Kenley Moy, who has been with the San Francisco Travel Association for more than two decades, has been promoted from his position as vice president of national sales offices to a newly created role—vice president of global sales and strategic partnerships—which will encompass the national and international sales teams in charge of self-contained meetings. Moy will focus on building stronger strategic alliances for SF Travel with third-party meeting management companies and business event strategists, and shape the organization’s presence at trade shows around the world.
Juliette Losardo has been selected as the new exhibition director of World Travel Market (WTM) London, one of the leading global events for the world’s travel and tourism industry. The annual event is slated to take place at ExCeL London on November 7-9 this year. She joins WTM London from Clarion Events, where she was group commercial director, and has also held senior roles at Centaur Media and Getty Images. Losardo is an experienced business leader with a record of more than 18 years at leading companies in the international media and events sectors. Losardo succeeds Simon Press, who has left the company to pursue new opportunities.
Visit Denver has named Flávia Light as its new vice president of tourism, responsible for leading international sales and marketing efforts while serving as a connector for Denver’s cultural community. She is also responsible for overseeing VISIT DENVER visitor centers and assisting with new tourism event generation. Relocating to Denver from Orlando, Light most recently worked for GoPegasus, a tour operator, DMC and transportation company, where she served as director of strategic growth marketing and sales, overseeing international business development for the leisure and group segments. Prior to that, she spent nine years as marketing and sales director with Walt Disney World, Disney Destinations.
Recouping and rebuilding in the wake of the global pandemic that did so much damage to the travel and tourism industry, the flight search engine Viajala has hired Rodrigo Melo as its new director. The company is headquartered in Colombia. Previously, Melo was a regional sourcing manager for Hotelbeds, and prior to that, he was regional director of product development for Tourico Holidays.
In Tennessee, Molly Brown has taken over as the new owner of Tour the Upper Cumberland, which is slightly less than an hour east of Nashville. Previously, Brown was executive director of Putnam County Tourism. She plans to elevate and expand the Upper Cumberland agency in order to promote its attractions, history, experiences and other points-of-interest in the 14-county region. In addition to her other previous work, Brown has served as public relations media manager for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development.
Gina Gemberling has been named president & CEO of the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau after serving in the position on an interim basis for for nearly a month. Gemberling was picked to succeed Gretchen Hall, who has left after more than 20 years with bureau. Hall is joining Destinations International as its chief operating officer. Gemberling joined LRCVB in 2018 as vice president of sales and services, and she was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing in 2020. She previously spent 24 years working for the Springfield (Illinois) Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she held roles in sales, service and marketing before becoming executive director.
In Kentucky, Janette Marson has been named president & CEO of ShelbyKY Tourism. Shelby County borders part of Louisville and Jefferson County. Marson comes to Shelby County with a long career in marketing, advertising, and public relations. For almost nine years, she was the Executive Director of the Lake Cumberland Tourist Commission in Russell County. Currently, Marson is also president of the Kentucky State Tourism Association. Marson, who starts her new job, replaces former President & CEO Chenelle McGee, who went on to the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism as international sales director.
Ann Kavanagh has been named executive director of the Asia Pacific Travel Retail Association (APTRA) Kavanagh, who will perform the role remotely with travel to the region as required, replaces Christina Oliver who has relocated to the USA with her family. The appointment takes effect from 18 April and Kavanagh will be supported in her role by APTRA Administrative Officer Sharolyn Paul. Prior to her appointment to lead APTRA, she spent more than 30 years operating her own PR and communications firm, Kavanagh Communications, which is located in London.
The Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department has hired a new director of state parks—James Timberlake. He succeeds Kris Marek, who retired late last year. Timberlake comes to Oklahoma State Parks from Santa Fe Family Life Center, a nonprofit sports and fitness complex in Oklahoma City. He had served as the center’s executive director since 2015. “We are so lucky to be able to add someone of James’ caliber to our team,” Jerry Winchester, executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, said in a statement.
