Tracy Ward, who recently took over as director of the Flagstaff (Ariz.) CVB, may or may not have his job very long. It turns out that Ward, a veteran of more than two decades in the travel and tourism industry who was hired last Nov. 6 and started work on Nov. 23, from Experience Kissimmee in Florida (where he was also interim director for more than a year) apparently returned to the Orlando area between those two dates when Orange County sheriff’s deputies picked him up on a battery charge. It turns out that Ward and his roommate apparently had a dispute over the dog who lived there—the roommate accused Ward of letting the dog out of the kennel—during which Ward allegedly landed two punches to his roommate’s head. Flagstaff officials have said that Ward had passed a standard background check before he was hired, and they have reviewed the Orange County Circuit Court records on the case and discussed it with Ward and are waiting to see what the outcome of the case will be.
In France, Soléa Holidays has announced the appointment of Alexander Espitalier Christmas as CEO. He took over the post on March 1st. He will continue to run its operations for France, the Benelux and Southern Europe. Pascal Boyer will become, in turn, commercial director of Soléa on the same date. He worked previously for Nouvelles Frontières, TUI PLC, STI Travel and Travel 24 France.
Vincent Lhoste has left the Reed Exhibitions group for the travel insurance sector, joining UK-based AXA Travel Insurance as global sales director, travel. At Reed, Lhoste served as director of IFTM (Reed Expositions France) from 2007—2012 before taking over WTM Latin America, Asia and China until January of this year. Previously, he worked for TUI France as director of production and for Travelport as director of sales and marketing.
Alipio Camanzano, who headed the popular Brazilian travel website, Decolar.com, for eight-and-a-half years, has been named the new director of CVC for online sales and Submarino Viagens (literally, Submarine Travels, which CVC had acquired) as CVC, the nation’s largest travel company pursues greater share in the online travel market in Brazil.
Abby Spatz, chief marketing office for NYC & Company,has left the organization. Her tenure lasted a little over seven months. A veteran of more than two decades in marketing, communications and advertising positions, Spatz had come to NYC & Co. from Blissworld, which specialized in beauty and skin care products, where she was vice president/head of integrated marketing communications.