Edward Harris is the new president and CEO of Discover Lancaster. Harris, who starts the job on June 22, replaces Kathleen Frankford, who resigned from the post in late November 2018. During the interim, the organization has been directed by a combination of an interim president and senior staff and regularly interacting with the officers of the board. Harris joins the organization from the Valley Forge Convention & Tourism Board where he had been chief marketing officer since 2014. Prior to that, he was director of marketing for eBay. He also served as brand manager at Under Armour, and as senior international brand manager at Timberland.
Christine Leader has taken leave of the tour and travel industry after nearly 20 years. Leader, who until recently was marketing director for New Sun International Travel in Los Angeles, has joined the World Financial Group as a life insurance specialist. Prior to her work with New Sun, Leader had senior marketing positions for JTB USA, Lion Travel and the America Asia Travel Center.
Andria Godfrey, formerly senior director of tourism and hospitality at ADARA, has joined Longwoods International as vice president. She joins the Columbus, Ohio-based company after a tenure at ADARA, where she led DMO strategy and development by working with the travel industry to navigate the world of data and analytics. Previously, Godfrey was director of advertising research-tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. She was also research coordinator in the Office of the Governor, State of Texas.
Chris Tatum, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), has notified the agency that he will retire on Aug. 31 after 40 years in the hospitality industry. Tatum took over the top HTA job in December 2018 following a 37-year career with Marriott International. Tatum, who took over leadership at HTA in October 2018 following the departure of then-HTA president and CEO George Szigeti, who left HTA in October 2018, after the board voted to oust him without cause.
Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has announced the appointment of Marc Casto to the position of president, leisure brands, of the company’s Americas division. In a statement, the company said it has established this role on the heels of its recently implemented retail transformation, to oversee and steer the implementation and day-to-day to execution of its new business model. has over 25 years of experience in the travel industry. He previously served as Senior Vice President of FCM Travel Solutions USA, and before that, the president and chief executive officer of Casto Travel, an FCM global travel management company headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area
Ralf Usbeck, founder of Dusseldorf-based Peakwork, has returned to take over as president and CEO of the organization after departing it in 2017. Peakwork connects travel providers such as TUI, DER Touristik and Lufthansa, to digital global players including Google, Facebook, Kayak and Trivago. The company’s network comprises about 300 travel brands across 35 markets. In explaining his return, Usbeck said, “We have grown strongly in recent years and have successfully pushed ahead with our international expansion. However, our time to market, such as the speed with which we develop software solutions, has suffered, as has our proximity to customers. We must and will change this in order to continue playing in the Champions League of travel technology companies.”
Melaine Rottkamp has been named president and CEO of Dutchess Tourism, effective July 21st. (Dutchess County is about 80 miles north of Manhattan.) She will succeed Mary Kay Vrba, who has served in the post for nearly 26 years. Rottkamp has worked at Dutchess Tourism for more than eight years, serving as office manager, as the director of special events, outreach and administration, and most recently as vice president.
David Bahman has been named global head of sales at Entrada Insights Inc., a Salt Lake City, Utah-based company that specializes in data strategy, consulting and marketing analytics for destination marketers. Bahman comes to Entrada Insights from ADARA, where is was vice president, tourism and hospitality division. Previously, he was director, destination and supplier marketing for Orbitz Worldwide, where he served for more than seven years. Bahman was also acting director and deputy director of the Office of Tourism Development for the State of Maryland.
Alexis Coles Barrasso has been appointed communications director, for VIVID Travel, a UK tour operator based in the London Borough of Wandsworth, England. Coles Barrasso has worked in the UK travel industry for a number of years, most notably as group PR and communications Director at Thomas Cook Group, where she served for just under18 years. She was also communications director at The Travel Network Group for nearly a decade.
Commercial director Cherie Richards has left leave Global Travel Group. Richards said she was leaving the company after 15 years “for both personal and professional reasons” to pursue a new opportunity, said managing director Andy Stark, who added, “We want to thank Cherie for her contribution to the business in her 15 years with the group, she has played a hugely important role in making Global Travel Group what it is today.
Rodrigo Vaz, who was head of sourcing for the Decolar, one of the largest OTAs in Brazil and Latin America, is leaving the company where he had worked for a year. In a statement, Vaz said “This moment of crisis is really a challenge for all companies, and this new reality has changed purposes and goals for the year.” Before joining Decolar, Vaz was international product director at CVC, where had served for seven years. Previously, he was regional sales manager for LAN Airlines.