Karen Ballard, the one-time director of tourism for the State of Idaho, who for the past seven years has worked as a foreign service officer—most recently in the U.S. Commercial Service in Buenos Aires, Argentina—is returning home as the Boise U.S. Export Assistance Center is expanding the scope of its activities, allowing Ballard to help grow and expand export opportunities for Idaho businesses. Ballard, who will be starting her new role in April, previously served the Commercial Service in Las Vegas and Sydney, Australia. During her 20-plus-year tenure in the Idaho Department of Commerce, she spent 15 years in international tourism development.
Ingrid Reisman was recently named vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. She comes to the post from the Las Vegas Monorail Company, where she was senior vice president, chief marketing officer and where she served for more than 15 years.
Bill Talbert, the long-time president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau—he has been with the organization since February of1990—is leaving the organization. Talbert will serve as a consultant to the bureau after a new leader is hired and before his contract expires in October 2022. He plans to “reboot” and start a branding company.
Mindy Shea Frazier is back! After losing her position as director of tour, travel sales & international sales at Visit Savannah nearly a year ago in a wave of staff cutbacks due to the global pandemic, she will be returning to the organization beginning April 19, where she served for some 14 years. Prior to her tenure at Visit Savannah, Shea Frazier served in senior sales management positions at several upscale hotel properties in the U.S. South and Southwest.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced has signed into law a bill aimed at solidifying efforts to promote West Virginia internationally by prioritizing economic development and tourism. The legislation (House Bill 2019) reorganizes and redesignates the Development Office as the West Virginia Department of Economic Development and the Tourism Office as the West Virginia Department of Tourism to reflect the importance of economic development and of tourism programs and initiatives. In concert with the reorganization, Justice has also appointed Chelsea Ruby as the first cabinet secretary of the new West Virginia Department of Tourism. Said Ruby: “I am incredibly appreciative and humbled to be selected by Governor Justice to lead the charge as we continue opening up the doors to more possibilities and opportunities in West Virginia through our economic development efforts. I also thank the Legislature for their support.”
Kim Bach has been named sales and services manager for Destinations International. In her new role, Bach will be responsible for the implementation of business partner and membership initiatives with emphasis on achieving revenue goals, exceptional response and customer service. Most recently, Bach was the partner manager for the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) where she led strategic projects and managed partners in North America, Oceania, Asia as well as Gear and Media accounts. Prior to her role at ATTA, Bach’s résumé includes a tenure with Visit Seattle.
Lisa McAuley, managing director of Gold Medal, is leaving the UK trade-only tour operator in July to assume a new executive position with Silver Travel Advisor. McAuley has acquired a majority share in the publisher, which targets the 50-plus market. She will remain as managing director of Gold Medal until July 2021, which she joined in 2018. In her tenue at, McAuley has organized a new management team, restructured the operator’s sales function, consolidated the trading team and “delivered broad efficiencies.”
Michael Edwards, former chief growth officer for the Intrepid Group, has joined UK-based operator Explore as its new managing director. Edwards is a long-time veteran in the adventure travel industry sector of the tourism industry, including six years in senior leadership roles with the Intrepid group and roles as a consultant with Nomadic Tribe and The Travel Collective. As MD for EMEA and, later, as chief growth officer at the Intrepid Group, Edwards oversaw the development of several new source markets, leading global partnerships and increasing revenue and profitability across all brands and regions. Edwards starts his new job on April 5th.
Lisa Henning has been named managing director of Inspire Europe Limited. She joins the tour operator and travel agency, which specializes in travel rewards and loyalty, on April 12. She leaves The Travel Network Group, where she was chief operating officer, and where she served nearly eight years.
Bud Geissler, a longtime veteran of the student travel segment of the travel and tourism industry, has been recruited by GroupCollect, a leading registration and payment technology platform for multi-day group tour operators. Geissler will spearhead business development and sales for the GroupCollect product. Most recently, Geissler was with Travel Insured International, where he was national account manager for groups. He has also served as served as the president of the Student Youth Travel Association.
