European Travel Commission
Manuel Butler, director general of Tourspain (Spain) was elected president of the European Travel Commission (ETC) at its 84th general meeting in Dublin, Ireland. Butler succeeds Petra Hedorfer of the German National Tourist Board for a three-year term. Elected vice-presidents were Gergely Horvath of the Hungarian National Tourist Office and Marios Hannides of the Cyprus Tourism Organization.
Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has promoted Fernando Harb to vice-president of tourism sales. In his new position, Harb will expand his current tourism development responsibilities to spearhead market growth in Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, Europe, Scandinavia and Latin America, as well as the emerging Asian markets. Additional responsibilities include working with travel professionals to grow the pre- and post-cruise business. Harb has been with the Convention & Visitors Bureau since 2007 handling domestic sales as well as supporting the international market, with an emphasis on Brazil, working with travel agents, tour operators, wholesalers, as well as groups.
Air Canada Vacations
Air Canada Vacations (ACV) has announced the appointment of Guy Marchand to its management team as its new general manager, sales – Eastern Canada, effective March 18. In his new role, Marchand will oversee a sales team composed of five area sales managers who cover the territories of Quebec and Atlantic Canada. As GM, he will help ensure that Air Canada Vacations continues to lead the market with its vast product offerings and continues to further advance its strong partnerships with its valued travel partners. Prior to joining ACV, Marchand held the title of sales director for Quebec and the Ottawa region at Sunwing. Before that, he held the same title at Transat.
Goway Travel has welcomed Carrie Ruttan Powell as the latest member of its Wholesale Downunder team, who will look after agents in both Canada and the US. She has been in the travel industry for more than 13 years and started her career in 2000 with Travel Cuts working as a retail travel agent specializing in student and youth journeys. She then joined the wholesale world for many years working at Tourcan Vacations, followed by Boomerang tours as a South Pacific Specialist. Ruttan Powell can be reached at 1-800-387-8850, ext. 5858 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Trade Centre Limited
Trade Centre Limited (TCL) has announced the appointment of Kris Crundwell to the executive role of vice-president of sales, effective March 26. Prior to joining TCL, Crundwell enjoyed a progressive career in the hospitality industry, boasting more than 15 years of experience at the leadership level. A strategic and innovative executive, he was responsible for sales/revenue strategy and segment performance in addition to leading a team of 40 during his tenure with Pacrim Hospitality Services Inc.
Long-time SuperClubs’ employee Suzanne Fleming is making a move to Couples Resorts, appointed as national accounts manager - Canada, effective March 1. Fleming brings extensive knowledge and relationships in the Canadian market to her new role as she represented SuperClubs in various sales and marketing capacities for nearly 17 years. She will be responsible for co-ordinating efforts between Couples Resorts, Canadian tour operators and marketing partners. Fleming can be reached by calling 905-238-3250 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Goway Travel has announced the appointment of Aubrey Schmidt to the position of business development manager, Eastern Canada. Schmidt is well known throughout the industry, having worked for Australian Pacific Touring for more than 15 years, most recently as sales manager for North America. With an extensive knowledge of the South Pacific, Schmidt will be responsible for working with agents in Eastern Canada to market and sell Goway’s DOWNUNDER product range. In his new role, Schmidt will also carry the APT Australia and New Zealand Touring brochure, which Goway will be exclusively distributing in Canada under a new marketing arrangement between Goway and APT. Schmidt can be reached at 1-800-387-8850, ext. 5859 or by e-mail to Aubrey@goway.com .
Vision 2000 Leisure Group
Lynda Sinclair has been appointed to the newly created position of director of leisure business development at the Vision 2000 Leisure Group. In her new role, Sinclair will be responsible for recruitment, mentoring and liaising with the company’s independent travel advisors. Vision 2000 currently has 176 such advisors either working from home offices or in one of the company’s 13 agency locations across Canada, and is presently on a recruitment drive. Sinclair can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 416-275-9283.
Exclusive Tours – which specializes in small-ship cruising – has named Nadine Schorn as business development director. She joins Exclusive Tours from Carnival Cruise Lines, where she was business development director of international trade sales for the past 10 years. Schorn will be based in Calgary with responsibility for business development, account management, sales and marketing in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and other areas where she has contacts.
Ensemble Travel Group has announced that Georganne Shirk has joined the organization as vice-president of marketing for its 850 member agencies in Canada and the US. Shirk has more than a decade of executive experience in the consumer products industry, managing such diverse and well-known brands as Skippy Peanut Butter, Slim-Fast, L’Oreal Skin Care and Hair Care, Aqua Velva, and Dixie Cups and Plates. In this key Ensemble position, Shirk is responsible for creating an overall North American marketing strategy that balances the needs of both the organization’s members and travel partners, including print, e-mail, and web-based marketing initiatives. In a cross-functional capacity, she works closely with other departments to improve operational efficiencies for the entire organization. In addition, Shirk and her team located in the New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal offices create and implement marketing products and campaigns that showcase the expertise of the Ensemble member as well as strengthen the overall Ensemble brand.
Air Canada’s president and CEO, Calin Rovinescu has been elected as the new chairman of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB), succeeding Rob Fyfe, CEO Air New Zealand, who has held the post for the last two years. In his role as CEB chairman, Rovinescu will conduct the two annual board meetings and act as the designated spokesperson for the board. Rovinescu said he was looking forward to working with the board over the next two years to deepen the alliance and pursue shared priorities. These would include strengthening the global network, focusing on providing a seamless travel experience and maintaining the loyalty of customers through superior service and convenience, he added. “Partnerships are essential to succeed in this business and few partnerships have been as beneficial to their members and customers as the Star Alliance.”
Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) has appointed Kevin O’Connor as executive vice-president and chief information officer. O’Connor is a member of the CWT executive team and reports to Douglas Anderson, CWT president and chief executive officer. O’Connor is a recognized global IT and technology leader. Joining CWT from NYSE Technologies where he was CIO, he has over 20 year’s experience in driving innovation and sustained business growth, mostly within global financial organizations. His experience includes Global Head of Equities IT for UBS, Global Head of Applied Technology for Deutsche Bank, and managing director of Morgan Stanley. He has managed strategic areas of technology, from application development and technology infrastructures to IT security and architecture.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s CWT Meetings & Events has announced the appointment of two key leadership roles to further enhance the strength of the team in Toronto. Nathalie Hatter joins the team as manager, business development, North America, where she will be responsible for further expanding CWT’s meeting and event business. She is based in Toronto and reports directly to Mary MacGregor, senior director, Events, North America. With over 20 years of meetings & events experience, Hatter most recently served as director of operations for Vision 2000 Travel Group. Kathy Stoodley assumes the role of director, Operations, where she will work in partnership with Mary MacGregor to deliver top quality client experiences. She is based in Toronto.
