Andy Pesky, an industry veteran of 56 years, will retire from his post at Protravel International at the end of the year.
Pesky is currently Protravel's senior vice president of leisure sales and marketing. He has been with the company for nearly 20 years.
"The industry has been terrific for me, and now I feel it is that time to relax and take it a bit easier," Pesky said in a statement. "To a whole industry that I truly love, thank you for giving my family and me a blessed life."
Before joining Protravel in 2000, Pesky held a number of leadership positions in the industry, including president of leisure and vendor relations at McCord Travel Management. He founded Zenith Travel in 1964 before selling it to McCord in 1995.
Pesky and his wife, Elaine, are the longtime organizers of Protravel's Children's Holiday Party with the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital and the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation.
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Scott Avera is the new president of Keene, N.H.-based tour operator Alexander+Roberts (A+R). He fills the position previously held by Robert Drumm, who assumes the role of chairman and CEO.
Avera, a longtime executive with A+R, most recently served as its vice president of product development.
"I've always respected Scott for his dedication to our mission, our guests and the principles that have long guided us," said Drumm, who has worked alongside Avera at the company, formerly General Tours, for a quarter of a century. "As he's been promoted through so many different areas of our company, Scott has always earned the respect of his peers and colleagues -- from hotels, cruise lines and national tourist offices to the media, trade associations and our preferred travel agency partners."
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Coral Springs, Fla.-based Cruise Planners has reorganized its executive team and made a new hire in Ana Parodi, who comes to the franchisor from a sales and marketing career with various cruise lines.
Parodi was named vice president of sales and marketing. She has held positions with Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Viking Cruises.
Theresa Scalzitti was promoted to chief sales officer. She joined Cruise Planners in 2016 following 21 years with Royal Caribbean International in operations, marketing and sales.
Scott Koepf, who joined Cruise Planners in 2018 from Avoya Travel, was promoted to senior vice president of strategic development. The 35-year industry veteran leads Cruise Planners' training and events teams.
Cruise Planners also promoted Phill Guerra to vice president of technology. Guerra has been with the agency since 2010.
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Bryan Gabriel has joined Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas as chief commercial officer, overseeing the group's sales and marketing department.
Gabriel spent the past 15 years with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), where he most recently served as head of commercial for America since 2016. His prior experience at IHG includes stints at hotels or in executive posts in Jakarta, Singapore, Bali, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Delhi.
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American Express Global Business Travel promoted Michael Qualantone to chief revenue officer.
Qualantone most recently held the role of executive vice president of global supplier relations. As chief revenue officer, Qualantone will partner with Drew Crawley, the incoming chief commercial officer, to accelerate sales growth, while also assuming leadership of the pricing team. He will also remain focused on driving growth in the meetings and events business.
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African Travel welcomed Jessica Rizzolo as its new district sales manager for the Northeast U.S.
Rizzolo was most recently director of sales for Caldera House, a luxury boutique hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where she joined prior to the property's opening. A 13-year veteran of the travel industry, Rizzolo's background includes working as a luxury travel specialist at Ker & Downey and as a regional sales manager for Aman Resorts, responsible for the company's North American portfolio.
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Emma Jupp will retire from her post as Flight Centre Travel Group Americas’ executive vice president of product and distribution in June.
Jupp has been with the company for almost 25 years. She started as a travel consultant in 1996 in the first Flight Centre shop in Canada. Over the years, she has held roles like vice president of product and distribution for Flight Centre in Canada and the U.S.
In 2008 she became the managing director of BackRoads Touring Co. Ltd., which is owned by Flight Centre. Two years after that, she became senior vice president of product and distribution in North America, then president of retail brands Liberty Travel and Flight Center USA. She took her current position in 2016.
She plans to spend her retirement with her family and traveling.
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Wellness hospitality group Canyon Ranch has tapped former Ralph Lauren executive Jeff Kuster to serve as CEO. He succeeds Susan Docherty, who departed Canyon Ranch last summer.
A veteran of the fashion and lifestyle industries, Kuster was most recently group president of North America for the Ralph Lauren Corp. He also has extensive humanitarian experience, having done stints with both the Peace Corps in West Africa and Doctors Without Borders in Romania early in his career.
Kuster joins the company on the heels of its recent debut of the new Canyon Ranch Wellness Retreat Woodside, which opened just outside California's Silicon Valley in November. The property is the third in the Canyon Ranch portfolio, joining the group's Lenox, Mass., and flagship Tucson, Ariz., resorts.
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Dream Vacations, CruiseOne and Cruises Inc. have named Dawn Gillis director of network sales and support.
Gillis started at parent company World Travel Holdings as a frontline agent in 1993. She transitioned into management and has been land product manager for the past 10 years.
In her new role, Gillis will oversee business development, group sales and support services.
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The Four Seasons Resort Nevis named Ruby Garcia resort manager.
Garcia most recently served as general manager of Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Krabi, Thailand. Prior to that, she was with the Taj Exotica Resort & Spa Maldives.
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The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., has appointed Rosa Romero director of sales and marketing.
Romero enters the D.C. market after working as director of sales and marketing at the St. Regis Atlanta since August 2016. Prior to that, she was Starwood Hotels in her native Spain for more than 15 years. She began her career in operations at the five-star Westin Palace Madrid.
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The Nevis Tourism Authority named Jadine Yarde as its new CEO.
Yarde formerly worked with Barbados Tourism Marketing, serving as a consultant for both Barbados and Grenada and has more than 10 years of experience in marketing, tourism and entertainment throughout the Caribbean.
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Dream Hotel Group has promoted Kanvar Singh to vice president of operations, effective immediately.
Singh is responsible for leading the operations and lifecycles at three Dream Hotel Group properties in New York -- the Dream Midtown and the Time New York in Manhattan and the Time Nyack in the Hudson Valley -- as well as Unscripted Durham in North Carolina and Heritage House Resort in northern California's Mendocino County.
Singh has served as area managing director overseeing the Time New York, Time Nyack and Dream Midtown.
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Omni Hotels & Resorts has promoted Andrew Rubinacci to chief commercial officer. In this new role, Rubinacci will
drive all revenue generation across the organization aligning marketing, revenue management, distribution and sales. He will also be heading up a new division, Commercial, which will include the company's sales and marketing teams.
Rubinacci joined Omni a year ago as senior vice president of revenue management and global distribution.
Omni also announced several other executive promotions.
Dan Surette has been promoted to chief sales officer. Since he joined Omni in mid-2017, he has proven to be a development champion by rebuilding and stabilizing the company's global sales team, laying a new path to rekindle and augment sales training and strengthening succession planning.
Phil Yi has been promoted to vice president of marketing and communications. In his previous role as vice president of digital commerce and corporate strategy, he led the company's web and digital marketing efforts.
Dan Piotrowski was named senior vice president of operations, stepping up from his previous role as vice president of operations. Devin Burns has been promoted to vice president of rooms and food and beverage. Formerly president of food and beverage, Burns will be taking on the added duties of overseeing housekeeping, front office, guest services and valet in his new role.
Have an announcement you'd like to see included in Friends & Colleagues? Submit your stories and photos to Gerry Bourbeau, Travel Weekly deputy managing editor, at [email protected].