Who’s Where in Travel: Two Big Agency Appointments

Hiring sign
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Two major travel agency organizations and a number of hotel companies made new executive appointments this week.

Travel Leaders Group appointed Jason Oshiokpekhai as managing director of four of its brands in the United Kingdom: Protravel International U.K., Tzell Travel Group U.K., Colletts Travel and Scotia Travel. Based in London, Oshiokpekhai will oversee daily operations for the brands, which serve luxury leisure, corporate and entertainment clients in the United Kingdom. Oshiokpekhai had most recently worked as director of sales and account management for Travel Leaders Luxury Brands.

Luxury host agency Travel Experts Inc. has named Kristi Green as its new manager of professional development, where she will assist in the development of new educational programs that will supplement current offerings to its independent luxury travel advisors. Travel Experts said that it is able to expand its management team due to its record-setting 24 percent sales growth over the past three years.

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Nomadic, a creative agency serving the travel and tourism industry, has named Karen Cahn as its new vice president, travel and tourism. Cahn will oversee Nomadic’s travel and tourism work, which has included Disney Parks and Destinations for nearly 10 years. Chan has more than 20 years of travel experience, and she was most recently vice president of strategic partnerships at documentary film company MacGillivray Freeman Films. She has also served as the senior director of marketing for the Arizona Office of Tourism.

In DMC news, ACCESS Destination Services has expanded its national sales team with the appointment of Gregg Herning as chief sales officer. Gregg was most recently vice president of sales for MGM Resorts International, and prior to that he spent 13 years with The Peabody Hotel Group in senior leadership positions.

In the hotel space, Wynn Resorts has named Erik Hansen as its chief sustainability officer, a newly created role for the company. Hansen, who has served as the director of energy procurement for Wynn since 2016, will now be responsible for the development of the company’s global sustainability strategy and energy procurement goals.

Red Lion Hotels Corporation named a new executive vice president and chief operating officer this week: Gary Sims. Sims has over 30 years of hotel experience, including over 10 years of franchise and management sales experiences at Starwood. He will be based at the company’s headquarters in Denver and is expected to start June 25.

Micah Richins has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer for Sunseeker Resorts. He most recently served as chief commercial officer at MGM, and he has more than 25 years of hospitality industry experience.

Also this week lifestyle hospitality company sbe named Alvaro Valeriani as its global senior vice president of sales and marketing, making him responsible for all sales and marketing operations for the company’s worldwide portfolio. Prior to joining sbe, Alvaro was responsible for the sales and marketing operation of full service Hyatt hotels and resorts in Latin America and the Caribbean. He will be based in Miami.

Enchantment Group promoted two of its executives this week: Lindsay Curray to vice president of sales and Ashley Sheen to corporate director of communications. Curray had been the corporate director of sales for the hospitality group, while Sheen has taken on functions including e-commerce, hotel development and real estate development over the course of her three years with the company.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) made two new appointments to its sales team this week. Shelley Bartle-Reed has been named director of sales in Toronto, Canada, and Myra Howay has been named director of sales in San Francisco. Bartle-Reed joins ALHI with more than 10 years of experience in the luxury meetings and incentive market. She will manage accounts across Canada including markets such as Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary. Howay joins ALHI from Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa, CA, where she served as director of technology sales. With more than a decade of experience in sales leadership roles, Howay will manage key customer accounts in the San Francisco area.

The Auberge Resorts Collection has named a new area director of sales and marketing for its two Napa Valley properties, Calistoga Ranch and Solage. Jay Heidenreich, who has held sales and marketing roles at The Park Central San Francisco and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, will take over the role.

Loews Coronado Bay Resort in San Diego has promoted Brandon Walton to director of sales and marketing. Formerly, Walton had served as the resort’s director of sales.

Finally, this week Kingsmill Resort in historic Williamsburg, VA, named Elizabeth Grimes as its new director of marketing. Grimes joins Kingsmill Resort from Pebble Beach Resorts, where she was responsible for web development and email marketing for the past five years. Previously, she spent eight years with Xanterra Parks & Resorts as their web and graphics design manager. 

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