Select Group Marketing
Jan Zandboer, committed to carrying on legacy of the late Moira Hearn, is the new owner and director of Select Group Marketing (SGM). “My goal is to build upon Moira’s esteemed 25-year legacy, which established SGM as Canada’s leading DMC representation company,” said Zandboer. Director of business development for SGM since 2011, Zandboer has over 30 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industries. His resume includes Holland America Line, The Netherlands Board of Tourism and The RMR Group, as well as the marketing of high profile tourist boards, hotels and airlines. Zandboer is well known in the Canadian tourism community and has served in a volunteer capacity as chairman of the European Travel Commission, president of ANTOR, and president of Skål International Toronto. He can be reached at 416-322-6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Canlink Travel has added a property to its growing list of partners with the addition of True Blue Bay in Grenada. Situated on the south coast of Grenada where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, True Blue Bay is a boutique resort set among tropical gardens that slope down to True Blue Bay. All villas, suites and rooms include balconies with views of the bay.
The Kissimmee Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) has chosen VoX International Inc. as its marketing agency to promote the Central Florida destination in Canada. Under the direction of the CVB, the firm will be responsible for developing and implementing a marketing plan, providing a strategic direction in sales, public relations and promotions for the Canadian market. Christine Duarte, account manager with VoX International Inc., has extensive experience in the tourism industry. She will focus on business development and education of Kissimmee to the trade, as well as campaign management of all PR and advertising initiatives. Duarte can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 416-935-1896, ext 232.
GLP Worldwide Expedition Travel and Tours has been appointed Variety Cruises’ new Canadian representative. Based in Athens, Greece, Variety Cruises is a family owned cruise and yacht business, which emphasizes the cultural, architectural, historical and natural diversity of the various destinations it offers. Variety executives and staff were in Toronto recently to provide extensive training to GLP sales and reservations staff on its range of tours and cruises. The cruise line offers both charter cruises and 12 scheduled itineraries to such destinations as Greece, Turkey, West Africa, Arabian Gulf, Adriatic coast, southern Italy, Malta, southern France and Cuba. Variety Cruises own a fleet of 11 small ships and yachts ranging from four to 36 cabins.
Rocky Mountaineer has announced the appointment of Steve Sammut to the position of executive vice president - chief financial officer. Based in Vancouver, Sammut will report will be responsible for providing strategic direction and overall management in the areas of finance, accounting, treasury, procurement and information technology. Sammut brings to Rocky Mountaineer an impressive skill set that includes close to 20 years of capital markets experience and business acumen from the hospitality and real estate industries. Most recently he held the role of chief financial officer with Intracorp Projects Limited.
Jane Eastmure has been named director of sales and marketing at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. She brings more than 20 years corporate sales leadership and training experience to the position.
Real Resorts has appointed Orelbys Vigoa Inclan as its Eastern Canadian sales representative. Vigoa Inclan joins Freddie Marsh in representing Real Resorts in Canada. Marsh, who is headquartered in Vancouver, continues to represent all of Western Canada, while Vigoa Inclan’s territory will include markets east of Ontario. Vigoa Inclan joins Real resorts from Vacances TMR Holidays, where he was a product buyer. He brings more than 10 years of travel industry sales and marketing experience. In his position with Real Resorts he will represent all four all-inclusive resorts: the luxury, all- suite, adults-only ROYALS in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, as well as the upscale Gran Caribe Real in Cancun and Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen. Vigoa Inclan is based in Montreal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 450-715-4320.
Maureen Barnes-Smith, director of sales and marketing, Unique Vacations Canada, reports the following changes to her Canadian sales team for Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resort. Formerly serving as business development manager, Atlantic Canada, Grant Lawlor assumes a new role as national groups manager. He will work with travel agents and meeting planners in continuing to grow the lucrative groups market. He can be reached by telephone at 1-800-545-8283, ext. 4946 or 416-254-3470 or via e-mail at email@example.com . In a related move, Meredith Hand has been named business development manager, Atlantic Canada. She joins Unique Vacations with an extensive sales and marketing background in a variety of sectors. She most recently served as sales manager for The Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites in Halifax. Based in Halifax, Hand can be contacted at 1-800-545-8283, ext. 4948 or 902-233-3902 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Mary Ogaki has been appointed to the role of director of sales for Encore Cruises. A well-known figure in the industry, Ogaki has worked in travel for 25 years, the last 12 of which have been spent in retail travel. Most recently, Ogaki managed TDC’s groups and special programs business. Prior to that she held positions with Sears Travel, Red Seal Tours, American Express Travel and Encore Cruises, before it became a part of the Thomas Cook group of companies, where she worked as a district sales manager. Ogaki is based out of Thomas Cook’s Toronto office and can be reached at
Trudy Rautio has been appointed as the new president and CEO of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, replacing Hubert Joly who has left the company to pursue other career opportunities. Rautio has been with Carlson for the past 15 years, most recently as executive vice-president, CFO and chief administrative officer.
Hans DeHaan has been appointed director, Lufthansa Group Canada, responsible for sales and marketing activities in the region. He is based in Toronto and brings with him 15 years of experience within the Lufthansa Group, most recently at the company’s New York headquarters as director, Leisure and Online Sales for North America. “As a recognized leader in international travel, our focus is on building our relationships with Canadian travellers as they explore their interests around the globe. Lufthansa offers Canadians connections to more than 200 destinations in 84 European, Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries, and I look forward to promoting and selling this vast network in my new position,” said DeHaan.
