MIAMI — Unique Vacations has a new CEO at the reins following the retirement of long-time Chief Executive Officer Tammy Gonzalez.
Veteran travel executive Jeff Clarke has been named as Gonzalez’s successor, effective April 14. Clarke, who joined Unique Vacations in 2016, most recently served as the company’s Chief Operating Officer. Prior to that, he served as President of tour operator Travel Impressions, a division of Apple Leisure Group.
Unique Vacations is an affiliate of the worldwide representatives of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts. Sandals Resorts International Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart described the changing of the guard as bittersweet.
“Since the very beginning, Tammy has been the backbone of Unique Vacations. I will always be grateful for her insight and dedication and wish her well as she steps in this next chapter of her life,” he said. “It is also my sincere pleasure to congratulate Jeff Clarke, who I have known for years and who I know is well-qualified to lead UVI into the future.”
Adam Stewart, Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, also commended Gonzalez for her contribution over the years.
“My appreciation and sincere thanks must go out to Tammy Gonzalez for her years and dedicated service and loyalty,” he said. “The relationship fostered between Sandals and UVI is critically important to the success of the resorts and never more so than right now.”
On her retirement, Gonzalez said: “Very few people get the opportunity to be part of something that changes everything in their industry. For more than 35 years, I have had the privilege of working alongside one of travel’s true visionaries and helping to build an organization that I believe in and am incredibly proud of. That’s why the time is right for me to pass the baton to Jeff. After working alongside him these past four years, I am confident of his leadership and in his ability to navigate this unprecedented moment, positioning our brands well for the future.”
Clarke, who said it was an honour to be named CEO, is up to the challenge to follow in Gonzalez’s footsteps.
“I have a great deal of respect for the work she has done to advocate for the brands we represent, to put travel advisors first and to make it easy for customers to understand the Sandals and Beaches difference,” he said. “There is no question that we face exceptional circumstances but over 35 years, Gonzalez has demonstrated the strength of this team to rise again and again, and I look forward to carrying on that tradition.”