Lynn Osmond has been named as the new president and CEO of Choose Chicago beginning May 9. Osmond, who was given a four-year contract to lead Choose Chicago, is well known in the Chicago business and tourism communities; she has served as president and CEO of the Chicago architecture Center for more than 25 years. Osmond succeeds David Whitaker, who left the organization last September to take over as president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Horacio Gutierrez has been named the new general counsel for Disney. Gutierrez replaces Alan Braverman as general counsel, who is retiring after serving as Disney’s top lawyer for nearly two decades. Fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish, Gutierrez has worked in private practice in the U.S. and Venezuela, Gutierrez has also worked as an in-house lawyer at Microsoft and Spotify. Read here to learn more about this most important figure in the Disney leadership.
Karen Gruenberg has stepped down as senior vice president of marketing and strategic alliances for Brand USA after a decade of service. “It has been an honor and privilege to help create this important organization, with our talented team, and the support of the travel industry domestically and internationally,” she said in a social media posting. Gruenberg has launched a consultancy, focusing on developing strategy, value and deliverables for the global tourism spectrum. Prior to joining Brand USA, held senior management roles at several organizations. This included nearly 13 years with Meet Minneapolis, where she was vice president of marketing and project manager of more to life.
Ashleigh Osborne has joined Connect Travel (publisher of INBOUND) as director of sales for the eTourism Summit. She comes to the company from ConventionSouth magazine where she was director of sales and where she worked for more than nine years.
Renato Henrique Camargo has left CVC after seven years and the tourism industry as well. He has taken an executive position at MetLife Brasil. Before he worked for CVC, he held a senior position at Trend Operadora, which was later acquired by CVC. Previously, he held senior positions at XD Turismo and Tourlines Corporate Travel.
Mayte Kubicsko has joined the team at Unlimited Biking as tour manager. Before joining the company, she served in a managerial capacity for several well-known tour operator brands, including Abreu Tours and AlliedTPro.
With professional sports teams becoming more and more a part of a destination’s visitor experience, they are hiring sales professionals to accommodate this need. In Detroit, The Detroit Tigers Major League Baseball team, is growing its ticket sales and service team with the hiring of Tom Hager as account executive, client services. Previously, he was the co-founder, writer and photographer for Seattle-based AthletesForGod.com
In the UK, Lisa Harkness, a well-known regional sales manager at Travelpack who lost her job with the company as a result of the global pandemic, has been has brought back to her post. A few months after she lost her job at Travelpack, she landed at Tesco. And since May last year, she’s been working as an assistant manager at Barrhead Travel, one of the largest travel companies in the UK. Harkness’ area covers Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Cumbria, Sunderland and Newcastle.
Andres “Andy” Fuentes has joined Scenic Group USA as its newest regional sales director, covering Florida. Fuentes has worked in the cruise industry since 2006, spending most of his time in sales and business development for luxury cruise lines. Said Ann Chamberlin, vice president of sales at Scenic Group USA, said “As a native South Floridian – and bilingual to boot – he knows so many of our great Florida travel partners and I have no doubt his strong passion for the industry and love of his many travel advisor friends will solidify our strong presence in one of the largest cruise markets in the USA.” Scenic Group includes Emerald Cruises, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours, Mayflower Cruises & Tours and Evergreen Tours.
Brittany Lynn has joined Break the Ice Media, a Finger Lakes/Rochester, New York-based public relations firm that specializes in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, as an associate consultant. She will provide client support through developing and writing content, implementing strategies, and executing on client project plans. She brings seven years of diverse marketing and communications experience to the company, previously serving in university and government settings in the state of Georgia. Brittany resides in the Atlanta Georgia area and is the agency’s first hire who lives outside of New York State.
An employee of Visit Omaha for the past seven years, Erin O’Brien, has been promoted to director of marketing and content, responsible for overseeing the execution of Omaha’s digital brand and presence. She joined the CVB in 2014 as social media manager, and prior to Visit Omaha, worked for the Omaha Public Library and the Tallahassee Democrat, a Florida newspaper.
