Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Fri August 28 2015

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for August 28, 2015

People | Barry Kaufman | August 28, 2015

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for August 28, 2015

Cruise & Travel Experts Appoints Jody Ryland as Vice President of Sales and Operations

Cruise & Travel Experts announced today that Jody Ryland has joined the company to further develop their sales and operations. Ryland comes to Cruise & Travel Experts with nearly 30 years of experience in the travel industry in both corporate and leisure travel management roles. For the past 11 years, Ryland served as the vice president over several businesses within Travel Leaders Leisure Group where she previously worked with Baumann and Schiffner. Through her previous roles, Ryland has led large teams of employees and independent travel professionals in helping them grow their businesses through effective sales and marketing strategies.

ASTA Welcomes Kevin V. Wang as Director, Industry Affairs & Research

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) is pleased to announce that Kevin V. Wang is joining the association as director, industry affairs & research.

Wang brings to ASTA over 10 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, including at the U.S. Travel Association and Choice Hotels International. He has expertise in managing quantitative and qualitative research studies and projects and a proven track record in managing data collection, tracking studies, managing clients and vendors, performing data analysis and compiling dashboards and reports.

Avis Budget Group Announces Scott Deaver to Assume Responsibility for Global Marketing

Avis Budget Group, Inc. today announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Scott Deaver will assume responsibility for the global marketing and customer experience functions of all of the Company's brands in addition to his current duties. Since joining the Company 25 years ago, Scott has held various positions of increasing responsibility, including roles in marketing, strategy, decision technology, licensing, car sharing and emerging markets.

Belmond Appoints Maria Kuhn as Corporate Director Of Communications

Belmond Ltd. has appointed Maria Kuhn as corporate director of communications. Kuhn will be responsible for developing the global communications strategy, guiding and supervising the global PR team, and building Belmond’s brand reputation worldwide. She will oversee targeted PR campaigns for the upcoming launches of Belmond Grand Hibernian, Ireland’s first luxury touring train; and Belmond Cadogan Hotel in Knightsbridge, the company’s first London hotel.

Kuhn joins Belmond from Kempinski, where she spent three years as vice president of public relations following senior PR positions at luxury hotel groups Shangri-La and Four Seasons in Europe and Asia. Originally from Germany, she holds a degree in Hotel Management and began her hospitality career in operations in Germany and California before moving into communications.

TRAVELSAVERS Expands Business Analyst Team

TRAVELSAVERS, a global travel marketing organization, announced the completion of its strategically positioned business analyst team with the recent hire of Janice Decker. Located in California, Decker brings to TRAVELSAVERS valuable experience from both the agency and supplier communities. Most recently, Janice was vice president of sales & marketing at Trails of Indochina, a DMC, where she was responsible for the daily operation and the outside sales team for the US division of Southeast Asia.

Central Holidays Names Arthur Berman Vice President Of Its Newly Created Latin America & Cuba Division

Central Holidays, the premier tour operator long known for its specialty group tours throughout Europe and the Mediterranean, has named Arthur Berman as vice president of its newly created Latin America and Cuba Division. Berman joined Central Holidays in May 2015 and brings more than 50 years of experience in the travel and tourism industry, primarily promoting tourism to these respective regions.   His major responsibilities in this role will be to implement strategies that best market the company’s new, robust collection of escorted Latin America and Cuba programs to its valued guests and worldwide travel partners.

Prior to joining Central Holidays, Berman most recently served as the executive vice president of LATOUR, where he spearheaded the tour operator’s South America division. Berman previously worked as the president of Moment’s Notice Travel Club, a retail agency promoting last minute cruises and land packages. He also served as the vice president of Travel Impressions where he led the company’s South America Charter & FIT Program. Berman began his career as a retail travel agent arranging ski charters to Europe as well as handling the travel initiatives of the Metropolitan Opera Company.  For many years, he also led the Israel Program for Global of London.

Nicholas Barger Appointed General Manager of The Essex Resort And Spa

The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort and Spa, today announced the appointment of Nicholas Barger as general manager. In this position, Barger is responsible for providing leadership, strategic direction and vision to strengthen and expand the culinary positioning of the resort, as well as overseeing operational and asset management.

Barger brings more than a decade of hospitality experience to Essex, including his most recent leadership roles at other Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, LLC properties such as the Zermatt Resort and Homestead Resort in Midway, UT.