Lufthansa’s presence in the Canadian market is increasing as the airline integrates sales and marketing for full group services, including flights on Lufthansa, Austrian and SWISS. Austrian Airlines recently launched its new hub in Vienna and Lufthansa is scheduled to open its new Frankfurt concourse later this year. Both provide Lufthansa’s Canadian travellers with even better connectivity to destinations around the world. For Hans DeHaan, who started in his new position in Canada on Aug. 1, this is his second tour of duty in this country. He first joined Lufthansa in 1997 as district manager in Calgary. (http://www.lufthansa.com)
Anderson Vacations has announced the appointment of Jim Warren as director business development – USA. Warren is an experienced travel industry professional with sales and marketing expertise in domestic and international markets. He has held senior positions as a tour operator, destination marketing manager and tour supplier in both Canada and the US and recently completed five years as a board member for the NTA. He can be reached at email@example.com.
WestJet has announced the appointment of Lyell Farquharson as vice-president, sales, effective Aug. 28. Farquharson joins WestJet from American Express Canada where he had been vice-president and general manager of Business Travel Canada for the last five years. Prior to American Express, he was president of Navigant International Canada, a subsidiary of Navigant International, one of the largest travel management companies in North America. Farquharson is a chartered accountant with a Bachelor of Business Management from Ryerson in Toronto. He takes over for Bryan Wolfenden, who had been acting vice-president, sales.
Travel Guard North America has announced the promotion of Andria Frederickson to regional vice-president, Retail Sales East. In her new role, Frederickson will be responsible for the sales and support of Travel Guard’s extensive travel agency partner network in the United States east of the Mississippi River into eastern Canada. She will be based at Travel Guard North America’s headquarters in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. A veteran of the hospitality industry, Frederickson arrived at Travel Guard in 2000 as lead processor in the administration department. Over the past 12 years, she has risen through the organization, having positions of increased responsibility in underwriting, retail sales and strategic account management. Most recently, Frederickson served as senior business development manager on the strategic account management team.
Goway Travel has promoted Tanya Tapley to sales manager of its GroupsOnly and Special Events Department. She will work closely with department general manager Barbara Norton. Tapley has been with GroupsOnly for over four years and has more than 20 years of wholesale, retail and airline experience. Her destination and team-building experience and her organizational and problem-solving skills will continue to be a valuable asset as the department grows, Goway says. Tapley is keen to help agents and travel planners increase their group business and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In another move, Adam Hodge has been named as the new product co-ordinator for Goway’s Latin America division and will be working closely with the tour company’s Latin America general manger, Don Forster. Hodge has worked for two years in reservations for the South Pacific and Latin America. Prior to joining Goway, he worked for Butterfield and Robinson and as a tour guide in Europe for Topdeck Travel. His travel experience is extensive having travelled to 44 countries. Hodge can be contacted at email@example.com.
Stephen Smith has been appointed to the newly created position of vice-president of marketing and communications for the Vision 2000 Travel Group. In his new role, Smith will be responsible for strategic planning, brand development and internal as well as external communications for the group. He has been with Vision 2000 for six years, most recently as director of marketing and communications.
Ensemble Travel Group
Ensemble Travel Group has announced that Marc Jacobsen has joined the organization as senior director of information technology for its 850 member agencies in the Canada and the US. In this key North American post, Jacobsen is responsible for creating a long-term technology vision and strategy that support internal needs as well as those of members and Ensemble’s network of travel partners. Based in New York, he works closely with other Ensemble departments to identify, recommend, develop, implement, and support cost-effective technology solutions for all end-users. In addition, Jacobsen and his team will implement enhancements to the organization’s Client Sites (Ensemble-developed and hosted consumer website for member agencies), internal agent portal, and social media platforms. Most recently he was with Wyndham Hotels.
Silversea Cruises has named Keith Spondike as its new vice-president of marketing for the Americas, effective Aug. 6. Based in the company’s Fort Lauderdale office, Spondike will report to Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s president of the Americas. He will oversee day-to-day marketing activities, including the development, implementation and management of advertising, collateral, direct marketing and e-marketing programs. Prior to joining Silversea, Spondike was chief marketing officer for Avantair, a leading private air travel services company. His past experience also includes 18 years with General Motors, where he helped lead the rebirth of the Cadillac brand.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has announced the appointment of Person Garcia to vice-president of sales. Garcia will lead Uniworld’s sales operations as an integral member of the company’s executive management. He brings to Uniworld extensive experience in business development, group sales, national account development, sales, marketing, and product innovation. Prior to joining Uniworld, Garcia has spent more than 20 years in travel, including sales positions at Norwegian Cruise Line, Premier Cruise Lines, and most recently Crystal Cruises. In his new role, Garcia will be working closely with Nancy Logan, the newly appointed vice-president of National Accounts and Jennifer McLeod, director of sales.
Delta Hotels and Resorts has announced the promotion of Laura Pallotta to Corporate Director of Sales. In the newly created role, Pallotta will join the sales leadership team to provide strategic support for sales distribution and partnerships, oversee the National Sales Team as well as sales in the Manitoba and Saskatchewan regions. Pallotta has over 21 years of hotel experience, eight of which were spent in progressive leadership positions at Delta. Before taking on her current role, Pallotta was the Regional Director of Sales and Marketing, where she was accountable for the strategic direction and total revenue of three hotels in South-Western Ontario. Prior to joining Delta, she held various sales and marketing positions with the Waterside Inn in Port Credit, Best Western Carlton Place & Days Inn Hotel and Conference Centre in Toronto, as well as the Ramada Hotel in Hamilton.
Metropolitan Hotels has announced that Joe Dias has been appointed general manager of Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver. Dias brings more than 17 years of tourism and hospitality experience to the job. As GM, he will see to the continued elevation in guest satisfaction and hotel performance. In addition to managing the hotel business, Dias will oversee the management of the hotel’s award-winning Diva at the Met restaurant. Dias’ background includes a notable history in hotel finance, working his way through the ranks from Assistant Controller, Director of Finance and Regional Controller before taking on the General Manager role. Prior to joining Metropolitan Hotels, he worked as the general manager at Hotel Le Soleil in Vancouver, BC. He has also held significant positions with Crowne Plaza, O’Neill Hotels and Resorts, and Delta Hotels.
Air Canada’s executive vice-president and chief operating officer, Duncan Dee will be taking early retirement this fall after a 15-year career with the carrier. Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO of AC, said that Dee has made a “significant” contribution to Air Canada during the course of his career.