American Express Global Business Travel has appointed AirPlus executive Yaël Klein to lead its team in Germany, the travel management company announced. Klein, who has been with AirPlus for 22 years, most recently as chief marketing officer and chief product officer, will join Amex GBT on July 1 as VP and general manager for Germany. She will be responsible growing products, services and customer relationships in the country and will report to Jason Geall, Amex GBT’s SVP and general manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Hotelbeds, the world’s largest bedbank, has announced the appointment of Bertrand Sava as its new general manager for the retail arm of the business. French national Bertrand joins the bedbank from one of the payment industry leaders, Worldline Global, a well-known player in the payment industry sector. He has also held senior positions at the Ingenico Group and Visa. Hotelbeds now has a network of more than 60,000 travel trade buyers, as well as a portfolio of more than 300,000 beds.
Casper Urhammer has become co-CEO for the tour operator division FTI Group, which is the third largest tour operator in Europe. Headquartered in Munich, Germany, the group employs more than 12,000 people worldwide. Before joining FTI, Urhammer owned STA Travel KK, Japan, the world’s largest travel company for student and youth travelers.
Travel and Tourism veteran Keith Douglas has re-launched his consulting business, KD&CO, an advisory company focused on business development, innovation, and strategy in commercial real estate, hospitality, travel and tourism. Douglas made the move following his departure from Chicago-based Sterling Bay. Previously, he was managing director at One World Observatory in New York City. He also served for nearly 10 years as managing director of Rockefeller Center and Top of the Rock.
Arveena Ahluwalia has joined Travelzoo® as global director, premium membership. In this position, she will drive and manage the launch of Travelzoo’s paid subscription-based premium membership product.
Ms. Ahluwalia has both start-up and corporate experience with consumer brands and in finance. She joins Travelzoo from Evelyn & Bobbie where she was chief operating officer. Prior to that, she worked as general manager, digital, of Freshly Inc., vice president of global real estate at Citi, financial analyst at Google, and financial analyst at UBS Investment Bank.
Tiffany Russell has been appointed director of communications for the City of Virginia Beach. Russell had served as the interim director since November 2021. A native of Virginia Beach, Russell has spent time in various roles including event coordinator for the Virginia Beach Convention Center, director of public relations and vice president of marketing for the Virginia Beach CVB and most recently as the marketing and communications manager for the Communications Office. Overall, she has spent more than 20 years in the areas of marketing and promotion on behalf of the city, the CVB or activities in the area. It’s a little-known fact that Virginia Beach is the State of Virginia’s most populous city with some 450,000 residents.
The tour operator APT has announced appointment of Brad Bennetts as its new head of sales and business development. Bennetts, who will take on the job in June, joins the company from easyJet holidays, where he has been head of distribution for more than a year-and-a-half. Before easyJet, he had tenures at Kuoni and the Africa Collection. Among its experiences, APT sells product from Canada and the USA, including Alaska. Bennetts succeeds Jessica Shelton-Agar, who left APT to move to the Middle East in January, following ten years at easyJet.
From SearchWide Global:
—There is an opening for the position of chief tourism development officer at OneSpartanburg Inc. More details here.
—The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, is looking for an executive director, PHL Diversity. More details here.
—The Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Area Chamber of Commerce, is looking for a director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. More details here.
—Visit Tucson is recruiting for an executive vice president. More details here.
—The Manistee County Visitors Bureau in Michigan, is searching for a new executive director. More details here.
—Visit Seattle is searching for a new president and CEO. More details here.
—Conference Direct, a provider of global meeting planning solutions, is searching for vice president of global sales. More details here.
—Meet Minneapolis has an opening for a vice president of equity, diversity and inclusion. More details here.
—The Tennessee Hospitality Association is looking for an executive director. More details here.
—The South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new CVB director. More details here.
—The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new chief financial officer. More details here.
—Visit El Paso is searching for a director of marketing and communications. 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 sample of some of those jobs currently listed.
—The Space Coast Office of Tourism in Florida is seeking a deputy director. More details here.
—Tulsa Regional Tourism has an opening for a vice president of sales & experiences. More details here.
—VISIT DENVER, The Convention and Visitors Bureau, is seeking an associate director, public relations & communications. More details here.
—The C&O Canal Trust, based in Williamsport, Maryland, is looking for a director of public relations, marketing, communications. More details here.
—Visit Detroit has an opening for a sales coordinator (hotels, tourism). More details here.
—MMGY Global is searching for an account executive. More details here.
—Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California is looking to hire a public relations director. More details here.
—The Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, Nevada, is recruiting for a new director of communications and marketing. More details here.
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