Scott Balyo recently began duties as the new executive director of Capital Region USA (CRUSA), the organization that does international marketing for Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He succeeds Matt Gaffney, who retired after serving CRUSA for more than 16 years. Balyo, with 20 years of experience in international tourism marketing, organizational leadership, marketing and communications, once served as executive director of the Cody County (Wyoming) Chamber of Commerce, where he handled tourism-related matters.
Caro Degryse has been named director of long-haul production for TUI France. Degryse, 47, has 20 years of experience working with large tour groups, receptive or niche tour operators. Previously, she was director of development at Emirates Holidays. She had also worked the TUI group in Belgium from 1997 to 2005.
In Brazil, the tour operator BWT has hired Alessandra Fernandes to head its office in the United States, which is located in Orlando. The move is part of the expansion of the international presence of the company. Fernandes has 13 years of experience in the industry, with expertise in managing corporate events, such as business roundtables and workshops, through the public and private sectors. She has served tenures with the Tourism Foundation of Mato Grosso do Sul and Tam Linhas Aéreas (before the carrier’s merger with Lan).
Beginning Dec. 1, Sascha Büsseler will assume even more responsibility in the Thomas Cook Group in Germany. As head of yield & product, he will be responsible for all product types, destinations and brands of Thomas Cook in Central Europe. The reason for the reorganization is the beginning parental leave of Sonja Karl, head of yield & product for the areas of long-haul and luxury travel. Büsseler had already taken over the management category of TCI Germany from Nadja Schotte.
Allison Schult has left her position as vice president of marketing for Visit Tucson to join
MMGY as the newest member of the company’s research, data and insights team. Schult’s role with the organization will be to identify syndicated and custom solutions for brands across travel and tourism verticals while promoting all agency brands within the MMGY Global family.
Saga Holidays has appointed Iain Powell as head of trade sales for Saga Holidays and Saga Cruises. Powell will join company on the Jan.15 from Carnival UK where he was a business manager within the national travel partnerships team, managing the regional sales team. He has previously held roles at TUI and Virgin Holidays.
The Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau has appointed Danielle Taylor to its staff as the new marketing and membership service coordinator Taylor comes to the bureau with a strong editorial background and a wealth of experience in outdoor and tourism communications. For the past two years, she has worked full-time as a freelance journalist focusing on outdoor recreation, conservation, public lands, and travel.
The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board recently added five new staff members: Kristin Eichengreen, sports sales manager; Jon Scheuren, sports sales manager; Rachel Riley, communications & media relations manager; Emily Keel, marketing & communications associate; and Caitlin Hoppel, business intelligence analyst.