TORONTO — Just because travel industry people tend to stay in the travel industry, doesn’t mean they don’t like to switch jobs once in a while.
There was a long list of appointment notices and personnel updates in 2019.
Vision Travel Solutions kicked off the year with the appointment of a new regional manager, Robin Dunn, for Western Ontario, Leisure Travel. Dunn, who most recently spent five years in experiential group travel, has over 30 years’ experience in the travel industry.
Meanwhile Direct Travel, which merged with Vision Travel in 2017, named Stephen Smith as Senior Vice President, Leisure Marketing, North America for Direct Travel back in August. Smith previously held the role of Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Vision Travel.
In September 2019 The Travel Agent Next Door announced that industry veteran Louise Gardiner would head up its new division, The Agency Solution.
On the tour operator side, Monique Lalonde, with a long career at ACV, as well as Discover the World Marketing, itravel2000 and Radisson Hotels, made the move to Transat in April 2019 as Director, Agent@Home for Transat Distribution Canada (TDC).
Also in April, in another move from one tour operator to another, Erminia Nigro joined ACV as General Manager, Sales – Ontario & National Accounts. Nigro joined ACV from TravelBrands where she was Director of Sales. Past stints included Sunquest and Regent Holidays.
In May, Sunwing Vacations announced Lauren Lamonday as its new BDM for Southwestern Ontario. Last month, Heather Calvert joined Sunwing as its new BDM for Central Canada.
TravelBrands added Charlotte Antill to its team of Ontario BDMs in June, hiring the industry veteran to oversee TravelBrands’ partnerships in Ontario’s West and North divisions. Antill got her start in the travel industry as travel agent for Uniglobe Travel and Global Travel. From there, she became a sales representative for Transat Holidays and a manager for Robert Q Travel.
Also in June, Michael Sette, a former sales manager at Sears Travel, joined the ranks at TravelBrands as a new BDM in Ontario, overseeing the company’s partnerships in both Eastern Ontario and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Globus family of brands welcomed Jennifer Zammit to its team this summer as the new BDM for Southwestern and Northern Ontario.
Zammit’s appointment came shortly after Globus announced Chris Jones as its new Director of Marketing, taking over from Patrice Geske, who retired from Globus in June 2019.
Globus also hired Chuck Edwards, who previously worked for WestJet and WestJet Vacations, as its new BDM for Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Earlier this month WestJet announced that it had expanded its Agency Sales team with four new BDMs – Cesar Alvarenga, David Paton, Carlos Peralta and Grant Lawlor – as well as a new Commercial Account Manager, Annique Slowey.
Kevin Pohlmann joined WestJet in August, as BDM (with Emily Spadafora) for B.C. In April WestJet named Andrei Losinski to its Agency Sales team as BDM, responsible for Greater Toronto West and Northern Ontario.
Air Canada reorganized its sales team this past summer, promoting Lisa Pierce to Managing Director, Canada and USA Sales, and naming Virgilio Russi, previously Senior Director – Sales Canada, to the position of Managing Director, International Sales. Tim Liu, previously Senior Director, Commercial Strategy, is now Managing Director, Sales Planning and Effectiveness.
John MacLeod, who was Air Canada’s VP Global Sales & Alliances since May 2018, left the airline in October 2019 to become Chief Commercial Officer for Virgin Australia.
Another well-known name, Duncan Bureau, who headed up Air Canada Rouge and also worked for Air Canada and WestJet over his airline industry career, was gone from his post as President of Air Canada Rouge by late May 2019 and is now with Etihad Airways overseeing global sales and distribution.
Tanya Johnson, well-known from her stint as Sales Manager for Royal Irish Tours, took on the senior BDM role at Uplift starting in June 2019.
Manulife named Karen Salviato to its sales team as a BDM for the Northern GTA area of Ontario in March 2019. Also in March, Trafalgar named Lora Hamre as Sales Manager for Southwestern Ontario.
In June 2019 Ensemble Travel and Lindsay Pearlman parted ways. Pearlman’s co-president, Libbie Rice, left Ensemble in September. Pearlman later joined Travel Leaders Network as Senior VP, International Leisure.
Also in June, industry veteran Dianne Jackson was named Vice President, Retail for Red Label Vacations Inc. Jackson held senior roles at CAA, Expedia Affiliate Network, Allianz Global Assistance and First Choice Canada, and was also a senior director for itravel2000.com, a division of RLV.
In December Frank DeMarinis, CEO of H.I.S. Co.-owned Red Label Vacations, was named interim CEO of Merit Travel Inc. following the departure of Phil Sproul. Sproul joined Merit in January 2016 after heading up Kensington Tours and TPI, and serving as VP, Sales & Customer Experience for ACV. H.I.S. Co. acquired Merit in December 2016.
Watch for more year-end coverage in Travelweek Daily on Dec. 30th and Dec. 31st as we continue to look back at everything making headlines in 2019, from the proposed Air Canada – Transat deal, to the best oddball stories of the year.