Gisel Vidals has been promoted to the position of head of global sales at Big Bus Tours. Previously, she served as head of global sales, Americas. Vidals joined Big Bus four years ago. Prior to that, she held senior sales positions for several different New York City-based tour and travel companies, including Skyline Sightseeing, Super Shuttle and Liberty Helicopters.
The board of directors of Visit KC has selected industry veteran Jason Fulvi as its new president and CEO. He succeeds Ronnie Burt, who resigned following the settlement last January of a lawsuit that alleged harassing and bullying behavior toward female employees on Burt’s part. A veteran of more than three decades in the tour and travel industry, Fulvi comes to Kansas City from VisitPITTSBURGH, where he has served for 16 years and most recently as the organization’s executive vice president. Fulvi starts his new job at Visit KC on Sept. 12.
Deana Ivey has been promoted by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. (CVC) to the post of executive vice president. A veteran of 21 years at the CVC, she was most recently chief marketing officer.
Timothy Zahner has left his post as chief operating officer at Sonoma County Tourism to join the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau, now known as Experience Sonoma County, as its new executive director. Zahner had been with Sonoma County Tourism since December 2006. Prior to that he was public relations media manager at San Francisco Travel.
Sarah Schaffer has been named chief marketing officer for Visit Baltimore. A tour and travel industry professional for more than 20 years, Schaffer succeeds Sam Rogers, who left the post last January to become interim president and CEO of Visit Norfolk. She comes to the organization from her post as managing director of HZDG, a communications and marketing agency with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles and Baltimore. Previously, she was chief of marketing and communications at The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.
Wendy Haase has been promoted to the position of senior director for Destination Irvine in Orange County, California. Previously, she was director of tourism marketing. In her new role, Haase, who has been with the chamber since 2010, will be responsible for the organization’s destination sales and marketing divisions.
CVB veteran Monica Smith has been named the new president and CEO of the 12-state Southeast Tourism Society (STS). She is only the third chief executive in the 35-year history of STS. Smith took over the upon the retirement of Bill Hardman after his 21-year tenure in the position. Smith, who has more than 26 years’ experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, most recently was vice president of sales and services for Visit Jacksonville. She previously was president and CEO of the Macon-Bibb County CVB in Macon, Ga. She also has worked at the Pasadena CVB and the Newport Beach CVB in California and for Destination Cleveland in Ohio. Smith has also served on the STS board of directors through her positions in Jacksonville and Macon.
Terry Dale has signed a new three-year contract extending his role as president and CEO of the U.S. Tour Operators Association through 2021. Dale began as president in 2011 and assumed the additional role of chief executive officer in fall 2012. Prior to Dale’s appointment, the late Bob Whitley served as USTOA’s president and CEO from 1978 to 2010.
Sara Otte Coleman of the North Dakota Tourism Division has been named national State Tourism Director of the Year for 2018. Coleman was announced as the honoree at the U.S. Travel Association’s recent ESTO conference, held this year in Phoenix. Candidates for State Tourism Director of the Year are nominated by a panel of state and territory tourism directors. A slate of three finalists is presented for selection by ballot.
As of September 30, Christoph Führer, managing director of the business travel division of DER Touristik, is leaving the company at his own request. Führer has been a member of the management team since 2010. He was first spokesman for the management of Derpart Reisevertrieb. Since November 2016, Führer has been managing director of DER, where he is responsible for the business travel division, DER Business Travel. Führer’s responsibilities in the management of DER Deutsches Reisebüro will be taken over by interim managing director Mark Tantz in addition to his duties as managing director of DER Touristik Deutschland.
Marcelo Kaiser is the new manager of Aviareps, the global tour and travel PR and representation company, for all of Latin America. In parallel, Kaiser will take care of the operation in Brazil in the next five months and a new director for the national market should be announced. The company has offices in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Mexico.
Fanato Incentive, a Brazilian corporate-focused brand from tour operator Fanato, has just announced that it has hired Barbara Fertonani to be part of its incentive travel team. Fertonani comes to her new job with 15 years of experience in the M.I.C.E. segment. She can be reached at [email protected]
Specialist tour operator Hotelplan’s Simon McIntyre is leaving the company and joining online travel agency Iglu. The group head of sales for Inghams, Ski Total & Esprit, McIntyre will leave after nine years at the company and join Iglu’s operations board in the newly created role of general manager, ski, overseeing sales, marketing and commercial teams.
Kelli Hilliard for 17 years at Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism
Sarah Willoughby for 14 years at Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau
Oswaldo Freitas for 3 years at JTB Americas Ltd