Worldwide Attractions has announced the appointment of Issy Wiggins-Turner as USA Sales Director. UK based, Wiggins-Turner will be representing Worldwide Attractions’ U.S. clients on the UK, Irish, French and German markets. A widely known veteran of the tourism industry, A veteran of the industry, having honed her sales skills within the car hire and travel industries, she operated her own firm for more than 20 years, primarily fashioning tailor-made cruise and land holidays.
Joe Tropia has been named senior manager of marketing programs at Superblue, an initiative designed to champion artists whose ideas are best expressed through large-scale immersive installations. Superblue Miami is now open, and more locations will be announced soon. Tropia departs One World Observatory in Manhattan. His work there followed a tenure as director of trade and group sales, North America, for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; as well as a spell as director of marketing at National Geographic Encounter.
The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades CVB announced the appointment of John R. Melleky to the position of arts and culture manager for the Tourism Division of Collier County. Melleky joins the organization with extensive experience in development, fundraising, strategic planning and event/festival organization. He most recently served as the senior development officer at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, The State Art Museum of Florida, located in Sarasota, Florida.
Rental Escapes, a luxury villa company specializing in providing private villa rentals worldwide, has announced the appointment of Willie Fernandez as chief marketing officer. Fernandez is responsible for driving Rental Escapes’ global brand strategy and marketing initiatives, as well as overseeing the product teams who liaise with the company’s network of valued travel advisor partners and villa suppliers. Fernandez joins the company from World Travel Holdings, where he spent 15 years, lastly as vice president/general manager for the Villas of Distinction brand.
One of the most closely followed travel and tourism industry professionals is making a career pivot. Following 20 years in the service of TUI—this includes a turbulent period during the darkest days of the global pandemic—including a four-years tenure as head of TUI Germany, Marek Andryszak is leaving the field and has joined the Polish outdoor specialist 8a.pl, which is regarded as the market leader for outdoor and mountaineering equipment in Poland. In a post on his LinkedIn pages, Andryszak spoke fondly about it his time with TUI, even if it occasionally meant some friction with travel agents, who felt that he was not doing enough for their sector of the industry.
TruTravels, a youth specialist operator in the UK, has hired James Lavin as part of a wider recruitment drive and growth strategy. Lavin is tasked with helping the operator’s expansion by supporting existing travel agents and developing new agency partnerships. He is based at TruTravel’s head office in Kingston, London. Lavin started his travel career nearly 14 years ago as a Thomas Cook travel agent. He also worked as a rep in Kos for Club 18-30 and as UK and Ireland sales manager for youth brand Contiki.
Bannikin Travel & Tourism, best known for its focus on adventure-based tourism, is expanding its expertise to include food and culture. Toronto-based Bannikin sees adventure, food and culture-based tourism as holding the most potential for positively impactful tourism that best celebrates a destination’s authentic sense of place. Trevor Jonas Benson joins as CEO. Cultural connector, multilingual researcher, and outcome-driven manager Camilo Montoya-Guevara joins as manager, strategy & development. Experienced strategist with expertise in agritourism, wine tourism and urban regional planning, while Caroline Morrow takes on the role of tourism development specialist.
Benson has been supporting the development of strongly sustainable businesses and flourishing destinations in Canada and abroad since 2006. Montoya-Guevara has worked on over 30 tourism strategy and development projects in Canada and internationally. Morrow’s experience includes national strategy planning, product development and visitor experience design, and she has a strong interest in connections between land management, food systems, tourism, and healthy ecosystems.
Honeyfund, the honeymoon and universal gift registry site has announced the appointment of Erin Gunnuscio as vice president of marketing. She brings over 15 years of travel-focused product and marketing leadership experience to the role in addition to branding strategy and a track record of facilitating synergistic partnerships. Prior to joining Honeyfund, Gunnuscio spent a decade at the Tripadvisor company, SmarterTravel (it was sold last year to Hopjump, a Boston-based digital marketing company) where she led brand development, user acquisition, strategic partnerships, and social media strategy for the portfolio of travel brands. Gunnuscio also completed back-to-back three-year tenures at Bókun, a booking management software for tours and activities, and Cybereason, a cybersecurity technology company.
