Carolann Ouellette is leaving her post as head of the Maine Office of Tourism to become executive director of Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit that operates a system of backcountry trails and lodges in Maine’s western mountains. Ouellette joined the state tourism office in 2011. Previously, in her career, Ouellette was chef/owner of an award-winning Maine restaurant in Jackman and, for a period, managed the Sugarloaf Inn. In 2015, she was named by Maine Magazine as one of “50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State.” She will start her new job on Jan. 1, 2017.
Gregg Gant has returned to his old post as business development manager for Travelzoo following an interregnum of nearly a year-and-a-half as senior trade manager, North America, for Tourism New Zealand. Gant first joined Travelzoo in 2012. Previously, he had served as a sales rep and account executive with Miles.
Holger Taubmann (left) is stepping down from as senior vice president of distribution for the Amadeus IT Group after a little more than five years in the position and nearly 20 years with Amadeus. His retirement is for personal reasons, but he remains in the company and is to assume a new position in the foreseeable future. As of Jan. 1, 2017, Laurens Leurink (right) becomes vice president of distribution and a member of the executive committee of Amadeus IT Group. Leurink is currently president, lodging partner services, for Expedia, Inc.
The latest word from Omaha is that John Ricks, a former state tourism director in Colorado, has been offered the same post in Nebraska by the state’s Tourism Commission. Ricks, a long-time veteran of the tour and travel industry, would replace previous director Kathy McKillip, who was fired last May after an audit revealed that the agency had overspent its contract with ad agency Bailey Lauerman by $4.4 million over three years.
Bruce McNamara has been named production manager for Beachcomber Tours. He comes to the company from Austral Lagon. McNamara, who takes over from Françoise Maymou, has served in senior positions at Jet Tours, Transat, Look Voyages and Thomas Cook.
John de Denghy has joined Gentravel Solutions as a new partner/managing partner. He joins the company from Hotel Connections, where he was international vice president of business development and hotel relations. De Denghy also served for 20 years with the InterContinental Hotels Group, lastly as director, leisure & transportation global sales.
In Brazil, TBO Holidays has announced the appointment of Ana Vainstein as its new commercial director for the Americas, a new position created by the company in order to expand its operations in the region. A veteran of more than 20 years in the tour and travel industry, Vainstein will use Brazil as the base for operations in the rest of the Americas as well.
Jürgen Witte (left) has given up the management of operations for the GDS Group Travelport in Germany and Switzerland after almost seven years. He wants to assume a new task at the beginning of 2017 in another company. Witte has been with Travelport since the beginning of 2010 and joined Travel-IT’s management in 2015, after Travelport took over the majority of shares there. Dieter Rumpel (right) is leaving his job as country manager of Travelport in Switzerland to take over the post vacated by Witte.
Guy Young, the new chief engagement officer and president, CostSaver for The Travel Corporation (TTC), is moving from Los Angeles to New York as the company is establishing a larger office—it has a small office in Rye, N.Y.—to increase the company’s presence on the U.S. East Coast. TTC’s brands include Trafalgar, Insight Vacations and Contiki. A long-time veteran with the company, Young had previously served as president of TTG’s Uniworld brand.
Gary Orfield has been promoted to Director of Travel Industry sales at the Greater Palm Springs CVB. He replaces Ashlee Ciora, who accepted a position as Senior Director, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. Orfield joined the Palm Springs bureau two years ago after serving for more than a decade at several Westin hotel properties.