Last updated: 04:39 PM ET, Tue December 01 2015

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for November 6, 2015

People | Travel Leaders Group | Barry Kaufman | November 06, 2015

Welcome Aboard: New Hires and Promotions for November 6, 2015

Travel Leaders Group Taps Peter Vlitas for New Role as Senior Vice President of Airline Relations

Today, Travel Leaders Group has announced that Peter Vlitas has been named as its senior vice president of Airline Relations. A 17-year veteran of Travel Leaders Group’s Protravel International division – where he has served with distinction as its senior vice president of Airline Sales & Marketing – Vlitas will focus his area of expertise on providing benefits to all business divisions within Travel Leaders Group, which together enjoy annual air sales of more than $11 billion. Vlitas will report directly to Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko.

Since first joining Protravel International in 1998, Vlitas has negotiated and managed the many aspects of its airline programs, including industry relationships, airline contract negotiations and corporate travel; he also oversaw the team responsible for revenue management, rates, costs containment and adherence to contractual parameters. Vlitas first joined the travel industry as a travel agent at age 18 in a small company. Today, he sits on several airline advisory boards.

In addition, Travel Leaders Franchise, Consortium and Leisure Group President John Lovell, CTC, has announced a key leadership change with the appointment of Jose Ferreira as its new Chief Technology Officer. A 10-year veteran with Travel Leaders Group, Ferreira most recently served in a leadership position within its Tzell Travel division. Ferreira will replace Tiffany Glass, who has accepted a leadership role within a care services company.

Most recently at Tzell where he served as vice president of business solutions, Ferreira was responsible for the recent launch of its “Agent Showcase,” which enables consumers to connect online with one of its travel agent experts. He first joined Travel Leaders Group in 2006 in an information technology (IT) role that culminated in his serving as Director of Application Development for the company, prior to ultimately being named Vice President of Travel Technology and Marketing for Travel Leaders Franchise Group in 2012.

Turtle Bay Resort appoints Thushara Perera as director of finance

Turtle Bay Resort, an expansive 840-acre oceanfront playground on Oahu’s Fabled North Shore, has appointed Thushara Perera as director of finance. Perera is responsible for directing all financial activities for Turtle Bay Resort including leadership of the finance, IT and purchasing teams; counsel to management on strategic planning and business decisions; and compliance oversight of GAAP guidelines.

Perera brings more than 15 years of experience in finance and accounting in the hospitality industry to Turtle Bay Resort. Most recently, Perera served as assistant controller at Kahala Hotel & Resort, where he was honored with Manager of the Quarter in 2015. Prior to Kahala Hotel, Perera spent five years as Controller for Hotel Teatro in Denver, Colorado.

A native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Perera holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business and accounting from California State University and National University, and Master of Science degree in business administration from University of Colorado.  He lives in Kailua with his wife, a physician at Queen’s Medical Center, and two young children. During his free time, Perera enjoys golfing, road biking and following politics. He is a devoted and loyal Dallas Cowboys fan.

Destination Queenstown Appoints Marketing and Communications Director

Destination Queenstown is pleased to announce the promotion of communications and sector strategy manager Sarah Stacey to the new position of marketing and communications director.

Stacey has been with DQ for two years as communications manager. With a bachelor of communication studies from AUT, Sarah has extensive communications and marketing experience. Prior to her appointment at DQ, she held senior marketing and communications management roles with Good Group Ltd, Millbrook Resort and Skycity Queenstown, building great local Queenstown knowledge and networks.

Jayna Leach Joins Panama City Beach CVB as Vice President of Marketing

Visit Panama City Beach announces Jayna Leach has joined the award-winning destination marketing organization as vice president of marketing. In her role, Leach will lead all travel marketing efforts for the Northwest Florida beachside community including advertising, social media and public relations.

Leach joins Visit Panama City Beach with over 20 years of marketing and public relations experience, mostly recently growing Sterling Resorts & Realty by developing strategic marketing and communications plans as the vice president of marketing. There she led all aspects of marketing, public relations, promotions, social media, e-commerce and sales for Sterling Resorts luxury vacation condominiums along the gulf coast including Panama City Beach, having also received two “Henry” Flagler awards for Email Marketing Campaigns.