Pointing out that while he has held many different roles at AC, Rovinescu said that “in his role as Chief Operating Officer, he has helped both shape our strategic direction and lead the airline through the challenges of transformation, while continuing to build on our worldwide reputation for safety and customer service excellence. Under his leadership, Air Canada achieved significant operational and cost efficiencies, including greater fleet productivity and CASM reduction, while at the same time improving customer satisfaction levels.” In commenting on his retirement, Dee said, “It has been a true honour to have been a member of the Air Canada team for the past 15 years and, in particular, to have had the opportunity to contribute to our achievements over the past three years as Chief Operating Officer. I know that these achievements will help transform Air Canada into a stronger, more sustainable airline in the years to come.”
Adventure Center has picked Neil Al-Rawass for the newly created position of program manager, independent adventure experts. In his new role, Al-Rawass will be responsible for the recruitment, training and retention of the company’s full- and part-time independent agents who will be selected by demonstrating what he calls “an absolute passion for adventure, experiential and cultural travel.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; 416-355-5153, or 1-866-338-8733, ext. 103.
Trafalgar has picked Jason Stremble as its new sales manager for the Canadian sales team. Stremble will be developing business in South West Ontario, a territory he is very familiar with from his past sales positions. He is a graduate of Humber College Travel & Tourism and has worked with both Globus and Thomas Cook. Stremble can be reached at email@example.com or by caling 1-866-666-1423 or 416-322-8468, ext. 7434.
Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver
Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver has a new general manager, Vito Romeo, who joins the hotel from the 670-room Shangri-La Hotel, Beijing where he served as resident manager from 2009 to March 2012. During this tenure, he also studied at Cornell and graduated in the general managers’ program in 2011. Romeo joined Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in 2008 as the executive assistant manager, food and beverage at the company’s Aberdeen Marina Club in Hong Kong where he was in charge of extensive recreation and meeting facilities. Romeo brings with him a comprehensive resume that covers all aspects of hotel operations, with a particular passion for food and beverage. Immediately prior to joining Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, he served as resident manager of the Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo, a Leading Hotel of the World, where he worked closely with Chef Joel Robuchon. Romeo replaces Richard Cooke, who served as interim general manager in Vancouver, before relocating to Toronto to oversee the August opening of Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto.
The Huntington Group recently announced the appointment of Farole Kikkert as business development manager for Alberta. Based out of Calgary, she will be managing sales for Western Vacations, Huntington Travel and MyEscapades and work under the direction of Dean Neville, president of Western Vacations. Kikkert comes to the Huntington Group with more than 20 years in the travel industry having worked as a travel agent in Saskatoon, as BDM for the Nordic Travel Group, and as sales manager at Fun Sun. She can be reached at 403-995-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Delta, KLM, Air France, Alitalia Canada
Adeline Piekham-Hsieh has been appointed as the Canadian sales general manager for the Delta, KLM, Air France and Alitalia joint venture, effective June 1. Reporting to Bob Somers, vice-president of global sales at Delta Air Lines, and Fabien Pelous, vice-president and general manager of Air France KLM Canada, she will be in charge of sales development for all four brands in Canada, and of travel agency and corporate client relations as well. Piekham-Hsieh’s airline industry experience dates back to 1998, as a member of Air France’s revenue management team at the company’s head office in Paris. Upon arriving in Canada in November 2002, she worked with American Express supplier relations in Toronto, before taking over as sales manager for Central and Western Canada in 2003. The Canadian sales team consists of 30 people spanning Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal. Headquartered in Toronto, Piekham-Hsieh will be supported by two regional sales managers, one for Eastern Canada and one for Central and Western Canada as her replacement. Both positions will be filled shortly.
Barcelo Hotels and Resorts
Barcelo Hotels and Resorts has named Jodine Clement as its new sales manager for Western Canada. Clement will be in charge of sales in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. “Jodine brings with her a well rounded and respected sales experience in the West and she will be a great addition to our sales team in Canada, which includes Judy Markara - Quebec and the Maritimes; Diana Winters - Ontario and Manitoba; and Hernan Artigas - inside sales based in our Toronto office,” Barcelo says. Clement can be reached by calling 403-540-1511.
Globus family of brands
Elena Peters-Martinez has been appointed to the newly created position of brand co-ordinator for Monograms and Avalon Waterways. In her new role, Peters-Martinez will be responsible for all promotions, co-ordination of marketing tactics, training and loyalty initiatives relating to the independent travel and river cruise brands. She brings a solid travel background to her new position, including employment in Signature Vacations product and operations departments and, most recently, as brand co-ordinator with Thomas Cook Canada. She joins Kathryn Hennessy who will now be responsible for co-ordinating all marketing efforts for the Globus and Cosmos brands. Peters-Martinez can be reached at 416-915-6711 or at email@example.com.
Ensemble Travel Group
Ensemble Travel Group is adding bench strength to its business development team with the recent appointment of industry veteran Cathy Varrecchia as manager, national member acquisitions. Varrecchia is responsible for increasing Ensemble’s membership base of independent travel agencies across Canada. With more than 25 years of experience in the travel industry, Varrecchia has held various sales positions for such companies as Air Canada Vacations, Encore Cruises and Princess Cruises. Most recently, she provided key services to Cruise Strategies Ltd. on a project basis. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-367-3660 (1-866-442-6877), ext. 245.
Silversea Cruises has announced the appointment of Kristian C. Anderson as its new vice-president of sales for North America, effective mid-June. In this position, based in Fort Lauderdale, he will develop sales strategies and initiatives to increase revenue in the US and Canadian markets, and oversee a sales team dedicated to helping travel agents grow and expand their luxury travel business. Anderson, who will report directly to Ellen Bettridge, Silversea’s president of the Americas, has nearly 25 years of sales and management experience with several top travel companies. Most recently, Anderson was vice-president of US sales for Qatar Airways.
Coast Hotels & Resorts has named Amie Jansen as regional sales manager responsible for corporate and group sales in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Jansen, who is based out of the Coast Edmonton House Hotel, was previously sales manager, business travel, with the Delta Edmonton South Hotel & Conference Centre. She brings more than 13 years of sales and management experience to Coast Hotels & Resorts, including roles as director of sales, regional sales manager and corporate sales manager for individual hotels, as well as a western North American hotel chain. In her new position at Coast Hotels & Resorts, Jansen is responsible for managing local and national corporate and group travel business focusing on multi-property opportunities among the Alberta properties.
