Donald Lassere is leaving his post as head of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, and will be taking over the position of president and CEO of the Chicago History Museum. Lassere, a Chicago native, will replace Gary Johnson, who said last March that he would retire once the museum he has led since 2005 found a successor. He was born in Chicago, but the family moved several times before returning to the city, where he graduated from Percy Julian High School on the city’s far South Side. After graduating University of San Francisco with a business degree, he earned a law degree from Georgetown and an MBA from Harvard.
Chelsea Benitez has been promoted to the post of director of tourism insights at the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. Previously, she was manager of tourism insights. She joined the organization nearly eight years ago.
Eric David has been named vice president of Travel + Leisure Co. Previously, he was director of affinity partnerships at Wyndham Destinations. Prior to that, he was from the Global Travel and Tourism Consulting Group, where he was president & CEO.
Helmut Wölfel has taken over the position of chief commercial officer at Eurowings Discover, Lufthansa’s new long-haul tourism division. A veteran of more than 20 years with Lufthansa, Wölfel, 51, was previously vice president of intercontinental network planning.
Lian Liu, managing director of Hippo International, a consultancy well known in the U.S. as a China, Japan and Korea market specialist, and Symeon Vasileiadis, managing director of Travelbeat, which has intersected with Hippo International in recent years, have announced that they a partnering in order to provide a tourism entity with a presence complete tourism solution that now covers North America, the UK, continental Europe and China, Korea & Japan. The partnership came about after a chance call between Liu and Vasileiadis when they realized how many happy partners they already have in common. Said Liu, the two “share a common vision to provide our partners with innovative and unique marketing solutions, and high-quality services. This unprecedented time has brought on unprecedented challenges, but also presented unprecedented opportunities. Both of our teams remain committed to creating diverse, effective and culturally impactful strategies that resonate and matter.” For more information, visit hippointernational.com or www.travelbeat.co.uk.
American Express Global Business Travel has appointed Jason Geall as senior vice-president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In the newly created role, Geall will expand his current responsibilities for the UK and Northern Europe to oversee the entire EMEA commercial operation. He will continue to report to Andrew Crawley, chief commercial officer. Before joining the company more than five years ago, Geall was chief executive of online platform The Student Room Group. Before that he held senior leadership roles in travel and technology companies including GetThere and Eurostar.
Also at American Express Global Business Travel, Yorick Charveriat has been appointed vice-president and general manager, France. Charveriat succeeds Julien Kauffmann. In this new role, Yorick will lead all activities related to France and report to Jason Geall, senior vice president and general manager EMEA. Charveriat joined the company in 2015. Previously, he was with HYPRED in Bonn, Germany, where he held the position of sales director in 2008. He later returned to France to join Hertz in 2010 as key accounts director.
Rachel Coffey is stepping down in May as director of sales and business development at The Travel Corporation (TTC). She announced that she was leaving to seek new business opportunities, adding that the pandemic had been a time for her to reflect on her personal goals and career direction. “I have been proud to steer the team through this challenging period, but with the vaccine giving us a light at the end of the tunnel, I feel the time is right to make a change,” she said, adding, “I come from a family of public servants and have been humbled by the work that has been undertaken by key workers the world over during this time. It has inspired me to use my skills for a different purpose moving forward.” At TTC, Rachel has been working on a number of brands including Trafalgar, Costsaver, Insight Vacations and Luxury Gold.
Cees Bosselaar has been recruited to head up MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe, which has been providing data, research and insights on travelers from its North American offices for more than three decades, and is expanding its global presence with the opening of its new London office. Bosselaar, whose title is managing director, MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe, brings a wealth of experience delivering major research initiatives for organizations including national tourism offices, cruise companies, hotels, airlines and more. In his new position, Bosselaar will oversee services including visitor and guest analyses, resident sentiment, brand lift, competitive analyses, creative testing and other custom research studies. Bosselaar joins MMGY Global from Phocuswright where he served as vice president, business development since 2007.
Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line, is the new national chair of the U.S. Travel Association. Duffy, who most recently served on the board as first vice chair, will lead an executive committee and board representing a diverse cross-section of travel business sectors. Duffy joined Carnival Cruise Line, the flagship brand of Miami-based global cruise industry leader Carnival Corp., in 2015 after serving as president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). She has also served as president and CEO of Maritz Travel Company. (Duffy is not the only Carnival CEO to have been national chair of the U.S. Travel Association. Bob Dickson, who was president and CEO of Carnival and who served with the company for 35 years, was also national chair of the organization under its previous name, the Travel Industry Association of America, in 1993-94.
