Lucy Steffens is the new arts administrator for the City of Sacramento. She comes to her new position from the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau where she served for more than 36 years, lastly as the director of travel media and film commissioner.
Parvaneh Miller has been appointed director of international sales for Visit Seattle. She will oversee the organization’s international tourism efforts, including managing seven in-market agencies across Europe, Asia and Australia. Previously, Miller worked in senior sales and marketing positions in different parts of the U.S. Most recently, she was director of sales and marketing at Loews Hotels Inc.
Joleen Haran was recently named group sales executive at Big Bus Tours Chicago. Previously, Haran worked as director of sales at Chicago’s John G. Shedd Aquarium. Prior to that she was assistant director of tourism for Choose Chicago, where she served for more than 14 years.
Tracy Burkey has been appointed director of sales for the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, which is the official tourism promotion agency for Ontario County, N.Y. Previously, Burkey served Visit Syracuse/Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau for more than 30 years, most of them as director of sales/vice president of sales & services.
Fernando Tanaka (left) and Alexandre Vanzella (right) have joined CVC Corp. Tanaka is director of special projects, while the Vanzella will be director of international land product. Tanaka joins after more than seven years at Takeoff, where she served as cruise manager, then cross selling, national hospitality and land products. his last position was channel manager at Despegar in Mexico. Vanzella will take care of North American products, including Orlando. Previously, he spent about ten years at Hotelbeds, lastly as director of sales for South America. He also served for four years of at Tourico Holidays.
Peggy Williams-Smith has been appointed president and CEO of Visit Milwaukee. She replaces Paul Upchurch, who has led the bureau for more than 9 years, and is leaving to pursue other opportunities. Prior to her selection to head up the Milwaukee bureau, Williams-Smith served at Marcus Hotels & Resorts, which is headquartered in Milwaukee
Former Thomas Cook executives Chris Mottershead, along with Kathryn Darbandi and Nicki Tempest-Mitchell, has joined Barrhead Travel parent, Minneapolis-based Travel Leaders Group. They were recruited to lead a nation-wide expansion of Barrhead Travel, growing the company by up to 100 retail stores. Mottershead, who was chief of product and operations, will lead the expansion effort with Darbandi and Tempest-Mitchell working alongside.
Svenja Bielinski, the head of content at DER Touristik and long-time sales director of DER Touristik Cologne, has left the company. She had been with the DER Touristik for eight years. Previously, Bielinski served for 12 years at airberlin.
Yon Abad has been promoted to the position of vice president, corporate suppliers, relationships and distribution platforms at Flight Centre Travel Group’s Global Procurement Network. Based in the USA, Abad brings to the position more than 15-years’ experience in global corporate travel, as well as hospitality contracting, distribution and technology. He joins Flight Centre from CWT where he has spent the past decade in senior hotel and consulting roles for North America, Latin America and Europe.
The Brazilian tour operator Azul Viagens (it’s the leisure operator for Azul Airlines) has a new director—Daniel Bicudo, who succeeds Marcelo Bento. Bicudo had been director since last year of the loyalty program TudoAzul. He is well-known in the Brazilian tourism industry, having worked at Multiplus, Tam and Embraer.
Apple Leisure Group has announced three new appointments to lead its vacation brands as members of its executive committee: Jacqueline Marks, Steve Dumaine and Ray Snisky. Marks is currently executive vice president responsible for the company’s travel agent business; Dumaine is the former president and CEO of CheapCaribbean.com and current executive vice president of ALG’s B2C-focused vacations brands; and Snisky is the current chief commercial officer of ALG Vacations and will continue to serve in this role with expanded oversight. John Hutchinson, formerly the president of ALG, and Lynn Torrent, formerly the company’s executive vice president and president, vacations, will leave the company following the transition of the new executive committee members.
Jim Brody has been named managing director, Destinations for the Americas and Asia-Pacific at Lonely Planet. Prior to the move, Brody has been involved with several businesses that focus on products designed to help DMOs with their marketing, promotion and reputation management programs. His résumé also includes tenures as general manager, destinations, for Travelzoo, and as senior international sales manager, destination marketing at TripAdvisor.
Simpson Travel has promoted Kathryn Coles to the newly-created role of head of sales. Coles joined Simpson Travel in January as the specialist operator looked to work more closely with travel agents. Previously, Coles worked for Tauck, Kirker Holidays and Club Med.
In France, Raphaël Auvray has been appointed to the newly created position of production director of FTI Voyages. He will be in charge of production, yield and aviation. Auvray began his career in 2003 as a product manager at Promovacances and then worked as long-haul manager for lastminute.com, in addition to other companies.
Bruno Fischer has been named the new digital director, distribution and sales, for Transavia, the Dutch low-cost airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of KLM and, as a result, is part of the Air France–KLM group. Prior to the appointment, Fischer had been in charge of redefining the distribution strategy for Air France-KLM since 2016. Fischer joined the Air France group in 2004 and since then has held several sales positions, including revenue management pricing. In 2012, he became head of sales for Air France-KLM in Germany, based in Frankfurt.