Paola Bowman has been named destination services manager at the Arlington (Texas) CVB. She joins the Arlington organization from the nearby Grapevine CVB where she led the destination services team. She also served at Visit Fort Worth for nearly a decade.
Maria Whiteman is going to leave Saga Holidays, where she is managing director, at the end of the summer after two years at the company. She will join privately-owned student travel specialist, Next Generation Travel on October 1. Whiteman took on the then-newly created role of managing director of Saga Holidays in 2016 and has previously held senior roles at Amadeus, Travel 2, Airmiles and Hayes & Jarvis.
Claire Brosnan has left Tourism Ireland and joined Air Transat as the airline’s new UK and Ireland marketing manager. In her new role, Brosnan is responsible for developing and implementing Air Transat’s marketing strategy in the UK and Ireland. This includes developing integrated marketing plans across channels including radio, print and out of home advertising, as well as promoting Air Transat to the travel trade.
Trafalgar has created a new role dedicated to independent travel consultants – director of host accounts – and promoted Ashley Vaughan into the new position. Reporting to Trafalgar vice president of sales Whitney Ramirez, Vaughan will expand upon the initiatives she developed to meet the unique needs of independent contractors, ranging from product training to a slate of support skills development on essential topics including social media, sales techniques and digital/dynamic marketing.
Alain Le Scouezec has left his position at TUI France to join the Breton group Salaün Holidays as director of external networks. He will be responsible for sales of the Group’s external network and will report to Stéphane Le Pennec, chief executive officer and Michel Salaün, chairman. After 21 years (1994 – 2015) at Donatello, he joined the Transat France group as commercial director. He then joined the TUI France group following the latter’s takeover of Transat France.
American Airlines has promoted Alice Curry to the role of vice president of customer care, succeeding Jon Carlo Gulbranson, who has moved to the role of vice president of operations and crew performance. In her new role, Curry will lead the airline’s teams that oversee reservations, flight availability and operations monitoring, reporting to Kerry Philipovitch, senior vice president of customer experience.
Tresie Benoit has been promoted to the position of director of contracting, North America at W2M WORLD2MEET. Previously, she had been senior contracts manager USA. Benoit, who came to W2M almost 3 years ago, was previously with lowcostbeds. She also had tenures at Travalco, Meeting Point North America and ATI.
Youth travel specialists Topdeck Travel has announced the promotion of Charles Knowlton to global general manager. Knowlton had been general manager, tour operations North America, Australia and New Zealand, leading the team and setting a clear strategic path for operations in these destinations. In 2012 he relocated to London to become Topdeck’s business development manager, was quickly promoted to International sales manager, and eventually took on a role as Brand Manager in 2013, where he played a pivotal role in launching Topdeck’s North America program. In 2016, Topdeck made the move to operate directly in North America and took Knowlton on the journey, appointing him as general manager tour operations for the region. After two successful seasons managing in-market operations relationships, Knowlton became Topdeck’s general manager tour operations for both North America and Australia/New Zealand.
Roni Astrachan has been named southwest regional sales director for Avanti Destinations, calling on travel advisors in southern California, southern Nevada and Hawaii. Astrachan, who is based in Los Angles, reports to Avanti’s Chief Marketing Officer John Hanratty. Most recently, Astrachan was the West Coast business development manager for Travel Bound. She began her career working for two Israeli escorted tour operators, NATOUR and Geographical Tours, before coming to the Los Angeles area. She joined Travel Bound in 2003, after first working as a travel agent for Valley Travel Group
Sharon Rudometkin has been appointed product manager at YMT Vacations, which is located in the Los Angeles area. She joins the company after spending more than 11 years with American Ring Travel, where she was product manager.
Hanna Leander has been named sales and operations manager at Scholastic Tours. She is based in New York. Leander comes to the position from G2 Travel Limited, where he handled contracting. Her previous experience includes tenures with Teamamerica and Consortium tours of North America.