Robie Marsh is stepping down from his position as executive director of the Eastern Shore of Virginia Chamber of Commerce and Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission. He is leaving the position to take a job as financial analyst with A&N Electric Cooperative. Marsh said he will stay on as the chamber and tourism commission executive director until April 1 to ensure a smooth transition, and has offered to volunteer for the organizations in the future. Before joining the organization, Marsh worked in the banking industry, and then as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch.
Natalie Randall was recently named as the new executive director of the Utah Tourism Industry Association (UTIA). Randall will assume her new role January 19, 2021. UTIA is the umbrella organization and advocate for Utah’s visitor economy. UTIA works hand in hand with the Utah Office of Tourism, county destination marketing organizations, Ski Utah, and other industry organizations as well as guides, outfitters, restaurants, attractions and lodging properties around the state. Randall most recently served as the Economic Development and Tourism Director for San Juan County where she led a successful rebranding campaign and strategy, implemented destination development initiatives and worked with numerous partners to enhance the positive impacts of the visitor economy to the region.
Pat Burnley, co-founder of Kitchen Kettle Village—a Lancaster County. Pa. favorite of the thousands of tour buses that stop at the attraction during peak travel seasons—has passed away at the age of 92. Pat and her husband, Bob, launched what would become Kitchen Kettle Village from their garage in 1954, featuring homemade jams, relishes, butters and other products. It grew to be village of more than 40 shops, eateries, a working canning kitchen, and a popular Inn.
Suzanne Neufang has been appointed as the next executive director of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), leading the combined GBTA and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). Neufang, whose diverse executive career has included senior leadership roles with several high-profile travel and technology companies, most recently served as senior vice president-Americas for HRS Global Hotel Solutions. Before HRS, Neufang worked for 10 years as an executive leader with Sabre Travel Network, GetThere and Travelocity.
Younes Ajdi has been named commercial director-wholesale business, North America for the TBOGroup and TBO Holidays. Experienced with travel distribution, Ajdi most recently led the introduction of WebBeds in the Americas region and grew it to scale. Prior to that, he has done a multitude of roles with GTA across sales and revenue functions.
From SearchWide Global:
—The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority has an opening for a new president and chief executive officer. More details here.
—In Franklin, Tennessee, which is about 20 miles south of Nashville, the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau is searching for a president and CEO. More details here.
—The position of president & CEO is open at the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce & Visit Big Sky is open. More details here.
—Headquartered in Irving, Texas, the Promotional Products Association International, is searching for a president & chief executive officer. More details here.
—Visit San Antonio is looking for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—The Explore Ashville Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a new vice president of sales. More details here.
—The Bermuda Tourism Authority is searching for someone to fill the post of Chief Executive Officer. More details here.
—The Washington County (Ore.) Visitors Association is seeking a new president & CEO. Click here for more information.
—There is an opening for a CEO at Experience Olympia & Beyond in Washington State. For more information, click here.
—The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce is searching for a new chief marketing officer. Click here for more information.
—VisitGreenvilleSC is looking for a president and CEO. For additional details, click here.
—Visit Florida is searching for a vice president of marketing. For more information, visit here.
—In the Charlotte/Concord area of North Carolina, Great Wolf Resorts as an opening for a director of sales and catering. For details, click here
From Indeed.com: We’ve taken a look at this site (click here) which says that it has nearly 900 jobs listed, including a fair number in the travel, tourism and related industries. A sampler of what to expect is below.
—Snohomish County, Washington, has an opening for a tourism promotion coordinator. More details here.
—In Miami, there is an opening at American Cruise Lines for an excursions director for the 2021 season. More details here.
—BVK has posted a notice for an SVP Advisory-Travel. The job will be based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. More details here.
—Travelzoo in Los Angeles has an opening for a sales manager (travel). More details here.
—There is an opening posted for a Colorado Tourism Office director of communications. More details here.
From LinkedIn Jobs: Known to many across the board in the travel and tourism industry, the LinkedIn list (click here) has numerous job opportunities posted. Following is a brief sample of some of those jobs listed.
—The Sabre Corporation has an opening for a senior content writer & campaign manager. More details here.
—In New York City, the world-famous Apollo Theater is searching for a brand marketing director. More details here.
—There is an opening for a national tourism director, cruises & events, at Hornblower Cruises and Events. Details here.
—The Wisconsin Department of Tourism in Madison, Wisconsin is looking for a tourism research analyst. More details here.
Have a job to offer in the travel and tourism industry? Let us know and we’ll post your notice—no cost to you.