!!! Coast has also named Judy Adams regional general manager responsible for overseeing operations at the 220-room Coast Coal Harbour Hotel and 269-room Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites in Vancouver. A veteran hotelier, she brings more than 25 years of hospitality management experience to Coast Hotels & Resorts, having served as general manager of various Fairmont hotels in BC and New Brunswick, as well as Silverbirch Hotels & Resorts in Vancouver and Tantalus Lodge, Delta Hotels & Resorts, in Whistler, BC. Prior to accepting her new post, she was general manager of the Marquise Group of Companies in Richmond, BC, responsible for overseeing the Vancouver Airport Authority's Customer Care Service Program. Previously, Adams was managing director of ETHOS BC, an incorporated non-profit society dedicated to advancing sustainable tourism practices in the province.
Robert Lemieux has been named director of sales and marketing for the 511-room upper upscale Westin Bayshore located along the Seawall at Coal Harbour and adjacent to Stanley Park in Vancouver. Lemieux brings more than 24 years of hotelier and sales expertise to the position. He was most recently director of sales and marketing at The Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, and previously held the same post at The Westin Ottawa.
Aruba Tourism Authority
The Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) has appointed Neville Every as its new area director for North America. Every will be based in the ATA’s US office in New Jersey and will oversee all of the island’s North American-based regional directors and sales teams. Every, born in Aruba, was educated in the Netherlands at Erasmus University Rotterdam where he gained a Master of Science in Economics. In his role as area director for North America, Every will be responsible for the development and realization of Aruba’s sales and marketing strategy for the US and Canada. His duties, amongst others, include cultivating relationships with industry partners such as tour operators, travel agents and airlines, ensuring that they are armed with the tools necessary to continue selling the destination effectively.
Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveller division has appointed Brent Novak as its new vice-president. Based in Vancouver, Novak’s role will include the growth and brand awareness of Corporate Traveller’s network of approximately 23 corporate travel offices and more than 115 people across Canada. He will also be responsible for Corporate Traveller’s specialist divisions FCm Travel Solutions and Stage & Screen Travel Services. A veteran of the travel industry with more than 13 years experience, Novak has spent the last 10 years with global parent company Flight Centre Limited in Australia, most recently as VP, Corporate Traveller for the Victoria/Tasmania region.
Anna Buchnea has been named director, passenger sales Canada for Air Canada. Her appointment, which takes effect on June 1, was announced by the carrier's vice-president, global sales, Claude Morin.
Buchnea, was formerly the carrier's general manager, sales communications and support, replaces Peter Wilson in the role.
Wilson is retiring on May 31 after 34 years of service with Air Canada.
Morin said of Wilson's retirement: "During his career, Peter has been a true ambassador for Air Canada. I would like to personally thank him for his dedication and true professionalism."
To fill Buchnea's previous role, Michelle Young will take over the job of manager, sales communications and support on June 1.
In other news, Robert Trudeau will join Air Canada in a new position -- director, business development. He will be responsible for new business development, group sales and the rewards for small business program. He brings well over 20 years of airline experience to Air Canada, the past 12 of which were specific to business development at the national level. Trudeau's appointment is effective May 1.
Derek Martel has joined Contiki’s Canada sales team as manager for South Western Ontario and Atlantic Canada. Martel comes to Contiki after having worked with groups development at Sunwing Vacations, as sales manager at Breakaway Tours, and as marketing associate with RBC Dominion Securities. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Katrina Kokkila has joined Goway’s Wholesale South Pacific and Islands Reservations department in Toronto bringing with her an extensive travel industry background. Kokkila has just returned from the UK where she worked at The Travel Corporation as a travel consultant for Milestones and Uniworld for the past two years. Prior to working abroad, she was a South Pacific specialist for Thomas Cook’s Boomerang Tours and Holiday House in North America. Her previous work experience also includes working inside sales for The Travel Corporation’s Trafalgar Tours in Canada. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 1-800-667-6601, ext. 5830.
Ashley Jean has been appointed to the position of sales manager, Eastern Canada, at G Adventures. Jean joins the company from Flight Centre in Halifax where she worked as a top-selling travel agent, booking a wide range of travel product for her clients. Based in Halifax, she is responsible for growing G Adventures’ presence in Quebec and the Maritime provinces and building and fostering strong relationships with partners in the market. (http://www.gadventures.com)
Helen “Lexi” Lipitkas has joined the Sunwing Vacations team in the capacity of director, group sales, overseeing Sunwing and Signature Vacations groups sales departments nationally. An industry veteran, Lipitkas brings years of management experience to here new role, including 11 years with Sunquest Vacations. She can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 416-620-3714.
Emirates Airlines has announced the appointment of Savio Pires to the position of sales manager for Western Canada. In his new role, Pires will be responsible for Emirates’ sales operations in Western Canada and for facilitating local partnerships and initiatives. Pires is the airline’s first sales manager in Western Canada and has a background of experience in the airline, cruise, tour and online consumer travel industries. His appointment comes shortly after the airline announced an interline agreement with WestJet, and before the launch of a new daily service from Seattle, starting March 1.
Fiona Barclay has been appointed director of purchasing at Kensington Tours. Barclay will be largely responsible for reviewing rates and contracts across Kensington’s network of DMC’s to bring consistency in purchasing policies and procedures and to ensure best possible rate negotiation. She will also have a focus on securing national and international agreements with hotel chains and other major vendors. Barclay has extensive industry experience, her most recent role being that of VP Product and Partnerships at Air Canada Vacations.
G7 Travel Network
As G7 Travel Network continues towards its launch as a new Canadian travel association, it has announced the appointment of Emmet Reidy as vice-president and general manager. Having previously been director of sales, National Accounts, for WestJet and WestJet Vacations, Reidy brings an abundance of experience into this developing network. Reidy will be responsible for delivering sales and marketing strategies, establishing regional and national sales goals, soliciting new associate members for the G7 Network and maintaining strategic supplier relationships.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
David McMillan has been appointed area vice-president, Canada, Americas, for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. McMillan, a global hospitality industry veteran, is based in Toronto and has full operational responsibility for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group business in Canada. He will report directly to Thorsten Kirschke, president, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. McMillan will be focused on supporting growth and driving profitability consistent with the company’s expansion plan for the region and its Ambition 2015 global growth strategy. Working closely with McMillan to drive profitability in Canada will be district director Charmain Stoyand; Sandy Russell, senior director, Global Sales; and Sean Shannon, vice-president, Development. McMillan has contributed to the success of a wide range of major international hotels and resorts affiliated with Hyatt International, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Most recently, he served as a consultant in the role of director, Hotels and Tourism Development with Genivar, LP.
