Alice Norsworthy, chief marketing officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, has been elected chair of the board of directors of Brand USA. She succeeds Kyle Edmiston, president and CEO of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. The action took place at last week’s board meeting in Washington, D.C. Norsworthy is responsible for the oversight of Universal Orlando’s Marketing and Sales divisions and reports to Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. Norsworthy has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of America’s Top 50 marketers, “who broke through the clutter and delivered real impact (and ROI) for their brands.” She has also been named one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Travel three times by Travel Agent Magazine.
The venerable Ron Kuhlman, vice president of tourism marketing and sales for the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, has announced that he will be retiring on February 1, 2022. “It’s been a great run surrounded by talented and dedicated staff who made the job enjoyable, said Kuhlman, who announced the move to friends and colleagues in a social media post, adding, “I will miss everyone I worked with and wish everyone well!” Kuhlman joined the bureau in 1991. Previously, he held senior sales and marketing positions with Discover the World Marketing in Scottsdale, Arizona; the Greater New Orleans Tourist & Convention Commission; and US Airways.
The Arkansas Parks and Tourism Department has announced that economic development official Katherine Andrews will lead the newly created Arkansas Office of Outdoor Recreation. Gov. Asa Hutchinson established the office by executive order in June. Andrews has worked for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission since 2016, most recently serving as director of small business and entrepreneurship development. She was previously a project manager at the commission and has worked in commercial real estate.
Felipe Garcia has been named interim president and CEO of Visit Tucson, taking over for Brent DeRaad, who recently resigned from the post to take over as head of the Arlington (Texas) convention and visitors bureau. Garcia has worked at Visit Tucson for 17 years, and was executive vice president for the last nine.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has appointed Lauren Bennett McGinty as the new director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. Bennett McGinty replaces former director John Edman, who retired in June after holding the job for more than two decades under four governors. For the last decade, Bennett McGinty worked in various roles with Minnesota nonprofits, most recently as executive director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. In that position she directed strategic planning, marketing and events for more than 160 breweries.
Tour operator Gold Medal has appointed Simon Applebaum as its new managing director, replacing Lisa McAuley who is departing after taking a majority stake in Silver Travel Advisor. Applebaum joins the company from a health & technology business. He previously held senior roles at Thomas Cook and Attraction World Group, where he was managing director of Attraction World until 2018 and Days out with the Kids until 2020.
Melissa McClure has joined the team at Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau as global tourism sales manager. McClure, well known in the Washington, D.C. area tourism industry as destination sales manager, domestic & international leisure tour for Visit Fairfax—not far from our nation’s capital—has also served tenures for such brands as The DMC Group and the Seward (Alaska) Chamber of Commerce.
Visit Dallas has tapped Jennifer Walker as its new chief marketing officer. A veteran of nearly 20 years in the travel and tourism industry, Walker comes to her new job having previously served in senior-level positions at Visit California, Visit Santa Barbara and Visit Austin
Jeremy Palmer has been promoted by Tauck to the post of chief operating officer. He was most recently as a senior vice president overseeing the U.S. company’s worldwide operations, brand management, strategic planning and new business initiatives. He has worked for operator since 2007 in operational and planning roles. Palmer has also been a member of the company’s executive team since 2015.
Steven Guilbeault is the new federal minister responsible for Parks Canada and Banff National Park. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently appointed Quebec’s Guilbeault as federal minister of environment and climate change. A well-known political activist in Canada, Guilbeault once scaled the CN Tower in Toronto in 2001 to protest Canada’s lack of action on climate change. In 1993, Guilbeault co-founded Équiterre, the largest environmental organization in Quebec, and served as its senior director from 2008 to 2018. He was elected an MP in 2019.
Hawaiian Airlines has announced the appointment of Ashlee Kishimoto, Hawaiian’s managing director of human resources operations since 2018, to managing director of investor relations. Kishimoto, who previously headed the investor relations department between 2013 and 2017, will be responsible for managing Hawaiian’s communication with investors and other financial stakeholders.
Jaime Bricker has been named tourism director for Skagway, Alaska. A Skagway Traditional Council president and school board member, Bricker has worked at White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad for nearly fifteen years. She’s leaving the railroad as director of public relations.
One of the UK’s largest travel agencies, Barrhead Travel, has promoted its public relations and communications manager Karen Musgrave to the newly created role of head of public relations and communications. She joined Barrhead Travel seven years ago at the age of 22 as a marketing executive, before being promoted to PR and communications manager. In 2019, Musgrave became responsible for the UK PR of parent company, Internova Travel Group, which she will continue in her new role.
