapolis, MN although their headquarters will be relocated to Plymouth, MN, which is just outside Minneapolis.
For those of you who think that Travel Leaders Group is ready to kick back and relax, we say not so fast. The cogs are always turning in that machine, and while Liben could not share specifics, he did share with Travel Agent glimpses of what is in the works. “We are planning some stuff in the luxury world. The amount of luxury under our umbrella is huge, between Tzell, Travel Leaders Leisure Group and Vacation.com. We have some thoughts that will come out in the next few months,” says Liben.
We also learned that Travel Leaders Group has a strategy meeting scheduled in the next few weeks, out of which may come a few new moves.
“The announcements we have shared this week are enough for us right now. Our organization is evolving and we couldn’t be more excited by the talent. We have talent to cover anything in the travel world, and there are a couple moves that still have to be made, but we want to move deliberately, slowly and meticulously,” says Liben. “But yes, I think there are a couple moves left.”