Whitney Feather has been named manager of sales at Connect Travel (publisher of INBOUND). She joins the company from Meeting Professionals International, where she was director of business development for almost two years. Previously, she was marketing/communications manager at Central Florida Electric Cooperative. Prior to that, she was marketing, sales & event manager at Visit Florida, where she served for five years.
Kevin Langston has announced that he is retiring from his position as deputy commissioner of Explore Georgia, which is part of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Prior to his tenure as deputy commissioner, Langston was division director, international, for the department, which he joined 14 years ago.
Chris Ellis has started a new position as CEO at 7M Tours, an Orlando-based tour operator that sells both inbound and outbound international product. He joins from Brand USA, where was director of global trade development, and where he served for three years. Previously, Ellis was a senior sales official at Visit Orlando. He was with the organization for almost 7 years.
Johanna D’LaRotta has been appointed as director, global market development, tourism division, at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. D’LaRotta comes to her new job from NDM Hospitality in the Orlando area. Previously, she had spent nearly 21 years at Visit Orlando, lastly as travel industry sales manager for Latin America.
Chad Enloe has been appointed vice president of sales for the Arlington (Texas) CVB. Previously, Enloe, 49, served as regional director of sales for Aimbridge Hospitality, where he was responsible for the sales efforts of 15 full-service hotels. Prior to that, he held senior sales positions for Omni Hotels.
Faced with what it says are rising issues in business travel and to bring its experience to the development of the business network, Paris-based TourCom Travel Management (TTM) has recruited Stéphane Roussel as director. Roussel previously spent a large part of his career, nearly 11 years, at American Express Business Travel where he was supplier partnership manager, and at HRG, the Global Travel Management division of Hogg Robinson Group.
Heather Egan has been named director of leisure & international sales for the Grapevine CVB. She comes to the new post from Visit Wichita, where she was convention sales manager. Previously, Egan held sales positions at Group Tour Media and the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites in Northeast Wichita. She is actually returning to the Grapevine bureau, having worked there previously for 12 years (2004-2016).
Jackie Ludwig has retired from her position as director of tourism at Visit Tucson, where she served for 11 years. Ludwig spent more than three decades in the tour and travel industry.
Travel PR and marketing company Hills Balfour—it represents Brand USA in the UK and Ireland—has announced a restructuring following managing director Jonathan Sloan’s decision to leave the company this summer. Sloan has been with the firm for 16 years. As part of the restructuring at Hills Balfour—it is owned by Kansas City-based MMGY—Simon Gidman has been named director of business development. He began his tenure at the newly created post on July 8. He joined Hills Balfour from Tourism Australia, where he was business events manager for the UK and Europe. He had previously worked for Visit England for 10 years.
Tara Letort has been promoted to senior director of group public relations and communications for New Orleans & Company. Letort, who joined the organization 12 years ago, was previously director of group public relations. Prior to joining New Orleans & Co., she worked at the Zimmerman Agency in Tallahassee, Florida.
Bethesda, Md.-based Streetsense, a design and strategy firm, has announced that Josh Collins has joined the firm as a director of destination activations + marketing. Collins brings to Streetsense more than 20 years of experience across both the entertainment and travel and tourism industries having co-founded the digital agency Kinekt, as well as working with musicians such as The Roots and John Legend. A sought-after speaker on destination marketing and member of the Advisory Board for Connect Travel’s eTourism Summit, Collins will focus on helping destinations create, curate, and market travel experiences to drive visitor demand and boost economic impact.
Global hotel online wholesaler Travellanda has appointed Carlos Correia as a sales and business development manager who will cover Portugal, Spain, South America, the USA and Canada. He joined the company from Altura Destination Services, where he was a Key Account Manager, responsible for sales, business development and marketing strategy. Previously, he was an Account Manager at Hotelbeds, and prior to that a Host Manager at Iberostar Resorts.
Thomas Cook has appointed Kelly Cookes as head of commercial partnerships and sales planning. Cookes had been head of Thomas Cook-owned Freedom Travel Group since 2014, and will take up her new role when she returns from maternity leave in August.
The Freedom Travel Group, which is owned by Thomas Cook which includes North American product in its offerings, has made three new appointments to its commercial team. The action comes just after Matt Harding (right) was promoted to head of the consortium. All three have joined from Thomas Cook: (1) Vikki Groves joins as marketing manager, moving from the Thomas Cook cruise team. She previously spent six years at Holland America Line Cruises. (2) Jacqueline Brookes, a veteran of 25 years in the tour and travel industry, also joins as compliance manager. (3) Nicola Pilling moves to the newly-created position of assistant supplier partnerships manager. She moves from Thomas Cook’s commercial team. Harding, who replaced Kelley Cookes (see above item) after the latter moved to a commercial role at Thomas Cook, said: “I am thrilled that we have expanded our team with these great new appointments.”