Lisa Tully-Lavian has been named senior vice president of marketing for the Denver-based proptech company Sentral, which focuses on the way people work, travel and live. She most recently served as the executive vice president of marketing at Highgate where she oversaw all aspects of the organization’s marketing, corporate communications, digital presence, and brand development. Earlier in her career, Lisa led marketing, customer research, acquisition, and ecommerce efforts for Departures Magazine, American Express and S&P Global.
Mario Pérez has been named as the new commercial director of Spanish tour operator Tour10. A 15-year veteran of the tourism business, Pérez was previously sales director of Smyrooms (Logitravel), a position. Prior to that, he was linked to Traveltino and to the Viajes Olympia His mission at Tour10 will consist mainly of finding new business opportunities, developing, coordinating and implementing business plans and expanding the company’s presence in the market.
UK tourism industry veteran Chris Agbaosi has been appointed to the position of partnerships administrator for the G Travel Group. It is a new role created to support travel agents. Mr Agbaosi will become the first point of contact for all agent enquiries. His responsibilities will be varied, said the company, but include responding to agent queries, providing product advice, organizing brochure supplies and marketing material plus managing the dedicated agents’ Facebook page. Mr Agbaosi will work across all three brands – Just Go! Holidays, National Holidays and Omega Breaks and report directly to trade sales manager Claire Dutton.
The global travel agency CWT—it is the 5th largest agency on the Travel Weekly Power List—has appointed Nick Vournakis as executive vide president and chief customer officer, and Derek Sharp as executive vice president and chief traveler experience officer. Both positions will report to Michelle McKinney Frymire and serve as a members of the company’s Executive Leadership Team.
Immediately prior to this appointment, Vournakis was managing director, global customer development, before which he was President, US Military & Government. Vournakis joined CWT in January 2000 and his other senior roles in the company have included responsibility for North American Air Solutions, and managing CWT’s Canadian operations. Before this promotion, Sharp was chief operating officer for RoomIt, CWT’s global hotel platform. He also ran CWT Meetings & Events. He spent eight years at Travelport in various senior management, strategy and consulting positions, as he has with HP Enterprise Services, EDS, UPS and Bain & Company.
From SearchWide Global:
—Visit El Paso is searching for a director of marketing and communications. More details here.
—The Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau has an opening for the position of vice president. More details here.
—An international hotel corporation with a diverse and distinctive portfolio is seeking a dual director of sales & marketing to develop and implement the total sales and marketing strategy for two or more hotels located in the same market—Silicon Valley, California. More details here.
—A world-wide hospitality group is looking for an executive director of hotel sales & marketing a position that would be based in San Francisco, Toronto or remotely. More details here:
—Visit Greater Palm Springs has an opening for a vice president of sales. More details here.
—Experience Grand Rapids is searching for a vice president of engagement and inclusion. More details here.
—Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County is looking for a director of marketing & communications. More details here.
—Visit Denver is seeking to hire a new vice president of tourism. More details here.
—Visit Santa Cruz is searching for a new CEO/Executive Vice President. More details here.
—The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a director of marketing. More details here.
—There is an opening for the position of president & CEO at Visit Fort Wayne. More details here.
—The North Lake Tahoe Resort Association is looking for a CEO. More details here.
—Visit Savanah has an opening for a vice president of communications & marketing. More details here.
—Destinations International is searching for a vice president of equity, diversity & inclusion. More details here.
—The City of Tacoma has an opening for a director of venue & events. More details here.
—Visit Dana Point is looking for an executive director. More details here.
—Visit Milwaukee is searching for a vice president of marketing and communications. More details here.
—Discover The Palm Beaches is searching for a director of events, tradeshow & strategic sales partnerships. More details here.
—The Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade is searching for a director of marketing and communications. More details here.
—Freeman is searching for a vice president, national graphics. 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
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.
—Explore St. Louis has an opening for a director of communications. More details here.
—Amazon Web Services is searching for a head of travel & hospitality industry marketing. Located in Seattle. More details here.
—City Experiences has an opening for a national associate director of tourism. More details here.
—Delta Air Lines is searching for a specialist, reservations strategic initiatives. 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.
—Monmouth County, New Jersey, is looking for a division head (tourism director) who would be based in Freehold, New Jersey. More details here.
—There is an opening for an attractions general manager at the Myrle Beach Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center. More details here.
—The Philadelphia office of Tiquets, the global ticket booking company for attractions, is looking for a U.S.-based supply coordinator (the company is headquartered in the Netherlands). 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.
Have a job to offer in the travel and tourism industry? Let us know and we’ll post your notice—no cost to you. Email [email protected]