Leonardo Ferrazzo is the new sales and marketing manager in Brazil for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. He was recruited for the position by Imaginadora de Destinos the rep for the SeaWorld brand in Brazil for the past 12 years. Ferrazzo will be responsible for sales strategies, relationships with tour operators and the overall travel trade. A veteran of more than 15 years in the travel and tourism industry, he has had experience with LATAM Airlines and other sectors of the tourism business.
Sonya Singh has joined Toronto-based VoX, taking over as public relations manager for VISIT FLORIDA. Previously the director of marketing and communications at Fairmont Royal York and Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto Canada, Singh has also managed public relations for Visit California. She has also served in senior public relations roles for a variety of companies in the Toronto area.
Laura Robertson has joined the UK luxury tailormade tour operator Exsus Travel as the latter took the step of recruit a worldwide travel expert to join its team. Robertson previously worked for If Only and Barrhead Travel, including the Scottish agency chain’s Canada Travel Specialists division. Robertson has been a part of the travel and tourism industry in the UK for more than 16 years.
Allianz Partners has announced that Elena Edwards has been promoted to chief markets officer at Europe-based Allianz Partners Group and that Jeff Wright has succeeded Edwards as CEO of the U.S. business unit. Prior to his promotion to CEO, Wright was the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Edwards will also retain her position as CEO for North America, overseeing the company’s business units in the US and Canada. Edwards first joined Allianz Partners in 2019 as the General Manager for the U.S. business unit, where she provided executive leadership on strategy, prioritization and execution. Wright joined Allianz Partners in 2019, and has over 17 years of experience in the insurance industry.
Transat A.T. Inc. has named one-time pilot Marc–Philippe Lumpé as chief airline operations officer, in charge of all of the company’s airline operations. Lumpé will replace Jean-François Lemay, who has led Air Transat since 2013, effective June 1. Lemay, whose departure was announced previously, will work alongside him during a transition period. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the aviation industry and has held various management positions, including with Virgin Atlantic Airways, Qatar Airways, Air Berlin and Thomas Cook Airlines. Earlier in his career he served as a pilot for Lufthansa.
Laura Wilson has been appointed as Fred Holidays sales and product manager for the brand’s newly-launched worldwide tour and package offering. Wilson leaves her position as business development manager for Fred Olsen Travel where she led the Fred Cruise and Travel Norwich Airport brands. Prior to joining Fred Olsen Travel, she spent seven years at CMV where she held different positions, including national sales manager within the trade sales team. Fred Olsen sells North American and East Coast product.
Explore St. Louis has named Catherine Neville as its new vice president of communications A well-known figure in the St. Louis area, Neville joins the organization from the Hermann Farm and Museum in the area, where she was chief curator. Previously, Neville was producer and host of a television show, tasteMakers. Prior to that, she was publisher of Feast Magazine, where she spent more than 11 years.
—Travel Wisconsin has openings for a social media manager and an industry services manager. Deadline for submitting an application is March 14 for the social media manager position, and March 16 for the industry services manager job. More details here.
From SearchWide Global:
—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 detailshere.
—The Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau is seeking a new chief financial officer. More detailshere.
—Visit El Paso is searching for a director of marketing and communications. More detailshere.
—Visit Greater Palm Springs has an opening for a vice president of sales. More detailshere.
—Visit Dana Point is looking for an 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
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.
—Snowmass Village in Colorado is looking for a tourism manager. It’s a new position, focused on operations and management of the Snowmass Tourism office. More details here.
—The Space Coast Office of Tourism in Florida is seeking a deputy director. More details here.
—Visit Denver, The Convention & Visitors Bureau for Denver, is looking for a director of government and community affairs. More details here.
—The Museum of Science in Boston is searching for a group and tourism coordinator. More details here.
—The Colorado Tourism Office Communications is looking for a senior manager. 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.
—AEG Worldwide is searching for a director touring – operations in Los Angeles. More details here.
—New England Excursions has an opening for a tour guide. More details here.
—Sun Shine and Blue Water Travel in Orlando is looking for a travel guide. More details here.
—Florida’s Space Coast Office of Tourism is searching for a tourism assistant director. More details here.
—There is an opening for a tour guide at the Carolina Polo and Carriage in South Carolina. More details here.
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