Annie Allen has been promoted to the position of vice president of global tourism sales at CityPASS, the company that packages prepaid admission to top attractions in 12 North American destinations. Allen, who joined CityPass in 2005, had been senior director of tourism sales and marketing. Allen’s new role gives her increased responsibility in overseeing the company’s tourism marketing efforts and third-party sales programs, and she will continue to spearhead the company’s at major industry trade shows.
Joe Tropia has joined the National Geographic Encounter in New York City as director of marketing. A veteran of 13 years in the tour and travel industry, Tropia comes to his new position from the Blue Man Group, where he was director of national sales and marketing. His CV also includes tenures at the Metropolitan Opera, where he was sales manager, and Theatre Direct/Broadway.com, where he was sales and marketing manager.
Visit Philadelphia, the DMO that promotes the Greater Philadelphia area, including four suburban counties that surround Philadelphia, has announced that its founding president and CEO, Meryl Levitz, plans to leave her post by the end of this year. A search committee has been established to oversee the process of identifying a new chief executive and it has engaged Diversified Search to undertake a national effort to recruit a qualified candidate. Levitz, who joined the organization in 1996, will continue in her current role as president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia to ensure a seamless transition.
In Brazil, Marcos Almeida has joined the management team at Grou Turismo, where he will be responsible for the promotion and training of all destinations in which Grou operates. Previously, Almeida held senior sales positions at such Brazilian travel companies as Bahiaturs and Turma Viagens.
Alexandre Gavalda, the former head of commercial and product for Kuoni in the UK, is joining the bespoke long-haul specialist Vivid Travel, a new operator that was set up by former Travel Republic executives Kane Pirie and Adam Gill. Gavaldi, who spent more than 14 years with Kuoni in France and the UK, started in his new role on Jan. 25. Vivid Travel was established last year and already has more than 25 staff with a broad range of experience from previous roles with Audley Travel, Cox & Kings, Kuoni, Scott Dunn and Wendy Wu Tours.
Education First (EF), the global tour company that specializes in educational and student tours, has named Jerry Weaver sourcing and contracts manager. He’ll operate from the Washington, D.C. area. Weaver comes to EF from the Harborside Hotel at National Harbor, Maryland, where he was director of sales and marketing. Previously, he held senior sales positions for Sheraton, Crowne Plaza and Four Points by Sheraton.
Christian Armond has been appointed head of marketing for online travel agency Love Holidays. Armond joins the company from TUI, where he was head of digital marketing. Armond has over 20 years of experience in the travel and media industries. At TUI he was responsible for all brand and performance digital marketing and recently led the online delivery of the rebrand of Thomson to TUI.
Prior to Tui, he worked for 13 years in media agencies where he was responsible for planning the ATL marketing campaigns for clients including Thomas Cook, Eurostar and Warner Leisure Hotels.
Transat has announced that after almost 25 years of loyal service to the international tourism business, Denise Heffron, vice president, national sales and commercial, will retire from Transat on March 2. Hefron, who joined the company in 1993, has held a number of senior positions in the areas of sales and marketing, and customer care, and was responsible for operations and development in Ontario, Atlantic Canada and Western Canada.
Cerron Cade is leaving his post as director of the Delaware Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism, following Delaware Gov. John Carney’s nomination of Cade to be Secretary of the Delaware Department of Labor. Cade had served in his director’s position for the past year. Cade had previously worked for Carney when the latter was a U.S. Congressman. He had also worked for U.S. Senator Tom Carper.