Phil Sproul is stepping down as president of Travel Professionals International (TPI), effective Feb. 29, following four successful years at the helm of the company. TPI Founder, Chairman and CEO, Morris Chia, will become president effective March 1, having previously held the TPI president title for more than a decade prior to Sproul’s hiring. “I’m a firm believer in time and place,” said Sproul, “and my time at TPI has been filled with great people and great results. I will miss the people most at TPI but I will take everything I learnt with them on to my next adventure.” Effective immediately, Sproul will begin transitioning from his day-to-day role overseeing TPI and I.A.S. – Independent Agency Services Corp. (IAS) sister companies Corporate Travel Solutions and International Golf Vacations to become an advisor to the organizations.
Crystal Cruises has doubled its Canadian sales support with the appointment of Stephanie Vazquez as district sales manager for western Canada. The hiring marks the first time the luxury line has positioned dedicated sales managers in eastern and western Canada. Based in Vancouver, Vazquez will manage sales efforts in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. She comes to Crystal from Encore Cruises, one of Canada’s premier cruise specialists. The addition of Vazquez comes two months after Crystal announced the appointment of Karen Scott Caplice to manage the Canadian sales territory east of Manitoba.
Insight Vacations has appointed a new sales manager for Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Lisa Bray has joined the Insight Canadian sales team and will be covering the Prairie Provinces. Bray comes to Insight with more than 27 years of industry experience, including retail, tour operator sales and travel educator. She has been the chair of CITC Saskatchewan for nine years and industry educator for 10 years with CITC and local educational institutions. Most recently, Bray served as the Saskatchewan business development manager for Thomas Cook Canada.
The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), representing The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in southwest Florida, has appointed VoX International Inc. as its marketing agency to promote the destination in Canada. Under the direction of the VCB, the firm will be responsible for developing and implementing a marketing plan, provide a strategic direction in sales, public relations and promotions. Jeanette Faria, account manager with VoX, has extensive experience in the tourism industry, directing travel trade marketing for several destinations throughout North America and the Caribbean and will head up the account. The account will also be supported by the agency’s team members in Quebec and Western Canada. Faria can be reached at Jeanette@voxtm.ca or 416-935-1896, ext. 239.
Lydie Rauzon has been appointed to the position of manager, Cruise Products for Transat Distribution Canada. Most recently Rauzon was working in another division of the company, as TDC’s manager – Business Support and Development within the Quebec region. Rauzon has extensive experience working with large networks of agencies to develop business plans that would incorporate the benefits of preferred partner support and selling into cruise block space programs. She can be reached at 514-987-1760, ext. 1073 or via e-mail at Lydie.Rauzon@transat.com.
Rocky Mountaineer has expanded is sales team with the appointment of Cynthia (Laforge) Landry to the position of sales manager, Eastern Canada. Based in Toronto, Landry is responsible for generating sales at the retail level through travel agency partners in both the Ontario and Quebec markets. She has over seven years sales and operations experience in the financial and tourism industries.
CIT Tours has announced the addition of Liliana Vieira to its team of Destination Specialists in the role of Business Development - Latin America. Vieira has worked in the travel industry since 1986 in multiple capacities both in tour operator and retail, as well as airline segments. She has vast product knowledge and experience stemming from previous positions as South America Destination Specialist, among others at South American Tours. She was the first corporate sales manager for LAN Airlines in Canada, and most recently occupied the role of regional sales manager for Hainan Airlines. Vieira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-387-0711, ext. 238.
Amr Dief has been appointed to the role of inside sales and loyalty manager at Thomas Cook Canada. Dief has worked for Thomas Cook for more than eight years, most recently in the role of supervisor for Thomas Cook Canada’s Air Division (Intair and Network). He brings with him a great deal of experience from the independent side of the business, as well as cruise, working closely with both Holiday House and Encore Cruises. Based in Toronto, he can be reached at Amr.email@example.com or at 416-485-1481, ext.6754.
Australian Pacific Touring
Jason Stratford has joined Australian Pacific Touring’s Vancouver-based team as manager, sales and marketing support. Born in Adelaide, Australia, Stratford has an extensive background in the travel and tourism industry. He has worked for Qantas Holidays and Concorde Travel in Australia, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Travel Alberta, Anza Travel and The Travel Group in Vancouver. Most recently he specialized in creating travel experiences for Canadians to Australia and New Zealand with itineraries tailor-made to suit the clients’ interests and time-frame.
Shannon Smith is the newest member of the Thomas Cook team, appointed district sales manager for Encore Cruises (Ontario and Atlantic Canada). Smith has been in the travel industry for more than 12 years. After graduating from the Travel & Tourism program at Fanshawe College, she worked for the Walt Disney World Company in Florida as a Cultural Representative for Canada. She can be reached at Shannon.Smith@thomascookgroup.ca or by calling 1-800-387-8438, ext. 6442.
Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. has announced the appointment of Ali V. Kasikci as regional managing director for North America, Mexico and the Caribbean, effective Jan. 30, 2012. As part of his responsibilities, Kasikci will manage the renovation, reopening and re-launch of El Encanto in Santa Barbara, California. In addition, he will also be responsible for the management of six of the company’s existing portfolio -- Keswick Hall, Virginia; The Inn at Perry Cabin, Maryland; La Samanna, St. Martin; Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende; and the iconic ‘21’ Club restaurant and bar in New York City. Kasikci joins Orient-Express from the Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles where as chief executive officer and general manager he oversaw a multi-million dollar renovation. Prior to this, Kasikci served as vice-president of Strategic Planning & Development for Montage Hotels & Resorts.
The chief executive board of Star Alliance has appointed Mark Schwab to head the Star Alliance central organization, based in Frankfurt, Germany as its new chief executive.
Schwab comes from Star Alliance member United where he was responsible for the company’s alliances as senior vice-president, Alliances. In this capacity he also served as a member of Star Alliance’s management board. He succeeds Jaan Albrecht, who was appointed as CEO of Austrian Airlines on Nov. 1. (http://www.staralliance.com)
The newly elected government of Saint Lucia has appointed Lorne Theophilus, Member of Parliament for Choiseul, as its new minister of Tourism, Heritage and the Creative Industries. The appointment was made with the swearing in of the Saint Lucia Labour Party’s new Cabinet, headed by three-term Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony. Theophilus is an Attorney at Law. Over the years he has built a reputation of fighting for the rights of the average man and has volunteered on tourism projects.
