Leon Goldberg has been named managing director-East, for the worldwide sales team at United for Business, which is a suite of United Airlines business products for individual travelers; small and mid-size businesses; corporate, meetings, groups and sports; university and college travel; agencies; and business credit cards. Goldberg comes to the position from Marriott International, where he served for 19 years and was most recently vice president of sales, full-service & luxury brands for Mid America.
The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau has announced the appointment of Stasha King Irby as its new destination services manager. In her new role, Irby, manages and oversees leisure and group travel activities and services for the agency, and works to develop strategies to increase visitor attendance, spending and customer satisfaction. She will also help develop and implement new and innovative service programs to best serve the bureau’s clients and cultivate industry partnerships. Irby started her hospitality career at The Peabody Little Rock in 2010. Over the past 11 years she has held roles in the hospitality industry that range from sales manager to global account manager while living in New Orleans, Louisiana and later Houston.
Stefan Műhle, area managing director for Noble House Hotels & Resorts, has received the 2021 “Stars of the Industry” Award for Outstanding General Manager by the California Hotel & Lodging Association. A hotel visionary with emphasis on establishing sustainable, on-trend facilities, socially responsible operations, and high guest/employee retention, Stefan’s exemplary leadership has turned the Argonaut Hotel and Hotel Zoe into favorites among San Francisco visitors.
The Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau has announced that Rachel Kaiama has joined its team as destination manager. In her newly appointed role, Kaiama will oversee the implementation and reporting of Hawaii Island’s Destination Management Action Plan and Community Enrichment Program. The goal is to rebuild, redefine and reset the direction of tourism over a three-year period, while enhancing residents’ quality of life and improving the visitor experience. Kaiama comes to the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau from the University of Hawaii at Manoa School of Travel Industry Management on Oahu, where she has served for nearly three decades in a variety of roles, most recently as the school’s director of travel industry management professional programs.
ATPI is promoting Katie Skitterall, a member of its UK-based travel and event management team—the group has offices in North America, as well—as she takes on an expanded role for the company. Part of the ATPI team for 20 years, director of sales and operations UK, Skitterall steps up to a global role as group commercial director. She will retain her UK management team role, and will take on responsibility for global strategic clients across all divisions of the business, including Corporate Travel and Marine & Energy. Her new role also encompasses the Direct ATPI brand – leading travel management services for multinational organizations.
Simon Grout has joined the Touring brands Travelsphere and Just You as operations manager. He has 15 years’ experience in tour operations, product development, commercial contracting, sales and reservations gained in various roles with The Travel Corporation group in the UK, Switzerland and the Channel Islands.
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has announced that Selim Bassoul, formerly the non-executive chairman of the board, has been appointed chief executive officer and president of Six Flags. Bassoul replaces Michael Spanos, who has stepped down after two years of service, as CEO, president and a member of the Board. Bassoul will continue to serve as a member of the board. Bassoul is the former president, CEO, and chairman of Middleby Corporation. During Bassoul’s tenure, Middleby became the leading global manufacturer of industrial and high-end residential appliances, growing revenue from $100 million to $2.7 billion.
Oscar R. Perez Laffarge has been promoted to the post of contract manager-sourcing, rest of the West and Hawaii at Hotelbeds, the global travel industry’s largest bedbank. He joined the company in 2019, starting out as contract manager-sourcing, Canada. Previously, Perez Laffarge served for a decade as president of Creative Travel in Portland, Maine.
Karl Schuster has been appointed as WestJet airlines’ executive vice-president and chief loyalty officer (CLO). He will join the WestJet executive leadership team in early 2022, following the completion of the immigration process. Schuster has over 19 years of loyalty experience, including six years as chief executive officer of Velocity Frequent Flyer, Virgin Australia’s loyalty program. Prior to his time at Velocity, Schuster lead multi-year loyalty programs for Qantas, British Airways and Malaysia Airlines.
Yanira Spahr has joined the team at AmericanTours International (ATI) as product manager. Prior to joining ATI, Spahr, a veteran of more than 20 years in the travel and tourism industry, has served in senior sales positions at such companies as General Tours, Miki Travel and Hotelbeds.
Michael Hightower, senior vice president, executive project director for Universal Parks & Resorts, will become president of Universal Creative following the promotion of current president, Mark Woodbury to chairman & CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts. Hightower will step into his new role effective January 1, 2022, where he will lead the design and creation for all Universal ride experiences around the globe. A long-time member of the Universal creative team, Hightower joined Universal in 1995 after spending nine years in the aerospace and defense contracting industry. He has directed a wide variety of projects in Orlando, Hollywood, Japan, Spain and Singapore during his more than 25 years with the company.
Lisa Liguori has been appointed commercial director of newly launched entertainment specialist TMC, Equinox Travel. An established personality in the live touring business, Liguori has previously held key senior positions at two travel management companies in the sector, ET Travel Ltd and The Appointment Group (TAG). With over 20 years in travel management, her industry experience spans from handling budget-driven travel for emerging artists to servicing a multiple-party world tour for a high-profile band.
Alecia Zackery has been promoted to the post of content and social media manager, group markets for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. She will produce and publish content for ACVB channels and collateral, focusing on group markets, social media and publications. Zackery will also manage content initiatives across all platforms to drive engagement, primarily for groups and attendees. She joined ACVB in 2017 as specialist, group markets to develop creative concepts, including ATL Unguided. Previously, she worked as an event coordinator for Georgia State University and as marketing and communications director for Chick-fil-A Riverdale Dwarf House.
Leslie Brewer has been named director of sales and marketing at Destrehan Plantation, an antebellum mansion located in southeast Louisiana, near the town of the same name, Destrehan. During the 19th century, the plantation was a major producer of indigo and then sugarcane. Brewer, who has held senior roles in sales and marketing at several travel and tourism entities, is best known as the long-time (13 years) tour and travel sales manager at the historic Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
Rogério Mendes has been appointed director of new business and sales at the Student Travel Bureau (STB). He joins the organization from Gramado Parks, where he served briefly as director of entertainment. Previously, Mendes worked at CVC for almost 20 years, lastly as sales director, B2C Channel, franchise stores.
In the UK, David Sutcliffe has joined the UK luxury tailor-made operator Exsus Travel, which sells both USA and Canadian product, as senior worldwide travel expert. His background includes a part of his life as a professional skateboarder while living in California. Overall, he has 20 years’ experience in the travel and tourism industry.
Maik Gruba has joined the Itravel Group as director of flight, B2B sales and international markets. Previously, he was managing director of FTI Ticketshop, where he served for almost five years. Gruba has also held senior positions at Carlson Wagonlit Travel and American Express.
Simon Woodford has a new role at dnata Travel Group—it is the parent group of Gold Medal—as vice president of global air services and distribution. Since 2015, he has served as group director, air supply, leading the dnata team responsible for growing air revenue. Before joining dnata, Woodford held senior positions with Stella Travel Services UK, which was acquired by dnata, STA Travel and Air France.
From SearchWide Global:
—Destinations International is looking for a manager of meetings and events. More details here.
—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.
—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.
—Tourism Cares has posted a notice for a programs + events coordinator. More details here.
—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.
—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.
—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.
—The Museum of the City of New York has an opening for a museum group tour guide. 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]