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Virtuoso, the worldwide network of travel agencies, travel advisors and preferred partners leading the way in luxury experiences, has promoted two longstanding executives to key leadership positions.
Karyn McCarthy has been named vice president, Member and Partner Development, while Misty Belles assumes the title of vice president, Global Public Relations. Both are seasoned industry veterans whose expanded roles will help support Virtuoso's ever-growing global footprint.
In her new role, McCarthy will lead Virtuoso's Member and Partner Development team and oversee the group's efforts in establishing strategic partnerships, fostering targeted network growth, and increasing preferred partner and agency/advisor engagement with network products and programs. McCarthy joined Virtuoso in 2015 as Director, Product Development, where she managed the qualification and vetting process for travel suppliers joining the network's Preferred Partner programs. Since then, her role has evolved to leverage her wider industry experience, network connections and leadership skills within the Global Partnerships team.
McCarthy's more than 30 years in the travel industry includes time with American Express managing corporate travel accounts including Morgan Stanley and Prudential Financial as well as serving as senior director Corporate Sales for The Leading Hotels of the World, where she was responsible for managing partnerships with Fortune 500 companies as well as top travel agency consortia.
"Karyn has been instrumental in creating and evolving Virtuoso's strategic goals for growth that bring continued value to the network," says Virtuoso Chief Operations Officer Brad Bourland. "As we move through the various stages of travel's recovery, her focus on increasing partner, travel agency, and advisor engagement that delivers a win-win-win will not only secure success for each of these constituents, but will provide an even stronger competitive edge that attracts top companies to Virtuoso in the first place. I couldn't be more pleased to have Karyn leading the effort in driving deeper commitment from our members, higher sales for our partners, and ultimately higher satisfaction for the traveller."
Belles will continue to drive Virtuoso's public relations strategy, while also helping to evolve the company's internal and external voice to ensure cohesive messaging globally to its various audiences. Part of the Virtuoso team since 1999, Belles has held various roles that included cruise and tour direct marketing as well as director of the Hotels & Resorts program, before taking the lead on Public Relations in 2005. During that time, she has worked to strengthen the Virtuoso brand through media coverage while increasing visibility for Virtuoso members and partners - promoting the entire collaborative network by generating billions of media impressions with well-placed coverage.
"Over the past year, Misty has helped create and implement new initiatives that keep our members, advisors, and travelers informed in unique and exclusive ways, while also elevating the brand positioning of Virtuoso for the benefit of the entire network," said Senior Vice President, Marketing Helen McCabe-Young. "She has stepped forward as a consistent voice and advocate for Virtuoso and the overall travel industry. As we ramp up our global PR strategy, Misty will be working with our regional teams to ensure our message and voice are adaptive and on point for each market, while leveraging her vast experience and deep knowledge of the Virtuoso brand and company core beliefs."
McCarthy will continue to work from Virtuoso's New York City office and report to Bourland. Belles offices from her home in Chevy Chase, Maryland and will continue to report to McCabe-Young.
Jim Byers was travel editor for five years at the Toronto Star, which has the largest travel section in North America. He has...
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