Dana Lancellotti has been named as the new president and CEO of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association (NJRHA). She comes to the post from her post as director of business development and tourism in Ocean County, New Jersey. Lancellotti, who joined the Ocean County agency more than seven years ago, had been its division director of business development and tourism. She replaces Marilou Halvorsen, the NJHRA’s outgoing president and chief executive officer, who in turn will be the new vice president of state relations and government affairs at the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Richard Thompson has been appointed as non-executive director of the tour operator, Go Beyond Holidays, which specializes in trips for those with learning disabilities, autism, Asperger’s and those who need extra support on their travels. Thompson worked for Travel Counsellors for 12 years before establishing Inclu Travel a year ago. A long-time veteran of the travel and tourism veteran, Thompson travel, has been promoting accessible travel after breaking his neck in a car accident while working in the French Alps.
Jens Threnhart, well-known tourism industry specialist on China and executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, is stepping down as executive director of the organization after seven years of service to the six governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion, and will be ensuring a smooth transition during my notice period. A co-founder and president (from 2008-2014) of Dragon Trail Interactive, Threnhart said he will continue to be involved in further developing the private sector framework of Destination Mekong.
Arnaud de Volontat, general manager of Altimetre—a Miami-based a company specializing in the distribution, the representation/agency and in consulting for the retail/travel retail industries in America—has been elected a member of the TFWA (Tax Free World Association) board following a vote of its management committee earlier this month. He has been a member of the management committee since October 2018, and will now take on the role of tfwa vice-president conferences & research. The move follows the departure of Gemma Bateson, who has stepped down from the TFWA Board and Management Committee after leaving the duty free and travel retail industry to start a new venture. TFWA is an association of brands, whose mission is to identify trends and opportunities, build awareness and provide a business platform for the global duty free and travel retail industry to prosper.
The Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) has announced that Memphian Paul Young has been selected to serve as president and CEO of the organization. Most recently, Young served as division director for the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development, where he was responsible for guiding community and economic development projects and initiatives throughout the city of Memphis, including the Downtown Tourism Development Zone and the $30 million capital investment for the South City Choice Neighborhoods implementation. Young holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and two master’s degrees from the University of Memphis, one in Urban Planning and one in Business Administration.
According to published reports, Albert Herrera, a nearly 17-year veteran of luxury travel network Virtuoso, is leaving the group to join Global Travel Collection (GTC). Herrera will serve as chief commercial officer for GTC, a group of agencies owned by Internova Travel Group, and will report to GTC President Angie Licea. GTC includes such agencies as Protravel International/Tzell, Andrew Harper Travel, All Star Travel, Colletts Travel, In the Know Experiences, and R. Crusoe & Son. At Virtuoso, Herrera was one of the group’s top executives after Matthew Upchurch, chairman and CEO. He oversaw all supplier relations and partnerships, and helped develop the hotel and resorts program. He previously served as director-sales and marketing at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel.
TUI Brasil announced a new director for Latin America and several other recruits for its sourcing area. Frank Tietjen (right), one of those responsible for the future markets strategy at the TUI Group, is the new managing director TUI Latam. The sourcing team is led by the head of product management Latam, Andrea Mattei.,
From SearchWide Global:
—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.
—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.
—The Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority in Georgia is looking for a new executive director. 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
—Georgia’s Valdosta-Lowndes County Conference Center & Tourism Authority is searching for a conference sales director. More details here.
From Indeed.com: We’ve taken a look at this site (click here) which says that it has more than 990 jobs listed, including a fair number in the travel, tourism and related industries. A sampler of what to expect is below.
—Tourism Economics, the U.S. arm of Oxford Economics, has an opening for a head of business development. More details here.
—Scenic Luxury Cruises and Tours, in Miami, Florida, is searching for a vice president of marketing. More details here.
—The Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, D.C., is looking for a group sales, special events and tourism manager. More details here.
—Marysville (Kansas) Convention and Tourism has an opening for a director of tourism. 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.
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 Six Flags attraction in Santa, Idaho has an opening for a director of tourism. More details here.
—The City of Katy, Texas, just west of Houston, has an opening for a tourism and marketing event coordinator. More details here.
—In Worcester, Massachusetts, there is an opening for a tour programs coordinator at the Worcester Art Museum. More details here.
—The Sabre Corporation has an opening for a senior content writer & campaign manager. More details here.
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