Gov. John Hickenlooper has named Cathy Ritter, a one-time state tourism director in Illinois, as the new director of the Colorado Office of Tourism Office. She succeeds Al White, a former state senator who held the post for four-and-a-half years before resigning last June. Ritter served as director of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism from 1999-2003. Before moving to Colorado last year, she held the post of vice president of marketing and communications for several businesses. Most recently, she was with Wesley Life, a Des Moines, Iowa-based company that specializes in senior living facilities and services.
Tourico Holidays is in the process of hiring 15 new employees for its Latin American sales and marketing operations by January 1st. They will join its current roster of 25 employees in offices in Cancun, Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Argentina and São Paulo, Brazil, as Tourico, which increased its year-on-year sales through October by 70 percent, seeks to increase sales in Latin America by 80 percent next year. As a part of its growth effort, the company has appointed Gisela Blok, who has served as director of product for Mexico, to direct a combined sales and product operation for Mexico and Central America.
In Mississippi, Malcolm White has stepped down from his post as director of the state tourism office, Visit Mississippi, which is a division of the Mississippi Development Authority. White, who held the position for three years, said he was leaving to pursue new opportunities in the creative sector. Before joining the tourism division, White served seven years as executive director of the Mississippi Arts Commission.
The Albuquerque CVB has announced a change in leadership. The bureau’s board of directors unanimously voted to select Tania Armenta—she is the current chief operating and marketing officer for the CVB who has been with the bureau for 17 years—as its new president and CEO starting Jan. 6. Armenta replaces Dale Lockett, who will be transitioning out of his role as president and CEO at the end of his contract, Jan. 5, 2016,
Don Shearer has resigned as CEO of Worldchoice Ireland and will complete his tenure at the end of December. After two successful years on the job, Shearer wants to pursue new interests.
Joey Robinson has been promoted to the post of senior vice president of Big Bus Tours of Chicago. Since April, he had been project general manager in Chicago, after moving to the area from New York City where he was head of sales and marketing for Big Bus Tours New York City. Previously, he was director of business development for Destination Experience, a division of Bookit.com.
Jytte Kolbe-Toft has taken over as managing director of InterChalet, the Hotelplan Group-owned holiday homes company. She succeeds founder Michael Heines, who has retired after 41 years as head of the business.
Specialist hiking tour operator Hauser Exkursionen has put in place a succession plan: Ovid Jacota (left), formerly with Wikinger Reisen, will take over as managing director in January 2017 from Manfred Häupl (right) who will retire after 30 years but remain company owner.
Peter van Berkel, president of Travalco, which is based in the Miami area, tells us that in order to grow its European sales and marketing presence, the company has retained Alberto Boeri of NAD Representation for its operations in the UK, and Silvia Trinchero of ST Travel Reps to represent the company in France.