Industry movements: Troy Ackerman joins AAT Kings, Ann Sherry’s new board position and more

Industry movements: Troy Ackerman joins AAT Kings, Ann Sherry’s new board position and more

Our movements column has become somewhat of a Keeping up with the Kardashians for the travel industry, except with far fewer lip fillers.

AAT Kings hires industry vet Troy Ackerman 

Troy Ackerman

AAT Kings has appointed Troy Ackerman as its new head of sales and revenue.

In his new role, Ackerman will be responsible for consortia and trade relationships, contact centre and reservations.

Ackerman joins AAT Kings after having more than 20 years industry experience across Australian, New Zealand and UK markets. Having spent 15 years specialising in Guided Holidays after starting his career with Contiki, Ackerman then went on to become head of sales with the Globus family of brands in Australia, before being promoted to GM of New Zealand where he stayed for seven years.

Having relocated back to Sydney in 2019 as GM of Wendy Wu Australia, he has most recently been with Collette as director of strategic partnerships.

Ackerman starts in his role this week and will be based out of AAT Kings’ Alexandria office.

Ann Sherry nabs spot on Queensland Airports Limited board 

Ann Sherry

Ann Sherry AO has been named chair of the Queensland Airports Limited (QAL), bringing significant leadership and business experience to the role at a critical time of change.

Sherry, originally from Queensland, is relocating back to Brisbane, and has experience in both tourism and airports. Sherry is the Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, chair of Port of Townsville, UNICEF Australia and Enero, and holds non-executive directorships at National Australia Bank and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

Prior to these current roles, Sherry was the former Chairman and chief executive officer of Carnival Australia and was a Director of Sydney Airport Ltd.

Experience Co positions the company for growth with leadership changes

Experience Co (EXP) has streamlined its operating structure and strengthened its leadership team with the announcement of several new executive-level roles.

Adam Jones, who was appointed to the role of general manager GBR Experiences in late 2019 has been recognised for his success in running this division in North Queensland, with a promotion to group general manager for marine and Skydive.

The new role and responsibilities will see Jones continue to oversee the company’s Marine operations, which include the recently launched $7M Reef Magic Pontoon, and expand the role to take on management of the Skydive operations which has 14 drop zones across Australia and three in New Zealand.

Ryan Roche, currently the general manager of aviation will assume group-wide responsibilities for aviation and aircraft maintenance across Australia and New Zealand. Roche has successfully led Skydive Australia’s aviation and aircraft maintenance business units and now adds New Zealand’s performance aviation and skydive aviation functions to his remit.

Kathryn O’Brien has been promoted from chief revenue officer to the newly created role of chief commercial officer adding revenue growth for New Zealand as well as Australia to her responsibilities along with overseeing all sales and marketing initiatives across both markets.

Charles Carlow, founder and visionary behind Wild Bush Luxury (Arkaba, Bamurru Plains and The Maria Island Walk) is stepping into a senior strategic advisory role with the company allowing him to focus on Experience Co’s sustainability initiatives.

Amanda Byrne now moves into the role of general manager – Wild Bush Luxury. Byrne joined Experience Co in January 2022 as general manager of commercial operations and is well positioned to run the multi-day experiences division, Wild Bush Luxury.

Globus family of brands appoints three new business development managers

Anji Tierney, Matthew Beggs and Natalie Hemms

Globus family of brands (GFOB) has appointed three new business development managers, to meet the demand of Aussie travellers in 2023 and beyond.

The new recruits include Anji Tierney (BDM QLD South & West), Matthew Beggs (BDM NSW North) and Natalie Hemms (BDM NSW South & ACT).

Before joining Globus, Tierney was a key figure at Bench Africa both nationally and in QLD. She also has multiple years under her belt in numerous leadership and store roles with Flight Centre, in both QLD and NSW.

Beggs has more than nine years’ experience in the travel industry, including three years as a Top Deck Tour Leader in Europe and three years in sales and business development for Top Deck, Flight Centre, and Welcome to Travel.

Hemms is well versed in touring and river cruise, joining Globus family of brands after four years working at Colette. She also has experience working as a home-based travel agent for itravel and in the MICE and Groups team at Qantas. Until recently, she also worked as a part-time casual teacher at TAFE NSW, where she passed on her industry experience to the next generation of motivated and aspiring travel and tourism professionals.

