Cathy (Keefe) Reynolds, manager, media relations and lead manager, IPW Press Operations at the U.S. Travel Association, who is probably known by more international travel journalists—both trade and consumer—than anyone else in the world, is making a career change. She and her husband, Chris, are moving in a couple of months to Pretoria, South Africa for his foreign service officer job, So, Reynolds said in a social media post, “after 29 years and an amazing career with U.S. Travel, I’m grateful and excited to be transitioning to a consultant role and continuing management of the IPW press operations program.” Reynolds joined U.S. Travel (when it was still the Travel Industry Association of America) in 1992 as a research marketing and membership coordinator.
WestJet has announced that President and CEO Ed Sims will retire at the end of 2021. In four years with WestJet, Sims was responsible for the successful introduction of the company’s Boeing 787 long-haul aircraft, the launch of two new airline ventures, the significant expansion of WestJet’s international network, as well as the continued growth of WestJet Vacations, WestJet Cargo and the WestJet Rewards program. Sims will remain as president and chief executive, as well as a member of the WestJet Group board of directors until December 2021.
Stefan Vasic has been appointed as head of marketing for Swiss International Airlines (SWISS). He will take up his new duties on July 1st. Vasic is presently the company’s head of sponsoring & events, social media and tourism partnerships. Vasic will be responsible for SWISS’s marketing communications in Switzerland and for implementing all marketing actions within the overall framework of the Lufthansa Group’s global marketing strategy. He will report to Head of SWISS Brand Experience Caroline Drische. Stefan Vasic has held a range of positions at SWISS since 2007.
The Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority (RTA), the official destination marketing organization for Seattle Southside, including the cities of SeaTac, Tukwila and Des Moines, has announced that Mark Everton is its new president and CEO, replacing outgoing leader Katherine Kertzman, who announced her retirement last year. With over 35 years of experience in travel, tourism and hospitality management, Everton joins the Seattle Southside RTA after most recently serving as president and CEO of Visit Oakland, the convention and visitors bureau in Oakland, California.
Geoff Dobson has been named Travelbag’s destination manager for North America, Caribbean and Mexico. He will report to the long-haul tailormade specialist’s head of product Suzanne Harvey. Dobson has more than a decade’s experience in product and commercial roles at a number of operators, including Thomas Cook and Virgin Holidays, and with theme parks. Said Dobson: “Although it’s a different world now, the USA will never stop being a popular destination for British travelers, so I’m looking forward to working with the Travelbag team alongside our supplier partners to create products they’ll love and getting them out there again.”
Jack Kenn has been named general manager of the hospitality company Pursuit’s newest expansion, FlyOver, an immersive ride attraction set to launch in Las Vegas this fall. Kenn will be responsible for overseeing daily operations of the new attraction, which will be located next to the Hard Rock Cafe on Las Vegas Boulevard. With more than two decades of experience in the entertainment and hospitality industries, Kenn has worked alongside some of the biggest names in Las Vegas productions including Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil and more.
Mark Hopper has been named director of sales, UK, for Insider Journeys. Hopper, a long-time veteran of the travel and tourism industry, will focus particularly on further developing Insider Journeys’ existing presence in these markets along with Insider Journeys’ UK-based team.
Ross Ferguson has been named chief commercial officer for Gordian Travel International LLC, a U.S.-based travel management company specializing in travel for the non-profit community. A 25-year veteran of the travel and tourism industry Ferguson has spent the last 17 years of those focused on supporting non-profit organizations in multiple countries. He has held leadership roles in sales, marketing and account management for both established and high growth travel management companies, as well as start-up organizations. Most recently, he was senior vice president (USA) for Diversity travel, and senior vice president (USA) for Key Travel.
John Constable, a former TUI UK group managing director and former CEO of STA Travel, has joined Titan Travel as chief executive. Titan managing director Andy Squirrell and chief financial officer Steve Jenkins will report to Constable, who joins from Helloworld Travel Ltd, where he held the role of executive group general manager for nearly three years.
After 15 months of unemployment due to the impact of the COVID virus, David Eaton has been named director of business development in the coach and tour group segment for DATTCO, INC. Eaton said that he is “extremely excited to get back into the tour and travel industry after spending my first 28+ years in the industry with Conway Tours.”
Phil Shipman has joined Classic Collection and Classic Package Holidays as strategic account director for consortia and new business. Most recently, Shipman, a well-known veteran in the UK travel trade, had spent the last year as business development manager, trade, for Ikos and Sani Resorts. Before launching his job with Sani and Ikos last year, Shipman spent more than two years working for G Touring as key account manager for the central region for escorted touring brands Travelsphere and Just You. He has also held trade positions at Club Med and Cadogan Holidays, and was a business development manager for Global Travel Group.
Chris Lee, head of travel for Barclays, has retired after a 40-year career with the bank. Lee joined Barclays from school as an office junior and has spent the past 30 years in corporate management roles in London. He has been head of travel and professional sports for the past 18 years, having been responsible for forming the division.
