Rhanee Palma has been promoted to the position of chief sales officer at Visit Oakland. Palma, who joined the bureau in 2016 as director of sales, became vice president of sales and services early in 2018. Previously, she had been a senior sales executive for Marriott International.
Morgan Maravich has left NTA and begun a new position as director, supplier strategy at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Maravich, who was director, partnerships & engagement at NTA, had been with the organization for more than 4½ years. Previously, she served for six years at Destination DC.
Ross Matthews has been named chief marketing officer at Hoseasons Holidays parent Awaze UK, effective January. He joins from Icelolly, where he was also chief marketing officer. Matthews started his travel career at Thomas Cook, and has also held positions at Virgin Holidays and Shearings.
Transat has announced the appointment of Marie-Annick Lalande as senior communications advisor for Transat Distribution Canada. Lalande is based in Montreal, where she will be responsible for all internal and external communications of the Transat subsidiary. A veteran of more than two decades in the travel and tourism industry, she has been with Transat since 2013, and has held various positions within the company, including in the corporate affairs and communications teams, as well as in public relations.
Travel South USA has announced two promotions: Catherine Li (left) is now program manager, Asia initiatives & research analyst while Angelica De Stefano becomes program manager, marketing communication & events. Catherine Li, who is from Chongqing, China, moved to Atlanta in 2013 after graduating from the University of Nebraska, and graduated from Georgia State University in 2016 with a Master’s of Professional Accountancy. Prior to her promotion, she was Travel South’s business development specialist-China initiatives. Angelica De Stefano joined NTA in 2917. Prior to her promotion, she was coordinator, event and partner marketing administrator.
Cole Hubbard has left his position as research coordinator for the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism, to join the City of Austin as development services process coordinator. He had been with the Office of the Governor for four years.
Andy Washington has joined the e-commerce giant Groupon as vice president of travel, international. He replaces Jonathan Starkings, who left the business last April. Washington comes from Culture Trip, which he left last month after a year-and-a-half, and where he was senior vice president, travel. Previously, Washington served tenures at Expedia, lastminute.com, Cosmos and other companies. In his new position, he will develop strategic initiatives to bolster Groupon’s travel business and oversee all aspects of growth, demand, supply and partnerships.
Steve Maksymyk has been named international managing director for the Rocky Mountaineer—the Canadian rail-tour company in Western Canada that operates trains on three rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta. Maksymyk, who will be based out of the company’s head office in Vancouver, previously spent more than six years in Shanghai, China, as a management consultant with a focus on distribution channels and digital capabilities.
Gary Bates has been named trade relationship manager at Inspiring Travel Company, a tour operator that creates tailor-made and bespoke travel experiences. He joins the company from Beachcomber Tours, where he was a regional sales manager. Bates previously worked for Thomas Cook as commercial accounts and key accounts manager following three years as sales development manager at Flexibletrips.
In Brazil, Cleiton Feijó has taken over as managing director of Visual Turismo, the Brazilian leisure tour operator which is a CVC brand. He succeeds Edson Akabane, who is leaving the company. Previously, Feijó has held senior sales and marketing positions with different tour operators.
Renê Castro has been appointed communication and marketing manager for São Paulo-based Nova Operadora, which sells product from all parts of the world, including North America. With ten years of experience in the tourism sector, the executive has accumulated stints at PANROTAS, Grupo Bandeirantes de Comunicação, as well as having worked as a freelancer for the travel editor of the portal Uol. Its arrival aims to redirect communication with the market according to the new momentum of the company.
Christina Carr has been named vice president of Travelive, a luxury destination management company that is a preferred supplier with Virtuoso, Signature, Altour and Ensemble. In her new role Carr will be responsible for maintaining and solidifying agency relationships worldwide as the company looks to continue its growth. She has more than 13 years of experience in the luxury travel and hospitality industry, having held management positions including executive vice president of Nomad Hill and president of Four Corners Travel & Concierge.
Emmanuelle Winter has been named European Director for the new Air Canada Vacations and Groupe Voyages Québec partnership which is aimed at providing European tourism professionals with a diversified range of vacation packages to Canada. Since last month, Groupe Voyages Québec has become the official and exclusive Canadian receptive agency in Europe for the marketing of travel packages in Canada under the Air Canada Vacations brand. A long-time veteran of the travel and tourism industry, Winter’s previous experience includes several years as president of her own company, Travel Advisor & Concierge. She was also sales and marketing manager/travel advisor for Unique Travel.
Jeff Zidell has been appointed senior vice president and customer experience officer and Ellen Zfaney has been named vice president, supply strategy and innovation for RoomIt by CWT, the global hotel distribution division of CWT. Zidell joins from startup CorePoint Lodging, where he served as senior vice president, asset management; prior to that, he spent nearly a decade with Hyatt, where he was senior vice president, loyalty marketing and partnerships. Zfaney comes to RoomIt from Expedia, where she was head of global strategic partnerships for over three years. She also served as vice president, Americas partnerships at Orbitz Partner Network at Orbitz Worldwide for almost 11 years.
Air Canada Vacations has announced that Ana Vazquez is its new area sales manager for British Columbia. Vazquez, who spent the last six years in retail travel, will cover Vancouver west and downtown, Richmond, Ladner, the North Shore, Okanagan, Northern British Columbia, and the Yukon. Based in the Vancouver office, she will report directly to Marigold Frontuna, General Manager Sales – Western Canada. Vazquez most recently worked at Flight Centre Travel Group, and at Odenza Vacations for several years prior to that.
Michelle Suker has been appointed as the new director of field sales east for the U.S. for Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold. Previously, Suker held multiple leadership, training, and development roles at AAA The Auto Club Group, including field manager, senior training consultant, and agency development manager. Suker joined Insight Vacations more than two years ago as district sales manager in West Florida. Altogether, Suker brings more than 25 years of sales and management experience to her new role as director of field sales east.
Phil Aird-Mash has been named CEO of ITC Travel Group, whose tour operator brands include Inspiring Travel Company, Regent Holidays, Rainbow Tours and sports specialist, Spectate. Aird-Marsh will begin his new job in January 2020. He succeeds Mal Barritt, who left to join Traveltek as CEO in this past summer. Aird-Mash has previously held senior leadership positions in the travel industry, including CEO of Thomas Cook’s Independent businesses, UK and deputy group chief executive of XL, managing director at MyTravel and most recently CEO and chairman of ACC Aviation Group.