Simon Matthews has joined Hotelbeds as global director for technology & product management in a newly combined role leading both the technology and the product management areas of Hotelbeds. Matthews will also become a member of the company’s executive committee. He joins Hotelbeds from his role as chief technology officer GVC Holdings, a business that develops end-to-end technology stacks for sports betting brands. His career spans more than two decades and includes the roles of head of software engineering for Sky and CTO for Cerillion Technologies, a company specializing in enterprise on-premise, mobile, and SaaS software for multiple sectors including telecommunications, media, energy, and financial services.
Deb Travis Archer has retired from her post as president and CEO of Destination Madison after serving the destination of Wisconsin’s capital city for nearly 27 years. Before she began her lengthy tenure in Madison, Archer served as associate director of sales of the Greater Kansas City CVB (predecessor of Visit KC) and as executive director of the Park City Chamber of Commerce/CVB.
Matt Herbert has been named sales and yield director for the JG Travel Group—the company that recently acquired the National Holidays brand after the failure of its parent company, Specialist Leisure Group. Herbert worked for Shearings, which was also under the Specialist Leisure Group umbrella, for 13 years. He was the main product and commercial lead in the business. At JG Travel Group, he will be responsible for managing and directing all areas of the sales, insight and reporting aspects of the business.
Alan Puana has joined RocketRez, a tech company offering ticketing and related solutions in the tours & attraction segment of the tourism industry, as vice president, global growth. Previously associated with brands such as Universal Parks & Resorts, Expedia, and Groupon, Alan will be leading expansion and customer acquisition into new markets. Puana comes to the company from Universal Parks & Resorts in California, where he was director of sales. Prior to that, he was senior director, market management, West, for Expedia. He was also a vice president-AAA/CAA product & sales, regional contracting, for AmericanTours International.
Lisa Diekmann recently became the new president & CEO of Yellowstone Forever, the principle nonprofit partner of Yellowstone National Park. She was the first executive director of the former Yellowstone Park Foundation, one of the predecessor organizations to Yellowstone Forever. During her career, she has also served as regional development director at the The Wilderness Society and as director of development at the Bridger Ski Foundation.
Nicola Harper, formerly Beds With Ease head of sales, has joined luxury homeworking company Travel Directors as head of operations and strategy. The newly-created role will complete the Aquilium Travel Group’s senior management team. Harper will be tasked with supporting the group’s homeworkers, growing the existing administration and operations teams and looking at future projects. Harper worked at Beds With Ease for nearly two years until this July, when the company downsized as a result of the global pandemic. Prior to that she was trade partnerships manager at Thomas Cook and national account manager at Attraction World. She worked as a travel agent for TUI early on in her career.
Michael Kalt has left the management team at the German tour operator Alltours, which he had joined in December 2017. Alltours owner Willi Verhuven made the decision to downsize the company’s management personnel as it works to survived the impact of the coronavirus-driven global pandemic. Alltours is now only headed by sales manager Georg Welbers and Verhuven himself.