CALABASAS, CA — A key member of AmaWaterways’ executive team has announced his retirement.
AmaWaterways’ Senior Vice President of Sales, Gary Murphy, whose father Jimmy Murphy co-founded AmaWaterways with Rudi Schreiner and Kristin Karst in 2002, says he plans to step down effective April 1, 2022.
Murphy will be succeeded by Alex Pinelo, who has been promoted from VP of Sales to the Senior VP of Sales position.
Says Murphy: “It is difficult for me to use the term ‘retirement’ but I have two passions in my life – AmaWaterways and my family – and the time has come for me to devote more time to the second one.”
He added that the Murphy family is forever attached to Schreiner, Karst “and the entire AmaWaterways family, and we look forward to celebrating with AmaWaterways as it continues to set the standard for river cruising around the globe. With AmaWaterways’ strong management team, the company is in an excellent position to capture a greater proportion of the river cruise market as the travel industry rebounds in the year ahead.”
Just a few years after Jimmy Murphy co-founded AmaWaterways with Schreiner and Karst in 2002, son Gary joined the river cruise line in 2009. In 2013 he was named VP of Sales and then in 2019 he was named Senior Vice President of Sales.
Prior to joining AmaWaterways, Murphy’s 30+ years of travel industry experience included Group Voyagers in Europe, Brendan Vacations and Miami Air International.
Karst says Murphy has continued to play an integral role in building AmaWaterways’ relationships with travel advisors and launching innovative support programs to meet the ever-changing needs of the travel industry.
“Gary has been a valued member of our team and the AmaWaterways family. His unfaltering respect and support of the travel advisor community has been instrumental in building the strong partnerships and mutual trust we have with our national account partners,” said Karst.
“We will miss Gary’s wisdom, enthusiasm and passion on a day-to-day basis, but as a co-owner of AmaWaterways, he will remain an active member of our board representing the Murphy family, along with his sister Susan. The AmaWaterways sales team has grown and developed tremendously under Gary’s leadership, and we are so excited to see what the future holds as Alex steps into his new role!” she added.
PINELO STEPS INTO SENIOR VP SALES POSITION
Pinelo, who joined AmaWaterways in 2017, will continue to lead the AmaWaterways sales team in strengthening the personal relationships with its travel advisor partners and communicating AmaWaterways’ value-added proposition, says Karst.
AmaWaterways is getting ready to launch its 2022 European season in mid-March. Expansion plans for the fleet include the continued development of AmaMagdalena, which is scheduled to debut on Colombia’s Magdalena River in early 2024.
Rudi Schreiner, President and co-founder of AmaWaterways, says: “Gary will always be a trusted partner and more than that, family. We will truly miss his insight and innovative spirit, but we look forward to continuing the legacy we’ve built with the Murphy family as we enter a very exciting new chapter for our business.”
Schreiner added that “AmaWaterways is approaching the 2022 river cruise season with confidence and peace of mind, knowing our ships are fully paid for and our financial security remains solid. We successfully operated 320 river cruises last year and 2022 reservations are looking very strong, particularly for the second half of the year. Good things are on the horizon for the travel industry, and we are ready.”