Phillip Jones is out as president and CEO of VisitDallas in a move that the organization called a “mutual decision.” Jones came under fire earlier this year after the Dallas City Auditor’s Office released a report about VisitDallas’ questionable spending and lack of transparency. The audit found, for instance, that Jones, who makes $700,000 a year, also expensed a $543 Tumi backpack and spent more than $17,000 on 18 hotel stays, despite VisitDallas rules limiting hotel reimbursement to $180 a night in all cities except New York, where the reimbursement can be $250 per night. Mark Woelffer, VisitDallas’ board chair, thanked Jones for his “great career” at the agency. Said Jones: “It has been a privilege to lead VisitDallas during an important period of growth for the organization and now it’s time for my next challenge.” Jones came to the agency in November 2003. Previously, he had been secretary of the Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism for nearly 8 years.
Kyle Edmiston has been promoted to the post of president and CEO of Visit Lake Charles. He succeeds the retired Shelley Galloway Johnson who had served the agency for more than 30 years. Edmiston joined Visit Lake Charles in January 2018 as chief operating officer. Previously, he had been assistant secretary of the Louisiana Office of Tourism for nearly six years. Prior to that, Edmiston had been president and CEO of the Ruston-Lincoln CVB.
After 18 years with the company, Theodora Dimopoulou has left DER Touristik. In her position as vice president of air transportation, she had been responsible for all air matters, such as tour operators and consolidators within the company. Previously she had been country manager for Germany & Austria for World Span, and was a sales rep at American Airlines.
Patrice Geske, director of marketing (Canada) for the Globus family of brands and a 10-year employee, has chosen to retire at the end of June this year. “Patrice will definitely be missed, not only by our team here in Canada and around the world, but by the many travel retailers and suppliers she has dealt with over the years,” said Stéphanie Bishop, managing director for the Globus family of brands in Canada. Geske joined the company in 2009 as marketing manager. “This has been a wonderful part of my 38-year career,” she said, “And I will miss my friends and colleagues in the Globus family around the world.”
Colleen Buchanan has been appointed as destination sales manager at Visit San Antonio. Buchanan joined the bureau in Jan. 2017, as destination experience manager. She will work with partners at the Henry B. González Convention Center, hotels, meeting venues and attractions to coordinate in-market site visits.
Destinations International has hired Paula Beck as its new director of marketing in an effort to develop and implement analytics-driven marketing and branding strategies. Beck served as director of sales & marketing for eight years within Aramark’s Parks & Destinations division. From 2006 – 2010, Beck worked as marketing manager at onPeak in Chicago, a provider of hotel accommodations for events. She had been doing consulting work since moving to Alexandria, Virginia, in 2018
Eatwith (formerly VizEat), which specializes in immersive culinary activities, has appointed Ken Frohling as director of global development. A leading tourism specialist for more than 25 years, was recently vice president of global partnerships for the attractions division of TripAdvisor. Prior to that, he was part of the Viator.com management team, worked as a strategic advisor at Tiqets.com, served as Americas Region Manager at Cendant Corporation (HotelClub.com and RatesToGo.com), and was a sales manager at Atinera and at Renaissance Cruises.
Edward D. Sevilla has been appointed to the new position of senior vice president and chief development officer for the USS Constitution Museum in Boston. Sevilla joins the organization from national philanthropy consulting firm Grenzebach Glier + Associates (GG+A), where he served as senior vice president and a member of the leadership team. Earlier in his career, he served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Hong Kong. The USS Constitution visited Macao, across the harbor from Hong Kong, during its world tour in 1844-6. The USS Constitution, launched in 1797 and named by President George Washington after the nation’s founding document, is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat.
Greg Takehara has been named CEO at Tourism Cares, the official philanthropy wing of NTA, which is based in Norwood, Massachusetts, and is widely known for its charitable work. Takehara, who has been with the organization for six-and-a-half years as a board member, was previously president of Kansas City-based Trip Mate Inc.
United Airlines has announced the hiring of Mariana Trevizan as sales manager for São Paulo, its main market in the country. She replaces Guilherme Dal Secco, who left the company in December. Mariana has more than 15 years of aviation experience. In the last two she worked at Copa Airlines, but previously served with Etihad, British and South African Airways.
David Filipiak has move up to the post of general manager at the National Geographic Encounter in New York City. Filipiak was previously director of sales for the attraction, which he joined in late 2016. Prior to that, he was director of groups at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum and, before that, manager of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Solenn Le Brazidec has been named general manager of Paris-based FCM Travel Solutions, which is part of the Flight Centre Group. She was promoted from the position of operations director for France & Switzerland. Le Brazidec has been with the company for 11 years.
After twenty years as a commercial manager, Sérgio Vianna is no longer part of the tour operator Abreutur. “After two decades working in the same company, I just have to thank Abreu. It was a school for me, a carrier that puts the customer first,” Vianna told a Brazilian travel trade journal.
Kim Butler has a new position as director of marketing for Dania Pointe, Florida—a 102-acre premier mixed-use development with almost 1 million square feet of retail and restaurants in addition to Class A offices, hotels, luxury apartments and public event space which it bills as “in the heart of South Florida’s tourist mecca” Butler was vice president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB for nearly four years before she left the bureau Clarks also served as director of marketing communications for the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in Atlantic City before moving to Florida.
James Villas has appointed Expedia’s Andreas Nau as its new managing director. Nau was managing director EMEA at Expedia where he served from 2011.He has also worked at Tui where he led the hotel contracting strategy and managed its car hire division. Nau began his new job on May 15.
Monya Mandich has been named global vice president, marketing, at Expedia Group. Previously, she served as senior director, global marketing and public relations, for the company. Mandich joined Expedia in 2009 as manager, marketing and communications.
Long-time tour and travel industry leader Matt Stiker has been named president of Garrand Moehlenkamp, a Portland, Maine communications and marketing agency. He had been serving as chief marketing (and Nourishing) Officer. Siker is a former chief marketing officer for City PASS, and has also served as executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the San Francisco Travel Association.