Andrea O’Hara has been named as a new vice president at Visit Overland Park, a city of some 200,000 people in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. She will provide organizational leadership in areas such as convention development, tournament sports and community partnerships. O’Hara brings more than 20 years of hospitality and sales experience and most recently was the Midwest national sales director for the San Diego Tourism Authority. She also has held sales roles at Visit KC, Hilton, Marriott, and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.
Arlette Garibay has moved up to the position of director of sales for the Ontario (California) Convention Center and Greater Ontario CVB. Garbay has been with the Ontario CVB for more than 14 years.
Michael Crowley has been named chief marketing officer for the world-renowned New York Botanical Garden, a 250-attraction in The Bronx. Founded 130 years ago, and is a special draw for international visitors to the U.S. Crowley, who has been a part of the New York City arts and attractions scene for some 20 years, was a previously a partner in LaPlaca Cohen for several years. He has held senior level positions in such attractions as the New York Restoration Project and the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Heather Larson has been selected to lead Meet Chicago Northwest, the official destination marketing organization for Chicago’s Northwest suburbs. She succeeds Dave Parulo, who moved to Oregon to take over as president & CEO of the Washington County Visitors Association. Larson, who previously served as director of sales with Meet Chicago Northwest, first joined the organization in December 2010 when it was then known as Greater Woodfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Shane Brossard has been promoted to the position of chief marketing officer at Travel Wisconsin. He previously served as director of marketing and advertising. Brossard joined the organization nine-and-a-half years ago as a senior communications specialist.
Tyler Walsh has been promoted to the position of director, marketing at Economic Development Winnipeg, which also includes YES! Winnipeg and Tourism Winnipeg. Walsh joined the organization almost five years ago. Before joining Economic Development Winnipeg, Walsh was a multimedia editor and video producer at the Winnipeg Free Press, and prior to that he was a producer at Global News, which is based in Winnipeg.
Diana Adamson Arias is the new vice president of independent advisors (IA) and affiliates, business development & operations for the Ovation Group She will be responsible for IA support and growth on the U.S. East Coast. A travel industry leader who spent more than three decades with Four Seasons, most recently in sales for the Americas–joined Ovation last week. Her arrival came just two weeks prior to the formal reopening of Ovation’s New York headquarters on June 28. According to Travel Weekly’s 202 Power List, Ovation is ranked number 15 among travel agencies doing business in the United States, with $1.6 billion in sales.
Jorge Franz has been named senior vice president of tourism and industry relations at Houston First, the agency that oversees Visit Houston, the city’s tourism bureau. He’ll retain that role and report to Houston First acting president and CEO Michael Heckman in his new position. Franz has been with the organization since 2003 when he joined the then-Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau as deputy director of international public relations and Houston Image Group.
From SearchWide Global:
—Visit Pittsburg has an opening for chief sales officer. More details here.
—Visit Carlsbad is searching for a president and CEO. More details here.
—Switch, An Experience Agency based in St. Louis whose product lines include digital marketing, business meetings and events, and trade shows, is looking for a president and CEO. More details here.
—There is an opening for a chief executive officer at Explore Skagit Valley in Washington State. More details here.
—Louisville Tourism is looking for a senior vice president of convention development. More details here.
—Travel Portland is searching for a vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. More details here.
—The Pacific Hospitality Group has an opening for an area director of marketing. More details here.
—Visit Wichita is searching for a vice president of marketing. More details here.
—Visit Wichita has an opening for a vice president of sales. More details here.
—Destinations International is searching for a senior director, membership engagement. More details here.
—The tourism research and intelligence company Arrivalist has an opening for a chief sales officer. More details here.
—The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is searching for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—Headquartered in Irving, Texas, the Promotional Products Association International, is searching for a president & chief executive officer. More details here.
—The Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority in Georgia is looking for a new executive director. More details here.
—In the Charlotte/Concord area of North Carolina, Great Wolf Resorts has an opening for a director of sales and catering. For details, click here
—Georgia’s Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority is searching for a conference sales director. 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 currently listed.
—Interdependence Public Relations is looking for a managing director of travel and tourism. More details here.
—Jet Blue is searching for a manager of corporate communications, and his based in Long Island City N.Y. More details here.
—REI has an opening for an adventure travel program coordinator. More details here.
—Interdependence Public Relations in Denver is searching for a Managing Director to launch and build a travel, leisure and hospitality division at its rapidly growing PR firm. More details here.
—Ralph Lauren is search for a coordinator, brand activation (regional tourism – West). More details here.
From Indeed.com: We’ve taken a look at this site (click here) which says that it has hundreds of new jobs listed, including a fair number in the travel, tourism and related industries. A sampler of what to expect is below.
—Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City is looking for a manager of tourism and travel. More details here.
—Sesame Place, located in Langhorne, PA, not far from Philadelphia, has an opening for a public relations manager. More details here.
—The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is looking for a vice president of guest experience. The salary range is $130,000 – $157,000 a year: More details here.
—The American Queen Steamboat Company has a temporary, remote location opening for a shore excursions logistics manager. Location cited is in Easton, Pennsylvania. More details here.
—The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences museum in Los Angeles is searching for a group sales manager. More details here.
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