Michel Lemay, vice-president, communications and corporate affairs and chief brand officer of Transat A.T. Inc., is the new chair of the board of directors of the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI), a non-profit organization that fosters best practices in sustainable tourism development. Lemay, who has served on the TOI board since 2008, was elected by member companies on Dec. 2 in Madrid. Founded in 2000, the TOI is a non-profit organization for tour operators and travel companies from around the world. Together they represent more than 50 million international travellers. With this initiative, tour operators are moving toward sustainable tourism by committing to the concepts of sustainable development in their operations.
TravelOnly chairman Patrick Luciani has been picked to become a member of Carnival Cruise Line’s 2012 Travel Partner Advisory Committee (TPAC) -- an influential group of 20 travel partners that Carnival uses to help guide its overall sales objectives and plans throughout the year. The primary objective of the committee is to provide feedback to Carnival’s worldwide sales team regarding various initiatives.
WestJet has announced the appointment of Bryan Wolfenden as director of leisure sales for WestJet and WestJet Vacations. Responsible for business development as well as regional accounts for WestJet and national accounts for WestJet Vacations, Wolfenden brings more than 32 years of experience developing and managing large accounts. He joined WestJet in 2002 as sales manager for Eastern Canada.
Scenic Tours Canada has announced the appointment of Dragan Rusimovici to the role of marketing executive. With 15 years experience, Rusimovici joins Scenic after 12 years with Transat Tours Canada where he held several positions in the Western Canada marketing department. At Scenic, he will be responsible for creating, executing and co-ordinating cost effective online and print marketing strategies for Scenic Tours in Canada. By establishing key targets for each specific promotion, he will lead the team in achieving both sales and revenue targets associated with each promotional component, ensuring seamless execution.
Okabe North America Inc. has announced the appointment of Robert Pratt as president of Coast Hotels & Resorts. He is responsible for leading the strategic direction, management and growth of the hotel chain’s Canadian operations. Before joining Coast Hotels & Resorts, Pratt was chief operating officer of Westmont Hospitality Group in Toronto, where he oversaw 160 hotels across Canada operating under 12 franchised brands. After graduating from Cornell University School of Hotel Administration with a Bachelor of Science, Pratt spent 17 years with Westin Hotels and Resorts, holding progressively senior roles in sales, marketing and hotel operations, eventually serving as general manager of the Westin properties in Ottawa and Edmonton. He then joined Silverbirch Hotels & Resorts as regional vice-president of the Pacific Northwest region and was appointed president of Silverbirch in 2007, where he was responsible for operations of 40 hotels coast-to-coast operating under 12 franchised brands. Coast Hotels & Resorts has 30 hotels in Canada with 4,053 guest rooms in BC, Alberta and the Northwest Territories.
Contiki Holidays has announced that Lauren Howard has joined the Canada team as National Creative Brand and Marketing Manager. Howard has an established background in digital and offline media, and has proven experience leading successful marketing, PR and communications teams. Most recently, Lauren served as national marketing manager for K2 Sports, in the youth-focused action sports industry. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 416-915-7037.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has appointed Martin Craigs as its new CEO, effective Oct. 31. Craigs is currently president of Aerospace Forum Asia (AFA) and managing partner at Hillcrest International Advisory. For the last 25 years, he has been mostly based in Hong Kong. An aviation industry specialist, Craigs has held important and senior positions at companies such as Short Brothers and Saab Scania Group, rising to become executive vice-president of BAE Systems. Over the last few years, Craigs has been asked to lobby for or advise diverse organizations such as Air Asia, the Hong Kong SAR Government, Reed Elsiver, The Economist, IATA and Pacific Basin Economic Council.
Fairmont Le Château Montebello
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has announced the appointment of Geneviève Dumas to the position of general manager, Fairmont Le Château Montebello. Most recently Dumas held the position of general manager at the Marriott Residence Inn and Hilton Homewood Suites in Mont-Tremblant. Prior to taking on her GM role in Mont-Tremblant in 2009, Geneviève held various positions within Fairmont Hotels & Resorts such as director of operations and interim general manager at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, as well as the interim general manager, director of operations, rooms division manager, executive housekeeper, sales manager and food and beverage manager over the course of her 12 years stint at Fairmont Tremblant.
Australian Pacific Touring (APT) has officially announced the appointment of industry veteran Nicole De Wilde as the new vice-president of sales and marketing for North America, based at the company’s Vancouver office. Joining De Wilde is Aubrey Schmidt in eastern Canada, named sales manager for North America and based in Orangeville, Ont. Schmidt makes a return to APT where he has 12 years experience. The appointments are regarded as a statement of commitment to the North American market by APT, said company CEO Chris Hall. This includes the consolidation of sales, marketing and administrative operations into the Vancouver office for the continent. In doing so, APT is closing its location in Los Angeles. De Wilde has more than 25 years of experience in the international travel industry, during which time she has brought many new travel products to established markets. She is skilled in building mutually beneficial partnerships to increase market share and profitability, said Hall. Previously, De Wilde established Scenic Tours in the North American market, and held the positions of vice-president, sales and business development for Rocky Mountaineer; VP sales & marketing for Signature Vacations; and president of Insight Vacations in Canada.
Sandra Mallette is the newest member of Canada’s sales team for Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts serving as business development manager in Quebec working with travel agents, tour operators and tourist board partners in the province. No stranger to the Quebec travel industry or to Sandals Resorts, Mallette previously held this position between 2007 and 2009 when she left to pursue a different career path. Prior to joining Sandals Resorts in 2007, she spent over eight years at Vacances Tours Mont-Royal in a number of areas including sales, reservations and as a destination representative. Mallette can be reached at 1-800-545-8283, ext. 4954, or 514-754-2885 or via e-mail at email@example.com .
Delta Hotels and Resorts
Delta Hotels and Resorts has announced the appointment of Colin Perry to general manager of Delta Whistler Village Suites, effective Sept. 12. In his new position, Perry will oversee the resort’s operations. He brings more than 11 years of industry experience to the position, all of which he spent in progressive leadership positions within the Delta brand. This includes his most recent position as director of operations at Delta Lodge at Kananaskis.