Prior to Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, LLC, Barger served as director of rooms at The Modern Honolulu in Hawaii. During his tenure, he increased the resort’s TripAdvisor ranking to No. 3 from No 25 in the Honolulu market, tripled spa and retail revenues through team member training, updating product mix, and analyzing sales, among other successes.

Grand Hyatt San Francisco Welcomes Heather Ochoa as New Director of Outlets

Grand Hyatt San Francisco recently announced the appointment of Heather Ochoa as director of outlets. Ochoa, who was most recently food and beverage manager at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa, comes to the Union Square hotel with seven years’ experience and a diverse background in hospitality and customer service. In her new role, she will manage restaurant and employee operations at Grand Hyatt San Francisco’s OneUP Restaurant & Lounge, and will also provide oversight for the hotel’s banquet operations.

Ochoa was food and beverage manager at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach for more than three years. Her extensive food and beverage experience includes positions as bartender at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, event and food and beverage coordinator at the Newport Beach Film Festival, and marketing representative for the Craft Brewers Alliance. Her diverse background has armed Ochoa with impeccable customer service skills, a passion for leadership, and a strong knowledge of culinary operations.  Ochoa received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from California State University – Fullerton.

The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, New York Appoints Luiggi New General Manager

Iconic New York landmark The Pierre, A Taj Hotel welcomes Francois-Olivier Luiggi as the property’s newly appointed general manager. In his new role, Luiggi will be responsible for managing all hotel operations.

Prior to his appointment at The Pierre, A Taj Hotel, Luiggi spent more than five years as general manager at Langham Place, Fifth Avenue and has experience at some of New York City’s finest properties, including The Mark and The Carlyle.

Originally from Corsica, France, Luiggi graduated from ESSEC Business School in France, with a joint MBA in Hotel Management from Cornell University. After completing his studies, Luiggi entered the hospitality world through the Food & Beverage division, quickly rising through the ranks to become the corporate f&b training specialist for the entire Four Seasons brand.  An internationally trained hotelier, he speaks fluent English, French and Italian.

Seasoned Hospitality Leader David Burt Joins The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco As Director Of Sales And Marketing

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is delighted to announce the appointment of David Burt as director of sales and marketing. Joining the hotel from Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square, Burt is dedicated to leading the sales and marketing efforts of this iconic Nob Hill hotel, which recently completed a multi-phase transformative renovation in March 2015.

Burt joins The Ritz-Carlton with nearly 25 years of hospitality experience, starting with various hotel operations roles early on in his career from bellman and doorman to front desk agent. In 1995 after four years of leading operations departments at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, Burt joined the Chicago Hilton as a convention sales manager and started a stellar career path in the sales discipline. In 1999, he was promoted to the director of group sales at Fairmont San Francisco and in 2005 became the director of sales and marketing at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. Burt’s success attracted international attention when he was invited to open the Fairmont Beijing in 2010, and by 2012 was appointed general manager at Fairmont Heritage Place, Ghirardelli Square.

Burt also brings a vast array of community relations through his affiliations in the Bay Area and in the hospitality industry. Burt is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stout where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Management and was a recipient of the Statler Foundation Scholarship of Excellence. Burt is a native of Vancouver, BC and greatly enjoys food, wine, and exploring nearby wine country.

Travel Leaders Franchise Group Adds Two Directors of Franchise Recruitment

Travel Leaders Franchise Group recently hired two noteworthy individuals whose experience in the travel industry is well known. Jeff Hawkins and George Thompson will each serve as a director of franchise recruitment for Travel Leaders. Their responsibilities include identifying, qualifying and recruiting prospective retail travel agencies to join the Travel Leaders franchise program. Hawkins and Thompson report directly to Ron Cerko, CTIE, Travel Leaders’ Senior Vice President, Franchise Development and Franchise Services.

Hawkins, who is an executive sales leader with a successful track record in driving revenue and maximizing profits, joined Travel Leaders on August 2010. For eight years he served as director of strategic alliances with Park ‘N Fly, where he developed brand and sales strategies and negotiated global contracts. Throughout his 25-plus years of experience in the travel industry, Hawkins also held senior roles at Alamo Rent A Car and Business Express Airlines. Hawkins will be based in Atlanta and will serve the eastern U.S.

Thompson has held executive positions with an impressive list of large travel companies including Holland America Line, Pleasant Holidays, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and TravelBiz Solutions. He has more than 20 years of global leadership experience and a proven record of developing profit-building programs in sales and marketing. He joined Travel Leaders on Aug. 24 and will serve the western U.S.

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