Embassy Suites By Hilton Colorado Springs Announces Erin Williams As Director Of Sales

Embassy by Hilton Colorado Springs, a Hilton Worldwide all-suite hotel near Pikes Peak, introduces new director of sales, Erin Williams. With a proven track record for success in leadership, team building and sales, Williams has strategic plans to maximize revenue and sales efforts for Embassy Suites by Hilton Colorado Springs, currently in the midst of a property-wide renovation.

Most recently Williams served as director of sales for Ameristar Casino Resort Spa in Black Hawk, Colo., where she effectively managed budget, led the sales team to meet all sales quotas and personal goals and directed revenue strategy for group sales. Williams also worked as director of sales for Hilton Garden Inn Denver/Highlands Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where she oversaw group, catering and business travel sales alongside the daily functions of the sales team to help generate hotel revenue. During her time at Hilton Garden Inn Denver/ Highlands Ranch, Williams increased room revenue significantly year-over-year and implemented a lucrative budget and marketing plans.

TravelClick Announces Additions to its Senior Leadership Team in 2015

TravelClick announces the completion of its 2015 expansion and upgrade to its senior leadership team. The Company appointed Barrett Boston in Q1 to the position of president, Americas, Scott Falconer in Q4 as executive vice president / general manager, Media Solutions and Rebecca Bursky in Q2 as senior vice president of Human Resources.  

Boston brings more than 20 years of sales, strategy, product and marketing experience in technology and data to his role as President, Americas. Prior to TravelClick, he worked at IBM for 12 years where he led software sales for a number of business units. In his most recent role at IBM, he was vice president, Big Data and Analytics, serving as the global general manager for this strategic growth unit and leading sales worldwide. Prior to IBM, Mr. Boston held positions at Storage Networks and Stonington Partners.

Falconer brings more than 30 years of extensive operating experience in leading recurring revenue businesses, as well as significant experience in media and communications, to his role as executive vice president / general manager, Media Solutions. He was most recently chief operating officer of Visible World, a leading media / advertising technology company, where he directed all commercial activities, including finance, strategy, sales, marketing, client services, operations, product management and HR.  

Bursky brings 18 years of experience to her role as senior vice president of Human Resources. Most recently, she served as vice president, Human Resources, for Marketwired, Inc., where she was responsible for developing the HR infrastructure for the 400-person organization, leading all HR activities around the divesture of its subsidiary, Sysomos, Inc., from its parent company, as well the development of the talent acquisition process to help the company grow. Before joining Marketwired, Bursky served in various Human Resources leadership roles at Dun & Bradstreet.

Senior Leadership Appointed At Kimpton Cardinal Hotel In Winston-Salem

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants today officially announced the name of its first North Carolina hotel – Kimpton Cardinal Hotel – and the appointment of senior leadership for the property located in the historic R.J. Reynolds Building, a beloved landmark of downtown Winston-Salem. General Manager John Esainko and Director of Sales & Marketing Tina Fullard will lead The Cardinal, the city’s first upscale boutique hotel, which is set to open in early 2016. The two hospitality veterans bring nearly four decades of experience to the 174-room property, which will occupy the first six floors of the former R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company headquarters. Reviving the iconic property as the destination’s newest luxury hotel, The Cardinal will greatly expand the city’s offerings in the local community for business and leisure travelers alike.

Esainko comes to The Cardinal from Kimpton’s Hotel Madera in Washington, D.C., where he served as general manager since 2014. Prior to joining the Kimpton team, Esainko spent more than 12 years with the Hyatt Corporation, where he started as a front office agent in 2001. During his career with Hyatt, Esainko served many roles, including executive housekeeper at Hyatt Regency New Brunswick and Grand Hyatt New York, assistant rooms executive at Grand Hyatt Washington and Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, and as director of rooms at Hyatt Regency Bethesda.

Fullard joins the management team at The Cardinal after 12 years at Graylyn Estate & Conference Center at Wake Forest University, where she served as director of marketing & revenue since 2010. During her tenure at Graylyn Estate, Fullard also served as associate general manager and director of sales & marketing. Prior to joining Graylyn, she was senior special events manager at Walt Disney World’s House of Blues in Orlando, Florida. Fullard is actively involved in the National Association of Professional Women.

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