Paul Evon has been appointed the new general manager for Atlantic Canada for Enterprise Holdings, parent of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Car Rental. Evon brings 20 years of experience with Enterprise Holdings to the role, most recently as the regional vice-president for Charlotte, North Carolina. He replaces Andy Feldman, who is taking on a new role as general manager for the U.S. Heartland region.
Marriott Fallsview, Marriott Gateway on the Falls
Anthony Annunziata has been appointed vice-president of marketing for the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa and Marriott Gateway on the Falls Conference and Convention Centre. Annunziata joined Marriott to lead its marketing team in November 2010 and brings exemplary skill and experience from his many years of working for the tourism industry in Niagara Falls. In his new role, he will have a large hand in marketing a $15-million renovation of the Marriott Gateway, as well as leveraging the property and its proximity to the Scotiabank Convention Centre to help position Niagara Falls as a new convention hot spot. Prior to joining Marriott, Annunziata held vice-president of marketing positions with the Hilton Hotel and Suites, Niagara Fallsview Casino and Resort, Casino Niagara.
Jacqueline Grossman has been appointed to the role of director, retail marketing, at Thomas Cook Canada. In her new role, Grossman oversees the various marketing initiatives across all of Thomas Cook Canada’s retail brands and acts as the primary contact for the Sears Travel relationship. Working closely with the Thomas Cook Canada marketing team, she will set the creative direction, branding, messaging and strategy for these brands, which include in-house retailers BelAir Travel and Thomas Cook and their various online propositions, as well as the new Thomas Cook Affiliate network. With more than 18 years in the marketing field, Grossman has a wealth of experience in branding, marketing strategies and communications. Her most recent employer was HRG North America (formerly BTI Canada), where she was VP of marketing. She can be reached at Jacqueline.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunwing Vacations has expanded its Canadian roster. Richard Moore has joined the Sunwing Vacations operations team in the capacity of national director, sales centre, overseeing both Toronto and Montreal sales centres. Moore brings 15 years of call centre management experience, including over 10 years with Assurant Solutions of Kingston, Ont., to his new position. In the group’s sales department, Sunwing welcomes Marco Corona to the position of group sales supervisor. He comes to the Sunwing Travel Group after 10 years with Thomas Cook in the group sales department, most recently as senior group’s sales representative. Moore can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 1-877-877-1755 or 416-620-3384, while Corona can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-800-668-4224.
Groupe Germain Hospitality
Didier Obeuf has been named vice-president of operations for Groupe Germain Hospitality, responsible for a national portfolio from his Toronto base. Obeuf oversees comprehensive operations for Groupe Germain’s family owned business with interests across the country including its Boutique hotels, as well as ALT hotels. Obeuf has worked for many successful companies, from Westmont Hospitality to the Evian Royal Resort in France to Accor North America. Most recently, he was the Regional Asset Manager for Westmont Hospitality, overseeing the Fairmont portfolio in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec.
Tourism Vancouver has announced its new board of directors for 2011/2012. The 15-member board represents a cross-section of Metro Vancouver’s tourism industry and will be chaired by Howard Jang, executive director of the Arts Club Theatre Company. This marks the first time a representative from Vancouver’s arts and cultural community has chaired Tourism Vancouver’s board of directors. Others on the board include James Terry, executive VP of Rocky Mountaineer (past chair); George Bartel, president of Vancouver All Terrain Adventures; Ken Cretney, GM of the Vancouver Convention Centre; Nicholas Gandossi, GM of the Opus Hotel Vancouver; Jonas Melin, GM of the Inn at False Creek – Quality Hotel Downtown Vancouver; Robert Safrata, owner of West Coast Sightseeing/Grayline; John Sandor, GM of the Sutton Place Hotel; Marion Harper Treskin, GM of The Westin Grand Vancouver and others.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
New faces are joining the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts team in Vancouver. These include Philip Barnes, who has been appointed vice-president and general manager of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver. Barnes brings over three decades worth of hospitality experience to his new role and returns to Vancouver from Dubai, where he held his most recent role as regional vice-president, UAE; and general manager, Fairmont Dubai. Also new to the property team are: Simone Harms, who moves into the position of director of operations at the Fairmont Vancouver Airport; Rudolf Gimmi, who has been appointed director of operations, Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver; and Joanne Perschbacher, the new director of sales and marketing at the Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver.
Shangri-La International Hotel Management Limited reports the appointment of Richard Cooke as the new general manager of the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, with responsibility for the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, as well. Currently the general manager of the Traders Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Cooke brings more than 20 years of hospitality experience on four continents to his new post, which includes management positions at the Regent in Auckland, New Zealand and Ritz-Carlton and Rosewood Hotels in the US. He joined Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as executive assistant manager in 2000 in Singapore before becoming corporate director for food and beverage in the company’s head office. The Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto is due to open in the summer of 2012.
For the first time ever, Tokyo has opened a tourist office in Canada. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which oversees the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, has announced the appointment of Akira Tsushima as its representative in Canada. He will be based in Toronto. Tushima, who came to Canada 26 years ago, is no stranger to tourism as he worked for a major Japanese travel company in its Toronto office and promoted outbound tourism from Canada to Japan. Previously, he worked for a Japanese company that was in charge for exporting products to the United States and for the last 10 years in that capacity was its chief executive officer. He currently runs a tourism and investment consulting business. In his new role, his main responsibilities will include providing information to Canadian travel agents, wholesalers and meeting planners; be a point of contact and provide information to the Canadian media; act as Tokyo’s representative at various events including trade shows; work in close conjunction with the Toronto-based office of the Japan National Tourist Office (JNTO) on various activities; educate travel trade, media and consumers on Tokyo.
Susan Welsby has been named director of sales of downtown Toronto’s Delta Chelsea Hotel, Delta Hotel’s flagship property and Canada’s largest hotel. For the past five years, Welsby was director of sales of Delta Toronto East. As the Delta Hotels & Resorts “2010 Director of Sales of the Year” she brings nearly two decades of sales experience within the greater Toronto area to the position. Prior to joining the Delta brand, Welsby worked with Novotel Hotels. She is also a graduate of the Travel and Tourism program at Humber College.