Chimu appoints Andrew Loving as NSW relationship manager

Andrew Loving

Chimu Adventures has appointed Andrew Loving as its new relationship manager, based in NSW.

Loving has worked across a multitude of travel industry brands and will be managing Chimu’s group sales and trade, with key account responsibilities across the country. He’ll also be reconnecting with agents and managing Chimu’s relationship with Flight Centre Travel Group.

Loving will be based in Chimu’s Sydney office and he brings over ten years of industry experience, having worked with both retail and wholesale agent partners. He also brings to Chimu key knowledge of the cruising market, previously having worked with Holland America, Seabourn Cruises, and Crystal Cruises.

Qatar Airways taps two new appointments for the Southwest Pacific and North Asia Region

Justin Kestel, Qatar’s new regional manager for Australia and New Zealand

Qatar Airways has appointed of a new regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Justin Kestel, and a new manager of digital and marketing for Southwest Pacific and North Asia, Ken Anon Lau, to the APAC team.

With 32 years of experience combined, including over 17 years at Qatar Airways, Kestel and Lau bring a wealth of experience and industry knowledge to their newly appointed positions.

As regional manager for Australia and New Zealand, Kestel will be responsible for leading all strategic and commercial aspects of the airline’s business in Australia and New Zealand, based out of Qatar Airways’ Melbourne office. With over 10 years’ experience at Qatar Airways, his most recent role was as the regional manager of Indochina, based in Bangkok, responsible for the commercial business in Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.

As a customer-centric and data-driven marketing professional, Lau will head up Qatar Airways’ regional marketing, digital, and loyalty division across the Southwest Pacific and North Asia region (Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and China). He has spent the last seven years with Qatar Airways in various roles within digital, sales, marketing, and loyalty, and will also be based out of the airline’s Melbourne office.

Rocky Mountaineer appoints Violet Thumlert as new VP of sales 

Violet Thumlert

Rocky Mountaineer has welcomed Violet Thumlert as the luxury train company’s new vice president of global sales.

Based in Canada, Thumlert joined the team on August 29, 2022, bringing 20 years of sales experience to Rocky Mountaineer. Having most recently spent 12 years with Pursuit Collection in progressively senior sales roles, she drove high volume sales across Pursuit, having a vital role in the company’s growth.

Thumlert will work closely with the Asia-Pacific team of Tony Soden, regional sales manager, and Neryl Chambers, sales coordinator to raise awareness of Rocky Mountaineer and drive sales in the APAC market.

Ovolo’s new marketing appointment 

Jessica Fornito and Emily Tsui

Ovolo Hotels has appointed Jessica Fornito as its new group marketing communications manager for Australia alongside Emily Tsui who will be the group’s new group brand marketing manager.

With ten plus years of experience in strategic PR media relations, marketing, communications and hospitality, Fornito was previously account director at integrated marketing agency Kreate and national PR manager at QT Hotels.

In addition, Tsui brings seven plus years of expertise in brand and marketing strategy, multicultural marketing, consumer insights and communication. Trilingual and based in Hong Kong, she was previously at leading
kitchen appliance brand Nutribullet as China’s brand manager where she designed and launched goto-market strategies and roadmap from creating awareness driving brand equity to market acquisition.

CWT appoints new VP of Tax

Janet Wu Nuckles

CWThas appointed f Janet Wu Nuckles as its new vice president of tax reporting directly to Judy Hendrick, CWT’s CFO.

A tax leader with over 20 years’ experience of successfully building both international and domestic tax teams at global companies, Wu Nuckles joins CWT from Neutron Holdings, Inc., where she was global head of tax, leading all aspects of the company’s global tax footprint. Prior to this, Janet served at BMC Software, Inc. for almost 13 years, in roles including Director of International Tax & Planning and Senior Director, Tax.

Marriott announces new GM appointments 

Marriott International has appointed four general managers across their Sydney and Melbourne portfolio, including three first-timers.

Effective from September, Bennath Evea joins Courtyard by Marriott North Ryde and Sudhir Yadav joins AC by Marriott Melbourne Southbank as first-time general managers, while Scott MacDonald makes the move from Courtyard by Marriott North Ryde to Four Points by Sheraton Sydney Central Park, and Michelle Scott joins Moxy Sydney Airport Hotel from October as a first time general manager.

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