TravelNevada has promoted Christian Passink to director of sales and industry partners. In this position, Passink will oversee all efforts to promote the state to international visitors as well as supervise TravelNevada’s rural outreach and grant programs. Previously, he was an international market manager, where he had direct responsibility over the agency’s international promotional efforts in France, German-speaking Europe, the UK and the northern European countries. Passink, who began his career with TravelNevada in 2008 as rural programs manager, has an extensive background in the resort management and hospitality industry, managing luxury resorts in the Lake Tahoe area.
Lacey Cameron has been promoted to the post of senior manager, global market development, for Explore Georgia. She will add Canada and Mexico to the domestic market she currently oversees. Cameron, who joined the Georgia Department of Economic Development in 2016, has a resumé that includes tenures with Visit Charlotte and the Atlanta CVB.
Vincent Denizot has been appointed director of retail distribution at TUI France. A 17-year veteran of TUI, Denizot has held various positions within TUI France in the commercial field as director of the East and Paris/Ile-de-France regions, then as distribution support director and then as director of tour operating operations since October 2018.
The Little Rock CVB has promoted Kayla Kesterson to the position of sales director. Kesterson, who joined the bureau in 2018, had been serving as sales manager. She joined the CVB after a tenure as director of communications, workforce development and special events for the Arkansas Hospitality Association.
Graham Horner has been appointed managing director of Simpson Travel. He replaces David Bence, who left in January to become finance director of UK Leisure and Consulting Services. Horner was previously marketing director of Scott Dunn, marketing director of The Telegraph Media Group and head of loyalty at Coca Cola GB. He has been working with Simpson Travel as a non-executive director since January 2019.
Kara Franker has been named senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB. She joins the bureau after operating her own marketing and communications company where she served a number of Florida-based DMOs. A lawyer, Franker also served a tenure as assistant state attorney in the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office.
Edward Stoddard has been named communications director at the Central Pennsylvania CVB. He comes to the bureau from the Huntingdon County (Pa.) CVB, where he spent nearly 11 years. His last position there was as marketing director. Previously, he was marketing development manager for the Centre Daily Times for almost 18 years.
Luxury Travel Group has appointed Simon Lynch as director of sales. Lynch joins from Abercrombie & Kent, where he had worked since 2010 overseeing the sales strategy at A&K’s UK tour operation in Cheltenham and London, including its retail, B2B Sales and VIP client division. Before A&K he oversaw STA Travel’s Scandinavian business based in Stockholm.
The social media and booking technology company Passport Online has expanded its team to include a new sales director position, hiring Stuart Palmer to the role. Palmer started his career as a branch manager for Greenwich Travel Inc. and, most recently, served as director, U.S. sales and business development for Apple Leisure Group’s Amstar DMC. He will report to Jeanne Colombo, who was recently promoted to vice president of strategic partnerships.
Red Label Vacations Inc. has announced that Carolyn Bujtas has been promoted to director of sales and operations for the retail brands redtag.ca and itravel2000.com. Bujtas brings more than14 years of experience to her new role. Her travel career started 14 years ago, working as a sales agent for itravel2000.com. Since then, she has grown into a senior managerial position; overseeing itravel2000.com’s product training, travel agents, sales, groups, booking processes and more.
Nathalie Boyer is leaving her post as executive director of Transat Distribution Canada, and has accepted a senior executive role outside the industry. Boyer formally leaves Transat on July 31. At the same time, the Montreal-based company has announced the appointments of Louise Fecteau as general manager of Transat Distribution Canada, and of Karine Gagnon as commercial director for Transat’s Quebec region. Currently commercial director for the Quebec region, Fecteau has more than 25 years of experience in the travel industry. Karine Gagnon, currently Transat’s manager, product and destination services, will replace Fecteau and report to Joseph Adamo, TDC president and Transat chief distribution.
Saga CEO Lance Batchelor is to retire in January 2020 after six years with the senior travel specialist. Chairman Patrick O’Sullivan said: “Lance has led Saga with a resolute focus on reinvestment and rebuilding a truly customer centric organization. On behalf of the Board, we are grateful for his contribution and wish him every success for the future.” Batchelor’s career resumé includes management positions with such well-known brands as Proctor & Gamble and Amazon.com.
Robert Reed has joined Air Canada Vacations as manager, national accounts. Based in the Mississauga office, he will be reporting directly to Erminia Nigro, general manager, sales, Ontario, Manitoba & National Accounts. Reed has nearly three decades experience in the travel industry, and he comes to his new post from Transat where he held the role of director, national accounts.
In the UK, Barrhead Travel, which is owned by the Minneapolis-based Travel Leaders Group, has promoted Caroline Donaldson, formerly head of commercial, to the position of product and commercial director. Donaldson will oversee commercial agreements, product development and business development for all areas of the business, including cruise. Donaldson joined Barrhead over 16 years ago as a part-time long-haul consultant before progressing to manage the department. She was appointed business development manager in 2007.
Ensemble Travel Group co-president Lindsay Pearlman has decided to leave the company. After serving as executive vice president and general manager of Ensemble Canada for four years, Pearlman was appointed in January 2011 co-president of the group, which has 850 member agencies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Prior to joining Ensemble Travel Group, Pearlman was director and general manager at American Express and also held positions at Travel Services Network, Canada and General Electric in Calgary. David Harris, who was appointed to the newly created role of CEO in March, and President Libbie Rice will handle all management responsibilities and running the global operations for Ensemble Travel Group.