Allison Raskansky has abruptly left her job as vice president, SPEEDVEGAS, the Las Vegas attraction that puts customers into ultra-fast autos on a custom-designed racetrack. “Resigned on Friday” she posted to friends on a social media site earlier this week, following up quickly with “Resigned from SPEEDVEGAS Friday, December 2” just to make sure, in case anyone didn’t get the message. Raskansky, a veteran of nearly three decades in the travel and tourism industry, was on the job for nearly two years. Earlier stops in her career included tenures in senior sales and marketing positions at Hualapai Tourism and Sundance Helicopters.
In the UK, Colin O’Neill, the long-time business development director of Advantage Travel is leaving his position early next year. He has been with the company for 16 years. Managing director Julia Lo Bue-Said said that she will be recruiting a replacement for Colin, “however in a slightly different role.” O’Neill was appointed to his current role in 2013, looking after member business development, PR, events and central staff training and development.
From France, HRS Hotel Global Solutions—the hotel reservation services with offices in New York City, London, Paris and elsewhere, has announced the appointment of John Baird Smith as head of management in France, replacing Emmanuel Ebray, who will now be in charge of the company’s Singapore office. His appointment will be effective Jan. 1, 2017. Prior to joining HRS, Smith held the position of director, France at Airplus International; He also worked as a senior account executive within the Carlson Wagonlit Travel business network.
At Explore Minnesota Tourism, Beth Helle has been appointed senior manager, partner relations. She joins the state agency from her post as director of brand strategy at Meet Minneapolis. Halle began her career in travel and tourism more than 20 years ago as tourism account executive at Mall of America.
In Germany, the travel agency chain LCC (Lufthansa City Center) has announced that managing director Klaus Henschel (left) will be retiring from the company in mid-2017. He will be replaced by Andi-Julia Leta (right), currently sales director of the company, which has more than 600 travel agencies worldwide, with 300 in Germany alone. Henschel spent 18 years at the top of LCC and for four years he was also responsible for the international franchise chain.
Following the surprising departure of Jaan Albrecht who was named CEO at Saudia. Jens Bischof has been appointed CEO of Sun Express. Bischof leaves his post as head of sales for the Lufthansa Group and chief operating officer for its Frankfurt hub.
In Brazil, Dyrana Oliveira has taken over as manager of the Rio branch of the tour operator MMTGapnet, replacing Julio Sousa. Oliveira a former executive of the now-defunct tour operator Nascimento, was most recently with Hello Brazil, a marketing and representation company. She will respond to Deco Borges, regional manager of MMTGapnet.
Grupo Trend (the Brazilian operator’s U.S. brand is Trend Travel USA) has announced the hiring of Tiago Mucsi as sales manager, São Paulo. Musci, who has more than a decade of experience in the travel and tourism industry, was most recently commercial manager for Visual Turismo. He was also a supervisor for the tour operator Nascimento.