Munich-based FTI has appointed Gerrit Peters as head of a new group marketing department. Formerly with BMW and a marketing agency, Peters will be responsible for all marketing activities in Germany and other markets. In particular, he will be in charge of strengthening the core FTI brand in Germany as well as the last-minute brand 5 Vor Flug. (“Five minutes to flight”).
Gisel Vidals is now national trade sales manager at Big Bus Tours in San Francisco.
The top contact for the tour and travel trade at Tourism Richmond is Deidre DeVico senior sales manager. She took over for Gayle Morris, formerly director of sales, who left the organization and is now director of development for the Lailey Winery, Lulu Island Winery in Vancouver—it will open next year—and the Grizzly Winery.
Sandra Barnes was recently named sales and marketing manager at Rio Grande Scenic Railroad in Alamosa, Colo., which is part of the Premier Rail Collection/Pullman Rail Journeys. Barnes joined the company from AAA Colorado in Denver, where she was director of travel services.
Germany’s largest OTA, Unister Travel, has appointed Joachim Schreiber as head of supplier relations, with responsibility for dealing with partners such as tour operators and airlines. He was formerly with the company from 2009 to 2012, and has also worked for the tour operators WTA-X and JT Touristik. He succeeds Bernd Kienle, who left the company at his own request in order to pursue other interests.
At Columbia Crossroads—it is the DMO/tour operator based in Beaverton, Ore.—Carrie Monnie has moved up from the position of sales manager to vice president of the organization. AIso, Cheryl Fogelberg-Billette is now CFO at Columbia Crossroads.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has announced the appointment of Wallace Wong as the new Regional Director–Asia. With more than 10 years of experience in the airlines and travel industries, Wong was most recently the regional business development director of Asia Pacific at Travelport GDS in Hong Kong SAR and Singapore. In his new role based in Bangkok, he will be responsible for PATA’s commercial and industry development, as well as bridging the relationship between the public and private travel sectors in the Asia Pacific region.
The Plymouth County (Mass.) CVB has named Ashley Saunders manager of finance and marketing associate. She will replace the bureau’s current bookkeeper, Phyllis Cahoon, who has been with the organization since 1974, and is retiring in June. In addition to taking over for all financial matters, she will assist Communications Manager Ashleigh MacAskill with social media marketing and outreach.
Celebrity Cruises’ director of sales Nicki Tempest-Mitchell is joining Thomas Cook as head of retail central region. Prior to her tenure with Celebrity, Tempest-Mitchell spent two years with Royal Caribbean. Before that, she worked for nearly 18 years at TUI.
TUI UK & Ireland has announced that Nick Longman, currently managing director, distribution and online – mainstream, has been appointed as managing director of TUI UK & Ireland, effective June 1st. At the same time, David Burling moves to a larger role as managing director of Northern Region on the executive board of TUI Group, overseeing the UK and Ireland, Nordics, Canada and Russia. Longman has been with TUI since 1998 and held a number of positions within the business, including managing director of Canada and distribution director for Thomson and First Choice.
The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has announced that George Szigeti has been selected as its next president and CEO. Szigeti is leaving his position as president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, a position he has held since 2012. He previously served as the president and CEO of Better Brands, a subsidiary of Young’s Market Company, LLC. Szegiti replaces interim CEO Ronald Williams, former board chair of HTA, who took over the post last December 2014, following the departure of Mike McCartney, who had served as HTA’s president and CEO since 2009 until being selected by Governor David Ige to serve as his chief of staff.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced that Martin Drew has been appointed vice president for the Americas. In his role, Drew is responsible for the commercial organization of Etihad Airways in the United States, Canada and South America. Drew brings more than 20 years of international aviation, including a previous tenure with Etihad and senior positions with Lufthansa and DAS Air Cargo.
The California Ski Industry Association (CSIA) board of directors has announced the appointment of Michael Reitzell as the new president of CSIA. He replaces Bob Roberts, who has retired after serving 40 years in the position. A practicing attorney, Reitzell comes to CSIA from Duane Morris LLP, where for the past 14 years he has practiced in the San Francisco and Lake Tahoe offices. Reitzell will officially take over in July.
In Alaska, Christy Ciambor has been appointed tourism marketing manager at the Juneau CVB.
Michael Chapaloney has been named executive director of tourism at the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. He is returning to the department—he was director of tourism communications for the Pennsylvania tourism office from May 2007 to January 2013—after serving for more than four years as director of marketing and sales for the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg, Pa.
Cristin Oldenburg has been appointed tourism marketing project manager at the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association in Glenwood Springs, Colo.
Andrea Monroe was recently named product manager at AmericanTours International (ATI), she is based in the company’s Los Angeles headquarters office.
Al Santos has left his post as leisure sales manager at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas to take over as sales director for the travel industry at Exotics Racing, which offers its customers the racing experience in such fantasy vehicles as Lamborghinis and Ferraris at the Las Vegas Speedway. Before his tenure at the Cosmopolitan, the Brazilian-born Santos held several managerial positions at The Venetian/The Palazzo hotels in Las Vegas.
At All Tour Transportation in Orlando, changes in staff have resulted in the following: Chuck Richardson is sales director, and Soren Schomberg is sales manager.
Jerry DiPietro has retired from his post as executive director of sales, worldwide, for The Venetian/The Palazzo resorts in Las Vegas. But, he tells the INBOUND REPORT, he will still be accepting consulting requests that can tap into his considerable expertise in the tour and travel industry. DiPietro’s CV includes nearly three decades as head of his own receptive tour operation, Tourco, which was based in Hyannis, Mass. DiPietro, who now lives in Tucson, can be reached at email@example.com.